A Wasted Favor

Saturday March 26th, 2011 – McHenry, IL

I really am trying to be a nice guy in this life, but the nicer I am the more I get scorched. Tonight I agreed to do a show for a comedian who lives in my area and is trying to start a regular show at a joint in McHenry, IL – maybe a ten minute drive from where I’m living.

I’ve always gotten along with the guy, even though the give/take ratio in favors has him taking by about 95%. Whatever. I’m used to it by now. I’ve always had the policy if I can give or help, I do. I try not to keep score and hope it all evens out in the end. Am I stupid?

When I showed up, all the red flags went up of a horrific experience. There was a small room with a bar and no stage, a rinky dink sound system and I heard within minutes there would be no cover charge for people to see the show. I wanted to get in my car and leave immediately, but I told the guy I‘d do the show for him so I shut my mouth and sat down.

We were supposed to start at 7:30, but didn’t get going until well after 8. That’s another red flag, as it usually serves to rile those who arrived for the original start time. I’ve had it happen before, and don’t need to keep reliving it over and over again. I’m past all of this.

By the time the show did get going, the comedian who’d set it up had partaken in a few swallows of hooch and was feeling a little tipsy. He went a bit long and was all over the place, and I again rolled my eyes wondering why I couldn’t have said no and had a night off. I like to perform, that’s why. Me and my stupid need for the attention of strangers.

The highlight of the evening was watching one of my former students Elly Greenspahn do the feature spot at my request. She’s a teacher in Chicago Public Schools and has been at comedy for five or six years now. She’s been making some nice progress and I wanted to give her a chance to have practice at doing a longer set in front of a suburban audience.

She really pulled it off, even though the sound system was pretty weak and the lighting on the stage was a single bulb, and a dim one at that. Her stage persona is developing very nicely, and the audience loved her. I can see television written all over her and I was glad I could throw her the stage time. She went a little short, but that’s fine. She gave it her all.

By the time I got on, alcohol became a factor and a few people started to talk. I saw I’d have to take charge, and that’s exactly what I did. It made it tougher without a good sound system, but I’ve got experience and knew what to do. I just didn‘t feel like having to do it.

They laughed hard, but I still had to deal with talking pockets most of the night. I don’t want to have to do that at this stage of my life, and it wasn’t fun at all. Then to make it all worse, the guy handed me a check at the end of the night. And it was $50 short. Not good.

What am I going to do, yell at the guy? I took the gig and assumed all would be handled professionally. WRONG. I will be pissed if the check bounces, but it’s my fault for taking one. This was too much stress for a piss poor pay off. Please don‘t ask me for any favors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: