I’m a midwesterner living in New York, City. I live in Manhattan to be specific. I moved far from home to study the art of stand up comedy in New York. I had this idea that I’d learn through practice. I would attend open mics, hone my skills and eventually get spots in popular comedy clubs. Maybe I would land a spot at the Comedy Cellar where the greats have played. Manhattan Island was an important place. Stand up comedy has history on the soil. I wanted my feet on the ground.
I moved to New York and got to work. I attended open mics at The Creek and The Cave in Long Island City because it was free. A fellow midwesterner in New York and comic recommended the place. While waiting three hours to get three minutes on stage, I would chat with other comics, order food and beer. As the weeks rolled on and my bank account shrank I decided there must be another way. I had to get my act together. I needed a job, a place to live, and a place to eat when I didn’t have money for pizza. If I kept pursuing my dream in this manner I’d have to move back home to Kansas City, Missouri.
I reevaluated my plan of action. I asked myself what I wanted. I didn’t want my own sitcom or television show. I put comedy on the back burner and decided to battle the big Apple for survival. The battle lasted about a year. It’s a great story I will share someday, but not here. When I came up from the fog of proving to New York City that I love her unconditianally, I asked myself what’s next for entertainment?
The journey of a comedian has changed. The internet has made it possible to get noticed outside of comedy clubs and television. I wanted to distribute my funny over the internet. As I surveyed the internet comedian community it occurred to me that my brand of non physical humor likely would not translate well on Youtube, or in quick Instagram videos. I asked myself questions. How can I connect with my audience? How can I evolve stand up comedy yet distribute it with technology? How can I make it more nourishingly inclusive?
It started with a simple desire to film my next comedy show in 360 video so I could see it in Virtual Realtiy. As I realized the uses for immersive media I decided there were other experiences I wanted to create for my audience. For example, how would a stand up comedy show be on Mars? What would the spacetrip be like? Who else would be in the audience if there were a comedy club on Mars?
It occurred to me that learning to code would be the best way for me to communicate my vision. I wanted to know how to use virtual reality to tell my stories.
There is tremendous power in stories. It’s a way to communicate that evokes emotion. It’s delicious to our senses. Stories are a journey. Virtual Reality enhances storytelling by immeasurable amounts. I’m learning to be software engineer so I can have the tools to create a VR media empire.