Thursday, September 30, 2010

RIP Greg Giraldo - Some of Us 'Get It'...

Hearing of Greg Giraldo’s passing brought up a lot of emotions for me. Many people seem to think all comedians in whatever medium they work in are all happy & giggly idiots, even in their personal lives. Again, as I’ve said in my previous post, they seem “put together” and more equip to handle the hard stuff in life. ...They’re not. In fact, it’s the total opposite. Most comedians are very sad. They’re aspirations are more than just standing up on stage trying to make people laugh; they want more. Most aspire to be in movies or have their own talk show, perhaps star in a sitcom. My friend Adam Kontras had put a status message about his sadness regarding Greg Giraldo’s death. In a Youtube video, Adam shared his heart with the world, trying to hold back tears and said, “I was in a really difficult place earlier this month and I kinda didn’t let on how bad it was...and how isolated I was...and umm, how I stared at this blue bottle of sleeping pills for way too long...and how I called whatever friends were close by and just wanted to hear some support...because in this industry, you can get to a place that’s so low that there’s no hope. And as a comedian, it’s time to be ‘happy’.”

Sadness hiding behind a smile, a laugh, a joke told can be absolute torture. Entrepreneurial type of people, especially in the entertainment business endure so much. Having to work among some of them, I get nervous sometimes, hoping that their hiatus is just that, hoping that just because I haven’t heard from this one or that one within three days doesn’t mean they’ve opted for the “blue bottle”. Actors, comedians, or any artist that’s trying to get work are all striving for the best of the best. Most of the time, they remain on stage, performing for a crowd of ten and in rare cases, they get that job they auditioned for that lasts for maybe three months or so. It’s never a steady thing. The highs and lows of the entertainment world can really put a heavy coat around your heart. Adam’s status message even sparked a comment from one of his “friends”. She said, quote on quote, “I always find it hard to be sad for those that kill themselves with drugs. He was a funny man, it’s too bad he had to resort to drugs.” When Adam saw the comment, I knew it would stir his heart into a pit of sadness - to see people having absolutely no compassion whatsoever. He replied, “As someone who has felt the depression, this industry can put on you, and who came so very close to having no hope whatsoever - I guess I’m in a very special place to understand EXACTLY what this man went through. It hits so close to home with me from as recent as 2 weeks ago... I’m absolutely beside myself. Please try and understand how overpowering the pressures can be if you don’t have a good support system around you. This is heartbreaking.”

It’s these types of mindsets that make us feel hopeless. “They don’t give a shit anyway.” It’s funny how “happy” everyone seems to be with their lives and once that very darkness hits them, then they start having compassion because now, they’ve gone through it. Other people commented, supporting Adam but I wonder how many people were reading it, saying, “Ah what a waste of life Greg Giraldo was.” I wonder how many people reading my post from yesterday asked, “What a waste of life that Lindsay Lohan is.” The reality of show business of any kind brings highs and lows. With that, brings high expectations which in turn, slaps on huge piles of disappointments. The more expectations that are slapped down, the more dark moments there are for those who are trying to get from point A. to point B. ---it’s never ending. As soon as one rejection is given, thoughts of “I’m not good enough” starts floating in their minds. You’ll also hear things like, “Well maybe this isn’t quite your forté." That’s even worse than just getting a rejection with no explanation behind it. A thick skin can only go through so much.

So Adam, this post is for you as well my friend. You’ve put yourself out there in ways many people wouldn’t dare to. You had the courage to show your flaws, all the while showing your magnificent heart, your imaginative ways of getting through to people. I’ve learned many things from you this past year, including sharing myself emotionally, in hopes of helping others. This is how I see you. You’re a true star in my eyes, because not only does your brilliance shine like a star, you radiate love and compassion for those struggling along hoping to ‘make it’ at whatever passion they’re trying to do for a living. Bravo!

Here’s the video Adam Kontras posted on his wall. I feel like he’s a male version of myself.

If you can't view the video through other websites affiliated with my blog, please click here.

With that being said, may Greg Giraldo rest in peace, and let us never forget how many laughs he has given us. May he roast us from up above...

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Adam Kontras said...

So honored, thank you Deb. You made me cry sitting on the toilet with my iPad... I must say that's a first. :)

budh.aaah said...

I agree with your friend that if one doesnt have a good support system then it is very hard to hold on to dreams, hopes, life..

I have felt that once in my life to go that far..and feel it on an everyday basis still..its only meditation and reaching for my inner strength (scraping the remnants more like)which helps me cope on a day to day basis. Sometimes I so wish that I drank or took something stronger or heck at least smoked to be able to cope. These weak moments are rare but there nevertheless.. should never lose hope. Its what keeps us alive.

Rip Greg and as for you take care Adam.

Deb said...

Adam, {{{{hugs}}}} I believe everything we go through is for a reason. Why you went through, what you still go through is meant to help others and you're doing so great right now. Proud of you!

Budh, life in general is hard, but sometimes, when people dictate what you "should do" in life, especially for people in the spotlight, it takes on a whole new meaning. More money and fame doesn't necessarily mean more happiness. We just have to keep our heads clear and focused...or at least try.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jesus! Life is so hard. We have become such a weak, emotional society. What ever happened to suck it up and deal with what life throws out there. Some people make it and some do not. So what! JUMP! TAKE THE PILLS! HANG YOURSELF IN A CLOSET! Just stop crying about it and do something! Good job Greg, I admire his resolve.

Shadow said...

well said!

the walking man said...

I see this guy Anonymous all over the internet and he seems to be an asshole every time he posts. I wonder how many times he's had his Glock in his mouth ready to pull the trigger,

Not knowing anything about either Adam or Greg all I can say is the key to life is living it as swell as you're able and if you medicate for a time of pain and it turns to be a bit too much it is still the same sleep as them who have passed this way before.

Spider Bill was found dead, a few pills left in the bottle of pain meds and a bit of Jack left in the other he was found laying on his couch three days later headphones on with Metallica on repeat shuffle cranked to the max. I miss Spider Bill and his poetry. I think he misses Metallica.

budh.aaah said...

The 'anonymous' guys comment was very insensitive. He seems suspiciously like someone I know oh so well. The words, language and the thoughts..and people like him (if its him) never put a Glock in his mouth because they believe in the suck-it-up policy

Deb said...

The anonymous commenter must have the perfect life: no disappointments, no sadness, no high expectations that were smacked down to the ground. I guess he or she never reached high enough to ever know what the feeling of disappointment really means.

And this is the first time I have ever heard of a Glock, and TWM & Budh both said it in the same comment stream, while not reading another's comment before moderation. Maybe I'm just out of the loop. :\

Thanks for your thoughts on this... It seems as though so many people are going through such emotional pain lately. I've been absorbing this too much...clearly. :(

Anonymous said...

Just saying, if you cannot deal with life then exit stage left. make room for people who can... Or you can cry about it and throw a pity party of sorts, beg for sympathy, drag everyone around you down. I personally have been on top, been down, but never out (the current economy being a prime example of down). You simply do something else or quit permanently, whichever. Both choices are solutions. Whining and crying accomplishes nothing. Greg Giraldo took the initiative, nothing I have read indicates that he had a woe-is-me attitude about it he just did it, and to that I say cheers!

budh.aaah said...

Dear Deb,
posted an award for you on my blog. Check it out.