Saturday 28 April 2012

Henry Rollins is one of my heroes

Apologies, only a quick update today; I've got a weekend of Birthday festivities to look forward to, and don't have much time. Including, but not limited to: Suiting up, catching a bus, riding a train, getting shot with a high-powered paintball delivery system, catching another train, getting my food on, getting my drink on, catching cab, sleeping... and whatever happens in between. Hungover update tomorrow.

I was privileged enough to be taken to see one of Henry Rollins' Spoken Word Tours last night by my awesome girlfriend.

The man is a visionary.

Henry Rollins: Musician, speaker, arse kicker.

His show lasted for 3 bum-numbing hours. I wanted to stand up and shake it off so bad, but evidently not as much as I wanted to keep sitting and listening. Not once in that time did he stop talking to even lick his lips, or take a sip of water; All the while speaking at 1000 words a minute. His excuse for not requiring an intermission or even a toilet break. "Hell, I love the sound of my own voice." So many of us do, at least he's honest. He was energetic, expressive and compelling... This he can do at the age of 51. It's inspiring.

He's been averaging 100 shows a year for the last thirty years. According to my calculator, that's... (100 x 30...) a crapload of shows. He essentially lives on the road, and still finds time for philanthropic work in Africa and to film NatGeo documentaries. In his own words, he isn't a "workaholic", but instead opts for the term "work-slut" as he is fascinated by essentially everything in this world and will never pass up the opportunity to learn more about it.

It only occurs to me after seeing his show that my style of humour is quite similar to his. Whether I am as successful, or will ever be as successful as him in executing this brand of comedy is another matter... But when I write, I aim to be a compelling storyteller, not a comedian. The comedy comes second. It supplements the story and engages the audience.

I was sad to observe that a few people walked out of the theatre last night in the first 20 minutes of the show. It seems that they might have expected some generic stand up comedy routine, and were disappointed that the content didn't deliver a laugh a minute. I felt bad for them, that they'd rather sit there and watch some hollow comedy routine with stereotypical gags about airline food, than to listen to this highly intelligent man share his engaging life experiences.

I truly respect what Henry is doing; He speaks his mind honestly and does not steer away from confrontational subjects. Nor does he constantly try to "shock" the audience with politically incorrect opinions. He simply tells his stories and allows himself to venture into where ever it ends up without censorship.

So, here's what I say to you, Henry Rollins:

Keep doing what you're doing until you're no longer physically able to do it. 

You are an inspiration to us all. At the very least, an inspiration to me.

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