On the episode of WTF I just listened to, Lewis Black discusses how he went from being a theatre maker to a comedian. He’d been a dedicated theatre maker – playwright, director, producer for 20 years and when he turned 40, he made a switch. He became a stand-up comedian.
And it was a successful switch for him. He’s found success in a new form. And he made the switch at the age that I am now. I’ve also spent 20 years in the theatre with only minor breakthroughs.
From the place he’s sitting now, this former theatre maker only wonders how he managed to stay in it so long. And he has a lot of zingers on the business of theatre making. (My favorite was one about the actual business of theatre being to say “no.”) He said he’d always had a sideways interest in comedy though when he turned to it, it was unexpected. He came to it as a writer looking for a stage and he found he could say what he wanted better in comedy than he’d ever could in theatre.
I listen to a LOT of comedy podcasts. I am mildly obsessed with comedic structures and ideas. Is it my turn to switch over at 40, too? I only have a few months of 40 left. I’ll have to do it soon.