Exclusive: “So… I Quit Comedy”: A Journal by OJ Patterson

I quit comedy on July 7th 2014. It was glorious. Upwards to twenty people underlit by candles in a Mission-Protero eatery: the Rite Spot Cafe. Despite years of yearning, I had never played there, so, I reached out to my friend, hilarious rapscallion Trevor Hill, and he put me up to, ostensibly, put me out. I did well on a show chocked with loved peers and luminaries. The room was rough all night but I got them, I fucking got them. 

I had played the Rite Spot the week before. I did terribly. I tried to work “new” jokes to a sleepy, sparse audience. The next comedian, super smooth Gary Anderson, had the set of the night. I felt horrible. 

Good thing I had a contingency show. My farewell show. 

Comedy years are like dog years. After six months you feel like pro, after two years you feel grizzled. That grizzle refreshes. It’s a license to complain, to spat, to tell tired jokes, to side-eye newbies and hope-eye clouted colleagues. You can burn yourself out on that. Not me. I went bonkers. I was ubiquitous. I was jubilant. A sprinting, spewing, evangelizing, all-encompassing embodiment of my absolute desire. 

Like all great things, something changed. A lot of things changed. Hard comedy living was my post-collegial grad school (where I basically did all the things I should have done as an undergrad). I laugh at the idea of “maturing” through the most juvenile time in my life, but I did. In the midst of growing, I felt a shift, a push. I fell in love. I dove. I cannonballed. 

I don’t know who I am anymore. When you elect to lose yourself in somebody, you indeed, by my experience, lose yourself. It’s amazing.

It’s also frightening. My identity as a comedian was forged longer and spoke truer than any other ideology in my life. After a while I became less and less (less mics, less supporters), changed more and more (new job, new apartment) and then, BOOM: I’m not the comedian I want to be, not the comedian that puts in the work, not the comedian touring on planes, trains and automobiles, not the comedian hanging in the back, hanging at the bar, hanging at the house party, not the comedian producing shows, or hosting mics, not the comedian spreading the most accurate information (shouts to Matt Gubser). Most of the aesthetics I covet as a comedian requires a lifestyle I no longer have (or, arguably, no longer need). So, in order to claim my chaos, to protest my irrelevancy, to break the cycle of weekend warrior compromise, I said goodbye. 

I quit comedy on July 7th 2014. It is liberating. I love telling people that I quit. It bums a lot of fellow comedians out. I love seeing them squirm at a maniacal reflection of their creative mortality. No, I will not covet your stage time! No, I will not do your show! No, I will not cover for your mic! No, I will not roast you! No, I will not be rejected by your comedy club or your festival or whatever else inspires semiprofessional jealousy. No, I will not be the characteristic laugh during the awkward folly! I will not! I will not! I will not! I’m dead! 

Three things makes “quitting” the funniest thing in the world. One, fuck me, right? Who gives a shit—in a macro sense—about San Francisco comedy as a lifestyle. Two, in comedy, you HAVE to quit. Most people fade out, few make a show of, and those who do are (usually) using a false finish as a promotional stunt (shouts to Justin Scales). Three, it’s a legitimate satire. The great times were good, but the good times weren’t that great. Comedy is self-righteous suicide. I killed myself thrice over to chase the dream, but, in a city with little industry, having no transportation, little capital and less business sense, I got as far as I could professionally/financially. Maybe that’s good enough. 

I’m committed to this. I’m prepared to be the Sammy Obeid of burying my talents in the backyard. 1001 Days of Tragedy. Still, I miss it; miss more than the stage, or the rush, or the definition.  Comedians are my family, my tribe. They speak my language, I’m understood. Maybe I should get therapy, do yoga, start a hobby. Maybe I should find a balance, figure out a cure for my innate tunnel vision. Maybe you’ll see me around, maybe not, maybe later, maybe tomorrow.
"I feel like marijuana is just a gateway drug to Wikipedia."

