Time For Spring Cleaning


Saturday April 10th, 2010 – Bolingbrook, IL

The people I rent my living space from did me a mammoth favor today by asking me to organize my floor space so they could replace my furniture. They’re getting new furniture upstairs and it’s better than their old stuff, which is better than what I had, even though it really doesn’t matter to me. I was fine with the old stuff, but it’s their house and their call.

I desperately needed to clean up the piles that were everywhere from the floor right next to the furniture to the actual furniture itself. I got up early this morning and started sorting things into other piles and then throwing away everything I didn’t absolutely need. I filled three big garbage bags full of outdated paper and that was a solid start. The purge begins.

I’ve said I was going to do it and it’s totally time. Most of my possessions can be gotten rid of, and from past experience the energy of motion feeds off itself and it gets easier and easier to part company with most of the junk once momentum starts rolling. It was sitting there collecting dust for months, even though I knew I would eventually get started on it.

Today was the day, and it’s way past due. I know I’ve been busy with other things lately but even though it’s a legitimate reason, it’s by far no excuse. In the long run, this will be a rejuvenation that will allow me to keep growing in the important areas. It’s a pruning of the branches to help the whole tree grow taller, and everything I did today fell into place.

The first thing I did was clean off my desk and recreate a work space. It’s not a big desk and I don’t have that much space, so sometimes it’s easy to use it for storage. Wrong. I’ve seen how cluttering the desk constipates progress and I have to keep it clean from now on if for no other reason than it’s a symbol of forward motion. I need a place to focus energy.

I also made room for the three ring binders I created last week that will be master copies of reference for ‘Schlitz Happened!’, my comedy classes and comedy material I intend on developing this year. They’re all clearly labeled, easily accessible and have a regular place to be now so I’ll be able to find everything easily if I just get in a habit of putting it away.

This is a giant leap forward, as most of my things are placed randomly where I put them and then when I need them again it’s anybody’s guess where a particular item may be. It’s been a daily scavenger hunt at times, even when I didn’t feel like playing. This is better.

While I was at it I made a space for all my Uranus stuff and it’s right next to the spot for all my Mothership Connection radio stuff. I have a nice collection of paranormal books to peruse, even though most of them will eventually be gone with everything else. At least it all has a place now, and while I was at it I created another three ring binder for the show.

This was more progress than I’ve made in many months, and I felt like Rocky Balboa as I did it. To the rest of the world it was all meaningless, but to me it symbolized a positive change of direction and tangible improvement. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a major step to get it started and I’m thrilled I did. Taking action is the start of all success.

I had a super fun show tonight in Bolingbrook, IL at a golf course of all places. They do comedy shows there twice a month and it’s booked by Bert Borth, a Chicago area booker who’s also a comic originally from St. Louis. Bert is very laid back and I’ve always liked him personally, but Zanies has been good to me over the years so I rarely work for him.

He runs a club at Walter Payton’s Round House in Aurora, IL and he’s offered me a gig there many times. It’s not that I can’t do it, but I just don’t feel it’s right since I’m closely associated with Zanies, and they have three clubs in the area. No offense to Bert at all, it’s a numbers game. I’ve worked for Zanies for many years and they’ve been my home clubs.

This particular show was different. It’s in a golf course where regulars come out and it’s never going to be a full time comedy club. The people are wonderful, and they really love comedy. Supposedly it’s been packed every other show, but tonight was about half full or even less. Still, they were powerhouse laughers and I ended up doing more than my time.

These are the kind of people I want to cultivate, as they totally appreciated every one of the acts on the show. Dan Brennan is a suburban comic who’s putting his act together and I’ve always thought he was funny. He did a fine job tonight in the opening slot, and Mike Von was the feature. He’s originally from Baltimore and I’ve seen him work a few times.

I always thought he was funny too, but tonight really won me over. I found out he’s just 23 and has been doing comedy for seven years already. He’s got a very bright future and I see big things for this kid. He’s well dressed and well spoken and apparently his father is a comedian too. That doesn’t guarantee the son will be funny, but this one absolutely is.

Mike happens to be black and the audience tonight was predominantly white and had an average age of about 40-50. Here’s a 23 year old black kid from Baltimore who could get up there and grab them in the first minute and do a professional job. I was very impressed with his skill level and I thought he was older. He sure has the chops and I wish him well.

The evolution of comedy seems to be going in the direction of shows like this and I like it. The pay wasn’t huge, but it was worth driving across town for rather than driving eight or nine or more hours to some hell hole bar for a few more bucks but not all that many. If I could make a living in the Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison Rockford area I’d be thrilled.

Doing shows like this are becoming more commonplace, and it also helps because it’s a crowd that’s a little older and won’t go to comedy clubs. I’m getting older and I’m perfect for these people. Plus, I get to stay home during the day and work on other things that are important like cleaning out my living space. Today was productive on quite a few levels.

John O’Brien is a former student I hadn’t seen in two years. He’s been an unbelievable supporter over the years, and I appreciate him greatly for it. He’s a few years older and a student of comedy, but still likes to go up himself when he can. He has his job and family, but comedy is still important to him and I respect that. He came out to see the show and we visited for a while before and after. People like John make teaching worth the effort.

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