paulschissler

Bumping Life's Funny Bone

Category: Paul’s Brain

A Brief History of Political Harmony

The End.

 

 

Epilogue

You either think my book needs to change or it should remain the same.

 

Epilogue 2

A bird can’t fly unless its right and left wings work in unison. – Paul Schissler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Pinch Day

"Thou shall pinch thine neighbor!"

Since grade school, I’ve been in constant fear of getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day, even when I’m wearing the color green– I can’t escape my paranoia of getting pinched by one of the over-zealous St. Patty’s advocates.

I’m almost positive that there’s an underground green-garb pinch police force that enforces the green policy on St. Patrick’s Day, and I find it unsettling how eager everyone is to pinch any living being not wearing an article of green clothing.

Don’t make the mistake I made by wearing ‘aqua green’ shorts, because evidently ‘aqua green’ is not actually green, and you will get pinched.

 

Two questions:

1. Why do we celebrate Saint Patrick by consuming an ungodly amount of alcohol? 

Probably how it was decided:

Irishman 1-“How should we celebrate old Saint Patty?”

Irishman 2-“Let’s get hammered.”

“But he was a Saint.”

“We’ll have a parade too.”

“Done.”

2. Why do we pinch people who don’t wear green?

Probably how it was decided:

Irishman 1-“Green was Patty’s favorite color. Everybody should wear green today.”

Irishman 2-“What if people refuse?”

“We’ll kill them.”

“That’s a little harsh.”

“Fine, we’ll pinch them.”

“You’re not wearing green right now…”

"Wait! I swear I'm wearing green boxers."

I’m not the only paranoid non-Irish, non-Catholic, Protestant who’s afraid of getting pinched for not wearing green. The whole world is in fear. That’s why some coward created green beer– he was so concerned with avoiding pinches, that he found a way to consume green and coat his insides with it. I understand the fear. I own a pair of bright green slacks. GREEN SLACKS.

I might look ridiculous, but I’m not getting pinched!

Fun show at Gotham Comedy Club

It was such an honor, privilege, and awesome experience performing on such a well-respected stage like Gotham Comedy Club. I’ve come a long way in growing as a comedian and still have a lot of growing and improving to do. I will write more, practice more and do all that I can to make people laugh.

If you laugh at all, pass it along to a friend!

Professional Job Applicant

I have a full time job.

I’m pretty good at it too.

I’m a self-proclaimed professional job applicant.

It’s like volunteer work but demoralizing.

The amount of job applications that I’ve sent out in the past two months alone could fill the Grand Canyon. Every time I hit that ‘send’ button to submit my CV/Résumé for a job, I did a little bit inside. Thousands of people apply for the same job, so applying online without having a contact at the business feels like playing a practical joke on yourself–except no one is laughing.

It’s mentally exhausting and emotionally draining–sending out résumé after résumé, application after application.

The way I’ve approached my job situation is that if I apply for enough positions, then statistically, I’ll land one eventually. Out of about 80-100 opportunities that I’ve pursued in the past two months, I’ve landed two part-time, unpaid internships and two interviews.

If my pillow soaks up anymore tears I’ll be sleeping on an ocean sponge.

Finally getting an internship or securing an interview is a big boost in my spirits, even if I don’t get the job, because it’s a return in the investment I made in my time applying, researching, emailing, writing, and calling. Whatever you do, do something. Don’t stop. Keep your head up and fake a positive attitude. Throw yourself to the encouragement and advice of family and friends, because you can’t do it on your own.

The other day I went in for an interview. I felt great, my spirits were high, and I was looking forward to who I would be meeting. In walks another candidate. Then another. And another, until there’s eight of us. Welcome to a group interview. The office was young and hip, everyone was really cool, and things went smoothly. My months of preparation were paying off and I felt I made a great impression.

So, why did I still feel defeated? Didn’t I want the job? Wasn’t I happy about my performance?

Of course I was pleased. I need a job. But, I think the mental effect of applying for oodles of jobs brought me to a point of feeling hungry for the search. What if something else comes along? The desperation of needing a job was replaced with the desperation for waiting for something better, because I know what I’m worth and I want to wait for great.

The job system is screwed up because everyone is applying for and accepting jobs that they don’t really want, but decide to settle on. Accepting a job that you don’t want prohibits someone who does want the job.

Starting yesterday, I only applied for jobs that I (me, Paul) wanted to pursue.

Side note: Are there any rich benefactors out there looking for a tax right off?

My First NYC Open Mic

Crickets.

Silence.

Chuckle.

Cough.

More uncomfortable silence.

That’s how I perceived my first experience doing stand up in New York City at an open mic night. My friends said I was funny, and I felt fairly good about my routine, but open mic crowds are a stiff bunch because it’s comprised of fellow comedians. Everyone is jaded to everyone else’s material, no matter how funny, and they’re focused on their own monologue.

