Hey, how’s everything going? My name is Jon Robertson, and I am a big fan of yours. I’ve been a long time fan of the Nerdist Podcast, and I’ve been watching @Midnight since it started. I just turned 37 on September 28th, and I think I’m not alone in saying: I have no idea what I’m doing. At least I did, that all changed a year ago.
My wife tried to stealth buy some tickets to your show in September, 2016, but being a super fan, I clued in pretty fast what was going down. We went two days before my 36th birthday, and that one comedy show changed my life. My apologies as I get sentimental, but we’re going to go down the feelings hole.
The show was a big deal for multiple reasons. It was funny, it was intimate, it was emotional, and it felt like it wasn’t a set routine. It felt like a conversation you were having with all of us. You opened up about your dad, your anxieties, and yourself. It was like someone had pushed something into my spine, I was sitting up and taking in every word. It was a fantastic show, everyone had a great time, and it left everyone with a smile on their face. Without rehashing the whole routine, I took two major things from that show. These are things that I’ve used as inspiration and motivation since that September.
The first was you telling the story about giving up drinking, the reasons being for health. I was also in a spot where my health was in a sore spot. I’m a Type I Diabetic, it’s been 20 years this September for the Type I. I’m also a two time cancer survivour. I’ve had parotid cancer in 2006, and melanoma in 2012, it’s again another anniversary, the tenth, of finishing my radiation for the parotid, also this September. Needless to say, I’ve got some complications to deal with. My weight crept up, and my diet was poor. It was watching you talk about your drinking, and your health, that lit the fire under my chair. That year I decided to give up drinking to lose more weight. The exceptions being celebrations and vacations. There’s no secret to it, it worked great. The weight went down, and I felt a whole lot better, and my health got better. The second piece of advice was the best one.
You said that life improved a lot when you started only doing work that you loved or were passionate about. It was hard, it was scary, but you were happy. Look what happened with Nerdist, it was a labour of love that grew into something amazing. This is something I took to heart. I had a hard time trying to figure out where I was going. I had rebounded twice from cancer, this was a big reset button for me. It gave me the time to sit back and figure out where I wanted to go. I was doing things, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I had been doing a small podcast on the side called Geek Worthy. Why not try and start something new? That’s when I jumped, with both feet, into the podcasting and the nerd journalism world. I had to do something with this journalism degree. I got a job writing for Geekpr0n, and through them, my world opened up to something amazing. I created a D&D Podcast (now in its third season,) a general nerding podcast, and a recap show for Critical Role.
My world has changed, and for the better. It’s a lot of work to still do nerd journalism, to do photography, and to produce three podcasts. It surprised me. However, it was something I loved. It was something I could wake up every day and say this was going to be a fun day. Just this year we started to get fan mail about our D&D podcast. That was a heart swelling thing to receive. I get messages about The Nerds podcast, and have a huge cast to talk about all the nerdy things going on in the world. People are listening to Talking Crit, which still weirds me out. They could be listening to anything else in the world, but they are listening to us. It’s small, but it’s everything. The people I work with and podcast with are super heroes. It is, however, not without its anxiety.
It is scary, because it’s all in the world of the now and the unknown. I have no idea if what we do is still going to be popular. I love it though. I don’t know when this wild ride is going to end, but I’m on the roller coaster with both hands in the air. I have amazing friends and family around me, and they are all supportive and encouraging.
That’s a gift I still can’t believe that has happened.
Before this carries on too long, let me bring this in for a conclusion. Jack Black, in School of Rock, said that you can change the world with one kick ass rock show.
That’s what your comedy show did for me. You don’t know it, and you didn’t plan it, but it changed my world. It was awesome, it was funny, it was weird, and it was intimate; it was you on display, no filters. That one show changed my world in a big way, and it’s been one helluva ride ever since. I just wanted to say thank you for that. It was the best therapy I could get. You gotta love the people who inspire and change you.
I hope that I can be a force of change in someones life, like you were in mine.
Thank you, sincereously,
PS. Please come back to Toronto, we would love to have you