• Traci Kanaan

Living Life On Your Own Terms

Maybe you haven’t missed my newsletter for the last 2 weeks, but I have! I’ve been insanely busy these past few weeks. I’m not complaining…but sometimes it gets in the way of writing my blog. I added teaching two, 6 week courses to my schedule. The courses are 2 hours each, so by the time I prepare what I’m going to teach, teach, and then edit the videos of what I just taught…I’ve lost about 10 hours a week that was normally used for marketing, writing, and planning. Those two weeks I was at or near a full client load. The little spare time I have left used to prepare us for another move.

I love what I do for a living. I’ve been fortunate to always find joy in the work I do. If the joy is gone, I find something else I enjoy doing. 18+ years ago, I began pursuing stand up comedy. I was in a relationship with a workaholic. He often put in 12-15 hour days, and I did too because well, I didn’t have much else to do. After 7 years of being with this person and only going on vacation twice in that time, I decided that I wanted to do stand up comedy.

Comedy started out as a way to get out of the house and “see” life outside the small, back asswards town we lived in. It was a way to meet other funny people and celebrities. It was a way to be more interesting to talk to and well traveled. It was a positive way to get attention, a little fame and some notoriety. It was a fun way to train your mind to look at the world in a very different way.

Comedy was also a lot of work. It is a 24/7 job. You never know when funny is going to happen, and it’s important you recognize funny just as soon as you see it. Because there are so many comedians willing to work for nothing, it’s hard to demand being paid what you’re worth. Then there’s the travel…passing by thousands of other drivers who may not drive as safely as yourself, and then risking your health on the sanitation of gas station restrooms, diners, cheap roadside motels, and the well-being of the hundreds of people you’re exposed to before, during, and after a show. And this was all BEFORE Covid. As a female comedian, there is the extra precautions of getting to your hotel room safely after a show, and hoping the booker pays you the same per show as what he pays the men.

For some comedians, living out of a suitcase is a step up in accommodations; for myself, it was a serious step down. But when someone comes up to you after a show and says “OMG, I peed my pants your were so funny,” you can’t help but light up with happiness inside while hoping they don’t follow this up with “Can I give you a hug?”

Last year, I decided to step away from the comedy life. This has been a long decision in the making. Like every other comedian, I lost all my gigs thanks to the Covid quarantines. The comedy gigs are now starting to come back, but thanks to “wokeness,” comedians are increasingly having to apologize for “racially insensitive tweets,” while comedy bits that destroyed rooms with laughter as little as 5 years ago are now completely off limits because they offend (insert targeted “oppressed” people here). During Covid, in order to continue earning a living, I began switching my focus to hypnosis and I got BUSY. When I realized I was making the same money doing one hour of hypnosis as I did driving 3 hours to a comedy show, setting up 1 hour before the show, doing the show (1.5 hours, selling merchandise (.5 hours), and then driving home 3 hours…the comedy game as I knew it was over.

When people ask me “when’s your next show?”, I tell them “I ‘kind of’ retired from performing.” Even I’m not ready to admit I “fully retired” from comedy.

“…but you were so good at it…”

Perhaps I was. I did it because I enjoyed it, not because I was good at it. But to continue doing comedy and having to compromise what I do? Nope. That is not living life on my terms.

Comedy is speaking my TRUTH and doing so in a funny way. I can’t do that if I constantly have to second guess what I say and how I say it in order to “appease the masses.”

I’ve decided to keep all of my comedy training and experiences and repurpose them for hypnosis. I use my comedy skills to break bad trances and create lasting changes through laughter. Now I’m getting paid what I’m worth while still doing what I love, creating a life that is perfect for me while helping others redesign a life that is perfect for them. This makes me happy, and I am proud to say I’m living life on my own terms.

I will be continuing this theme. As a result, stay tuned for my next project, which will be a podcast that combines hilarity and hypnosis. My goal is for this show to debut in May.

Stay tuned!

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