After Losing Hope: True Heroes Of The Entertainment World Emerge

After Losing Hope: True Heroes Of The Entertainment World Emerge

James Alex Gerard    from James Alex Gerard's Comedy Zone

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After Losing Hope: True Heroes Of The Entertainment World Emerge

Dear All:

I admit I often get discouraged and fail to create. Why? Because it seems that those who seek to bring laughter, light and joy into the world will be the ones to get cheated or sold out by those who hold the ways of greed, manipulation or deceit.

Then, the other day, I read online about Mr. Tom Shadyac . A person who made millions of dollars as a director of major-motion pictures. As someone who had the proverbial fame and fortune that we feel we are all seeking.

Then, as I conclude and like me, he sustained a life-threatening condition he survived -- and led him to examine himself and this world further.

Sure, I read the criticism that some failed box-office movie he directed was behind his transformation. I doubt that. I feel that when we are down as human beings, we really, really find out what we are made of as human beings, true Americans and whatever else we feel we are.

I gave up my material things to see further, after that terrible ordeal that cost me my lower leg. And, great came from that. As Mr. Shadyac notes: We give up useless toys, and then our true life begins.

We fail to cooperate with each other. Too many hold insecurity, and the 'what's in for me" mentality that makes the people in the entertainment business conduct themselves the way they do.

When I was depressed recently, all. I reviewed something I found online. Although I am a comedic creator and writer, I found myself distressed about what I read about the late Mr. Richard Pryor. I had no idea until today that his 1980 accident (one I remember at the time) was the result of an attempted suicide. My God. The man set himself on fire in attempt to exorcise the demons from within. Ones fame and fortune had brought him. Think about that, all, and think long and hard. As I did.

Bad childhood aside with Mr. Pryor, his man had money and fame. And was considered successful. And yet, all, he was very miserable. Very miserable. I was heartbroken to grasp this, but not aloof.

Lesson to be learned. As I have already learned. We need to cooperate. We don't anyone stealing our souls. We must never sell our own souls to get anywhere. Ever.

I conceive and write big things. And I feel bad for ever charging struggling comedic people with families for what I have. And then there's those with power who seek to do nothing but steal.

I know that something great will come out of what I do -- and not for me, as Mr. Shadyac knows, but for all.

For all.

Now, we have our heroes in this business. At the least, I have mine. I want nothing more than to do and create for the greater good.

I have my soul, and I will never sell it.

Anyone else agree? I hope so.


James Alex Gerard



John Fitch
Truth at all costs is, in my opinion, the antithesis of comedy. As writers of the less cantankerous notions, we feed on pain, awkwardness, and the likely impossibilities which are abundant. It forms a turd. We crap it out into a big pile and then carve away the parts that aren't funny. Thank you for saving me. You are a true hero.
Lots of tortured souls in stand-up. There's no correlation between being funny and being happy, in fact there seems to be a negative one. A lot of humor comes from a dark and cynical place that reduces life into snarky remarks. It's an awful place to be.
Jeff Lucas (not verified)
As someone who represents a lot of talented comedians, I couldn't agree more with as JAG and Comedy Magician above. It seems somewhere along the way comedy lost it's edge. It's truth. It seems today when I see most stand-up comics perform they aren't telling us the truth about who they are. They're just spouting carefully cultivated "development sets" in the hopes of getting a deal. Very few actually tell the truth anymore. I've begun calling it coNedy. I know a lot of folks are down on a lot of comedians for whatever reasons, but I find the comics who give me true glimpses into their worlds are the ones I remember most and really stand out - whether I relate to their world or not. My favorite comedians are still ANT Dan Ahdoot Kira Sultanavich Kathleen Madigan Tammy Pescatelli Katt Williams http://www/ And I love Tom Shadyac. I remember seeing him perform at the Rose Tattoo in West Hollywood many years ago. He did a joke equating his sex life to a NASA Lunar Landing that still cracks me up thinking about it. They each conjure up immediate images, thoughts and feelings (good or bad) and you know who they are because they have given you a glimpse in their act and that right makes them leagues above the comedians who get onstage and talk about credit card debt, car buying, airplane food etc....
Thank you for your insightful thoughts James. Just a note from an Acute Mental Health Nurse to say that there are many young creative individuals I've known, and read about in charts, who will never get into the public eye because of their mental illnesses pulling them down; they have to climb back up every time they have an manic, psychotic, or depressed episode, many loose their jobs, marriage, family, and some loose their lives because of this imbalance in their brains...that are out of their control. The public eye needs to become more aware that these are all genetic diseases which can be triggered by street drugs (esp. marianna and cocaine as seen in urine toxicology results), alcohol intox., or simply stress...which is why I share my thoughts with you; your absolutely right about never knowing what another person is going through; what is not obvious is hidden. There are many amazing persons out there with gifts that "no one" ever taped into because of their mental illnesses; many brilliant creative minds suffer with a mental illness. Many individuals end up in hospital again and again loosing so much because of this cyclical cycle; we need a safety net for the mentally ill concerning their talents to help them to continue to succeed. Mental healthcare is expensive to all countries, but there are great ideas to be had to help fund this expensive illness....starting with the clients themselves and their talents, and by paying them for this. I listen to stories on a regular basis, such as "Mr. Pryor's," someone knew he was not well...... but sadly, because of a lack of education, didn't know how to help him! I only hope someday....someone..... with political power....can help to change the future by integrating mental healthcare programs into our young schools to teach all kids about signs/symptoms of oncoming mental health needs or illnesses, as these are genetic disorders that don't go away; we need to tell society its "ok" to have a mental illness to help inspire their creative minds. Sincerely, and passionately, Sherri RN BScN (Acute Mental Health)
James Alex Gerard
Yes, recently I've dealt with comedy people who haven't paid me a dime. And yet, start berating me and telling me "what's wrong with me." Gee, I can have a more "positive attitude" if what I wrote wasn't taken from me without any compensation I need to live. Amazing. Those like me writing this material are the last ones laughing about what goes on. But know, that what I've written goes with me. America may have decided that I can't survive, and that was it's choice to make. Fine. My material goes with me. And people will get what they want. I'm tired of my dumb inquiries. And how I get demeaned by those who haven't paid me a plugged nickel. It's simple: What happens when someone wants great material, and doesn't want to pay for it? And wants someone to "put down" for free? Simply put: they look me up and do it to me first, all. Trust me. You know, I can be accused of not being positive enough. I see. I have to be the world's fool and like it. To please others. I see. I admit I'm dumb, but I'm not stupid! James Alex Gerard
I know what you mean
I think comedy often comes from such dark and sad places. It is a wonderful part of humanity, but so many of our "funny brethren" never get over that sadness and darkness ( Pryor, Girlaldo, Richard Jenni etc) Plus there is a lot of theft and backstabbing in the "industry". I think it's easy to think that we will all be happy if we gained recognition and commercial success, but since very few of us are there, we really aren't in a position to say.