Advice From The Comic Hack 132 – The Performers, Depression, And I Scrape Off The Clown Paint Edition

Oct 30

Advice From The Comic Hack 132 – The Performers, Depression, And I Scrape Off The Clown Paint Edition

In the wake of Robin Williams death by suicide a snippet from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s seminal 1986 graphic novel “The Watchmen” went viral on the web. It was a joke; an interchange between a sociopathic vigilante called Rorschach and a smug, pompous psychiatrist sent by the court to diagnose the masked anti-hero’s psychology. It goes like this “Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown, Pagliacci, is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor, I am Pagliacci.”   This poignant Sad-Clown tale popped-up everywhere in the overwhelming and angsty reportage in the aftermath of Robin William’s absurd demise. The death of this icon; the tragic irony of a man who made his living making others laugh dying from depression shattered our collective heart and  tattered our shared soul. We loved Robin Williams. From Mork, to Doubtfire. From stand-up to Oscars to Aladdin We loved him but it wasn’t enough to overcome that blackness deep within him. Fellow comedian Patton Oswalt referenced this story too tweeting “But doctor, I AM Pagliacci.” That’s the only way this makes sense. Can’t stand thinking of him being that sad. #RIPRobinWilliams” Today a reader asks me about depression among performers and how to deal with it. He asks if all of us are indeed clowns crying beneath our grease paint; doomed to one day be found with the needle in our arm, the gun in our mouth or the belt around our neck.  He asks my advice how to tackle the tightening coils of the relentless python that is depression. This isn’t going to be one of my more uplifting contributions. I don’t foresee it being a barrel of laughs. Am I failing you as a comic today? While I beat the dirge and play the funeral pipes I want to ask you as always to Submit questions for future columns to advicequestions@tortugatwins.com. While you’re at it, “Liking” “Sharing” and “Commenting” wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.   I love you man! In a totally...

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Advice From The Comic Hack 131 – The “One Half Of Baby Is A Nightmare” Edition

Oct 22

Advice From The Comic Hack 131 – The “One Half Of Baby Is A Nightmare” Edition

Once upon a time rebel, leader, “Father of the Indian Nation” – Also enema aficionado, published racist and professional Ben Kinglsey  impersonator (only ONE of these three things are untrue)  – M. Gandhi told his people “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” Even historic wise-guy Solomon, a bona-fide prophet in all three Abrahamic religions realized that sometimes there is no middle path, no common ground and someone is going to get screwed. Or not.   Solomon, Son of David and King of Israel was a man of legendary wisdom. He was magician, exorcist, architect, judge, all around bad-ass and banger of the Queen of Sheba (allegedly). When he famously faced  a scenario where there was no easy, equitable solutions he advocated for Baby Bisection. True Story! Your Humble Comic Hack has next-to-nothing in common with Solomon; a few encounters with queens notwithstanding. Today I am faced with a particularly thorny dilemma. I too have  a question from a reader where there can be no compromise. I feel that I am up (giggity) to the challenge. Read on to see my counsel as a reader wants my guidance on to have a child – or not. After you’ve read it drop me a note in the COMMENTS section and let me know how I did. I am also running out of questions for future columns so send me some right away to advicequestions@tortugatwins.com. Dear Comic Hack – I need your advice on what I guess is a pretty common problem. My girlfriend of three years wants a baby, and I’m not sure I’m ready. Here’s a little background. We’re both professional artists and performers. She’s just turned thirty and wants us to have a child “before she’s too old”. I’m in my late thirties and I’m concerned that it might be better to wait until the two of us are more financially and emotionally stable, not to mention more secure in what we have going on as a couple. We both come from very chaotic backgrounds and this is the longest, and healthiest relationship I have ever had....

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Advice From The Comic Hack 130 – The “Your Ex-Husband Is A Jerk And You Have To Become A Tiger” Edition.

Oct 08

Advice From The Comic Hack 130 – The “Your Ex-Husband Is A Jerk And You Have To Become A Tiger” Edition.

In modern America over 96 percent of all marriages end in either divorce or murder (Citation needed) and no child has ever successfully survived the trauma of a broken home without becoming a serial killer (Yeah, citation needed here too). Our enlightened society’s need for fair play and our deep-seated protestant guilt (no citation needed) sometimes compels us to make compromises in our post-divorce lives that we might never make if we were thinking clearly.   Widely considered one of the greatest novelists of all time Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was not only a Russian author, philosopher and optimist (citation needed) – he was a real-life count! Who knew? He opined in his famous novel – and blunt instrument suitable for bludgeoning – War and Peace that “Everything depends on Upbringing.” Widely considered to be a poor writer without the ability to actually publish his weekly column – weekly Your Humble Comic Hack believes that divorce is no insurmountable tragedy but  “merely” a life-altering experience. For it’s all the myriad challenges that come after that can shape and forge the survivors like fire, anvil and hammer. See – if I were a good writer I would have worked “hammer and sickle” into that paragraph as a call-back to Tolstoy. Today a reader asks for my advice on dealing with a deadbeat ex and his deleterious effect on their son. She wants to address things non-confrontationally. Would you be surprised to learn that I am advising a completely different course of action? Read my words today and let me know if you like my answer in the comments section below. Think I’m way off-base? I’d like to hear that too. And while we’re at it Please submit some more of these interesting questions so we have cool things to share each week! Send your questions to advicequestions@tortugatwins.com.    I’m wondering what your thoughts would be for my situation. My ex and I have a son together and have joint custody of him. He had open visitation with him allowing him to see our son anytime he wanted he just had to let me know 48 hours before so I was aware of the days he was going to be with our child. During...

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