Trevor Hill @ Rite Spot Cafe/Misery Index [Paraphrase]

Do you like Horror Movies? Do you like comedy? Do you like talking shit during said horror movie with said comedians? Well go to this if you can (or if you DAAAAARRE!?). Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

2/7. Hand to Mouth Comedy w/ Trevor Hill @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. 8pm. $15. Featuring Tommy Dassalo, Rob Schultz, Nina Manni, Barbara Gray, Matt Ingebretson, and Scott Vermeire. 
handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.
February’s Topic: Obsession!
On Friday 2/7, Matt Ingebretson, Nina Manni, Barbara Gray, Rob Schultz, Tommy Dassalo and Scott Vermeire will join Trevor in exploring obsessions, addictions, compulsions, one track minds, hang-ups, fascinations, fixations and fandom.
In teaming with SF Sketchfest, Hand to Mouth will not be taking place at its usual venue on 2/7, but will be held at Lost Weekend Video for a special 10:00pm show.
Hand to Mouth: ObsessionSF Sketchfest EditionFriday, February 7th @ 10:00PMLost Weekend Video (1034 Valencia)Cover: $15
www.handtomouthcomedy.comwww.sfsketchfest.com/x/performers/hand-to-mouth
BUY TICKETS HERE
Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

2/7. Hand to Mouth Comedy w/ Trevor Hill @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. 8pm. $15. Featuring Tommy Dassalo, Rob Schultz, Nina Manni, Barbara Gray, Matt Ingebretson, and Scott Vermeire. 

handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.

February’s Topic: Obsession!

On Friday 2/7, Matt IngebretsonNina ManniBarbara GrayRob SchultzTommy Dassalo and Scott Vermeire will join Trevor in exploring obsessions, addictions, compulsions, one track minds, hang-ups, fascinations, fixations and fandom.

In teaming with SF SketchfestHand to Mouth will not be taking place at its usual venue on 2/7, but will be held at Lost Weekend Video for a special 10:00pm show.

Hand to Mouth: Obsession
SF Sketchfest Edition
Friday, February 7th @ 10:00PM
Lost Weekend Video (1034 Valencia)
Cover: $15

www.handtomouthcomedy.com
www.sfsketchfest.com/x/performers/hand-to-mouth

BUY TICKETS HERE

Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

1/22. Fun Times With Friends w/ Trevor Hill @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. Featuring Leslie Small and Vincent Chaung, presented by Brandon Stokes, Ron Chapman, Aly Jones and Scott Simpson.
yourmonkeycalled:

I think this San Francisco show in 2 weeks is going to be really fun. There’s a good chance I will be wearing a tuxedo.
handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.
January’s Topic: Movies!
On Friday 1/3, Casey Ley (SXSW), Vince Mancini (FilmDrunk), Leslie Small (Cobb’s), Joey Devine (SF Sketchfest), Keith D’souza (SF Punchline) and Andre Parker (Fresh Like Cadaver) will join Trevor in making fun of their favorite films from Ben-Hur to Bio-Dome.
Hand to Mouth: MoviesFriday, January 3rd @ 10:00PMThe Dark Room (2263 Mission St.)Cover: $5 Advance, $8 at the Door.
Every First Friday of the Month!
Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.

January’s Topic: Movies!

On Friday 1/3, Casey Ley (SXSW), Vince Mancini (FilmDrunk), Leslie Small (Cobb’s), Joey Devine (SF Sketchfest), Keith D’souza (SF Punchline) and Andre Parker (Fresh Like Cadaver) will join Trevor in making fun of their favorite films from Ben-Hur to Bio-Dome.

Hand to Mouth: Movies
Friday, January 3rd @ 10:00PM
The Dark Room (2263 Mission St.)
Cover: $5 Advance, $8 at the Door.

Every First Friday of the Month!

Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

redscott:


Trevor Hill - Hand to Mouth at The Dark Room, December 6th, 2013.

redscott:

Trevor Hill - Hand to Mouth at The Dark Room, December 6th, 2013.

