A Personal Taste of Nelson de Gouveia

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Saying Goodbye to Robin Williams…wish I had said hello first.

in Comedy by
robin williams
So, Robin Williams has passed away from an apparent suicide.

And we’re all sitting around on our phones, our computers and our tablets on our couches, by our desks, in the car while the mom’s driving you to school, or you’re experiencing a near-fading experience listening to your CEO droning on about the four C’s that’ll drive productivity forward, as we read the how’s and the why’s about Robin Williams.

And Robin Williams, the human being that brought us the best version of alien you could get in Mork and Mindy, an unforgettable Genie in Alladin, the uplifting voice of reason in Good Morning Vietnam, the aspiring teach in Dead Poets Society, the deadbeat in The Fisher King, or even the creepy guy in One Hour Photo, amongst all the numerous standup routines and countless other characters per minute he portrayed, is today and for all time not breathing.

I’m not here to over-analyse why Robin Williams did it, nor will I fawn over his many accomplishments; more versatile bloggers, news outlets and intellectuals will provide such wicked commentary for you.
Nor do I wish to label Robin Williams by anything other than his name; “boisterous”, “excentric” and “over-the-top” have been some of the many that everyone’s been clinging to stick to.

And I’m not going to sympathise over Robin William’s battle with alcohol and drugs; he battled depression, yes, so do many of us, including me. You don’t know my depression, I keep it quiet. Those closest to me see it and they don’t understand what I’m going through, fighting their own battles themselves. And the best excuse, I don’t think I’m important enough for anybody to worry about, so my depression I wage war on alone. And he did too or with family, it doesn’t matter.

Remember, it’s not a tragedy that Robin Williams couldn’t win against depression if you’re loaded and got time to visit a counselor 5 times a week.

I just want to say, I’m sorry Robin Williams. Like everyone else I drew inspiration from, you inspired me. I liked his portrayal in movies and his stand-up is insane (not was, we haven’t lost his art, we just lost more of what he wanted to say), and recently I listened to quite a few. How could you even follow his brain as it spewed it all out??

No, I’m sorry I didn’t pay enough attention to you, Robin Williams (and I know you’re reading this blog, Robin Williams, Steve Jobs handed out a free iPad 2000 the minute you stepped through the Pearly Gates), as I’m sure you would’ve really taken notice if people paid attention.

And you know what, Robin Williams, I’m sorry I didn’t work hard enough to finally meet you and say, “Hey Robin Williams…”

And you would’ve gone, “Hey buddy, what you doing there repeating my name Robin Williams in every paragraph on your blog, you getting ‘robinrepetitis?'”

And I would’ve replied, “You know what, Robin Williams, I guess so. How very Williamsesque. Na-nu, na-nu.”

Just then, a twinkle gets in your eye as your recognition for the prank-parlour trick comes into play. “You second guessed yourself,” you’d quip, and we’d laugh because the anti-punchline would be more inspiring that pandering to the belief of trying to make the other person love you instead of just showing people how you try to love yourself, and how difficult it is.

I’m not making sense on this blog entry today, but I’m quite sure that I’m gonna miss the chance to have said hello face to face to Robin Williams, like everyone else on earth wished they could.

I wake up to Louis CK…and I’m not ashamed of it.

in Comedy by
louis ck louie ck

I listen to Louis CK everytime I wake up.

For years, the sound I’ve used to play on my phone to wake up me up every morning has usually been the standard tones Apple adds preinstalled for the iPhones they’ve created…from the wistful yet semi-annoying “Bells”, to the utterly annoying and relationship-destroying “Radar” that, on many an occasion, an elbow has connected with my ribcage by an irate girlfriend who has already tolerated a few hours of my awful snoring.

Β But then I discovered the ability to load Louis CK’s “Shameless” as an MP3 onto my phone to listen to, and that’s become my new wake-up call. Hearing the familiar white-noise HBO introduction, followed by a pattering of conversation before the announcer clears his throat and begins the performance with the familiar, “Ladies and gentlemen…Louis CK,” to thunderous applause.

