I discovered something this morning that is remarkable and heart-warming and inspiring… and all from watching an interview of a guy who used to kick me and try to put choke-holds on me. Granted, I was doing the same thing to him, but still.
I’ve described on a number of occasions how I used to be in IT, was laid off, and decided to chase my writing dream. I couldn’t be where I am today had it not been for the buyout—the severance check and stock options—that gave me a window of opportunity to chase this goofy, stupid, maddening, and utterly gratifying dream of writing for a living that has consumed me so.
As it turns out, there were two dream chasers borne of the NetQuote buyout. You might have seen me post the occasional video of this guy. He is… well, was… a local comedian. Now he’s taken long strides into pro comedy. As I sat back this morning, sipping a cup of yesterday’s microwaved coffee, I watched him talk about how he got to where he is… and a tale unfolded that is not too dissimilar from my own.
The guy’s name is Ben Roy (rhymes with boy) and we used to spar together from time to time back in the old NetQuote days. Under the old owners (they were a fantastic group of people, by the way) we had a workout room and an environment where we were encouraged to use it. Cheered on by an actual Iron Man, if you can believe it, a small group of scrappy guys would bike over to the Auraria Campus and do our best to beat the snot out of each other.
It seems both closer and much farther away from me than it really is. I’ve come a long way since July 15th of 2009. Five years… I have to shake my head at that one. (Ben, if you’re reading this, it just hit me hard that tomorrow it will have been exactly five years since we walked out of the 9th floor for the last time. But we sure as hell have come a long way.)
I have to admit, Ben has moved farther and faster than I have. What can I say? Even back then he had more juice than I do. I had the bruises to prove it. But what I lacked (and lack) in speed I make up for in reach and size.
So why the hell am I telling you all this? It’s because the link below leads to Ben’s interview. I want you to go watch it, and in doing so, you’ll see at least a little bit of what my journey has been like. And if you are chasing your own dreams, I hope you walk away from it with as much enthusiasm as I did.
Ben is an inspiration (sorry, Ben) to those of us who had the huevos to drop the nine-to-five and try and make a living from creative endeavors. And if you do watch the interview, if you walk away from it even the slightest bit inspired, then I want you to catch Ben at the Comedy Works the next time he’s performing there. I want you to check this guy out because he is a funny biotch and he deserves all the success he can glean from this life. I want you to push him higher and higher in his career, because the truth is, if he can make his way from where we started, then it’s reasonable to think I have a shot too.
How about a round of applause for Ben Roy, ladies and gentlemen. He’s here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress.