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Green Room - Week 33 - Day 7

In the first few minutes of "Sleepwalk With Me", Mike Birbiglia said something that made me stop the movie, because I needed to share it. With you.

He's a stand-up comedian, so he's talking about the life that he knows. But I think it can be applied across the board for creative types.

He said that "To be a comedian, you have to be a little bit delusional".

This is true of writers. Artists. Dreamers. People who start online writing competitions with elements of their favorite reality shows.

You have to be willing to put aside the people who tell you what you *can't* do, and focus on that completely misguided voice leading you down the path that tells you that you *should*.

You have to be able to brush off rejection.

Which, damn, that's *hard to do*.

We all have those things that just stick in that vulnerable spot and don't seem to come out regardless of how hard we wiggle them.

But there is a difference with comedians and writers. One that I think often gets overlooked.

Comedians *need to perform* - they need to be out there in the spotlight, knowing that they will sometimes bomb and believing in the delusion that in the end, it's all going to be worth it.

Writers, on the other hand, they can sit alone and produce work - putting in it a trunk (real or metaphorical) never to be seen again.

They can live on their own and have people find the scraps of paper they wrote on - after their death.

Which means that there is something special inside the people who *choose to share* their work with the world. Something unique. A shared delusion that what you are doing is worth someone else reading.

That's beautiful.

Keep being delusional.

Keeping dreaming.

****

There is a poll going on right now - with people believing that they can get to the next stage of Idol. Some of them are right. Some are wrong. Help decide who will be in which group: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/825343.html

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 06:56 am (UTC)
FRIST?
jexia
Jan. 19th, 2015 06:57 am (UTC)
Frist.
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 07:09 am (UTC)
I've been waiting all day for this. But mostly for the comment below. :D
crisp_sobriety
Jan. 19th, 2015 08:25 am (UTC)
Grats on Frist!
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
jexia
Jan. 19th, 2015 06:57 am (UTC)
I'm not sure whether to be depressed or inspired. Thanks, Gary.
roina_arwen
Jan. 19th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
Gary has that effect on people, lol!
gratefuladdict
Jan. 19th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
My thoughts exactly!
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 07:08 am (UTC)
Elephant!
Okay, now for my real comment:

I don't know how I've forgotten to mention this before, but there's a weird little movie this topic brings to mind. It's called "The Tall Guy," starring Jeff Goldblum as a schlub, a young Emma Thompson, and a bit of Rowan Atkinson.

The main character has trouble getting work, as an (only semi-talented) tall American in London. But he finally lands a gig in a musical version of "The Elephant Man."

The parody is glorious-- "elephant" is taken far too literally, the whole thing is an Andrew Lloyd Webber knock-off, and the clincher is that some of the tunes are pretty catchy:

"Roll up, roll up, as quick as you can, he looks like an elephant and talks like a man..."

Youtube clip of the fake musical here. Check the numering for the other parts that follow. :D
bleodswean
Jan. 19th, 2015 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Elephant!
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Omg, how is that I have NEVER heard of this gem???? Clip 9/12 with the tap-dancing elephant men....is one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life and I can't believe I just saw it for the first time.

Thank YOU!!!!
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Elephant!
Some of the songs came into my head yesterday afternoon, and I thought, "Why didn't I remember this sooner? The Green Room needs to know!"

It's the thoroughness of the sendup that makes it perfect. Parody with a lot of satire.

I think the horrific finale, which includes the pathos-dripping "an angel with big ears" chorus, probably isn't out there on youtube. But the whole movie is fun, and very worth watching. :D

Glad you enjoyed it!
beeker121
Jan. 20th, 2015 03:32 am (UTC)
Re: Elephant!
I adore that movie. It gets so many things right, down to the title of the musical "Elephant - exclamation point".
halfshellvenus
Jan. 20th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
Re: Elephant!
We actually own it. There's so much in it that I love, but Elephant! is really the highlight. It's wonderful. :D
beeker121
Jan. 20th, 2015 04:00 am (UTC)
Re: Elephant!
I haven't seen it in years. I'm going to have to track down a copy now.
veronica_rich
Jan. 19th, 2015 12:24 pm (UTC)
BIRBIGS.

"What you SHOULD have said was ..."
roina_arwen
Jan. 19th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I love where you went with this GR, Gary. Great tie-in to the poll and inspiring to boot!

In unrelated news, it's nice to have the day off work for the MLK holiday. Which I get to spend by getting the yearly female exams (boobs and etc) done. Yay? And also by finishing up the poll, because I've been slacking off and reading an actual novel instead!
bleodswean
Jan. 19th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
What are you reading?

I'm currently consumed by Gregory Maguire's "Egg & Spoon"!
roina_arwen
Jan. 19th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's a YA novel called "The Selection" by Kiera Cass. It takes place in a future alternative America, and is really rather fascinating.
xo_kizzy_xo
Jan. 19th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
'Morning GR!

