The short story is, comedy is my first love. I believe in the power of laughter like people believe in the power of love, or hard work. I’ve heard the only thing that displaces fear is faith, but I think that laughter does an even better job of taking you out of your problems and putting you squarely in the moment.
But the long story is a two-parter. Firstly, it was one January afternoon that I was digging around the internet, looking for some relief from the winter blues. I stumbled across something on Reddit I had just seen @thefatjewish post. I had a thought, maybe if I email him, I can provide him with content so he doesn’t have to do the grunt work. I’ll dig in the trenches for comedic gold so he can post it. I wasn’t looking for anything in return so it was a win/win for me. Much sooner than later, he started tagging me in his captions which would result in an influx of followers, usually between 1500 and 3000 per tag. It was a total adrenaline rush. The more I sent him, the more he tagged me, the more he tagged me, the more I sent him. It was a beautiful arrangement, and before I knew what hit me I was sitting on about 350k followers.
The second part to the story is a little sad unfortunately. While I was climbing the ranks, I met a ton of wonderful people, one of whom was @trevso.electric. At that time, he was the only fully original meme account, and he was well respected among other meme accounts and loved by his followers. He always encouraged us to make our own stuff instead of reposting content we find elsewhere. Unfortunately he passed away, and it’s always a mission of mine to try and make something good happen when tragedy strikes. I took his death as a cue to start making my own material, and that changed my life. It gave me a voice. I found that it was much more satisfying to have a post I made do well, rather than a post I found, and I’ve never looked back.
It’s much more of that second thing. Mainly I’m out there living my life, being a husband, dad, employee, friend, patron, etc. While I’m out there living, sometimes things happen that I think would make a great meme. In other cases I’ll scroll through some pictures on Reddit and see something that speaks to me. Then I’ll try and imagine some kind of emotional back story for whatever emotion I think is being expressed by the subject in the picture.
The joke and the picture either work together or they don’t. Very rarely do I tweak the wording to try and make the meme better, more impactful or humorous. Memes are so ephemeral and they’re only funny for a split second, so I try to reflect that in the process. The only thing I will do is sometimes if I have a picture that I think is really good, but I can’t come up with anything at the time, I’ll go back to it in a different mood or at a different time of day.
I think the post I”m most proud of is the one I made with Chandler from Friends, although I feel kind of badly about it because of his struggles with addiction, something I’m familiar with. One day I was singing the Friends theme song in my head and I got to the line “When it hasn’t been you day, your week, your month, or even your year”. I found a picture of Matthew Perry where he looked particularly banged up and put that caption over it.
I like to do some for me, some for them. I’m constantly straddling the line between posting what I think is funny and posting what I think the followers will like. To maintain that balance sometimes I’ll do a generic caption with a cute puppy or something like that, but for the most part I like to stay true to myself and my sense of humor. My hope is that instead of getting 100,000 “meh” reactions, I’ll get 50,000 “oh my god this guy is so funny” reactions.
I do that because I hate when good ideas leave my brain and head out into the ether, never to return. I’ve had great thoughts I lost, and spent 20 minutes trying to get back, only to fail. I’d rather take the 7 seconds to write it in my phone so I don’t lose it. I come up with a lot of junk that way, but at least I have a record of my thoughts to go back to.
The book was actually written in meme form. I took notes for about ten years while I was working through some issues, and basically I was just writing myself reminders for when future situations would arise that I had trouble with. At some point I started to go through those notes and I found some pretty powerful stuff I had otherwise totally forgotten about. From there I whittled down the paragraphs to sentences, because I feel that if I want someone to take a sentiment with them from the book, it’s easier to remember a sentence than it is a paragraph.
I typically prefer silence. I’m also really into music so it’s a major distraction for me.
I try my best to go out and live, then I bring back whatever I find.
I never set a goal of words per day, but when I was trying to collect more material I’d meditate more, speak more with friends with whom I had great conversations, and try to stay aware of my thought processes so I didn’t lose anything to the great sieve which is my mind.
I always want to make sure that whatever I’m writing is an authentic reflection of my message and my experiences, good and bad.
I wish I did. It might make things easier. Every page in my book and every meme I make are a direct result of experiences I’ve had. I sometimes wish I had an alter ego I could call on (blame) when I want to say something that’s a little outside of the norm for my page.
I do think it exists, but I’ve never struggled with it. If I ever get jammed up, I’ll just do a brain dump and see what I can rewrite from there.
Pick a topic you love and spend a lot of time on anyway. Social media can be a real chore if you’re constantly creating or curating content for a subject you have no interest in. Have fun, express your true self, and let the universe take care of the rest.