Hali Palombo

September 7, 2014

Post #3812 – 20140907

Hi! I'm Hali. I am 22 years old. I am an aspiring comedian (I am aware that that sounds ridiculous), and am going to school for comedy (clowning and comedy writing) at Second City.

When I was 12, I went to a summer camp in Maine. The kids could opt to stay in tipis instead of cabins if they wanted to, and that is what I did. One night, there was a massive storm, so we all had to huddle into a tiny shed for safety. One of the counselors read Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars to us by candlelight. I had never heard anything that had resonated with me more.

I was a social outcast at that age, and was constantly questioning the intelligence and authority of adults. The way Leonard and Alan interacted with their superiors and the world around them thrilled me, and inspired me to keep being strange, to explore unusual life paths, to have adventures, and to question everything around me. I keep a copy of the book on my nightstand, and reread it every couple of months. It never fails to remind me that the world is a strange and wonderful place, and that as long as I am doing what my heart tells me is right, I am doing the right thing.

This isn't really a question, I just wanted to reach out to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being partially responsible for my being so strange, and my life being so full of adventure and color.

So thank you, Mr. Pinkwater!

-Hali Palombo

Daniel replies:

When I was roughly your age, I met the manager of Second City. He told me it would be ok if I came in and watched rehearsals, and also gave me permission to come in and watch classic films that were shown for cast and staff only on Sunday mornings. I have no idea why he extended these courtesies--to the best of my recollection I came across as pretty much a worthless idiot at the time. Oh wait, I just got it! He must have recognized that I had potential to be an actor and comedian, worthless idiot being the gold-standard starting point. However, I never took the step of asking to get up on the stage--for reasons I will not go into, lest you become depressed, I had already sworn an oath never to do that--but the experience was an important element in my education.

I submit that you are not strange, but quite normal. Everybody's life is full of adventure and color, the only possible difference being that you are aware of it, and many are not.