Oh right! I have a blog. I totally forgot. For my 4 subscribers I apologize for the long hiatus the last 5 or 6 months have been full of activity and amazing progress. BUT, back to my comedy journey.
Seventh grade, Junior High, Connolly Middle School. A melting pot of new faces, cliques and pubescent near-teens searching for acceptance in a larger population of students than elementary school had offered. I remember waking up the first day after a summer relatively free from peer pressure and my first thought was, “I need to start matching clothes.” I rifled through my wardrobe, put on my best guess and ran to ask my sister, “Does this outfit match?” She approved.
Out the door I went to wait at the bus stop, as soon as I boarded Monia was sitting near the front with another girl from my elementary class and they both proclaimed out loud, “Paul’s clothes match!” And engaged in a sort of mocking round of applause, that several other passengers halfheartedly joined. It’s difficult to get teenagers too interested in anything, even the mocking of a fellow student on day one. I found my seat next to Scott and away we went to further advance our adolescence!
Seventh grade was relatively uneventful for me. I settled in decently to the awkward, I was not the coolest kid in school by any means, but I also did not seem to get bullied or made fun of very often aside from the playful ribbing of classmates. I was in the band playing drums, and I made the basketball team building a small network of friends on either side of the social divide. Scott and I were still best buds. I still found myself entertaining Scott and a few classmates who could tolerate my over-bearing insecurity filtered through a constant onslaught of jokes and impressions. A few of Scott’s favorites were my impersonation of our English teacher Mrs. Janes. A beautiful soul committed to opening our closed minds to the beautiful metaphors and deeper meaning of literature. I would start my impersonation with referencing some deep philosophical statement and then draw countless metaphors to its meaning reducing it to something ridiculous, “The green light in Great Gatsby represents greed, which represents our inner demons, which represents Halloween, which represents candy, which represents the 10% off sale at Walmart.” I can still picture Scott cracking up.
By the time 8th grade rolled around I had settled in a decent level of confidence. I was still in the band and also made the 8th grade basketball team. As much as I loved playing basketball I was more interested in screwing off during practices, before games and after. My coach was a great guy, Coach Zukos (I don’t actually know if that’s how you spell his name) loved basketball, loved coaching us, and never scolded me for being a little bit more serious about goofing off than improving my jump shot. I remember sitting on the court after our practices as Coach Zukos would be talking about our upcoming game, and inspiring us, and I would bust out some wise crack that would make Scott (Scott happened to be our star player) bust up laughing, while the rest of the team just sat there.
None the less, my comedy career was still in its humble beginnings, Scott was my number 1 fan, and everyone else…meh, they thought I was alright. On to high school!