This photo was taken by Michael O'Connell at March Mikeness 3/13/2013 at The Punchline in Sacramento, CA.
This day was my awakening. This is the day that my eyes were finally open. A day in stand up comedy that every comedian that goes through it and finally sits down and say " Yeah, now I got it, now I know where I need to go. It's time to erase everything and start all over again"
Re-inventing yourself is a thing we need to do, but not as comedian/performers , but as people. WE, here on Earth need to re-invent ourselves. It's the only way. Your only revolution now is change your way of thinking.
When you can change the way you think, you wont need anything else. You won't need to rely on anyone.....EVER. You would love everyone to help everyone, without ever thinking about money. Because we won't need it. But enough about everyone, let's talk about me and my awakening. I said it was an awakening, I am still to self centered to ever be a Messiah.
Now back to the picture. This picture reminds me of my father. That's the first thing I noticed was that my Father use to sit like that with his notebook as he prepared himself for his Sunday's Sermon. My Father, Jose Betancourt was a preacher. I was always in awe whenever my father preached. He would silent a room and make it erupt anytime. My father was very captivating. And I will always miss him. He died when I was 17 years old.
Losing my father was devastating, I didn't know what to do. I didn't have anyone guiding my way. All that guilt and anger only festered. And it only got worse when I joined the Navy, and then when I got kicked out of the Navy, the anger grew. And kept growing. Then I got into stand up. But it made it worse, because there were booze and women and drugs and more women. That didn't nurture anything either. You would think after being married with two girls, that would calm me down. Pfft yeah right,do you think a house-full of women would calm me down? ( Come see me at a show and I will talk more about it)
So here I am 8 years in stand up, no TV credit, no billion fans on the internet just a frustrated angry comic that has hit a wall. And it was driving me crazy, I didn't know what else to do. There was only one thing to do. Change my way of thinking. After going to my 7th funeral of the year I was done. I was tired. I took a huge blow after the last funeral I went too. 10 year old Sy Sherman passed away from cancer. I met him through my wife's friend. We did a benifit show for him at the San Jose Improv. If you ever want to know what my BEST show was, it was Sy Sherman's benefit show. F-Cancer! I made him my co-host, I put him on a dolly and ran around on stage with him. Then he was being chased by T-rex and he shot me, sorry Him with a shotgun. Good aim Sy! And I am truly thankful for everyone who supported that show and the comics who came out and performed. Arnie Ponce, Jeff Applebaum and Joe Klocek. I will always be in debt to them. Ever since Sy's funeral I was tired of being angry. I started to meditate.
As I meditated I started to ask "Why?" Why am I angry with the audience? Why am I frustrated with my act? Why am I angry at home? Why? Why? Why? Why? And it was quite simple.... My Dad wasn't with me.Physcially. I know the cliche"He's always with you Micahel." Blah blah, I couldn't hear him, As I started to think about him and what he did that was right. I started to search into myself and I finally got it. I finally can see where I need to be. I can finally see my path. I can finally hear my voice. If you think I am funny now, just wait and see 10 years from now. Or witness the evolution.
Thank you Dad for everything.