Gary Gulman is a comedy overlord whose Great Depresh tour is circulating a lot of buzz. Feels very similar to anytime you hear about Mike Birbiglia working on a new hour. There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the style and context of the show.
What’s cool about this: while he’s working hard on giving audiences brand new material that tippy toes between the hilarious and the heartbreaking — he’s also helping comedians out.
Since the start of 2019, Gary’s been sharing his #GulmanTips on Twitter everyday and the conversations surrounding his advice have been both positive and stimulating.
I’m not going to share anymore tips other than the one above. What’s the point of treasure if you don’t hunt for it first? Literally just follow the guy on Twitter and you’ll figure it all out. Jack Sparrow never had it that easy.
All I want to talk about is what I see growing out of this neat little venture he’s taken on. Obvi, this is my opinion, but here’s what I believe he’s really accomplishing by sharing his tips and the way he’s chosen to share them.
Let’s start here with the foundation. Gary is a professional comedian who has made himself accessible to anyone who cares about creating comedy. He’s sharing his time and knowledge so others, like me, can do something with that information. I don’t even agree with everything he says but I’m glad he’s saying it.
To live in a world where someone can help you from a world away is pretty transformative and like anything, we have the choice of doing something or nothing with this information. We can apply it to our acts but more so, I hope we apply it to our attitudes. To be open and giving to our peers and respect each other’s hustle.
Hollywood is a tournament and only a select few get to enter the coliseum for a chance at glory but comedy is a lifestyle. It’s a choice. You’ve taken the task upon yourself to go up there and make people happy. That, in itself, is a victory. #CliffyTip
THE PROS ARE STUDENTS AGAIN
This is really cool. The stereotype of the jaded road dog is as real as real can be. Gary has given the opportunity for comedians to freely talk shop and share their experiences, every single day.
That’s a gift, because for many, this career choice has lead to a lot of rejection and heartache. The learning never stops, and by bringing comedy back to what it is, a craft and a lifestyle, Gary is reconnecting comedians to a spark that might have gone away some time ago.
I’m seeing professional comedians getting just as much out of Gary’s tips as the newbies. This isn’t just a comedy class. It’s a conversation at the back of the room after a show. Twitter has become one big comedy club and everyone’s there, everyone’s getting stage time, and everyone gets to hang out.
THIS ISN’T BACK PATTING
Gary isn’t some guy renting out a yoga studio to teach comedy to social outcasts and grieving introverts who want to develop their confidence. He’s being honest and he’s not sparing truth for feelings.
This is an important part of the comedy learning curve.
There’s a sense of entitlement when it comes to milestones, that if you’ve been at it for a certain amount of time, you deserve a certain amount recognition or career development. That’s just not how the world works.
Going back to his tip from today, this industry isn’t fair which is indicative of how life itself is not fair. But the answer isn’t to become jaded, or entitled, or angry. It’s to become even more honest. To up the introspection to 100 and really look at who you are and what you’re doing.
The way he’s doing for himself.
You do know this isn’t just for us, right? He’s doing this for himself too because it’s a healthy choice. It’s healthy to use your time to help others around you and hopefully this pay-it-forward mentality becomes commonplace in the comedy industry.
THE REAL INSPIRATION
I’ll end with this. The real inspiration here, at least for myself, is that it’s never over. I still have so much to learn and so much to be excited for. A lot of outside factors will dictate what you can accomplish and how you can accomplish it, and sometimes, the odds aren’t in your favour.
I’ve turned around a negative attitude I had from just a few months ago, where I felt tapped out, uninspired, and hacky. I was down on myself, talking very negatively and it was that attitude that was holding me back from stretching myself further on-stage and in everyday life.
Thanks to Gary’s tips, the fire’s been lit again. I’m so pumped to talk to other comedians about comedy and I can’t wait for my next show. I’m not giving up and I’m having a good time while I crash and burn into obscurity. So to that, I’ll say thank you Gary, for what you’re up to and what you’re about.