Waiting on a Plane In Hollywood
A Journal Entry
Walking thru the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California one can’t help but feel at least a little nostalgic. There are of course pictures and busts of its titular figure plastered everywhere, along with many other familiar faces; Abbot and Costello, Marylin Monroe, Groucho Marx etc. Its a who’s who of old Hollywood and if I’m being honest almost nothing in the world does it for me quite like that.
I grew up in the rural south where Football is a religion, religion is a requirement, and the arts are for sissies and lesbians… yet for some reason it’s all I’ve ever cared about. I mean I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn’t ever ALSO a dip shit athlete because I sure was. Hell I still love sports. Playing them, watching them, talking about them, reading about them, day dreaming about the days I was good at them.. all that. However at the end of the day there is only one gal for me and her name is Entertainment baby!
I have been out here in “La La Land” as it were for the past couple of weeks doing stand up and filming some sketches for Comedy Central (I got naked, you’re… welcome?) and as I sit here typing this in Bob Hope airport waiting on a Plane to take me to Stand Up Live Comedy Club in Huntsville, AL, I am overcome with a feeling that is starkly different than the feeling I had the first time I sat here. The feeling that I am feeling now? Pure joy.
The first time I sat here at Bob Hope airport may have been the first time that I started feeling something that I’ve had to work for years to cope with: Imposter Syndrome. Now I’m not a Feelings Doctor and I don’t want to look it up but to put it in my own words, Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that, despite what is objectively true about you, you do not feel like you belong. I may not be your favorite comedian or actor or writer or whatever I’m pretending to be that day but objectively speaking, I am those things. However, when out in Hollywood surrounded by those who you’ve idolized your whole life, it’s almost impossible NOT to have feelings of “Oh well I mean, I’m not like them!”
That’s been plaguing me almost my whole career. No matter what I accomplished, how many people came to my shows, how many messages of praise I received, I have always felt like at any moment the Show Business Police were going to show up and take my Comedy Badge. What might that look like in a movie you might ask?……..
INTERIOR. Night. Backstage at The Irvine Improv
Before his set at the famed comedy club, southern comedian Corey Ryan Forrester paces nervously in the green room going over his set. He has written a brand new act after 18 months in isolation and is hoping it will reflect the times yet also provide his audience with a needed distraction. Corey is startled by a loud knock on the door
Show Business Police Officer #1: This is the show business police, open the door with your hands where we can see them and no one gets hurt… we know you’re in there, Forrester! We know you’re in there thinking you belong and shit!
Corey Ryan Forrester: oh god I knew it
Corey looks towards the sky with a tear in his eye and a nervous smile on his face
Corey Ryan Forrester (continued): I knew they’d come for me one day… but why did it have to be today God? WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE TODAY!!
Corey throws his coffee against the wall and wipes the tears out of his eyes as he opens the door to find the Show Business Police guns drawn and waiting to take him in on charges of imitating an entertainer. Corey takes a puff from a Raspberry Vape pen, puts it in his pocket and slowly looks up at the arresting officer
Corey Ryan Forrester: so….. what took ya so long?
I know that was a comical dramatization but thats not actually far off from how I have felt on a daily basis for quite sometime. But as I sit here staring at this bronze portrait of Bob Hope sculpted from a picture clearly taken after a round of golf and martinis with Bing Crosby, I can confidently say that I no longer feel that way. Nope, sitting here typing this on my computer that is about to die because the outlets on these Delta Chairs are the airport equivalent of a McDonalds ice cream machine, I feel pure joy.
Pure joy because over the past year and a half I have found out how to connect with my audience more than the first 16 years of my career combined. Pure joy for the fact that as pointless as this article I'm sitting here writing is, it will not fall on deaf ears because you all have expressed overwhelming interest in the things I have to say (god bless you, maybe get some help lol) pure joy for the knowledge that conversations I have had with some of my heroes enlightened me to the fact that they too have felt imposter syndrome and that I wasn’t alone in that stupid delusion. Pure joy to finally come to the realization that I actualy don’t belong in this business…
But thats only because no one does. Thats what makes it fun
Catching up on the old posts. I understand imposter syndrome well, so I get what you're writing. Thank you for putting fingers to keyboard to share your thoughts.