As another series of my podcast comes to a close, I’m sitting here with a big fat grin on my face and in the next few paragraphs I’m gonna explain why.
When I first thought of doing this, the thing that excited me most was the reaction I was gonna get. I couldn’t wait for people to see my writing and all the clever jokes I would come up with. Those little red notifications would pop up in the corner of my screen and I would feel like people cared. I was sat in my room, constantly fantasising about likes and shares and also this girl I went to school with that I fancy (honestly, she’s well nice – I really hope we get married one day but I’m too scared to ask her out). I was so fixated on the fame and glamour the show was gonna give me.
And sure, the reaction has been great. People have loved my writing and my clever jokes. The fame has been fun. That girl I fancy hasn’t been in touch, but the show has still led to me having some wonderful one-night stands which I’m very grateful for. (Btw Katie, if you’re reading this, I left my pumpkin spice syrup at yours, please post it back to me ASAP!).
But now, at the end of it all, the thing that’s put this smile on my face isn’t any of that stuff. It’s the actual conversations I’ve had.
Maybe this is a realisation you guys have already had, and maybe it should’ve been obvious to me, but in the last week I’ve learned that OTHER PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING INTERESTING.
Everybody I’ve spoken to so far has had so much to say. Doing this miniseries, I’ve heard five people’s life-stories and not one of them has been dull. In fact, by the end of each interview, I had so many more questions I wanted to ask that I felt like we could’ve spent an eternity together. I went into each conversation with a preconception of the person I was interviewing and every time that preconception was shown to be shallow and massively incomplete. The depth of people’s thoughts and life-experiences goes deeper than you could ever reach; everything you find out about someone leads to infinitely more things to discuss.
The little buzz we get when someone likes our posts online is nice, but it’s short-lived and, in the end, pretty meaningless. But when you sit down with someone and have a proper chat, and they tell you about their hopes and dreams, worries and anxieties, the things they’ve been through that make them who they are today, then you get a feeling of connection that’s so much bigger.
Finding out about other people’s lives sheds light on our own. We learn how universal our seemingly individual struggles are – we see that we all desperately crave love, fulfilment, poontang/wangtang. Talking about these things with another person lets us detach from them for a bit. The seriousness of it all evaporates.
You know, it’s not just on Halloween that we wear masks, it’s every day of the year on social media. The constant thirst for validation that Facebook perpetuates means we project a version of ourselves that isn’t real. We’ve turned ourselves into one-dimensional click bait, but we’re all so much more than that. And that’s what doing this show has taught me. We need to take the masks off and see what’s underneath.
And the only way to really find out about someone is to sit down with them face-to-face for a nice, cosy, off-mic chat.
I’ll be back soon for a Christmas miniseries “Comedians Outside Edinburgh Getting Gingerbread Lattes”, but in the meantime, keep talking to each other. It’s the best thing there is.
Lots of love,
Oh shit, I forgot. Today’s guest was Rob Halden. But he didn’t have that much to say to be honest.