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Becoming a Script Writer

in Comedy by
script writer

One day, in my short little life, I’d like the idea of someone saying, “Hey Nelson, I loved your script. Can I buy it from you?” or “Hey Nelson, can I produce your script for you?” or “Hey, aren’t you a script writer?”

Throughout my career, I’ve heard of this wonderful little world where people hunched over type-writers or computers make an OK living out of ideas fleshed out in a step-by-step script that people will enjoy and, while I’ve dreamed of turning these ideas into reality, the truth of the matter is I don’t have the time, patience or love of many friends to convert these into plausible videos or radio shows.

So I’m making them available to you for free. Here it is, there they are. Feel free to browse, read and be amused by them. Steal them, go ahead. I’ll be proud to just have a credit and enjoy my work out there for people to see. Paul Arden encouraged people to give away their ideas in his book, “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be.“, my motivational Bible and I’m following suit.

And if you want to buy the rights and make it the way you see fit, my contact details are right up there, go ahead and get a hold of me.

And this disclaimer, by the way, was encouraged by my comedy hero,Β Louis C.K.

You can find them over at my Scripts page by clicking the link, or follow the menu options above above, and I’ll let you know via Twitter when new ones are available.

Remember Me?

in Comedy/Life by
remember me
remember me

I don’t blog. I don’t. A lot.

I do not so in the vain attempt that I look at my blog, stare at the screen for a few minutes, then realise I’m 4 hours into my work day and I haven’t done a thing.

Today, I’m well aware I’m not done with my work, but I visited my blog and 15 people joined in to read.

Well, bully for me. Thank you.

So, as much time as I spend on Twitter, I should make adjustment for times when life hands me the opportunity to reach those 15 people and say, “Thank you.”

On other news, I’m ridiculously happier than I was a month and a half ago. But there’s still room for more. C’mon, Tony Robbins, make your pappy proud and helo me listen to your self-help claptrap.

Oh, and Armchair Sundays is going well. Come visit, we’ve got comedy and stuff. πŸ™‚

The little things…

in Life by
the little things

Ok, I’ll let you in on a little secret,Β I let the little things get to me.

The SMALLEST little bloody things.

Whether it be the move someone makes in their car that annoys me by a fraction of a millimetre, the ignorance of another’s venomous speech where they proclaim in a terribly loud voice, “HOW DO YOU NOT LIKE JUSTIN BIEBER??” or someone I’ve never met before in my entire life adds me the one day on Twitter, and unfollows me the next.

I’m tracking who has unfollowed me. I’m a reverse f***ing stalker!

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9 things I do when I live alone

in Life by
when I live alone

Just discovered Lili Radloff’s “9 things you learn when you live alone“, a wonderful list of little things you do when you’re alone in your abode. I like it, it’s a wonderful piece featuring things she does which we relate to, etcetera, blah blah blah.

But my 9 things are a little different:

1. You tend to walk in after a long day at work, sit down in front of your desk, and realise…you have no internet. So you eat yoghurt and stare at the wall.
2. You switch off the geyser during the day because there’s no one there…and forget to switch it on in the morning after being awake for an hour watching your favourite TV show you enjoy to forget why you’re even there.
3. Your meals, that you make while naked, are increasingly simple and quick to make.
4. You forget to sleep on your own bed, with the couch increasingly convenient in front of the TV.

5. You knock on your neighbour’s door to ask for toilet paper, feeling awkward as you had to wait for them to stop shouting.
6. The sounds of birds, cars, trains and anything else becomes ambience towards your descent into insanity.
7. You’re scared of inviting friends over because you’re the one that’ll have to say, “Right, time for you guys to f*** off!”
8. After getting all the essentials you need, decorating seems to be as necessary as going to the gym…who are you REALLY doing it for?
9. You forget about point 8 and buy stupid things that don’t really fit, but individually you love looking at it.

Other things that didn’t make the list are:
– A bar fridge is fine for a while
– You feel something’s missing when you finish your last bottle of beer
– Half a bottle of cheap red plonk looks great next to the couch where you slept on the night before watching the latest Blockbuster you downloaded from your mom’s house
– Laundry is done in another person’s flat since they’re offering the service for R45 per load, and you feel no shame a stranger handles your skidmarks

Please Like Me – Comedians should date more.

in Comedy by
please like me

Comedy is like dating.

At first, it’s awkward, then a little familiar, but if you don’t keep a close eye on it, it can tell you to move out and warn you never to try and contact it via its mother.
And like the incongruent facade of everyday courting, comedy is very match a game of cat-mouse-promoter. Can you impress a crowd of people immediately, can you keep the crowd interested, can you give them your number and they’ll call you back three days later asking when the next gigΒ  is?
Uggh. Bluggh.
I hate dating. I form relationships with people I can relate to, but if I can’t “get” someone the first time I might as well try to wrangle emotion from a cooking pot in Brazil.
So why can’t we skip to the relationship part?
You know you’re in a relationship when you can make that transition of starting your day with someone by saying, “Good day, how do you do?”, and move on to the best of speeches first thing in the morning, the eloquent yet subtle threesome-hinting, “Hey, sexy, when’s your mom coming over? She could bake a cake for us, y’know? Make the place smell nice, eh?”
When a new comedian struts onto the stage, nobody knows him and no one cares. They have no reason to, and for that 5 minutes he’s on stage, he needs to give the entire audience that beautiful emotional connection we all suffer from similarly in personal relationships… to make an entire crowd give a f*** and, for what it’s worth that evening, laugh like crack-addicted hyenas.
That’s a great start to a funky courtship.
We feel it when we get off-stage and audience members slap us on the shoulder or shake our hand afterwards. It’s an AMAZING feeling once we’ve performed a killer set, having Nancy who lives 100 kilometres away, attended the show by happenstance and approach me afterwards with the words…
“I wish you were my boyfriend.”
Or something.
But, for the many and the not too few, just being likeable is our biggest hurdle we first have to overcome. Just like Wayne Rooney and his ugly face.
To explain, I bemoan this Atlas-style weight on my own persona yet love the self-imposed social exile, butΒ  I do enjoy the company of people so long as I relate to them, and therein lies my own natural flaw. If I can’t relate to everybody, everybody can’t relate to me, and so on.
And therein lies the difference between success and obscurity.
To the averageΒ I’m-not-doing-this-to-be-famousΒ comedian who is only doing this “for a laugh”, he must be ticking all the box on the application form they handed to him at comedy school:
“You don’t know how to speak to people.” Tick.
“You’re never going to open up your vulnerability to everybody.” Tick.
“You won’t bother to search within yourself for the answers.” Tick.
“Congratulations, you’re a mediocre comedian. Please agree.” Tick.
And it’s a easy trap to fall in.
So back to the golden cow of an analogy I began with: what makes look like you’re good in the sack to one lady, a sack of opportunity to a promoter, and a laughable sack of amaze-balls to a throng of people seeking a new hero? Your eyes, nose, mouth? Torso, legs, arms? Your speech, your laugh, your witticisms and banter? Do you feel confident, or are you playing the subdued type? Is it tumultuous even for you to flourish as an excitable human being in the notion that people might be put off with your energy, or do you feel they’ll accept you as a tiny footnote in their personal history?
With all the rules we follow to learn how to make a night special, winning the popularity contest is just as important as being funny. But you don’t really have to bulk up and perform cosmetic surgery with cellotape on your nose to straighten it up. You just need a SELLING POINT, that one beautiful feature that will get the crowds coming to the show to watch you make a mockery of the English language and teaching dumb people dumber things.
And it’s the same with the opposite sex (or same sex, I can’t keep up). They need to know what makes you YOU.
Don’t try and mimic the same that walk around meandering through life with half-eaten prepositions and constant of the word, “umm”, find the true you, feel naked, stand up, be counted, and then throw away the box with the ballots in. Your uniqueness stands you above what the others make you. “Oh look, he’s another comedian.”
Yes but NEVER! You’re a f***ing FUNNY comedian with something unique with which to make people laugh!
FINDING YOUR HOLY GRAIL
Seth Godin put it straight in his “Ideavirus” booklet he gave away on his website (in an interview, “At first it hit 3000 downloads, which isn’t a lot.” – shuddup). It’s selling your idea of yourself to the crowd in order for it to spread around until everyone want to knows about it. Kunt and the GangΒ is a prime example.

