Archive for April, 2011

Reading An Audience

April 30, 2011

Friday April 30th, 2011 – St. Charles, IL

Two shows at Zanies tonight, and I wish I could have recorded both – if only because of how completely different they were from each other. The early show was a wild fire, with an audience that laughed hard from the emcee’s very first joke to my very last punch line.

These people were the best, and I wanted to get all their addresses and invite them back for free whenever they wanted to show up. They were hungry for comedy and all three of us gave them what they wanted. They loved the entire show, and that makes it fun for us.

Audiences can be very unpredictable, much like juries. Sometimes they’ll like an act or two on a three act show, but not another. I’ve both seen it and had it happen and it’s a part of performing life. The tricky part is, it happens at random chance. It can’t be predicted.

It all boils down to the mix of people who are in attendance. Their personalities mix and it becomes a one time combination of energy which then mixes with the performer’s vibe and that’s why no two shows are ever exactly the same. I’ve been studying this for years.

Size of the crowd has little to do with it either. I’ve seen large crowds lay there and tiny ones explode with laughter. It all depends on that mix, and we as performers are guessing what they’ll like. The more experienced the performer, the more options and tricks up the sleeve, but it’s all still a guess. The audience is always the judge and they have final say.

I remember how intimidating it used to be when I was starting out. I only had a limited amount of material, and if an audience wasn’t buying it on any particular night there was nothing I could do except stay up there and eat it until my time was done. Now, I’ve got a lifetime of experience and I have options. Like an NFL quarterback, I can call an audible.

This process is called ‘reading an audience’, and is a very subtle but necessary part of a comedian’s skill set. It starts by watching them come in and be seated. Do they look to be young or old? Rich or poor? Smart or dumb? Drunk or sober? City or country? The list is endless, but it’s good to have a feel for who’s in the audience in order to entertain them.

Then, it continues to the actual show. There’s a unique vibe an audience gives off every show, and it takes years of performing to be able to sense it. Sometimes they want it clean and sometimes they want it loud and rowdy. Sometimes they don’t know what they want, and aren’t even there for comedy. Those are the toughest, but it helps develop one’s skill.

Tonight for whatever reason, they liked all three of us, and I didn’t question it. I gave it my all, and actually had to stop at points to let them stop laughing and catch up. THAT’S a good audience, and we all loved it. A show like that is what makes comedy worthwhile.

Then, in the late show some boozed up hillbilly chick wouldn’t shut up and interrupted me at least a dozen times. She was asking dumb rambling questions and wouldn’t stop. It was annoying, and I wish people could see how opposite shows can be on the same night.

Lifetime Flashback

April 29, 2011

Thursday April 28th, 2011 – St. Charles, IL

I’m a complainer. Always have been. I’m not sure why, I just do. I try to look for all the positives in a given situation, but sometimes it’s just a lot easier to bellyache, piss, moan, bitch, whine or blow off steam about something. It’s funnier too. There’d no need for any jokes if life was perfect, and I realize that. Still, sometimes it feels good just to unload.

Today wasn’t one of those times. I had a show tonight at Zanies in St. Charles, IL at the Pheasant Run Resort, and I’ve been in that situation literally more times than I can count. I’ve worked on that stage since the club opened in 1989, and have no idea of the number of shows I’ve done on it but it has to be up into the hundreds. I know it is. I’m a regular.

As I was on stage tonight, my comedy life flashed in front of my eyes. It was a typical week night crowd at a comedy club, and there were maybe 60 or 70 people in the house. They were a little tight most of the night and not the loudest of laughers. They weren’t a bad group, but they weren’t the kind of dream audience that’s red hot from the very start.

Maybe I’m spoiled, or maybe my complaining gene kicked in, but when the host Vince Maranto came over after his opening set and joked about how tight he thought they were, I flinched a little. I didn’t want to hear that. I have enough problems in my life right now.

