How it Started
What is my life’s purpose? It’s a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point or another. I asked myself this question at the age of eleven. I sat in my room playing with my bucket of clay and would ponder this great question. I concluded that I didn’t want to continue to be poor. I wanted two things from my life’s purpose. I wanted it to pay me a shitload of money and I wanted it to come with status. I narrowed it down to a veterinarian because I loved animals and an actor because I loved to act and had minor roles in my mother’s plays. You can probably guess which one I chose. I abandoned thoughts of caring for poor sickly animals and decided that I would be the greatest actor to ever live. I started to practice. I would conduct monologues, write plays, and even act them out with my clay characters. My room was my theatre and I was the great Negus Lamont.
The Tribal System
Now I would love to tell you that everything was lilies and cherry blossoms for me when I hit high school. But that was when I got a serious reality check to the gut. I was the biggest nerd. I had been teased heavily in middle school, for having dreadlocks, being chunky, and wearing samurai shirts. But none of that compared to what I was to face in high-school. My first reality check came when I realized that literally all my close friends were the cool kids of my grade and they only kept me around because I would help them with their homework. But none of that mattered, they didn’t matter. I was going to be the greatest actor to ever live.
At home, I continued to practice my craft. One day after a rigorous amount of teasing by my “friends” I came home to read an article that discussed how the brain is a computer. I imagined how amazing that would be. That it would be better if I had no emotions and everything was simply a logical-mathematical calculation. I told myself that if I just pretended my entire life was a play and acted out every emotion my life would work out beautifully. So that’s what I did. It was challenging at first but eventually I had it down pact. I became numb to anything negative or positive. I became numb to the whole world. I was essentially a robot, except for when I was on stage.
Throughout high school I would act in the school plays but there is one production that jumps at me. I placed countless hours in practicing my lines and working on my delivery. I watched movies at a rapid pace in preparation for my big audition. I was ready. The play was A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I wanted the role of Oberon. Naturally I wanted to be king! But it was not fated to be as was always the case. I was relegated to the role of the comic relief character Nick Bottom. There was a common pattern. That’s when it dawned on me that no matter how hard I tried or how many times I auditioned I could never get the role I wanted. My entire world revolved around me becoming the greatest actor and I couldn’t even land the part that I auditioned for. I was as big a joke as everyone made me out to be.
A Brush with Death
My world came crumbling down to the point where everything that I was became the nothingness which was the void in my heart. I did what to me was the most logical solution. I considered suicide. I sat down and thought about the pros and cons of committing suicide. At the time, I was an atheist so I laid it all out on the table logically as any good atheist ought to do. What I came up with was simple. If I kill myself at this juncture I will end up in a ditch and be rid of all my problems. But if I were to do such a thing my mother and sister would miss me. But there was one point that made it clear that I must carry on. I realized that if I were to kill myself there was no possibility of things getting better. As a young curious teen, I wanted to know if things would get better, and above all if they could get better.
Being the smart guy in class had its benefits. Most of my teachers absolutely adored me. Especially my English teachers. Because of this I tried something new. I decided to use my theatre skills in different ways. One day my English teacher gave me an opportunity, I seized the moment and interrupted the lesson with a well-timed joke. To my amazement the entire class erupted into a fit of laughter including the teacher. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life to date. I became the smart funny guy and that was enough for me throughout the rest of high school. But in the back of my mind there was something missing.
When I graduated high school with a scholarship to York University I told myself that I was going to be an entirely new character. I wanted more. I wanted something that had eluded me up to that point. I wanted self-confidence. I didn’t want to be fat anymore and above all I wanted to be loved by someone other than my family. Yes, I was a virgin even at the age of seventeen. I told my “friends” that at the end of summer I’d have abs and they all laughed at me. That made me even more determined. Those two months of summer were crunch time for me. At the end of summer, I had lost forty pounds. I walked into University ripped, barely a pound of fat on me. With that new-found body, I gained a new-found personality. I became cocky, arrogant, and rude. And I loved every moment of it. But I had much to desire in the art of seduction. I needed a mentor. Magically I ended up hanging out with the older cool kids of University. It got to the point where beautiful women would gawk at me and before anyone could notice I had already gone over to approach them. I became a dangerous man. I became a robotic man. I became a man who knew exactly what to say to a woman to get what he wants. But once again, there was something missing.
My mentor at the time was a promotor in downtown Toronto. He was known for having many beautiful women travel from all over the Greater Toronto Area to come to his parties. But above all he was popular. Something that I didn’t believe existed outside of school. I had to see it with my own eyes. I will never forget the day when the two of us sat at an afterhours restaurant at the biggest table they had surrounded by twelve beautiful women. I was enamored with the lifestyle. The partying, the drinking, the women. For the next couple of years, I lived the promoter life while balancing school and work. It wasn’t until year three that a few things started to click for me. Why am I spending money on these broke women? Why am I spending money on these clothes that I don’t need? Why am I spending money on these bottles I don’t want? The moment I started to question these things was the moment everything unraveled. I started to see things for what they really were. The party life became an escape from reality for these people. It became a way to live the celebrity lifestyle on a budget. My “mentor” called it. “ballin on a budget”, which at the time seemed like the coolest thing in the world to me. I started to analyze these other “promoters” who were also “ballin on a budget” and couldn’t afford gas money to get home some nights. I started to look at the women who would only flock around me because I had a bottle in my hand. The one time I decided to save my money was the one time I sat alone. Another punch to the gut for me. This time when my world came crumbling down and my character was about to vanish. I knew what to do. I ran back to the sanctuary that was my room.