Meeting Michael JR


Last year, I attended the Global Leadership Summit and heard Michael Jr. perform comedy. 

Now, he doesn't just do comedy.  He does comedy with a purpose.  He does comedy that inspires people to look at their circumstances as being like the set up of their joke and to figure out a way to help others as the punch line of their joke.

This resonated with me because at the time, my circumstances were not very appealing.  I had been unemployed for over nine months, and I wasn't making any headway in the job market.  I had admitted to being an alcoholic, and while I was making great strides towards recovery, I still was not sure what my future would look like.

Inspired by Michael Jr., I began looking at my circumstances as a set up, and my punch line became a literal punch line.  I decided to do comedy.  Comedy with a purpose.  Comedy that helps people laugh while highlighting recovery from an openly Christian perspective.

Fast forward a few months and I was coming up on my world comedy debut.  I was about to perform at LaughFest, in a prime-time, Friday night slot at Dr. Grins, the biggest comedy club in Grand Rapids. This was an incredible opportunity, and I was stoked.

Then, on the Sunday before the show, I serendipitously got to meet my comedic inspiration, Michael Jr.

He was in town performing at Kentwood Community Church and I was invited to pick him up from the hotel and drive him to the Church.

I was geeked out excited about the opportunity, but things didn't go so well.

I woke up that morning, looked in the mirror, and my left eye was so bloodshot red, I thought it might start shooting laser beams.  My eye looked demon possessed.  If my eye could speak, I'm sure it would have produced some deep groaning utterances in a language unknown to this world.

But I soldiered on.  I picked up Michael Jr., then on our way to the church... more drama.  I drove right past our exit, committing us to a 20 minute detour.

Ouch.  Fail.  Awkward.

Then, after a moment of silence, Micheal Jr. said, "So Aaron, what do you do for work?"

Apparently, it was obvious that I was not a professional driver.

I looked over at him with my bloodshot left eye and said, "I'm an unemployed alcoholic."

This opened up some wonderful conversation about comedy, recovery, honoring God with our actions, my upcoming show and his upcoming show (which we still got him to on time). 

And the best part... we had 20 extra minutes to chat.

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I share this story to encourage you to enjoy your journey.  Embrace your circumstances.  Good, bad or ugly, they are your unique set up.  They are positioning you to find your punchline and help people in a way that only you can!

Aaron Sorrels - The Unemployed Alcoholic

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