Putting It All Out There Today

It’s 1994 and I’m seven years old. I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime on another Saturday evening so I could watch Saturday Night Live. I need to see the Matt Foley sketch. I’m dying to perfect my impression of it for school on Monday. I want to pull up my pants just right and lick my lips in that disgustingly hilarious way exactly how Chris Farley does because it is everything to me.

“I live in a van down by the river” was my lunchtime routine. Because when you’re a kid you don’t care how stupid you look or if anyone actually thinks you’re funny. (Trust me I didn’t, no one ever laughed but that didn’t stop me.) Trying my hardest to reenact that sketch made me so happy so what could be wrong with that? How many times have you heard a kid tell the same joke ten times over even though it’s an awful joke but they get such a thrill out of telling it? They’re relentless. And also very annoying.

I wasn’t going to watch the SNL 40th anniversary special on Sunday because I was going through a bit of a breakup with that show. For the first time in my life I’ve turned my back on it and turned my nose in the air declaring I don’t think it’s funny anymore. I’m over it.

But that’s bullshit. I’m just bitter and sad I’m not there yet.

I watched it. And I loved it.

Before I moved to Chicago the thought of actually working toward something like SNL seemed like such a pipe dream. Everybody talks about it but no one actually does it.  But once I immersed myself in the comedy community here and I started to see or hear about people around me getting “chosen” it kind of blew my mind. I started to think, so this really happens for people? 

And so my silly childhood dream I’d tucked away for a while came back out in full force. And those first few years of classes were great. I was on the right track. When I would perform with my sketch teams we’d all joke about “Lorne in the audience.” But we were careful just to joke, it’s faux pas to actually talk about SNL in this world. It sounds arrogant or greedy. Even as I write this post I’m hoping my comedy friends won’t read it because it embarrasses me. It embarrasses adult-me to admit I’m still chasing something so huge. But kid-me says hell ya.

But then the classes ended and some of my peers were getting plucked for better things and I wasn’t. So many of them were moving forward and it felt like I was at a stand-still. I could recognize I just didn’t have what so many of them did. That immediate funny factor on stage without actually saying or doing anything. And recognizing I lacked that really sucked.

So I tucked the silly dream away again. Who cares about a dumb show like SNL anyway? It’s stupid. You’re stupid. I’m stupid. Everything’s stupid.

I was pretty blue in January. I blamed it on winter and Chicago and just a bunch of other poor-me stuff. But then I realized I was sad because I’d let go of the joy of dreaming, of working toward something so crazy unattainable that most people think I’m unrealistic for even attempting. And I am, but whatever. That’s what keeps me going.

I once asked Chris when we were watching the Masters Golf Tournament if he ever dreamed of playing in it when he was a little boy and he said, “No, I always knew I wasn’t talented enough.” Yet when I was a kid, I did. And women don’t often play in that tournament. Especially women who can’t golf. And that’s the difference between him and I. He’s a realist and I’m out of touch with reality a dreamer.

I can’t help it, it’s just who I am. I started reading self-help books when I was five. I used to fall asleep listening to Tony Robbins “Unleash Your Inner Power” cassette tapes in middle school. By high school my entire room was full of vision boards… Because I’m scary.

Am I living on a cloud? Yes, probably. But my cloud gives me a reason to get up in the morning and it keeps me ticking so I guess I better stay on it.

Two days ago I read a quote by Bob Odenkirk, the writer of the Matt Foley sketch, talking about Farley’s physical presence on stage and his own lack thereof.

When you walk out onstage, you smile right away because there’s just a funny physical presence, and I never had that. The only thing I thought was that if anybody ever gave me a chance to do drama, I might sit there better than I do in sketch comedy.”

There’s always going to be someone funnier or better on stage than me and I’m okay with that. Odenkirk found another way in, maybe I can too. At the end of the day, there’s a million ways to get where I want to be. I just need to find the one that works for me.

I’d rather be 65 years old and still chasing a dream than 27 and already have given up.

And yes, this post has been fueled by one too many cups of coffee. Thank you for reading and thank you for keeping your eye-rolls to a minimum. Now get out there and make something of yourself.

I’m Paul Harvey,
good day.

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  1. February 17, 2015 / 11:45 am

    Don't stop dreaming! Go after it, no matter what. I've been inspired by you jumping into comedy classes, etc, over the past few years because you have a goal and you are finding ways to get closer to it. Just keep swimming!

  2. February 17, 2015 / 11:59 am

    If you don't dream you'll be bored and seriously ain't nobody got time for that mess. Never ever ever give up.

  3. February 17, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    "I'd rather be 65 years old and still chasing a dream than 27 and a,ready have given up."
    This is golden. Keep dreaming, Tay. You make me laugh and brighten my everyday world up all the time. I'm rooting for you and in your corner, in all of its dog-filled, real and raw hilarity.


  4. February 17, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    I am the dreamer and my boyfriend is a realist too. I know the struggle, but I also know there is great reward in that!!!

    Keep going, no matter where it leads it's better than where you are now!

