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When Should I Buy Tickets to an Event?

Rick Green, Adult ADHD

When my son, my wife, and I go to football games, we used to dread entering the stadium because of the ticket scalpers.

We already had tickets.

We didn’t need tickets.

But they didn’t know that, so they’d bellow, “TICKETS! WHO NEEDS TICKETS?! WHO HAS TICKETS TO SELL? WHO NEEDS TICKETS?!”

To get the full effect, imagine that last sentence in a size 96 font.

Running the gauntlet of pushy, loud, hucksters, screaming in your face is more than a little annoying.

I felt like I was in the football game, a running back trying to break through the defensive line.

Without the actual contact.

More like Flag Football.

I’m digressing, aren’t I?

The point is that it is intrusive. Annoying. And, well, rude.

But even I, Mr. Sensitivity, realize that pointing this out will not have the desired effect, “Can you not yell like that? It’s rude.”

“Oh, yes, thanks. I never thought of that. I’ll just get a sign and hold it up. And maybe stand off to one side here, rather than impeding the flow of people who had the foresight to buy their tickets ahead of time.”

That conversation is not going to happen!

So, my son and I figured out a fun game to play.

We tilt our heads slightly downward, like we’re focused on the ground and lost in thought. (Since we both have ADHD that’s not a stretch.) Then we shout, while trying to move our lips as little as possible, “CHICKENS! WHO NEEDS CHICKENS?!”


The Screaming Scalpers begin looking this way and that. Confused and trying to spot who is shouting, expecting it to be someone walking up to them.

We don’t’ have the best ventriloquist skills, but the two of us, alternating, really throws everyone off.

They all stop, looking around… wondering, “Did someone say chickens?” Saying Chickens instead of Tickets, well, try it yourself, It’s hilarious. Well, my son and think it’s hilarious.

Anyway… where was I going with this? Oh, right!


We have some live events coming up in the next while, and I’m always keen to do more. I finally turned my ADHD experiences into a one-man show, though I cover so much ground, I joke that it’s a one-and-a-half man show.

The title is: ‘My Internationally Acclaimed, Coast-To-Coast Mental Disorder!’

It’s the first comedy show I’ve done that also has people crying at some points. Even I get caught by the emotion at some points and my voice quavers.

My vocal-coach, Mary, taught me how to breathe through it. Otherwise my voice gets high and squeaky and I start to sound like a weepy 13 year old girl. And since it’s a one MAN show, and I don’t have time for a costume change, it’s better if I stay me.

Okay, I’m lost again, what was I writing about?


The point I’m getting to is that if there is a worthwhile event in your area, buy a ticket. Right away.

This is one of those times when Impulsivity is an asset. Because I can tell you if you wait until the day of the event, you will have 1,000 other things to do.

It’s true, isn’t it? Don’t you have a thousand things you could be doing today? Didn’t you have a 1,000 yesterday? Even if you get all 1,000 done by the time your head hits the pillow tonight, won’t you come up with a 1,000 new things tomorrow?

Of course you will. You have ADHD.

Put the stake in the ground.


One of my favorite jokes, which carries a ton of truth: What’s the difference between involved and fully committed? When it comes to your breakfast the chicken was involved. The pig was committed.

I didn’t get how true that was until one of the very first workshops I did with Patrick McKenna and an ADHD specialist. A 450 seat theatre. Three hours of great stuff-comedy, tears, ideas, information, facts, exercises, audience participation, skits, a question and answer segment…

And the price for a ticket? $30. About what you’d pay for a good egg-laying chicken.

A fraction of what you’d pay for one hour with an ADHD specialist. And this was three full hours.

We sold out. 444 tickets were sold. 6 were given away, to people who begged us for a free ticket because they couldn’t afford the $30. They all swore they could get themselves to the theatre. They swore they would be there. They expressed incredible gratitude.

And on the day of the event, 440 of the 444 who had purchased a ticket showed up. And of the six who got free tickets? Not one.


