Today is Margaret Shaw’s birthday. You may not know her, but I grew up with her in NJ. I think it’s one of those landmark birthdays. Because she’s 3 years older than me & I’m, well… let’s just leave it at that. Happy Birthday Margaret Shaw!
You were like my big sister. You introduced me to Janis Joplin’s music & taught me it’s okay to ‘tell’ my mother I’m going to walk all the way to Buxton’s for ice cream, & not ‘ask’ like a little girl. And then on that walk, you explained to me what 69 meant.
Your boyfriend gave me my first ride on a motorcycle! What a thrill to go zooming up Route 10, holding him so tight I was practically sitting in his lap. Who knew, years later, I’d have my own bike?
Where are you now, Margaret? You’ve had a hard life. Alcohol, drugs, abusive relationships. Remember when you were in school in NYC & I took the bus in to visit you? We saw “Fiddler on the Roof” alongside a bunch of nuns & later had beers at Your Father’s Mustache in the Village. I wasn’t even legal then.
Then my family moved to CT & we didn’t see each other for a long time. You moved to CA. And when I made the move to San Francisco, I stayed with you that first week. You introduced me to the city & we both learned what our adult versions were like. You had a psychic friend come to the apt. & she said some things that years later really did come true. Of course, some didn’t, but the stuff that did was spot on! I live a block from your old apt. bldg. – & she’d predicted I’d settle in this neighborhood.
Good times, Margaret. I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy birthday. I miss you, my friend. I hope you are well. xol
This post is about trying, risking, putting yourself out there. It’s what we do when we have something to say.
What do I have to say? Well… I’m crazy about comedy. Some people may say I’m just crazy, period. But we’re not here to judge.
I love it – comedy. It’s so fulfilling, so gratifying & at the same time, scary as hell. You ever stare down a drunken heckler in a bar who thinks he’s helping make your set better?! You ever perform in front of 2 people – neither of whom speaks or fully understands English? It’s not pretty, is it?
But when it works, it’s magic, people. For a comedian to make someone laugh is the guts & soul of why we do what we do. When I worked at B. Dalton’s, my greatest pleasure was finding the book someone requested – even if they only knew “the cover was purple.” I could help someone. And while not brain surgery or even close, it brought me satisfaction to fill someone else’s needs. The same can be said for stand-up.
When my quirky sense of humor causes someone to laugh, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Okay, maybe not the greatest feeling, but it’s in the top 5. Right up there with sex, ice cream & flat, smooth stones you find at the beach. It’s a rush. And it’s taken me years – years, I tell ya – to acknowledge & accept I can do this.
That’s where the risk part comes in. Cause you don’t know if you don’t try. And it took having breast cancer for me to finally admit, Hey, I think I can do this comedy thing.
So now I’m doing it. I’m a comedian. And I gotta say, it may have taken me a long time to get here, but I’m so glad I made the journey.
Yes, Loren Kraut here. My first website – much thanks to Phil Johnson for his post on How to Build a Comedian Website! I couldn’t have done it without you.
Welcome to my comedy world…