here’s the deal-don’t touch me-howie mandel

“We’ll take care of our dental health, but not our mental health.” (27)

kudos to howie mandel for joining bell’s mental health campaign, i really feel this will be the next frontier of artistry and activism. i read this when i was doing the stand-up class, and when i was seriously considering the links between stand-up (specifically) and artists (generally) with suicide-can it be that that which heals us also brings us to the brink of destruction?

“I’ve been able to use humor and public awareness to give myself a little comfort. But for the most part, I’m not comfortable at all. It is serious. There are a lot of people who have these issues. OCD can take your life away.” (25)

i appreciated learning all the different characters that mandel has lent his voice to (from gizmo to bunsen and beaker and animal) and can only imagine what his opening for diana ross‘ tour (when she was dating gene simmons-ha! like brad pitt and robin givens, or leo dicaprio and rihanna)

but it’s the insight to his relationship to standup that was most valuable to me-and while i have since reneged on the stance of never doing it again, this description did at the time cement in my mind that it was not a road that i was going to travel exclusively.

“If that is true, then the sick need that I have to be accepted and appreciated by people I don’t know stemmed from spending my entire childhood trying to get 100 percent of the attention. Obviously, you can’t get all the attention, but I promise you I’m still trying.” (8)

“What I have come to realize is that you can’t decide something will be your signature piece. You just do something, and it becomes your signature. The things that you become known for and the things that bring the biggest response can’t be planned.” (82)

“I believe you should never utter anything out loud about things you have no control over, or circumstances will turn against you. It drives everyone around me crazy.” (147)

“My analogy has always been of a roller coaster. I happen to love roller coasters. If I rode a roller coaster that glided smoothly past a couple of trees, I would probably never go on it again. On the other hand, the scarier it is, the closer you think you are coming to death, the more physically uncomfortable it is, the more fun the ride is. That’s exactly how I felt the first night onstage at Yuk Yuk’s. That’s the feeling I’ve chased every night since. I continually wanted to get back on that roller coaster. Fear is my fuel.” (185)

living in the now. that’s what standup is about. perhaps i was afraid because i was running. who am i kidding? i’m always about 75% flight risk.

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