Life Lessons: Andrew Merlis

Are you happy at the moment? 

At the very moment specifically? No. I’m dealing with a rather unpleasant child-related issue and the Mets are losing in the 9th. Generally, though, I’m happier than I’ve been in a while.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

I would tell me not to be afraid to fail – in fact, I would say try to do things you really are likely to fail at. Stop thinking things like, “that’s what other people do – not you,” and start going for whatever you want. If something doesn’t work out, big deal. Do what you want to do, not what you think others might want you to. Be your own person!

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

It is important to find ways to level the playing field. If other people avail themselves to advantages, you must too. You get no points coming in second, even if you did so without help.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I would like to expand my stand-up comedy experience – get on some bigger stages for bigger crowds and make them laugh!

What’s your secret to happiness?

I wish I knew. I’m at my happiest when my family is happy and when I am able to make people smile or laugh.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I keep most grounded, I think, by the routine of getting my kids off to school. I wake up every morning at 6:15, make three lunches, three breakfasts, get my kids up and on their way. No matter what is going on elsewhere, this has to happen like clockwork. It is a reminder of what’s important.

What’s your biggest regret?

Just one? Pursuing a career that I’m good at, talented at, but that is not my true true passion.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Failure is not only an option, it’s a necessity.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Procrastination! (oh I promised no one word answers!) I would like to be better at managing my time for projects. I have a bad habit of needing deadlines to get things done.

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Getting up on stage and performing stand-up comedy. Inviting friends to come to shows and having them think that I am actually funny. I have had several people tell me that they were afraid they’d have to be supportive despite my not being good, but that in fact I was funny and genuinely made them laugh. It takes a lot of guts to get on a stage by yourself with the goal of making strangers laugh. I’m proud that I tried, and I’m proud that I succeed (usually!)

When were you happiest?

The day my first child was born – despite it being a horrific day for the rest of the country. (9/11/2001)

What ten words best describe you?

Funny, smart, obnoxious, prickly, goofy, witty, cranky, short, complicated, outgoing.

 

NOTE: Andy’s on stage TONIGHT!  Click here to buy tickets and prepare to laugh!

 

Andy Merlis is a 46-year-old husband and father of three: an eleven-year-old boy, and seven-year-old twin girls. One of his twins is on the autism spectrum, making every day a challenge and a learning experience. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York and  is currently living back in the same apartment building where he spent his childhood.  Andy is a television news producer for a major network, but he performs stand-up comedy in New York at several clubs throughout the city. It is strictly a hobby (almost nobody makes a living doing this stuff) but if someone wanted to cast him in their sitcom or offer him his own cable comedy show or special, he’d do it in a heartbeat!  Per Andy, “I am a die-hard New York Mets fan,  for better or worse, and unfortunately, it is mostly worse.”

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