Nathan Macintosh

Album 'To The Point' out now everywhere! 8 Tracks. 21 minutes. Debuted #1 on Canadian iTunes and #12 on American iTunes!

Website for comedian Nathan Macintosh! Seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Conan on TBS and Just For Laughs!

You can find show dates, Videos, Blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Podcast 'Positive Anger'

For bookings contact:

Don Buchwald And Associates:

New York Office

Conan Smith: (212) 867-1200

ADD. Focus. Where?!

I've had ADD for a long time. My whole life? That makes sense. I don't know if you can get adult onset ADD. Some people say they have ADD because they can't stop looking at their phones. That's not ADD. In the eighties when kids had ADD, they weren't just standing in the kitchen looking at a phone hanging on a wall.
"Chris! I'm talking to you! Why do you keep looking at the phone?"
"Huh? What? Oh, I don't know. What were you saying?"
"I was saying that you have to clean your roo... stop looking at the damn phone! It's not ringing!"
"I think it just beeped! Oh, that was my Krang action figure. Wait! It just rang! I told you!"
ADD does not mean your just look at electronics. It means your brain is wired different than most people.

I wasn't diagnosed with it as a kid because I was quiet. Actually, I wasn't diagnosed with it because my brother and I are close in age, and when he came around, he was given the attention for it. Did I have it? It's a little bit harder to spot in me. Did HE have it? No damn question. None at all. The man was always jumping around, yelling about something, talking nonsense. In his own words, he has 'Super Saiyan' ADD. Regular Goku gets less attention than Super Saiyan Goku.
"What's Goku doing?"
"He's just sitting there, staring off into space. Nothing big."
"Whoa! Now he's turning into a giant ape and he's talking about video games!"
"Oh no! Now this, I will pay attention to."

So, I wasn't diagnosed as a kid, and went to school where I'm sure teachers figured I had it. I was always told in school that I talked too much. 'Nathan is smart, but he talks to much'. 
Teachers HATE talking. Students talking and asking questions is most teachers kryptonite.
"Okay, class, today we're going to learn quadratic functions."
"What will we need those for?"
"Ah... just do them..."
"But, I'm just wondering when I will need to use them as an adult?"
"...Ugh... losing power... can't... contain an air of control while... being questioned... Get out... before I lose all... motor skills.... GET OUT!"

I was kicked out of class all the time, and because of that, suspended a lot. Suspensions led to an expulsion. I went back the next year and was on the honour roll, but still. I was expelled. Since I wasn't a kid who couldn't just sit and do the work they were told to do without asking questions about it, I was punished. Because my brain does not allow me to learn the way that 90% of the world does, I'm a problem? I'm expelled the same way that people who fight are? I'm on THAT level?
"You punched a woman in the face for her FUBU jacket. You're expelled. And Nathan, you asked your chemistry teacher while you'll need to know about moles? ... Wow! You asked a TEACHER a question Get the hell out right now."

During high school, I was really bored in class. I could talk and write tests at the same time, so I would. Teachers would tell me I was disrupting others, and I'm sure I was, but what  was I supposed to do? I'm smart and have ADD, and we're writing a test about Canadian history. You gave me a full hour! I'm gonna focus on a high school test about birch bark canoes as if I'm trying to disarm a bomb that only has a minute left on the timer?
"Nathan. Here's a test you could have passed when you were twelve. Give it your undivided attention."
"Okay. I need gloves, a pair of scissors, and thirty five seconds alone. Don't worry. I'm gonna get an eighty five percent on this thing."

ADD also plays apart in what I do. The way my brain works, I'm not a fan of joke jokes.  It's not that I don't 'like' like jokes, (does that make sense?) they just irritate me. Monologue jokes on late night shows is a good example. Not that they are doing anything wrong. It's not the jokes fault or the person delivering it, it's my brain. My brain just sees it and says,
"I get it. This happened, then that happened. This is too linear. God, I'm annoyed at this. I'm bored out of my damn mind. How are people enjoying this? Doesn't anyone else want to yell, 'What's with all the huge pauses? Why are you taking these extended vacations between set ups? Talk for god sake! Would a real human being say, "Hey, I went to the store the other day, and something weird happened............ it was this." Just say the damn thing! Say it! I'm beyond frustrated right now."
These are the thoughts that go through my brain. Again, not anyones fault, and I don't think there's anything wrong with this style of joke telling or the people that do it, it's just how my mind works. For me, I have to go off track, I make things up on stage, I jump around between topics. It's what works for me.

Stand up sometimes has to be somewhat linear. Doing jokes on TV, or showcasing for festivals, they want to know exactly what you are going to say. This used to be a problem for me. I can't stand the a to b of things. When I first started showcasing, I would just eat it. Maybe not all the time, but to me it felt that way. I was always told to do old jokes on festivals and TV. Do old jokes that I know work. I can't do that! I figured out what works for me. If I have to do eight minutes for TV or a showcase, I will do one or two new things with some other stuff I've been doing for a bit. Anytime I've done something on TV, I will do something pretty new to comedians standards. Like one or two months old. If I don't, everything I say will sound dry and awful. I'll look like I'm bored.
"Nathan! You just performed on TV but you looked like you were cycling through NetFlix. What movie do you think you'll pick?"
"Man, I'm not sure. Right now it's between Fast Five and VHS. Suggestions?"

ADD makes it so hard for me to stay excited about things for a long time. I get crazy addicted to things and then I'm done with them. Songs, shows, games. Even clothes. I went through a faze where I was in love with polos for some reason. I had about nine all in different colours. Then one day, boom. Didn't like them anymore. Haven't worn one since.
"Hey, do you have a problem with polo shirts? I don't see you guys together anymore."
"... I don't want to talk about it."
"You guys used to be so close, though. Did something happen?"
"I said I don't want to talk about it, okay? Wait... why do you ask? Did polos ask about me?"
I do that with projects, jokes, everything. It's very hard for me to stay excited about things long term. I have to trick myself into staying excited.

It works against me in some social situations as well. I can be in a group of people and feel that I'm not apart of it. My mind doesn't stop enough sometimes to focus on what's going on in front of me. I feel alone in some social situations. I'm not great at them all the time. I'm trying to focus on people and talk, but my mind is jumping all over the place. 

It's even hard for me to write these. I could have these done in an hour if it wasn't for ADD. I sit here changing songs, checking Twitter, going to the kitchen, coming back, going back to the kitchen for no real reason, watching a video of a guy beat a level in a video game, read some news, come back to the blog, just completely zone out and think about life, go back to the kitchen for one pretzel, check phone, decide that 'Badlands' by Bruce Springsteen will be played ten times in a row, back to blog. And now, I believe I'm done. Pretzel.

Twitter @Nathanmacintosh