Why Ben ‘Smiles’?
Because it’s another ‘Ben’ name I wouldn’t mind being known by. Not that I want to though. As it is I’ve already been known by a few Ben names in my time: Ben Serious Singer-songwriter; Ben Novelist, Ben Actor, Ben Cheeseburger Maker (hey, in high school a teenager’s gotta make a buck anyway he can) and even Ben Male Receptionist (it was only a temporary position but it still gave me new respect for a role which requires an especially high level of bladder self-management).
Now, I’ve got a new ‘job’ as @ComedianBen and all I’ve got to do is remember to keep smiling.
It’s not that I want to deny any of those past Bens, but as I move forward in following my childhood dream of performing stand up comedy I’ve been prompted to once again face up to the old question of ‘Who am I?’ And the answer has led me back to what my mates called me in school; what my friends and relatives call me now, and what I feel most comfortable answering to: Ben Mitchell.
Yes, Benjamin Grant Mitchell is the name on my birth certificate and two novels (and original name of this blog) but most people just call me Ben. I have done a post on this subject before though, so I won’t go over the interesting list of other Ben Mitchell’s I’ve found but what I WILL do is answer my own question about what can I do to ‘separate myself from the pack of other ‘Ben Mitchells’ out there.
Nothing. Now, I’m just going to be me—my version of the very popular name: Ben Mitchell.
I feel a bit silly saying this too because who really cares what I call myself? No one. No one but me. And the reason other people don’t care what my name is is, as Shakespeare said, ‘what’s in a name?’ A burger by any other, and all that. The important thing isn’t what we’re called but what we DO; how do I treat others, what vibe (and smell) do I bring into a room?
Sure, I’m not always clowning around but I do always like to laugh, and make others laugh also.
And while it may have taken me a bit longer than most to come to a clear realization about what is most important to me and what I want to concentrate my creative energies on, I am happy to say I’ve got there. Back to the dream I had as a kid. No, not my dream of having my own personal piss-bucket under the desk at my receptionist job—my dream to be a stand-up comic.
But with only TWO gigs under my stand-up belt so far it’s not like I should be calling up Letterman to ask why he hasn’t called ME yet. It’s early days, Ben!
And though humour has always been part of my creative life—whether as a funny song on a mostly ‘earnest’ album, or the humour in my other writing (novels, plays, blogs), I’ve just begun this new phase of my creative life so will need to be patient. With myself mostly.
And who am I?
But feel free to call me ‘Smiles’!