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Failing at Life – ADHD Speaker Rick Green

A while ago I debuted my one-man show.

It tells the tale of my journey from comedian with ADHD (undiagnosed) … to comedian who knows what’s going on…

to comedian who blabs to everyone about his ADHD

to semi-respectable but somewhat surprised, and often insecure ADHD advocate/educator/entertainer.

I wanted a title for the show that captured what I’m like when I talk about ADHD.

So, like me, the title went on and on and on:

“My Award Winning, Coast-To-Coast, Internationally Acclaimed ‘Mental Disorder’.”

The other possible title was Alice’s ADDventures In Wonderland.

But then everyone would want to know who Alice is.

Including me.


The show was far funnier than anything I’d done before.

After all this was debuting at the ‘Cracking Up The Capital’ comedy festival. (The word Capital’ refers to Ottawa, the Washington D.C. of Canada.)

It’s a great event with the proceeds going to Mental Health issues.


Afterwards I told Ava I thought the show was a 3 out of a possible 10. Because, well, I have that common ADHD trait of perfectionism.

Of, “It’s not good enough.” Every time I’d rehearse the script I’d add and add and go off on tangents…

And even during the performance I was coming up with all kinds of funny new stuff. Wish I’d thought to record it. (Oh, the awesome things I think of when it’s too late.)

Failing at Life


Ava thought the show was great. So did the organizers. So did the dozens of people who bought videos, books, T-shirts, and so on.

But I tend to dismiss that good stuff… “Well, what are they going to say? They’re just being nice.”

But it wasn’t until we went down to watch the next evening’s gala with six very funny comedians that I realized it was more than a 3 out of 10.

A comedian, another comedian’s spouse, and two of the event staff told me that they had either gone on the TotallyADD site or had a booked an appointment to see their doctor.


One knew he was ADHD from a childhood diagnosis, but had figured, like so many adults, “It’s how I am now, what can I do about it?”

Another had never considered the possibility that there might be an explanation for their frustration and thwarted ambitions, and was stunned as I did a very funny skit about my experience going over the symptom checklists and quizzes with a sinking feeling of, “Oh my God!”

Another had long suspect they might be part of the tribe, but suddenly saw it would account for much more of their struggles. Wasted energy. Needless suffering. “I had no idea that was ADHD.”

All of them admitted that while they were laughing… there were points where they were gobsmacked. (Great word! We need to use it more.)

Gobsmacked and experiencing that sudden mix of alarm that so quickly spins into sadness, regret, fear, relief, panic, and a voracious need to find out more.

So I’m retracting my original ‘review’ of Tuesday’s performance. It was a 10 out of 10.



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  1. metamorphosesorganisation February 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Way to go Rick! I too am telling the world that I am Proud 2B ADHD and now people are coming out of the woodwork. They, like me, finally understand their quirks and know they are not alone. The downside is my teenage daughter is sick of hearing me talk about ADHD!

  2. jills February 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I’m sure it was a great show, congratulations and thank you for helping us find humor amidst the frustration of ADD!
    Just FYI, the word is actually “gobsmacked” but “godsmacked” is probably even more descriptive!

  3. smartspace February 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    And here I thought that you rated at least a 12 out of ten, oh right, math has never been my strong suit so I guess it was a 10+. We really enjoyed the evening.
    Thank you for being so ADDventurous.

  4. heather February 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Congratulations, Mr.Green! All our best to you and yours! Thank-you for helping soooo many people (including me) and introducing me to the word ‘godsmacked’! Giggle….

  5. puzzler505 February 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Wish I’d made it to the show. I bet it was even better than 10 out of 10!! Maybe “gobsmacked”?

  6. loopdokter February 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    You NEED to take this on tour. Immediately! My girlfriend needs to see this show to understand. Haha.

  7. Larynxa February 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Please bring the show to Toronto, and on the road, if only to live up to the title!

  8. wildweeder February 18, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Any chance the show will come to Seattle, WA? Or Edmonds, Shoreline, even Everett, WA? I would so figure out a way to get to it! Thanks for all your amazing efforts. SOOOO appreciated.

  9. kathleen February 21, 2015 at 2:50 am

    I swish you would run that show on here. I live in rural Oklahoma and I know I’ll never be able to see it live.

  10. kathleen February 21, 2015 at 2:52 am

    It’s two in the morning. I also wish (as well as swish).

  11. dwc035 November 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Another vote for getting that show on the road! Always needing to laugh about it’s presence in my life, and getting friends and family to comedy show would be easier than trying to get them to look at themselves! :)
    “ADHD, like gravity, does not require your belief.”
    … and both have better outcomes with a bit of knowledge.

  12. ruthie January 28, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Can you make a video of the show? Does Netflix do mental health comedy? They do specials. Those of us who live in smaller cities would love to see your show.

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