Sure enough, by the time I got up there I saw he was right. Vince has been a comic even longer than me, and I had no reason to second guess his judgment. He totally knows what he’s talking about, and I’m lucky to have such a competent and experienced host as he is.

I could have easily phoned the show in, and that thought did run through my mind more than a few times as I watched the show develop, but what would that prove? If I’m going to call myself a comedian, that means working to the best of my ability, even in situations like this. It’s a weeknight in St. Charles, IL but I don’t care. I decided to give them my all.

I went up there and used every one of my years of experience to establish an energy and rhythm on stage and it took me a while but I eventually pounded them hard enough to get out of their funk and get with the program. By the end of the show I didn’t want to get off stage. They turned into a wonderful group, but it took a lot of hard work to bring that out.

These are the kind of shows I dreamed about when I started. Taking a dead audience to where they ended up is nothing short of a miracle, and not many people can do it. I know I couldn’t when I started, and it’s only been in the last few years that I really know I’m at a level of competence to be able to do it on at least a semi regular basis. This took a skill that most people aren’t willing to sacrifice themselves to learn. It literally took a lifetime.

After the show, people were lining up to shake my hand and tell me how funny I was. It made me feel a sense of accomplishment, because I know I earned it. Was it worth all that hard work to achieve it? Sometimes I wonder in the long run, but for tonight it felt like all my efforts came together. This was more than just a Thursday show. It was a life mirror.

This Is A Recording

April 28, 2011

Wednesday April 27th, 2011 – Park Forest, IL/St. Charles, IL/Fox Lake, IL

If nothing else, at least when it’s all said and done I can say I tried a variety of things in this life. Hopefully, it’s not all said and done yet. Today I drove 94 miles one way on I-94 to Park Forest, IL to visit my friend Dave Rudolf. Dave is a musician and has a super nice high quality recording studio in his house where he records CD projects with his band.

I’ve known Dave for years, and he’s always offered to produce any kind of CD projects I might think of, and I’ve always meant to take him up on it. Today was finally the day we started, and it was very productive. I brought along a few notes and we did a short version of my comedy class which packed in the basic details of how to get started as a comedian.

I recorded a full length twelve lesson six cassette course with Jerry Agar in 1997 called ‘Be Funny Make Money’, which was quite a learning experience in itself. Cassettes were the norm back then, even though it sounds antiquated now. Times have really changed.

I’ve been meaning to do an updated version for years, mainly because I’m a much better teacher now, not to mention better comedian. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons during that time, but it will all be excellent for teaching purposes. I’ve lived what I’m talking about.

The difficult part is getting it all recorded smoothly. That’s not an easy process, though it would seem to be quite simple to a casual observer. All that needs to be done is turn on  a microphone and talk into a recorder. Not so. I’d forgotten how complicated it can be.

There are equipment levels to check to make sure the sound quality is consistent and all kinds of other technical stuff I have no interest in whatsoever. I just wanted to get it done, which is what I wanted last time too. It took us about three and a half hours, and we did it.

This is a no frills recorded version of many of the same things I teach in my beginner’s level classes at Zanies in Chicago. The fundamentals of both writing and performing are stressed, but I don’t go into great detail. This is an introductory course for the beginner so he or she can avoid rehashing the same old mistakes that get made over and over again.

I threw in few anecdotes and I think it came out pretty decently. Dave said it did, and he has no reason to lie. If it stunk, he’d have told me. He made some excellent suggestions to add to the mix, and we worked together very well. I hope to work with him more, but it’s a major project just getting to his house. He’s closer to Indiana than I am to Wisconsin.

It was 94 miles to Dave’s house one way, and then I had a show at Zanies in Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL tonight. It was like a road trip miles wise, even though I was able to sleep in my own bed. This entrepreneurial stuff is hard work, but it’s worthwhile.

I now have another product I can sell, and that never hurts. I should have had this years ago, but I just never got to it. Hopefully I can keep recording more with Dave, and have it all recorded at some point. It may be slow, but at least I’m forging ahead. This was good.