This man fills a very unique niche, if you ever get a chance to see him live. He stands up on stage, wearing a tracksuit and a ridiculous wig, has a gold tooth, bit of a geezer, plays karaoke-style background music and sings atrociously about private parts and masturbation. I like to call his work “clunge comedy”. It’s Bernard Manning for sex with shitty puppets.
And the bugger sells out rooms each and every time.
Kunt himself is a decent bloke but still a dirty git, he’s just found it ridiculously easier being himself and playing to theΒ narcissism and backward behaviour of the crowd who feel too spoonfed by the media in terms of “what’s appropriate” and are shouting internal, “Even liberalism can get dull once in a while, you know!”
If there’s something missing from your character that you feel, should you have the courage to dig it out from deep within that dark mire of a soul that festers under the ambiguity of your existence, it’s time to stand back, look at yourself whenever you’re up there wasting people’s time and ask yourself:
“Who the hell am I?
‘Cos I tell you, if you’re going to continue down this path selling yourself short trying to woo every Martha and Stacy who walks over you like a beige coat with spare change in a pocket with a hole it, you’re going to end up what I fear to become…
…the one that settles for the ugly one.

Star Trek and the devalue of money

in Life by
star trek devalue of money

They had some amazing adventures on the television series, Star Trek, especially the part where they devalue money.

From battling alien menaces to witnessing supernovas, transforming into weird creatures at the cellular level and inadvertently giving precedent to the Civil Rights Movement by famously being the first television show in history to demonstrate how a man kisses a woman.

I know, I missed out the fact it was a white man kissing a black woman, but from personal experience it’s so good I had to make a point of it with its very own line break.

But the theoretical concept for them gallivanting through time and space like some rock band with their own sociological encyclopaedia of how β€œstraight” to act, struck a phenomenal chord with me every episode due to one change in their broadened society that brings me both hope and a sense of killing myself as I’ll never see it in my own lifetime…

…those bastards don’t use money.

For those who don’t care about such flippant mumbo jumbo, or certainly for the ones that find it easy to be so appealing that money is less of an issue and that boy staring at you from across the room with Bieber-hive hair is your only stressful subject to talk about over Facebook with a dozen or so other self-absorbed social oligarchs, Star Trek is based on a society in the future where the human race phased out money.

Yes, they got no dosh.

Based on the ramblings of one man’s vision of the future, which in contrast is technically a more public contradiction to Tom Cruise’s fun Scientology religion, placing monetary value on goods and services offered by each other for each other β€œimpeded” the natural evolution of the dominant species on the planet, creating so much war, disease and famine that we couldn’t progress. And after a devastating third world war and near self-annihilation, to stave off extinction and pave the way for us to evolve, they did away with monetary economy, banks and finacial institutions. They gave whatever they made for charity and received whatever they asked for.

Supposedly, without money, we’re all nice to each other.

My point though, is that with the freedom from such oppression, I’ve got a feeling that if I didn’t have to worry about money myself, about the future when I’m old and decrepit, sustaining not just myself when I’m a grown boy and taking care of family that need sustenance, I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy some good adventures.

For now though, as a jobsworth and “workacomic” (amalgamating workaholic and comic like a peanut butter sandwich there, remember me coining this today and realise your eyeballs got pwned), I stare up at the glass ceiling of both success but financial freedom, knowing that I need to grit my teeth and continue on without the feeling of realistic depression bearing down on me.

To view the goal of feeling free to sit at home on my lawn writing notes, reading lovely books and feeling calm before heading to a club to entertain crowds, not as a pipe-dream but as a challenge to overcome.

“Men find single, beautiful women as challenges. Screw that, I find overweight mothers with three kids and a truck-driving husband as challenges. Not to see if they’ll sleep with me, but if I’ll sleep with them.” – Nelson de Gouveia

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