Now, I don’t want to make anyone wrong, or judge them.

But notice that 444 people, many of them also suffering from ADHD braved the February drizzle.

And to be honest, if someone had given me a free ticket to the event, and I’d woken up on that drizzly Sunday morning in February, knowing I had to get ready, pack some food, and be at the theatre for noon… I’d have rolled over, pulled up the warm blanket, and drifted back to sleep. Feeling a bit guilty, but taking comfort in the warm blanket.

Whereas, if I’d spent thirty bucks on a ticket… I’d have been there. Come hell of high drizzle. I’m not throwing away money!


A man is walking through a rural area and he sees a farmer walk over to his outhouse, open the door, peel off a wad of $20 bills, and drop them down the hole.

Stunned, he asks the farmer, ‘Why would you do that?’ The farmer says, ‘My kid dropped a five dollar bill down there, and I sure ain’t crawling in there for a lousy five bucks!’

One thing I’ve learned to do when I’m not feeling motivated enough to ‘crawl down the hole’ and start working on a project, is to actually create additional motivation. Things that get me percolating and interested.

One way to get interested is to buy the ticket. Get invested in it. Put something at stake.

When you go to that conference or workshop or lecture, create an intention for yourself.

‘I’m going to hear something that will make a huge difference for my career.’

‘I’m going to come away with three powerful strategies.’

‘I’m going to have a breakthrough that will lead to a great romantic relationship.’

I know it sounds crazy… But it works. Not 100% of the time, but almost.

I go from being a passive listener, laid back, waiting, as if to say, ‘Okay, I’m here, impress me,’ to sitting up and actively listening for opportunities, ideas, and insights. I’m willing to hear things that might rankle my ego or threaten my beliefs. I’ve got something big at stake. I’m active. Involved. Asking questions. Seeking answers.

I suppose it’s the difference between being at a party and watching a video of a party. When I’m there, I’m interacting. I have to be engaged.

Buying a ticket gets you engaged. And when you wake up on that drizzly morning, or leave work tired at the end of a long day… you will go.


And it’s not just live events. Buying an interesting sounding book, video, or audio gets you engaged. And they are there for you to refer to, again and again. Or to loan to others. Or read with a partner. Or with a child.

Basically, if something sounds like it might be valuable to you, buy a ticket. Before the voice in your head starts reeling off the 1,000 things that need doing instead.

It’s not irresponsible if you use the event, or book, or audio, or video to help you turn that list of 1,000 things into 100 things that actually matter, and can be done.

Whether you come to see one of my shows, or any show, or attend an ADHD conference, workshop, or purchase something in our shop, know that the reason you feel a bit fluttery in the stomach isn’t that you’re worried that it won’t be worth it, but that it may actually change your life, and that’s a little scary. In a good way.

Don’t worry if part of you is so scared it’s yelling “Chicken! Chicken! Who needs chickens?!”

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  1. MelissaTex July 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    So. . . what are the dates and locations on your ‘My Internationally Acclaimed, Coast-To-Coast Mental Disorder!’ tour?

  2. mcfarlane August 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

    So Rick Green’s My Internationally Acclaimed Coast-to- Coast Mental Disorder should be a great way for teachers to get a better understanding of ADHD. For teachers of Ontario coming up in the new school year you will have to submit your Annual Education Plan on professional development and Rick Green’s one man show would be a perfect education seminar. It should be informative, interesting and funny. You will be committed to this show if you make it a part of your Annual Education Plan.
    If you are a member of your staff’s social committee have a group of teachers pick a good restaurant and then go and see Rick Green’s show.
    All students are our future.
    Wayne ( commit me) McFarlane
    P.S Rick I want to see your show more than a Toronto Argo playoff game and I’m a big CFL fan.

  3. mcfarlane September 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    The best of luck at your presentation at Cornell College on September 16th. When are you presenting in Ontario?
    Wayne ( I want teachers to see this presentation) McFarlane

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