IBS Stand-Up

The New York City comedy scene has never really been an interest of mine. I'll see a famous headliner, for sure. I like to chuckle now and again, but it's another thing to find yourself in the back of an Irish pub on the Upper East Side at a show run by children. I'm being harsh. There was a gang of young comics putting on a free show for the sake of comedy.

I was asked to support a friend of mine

We had acted in a comedy web series pilot together 2 years back. He came from a stand-up background, and I came from acting, so it was a funny as heck time when we were paired up! Now, almost 2 years after we had last hung out, having only seen him once at the showing of the pilot, I wanted to support the show he was headlining! I missed my bud.

I would have gone in with a different mindset if I had known that so many sets would include IBS.

Comedy is such a hard needle to thread. You want to find that perfect balance of self-deprecation with funny observation. Relatable premise and surprising punch lines. A recipe for a great night! However, several jokes were ending in IBS that really didn't land?! Some acts would use IBS as a condition that made them an undesirable dating partner or a complaint about a guy they were trying to smooch.

As an advocate, at first, it felt weird to hear. Like someone was taking thoughts out of my very private head and putting them out on display to strangers. I almost felt embarrassed that people were awkwardly laughing at bad IBS jokes. Part of me wanted to connect with the comic without seeming like an audience poop pervert.

What began as a shock from the mention of IBS evolved to motivation.

What does an advocate look like?

So many people experience pain differently. Some are more humble, while others joke. Everyone is entitled to their experience, so when looking at my advocacy, it leaves me feeling jealous. These people could joke about a part of my life that I hide from. Something that I don't share with anyone.

Maybe this person does suffer through cramps, maybe not. People make fun of things they don't have. But here I'd like to give this person the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, they stood up on a stage and talked about how IBS affected them. No, their jokes weren't well crafted or that funny, but they had the gall to talk about it.

I talk about my gut issues in private, under a rock like an ashamed butt demon. It makes me think.

Maybe I should take the reins of what I deal with. IBS isn't always funny, and I don't write jokes, but I admire taking pain and turning it into something positives for yourself and others. This show, run by amateurs, made me appreciate my bowels more than I had thought it would go in. Taking hold of IBS is an approach that I want to take going forward. It's a part of me. It's not going anywhere, so why not bring some light to it?

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