So it is our last full day of the tour. When you are on the road it is very easy to lose track of the days. It is like stepping outside your life for awhile and leading some other type of life. You work on a different schedule, you eat different foods, and you do different things. It can be disorienting. It can be refreshing. It can be a drag. It really depends on the tour and where you are mentally and emotionally when you start the tour. The driving on this tour has been relatively easy as far as driving goes for a comedy tour. The shows have been fun but there has not been an easy one in the bunch.
It is early on Sunday morning & I am already hard at work doing stuff for the podcast. Joe awakes with an “Ouch!” I can’t stop laughing. He is the only one I know that can wake up in a pissed off mood and already getting his ass kicked by his surroundings. I don’t know how he hurt himself waking up but he did.
It is the final day to get stuff done for the podcast. We have not gotten as much done as I would like but I don’t know if that is even possible. Joe has slept a lot on this trip. I could say it is because he is a lazy lummox but it is probably because he works crazy hours when he is home. I have slept through the night better on the road then I do at home. Probably because my mind is not racing with the dozens of things I need to do to keep all the balls in my life up in the air. Joe tries to get the two music bits for this coming show done but the technology does not cooperate. Maybe we will have it for tonight, maybe we won’t. Such is the deal when you do not have a team of engineers, interns, producers, etc.
We go grab some lunch where I made one of Joe’s favorite touring memories by verbally obliterating a Red Wings fan without even looking at him. I can be a dick. I am good at being a dick. I just don’t use my skills as an instigator. I use them as a method of defense to ward off the rude, ignorant, brash, and stupid. It is a good skill to have for comedy and radio.
No word yet from the booker from the previous night. Maybe I am not banned. I probably won’t know for sure till next year when I try to re-book. If I try to re-book. I still have not decided. It really depends on my calendar and how busy 2013 is. More than likely I will try and re-book just because of the state of comedy. Pride could get in the way. Time will tell.
I hear from my African love. We talk very briefly. I will discuss it on the air more in depth. I will say I catch her in a lie. The dumber they are the less interested I am. When this one was smart I was really into it. Now she is messing up and it is just too easy to call bull shit on it. For the bit, I need to ignore every urge to call her out. For the bit I need to play stupid so I can lure her into more shenanigans. But, she is already losing me. She needs to raise her game. It is amazing how these scammers dupe people but I guess the lonely overlook the obvious. My job requires me to focus on the details and do a quick analysis. Which is why they really are no match after a few hours of conversation. If not sooner. But that is for the podcast.
We head on over to our last show. It is empty. We have been warned the crowds are light. We talk to the guy who runs the show. It is always a pleasure to see him and catch up and trade stories. There are some people I still like in this business. He is one of them. The numbers of those people just decrease a bit more every year. He says this is the first time nobody is there. I am wondering if we get paid if there is no show. That really is all I care about at this point. He tells us a lot of comics have had issues with the place we just came from. The stories of comics being treated poorly are on the increase. He told us one story where the comics were told they could not hang out in the lobby where the customers were because they were too ugly. Ouch! Glad me and Joe were pretty enough to be seen in public. I wonder if those comics were forced to wear a Burqua to perform.
The crowd starts to file in later than usual. None of them sit by the stage. Looks like this show is going to happen. At least we get paid. We have been told the comics have been most successful when they walk off the stage and go into the crowd. Judging from where people sit I can see why. Joe goes up and does not go into the crowd. He is not really equipped for that. He is a straight ahead comic. Point A to point B. These are the jokes, this is the attitude. You are either on board or you are not. They were on board. Joe sticks to his game plan which is the same wherever he goes but the sheer force of the attitude, persona, and material win them over. He gets some applause breaks which is not easy to do with this set up. He ends the tour on a strong note. Joe can play the mid-west. I knew he could. Some bookers doubted this but fortunately they trusted me and he delivered once again.
As I sit on the sidelines I realize I am tired. I don’t want to hit the stage. More and more before I go on stage it is not excitement or nervousness that I feel but instead exhaustion. This is my job. I will dance and make the people laugh. Their enthusiasm will engulf me and I will push and challenge them and myself at the same time. Tonight is no different. I go up with the plan of just rifling through the well tested material getting my laughs, getting my pay, and getting the hell out of town. I seldom stick to this plan. Once again, the audience and I go down a path I did not anticipate. Once again their zaniness which I seem to bring out allows me to create in the moment. Create things that are just for the moment. Create things that will bring a group of people together just for a little while. We have the lady who when telling me about the Jehova Witnesses calls God What Not and says he speaks like us. We have the guy who describes a joke as a new Jersey joke even though it had nothing to do with New Jersey. We have the girl who for some reason was expecting Woody Allen jokes. I told her too watch a Woody Allen movie then. I put a little more polish on the 2 new jokes I came up with for the tour. I revealed how terrible our hotel was and created comedy off of that. It was a very good show. From the set up it had no right to be but it was.
The black couple sitting all the way in the back so nobody would notice them (which of course I did and pointed out) came up to me and said they laughed the hardest at the Amistad joke. Of course they did. Because they get it. They know what it is. They don’t have white guilt. Somethings do not change no matter where you do comedy. I sell a couple of shirts which makes my total for the week ok. Not near what I was hoping for but ok. The guy who runs the show says that he thinks overall this was the best night they have had of comedy. Most people and best response I am guessing. I told him I am glad I could be here for it. He tells me he was glad I was here for it. Appreciation is really all I want. I know the chances of fame and fortune are pretty slim but a thank you goes a long way for me. We hang for a few hours and have a good time. I am in no hurry to leave even though I have over 10 hours in the car ahead of me.
It’s time to hit the road. As promised my bill for the hotel was adjusted down. That is a win. The lady before me took all off the cinnamon roles which is the only thing that is decent at this continental breakfast. That is a loss. Before we leave they are restocked. That is a win.
We cut through Canada to get home. Both Joe & I are glad that I made him take his passport. As I drive I think about the medicines Joe is on and his lifestyle of always trying to do a million things at once. I do believe chasing his dream is killing him. He doesn’t realize it yet. I don’t think any of us do as it is happening. I know I don’t want it to kill me. It probably will though. As I conclude this little series of blogs I believe the tone of them has changed. They seemed a lot funnier in the beginning. I think the road kind of changes everything. In the beginning of the tour it is new and exciting. As it grinds along it becomes the norm and thus just like any other job. I do notice Joe & I were a bit more pleasant to each other this trip. We were still nasty pricks don’t get me wrong. My wife commented to me while reading the blogs that if somebody didn’t know better they would think I don’t like Joe. Well of course anybody who is reading this probably knows the relationship Joe & I have. He is one of my best friends. He drives me crazy. He does things that are dumbfounding and he is an ornery prick. But I love Joe. I am glad I can take him on the road with me. I wish his job would allow him to tour more with me.
And now it is time to get ready for the next podcast. We are live again for the first time in weeks and that comes with its own unique stresses. I need to get back to my routine of balancing, husband, father, son, comedian, talent agency owner, pod cast host, producer, writer, & salesman. This is my job. This is what I do. I have a lot of people who have believed in me. I have a lot of people who are relying on me. I have to catch the dream before the dream kills me. So I guess I will catch you guys tonight on the air.