Radio Routing

April 28, 2011

Tuesday April 26th, 2011 – Rockford, IL/Madison, WI

Enough with the gas prices already. Every day gets worse, and of course Mr. Lucky has to pick this particular time in recent history to drive a war pig gas drinking 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood that gets worse mileage than the Space Shuttle. But, at least I look cool in it.

I’ll probably be living in it eventually if prices go any higher, and I can’t see why they won’t. We’d be stupid to think anyone actually cares about us poor working folk who are out here getting the brunt of the pumps right up our gas holes. For me, it’s a total killer.

That being said, I was asked to make a return appearance on the radio in Rockford, IL this afternoon with my old friends Stone and Double T on ‘The X’. I love doing the show with those guys, but I have to think twice about going anywhere these days. It’s a hassle.

I’m not really sure if going on with them does anything for my career, but it sure is fun so that’s why I go. I wish I had a relationship with  Bob and Tom like I do with Stone and Double T. If I did, I’d probably be a millionaire by now. I’d be on all the time in over 200 markets instead of just in Rockford, and I have to believe I could turn a buck from that.

That’s just not going to be right now, so I’m not going to worry about it. That situation is what it is, and I’ve done all I can do to turn it around. I said I was sorry for pissing them of that badly, and I really am. But if they’re not going to accept, there’s nothing I can do.

Stone and Double T let me go on whenever I want, stay as long as I want, and talk about any topics I want. What can be better than that in a radio situation? If I have to spend a lot on gas to get there, it’s at least worth the trip when I arrive. I had a blast with them today.

They have a tattoo artist who spends big money advertising on the station, and the guy’s a total character. He’s funny as hell and doesn’t realize it. He’s one of those people who’s got everyone laughing and doesn’t know why. He cracked us up in the studio while songs were playing, but wouldn’t go on the air. His shop is called Euro Tattoo in Rockford.

If you decide you need a tattoo or want to spruce up the ones you already have, I highly recommend checking this place out. He offered to do a King of Uranus logo on the air for me, but I chickened out. I don’t think tats are my style, but I sure appreciated the offer.

After the show I drove up to Madison, WI to be a guest on an internet radio show with my friend  Steve Purcell. Steve has been bitten by the radio bug, and is part of a fun show called ‘The Bastard Den’ for whatever reason. It’s a heavy metal rock show they do once a week, but he’s a sidekick and comic relief and does a very nice job. He really enjoys it.

They have comedians on every week, usually by phone. Steve has been asking me to do it live for months, and I know it meant a lot to him that I came up and did it. He’s a super nice guy and I couldn’t say no so at least I was able to tie in Rockford and Madison in one trip. It might have cost money for gas, but both stops made it worth my while to be there.

Atheist Or Agnostic?

April 26, 2011

Monday April 25th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

I’m having all kinds of God issues again. Yesterday was Easter, and I’m just not feeling it when it comes to anything pertaining to religion on any level. I think it’s all a mammoth humbug. I don’t know if I’m an atheist or an agnostic, but I fall somewhere in between.

This has only been an issue in the last few years, but it’s growing. I feel that unpleasant letdown feeling I had when I found out the truth about Santa, only this one scares me. My grandfather was pretty much an atheist, and he told me I’d eventually arrive at this point.

I remember him taking all kinds of classes in religion at the end of his life, and reading a whole lot on the subject as if he was trying to find some magic answer to everything he had questions about. Then, at the end he poo pooed it all and said he’d take his chances.

As a kid that really disturbed me because I loved Gramps very much and didn’t want to see him go to hell, whatever or wherever that was. He said he didn’t believe in any pie in the sky heaven or fire belching hell. He said whatever punishment he’d get, he’d accept.

I also vividly remember my grandmother saying disappointedly in one of her last lucid moments before Alzheimers snatched her brain and never gave it back, how she too had studied religions and concluded it was all B.S. in the end. For her to say that was major.

Grandma grew up Catholic, but left at age 58 because she said she had enough of a dead religion full of people who went through the motions. She too set out on a journey to find some answers, and hopped from church to church trying to find them but she never did.