But, I did it, and it’s only up hill from here!

Learning how to take the first step towards the stage is the biggest part (at least for me) to becoming a comedian. You have to go for it. That’s how it’s been since my first time in Nashville, and all the way through my shows in college at Auburn University. Doing stand up in a new city, a new culture, and New York City at that, was another big step that I had to say–

Paul, just go for it.”

I’ll keep doing standup and continue to grow, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it makes me feel. The only way I can grow as an individual is to take a step out of my comfort zone and towards my goal– the stage.

All of my personal experiences and long discussions with professional comedians, producers, and teachers has given me the unique perspective to help others take the step into comedy and the best way for them to go in the right direction. I share all of what I’ve learned and my own personal experiences for others to learn from, in my eBook “How to be a Comedian.”

Beware of Crazy People

The breeding ground of crazy people

Monday: Witnessed a homeless guy digging in his crotch down to his elbow, unashamedly exposing himself.

Not only is that image seared in my mind, but I can’t stop wondering what exactly he was doing. The only rational explanations I can think of are the following choices:

A. Scratching (crabs? rash? STD?)

B. Grabbing poop

C. Masturbating

D. Adjusting (himself? underwear?)

Wednesday: My friend told me she walked by a lady fully drop her drawers, squat, and pee on the side of a building. In public, as if hundreds of people weren’t walking by.

There are literally loads of other places to relieve yourself:

1. Any bathroom, anywhere (public library, Starbucks, etc.)

2. Central Park

3. Secluded alley

4. Under a blanket

I guess when you’re homeless you start to lose touch with your dignity and decide that it’s acceptable to attend to yourself in public view. I get it, but I certainly don’t condone it. I mean, doing stuff like digging in your crotch and peeing on a building is not the best marketing strategy for getting people’s pocket change. At least, not from me.

I’m beginning to feel that this city breeds craziness– too many people in too little square footage, and outrageously expensive. Living here seems to push people to their limit until they either:

A. Snap (become homeless, kill people, or both)

B. Break past their limit and reach their goals

Working with Campus Clipper has definitely been a productive way to stay off the streets (or at least prolong the inevitable), and save some cash by cutting coupons.

This City Never Sleeps… but I Do.

It’s true. New York City is constantly awake with people hustling and bustling, and working and partying. I know this because I can hear it outside the window when I’m trying to sleep.

Trying to “make it” in this city, in whatever it is that you want to make it in is incredibly exhausting. If you sit still for a minute then you’re losing opportunities, and if you’re losing opportunities then you’re losing money, which–as we all know– is what you need most in NYC.

I’ve been in this body for 21 years, so I know myself pretty well by now. And I know that if I’m going to be the best “me” I can be, then I need a solid night of sleep. College conditioned me to run 5-6 hours a night, and during exams–much less, but this is the real world. I’m a “real person” now (I use quotations heavily here) contributing as a functioning member of society.

I dream about sleep while I’m sleeping. If I could buy more sleep, I would empty my bank account.

Living in New York City has been making me resist the desire to sleep, though, because if I want to survive here then I need to network, job search, contact, work, eat, wash, and repeat.

I can do it though. Little progress is still progress.

My work at Campus Clipper has been great to get me out of bed and look forward to something. Now I’m working towards and eBook, writing blogs, setting up podcasts, and using my creative energy towards something productive and beneficial. The more I embrace the hours of the day– working, writing, exploring— the more fuel I have to pursue comedy and entertainment.

Sleep is a good friend of mine, but I’m still it’s master.

“How to be a Comedian”

Abuse drugs, dive into depression, become cynical, act jaded to everything,   and drown in poverty– that’s how you become a comedian. Or, maybe all that happens after you become one.

Kidding!

The dream of becoming a comedian has been festering  within me for years, consuming every aspect of my life. I want to share with others the experiences from my journey, and hopefully help anyone who has the passion to get up on stage and make people laugh.

So, I decided to write an eBook on “How to be a Comedian” (that’s not a punch line to a joke, I’m being serious this time).

I’ve learned so much from other comedians and industry professionals on what it takes to succeed in the comedy business, so this eBook is my way of passing on the torch and lighting the way for anyone else who wants to walk the dark path of comedy. I’ll share with you my personal experiences, jokes, tips, and anecdotes, but also provide you with words of wisdom from experts in the business. Whether you want to pursue comedy for a career or just love it as a hobby– I assure you that this eBook will be beneficial in expanding your horizon and open you up to the serious side of being funny (while also being funny, of course).

Be on the lookout for my eBook updates!

