“My posse’s in effect and we’re doin’ the do
And we got more rhymes than your damn crew” - Beastie Boys, Posse in Effect
I have a posse. Why is everyone snickering? For the purposes of this entry, “posse” isn’t my friends. It’s the people I interact with frequently. More specifically, the ones that enable me to do what I do; my drycleaner, my bartender, my hairstylist (hate that word, but trust me – she ain’t no barber. Haircutress?), etc. So, my posse is…people I’m paying for goods and services? Well, yeah. At first glance. But the difference is in my attitude toward them. I’ve made them an important part of what I do. They are my posse. My business partners. My Team.
Figo owns three Devrim Cleaners locations. He keeps my shirts crisp, my suits sharp, and he’s fun to chat with. I’m sure he and his family provide personalized service to all of their customers. But when Figo is tailoring my suit, it’s not just A suit. He’s tailoring JAY’S suit. That’s an important difference.
Joe mixes some amazing cocktails. He makes me a cherry coke (cherrys + grenadine + whatever high fructose Coca-Cola approximate they sell) to get me fired up at the start of a long night of comedy. Joe makes devastatingly good margaritas to mellow me out at the end of a long day of #Hustle. I tip well, he pours heavily, and we both benefit.
Stevie has been cutting my hair for ten years. She’s had to listen to stories about every single time I have vomited in public, yet she still takes personal pride in sending me out into the greater world looking my best.
“Got my hand in my pocket and my finger’s on the trigger
My posse’s gettin’ big and my posse’s gettin’ bigger” – Beastie Boys, The New Style
With the birth of our son 6 months ago, my posse has exploded. We have a peditrician, nanny, and a cabal of ultra-capable babysitters. All people that I trust fully (or, at least, mostly) with my son’s health and well being. Without them I couldn’t leave the house to make the funny without worrying about the little guy. And trust me, my son is always on my mind – so my posse allows me to leave with secure, happy thoughts.
In comedy improvisation, we put a very strong emphasis on creating realtionships on stage. A scene in which two strangers meet and haggle over the price of a taco can be the most excrutiatingly unfunny thing in the world. But two characters who know each other, sharing their lives and opinions and philosophies while *not* discussing that taco? That will be at least interesting, with strong potential for hilarious.
Because I’ve made these people an important part of my ability to create comedy professionally, I’m interacting with members of my team; my co-conspirators in world domination. Because of them, I can be in front of an audience or workshop and feel confident about looking competent. That makes my job a lot easier. And all I had to do was focus a little time and energy on creating basic relationships with my goods and services providers. My POSSE.