Williams and Warner
Great conversation here at Hobart between two novelists with new books that have comedians as subjects: Tom Williams (whose The Mimic's Own Voice I just read, and loved) and John Warner (whose The Funny Man sounds great too). Williams has this great insight on the contrast between professionals and geniuses:
...in most arenas, the pros are around a lot longer than the geniuses, because the pros figure out what works, hone that until it can’t get any better, and don’t go around worrying about the nature of inspiration or the anxiety of influence. Geniuses often get lost because they don’t have to work as hard, I think.
In artist terms, I think I'd rather be a pro than a genius - I'll gladly take competent longevity over fleeting brilliance. Though of course I'm neither, but more like a journeyman.