Those two were about as different as two married people could be, and it’s strange that they both came up with the same conclusion on religion at the end of their lives. Grandma held out hope a little longer than Gramps, but she too eventually said she didn’t believe it.

I really don’t want to think that way, and words like ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’ still seem to be cold and sinister sounding even now. I wish there were that kindly old man figure with a white beard in a long robe sitting on a throne somewhere answering prayers for us all.

I’d love to believe when I die I’ll get my own mansion in heaven and have nothing to do but go to harp concerts and eat at banquets every day. Just as I believed in Santa as a kid, I believed in God too. I thought that Jesus came here to die for me so I could be ‘saved’.

Saved from what? What a far fetched story it all is, and I fell for it as millions of others did and are. Sorry, I have a whole new take on it now, and I’m not buying any of it. It’s a bigger lie than Santa, and I feel duped. I don’t know what the truth is, but it’s not that.

I’m not buying Judaism or Islam either. Sorry, there are holes in all of them. What’s the real truth, and why are any of us here? We’ll find out eventually, or there’s no reason and we just die and that’s it. I don’t think it’s that, but I don’t think it’s the other way either.

One Sharp Kid

April 26, 2011

Sunday April 24th 2011 – Harris, MI

The last night of this run, and I couldn’t be happier. These drives are getting to be a lot longer than I need to be making in an old Cadillac with gas at $4 plus a gallon and rising. I’ll bet I barely break even this week after expenses, and that means I lose in the long run.

One bright spot was the opening act Mike Von. He’s 24 and started doing comedy when he was 16, and this kid is going places way bigger than the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He’s originally from Baltimore but has been based out of Chicago for the past four years.

I first saw him at the Monday night Zanies Rising Star Showcase a few months ago and thought he stood out. He’s well spoken, very likeable and looks comfortable on stage. He has a lot to work with, and at 24 he’s got more maturity than most comics get at any age.

A perfect example of that was a mix up in scheduling this week. The booker of this run asked for my confidential opinion of Mike in regard to booking him. I gave him a double thumbs up and meant it. This kid is doing a lot of things right, and I think he’ll go places. The booker asked if I’d be willing to work with him, and I told him I absolutely would.

Well, the booker has an assistant who fills in the schedules and somewhere in the chain, communication broke down and there was a double booking. It happens. At the beginning of this month, Mike contacted me to get details on our week together. I knew immediately what took place and felt horrible, as I’ve been in that spot WAY too many times myself.

I explained to Mike what had happened, then I immediately contacted the booker so we could get it straightened out. This kind of thing does happen and there’s nothing to do but try to work it out and reschedule. Unfortunately, the one rescheduled has to lose money in the short run and it rots. It can be devastating, and that’s why I was so sensitive about it.

The booker took responsibility, and I know it was an honest mistake. Nobody was angry but I wanted to make it up to Mike to show good faith. As it turned out, tonight was open because Kristi McHugh had a show come up in L.A. and had to back out. That would be a hassle in most cases, but this was an exception as it allowed Mike to salvage one night.

He was professional about it all the way, and I told him he was WAY farther ahead of it than I ever was at 24. I used to take it personally when things like that happened, and had more than my share of run ins with bookers over stuff like that. Is it fair to get taken off a gig at the last minute? Absolutely not, but it still happens. How one handles it is the key.

Mike not only handled it correctly, he ended up getting a night out of it after all, and the money he made will at least let him pay some bills this week. He’ll also get booked in the future from this booker, and hopefully with me. He was low maintenance and did well.

Mike is moving to L.A. this fall, and judging by the way he’s handling his business both on and off the stage, I see a very bright future for him. Maybe he’ll let me drive his limo.

Fan Appreciation

April 24, 2011

Saturday April 23rd, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI

It’s always nice to come home, even on an off night. Tonight’s stop was at Potawatomi Casino’s Northern Lights Theatre in Milwaukee, always a first class experience. The staff is beyond nice, from security guards to the guy who manages the comedy show Steve. He always has everything under control, and just playing that room makes me feel like a pro.

