Ladies and gentleman, we are proud to welcome Mike Bobbitt to the A.L. front lines. Mike is a comedian from Detroit who recently moved to L.A. to cross swords, and make his bones as a gen-you-wine Hollywood writer. Mike is a good egg, and he’s going to be on here rattling off his trials and tribulations and spouting off about whatever is on his mind. Have at it Mike!
I’m not sure if this bugs other creative types as much as it does me, but I hate it when someone else claims my title as their own. I’m a comedian. I worked hard to be a comedian. I make my living telling jokes. I’ve performed in front of almost 2000 audiences. I’ve sacrificed an entire life for comedy. I’m a comedian. An attention starved lunatic at an open mic show can also claim the title of comedian. That bugs me. I don’t know why, but it does.
That doesn’t happen in the medical profession. If you tell people you’re a heart surgeon, chances are you’re actually a heart surgeon. There isn’t some weirdo in an alley somewhere cutting open stray cats, calling himself a heart surgeon. At least I hope not. If you know that guy, seriously, call the police and more importantly, don’t let him operate on you. He’s not a heart surgeon.
I wonder if that happens to Douglas at conventions. Some greasy guy with a crudely drawn sketch book comes up to him and says, “Hey man, I’m an artist, just like you!” And if that does happen, does it bother him or is that part of the convention circuit.
Right now I want to be able to say that I’m a writer. I sold a script to a web series. It didn’t turn out like I wrote. It’s a collaborative art. I get it. I’m not proud of it, but I accept that it is what it is. I, more or less, gave up the life of a comedian to move to Los Angeles and be a writer. How’s it going? In a couple weeks, I’ll be fighting the Midwestern snow to tell jokes again. I really want to be a writer. I’m not yet. Despite selling that one script, I don’t feel like a writer.
Since moving here earlier this year I’ve made most of my money acting. I’m not an actor. I haven’t studied acting. I don’t take it seriously. I understand the process of auditions. Auditions are made up of three variables. Did you show up on time? Were you prepared to say whatever words they wanted you to say? Do you look like what they imagine the character looks like? You can really only control two of those things. I show up early and have my lines memorized. I can’t really control how I look. This is it. There’s no pressure for me and maybe because of that, I land about half the roles I audition for. Maybe I am an actor? I don’t feel like one. Acting is a craft, albeit a silly one! I’m a guy who is passable at pretending. I have imagined winning an Oscar and having my acceptance speech be, “Well, I think this proves that this thing is pretty much worthless!”
Maybe that’s the humility I want the attention starved lunatics at the open mic shows to have. You’re not a comedian. You’re a person who gets up on stage and says words into a microphone.
I can draw fairly well. I’m not a cartoonist. I’m not an illustrator. I’m not an artist. I’m a guy who can draw fairly well. My favorite articles that Douglas writes are the ones where he breaks down the design of covers and pages. I love the attention to movement on a page. I think, like playing an instrument, that’s a skill you have to be born with. It’s hard to articulate, but he does a good job.
I’m going to contribute some articles on here with the intention of focusing on the craft of writing both scripts and for the stage. I hope I do a good job of articulating that too.