12/1. Give me Fiction @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. 8pm. $10. Stories by Trevor Hill, Jessica Sele, Red Scott, Robin Higgins, David Gborie and Allison Page. Hosted (with stories) by Ivan Hernandez. 
give-me-fiction:

After a fantastic first show, GIVE ME FICTION returns to Lost Weekend. Some of the finest minds in comedy, literature, and theatre write pieces around a theme, which they are free to interpret as loosely or strictly as they wish. This month’s theme is HUNGER, and reading will be:Trevor Hill (Hand to Mouth)Robin Higgins ( The Higgs Weldon)David Gborie (Sylvan Productions)Jessica Sele (Mission Position)Red Scott (Boars, Gore, and Swords)Allison Page (Killing My Lobster) And hosting will be, as ever and shall always, Ivan Hernandez.
BUY TICKETS HERE
RSVP ON FACEBOOK

12/1. Give me Fiction @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. 8pm. $10. Stories by Trevor Hill, Jessica Sele, Red Scott, Robin Higgins, David Gborie and Allison Page. Hosted (with stories) by Ivan Hernandez. 

give-me-fiction:

After a fantastic first show, GIVE ME FICTION returns to Lost Weekend. Some of the finest minds in comedy, literature, and theatre write pieces around a theme, which they are free to interpret as loosely or strictly as they wish. This month’s theme is HUNGER, and reading will be:

Trevor Hill (Hand to Mouth)

Robin Higgins ( The Higgs Weldon)

David Gborie (Sylvan Productions)

Jessica Sele (Mission Position)

Red Scott (Boars, Gore, and Swords)

Allison Page (Killing My Lobster)

And hosting will be, as ever and shall always, Ivan Hernandez.

BUY TICKETS HERE

RSVP ON FACEBOOK

(Source: give-me-fiction)

Tonight: Hand to Mouth Comedy @ Dark Room Theater. 2263 Mission St. SF. 10pm. $5–8. Featuring John Ross, Jessica Sele, Land Smith, Stefani Silverman, Eli Olsberg, David Nguyen, Paco Romane and hosted by Trevor Hill.
handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.
November’s Topic: Fear!
On November 1st, comics John Ross (Comedy Central’s “Up Next”), Paco Romane (Best Comedian -SF Bay Guardian), Eli Olsberg (E!’s “Chelsea Lately”), Jessica Sele (Seattle Comedy Underground), David Nguyen (Colossal Show), Land Smith (Talkies) and Stefani Silverman (Tickled Pink!) will join Trevor in exploring fears, phobias, anxieties, panic attacks, nightmares, goosebumps and heebie-jeebies. So come find out what gives these funny peeps the creeps.
Hand to Mouth: FearFriday, November 1st @ 10:00PMThe Dark Room (2263 Mission St.)Cover: $5 Advance, $8 at the Door.
Every First Friday of the Month!
Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

Tonight: Hand to Mouth Comedy @ Dark Room Theater. 2263 Mission St. SF. 10pm. $5–8. Featuring John Ross, Jessica Sele, Land Smith, Stefani Silverman, Eli Olsberg, David Nguyen, Paco Romane and hosted by Trevor Hill.

handtomouthcomedy:

Trevor Hill presents Hand to Mouth: a monthly, topic-based comedy show where each edition explores a specific social, cultural or political issue. One show, one topic.

November’s Topic: Fear!

On November 1st, comics John Ross (Comedy Central’s “Up Next”), Paco Romane (Best Comedian -SF Bay Guardian), Eli Olsberg (E!’s “Chelsea Lately”), Jessica Sele (Seattle Comedy Underground), David Nguyen (Colossal Show), Land Smith (Talkies) and Stefani Silverman (Tickled Pink!) will join Trevor in exploring fears, phobias, anxieties, panic attacks, nightmares, goosebumps and heebie-jeebies. So come find out what gives these funny peeps the creeps.

Hand to Mouth: Fear
Friday, November 1st @ 10:00PM
The Dark Room (2263 Mission St.)
Cover: $5 Advance, $8 at the Door.

Every First Friday of the Month!

Facebook: facebook.com/handtomouthcomedy

Eventbrite - Hand to Mouth: Fear!

10/5. Cynic Cave @ Lost Weekend Video. 1034 Valencia St. SF. 8PM. $10. Featuring Ben Feldman, Stevie Post, Michael D’Bey, Shanti Charan, Trevor Hill and OJ Patterson. Hosted by George Chen and Kevin O’Shea
georgethechen:

Ben FeldmanTrevor HillOJ PattersonStevie PostShanti CharanMichael D’Beyhosted by George Chen and Kevin O’Shea8pm$101034 Valencia Street, SF