Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dan Is So Hilarious

I was raving to a woman at work the other day about a book my mom lent me, Melissa Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love"

Then I realized the woman I was talking to was a atheist in the midst of a crusade to improve her eating habits.

"Hmm," I told her. "If you wrote this book, it would just be called 'Love.'"

No one appreciates how funny I am.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Upcoming Stuff

Upcoming Writing
Friday, January 2 - The Edmonton Journal

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, January 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Tuesday, January 20 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Dan's writing on relationships can be found at

Quiet month as far as self-promotion goes.

This upcoming article may very well be my final regular article for the Journal. If you like it (or my humor writing in general), feel free to email them and let them know you enjoyed it.

I'm going to miss doing those articles. If I'm honest with myself, I'm also going to miss my mini-celebrity status. I wonder if this is how the guys from Warrant felt after Nirvana and Pearl Jam single-handedly erased glam rock from the scene.

It's also a great motivator for me to start looking for other places to publish my work as well as finish the two books I'm working on. Dating for Shy Guys is nearly finished. The other--an untitled book about pro-wrestling--is just getting started. In the meantime, it's time to get off my butt and start hustling for more writing work. So far I've got queries going out to Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Buddhism Today--no one can accuse me of not being diverse in my interests.

Anyway, if this is the end, thanks to everyone who read my articles and supported my writing in the Journal and ed magazine over the last three years and a half years or so. Being able to write for the paper I've read all my life was a dream come true and thank you all for the opportunity.

(And if you know anyone interested in buying funny articles about the rather mundane life of a stand-up comic, let me know. I'm not too proud to beg for work--especially when it's something I love doing)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dan vs. Inner Peace

I'm pretty good at inner long as I'm in my room or just reading about it.

As soon as I start dealing with other people and the realities of life, my sense of enlightenment and one-ness with the universe is rudely awakened.

As the saying goes, "If you think you're enlightened, spend time with your parents."

SOmetimes I think that's why those monks retreat in the first place. Because they're smart enough to realize the demands of the world make it hard to maintain inner quiet.

The trouble is, what good do you do the world by retreating from it?

I would probably be more enlightened if I lived on a mountain top somewhere.

But I wouldn't have nearly as much fun.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Football and the Power of Belief

I found this article this article kind of touching.

Maybe it's cause I'm a football fan.

I don't know if that's it though. I'm also a fan of the wrestling business and generally in the pro wrestling biz, we frown on deliberately splitting a crowd reaction.

I'm also not a big fan of religion in secular settings, and though it isn't explicitly stated in the article, I have a suspicion Grapevine is a fundamentalist school. Regardless, if you're going to hold an institution--religious or otherwise--responsible for its wrongs, I think you're honor-bound to give them points when they do good things as well. Otherwise you're just picking your spots.

And when you read it, you might think, so what?

Well, for me this is the what.

I've seen myself the power of believing in people. Working in the hospitals...answering the Distress Lines...even in comedy, wrestling, or even in your personal life...people will live up to the faith you have in them(*).

It seems like such a small thing, in some ways it seems like NOTHING, but it makes an enormous difference.

Little things have big impacts and belief does a lot of powerful good things. For the person being believed in...and also for the believer.

Happy Holidays, everybody.

(*) On the flip side, if you expect the worst from people, they are perfectly capable of living down to that too. I know which I prefer, but some folks enjoy being miserable and I while I don't understand it, it isn't my place to judge.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why Buddhists Don't Have Television Sets

Because in the inner calm department, thirteen seconds of an NFL game can undo two years of meditation.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Random Musings on Comedy

Upcoming Comedy
Friday, December 5 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Drayton Valley
Saturday, December 6 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Edmonton
Saturday, December 13 - PRIVATE FUNCTION, Edmonton
Monday, December 15 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Writing
Living articles in the Edmonton Journal
Friday, January 2
Current article can be found here.

Other Appearances
World War Wrestling - Friday, December 12 - Fulton Place Community League POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY

Dan's musings on shyness and relationships can be found at

Dan's Wrestling Blog is here

I got into an argument a couple days ago with another comic. We were arguing over whether an out-of-town headliner was any good.

It should have been an easy question. I found the comic in question unwatchable for anything longer than two or three minutes at a time. It was my least favorite kind of comedy: empty calorie comedy based on cheerleading, energy, and stock premises coupled with relentless shilling for merchandise.

It wasn't to my taste, but I had a hard time saying it was bad.

Maybe it’s because I’m wishy-washy and conflict averse.

Or maybe it’s because--at the end of the day--the crowd ate up this headliner with a fork and spoon. They loved the show.

That’s something.

After all, being able to keep and audience involved and interested in a 100% content-free performance (not to mention having them buy your merchandise afterwards) takes a lot of talent. And let’s face it, if you want to be a stand-up comic, but you can’t write and you won’t steal, you don‘t have a lot of options left.

This is one of the interesting things about comedy culture. It values originality and innovation over doing what has worked in the past.

The wrestling business tends towards the opposite end of the spectrum. In wrestling, you’re encouraged to learn from everybody, whether you like what they do or not.
They also encourage wrestlers to learn how to work using a lot of stock stuff first and concern themselves with “getting their own shit in” or doing something different only AFTER they’ve mastered the fundamentals.

A lot of it has to do with the nature of the art. In comedy, you’re on your own. In wrestling, you’re working with other guys. So it’s only natural, wrestling would be more conservative about “going into business for yourself.”

Wrestling is pragmatic--the best wrestler in the world is the guy who sells the most tickets. Period.

Comedy, on the other hand, doesn’t judge itself on whether or not the crowd liked it. Heck, sometimes comics give the most props to guys who go out of their way to alienate the audience.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

I don’t know. I believe that each performer has to decide for his- or herself. I also believe that no one else has the right to judge them for their choice. Just because you or I doesn’t like something doesn’t make it bad.

Besides, I have no control over what someone else does in their act. When it comes to show business, like it or not, the only thing I have power over is our own performance.

Whether I like it or not.