Monday March 30th, 2009 – Chicago, IL
The thought of staying in one place for a while really appeals to me. I’ve seen just about everything there is to see in North America and it was a wonderful twenty year journey to experience but now I have other projects I want to tackle and driving to Kansas City isn’t one of them. I’ve done it. Many times. TOO many times. This week I have to do it again.
I’ll be working Stanford’s Comedy Club and by all accounts it’s a gorgeous new room in a big entertainment complex way out in the suburbs. That’s all fine but at this stage of the game it’s not the most important requirement I will need to have a successful week.
I have no idea who my opening acts will be and it’s a crapshoot as to whether they will match up well or not. Many times the openers are just thrown together by a booker and it often is without any thought as to how the entire show will flow. I’m getting a lot pickier as I get older and I want to be able to choose who goes in front of me. I’ve earned that.
Not many bookers really care unfortunately. If I’ve earned any good reputation over the years it’s that I can follow most anybody and that I don’t complain about it. I’ve had a lot of bookers tell me they put all their questionable acts in front of me because I can handle most anything and I’m easy to get along with. Gee, thanks. I’m penalized for being good.
That’s getting way old. I used to hear how headliners wanted to have approval on who’d open for them and I thought it was pretentious. Now I can totally understand why they did that and I’m very much in agreement. I want the shows to flow well for both the audience and for me too. If I’m going to sacrifice my life for something I want it to be worthwhile.
I have to be in town tomorrow night to do media on Wednesday morning. They usually have a full schedule of radio and sometimes TV to do and I don’t mind at all but that’s an extra grind that can get old pretty quickly. It’s fun to be a comedian but all this other stuff can get to be a lot of work. People don’t realize how much effort goes into filling a room.
I get it totally as do the owners of Stanford’s so hopefully their new location is a winner and we can have a killer week with sold out fun shows. That’s the goal every week on the road but unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way. If it did I wouldn’t be looking for other projects to be doing right now. Or maybe I still would. The road can be a big grind.
The audience at the rising star showcase at Zanies in Chicago tonight was pretty awful. I could sense they were tight up front but all through the show they stayed that way and it made for a super long evening. I didn’t think it would ever end but 13 comics later it did.
Here we go with audience dynamics again. For whatever reason this group of people on this particular evening in this particular setting did not gel as an audience and all of us did what we could to get them to enjoy themselves. This just wasn’t one of those magic times I talked about having last Saturday’s early show in Pheasant Run. This was pulling teeth. But at least I got to pull them and sleep in my own bed. Tomorrow it’s a 550 mile drive.