Send Dr. Lisa, S.P. (Self-Proclaimed) your questions and dilemmas about your art, life, job, sex, you name it—and she will post responses to your questions and issues right here. Please send email to: [email protected]
You guys suck! Seriously, I only got two letters this week and lucky for you one happens to be from a brilliant comedian who I’m a fan of—alright, truth be told I asked her to submit—I had to! I don’t understand why you aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to get free advice from a non-licensed therapist with more than ten years of experience. OK, so I don’t have a license for therapy but in exchange, I have a license to tell the truth.
Help! My life is great except for my frustration with my creative work—what should I do to get more time to do it?
Dear Dr. Lisa-
I am a comedian with a lovely husband and a full-time day job. People tell me I am talented, but it’s a struggle to get my writing and performing out there since I work at my day job—a lot. I have a potential “way out” of the job, but don’t feel right about quitting and spending all my time on comedy without a fully formed plan on how I will approach structuring my time to further my comedy career. Plus, I feel that it’s not right to quit my job to do comedy until I’m earning enough doing it to quit.
–Emily Epstein White
Emily, Emily, Emily, this is a cold, cruel world and even crueler for people with strong ethics. Although I admire you for wanting to do things the right way, that’s never going to work in the ruthless world of comedy. Just look at the lives of so many successful comedians/musicians/artists: a lot of them start with sleeping on the floor somewhere when they first arrived in New York. You’ve already proven yourself as stable by holding down a job and a successful marriage. Your idea of making enough money is paying rent. David Cross’s idea of making enough money is to be able to pay for parking so he can sleep in his car. You have way too much talent to not take the risk and get out there. You hinted at a “way out.” Think hard about taking the “way out” with or without a plan. I don’t think you will be able to make a good plan until you see what it really feels like to give yourself the freedom to pursue your comedy career. In other words, you’ve created a conundrum that will keep you stuck. I smell fear—and it’s the fear of success.
The Connotation Comedy Show is always on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Check out more of Emily’s work here.
HELP! The election is ruining my relationship.
I really liked my boyfriend of the last 2 years until R’Obamaney butted in. We have a lot in common, friends, music and for the most part, what it means to be a decent human being. But when in comes to politics—he’s conservative and I’m liberal. This doesn’t usually matter, except we’ve been having fights during the election season. He feels like people should take care of themselves and not look to the government to do it for them. When he talks like that, I just think he sounds so callous and selfish. We had a huge blowout last week after the debate. I’m thinking this could all be a deal breaker for our relationship. What do you think?
People with all sorts of differences can make great relationships work. What I’m sensing here is, you are questioning his judgement of how he treats other people; is he a compassionate guy? In my opinion, I’d say yes and no. Yes-if he’s compassionate towards you, he’s certainly capable of being compassionate. And No-in the big picture, if he has disdain for people who have obstacles and need help. Even then— to what degree—does he not think handicapped people should get help, or just slackers who are waiting for their unemployment to run out to start to look for work? I can’t possibly evaluate from your letter, but you can think about his behavior towards other people that you see him come in contact with. If he doesn’t treat YOU with compassion, well that is a deal breaker and you need some therapy.
Part of having a successful relationship with anybody is how you negotiate and this is a great chance to see how you can do this together. It sounds like the politics have gotten personal and is making you a bit critical of each other. Try to gain some awareness together, if you can, of what makes each other angry when you talk about politics. I’ll bet buried underneath the R’Obomaney discussion is some other more personally relevant resentments that you both have buried about each other. Oh and yes, please vote for Obama.
See you all next week-and send in some questions this time! LOVE U! Dr. Lisa