Finally Some Rest

Saturday November 20th, 2010 – Somewhere At Sea

Not much going on today, and I like it. After this last week I wouldn’t mind sitting on a beach for a month to let my nerves settle down a little. Very few people realize how much effort it takes to be a comedian on so many levels, not to mention the difficult tasks of life that show up whenever they feel like it. It can all be so overwhelming, and this week was.

On the positive side, my shows really rocked this week. It felt exactly like a regular club situation I’m used to, and they really responded well. I had people coming up afterward to tell me they thought I was the funniest comedian of the four they saw this week and that’s the first time that’s happened. I know I’ve not been at the top of my game out here so far.

The question is, what put it over the top? I’m not really doing anything all that different except trying to choose material these people will like. I guess each ship has it’s own kind of audience mix, and this happens to be one where I fit in well. My closing bit about how the world is getting stupider destroyed these crowds, whereas other ships wouldn’t buy it.

That really worried me when that happened because that bit rocks almost everywhere in a club or theater situation. It’s usually a guaranteed killer close, and it’s bailed me out of a lot of situations. When I felt it die the first few times on the ships, it took me by surprise.

It doesn’t mean I now think I’ve got it all figured out, and I don’t claim that in the least. I’ve got a long way to go to make any kind of impact out here, but I don’t think that’s the name of the game. In clubs, the assumption is we’re trying to get discovered and find our way into a sitcom or movie deal. Club comics are trying to be cutting edge and different.

I think that’s the assumption anyway. I don’t get that feeling with cruise ships at all. All the audiences want are to be entertained for a half an hour, and the majority of those who come to the shows aren’t regular comedy club customers and don’t really care a lick if an act is original or not. All they want to do is relax and have some laughs and drink or six.

This whole experience is going to make me grow, because I’m going to let it. I’ve never had to work at anything comedy related as hard as I’ve had to attack this, and I’ve already learned a ton onstage and off in the few short months I’ve been out here. More to come.

Still, this isn’t my dream gig and I can’t see myself out here very long. I hear stories of guys getting sucked into working for years, and I don’t want that to be me. I will save my money for as long as I can, and I’ve already used these gigs to stabilize myself financially.

Nobody thinks about any of this starting out in the business. We all think it’ll just work itself out and the gravy train will never end. It’s taken me twenty-five years to finally get at least half a clue, and it all boils down to a four word mission – work hard, save money.

I’ve been doing both, and I know I won’t get many more chances to build money for the future. I never acquired a taste for cat food, and I hope my retirement doesn’t include any.


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