Anyway, sorry about that, my writings often turn into rants. I'm afraid you'll have to get used to that if you want to read my articles. Besides, that's what most of my collegues do. My collegues are people like Louis CK, the late George Carlin, Youp Van't Hek and Marc Maron, to name a few. Yes, I am a stand-up comedian but no, you will probably never see me perform. Unlike the people I mentioned earlier, I have a little handicap, named 'stage fear'. It's one of the worst things for a stand-up comedian to have. If you're a musician and you have stage fear, you can always go to studio work and become someone like Jim Johnston, who writes and records music for WWE. However, as a stand-up comedian, it's very hard to find jobs if you're afraid of performing live.
So what is this 'stage fear'? Well, many people are nervous before going on stage and doing their thing. Some of those people actually do that only once in their life. Or better, they don't get on stage at all. These people collapse under the self-afflicted pressure and become sick to their stomach, right before showtime. They're not nervous, they're terrified. For no reason whatsoever, we know that but we can't help it. As soon as the announcer mentions our name, we're puking our guts all over the floor before fainting in a puddle of our own vomit and blood. Minutes later we're in an ambulance, asking ourselves how the hell we got there. Unless you're Slipknot or Gwar, this is not a very good stage act.
For years I've been trying to fight this stage fear but it's a tedious task. It's way easier for an atheist to convert a muslim to judaism that it is for a guy like me to step on stage. As a musician in a band I tried so hard to make it work. I'll never forget that gig we had. A huge audience of thirteen people, including the two other bands that played that night. I took some drugs, which were given to me by some guy I hadn't seen before. It tickled for a while but when it kicken in, boy was I ready to go out and be the best damn guitar player I could ever be. The intro was playing and I stood there, adrenaline flowing like a madman. I had written that intro, it was good. Soft soundscapes faded in, became louder and louder. Then deep dark low keyboards were added, pronouncing impending madness. A strobo flashed above the drums. Nine seconds, eight, seven, six...
Then a flash of white light blinded all of us. When the flash was over, the audience watched me slamming the microphone stand with my guitar - what I saw was a huge spider trying to ley her eggs inside my belly. Appearantly, right before our singer would scream the opening "Dieeeeeeeeeeeeee", I puked in his mouth so he got sick and puked all over the front line (both people were hit). The bassplayer slipped and broke his arm and the drummer quickly drove away with his car. I don't remember it that well; I got a complete blackout. We never became a succes.
I tried again, a year later. This time with a solo project. Just me and my machines. I know it's cheating but what can possibly go wrong when you only need to press 'play' and than pretend you're busy with doing all of this live? Well, I blacked out again, which resulted in a burnt down venue. My vomiting, sweating and bleeding out of my nose while pushing over a glass of beer in my fall, created a short circuit, killed four people and got two more in the hospital.
Yes, six people. It would bring the total amount of people I killed, injured or disgusted with my music to a whopping 24. So I decided that carreer to be over. Actually, I'm glad about that. Imagine what could have happened if I played in front of a sold out stadium. I would have been a mass murderer, a guitar player in the only real 'death metal' band. Thousands of people dead because of my freefloating bodily fluids. It would make an awesome video clip but it's a pretty bad publicity stunt.
So that was the end of that, but the handicap would have several other consequences. My first marriage ended before it even started. When the priest asked us on his 'stage', I ran off in a blind craze. they found me three days later behind an old grave in a cemetary, three villages away. One time I was at a benefit for my nephew and I won someting with the bingo they had organised. When the announcer called my name, everything went blank and I roamed in the local forest for a week.
Needless to say that my stage fear thus had a little handicap-like effect on my life. To me, a podium is a torture device, manufactured to break my spirit and to squeeze out every last drop of fluid I have inside me. The last time I tried, I realised I had to find something new. By that time I changed from music to comedy and I was asked for a local gig with some friends. Mind you, this was not a gig at all. This was just a bunch of friends pretending to do stand up comedy. It were the exact same five guys that I used to hang out with in those days. They're not my friends anymore. I'm not even sure if they are still alive today.
So, that's it for now. I'm a stand-up comedian with near fatal stage fear. Thank you, God, for really improving my life with that combination. I'm like a pornstar with an erectile dysfunction, or a skinhead who doesn't really hate anything. I'm terrified of travelling too, by the way.
When the owners of this website asked me to do something for them, I couldn't really say "no". It were these people who actually found me when I was hiding behind the grave. Don't ask me what they were doing on a cemetary in the middle of the night. I, too, would be much rather there than on the main stage of Pukkelpop, that's for sure. We became friends after we got used to each other's weird aspects, and writing for them is pure fun. When they said "you're going on a world tour without setting a foot out of your appartment and you'll never have to open your mouth", I was sold. I'm not really sure how many people will read all of this but hey, you gotta start somewhere... and then start over somewhere else again, and again, and again...