A personal taste of Nelson de Gouveia

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Best Moments of 2020

in Life by

Ok I get it, it’s bullshit and ballsy to think I’m allowed to even BOAST of listing out the best moments of 2020.

But you have to realise that as much as you’re angry to read how privileged I am at surviving this pandemic, I’m tremendously proud of myself.

I mean, I got kicked in the nuts last year, hard. I lost my job, my dad died and I lived in a comedy sinkhole. And yet, I feel like we’ve climbed out and our asses are glowing in the wind.

So fuck it, I’m writing this one down. Not because I’m bragging or boasting, but because I’m grateful. And thankful.

Let me knock out the top best moments of 2020, and hope it inspires you as it does me.

  • Did not catch Covid-19
  • Performed standup comedy...somehow
  • Kayaked off Mouille Point
  • Kept running a casting agency
  • Wrote for an online news portal
  • Created a web news show
  • Ran a show on an online radio station
  • Interviewed some celebrities for a podcast
  • Got a new job in an advertising agency
  • Helped two charities this year
  • Turned 40 years old

Did not catch Covid-19

Yes, I did not catch Covid-19 and so did many other people.

It seems my hermit-like habits over the years of staying at home while sulking that others were having fun paid off. 

I’m quite happy mulling to myself about specials online and how to get Netflix for free. Meanwhile, outside everyone is complaining and being racist. 

Well fuck that.

I cannot emphasise how important it is to stay safe. Wash your hands, cover your mouth and keep clear of those you don't know. It saves them and it saves you.

Performed standup comedy...somehow

At the start of the year, I managed to perform for one last time at the Cape Town Comedy Club, albeit with one performer being “eewww” when he touched my sweaty hand.

You live in Africa, bro, get over yourself.

But the rest of the year was a gamble. Yes, some were successful at online shows than others, but they didn’t feed my soul. 

And when lockdown lifted and comedians tried to start live shows again, most places were gracious.

Some didn’t care, and patrons mulled about thinking it wouldn’t happen to them.

And the age of enjoying the green room with other comics while they smoked it up is over. I’m done smelling of smoke while trying to impress everybody.

Kayaked off Mouille Point

By chance, a family friend was down from London and she offered to pay for all of us to row kayaks outside of Mouille Point. 

It was a beautiful experience, as the weather played along and the dolphins were out in force. Such a wonderful time spent out in nature.

It also taught me and Sam the power of working together rowing a kayak. Can't go off rowing to your own beat when your husband is trying to steer.

Kept running a casting agency

My biggest achievement so far and with little to no experience. Keeping Sam's casting agency afloat and profitable when she moved over to her charity position has been exhilarating. 

We're lucky too. Despite the pandemic, we've reached the same profit as last year. The lesson, and the joke, we've learnt is that when my wife complains about her job, it was actually training for me before I took over!

It's helped my confidence too. While I concede it was all Sam, I feel I've contributed well to keeping the company going. And she's expressed how proud she is, which is all I need really.

Wrote for an online news portal

One of the few times I took advantage of a business. Seems a Chinese company is funding a user-generated news portal that the average citizen can write and paid for.

Initially it was a hefty sum for a month’s worth of work, but 3 months in and they scrapped it down to amount of words AND clicks. And my morals were enflamed as click-bait ruled rather than actual news.

Still, it got us by financially while I jumped on to the next thing.

Created a web news show

I fail miserably at things, I get it. I know and understand that I have not only a small market, but a fairly inconsiderate one at that.

And it hurts when I don’t see the numbers go up. So I tried something, it pained me that it wasn’t successful and I moved on.

Having said that though, if someone offered me the same opportunity but I didn’t have to worry about lighting or make-up, count me in.

Ran a show on an online radio station

I had high hopes for this opportunity, but if came with so many restrictions it annoyed the Moses out of me.

Initially I felt that radio would be prime for my type of personality. Sadly, this example needed those with dance-music passion and that wasn’t me.

So it was a schlep that lasted 3 months, with a subscription fee I needed to pay for. And I felt out of sorts. But I learnt some tricks.

Interviewed some celebrities for a podcast

Also a failure, but this one I’m a little more proud of.

I enjoyed chasing after and putting myself out of my own comfort zone. I spoke to minor celebrities who took the time to speak to me.

And in those interviews, we discovered more than we realised. I got to delve a little deeper into themselves and got to know more about myself.

With support, I would revive this once more, and I’m looking forward to it.

Got a new job in an advertising agency

Given my history, I was extremely reluctant to jump back onto the saddle. But I needed to, we need to eat.

Lo and behold, I never realised that working from home was a blessing in disguise. Apparently when you get on with the work and don’t worry about people looking over your shoulder, they get results.

And in turn, they like you so much they offer a full-time position! 

Wahey, fuck 2020, I’m hitting 2021 with my huge c@%& in its face!

But no, seriously, I’m truly grateful.

Helped two charities this year

I was approached by members of the Young Adult Portuguese Society to host a comedy quiz for a charity.

And while I promised myself to never do stand-up online, this was a different matter. I chatted with people, improvised on the fly and people were entertained.

I think we can do it again and attract further attention, so here’s hoping to 2021 bringing more opportunities like this again.

I also assisted my wife's charity with their phone system during lockdown, coming up with an elegant solution to allow their counsellors to help people as their phone system was woefully inadequate.

Turned 40 years old

Ah the 40 year milestone. That loving sign-post where I slow down on that motorbike before you crash into your pipe and slippers.

I feel old now, and getting older still. But such a year to turn that age, all healthy and shit.

Not only that, Sam went beyond any and every expectation. She reached out, found friends that liked me and made a whole day Zoom marathon. 

And those that liked me, delivered. Thank you, guys. I love you.

He procrastinates like crazy, has little friends and a blog with no traffic. All in all, he's doing well if he's at least breathing.

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