When I had the idea for Just Comedy, it was because I saw a space in Eugene that could be filled. I’d built a certain skill set, and level of determination, to make things happen in spaces where they hadn’t happened before. For some eight years, along with some of my funniest and hardest-working friends, we built an English-language comedy scene that wasn’t really there before in Seoul, South Korea (and beyond). We weren’t the first to do it, and we’re definitely not the last, and that’s important.
What matters is that we did it. We booked international headliners, we booked monthly and weekly and sporadic shows in bars and hotels and halls and cafes and subway cars, often to the bemusement and befuddlement of the unsuspecting patrons and passerby. But that didn’t stop us. We just kept going. Until we left.
Eventually the pull of the return to North America became too great for me to ignore. And not because my life abroad was boring or unfulfilling, but because the seasons were changing, or my friends were all leaving and I didn’t want to go through the painstaking process of making friends again as an adult, or some other reasons that I can’t think of right now. And other things were calling me: a job opportunity (that failed), a romance (crashed and burned), and family (also challenging) all made me want to (or quite possibly forced me to) start again…in my hometown.
And after about a million other things, I found Eugene again. It’s my hometown. Born and raised. West Eugene guy here, blue collar family, never had too much. (Don't worry, I'm not about to bust into some John Cougar Mellencamp song.) And through opening my eyes to other people and opportunities, I’ve experienced so much more of Eugene than I’ve ever seen. It’s been awesome. Through relationships and pursuits and shows and people, I’ve stumbled upon a newfound appreciation for my Eugene. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got an ambivalent relationship with my hometown, but that’s okay. We all do, and I’m going to keep on making the best of it while I can, one show at a time.