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I realized that some friends only stay in your life for a short while, when I first started doing comedy back in 2002. One of my good friends at the time met a girl, and from that point on, I rarely saw him, or even talked to him. At some point he got married, had a kid, and that was the last I ever heard of him. It's one of the reasons I started doing comedy. I felt the need to somehow expose this injustice to the world. You invest a lot in friends, and I somehow felt betrayed. Friends will disappoint you, hurt you, and even turn into your enemies in some cases. The worst ones are the phonies, the ones that pretend to be your friend, but are really not. Those people reveal their true character to you eventually, making them easy to identify.
Most of my friends live normal lives, and have regular jobs, while I tell jokes on stage to strangers. Any change for them, be it in relationship status or work, generally means less time spent with you. Some friends you'll know an entire lifetime, but rarely see them. Some will fade away naturally, or you might see a friend once a year, yet still treasure them as if they lived next door. People's attitudes and behavior change over the years, and its often not the same person we first met. Finding genuine, lifelong friends are still a rarity in this world.
A glaring example of how it effects creative types, might be Axel Rose & Slash, from Guns N Roses. Had they not had a falling out years ago, they've might've put out a lot more great music. Instead, they couldn't bare to stand in each others company at the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. You give up a lot in life to become a comedian. Dating, family, girlfriends, parties, your health, and yes, even friends-became casualties to my relationship with comedy. It works both ways, of course. I wished I could attend some of those events, but often I was doing an open-mic, performing in a show, or in my car... making the trip back & forth to some dreadful town.
Last month, I had 4 shows in Virginia, and last weekend, I was doing a pair of shows in Iowa. I had a blast at every single one of them. Driving thru the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, on the way up to entertaining members of the US Customs & Border Patrol in Front Royal, VA, performing at the Olde Mill Resort, in Laurel Fork, VA -below in miniature form, and at Another Road Brewing in Marion, IA were a few highlights. Of course, I still had time to eat some great Indian food, in Harrisonburg, VA --pictured below.
I've made many new friends on the road, and I'm truly grateful for that. I might see them again soon, in a couple of years, or never again. If or when I do see them, I'll remember how much I enjoyed their company the first time we met. Maybe it's what
I've been seeking all these years. That's the good thing about friends....you'll lose some - but gain new ones along the way.