Okay. If you know me, or you’re getting to know me, you must know this, I am the biggest crier around. I’ll cry during a movie, even if the movie isn’t sad. I’ll cry when I hear sad news about someone. I’ll cry if the weather changes. Something will stir up the emotion within me and before I know what hit me, the tears and the snot are running from my face and I’m desperately gasping for air while my eyes puff up and while my dignity runs out the door. If I’m crying in front of a group of people, I feel it necessary to apologize. Not everyone is comfortable with someone crying in their presence, or even worse, some people automatically cry if they see someone else crying.
Yesterday I was in a class where we were told to prepare a little talk about someone who inspires us and I had a real hard time thinking about anyone who inspires me in a real way. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about why I started down this path of funny making and performing. Most of the time I’m thinking “Why did I do this?” (panic voice) and not “Why did I do this?” (contemplative voice). See the difference? Anyway, I thought and thought, and was convinced everyone in class would bring a spiritual leader to talk about and whatever I chose would be really lame. Only a person full of spiritual wealth like me would compare their inspiration to other people’s inspiration, right?
So finally I decided to be honest with myself. One of the main reasons I decided to even try to do this comedy thing was Margaret Cho. I know, completely on-the-nose obvious. The Asian female funny lady chooses the Asian female comic. But what can I say, it’s true. I remember seeing her show “I’m The One That I Want” in Santa Monica years ago and Margaret Cho herself was taking tickets! I was one of the first in line in my group and as we neared the front of the line I realized I would have to hand my ticket to Margaret herself and smile or something. I almost panicked and then very awkwardly handed her my ticket as she smiled and ripped it in two. Really kind of an anti-climatic meeting, but the show that would follow gave me more than I knew to expect: eyes full of tears, a sore gut from laughing and pure enjoyment. I couldn’t believe all that she had gone through! And despite all this, or maybe because of it, she created her own niche and fan base. Amazing.
Cut to yesterday and my awkward little talk about Margaret Cho. I started talking about her life hitting a low point, and somehow my voice quivered. Hmmn. Where did that come from? And then without warning, a whole flood of tears and sobbing. What? How embarrassing. And in a room full of strangers too. When I got home there was news coverage of Tim Tebow, a quarterback from Florida State who cried when his team lost to Alabama. Seeing this news made me feel less alone. People made a big deal about this I guess cause men aren’t really allowed to cry and when they do everyone freaks out. I guess there’s no crying in football…but there should be. Let the man cry. Let me cry. We will be okay. I have no scientific research to back this up but I bet crying is good for you. And if it’s not, I know I feel better after a good cry. So there.