Enviei este texto o ano passado para a Rookie e foi rejeitado. Sem problema, especialmente agora que o vejo, não estava particularmente pronto. São coisas que acontecem e ninguém ficou chateado. Mas é a minha own private mash note e este será o sítio mais indicado onde a colocar. Porque foi escrita para ser lida. Mudei algumas coisas (coisas cronológicas, frases menos bem conseguidas) mas publico em “americano”, que foi a língua na qual escrevi (porque era para um site americano) (e é mais fácil mudar coisas do que traduzir tudo).
Forget food. The way to a man’s heart is through comedy.
At the time, Marc Maron had done a keynote speech at Just For Laughs, and it was one of the funniest, most heartbreaking, beautiful pieces of discourse I have ever heard. He talked about failure, and love, but mostly about reaching out. Which is basically what comedians do. They reach out to us with their specific points of view, filled with the things that they find funny and that they want to share: “have you ever noticed…?” (well, not all comedians, let’s not forget abstract humor or other kinds). It’s a human reflex and the foundation of human connection. It’s present wether you’re a comedian trying to say something meaningful with your work… Or a shy girl asking your crush if they want to go see a movie. Since you were both going to see the same movie, anyway. No pressure. Whatever. Forget I mentioned it!
I mention this particular speech because, at one point, Marc Maron talks about the struggle to get out of a bad place, both career and romance-wise. This man was “unbookable” (his agent’s words). And I was done with love. I had no desire, intention or hope. I was going to focus on work, on my friends, I was going to go to the movies alone and check out exhibitions solo, and buy books, and do all these things alone. I felt that I had so much baggage of my own, that I would be unable to deal with anyone else’s. The thought of being able to give up on that part of my life was liberating because it put the pressure off. Marc Maron’s strugle ended when he took pressure off of himself and started to rediscover his love for comedy by doing a podcast show from his garage. Just being himself, reaching out to other comedians to talk about life and comedy. Marc Maron (and this keynote address, in particular) was one of the things we (myself, and the above mentioned man-friend) bonded over first. We both got it, we were in on the joke, and that was the beginning of a beautiful love story.
We started talking because, and mostly about, comedy. Things like Marc Maron’s podcast, the whole podcast revolution in comedy. The improv ones, the deep-interview-based ones, the pop culture ones. We shared our favorite female comediennes: I loved Chelsea Peretti, he adored Julie Klausner. Which seemed fitting, I’m a redhead too. Pretty soon, we were live chatting (ugh, that’s romance for you) to the Golden Globes, shaking our heads at Ricky Gervais, gushing over Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. That’s kinda of how you know you like someone, when you stay up until 4 a.m. — that’s how late the Golden Globes end, in Portugal — nonstop talking about the movies, television, the people you love and inspire you.
Suddenly, this person is showing you some very good things this world has to offer. You buy Julie Klausner’s and Mindy Kaling’s books because he recommends them. You listen to Todd Hanson’s appearance on Marc Maron’s podcast (I added him on Facebook just to express my gratitude for his candor and humor on that episode, he graciously accepted and honored me with a comment on one of my photos). And Todd Glass’ coming-out-moment, on that same podcast. You talk about how Steve Martin’s tap dance to “Fit as a Fiddle” reminds you of Singin’ in the Rain, when Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor dance and sing to that same song. Gradually, this person (or this relationship) is making you listen to and read more about comedy, but is also exposing you to deep, thoughtful conversations held by interesting people, trying to figure out the world. As a result of being inspired by them, I start to get myself inspired. I started watching more movies, reading more books, for pleasure and not just for research. This new hunger for life and culture and beauty and depth and emotion began to flood me, and that was as much these comedians‘ fault as it was his. Love has some ruling principles that are common to comedy: it’s about truth and it’s about a connection. It about finding someone who will get you and where you coming from… Wether that’s an audience or a romantic-partner-in-life. Just like comedy, love will make life a lot easier to go through. “And that’s the quintessential truth, Ruth”.