400 Square Feet – it helped me tremendously in my comedy career. For anyone looking to make the jump into comedy writing full-time, or really anything other than what you’re doing, this article is for you!
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Here’s the Article:
My first “apartment” (if you could call it that) in Los Angeles was 400 square feet. There were 3 places to sit AS LONG AS SOMEONE HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. It had a chair, a futon and a toilet. My cat was confused about the futon because she knew that when we lived in Virginia, she could get on the bed but not the couch . . . but in her cat brain, the rules changed when the bed TURNS INTO a couch.
And it wasn’t in a great section of town. My friend comedian/keynote speaker Frank King used to say “Jan and I are such good friends that I’d take a bullet for her. And when I saw where she lived, I thought I might have to.” About once a week the cops would shut down my street as they chased fugitives by car and helicopter. Extra excitement! I got so used to this that on one July 4th, as I was headed out to the driving range with my golf clubs, I ran into 2 cops trying to get into my gated parking area. They asked if I could click them in, so I did.
Thinking nothing of it, I walked in with them, one on each side of me, when suddenly, they both drew their guns and pointed the guns directly at the recycle bin. One cop was shaking a so hard I’m not sure how he could even aim. It’s like he just now realized he’s a real cop with a real gun. I was shaking too because I didn’t have a gun, just a 9-iron.
I hightailed it up to my car, dove in, and called Frank to say “I may have to take a bullet for me too!” I realized that if this criminal gets away from these shaking cops, I’m the only one with a clicker and a getaway car!
After a couple minutes, I looked up, and the cops had him in cuffs. Whew! Then one of ‘em yelled, “hey, can you click us out?” I did.
That apartment may have almost killed me, but it also saved me. Though I looked about as unsuccessful as you could get, I actually felt pretty good about living there. Lots of people move to Los Angeles or New York, hoping to find fame and fortune. They get an expensive apartment, in a nice part of town and then realize that that they need to take on a waitress or bartending gig to actually pay for it. My 400 sq foot apartment in that dicey neighborhood was $400 bucks a month . . . It gave me the FREEDOM and the ENERGY to focus on my career and figure out what I was doing without the pressure of needing a lot of money. That strategy worked!
My advice – don’t worry about how something looks to others; you just have to know why YOU are doing it. If it fits in with your plan, then go for it!
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