Lessons of life: The lesson of the comedian

By Eddy Montilla.


I went to Tokyo to see a wax museum, and the wax figures looked so real that sometimes they scared me! Near that place, there is a TV station and I was curious about its programs and the way they are conducted. I also wanted to see a couple of comedians who were working in a show that was not televised near the broadcasting station. One of the comedians looked at me and told me something like this in English: “I, the Japanese number one comedian!”

     He was joking. They were just a couple of amateurs trying to give it their best shot in front of an audience that barely reached 20 people. Two children and their mother laughed during their show, and three people asked discreetly who they were. When I was leaving the place, I could see them behind curtains talking to an American who greeted them with a smile: “Good job!” The American said.

     I saw an important lesson in his greeting: Do not kill people’s dream. In Japan, a country where sobriety fills in all holes laugh could get in through, to be a comedian is something titanic, basically because jokes are framed and should match Japanese canons of behavior, moral and culture. Since I was a child, to make people laugh has been one of my pleasures. I think I know how to do it and I also know how difficult it might be. These two comedians might never be something of national TV celebrities, but that could not care less. What is truly important is that they were working wholeheartedly on something they want to do, despite difficulties, and for something like that in our current society, guts are needed.

     When you kill someone’s hopes, a flower dies somewhere, someone is hurt and someone cries. Encourage people to carry on rather than discourage them. And if a person does not have the virtue to do that, at least, should have the dignity to keep his or her mouth shut.

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