I’ve come to the conclusion that I suffer from a sort of pee shyness when it comes to being funny. Actually I came to that conclusion fully in writing the previous Blague, which I did just moments ago because (in case you haven’t been tuning in) I’m behind about thirty-four days/blagues and when I say behind that’s a totally arbitrary perspective but I just dealt (not yesterday) in the previous Blague with my weirdness about not being able to not complete things and I don’t want my Blague themes to blur so…the theme of “today’s” Blague is absolutely my inability to whip out my funny and let it flow in a loud and heavy stream. I bet you’ve never used this metaphor for humor before and I’m sure I never will again.
All my life people have been telling me I’m funny. Oh my god you’re the funniest person. Well you know Quinn (or Bill or whatever the fuck you’re calling me) he’s the funniest person. You’re the funniest person. Thanks. The truth is it’s true. But it’s only truly true when I’m with people super close to me. Not to say I haven’t been funny in public. I do write funny things and perform them on a stage. And I tend to write a lot of dialogue because I often perform with Stella as a duo. She writes her own material which is fantastically amazing, but she generally does so for her solo shows or for her solo bits in shows. Sometimes I write monologues for her to say. I’ve written bits and monologues for a number of people. I get my best laughs when other people are delivering the material I created. Most people won’t have realized I’ve written it and I don’t tell them. And hardly anyone reads this so it’s not like suddenly it’s going to go out on the AP service that I write comedy to be performed. Most people think of me as a producer, not so much the talent. Or they think of me as a sort of Desi Arnaz of performing astrologers of which there are exactly two: Stella and myself. Stella has terrific stage presence and when we’re together all eyes tend to be on her anyway. She’s tall and pretty and it’s the way it should be. She’s also a natural born actress and comedian. By the time I’ve hit the stage, typically, I’ve worn fifty other hats from producer to writer to publicist to ticket taker to promoter to the voice you hear introducing us from backstage—something I tend to do in my best Tony Randall voice. You’ve heard my Tony Randall story, right? Where I was in an improv/sketch comedy class and I had this funny act where I played Tony Randall and then a couple of days later I met him and he cast me in his Broadway company? Ah, yes, sometimes the Cosmic Joke in life is not ha-ha funny but eerily so and spritually transcendent. But where was I … oh yeah…
Funny. This Cosmic Blague is meant to be funny dammit. Or at least amusing in its story telling. I know it can’t always ring true on the “cosmic joke” theme because not everything seems as if the Universe is playing pranks on us. But it does enough of the time, right? Enough of the time that we begin a lot of our sentences to one another “you wanna hear something weird?…or you wanna hear something funny?… weird and funny being often interchangable. I’ll leave that for the Deconstructionists to decide. All I know is that it’s hard to be funny on command. Which is the reason I started this Blague: I thought that if I had to try to write something, again, at least amusing everyday then maybe it would exercise my “instrument”, you know, get my juices flowing, my comic mojo working. It’s possible it will. As I said, the first year, I immediately abandoned the funny agenda in favor of musing on these Sabian Symbols which capture, in a phrase, the energy of every day/degree of the zodiac. It became a crutch. It is far easier for me to be metaphysical or philosophical on demand. But not funny. And I’ll tell you another thing:
It’s actually easier, now, for me to tap into my psychic powers at will than it is my comedic ones. How about that? And I bring this up because there are similarities between these two forces. They are forces more than talents. Sure I believe you’re born with a sense of humor or not; just like you’re born with some psychic ability or not. But in both cases they have to be worked because they will go dormant or be lost all together. I can’t believe what I’m about to say: I think my psychicness can be a metaphor for my humor. Okay maybe metaphor’s not exactly what I mean. I mean it is a metaphor for it. But that’s not the point right now. I think that what I mean more acurately is: I should model the fostering of my humor on the cultivation of my psychic power. Then again I suppose I have. But I can really turn up the volume here. I suppose I’m back to metaphor: The thing about the psychic ability is that you can’t second guess it you have to act on it and speak up when you get some kind of “flash” however that might happen for you. It’s the same with humor. We learn that in improv where s/he who hesitates is indeed lost.
Stella turned me onto the Mike Birbiglia film Don’t Think Twice, have you seen it. It’s great. And he’s great. It’s all about an improv comedy troupe so the title sort of says it all. I respect Mike Birbiglia because, like many “comedians” I connect with, he really is just a funny storyteller and he’s very clever and I jus think he’s tops. He has his tricks as all comedians do but his aren’t glaring and I feel he works against them which I like. Oh, you see, I’m also a great critic of others’ humor. I’m a great critic period. Which is why I think I’m a Virgo rising. I say I think because I don’t actually know because nobody really remembers when I was born except for that it was morning. And we know it was morning because my Pisces diva mother complained that it was too early. But too early would be like 3 or 4 am, right, not 7 am exactly but I’m not a Leo rising I’m a Virgo rising which means that she didn’t actually have to get up that early. Never mind the fact she wasn’t in labor long because, as she would famously say, I started coming out in the taxi. But you know they didn’t take a taxi to the hospital–my father drove her. But taxi sounds so much more like it happened in a movie, which is the way my mother interpreted all the scenes of her life, in hindsight, with her as the put-upon secretly wise waif, a part that could have easily gone to Sandy Dennis or even Shirley Maclaine.
I loved Sandy Dennis. She used to teach at H.B. studios when I was a student there. I studied with Uta Hagen. You’ve no doubt heard those stories. No? I know I wrote about them in the past. I suppose I’ll have to go back through old Blagues and repackage them into these new Blagues into a funnier way than when I first put them down triggered by some Sabian Symbol I was using as a crutch. Well, they were a crutch to get me writing what I hoped would be comedy; though they weren’t a crutch in and of themselves because some of my metaphysical musings on those symbols are pretty interesting in and of themselves. I have several aspects to my personality. I’d like to say I have seven distinct personalities because that would be a very literal way of describing the prismatic personality of a Libra. See, I think about things all too often in astrological terms. Which isn’t always funny—especially not on stage. But since my stage persona of Quinn Cox grew out of my penname Quinn Cox I thought it would be a grand idea to make astrology funny. To be, as a duo, the Sonny and Cher of astrology. It sort of worked. It still can. But I’m not sure I’ve ever got the balance right. The thing is I’ve now become Quinn Cox, not just in the sense that that is how you (yes you) know me; unless you’re a very dear and old friend who calls be Bill or the magazine crew I worked with in England that calls me William, but in the sense that I morphed into my own creation that originated on paper. Wouldn’t it be smart, I thought, if we took the authors (our pennames) of Sextrology and brought them life. Through these invented characters we could express ourselves. Through the artifice of their creation we could tell untold truths. Little did I know that I would be swallowed by that creature Quinn Cox and that my life would become his life and his talents would become my talents. For it wasn’t until I became Quinn Cox, a character I penned to have been brought up by Celtic mystics and who himself had strong, for lack of a better word, supernatural, powers only to discover it was all true. All true.
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