Here are the current chapter titles to tease and entice:

Introduction

Ch. 1- Seriously Funny

Ch. 2- Go up there and Bomb

Ch. 3- Finding Your Funny Bone

Ch. 4- Teach Me Your Ways, Oh Wise One

Ch. 5- Meet the Right People

Ch. 6- Go Viral

Ch. 7- Social Mingling

Ch. 8- Hear it from the Horse’s Mouth

Post-Grad Pre-NYC

I’m living a life of a post graduate in a pre-New Yorker way– discovering how to live in the big city, fresh out of college. I thought it important to read up on some New York City literature in order to accrue as much advice as possible to help me along the way in Manhattan, so I recently picked up NYC Student Guide. http://campusclipper.com/blog/?page_id=785

I realize that I’m not a “student” anymore, but I’m still on that playing field, and this book had all the tips and information I needed from– from a fellow student’s perspective– to make it in the city. Just in the first few pages I realized how many “unwritten rules” I was breaking on the subway, like “no staring” at people. I come from the South where you make eye contact with others and give them the “head nod.” Evidently, you’re not supposed to do that, which might explain people moving away from me and reciprocating with threatening glares.

Finally, I have a guide book feeding me what I want out of the city, and not some monotonous New York City guide novel by a panel of “certified travel experts” in their 60’s. I’m a foodie to the extreme, and NYC boasts the best of the best restaurants in the world. Unfortunately, I’ve accumulated a hellacious amount of college debt, and don’t have deep pockets to satiate the hungry beast within me. It’s always more helpful to get someone’s advice who’s been in your shoes, and can tell you the cheap spots to eat in a new city.

I went to school at Auburn University in Alabama. I could rent a mansion for what I pay here, and buy 5 pitchers of beer for every on mug I buy at a NYC bar. A few NYC students in the NYC Student Guide helped dumb it down for me so I wouldn’t be dropping my whole paycheck on overpriced meals. They have the inside scoop on cheap burger joints, how to cook meals with what you have at home, and what makes for a great cocktail. Already I can feel myself becoming more of a Yankee… just kidding, the South will rise again!

As a newcomer to the city, and fresh out of the college scene, it’s totally revitalizing to read the NYC Student Guide and feel connected to the college body again. I feel like I’m being included in the cool group of kids on NYC’s city wide campus life– tips and tricks to integrate into the heart of the apple. I found out how to discover concerts in the city and how to snag cheap tickets. Also, I read about some awesome date ideas, so whenever I decide to break up with Single McLoneliness, I can seduce a city girl into a night on the town.

And by seduce, I mean mumble my way into a pity date.

It might help if I start dressing like a New Yorker, which means looking somewhat fashionable. New York is a breeding ground of hipsters–flaunting skinny jeans, chic prints, and really cool jackets. The NYC Student Guide gave this hopeless Southern boy some insight on where I can pick up some reasonably priced threads so that I stand a chance of not looking like I just walked out of the closet from 2001.

Since I’ve arrived to the city, I’ve been exhausted just from being here. Living in city is like a full time mental and physical workout, leaving you drained by the end of the day.

My first Snow Challenge

It’s all about building up stamina. And drinking copious amounts of coffee. However I found out about a few good ways to join the fitness scene in the city thanks to the student guide. I haven’t worked out at the gym in over a month and I can feel myself getting weaker. Turns out, you can haggle over gym prices for your monthly fee, which would be great so I could afford to build back some muscle.

Finding jobs in the city is insane.

I’m still in that student/recent graduate phase where it seems like no one wants to hire me for lack of experience in the real world. How the hell do I get real world experience if no one will give me the opportunity?

The best option? Internships. Package your skill sets, education, and work experience in a way that makes prospective employers say, “Daddy likey.” But not in a creepy, sexual harassment sort of way.

The NYC students from the guide book wisely advised to apply to as many as possible, and be diligent in the internship search. My favorite piece of advice was to “be yourself.” Interns are a dime a dozen, but if you can separate yourself by showcasing your unique personality, then it’ll be beneficial to you and the employer. Use what your momma gave you (I wish I could make that sound sassier than it reads).

Like most guys in their 20’s, I suck at relationships. Keep a a few female friends and a guide book close to strategize your moves in the dating world. In the back of the guide book there’s some insight on communication and personal values to help you keep on your own track. I can feel myself sort of drifting as I walk through the city, but some good ole journaling everyday and reading experiences of others’ is a huge help in keeping me true to who I am.

Go out and get what you’re worth. Like my mom always tells me– don’t settle for good, wait for great!

From the Orange to The Apple

I took the leap from the land of oranges and retirees, to the land of opportunity. A northeast bound journey to pillage New York City of its comedy and writing. Pillaging would be easier if I could grow a beard and go swashbuckling, but I’m a late bloomer and don’t know what “swashbuckling” means.

The world wants to take a bite out of the Big Apple, and I’m going to chew down to the core– finding food, entertainment, jobs, and beauty.