In T-minus-30-seconds I stood up, whipped on a pair of pants and asked my girlfriend to hit record. I knew this was a moment in time I would want to look back at one day. The day I got the boot from a job I loved and decided to go into business for myself. It was a difficult moment but being able to laugh at the absurdity of my own situation made it easier to accept it for what it was.
My comedy journey started back in 2004 when I formed a comedy duo at my Bible College called Radioactive Swans in Radioactive Ponds. We were over-the-top: smashing cellos, mocking school bands, auctioning items we stole from people's dorm rooms, etc. It was a pure joy to start this endeavour in the waters of Absurdism. I firmly believe absurdism is the most truthful reflection of life.
I took to the stand-up stage in August of 2009 in Hamilton Ontario. I was working at a call centre and everyone clapped as I left to do my first open mic. Not everyone gets to start out with an applause break. The support was there. Friends came, my wife at the time was there, and when it was all over I knew this was something I wanted to be deeply a part of for the rest of my life.
Through the whirlwind of a stand up career in Canada spanning 13 years, I developed a penchant for resilience and resourcefulness that came from a steady stream of rejections, setbacks and false starts.
This made me a great candidate to work at Shopify. A company that empowers entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality. Their values lined up with my own: I also believed in the power of educating independent creators to help build their brands from the ground up.
I equate my experience to being in "an educational pressure cooker". If you're open to learning and willing to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, you'll go far. If you're looking for a cool experience, I say 100% go for it.
Now that my Shopify journey has ended, I've decided to take what I have learned and build my own company from the ground up. It's my personal mission to help Canadian comedians obtain a global audience. I owe my life to stand up and I believe in my heart it's an art form that needs to be preserved. And I owe my thanks to Shopify for equipping me with the tools and confidence to do so.
I will be open-sourcing my entire experience so anyone, anywhere can create their comedy company that aligns with their interests. The comedy world is an octopus. Its arms stretch out far beyond its own industry and comedians display a tenacious versatility that's useful far beyond the stage.
It's important to me that comedy is preserved as an art form and evolved as a craft. This next chapter might be the most exciting one yet.
May the 4th be with all of us.