The blogs are taking longer and longer to write. Either more stuff is happening or I am getting more philosophical as the tour goes on. I don’t know. I’ll let the historians figure it out.
As I type this my head is spinning with thoughts. I am finding it hard to focus. I’m tired and at present my mood is not great but as you will soon see their is justification in my mood. That meteor I mentioned yesterday is getting closer and closer to impact. I just hope I can do what the greatest meteor of all did and wipe out these dinosaurs when I crash.
So the booker calls me up which is never a good thing. Maybe we are in trouble. Nope it was just her getting back to me telling me that she spoke to the hotel and left a message for the manager to knock down the price on my hotel. It should be taken care of when we check out on Monday. Maybe it won’t be. Either way, I like this booker. I then ask her the last time she has been at the club. It was a few weeks ago. I mention the mic chord. She is unaware of the issue. I recap the issue and how Joe got a talking to about the chord becoming undone. I tell her that we will go to the club early and try and fix it. She tells me she will talk to the manager about it. I know the manager will not be pleased but it is important to the show. I ask the booker if there is something going on with the manager because she is unpleasant. She looks like she can’t be bothered and her demeanor is that of a sour puss. I use to like her. It turns out she might be going through some tough things. Still I didn’t do it to her. Nor did any of the other comics. In fact this is the most joyless staff I have ever seen in a comedy club. Nobody smiles. Nobody chit chats. Just drones carrying out their thankless tasks. Working at a comedy club is hard but as far as being a member of the wait staff it should be one of the better gigs because you should at least be surrounded by customers enjoying themselves. Here it is like a everybody is on vigil for an imminent death. I guess they have seen my act. I continue to talk with the booker and she reiterates the story of how the comic last week went on the radio and bad mouthed the food at this place. How the owner at first thought is was on NPR and then they deduced it was on Sirius/XM. The owner worried about this all day. I say to the booker only an idiot would go on the radio and bad mouth the food. Joe is on his bed doing Joe things. It is kind of amusing that an owner would worry all day about what a comic said when you consider how often we spend our days worrying about what an owner said. Maybe that comic isn’t an idiot. Maybe that comic scored a rare victory for our side. I guess it would only be a victory if that comic got to keep his or her date or had moved onto bigger and better things. I continue to talk to the booker and it turns to comics who have been banned from the club. Now if anybody listens to the podcast then they know I lead the leauge in being banned from clubs for things unrelated to the show. One story I know about. The booker retells it again. It seems to get worse and worse every time. This time the comic was lead out and handcuffs and was creepy to the wait staff. I know this comic. I have been banned by one club because me and this comic appear similar in appearance and the booker hates the other comic so I must be punished as well. This comic is not perfect none of us are. I do know he would not be inappropriate to the wait staff. The legend grows. The other comic who was banned peed on the stage during a show. In his defense they did move the piano that use to reside in the men’s room to the stage so maybe he was confused. He justified this by saying this was a violation of his first amendment rights as he was pee writing. There was no snow on the stage so the writing defense would not hold up in a court of law. As I am being told this story I wonder what would make a comic do this. Later on in the night I would decide he let the club off easy.
Later on I will get a text from the booker telling me the manager will fix the mic chord so we do not have to come in early. Joe will suggest we pick up a cable just in case. I tell him no. It is not our problem anymore and we can better spend that time working on our podcast. By the end of the night I think Joe would agree I made the right decision. We actually get a lot of work done for the podcast so I am pleased. Even this blog is for the podcast in that I am trying to draw attention to it and my web site. I wonder if people are reading these blogs. I know some are. I hope they are entertained. Maybe even enlightened. Maybe it is just a waste of time. No real way of knowing but they are on the internet and I am sure my honesty will bite me in the ass at some point. I can see the earth a little better now as my meteor closes in for impact.
We get to the club and make our way down the flight of stairs. I drag my suitcase behind me. It is large and has wheels. The woman working the door peeks her head over as we make our way down stairs. “Are you ok?” Me, “Yes.” Her, “I thought you fell with all that noise.” Me, “Nope just the suitcase.” Her, “Why don’t you carry it?” Me, “Because it is heavy (stupid!…that was never said but it was thought).” Her, “Do you need the staff to help you with it?” Me, “No I am fine.” And scene.
We get into the club and the manager says I hear you are complaining about my club. I said no we just want to have great shows and we were willing to help. She says she didn’t even get a chance to tell the booker how much we sucked the previous night. I told her don’t worry I already did that. She is kidding…I think.
She chases us out of the club because there is a full house expected and we can’t hang out in there right now. She tells us to go to the green room. She gets annoyed when I tell her I don’t know where that is. We get to the room. It is hot, one chair, kind of dirty, and has photography equipment in there. Joe & I decide to go for a walk around the town. We come back in to the green room for a second and in the door way I am confronted by the door lady. She informs me she is the owner. (Glad to meet you, we should talk because this is not what it should be). I don’t say that. “You need to get out of this room.” Me, “We were told to go in here.” Her, “Out. The bridal party is coming in.” Good lord. What an embarrasment. I didn’t want to be there and I am the help. Her, “You are very rude. Making all that noise down the stairs.” Yes stupid it was a huge distraction as I dropped a safe filled with dubloons from the top of the Empire State building down every stair. I am surprised the foundation of the building did not crumble. Her, “I had three staff members ask me if somebody fell.” Really? This place is jumping with a wedding, a sold out show, and a dinner crowd but everybody has an ear pressed to the stairs? Her “I told you I would have had a staff member help you.” Me “I didn’t want to bother them with it. I am sure they are very busy.” Her, “You are rude.” Me, “I’m sorry there was a misunderstanding.”
