…I think the thing that’s personally getting me down (and I feel hesitant to discuss this, but here goes…) is I feel very acutely like many people were more supportive when I first started. Like, they expected me to move up the ladder faster for some reason, and because I haven’t, they have no time for me. I’m really interested in having a long career in comedy. I want to pay my dues and use my first few years to experiment. What’s weird is that people give me shit for trying a different approach or for writing a weirder punchline. Like, I’ve literally been mocked on stage by other comics more than once in the past week (singular week) for trying new stuff. And then, when I do have a good set (and I know it’s good because people who don’t know me are laughing and tell me later it was good), it’s like those same people still have shit to say about me. To my face. So I feel very much as though there’s a whole block of people who have decided what I can and can’t do on stage, and that’s very demoralizing. And I feel like many of them have decided that I shouldn’t do comedy. (I would love to go into how I feel that girls aren’t allowed the same timeline to prove themselves as boys, but that’s a whole other can of worms not worth getting into here.)
Still, I’m trying to summon strength from all of this. Because I think that by going through all of this so early (I’m only 9 months into stand up, for Christ’s sake), it’s going to set the tone for the rest of my career. I’m learning that I have to do stuff that I believe in.
Here’s my two cents, which I hope make sense:
No one expected you to move up the ladder faster. I don’t mean you personally. I mean any newcomer in general. No one really puts that much thought into them because they’re all focused on their own successes and failures.
Stand-up in New York is very ruthless and everyone that developed and evolved here, that went from not getting laughs on stage to getting laughs on stage, has had the same stories of being made fun of from the stage and to their face. I don’t think it’s accurate to say girls aren’t allowed the same time line as guys. Guys get it much, much, much worse. Look at the guys who get picked on. It’s relentless.
I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to develop naturally. But people’s advice can sometimes steer someone in the right direction. The problem with a lot of stand-ups is they give advice in the most blunt and insulting way possible. As a result, many people dismiss the advice.
Most people around you, even the people who seem successful, are working at getting better. One of the nice things about stand-up is if someone bombs for five years and suddenly starts killing at every mic, the five years of bombing doesn’t matter. It’s erased. It’s a real meritocracy. All you have to worry about is getting consistent laughs and not letting people’s comments hurt you on a personal level. After all, no one’s worth as a human being is measured on their material.
“Neighbors’ comments about the girl, which we reported in the story, seemed to reflect concern about what they saw as a lack of supervision that may have left her at risk,” said Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the paper.
Nope, New York Times. Still wrong. Her clothing didn’t leave her at risk. Her choice to hang out with older kids didn’t leave her at risk. Why are we just accepting, in print, in one of the world’s most highly-regarded papers, that rape is going to happen to a child????
THE ONLY PEOPLE AT FAULT HERE ARE THE MEN WHO CHOSE TO RAPE AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL.
The factors as to why she was raped are singular as such: Men decided to rape her.
And maybe articles like this that continue to ask what the victim did wrong. THE ANSWER IS NOTHING. THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS NOTHING.
The point that should be addressed is, why do we live in a culture where a group of men can decide to rape an 11 year old? A sick thought that shouldn’t even be crossing their minds, let alone acted upon?
That’s the real tragic mystery. Not what a child did to invite her own rape.
I read the article and the focus of it is really weird…
“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”
At the same time though, I do think the parents of the girl should have been more responsible for the girl’s safety. It sounds like they were allowing her to spend way too much unsupervised time with older kids involved in various crimes.
Five suspects are students at Cleveland High School, including two members of the basketball team. Another is the 21-year-old son of a school board member. A few of the others have criminal records, from selling drugs to robbery and, in one case, manslaughter. The suspects range in age from middle schoolers to a 27-year-old.
I think the inclusion of this is weird…
They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.
But this is not…
“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”
Obviously, the people completely at fault are the rapists, but it also does geniunely seem like the parents are bad at being parents and I don’t think it’s unfair to call attention to that fact.
I am on the fence if this article is putting blame on the girl or simply calling out that good parenting could have prevented the tragedy from taking place. Parts of the article’s tone did strike me as innappropriate.
For a guy who overcame so much to finally get to where he was, this is horribly sad news. His WTF interview from a little while back was amazing.
Incredibly sad news. Download his interview on WTF with Marc Maron here. As said, DeStefano overcame many challenges in his life including drug addiction and a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, before achieving success last year as a finalist on Last Comic Standing. He was set to debut his one-man show A Cherry Tree in The Bronx in Barrow Street Theatre on Wednesday.
May he rest in peace.
I fortunately got to see him workshop his show last month - it was beyond fantastic. You’ll be missed, Mike.
Like I’ve been saying to friends this morning, I’m sure this isn’t the saddest thing about his shocking death, but Mike was blowing up. He had a great year and accomplished what so many comics dream of when they first start. I’m sure he had bigger goals on the horizon and it’s so sad to think of all the squandered potential.
Like I said though, that’s not the saddest thing about this. The saddest thing about this is the loss his friends and family feel. I’m sure first and foremost they miss him as a human being.