Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Stand Up!

Welcome to 
How to Balance Your Life
Through Writing
Or some such nonsense.
It's another Thursday featuring
Brian Shirley.

As a stand up comedian for nearly twenty years and a newly published author my writing has gone through several stages. When I started doing stand up I wrote mainly in my head as I still had a day job/s. I would think of the jokes at work, then sit and write them out when I got the chance. Sometimes a few of us comics would get together to write and this really got the juices flowing. It was always better to come into a writing session with some ideas already down on paper. Then we would shoot them at each other, punch them up and try them out the next time we got up on stage. 

I guess this was the first and second stages of my career, as I became a better performer and writer I got out on the road more. This was good, but I wrote less and less with the other comics I had started with and more on my own. Sometimes the comics I met on the road would give me a tag line on a bit, or help me with a set up. but I was mainly on my own. 

As I started growing and getting on stage more, I worked my day jobs less. I did keep a day job part time up until last summer. I still wrote some at work, but mainly at home or in the hotel room. Some times I wrote from the stage as I would add to bits I already had right off the top of my head.

When I started putting my first book together, I would come home from work or a gig and sit at the computer. Here I went through my old material I didn't use on stage, and picked out the best one liners. For the first time writing was becoming my "real" life. As I said, I still had the day job and I was still touring, but I felt like I was an author. I guess the big balance between my writing and "real" life, is the observation of that life. That's where my material comes from. I live it, get frustrated or angry, then write about it. The happy times are great, but they're just not as funny as the aggravations of life. 

My balance now is trying to exist as a performer, write for a magazine, market my books, work on the next book or books and not to be redundant, and pay my bills. I still don't have a set time that I write. The inspiration usually comes at the worst times. Like 4:30 in the morning, when I can't sleep, but the idea keeps running around in my head. This just happened recently with a article I wrote for an on line comedy magazine called "Amock." I finally gave up the tossing and turning, got out of bed, went to the lap top, and wrote "Mars is the kind of place to raise your kids." 

If you find a good balance let me know, I could sure use it.Thanks.

Comedian/Author Brian T Shirley has toured the U.S.,Canada and The Bahamas for nearly twenty years. He has also written two comedy books ( Make Love Not Warts & Four Score and Seven Beers ago...) full of funny proverbs,insults and song titles turned into comedic sentences. Brian has several short stories soon to be published and writes for the on line comedy magazine Amock. You can find out all about Brian and his work at


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