I hate myself. I really hate myself. I should have told her to fuck off with her crappy hotel which she can’t even pay all the bill for, her disrespect of the feature, her lack of caring for the tools the comics need to make the magic happen, her far below average wages, and her holier then thou attitude and explain to her full house why there is no show because the comics have left the building. I should have done that. The time when I will do that is coming.
Instead I seethe against a wall in a hallway where her customers are waiting in line. One of the waitstaff with complete sincerity tells us we can hang out in the linen closet. And now we are table clothes. I just have to laugh. I go outside and tell the booker what has happened. I tell her she will probably get a call complaining about me. I tell her the only reason I am doing this show is for the booker and the audience because I don’t care about this place. I am tired of caring more about the shows then the people who work there. I am over it. She tells me the owner has over reacted before and not to worry about it. She tells me she will fight for me. I really like this booker.
The show starts to a full house and I could care less. Joe is having a great set with applause breaks like I knew he would. Friday late show is a pain in the ass and it gets the best of us. The night before it got Joe but as I knew he would come back strong and he has. I on the other hand do not want to go on stage. I want to get in the car and go home. Dealing with these terrible people is not good for me. It is not good for anybody.
I am announced. I am miserable. I don’t want to be funny. I want to punch something. I have worked too hard and too long at this to be treated this way. The audience will never know this (unless they read this blog). I slowly get into it. They are a PC crowd again. It seems like the last call comes 10 minutes into my act. All show I will be trying to step around scurrying waitresses. It is not their fault. The stage is low and the place is packed. I am just painfully aware of it and for the first time annoyed by it. Anyway I get the audience to where I want them. I lose myself in the moment. Comedy can still do that to me. I can still lose myself in the show. I love the audiences that allow me to do that. I look at the back of the room and the manager once again looks like she is about to be executed. It can really take a comic right out of it but I go on. The show was great…at least by the feedback the audience gave us. Once again, it will not translate into merchandise sales.
In between the shows the manager tells me that a person I was talking to in the front row gave her a dirty look on the way out. It turns out he had been there before and had complained about her and that almost cost her, her job. The pressure must be intense there. I have met the owner. The staff needs the job and to have to deal with this all must be tough. Not my problem but I do feel for them. Anyway, she says she will probably get fired because I was mean to the guy. Anybody who has seen me work knows I am not mean to the audience. I was definitely not mean on this night. I tell her if it makes her feel any better I am sure I will be fired too.
The second show is small. Freedom is one gig away. Joe hits the stage and switches his set around. He has fun with them. I hit the stage and finally I get a crowd that is not PC. They are twisted. I love them for that. I needed that. I play with them and take the show into weird places. There is a lady in the front and she is a mental health therapist and I just have a ball with her. Especially, when she kicks back and takes her shoes off. I navigate through the train that squealed by for 10 minutes. I am sweating and tired and spent but at least I feel appreciated. By the audience…which ultimately means nothing for my career but at least I know I gave them a night of fun. I still love performing comedy. I will probably miss it when I stop. I need to stop because mentally it is making me unhinged and paranoid. Joe is getting an insight of why I am the way I am. He is seeing why I can’t stand the comedy business. He is seeing why I go 100 miles per hour all the time. He is seeing why I am pushing our team to make this pod cast special. Why I need this to happen for us. This pod cast is it for me. I can’t do another 20 years of comedy. My family deserves better. I deserve better. But I do love to entertain.
We joke with the manager after the show. She finally is smiling. She use to be really cool. She needs to switch jobs just for her own sanity. She is spent. She tells us how a couple was fighting during a show and out of spite the husband crapped his pants. How they were still fighting at 3 AM and called the club to settle a dispute on who was the reason they got kicked out. You can’t make this stuff up. We joke how I will be banned. We joke about how my check should be stamped banned. Hell I told the audience during the show I would probably never be back. I told people leaving when they asked when I would be back that chances are I would never be back. I know this business. I am this business. At times it has consumed me.
Joe and I leave the club and the nice mental health therapist invites us next door for a drink. I usually don’t hang with the audience but on this night I did. They were great company. It was nice to laugh like a human being. It was nice to chat with the bar tender. It was nice to share in my passion for the podcast. Those people made our night. They appreciated the show Joe & I did. We appreciated them for being cool.
As for the venue where I performed….if you were at one of these shows I don’t want you to complain to the owner about her attitude. I don’t want you to stop going there. I want you to keep giving them your business. Those waiters and managers need that job. Comics need that work. The booker deserves to have a venue to book. Instead, after the show, just find the owner and tell her or him (they are married) how much you appreciate the efforts and the talents of the comedians. Tell them that you hope that they appreciate them just as much because they deserve to be treated with respect.
As for me? Chances are I won’t be back. I have been banned over a breakfast buffet, looking like another comic, anti-semitic things an audience member said to me, being hit by an audience member, and a boyfriend putting his girlfriend in the front row when she had a fear of being in public. Being banned for loud luggage will fit right in with those others.
I see the tree tops of the forest in the distance. My journey will be over soon. I await impact. It will be spectacular!