I really did not think I would have to write this blog. I figured the Mayans were correct and I would be a nice toasty piece of charcoal but alas never trust a group of people that could not predict their own demise.
The year started with us transitioning from terrestrial radio to internet radio complete with high def cameras at Anthony Cumia’s Compound. It was very exciting for us as we were now going to be working with one of the best radio personalities in the business. Even better he would be sitting in on our show regularly. In addition Joe & I decided to make Pip Helix a regular member of the team. We had a heckuva run at the Compound. Complete with hilarity and Anthony & I going toe to toe on a few occasions on things like guns and politics. We also got to blow his mind with some bits and games that we came up with. It is very satisfying to see one of the people you use to listen to react very favorably to an idea you came up with. Alas, the problem with working with an unstable millionaire is that they are both unstable and a millionaire. Our pal has many interests and opportunities and it became increasingly apparent that hanging in his basement doing a radio show ranked behind chasing young trim. Our crew is neither young nor trim so it makes sense. It was a bit frustrating. We are not done with the Compound but we no longer rely on it. If we do a show from the Compound cool, if not we are quite happy in the Den. Actually, I think we are a better show at the Den. The last time we were at the Compound Anthony was extremely complimentary of the show we do. This was not me looking for compliments or validation. This was Anthony freely giving it. He said we are not a podcast…we are a radio show. That meant a lot. However, we are a radio show without a terrestrial or satellite home. I had hoped Anthony might pull some strings for us and get me a meeting with Sirius but Sirius is changing ownership and Anthony’s contract was an issue for a large part of the year and quite frankly I have not seen Anthony to outright ask him. I did not want to ask him but I think that is the last step. If he says no I can live with that and that door is closed. If he says yes…awesome! I have a feeling the response I get will be somewhere in between. Still I hold out hope that we will be on satellite in 2013.
In the beginning of the Spring we started to realize that we needed a plan B for the Compound. We actively sought out and found internet radio stations. With their help we purchased equipment and remade my basement into the Den. We have been very fortunate in our ability to add various affiliates and become a syndicated internet radio show. There have been some bumps along the way including Joe revisiting the War of 1812 and us getting fired on the air 1 1/2 weeks in to our stint on a British internet station. Fortunately, these affiliates have facilitated us having a much larger reach and getting sponsors which has lead to us actually making a small bit of money and reinvesting into the show. Our hopes for the beginning of 2013 are to have a phone line for call ins and to have our green screen technology in place to make the Den into Ghetto Compound.
The content of the show has gotten progressively better as I have learned the strengths and weaknesses of everybody on the team. I have also taken a stronger role as the lead voice of the show which has helped everybody else slide into a place that showcases their talents. We have had some memorable moments this year the gefilte fish punishment of Boozy or Floozy, me almost puking up Meow Mix during You Porn or God Porn, the epic tale of Pip’s ass and more. I am most proud of our signature bit which has involved my loves from the dark continent. It was done by me strictly on a hunch that this was unique and interesting. Pip supported me on this endeavor as we had no idea where it would take us. We weathered the storm of Joe & Anthony shitting on the bit out of the box. Yet they both came around and it has been to the show’s benefit. We have had wake up phone calls, yaks, gun shots, terrible poetry, and porn. The best part is I there are some real twists and turns that will be revealed in 2013. The bit has even done some good which makes it all worthwhile.
This bit has also lead me to start writing a book about these adventures. I am hoping in the next few weeks that I will be able to make a serious dent in this endeavor. I must admit I do not love writing but I think it will make for an interesting read for a lot of folks so I will try and complete this in 2013.
I did my first public speaking event in November where I was not intentionally trying to get laughs. The JCC where I use to perform as a comedian for their singles asked me if I would like to give a lecture on comedy. I turned that into a multi media presentation on what is offensive. The presentation was wildly successful and they asked me to come back and break it up into a couple of parts since we did not cover everything. I must admit that I really enjoyed giving the lecture. In the beginning of the year I plan on making a video to send out to colleges and organizations and give more of these lectures. My experience as a stand up comedian has really made it an easy transition for me and I think it allows me to present things in a more entertaining way than a lot of public speakers.
As for stand up, the thing that pays the bills, it is on the decline for me. I still love performing. It is everything else that goes along with it that I grow weary of. In the middle of the year I proclaimed on Facebook I was done caring about stand up. A lot of people took that to mean I was quitting the business. The outpouring of people who asked me not to quit was very touching. I told them I am not quitting the business as it is still how I pay my bills but I no longer will live and die with it. If you let stand up consume you it will possess you and often leave you sad & hollow. The highs are great but like any addiction the more you do it the harder it is to get the highs and the shorter they last. I no longer let stand up consume me and I am a happier person for it. I take the disappointments in stride much better now and I am better equipped to tell people no. It is amazing how much better the work gets when people realize you will just walk away and do something else. I do not write a lot now for my stand up performances. I still write just not like I use too. Instead, often I create on stage. I have also embraced an uncomfortableness in the audience like never before. I have embraced exploring with them their discomfort about a certain topic or joke. It is dicey and really I am relying on my ability to come out the other side with the audience and continue to get laughs. It is dangerous & I guess that is what I have always loved about live stand up comedy.
So 2012 was pretty good for me. There was sadness and disappointment like every year but I think I had it better than most. I will continue to try and get better and explore new ways to create in 2013.
My wish for you is that you find something in your life that you enjoy and challenges and makes you glad to be alive. Without life there is no hope…somebody from a very far away place said that to me this year. I am glad they did.