  5. February 17, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    Yes girl, don't stop dreaming! I feel like following your chosen – or anyone's – is kind of like being an inventor. You have many failures before you get eureka moment and it all comes together. No path is perfect for anyone, it's all full of cobblestones and pot holes and they all show you where you come from and how hard you have worked. It will happen, it's just a matter of time.

  6. February 17, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Love this!! Unfortunately my childhood dream was to be an Oceanographer and study Orca whales(I watched a little too much Free Willy). Now the thought of diving to depths of unknown with only a small air tank strapped to my back scares the hell outta me. Haha. However, your SNL dream, totally attainable! I fully believe you'll be on there one day!

  7. February 17, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Yes. There is a place for you. Here is one of my very favorite quotes. I think it applies here. Keep dreaming.
    "Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen." ~Anne Lamott

  8. February 17, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    "I'd rather be 65 years old and still chasing a dream than 27 and already have given up."

    I absolutely love that.

  9. February 17, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    You'll get there!! You're probably one of the only people out there still chasing their childhood dreams and that is something to be incredibly proud of!! You're an inspiration to me!

  10. February 17, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    Dont ever give up!!! I know you will get there because I could tell how genuinely passionate you are about it just by reading this post!

  11. February 17, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    I feel so much like this. but you know what? On the way home from new orleans i was listening to "the pilgrimmage" by paulo coelho (the author of the alchemist). One thing that stuck with me was that some people choose to live these laid back lives. where every day is like sunday. It's easy. But really they are settling. Dreams are hard and they aren't attainable bc they're dreams. And you find your true calling by following them. Sorry this was long, I just feel very strongly about it. Especially because I always question my dreams.

    • February 18, 2015 / 12:07 am

      Paulo coelho is brilliant. I feel like he just nails life with every single thing he says.

  12. February 17, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    this is incredibly powerful and thank you for putting yourself out there. i'm the realist in my relationship while my husband lives by tagline "dream BIG" (seriously…it's in his email signature). in 2012, he set his sights to go after becoming the 'youngest world champion of public speaking' in history (yes, it's a real thing) and we dedicated our lives that year to making it happen. it did happen…he beat out 30,000 from 116 countries and it's changed our lives and more importantly MY mindset.

    helene is right…people are just settling if we aren't dreaming big and doing things that scare us. keep reaching and going after your dreams and goals because they really do happen.

  13. February 17, 2015 / 4:21 pm

    Keep going!!! You are so funny, Taylor. That's what has had me reading your blog for years. And the fact that you are consistently funny tells me that it isn't just some fluke. You have a talent and a gift for comedy. Keep going.

  14. February 17, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    I can't tell you how many feelings this brings out reading this post. Your passion and love for your dreams speaks loud and clear and it makes me feel real good for you. Call me crazy, but I absolutely LOVE seeing people go after what the want with their whole heart. Dream BIG girl…real big…XO!

  15. February 17, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    That quote is pretty much perfect! Keep doing you and I need to get these eyes on the SNL 40th anniversary segment ASAP! xoxo, ganeeban

  16. February 17, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    This reminds me of Jim Carrey's quote when he gave that speech to some college in some place…. Anyway, I love it. He basically said, "you can fail doing something you hate, so you might as well go for something you love." (Probably not a direct quote) I love that though! Don't put aside your dreams. It's worth it to keep them!

  17. February 17, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    This is such an awesome post. I am a realist through and through, so I get really inspired by you dreamers. I guarantee you guys have way more fun than we do. Keep it up, seriously. There're a whole bunch of silent stalkers rooting for you.

  18. February 18, 2015 / 12:07 am

    Keep at it girl. You will do great things. Love the quote!

  19. February 18, 2015 / 1:05 am

    I think you're hilarious! You go girl!

  20. February 18, 2015 / 9:18 am

    I tell my real-life friends about my friend who will be on SNL soon. So if for nothing else, I have to be the friend in my group who has a "friend on the internet" (as they say) who is the next Wiig. Keep it up!

  21. February 18, 2015 / 11:22 am

    One of my favorite quotes… "Don't let dreams just be dreams." Keep on working towards your dream girl!

  22. February 18, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    In this world I think just having the courage to admit what you want is admirable. You are very funny and very talented and you probably are not seeing yourself clearly if you think you don't have that presence.

  23. February 18, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    Never, ever give up! It's better to dream and to work for something even if it seems unattainable than to just assume you cannot do it. I think you're hilarious and I know you'll be doing big things one day!

  24. February 20, 2015 / 11:19 am

    I am still trying to chase my dream of being an artist…who really makes it nowadays?! Not very many people but I still keep moving towards it. because who knows!

  25. February 20, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    This season has been rough …. though Kate McKinnon always kills it. I think the thing about dreams is if we continue to pursue something we are passionate for we might be disappointed but we might also find something even better along the way. The problem is when we put everything in a box…

  26. February 20, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Don't give up, girl! Ever. You truly are very funny and meant to be on stage making people laugh. I've read your blog for a few years now, and you consistently have me LOL'ing. No lie. You are destined for big things. 🙂

  27. December 24, 2015 / 5:23 am
  28. March 1, 2016 / 2:59 am

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