A couple of days ago I was listening to an audience recording of a Dave Chappelle standup show in Dallas. He did a little bit about being asked to give advice to high school students:
I guess, whatever you do, don’t quit your show. Don’t quit your show. Life is very hard without a show, kids.
It reminded me of this great dialogue from Joan Rivers’ appearance on Louie. Joan is giving Louie career advice after he tells her he quit his casino gig:
What do you mean you quit? Nobody quits. Are you crazy? Are you a trust-fund baby, that you quit? This is not an easy business… I mean, you got a job. How lucky are you, for goodness sake? Look at the perks you’re getting. You’ve got a job. You got a card for the free food in the employee cafeteria. I mean, stop bitching and go buy yourself a pocketbook that’s lined in plastic and throw food in when they’re not looking. You know what’s wrong with you guys? You don’t know when you’re lucky. Appreciate where you are, for God’s sakes.
In her Fresh Air interview, she explained:
In our business, you do not quit. I told Deborah Norville once, who’s a very good friend of mine, you’re holding on to the ladder. When they cut off your hands, hold on with your elbow. You know, when they cut off your arms, hold on with your teeth. You don’t quit because you don’t know where the next job is coming from.
Know when you’re lucky. Know it goes up and it goes down. Keep going.