The Decade Isn’t Over Yet

Wednesday December 30th, 2009 – Cary, IL

It constantly amazes me just how dumb people are. The year 2009 is almost over and everyone seems to think this is the end of this decade. No it isn’t. 2010 is. It’s the same mistake people made in 1999 going into 2000. 2000 was NOT the beginning of the new millennium. 2001 was. Either way, time is still flying and this year is almost finished.

This was a big year for me in many ways. Getting on national TV was huge, and even though it was only for four and a half minutes, it gave credibility to what I’ve been doing for a lifetime. It didn’t make me famous, but it did put me in a club few rarely achieve.

Not only that, the perception by all was that I had a killer set. In my mind I know I can do better, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that more people saw me in that set on TV than have seen me in over twenty years of touring North America, and they laughed.

It took over twenty years to get that first national pop, but it really shouldn’t have. I was ready for it years ago, but I wasn’t in the right position to pull it off. I didn’t put my focus on it either. I was all over the place doing radio and trying to dodge bank robbery charges and just trying to survive. Bad breaks and poor vision are a hell of a combo to overcome.

I was talking to Bert Haas from Zanies about that today. He called to make sure I would still like to host the showcases on Monday nights and I told him I would. I enjoy watching the new generation of comics come up the ladder and hopefully I can be a mentor to them like C. Cardell Willis was to me and all the other Milwaukee comedians back in the ‘80s.

Bert talked about how important persistence is as a trait in show business and how a big part of it is just showing up time and time again. I agree. The business can be a grind with all the hoops there are to jump through and sometimes it feels like it’s all a waste of time.

I’m SO glad I never quit. Some people do, and I can see why, but I have to believe it’s more miserable to quit than to hang in there and suffer. I admit I’m a lifer, and will never quit the entertainment business. I may evolve and transform, but I won’t quit. It’s in me.

The new year brings a lot of hope actually. I really want to keep going and discover new and exciting levels I’ve only dreamed of until now. I know I can do more TV, but now I’ll have to align with the people who can make that happen. It’s a new game, but I’m ready.

I’m also excited about the one man play about growing up in Milwaukee. That’s a niche market, but I know I can pull it off. There’s a market for it, the question is how big. I have a feeling it’s big enough to be worth my effort, and I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and give it a shot. I’m looking forward to the challenge and this is the year for it.

Uranus Factory Outlet is another project that delights me. It’s a challenge to put a whole new concept together from just an idea, and even though it’s taken longer than I thought it would to get this far, I’m poised to make a lot of progress in 2010 and get it launched.
Those are very ambitious projects all, but it’s not all I have going. That’s where the big issue with time management comes in. Between comedy, comedy classes, Uranus Factory Outlet, hosting Monday showcases, the Milwaukee show and working on getting rid of all my sports cards, that doesn’t leave much time for farting around. But there’s more to do.

Jerry’s Kidders is still a project, and we’ve got a booking coming up at the Beverly Arts Center on the south side of Chicago January 16th and 17th for our play with Vicki Quade called “You’re On The Air”. We’ve been working on it for months, and today we worked on it again at Jerry’s house. We went over lines and cues and it’s starting to take shape.

The play may or may not be a winner, but it sure does feel like it. We’ve got a long way to go as far as actors, but this is not about acting. It’s basically our comedy act that’s been disguised as theater, and that puts us in a position of power. Three life long comedians are not going to freeze up and draw a blank. We’ve all been on stage and feel at home there.

Is that it? No, there’s also the Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP in Kenosha, WI. That’s another fun little detour that’s been worth my time. For three hours a week we get together as a group and get to play radio. We’re going on the third year now and even though we don’t get paid, it’s still a highlight of the week. I want to keep the show going.

That’s a hell of a lot to juggle for any one person, but that’s where I am. I’ll have to get myself on a tighter schedule and delegate more, but life is short and time is limited so the best thing to do is keep plugging. If my heart pops like a zit, so be it. I’d rather blow out than rust out from inactivity, but there doesn’t look to be any danger of that. I’m full up.

But, I’m still human and at some point a social life would be nice. I casual date several women, but I have to make time for it with all the other things I have going. I’d love to be married to a great woman, even if she had kids that weren’t mine. I love kids, and I think I would be a great father or father figure, but how can I fit that in with all else I’m doing?

This is all part of the puzzle of life. Eventually, I hope to get things running so I can just show up and handle each project at a time. That sounds great, but I doubt if it’s a realistic expectation. There’s always a glitch to work out or a problem to solve. Life is full of that. I’ve got a lot on the table, but it’s all stuff I really enjoy. Why not try to make it all work?

Time is ticking and this lifetime is getting shorter by the day. We all have to deal with it and each of us has to make choices that affect our future. I am still a dented can and that’s never going to change. Not in this lifetime. I have to do the best I can with what I have to work with, warts and all. That’s my goal for the new year and beyond. I want to improve.

Life can be so difficult sometimes. I know I’m a nut, and once in a while I’ll go off and do something especially stupid that will take years to correct. I made a few goofs this year but not as many as past years. I’m getting better, but I’m also getting older. Will I have an opportunity to cash in on all the dues I’ve paid before I’m too old to enjoy them? That’s a question that will get answered soon enough. Let’s crank it up and see what 2010 brings.

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