Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Years Back Home, I Never Saw This Coming... But It's Been Good.

So it's been two years since returning to the Gulf Coast. First things first at least I can say that I no longer hate myself for it. In fact that's a quite recent development. I've had a lot of fun, met some really cool people, become a comic, performed spoken word, theater, and even film. Hell, I even complied another book and produced two DVD's. All in all I must say that I've been productive. Of course these things weren't new to me, I was already a prolific author and performer in Northern Alabama before arriving. During my brief stay in the Atlanta area I even managed to get a television appearance for spoken word and it's where I got my official start doing stand up. But this was different, Mobile Alabama is home (Prichard) and the place I had vowed never to live in again. So I guess it was an appropriate as place as any to hit the proverbial 'rock bottom'. All that I knew was that I wanted stage time and I got it. I just wanted to say thanks to my home town for being home and making me feel like me again!

I moved back here after it seemed as if I had failed at everything. A missive tornado outbreak triggered my need to move to find work, my marketing degree was damn near worthless, I couldn't hold a dead end job, couldn't get hired to another decent job, I had already abandoned entrepreneurship for corporate America and had been fired, I was going through a divorce, losing my family, and for the second time in less than a year, my home. My credit score had gone from 700 to the 400's, $200,000 in debt hung over my head, a trail of broken leases, and countless unpaid bills and final notices. I could barely look myself in the mirror and that was before garnishments were enacted which seize over 50% of my wages before I see a dime. Everytime I seemed to be doing a bit better there was yet another setback. But all things must come to an end and accordingly so did my foolishness.

You can't keep a good man down and I decided to embrace comedy and film. Entirely new avenues of expression for me, yes I had dabbled but no pursued them in depth. I struggled, I was booed, I begged, and ranted. They had little to nothing to do with my previous troubles, in fact they were the next steps in my long term goals as if I hadn't experiences any setbacks at all. With each minor victory I saw that I wasn't a failure and I emerged from the storms of my past. It started with a single laugh, to ONE youtube view, until now I expect to get invited to perform, to be able to sell a product I made, and to gain views for my efforts. Yes I still have my other problems but not one in my mind or spirit, I snapped out of my funk once I noticed just how ugly I had become to friends and family. No, I still don't like to let to many people get close because I know what it feels like to be used for your experience and resources and tossed aside, but I know that I don't have to be a jerk about it. Just being assertive about where you stand and what you expect in return helps that. Besides no one has to go out of their way to make people alienate them. Being successful is it's own reward and you can leave those stresses to those people who want to stay in hell. I know this isn't funny or poetic and that's fine with me. I'm also an essayist, novelist, playwright, and screen writer. So the next time you have an adult drink, lift up your glass, and toast to better days and know that you're toasting with me!

-Alfred Ward

P.S. I'd like it if you'd go buy my new DVD now...
(Excuse all the grammatical errors, I ain't fixing them.)