Monday, September 15, 2014

The "Can I Make a Living Doing What I Love?" Experiment (#7: It Takes a Village to Pay a Child)

by Pam Victor

[The "Can I Make a Living Doing What I Love?" Experiment is my one-year challenge to make a living through creative pursuits. Read all the updates here.]

Ok, so despite the title of this update, I'm far from a child. Although according to my 16-year-old daughter, I am, like, the most immature and weirdest mom ever. (That may have been after I admitted to her that I told my Most Embarrassing Moment Ever story on a podcast yesterday. A story involving poop. And there was talk of handjobs too, though that was another unfortunate story unrelated to the poop story, which is probably a good thing. And it's probably also a good thing that I didn't talk about the handjob story to my daughter. 'Cause even I know that would be just wrong.) My point is, I am very happy to be doing The "Can I Make a Living Doing What I Love?" Experiment in the improv comedy village...which is full of immature, weirdos, but they're pretty much the most supportive and kind-hearted immature weirdos in the whole wide world.

I'm just back from a whirlwind weekend at the Boston Comedy Arts Festival and then back home at the Happier Valley Comedy Show, followed by a little swing by our local, super cool radio station, WRSI, for an interview about this experiment. And no matter where I went, I was amazed that people actually are following my progress and
Paul Dome and Will Luera of Big Bang
at Boston Comedy Arts Festival
enthusiastically rooting me on. I am really touched by all the support, and it definitely gives me energy to push through all those voices in my head that almost every day say that this whole thing is really fucking dumb, $16K is a pitiful goal (or an impossible goal, depending on the day), and I should shut white, privileged mouthhole and just take a job at Taco Bell. (Not that there is anything wrong with working at Taco Bell; it's just not what I love. Mostly because of the diarrhea.) If the people I spoke with this weekend had any reservations or doubts or ridicule at my goal, I feel lucky that they didn't burden me with those thoughts. All I heard were positive encouragement. All I felt was love.

In one conversation spurred by this experiment, an improv comedy friend confided that he'd like to leave his job to do comedy full-time, perhaps also exploring the world of corporate training through improvisation. We talked a bit and put our heads together and, if he does make the plunge, that would be two of us intentionally trying to make a living doing what we love. Maybe we could start a movement of happiness and fulfillment?

Or maybe it's just two of us. Or maybe just me. No matter. I am grateful for that conversation and all the others I had this weekend. So THANK YOU for reading this piddly entry. And THANK YOU for your support...or, if you don't support me, THANK YOU for keeping it to yourself. It all means a tremendous amount to me, and I'll almost forgive you for not telling me what you think is sexy so I could include it in this post, as promised in my previous update. I guess you guys are sort of douchebags after all.

Oh, and if you want to hear my most embarrassing story ever, it'll be on the Tomily Comedy Podcast. (I'll post a link when it becomes available.) But you should be warned, it's a real scatological boner-killer. In the interview with Monte Belmonte on WRSI, I am super mature 'n shizzle. (You can hear that here.)

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Pam Victor is the founding member of The Ha-Ha’s, and she produces The Happier Valley Comedy Show in western Massachusetts. Pam performs a "Geeking Out with: The TALK SHOW," a live version of the written Geeking Out with... interview series, at comedy festivals throughout the land. Pam writes mostly humorous, mostly true essays and reviews of books, movies, and tea on her blog, "My Nephew is a Poodle." Currently, Pam is co-writing "Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book" with TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi. If you want to stay abreast (yes, I said breast) of all her nonsense, go to

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