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First Person

How I Wrote About Sleeping My Way To The Middle

How I Wrote About Sleeping My Way To The Middle

More than 30 years ago when I started as a stand-up comedian, I did impersonations of famous actors. Over the last decade or so, my stand-up act evolved into telling real life stories of meeting these famous people, or in some cases working with them. I found that the audience had always been curious about what it was like to work "Jack" or "Denzel," and this way I could share what really happened, and also do the impersonation within the body of the story.

A few years back, when a literary agent saw my evolved act and suggested my stories would make a good book, I thanked him and asked that he stop bothering me with nonsense. He wouldn't. I told him that I just didn't have time to write a book. He explained that he had a writer who could help, to which I insisted that while I didn't have time myself, I also didn't have interest in someone else having the time to write my book for me. He explained, "The two of you will set up several Skype sessions, during which he will basically interview you about your career, having researched your filmography and stand-up career, not to mention your new adventures in the world of creating original content for the internet."

"So, he won't write a word, right?" I asked.

"No, he'll record the sessions and then send you transcripts of your stories, which you will then edit until your happy with them," he said.

The main reason this felt like the perfect way for me to "write" my stories is because the spoken version of my experiences is the version I'm most comfortable with, and would best capture "my voice" in the process. I knew that if I were to attempt the written version of my stories, I would spend the entire time trying to "create" my voice, as if I were telling the stories. He was offering me a new autobiography design to write as I speak, which was clearly a perfect solution.

The writer, Alan Goldsher, and I eventually had about 15 two-hour Skype sessions over three months and then he emailed me the transcripts, and I edited for another couple months. In the end, my stories - and my stories alone - filled the pages, and I'm now proud to present "How I Slept My Way To The Middle, Secrets and Stories From The Stage, Screen and Interwebs."

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