The transmission on my Jeep is starting to go. It's very disquieting having to chug along the highway in the left hand lane because you're spooked that everything underneath is going to drop if you go over a particular mph :erk:

and GO PATS!!!!!
halfshellvenus
Jan. 19th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
Ugh, that is not good news! And not what you need right now, either. :(

Ours is the rear bumper on the SUV (still not fixed-- now the body shop is ordering it), and the Exclamation Triangle warning light on the Prius. I had to Google that, since we bought it used and don't have the manual. Apparently, that one means, "Get this to the repairshop, pronto!"

I sure hope you're able to get that fixed, soon. That would be nervewracking. :(
xo_kizzy_xo
Jan. 19th, 2015 11:15 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about it until I had to get my water pump replaced a right before Christmas (yay, Merry Merry). Our mechanic said the transmission was "seeping", which means -- if I understood correctly -- either there's some kind of major leak in the making or the whole thing needs replacing. The blue book value is probably not much higher than the quote he gave us so I'm like...really?!? Can't you just slap something on it so it'll run long enough so I can trade it in?

I should have said right-hand lane, not left :p I'm fine on back roads. It when I go oer 60mph that it starts giving me the willies :(
ryl
Jan. 19th, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
This is why, when I lost my mind several years back, I never bothered to go look for it. Damn thing was more trouble than it was worth.

In other news, I just realized it's a holiday in these United States, so I'm going to celebrate by procrastinating on getting minor work done on my car.
kickthehobbit
Jan. 19th, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
Statistical Analysis
I mentioned in the last GR that I was going to go ahead and do a statisitical breakdown of where people were likely to place, based on poll results over the last ten weeks. I did that, and then when someone protested, I went ahead and took it back as far as I could—all the way to week one.

A few notes about how it was done before I talk about some numbers and the ultimate conclusion I came to:

-People weren't always in the same poll. To compensate for this, I compared by percentages (percentage points of the poll "gotten"), not by raw votes (which would be silly :) )

-There was no real "good" way to factor in byes. Some of us took all three of our byes. One of us took four. There were a few people that only took two (myself included). Ultimately, I ended up doing individual averages of the weeks that everyone participated, and did my breakdown based on those numbers

-Some of us have been around a lot longer than others. There's two people that are here from LCI—one here from LCI without having played before. There's nothing wrong with that—it just means they're a bit of an outlier in terms of not having as many datapoints, and the standard deviation on their number is higher than anyone else's (so, it's harder to predict accurately where they're going to place)

-There are two people left who at one point spent time in Tribe Redemption. That's another thing it's difficult to account for in the summing up: in the main poll, the most percentage points that anyone ever got was roughly 6. In Tribe Redemption, it was possible to get 28% of the vote, because the number of people voting was much smaller and voting tended to be very polarized. I accounted for that by making all Tribe Redemption votes a weighted average, weighing them against the total number of people that had voted in the "main tribe" that same week.

-Fifteen out of the seventeen of us have topped a poll at one point or another. Statistically speaking, if asked to pick the top fifty based off the results from week 10 or earlier, every one of us would have been in it. We could have predicted the Top 20 with slightly less accuracy, but still: very close. Everyone is here because they deserve to be here. I realize at this point in the polls, it can be hard to believe that, and I've definitely grumbled about how some of the voting has gone, but everyone here could have been predicted, with 80% accuracy, to end up here, from week 20 or so on.

-It really matters what you write. Have an off-week? Your percentage points will drop drastically, and it's hard to climb back to the top unless you write something really extraordinary. I saw that in my results with pieces that I felt were weaker, and it's definitely true for a lot of us, as well. It's hard to say "yes, you'll win" or "yes, you'll make Top 10", because it's incredibly subjective. Write your heart out, and hope for the best.

-Minus two people who have low standard deviations and thus can have their place predicted with some accuracy (+/- 1 spot), it's difficult to say where most of us are going to end up. Immunities complicate this even further.

With that said:

The average percentage that anyone is grabbing in a given week is 2.9, with a standard deviation of +/- 1.2.

The highest percentage anyone has managed to grab is 3.9. The lowest is 2.4. There's a pretty even spread, overall.

I went ahead and did statistical analysis thinking that I would be able to predict the top ten. I did it three different ways. Ultimately, I got three different top ten lists.

If you'd like to know your percentage with standard deviation, PM me and I'll talk about it with you—but be warned, there's more at play than raw statistics!
kickthehobbit
Jan. 19th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Statistical Analysis
I feel a need to add here, as well:

I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU YOUR RANKING.

THIS IS NOT A LIST OF PREDICTIONS.

Just because you are highest or lowest in the list doesn't mean anything—it really is a "how have you done from week to week as compared to the rest of the group" thing, not a "wow, where am I going to place in Idol?" thing. The standard deviation is too high to predict with any accuracy where any of us are going to end up.

Please bear that in mind when messaging, lest I get another "so, where do I rank?" PM. If I'd wanted to post a list of predictions, I would have done so—but I don't. Thank you!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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