Bookings Overdue


Wednesday June 2nd, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

Day two of my umpteen thousandth life reboot program, and this is where it usually has a tendency to fall apart. It’s difficult to do anything consistently, especially something this complicated and ambitious. I want to revolutionize my whole life, and that‘s no small job.

I did get my fanny back in the mall and take my lap, and that’s a good thing. I felt every bit of it, but at least I did it. Two days won’t make me into an Olympian, but it’s two days in a row. Now I need three. Then a week. Then a month, two months, a year and so forth.

My tendencies have always leaned toward action, but lack of a big picture plan is one of my major weaknesses. My friend Bill Mihalic sent me an email a year ago telling me how he thought I could achieve my goals, and I was grateful he did. He sent me another saying a lot of the same things and that’s probably a hint that I haven’t executed his suggestions.

I really think my intentions are good, but I’m just so damn scattered. I’ve always had to make my own way in life, and I’ll admit my trust issues even now are very evident. I have to survive month to month, and it’s hard to think anywhere past that, although I know I’m not smart in not doing that. I’m a one man band, and that’s just not going to get it done.

The best race car driver in the world needs a pit crew. I’m to the point where I need one too. I’ll have to pay them, and I don’t mind that at all – but I need to up my income quite a bit for that to happen. I need to delegate tasks, but still be in control of the steering wheel.

That’s where I’m having my problem. I just don’t trust people. Part of it comes from my childhood I’m sure. My mother abandoned me when I was five months old, and that’s had to have had a ripple effect somewhere. If I can’t trust my own mother, who else is there?

Then there was my childhood best friend Timbo who robbed the bank where he used to work and tried to blame it on me. He was closer than my own flesh and blood brother and when I had to testify against him in court it not only broke my heart, it built even more of a brick wall around my heart and made letting people in even harder. That one really hurt.

It’s the same with women too. Every woman I’ve ever dated has at some point said that they’re frustrated because I don’t ‘let her in’. And I guess I don’t. I’m very guarded with a lot of my inner delicate intimate things that get shared between people that are close, both in love and in business. When I have opened up, even a little, I’ve gotten boned big time.

I still haven’t gotten over my ex business partner’s little embezzlement stunt that really put me in the trick bag. I had to start completely over with a new website, mailing list and a few thousand dollars less than I had before due to his sticky fingers. Trust is a big issue.

Still, I’m going to have to learn to deal with this if I’m going to make any real progress. I have to pick my battles, and some things I’m going to have to just let go of and let other people have control. I thought about this the whole time I was walking through the mall.

Where I can make my biggest change for the good is how I deal with all of this. I’m not the first person in history to have trust issues. I read where Dick Van Dyke never let even his brother Jerry inside his personal inner world. Who knows why that is? Dick Van Dyke is also a creative type, left handed, and maybe some of it just goes with how we’re built.

This is deep stuff, and probably boring for most to read, but I’m delving into it because I know I’m not the only one who deals with this. Not only the trust issues, but also having major dissatisfaction with most areas of life. Rather than accept it, I want to conquer it.

Two days of a little exercise is good, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I need to keep that up, but also start implementing more regimented things a little bit at a time. I can’t do it all in a day or a week or even a year, but I can make daily progress and this is part of it.

One major flaming mess in my life that needs cleaning up very badly is the entire way I go about my comedy business from a booking standpoint. I flat out SUCK at it, so it sure won’t be difficult to make major strides in a very short time. I can really use a fresh start.

Most entertainers absolutely despise both dealing with bookers and the whole booking process itself, myself included, but it’s a necessary evil so the smart thing to do is learn to embrace it. It really isn’t all that difficult, it’s a matter of persistence. It’s a sales process, and that’s not a bad thing. Some people sell widgets or doorknobs, I sell my comedy act.

I have a lot of self help audio, and I listened to a fantastic program today by one of my favorite authors named Joe Girard. He’s ‘the world’s greatest salesman’ because he sold cars for years and set all kinds of records. I like his approach and really listened to what he had to say with a whole new interest. It lit a fire under me and I need one about now.

Part of my problem is that I’ve achieved enough of a reputation where bookers now call me. That’s great in one way, but also stopped me from pushing myself to pursue the best gigs for the top pay in the best venues. I’ve always been able to get by with minor effort.

Now, I’m in a position where I need to totally revamp and reinvent myself. I can use an entire makeover of my sales prospects, press kit and sales package, method of contacting those who can book me, and schedule of when to do it. Waiting for a call out of the blue worked for a lot longer than it should have, and I’m lucky it did. Now I need some skills.

I can think of about ten bookers I could call immediately, and probably get some work just for calling. I haven’t been to Salt Lake City for Keith Stubbs at Wiseguys in a while, and there’s no reason for it other than I haven’t called him. He usually calls me, but he’s got a new baby and a radio show and he’s got his own life. He’d book me immediately.

He has a friend in Seattle, and I know I could get that one too. Calgary is another club I enjoy and haven’t been there in a while for no good reason. Houston is another. Nashville Zanies is another. Indianapolis. Reno. KC. These are just places I haven’t called in a long time. There’s a whole list of other places I’ve never called at all. I’ve got my work to do.

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