People, people, people.
I have to say I had an amazing time in Nashville. I love that city.
I also have to say that I was nervous because I’m prone to it. It was the first big show date I’ve done since the election. For those of you who have been listening to the show for a minute, you know that over the years I’ve developed a real love for going to the South. Initially I was judgmental and had it in a box but as I opened my mind, I’ve had great shows down there. It’s also truly one of the most beautiful parts of the country. But I was nervous. I had made myself nervous. I had been in my bubble here at the house, immersed in too much social media, which is really not a good representation of anything but detached impulses and bits and pieces of maybe relevant info. My brain was being pummeled and my feelings were tweaked. It’s been almost a week since I took Twitter on my phone. I still have it on the home computer. Baby steps.
As I flew into Nashville, coming in over the beautiful fall foliage, I looked down and thought, ‘Hey, that’s not Twitter.’ Granted, Nashville is a progressive bastion in the South but no matter where I have been in the past I’ve always met nothing but nice people down there and I’ve always had good shows. This time it was better. I was anxious and I had some stuff I wanted to say about where I was and how I was feeling and I did and it was beautiful. I had about 900 folks there in the audience. I did about an hour and a half and something happened that never happened before. I was totally in it for the whole time. No second-guessing, no distance between me and them or me and my jokes and ideas. It was my pace, no rush, no panic, fully present. It was a wild feeling.
I don’t know if it was the Carnegie set or getting off Twitter or that I’ve just crossed some line in myself, but to be fully realized in what you’ve spent your life doing and know it is an astounding thing. I’m glad it happened in Nashville because I was nervous going in but not in the same way I’m usually nervous. I was nervous about America and I left with hope about America. There is something about being face to face with people and not their detached impulses of any kind that makes it very real, very human. That’s why I love doing standup, most of the time.
Also, since I’ve been off Twitter I started reading a novel which I rarely do because my attention span is so shattered all the time. It is probably the most satisfying, spectacular explosion of language and humor I have read in years, maybe ever. It’s call ‘The Sellout’ by Paul Beatty. Powerful verbal fireworks of satire. Rich. Snag it. I’m going to try to talk to him.
Today I talk to the actor Michael Shannon. Intense. Real deal. Great talk. On Thursday I talk to Scott Fagan about his long, twisted, journey before and after recording the lost masterpiece ‘South Atlantic Blues’ in 1968.
People, people, people.