There’s a huge backstage area with a giant fridge packed with beverages, and two extra large bathrooms that have showers included in case someone wants to freshen up between or after a show. They also give us a menu to order top shelf food, or a coupon for their big buffet which has shrimp, crab legs, prime rib and a spectacular array of delicious desserts.

I wish every night was like this, and if I have my say at some point it will be. Of course, who wouldn’t like the perks, but it’s more than that. They just treat people right, and I’ve always thought that’s how it should be. They respect both entertainment and entertainers, and it shows. They have big acts there all the time, and they treat us the exact same way.

It’s refreshing, and I totally appreciate it. Unfortunately, it was yet another ‘off week’ in terms of attendance with it being Easter weekend and the Brewers in town for a big home stand, but there were still enough people to do two fun shows. I had a blast both shows.

I might not have many, but I do have some regular fans and I always appreciate it when they show up. Tonight I had quite a few including C. Cardell Willis’ son Ben and his wife Tammy, my former orthodontist Dr. Grace Machi, Cathie Schultz and her family who I’m friends with through the Tom Green Show and their friends Rick and Donna. It was great.

They come out and see me through thick and thin, holiday weekends or not, and I try to switch material around or have something new for them just because I appreciate all their support. They’re true fans, and no performer should take those for granted. I surely don’t. I just need more of them to please, about 100,000 or so. Until then, I’ll be glad for these.

I made it a personal goal to do two completely different shows, as I knew some of them would be staying for both as they like to do. Not all that long ago, I’d have had to struggle to pull that off, but not tonight. I did it easily, and I didn’t even have to do my big closing bit which they’ve all heard a zillion times anyway. I thank the cruise ships for that ability.

Whatever struggles I had on those ships, I’m feeling the benefits of it now. They raised my game to a whole new level, and tonight was living proof. I feel at home on that stage, and I have a lot of Milwaukee material I can go to from my ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show as well, but I was able to feel a good rhythm and slid in and out of bits with seamless ease.

After everything is said and done, it really is all about the fans. If they keep coming out, I’ll keep getting booked. How do I get more of them? I wish I knew. Those who do come out are great, and I’ll always do my best for them, but the number I have now won’t keep my bills paid on a regular basis. I’m working on it, but for this night I felt like a big star.

13 Miles Short

April 23, 2011

Friday April 22nd, 2011 – Sault Ste. Marie, MI/Fox Lake, IL

I was wrong about having to do a 500 mile drive today. It was only 487. Silly me, there I go again making situations bigger than they really are. Whatever it was, I’ve had enough of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the foreseeable future. They can get along without me.

Actually, I have to go back again on Sunday to do a show at the Island Casino in Harris, about 15 miles west of Escanaba. That’s always a filled up room and we get treated nicely by the staff. It’s not the people of the U.P. I dislike, it’s that long lonely drive to get there.

I think part of it has to do with childhood memories. My father had a ‘cabin’ in Daggett, a grungy little town maybe 30 miles north of Menomonie on US Highway 41. We used to go there in summers to ’have fun’, but it was more of a forced labor camp than vacation.

One thing most of my family and I never agreed on was the definition of fun. Having to cut waist length grass, trim endless weeds and cut wood for heat because there wasn’t any electricity, oil or gas stove wasn’t my idea of a getaway dream vacation when I was a kid. That place was a filthy snake pit not fit for human occupancy, but the old man loved it.

I still don’t know why. There were bugs and critters and it was next to a marshy swamp and everything smelled ripe ass funky, especially after it rained. And to make it an official nightmare, there was no indoor plumbing. There was an old bread truck out back that had a hole cut in the floor with a barrel over it as the commode. It all still disgusts me today.

That was a ‘vacation’ to my father, but I hated every minute of it. My step mother was originally from Iron Mountain, maybe an hour or so drive from there, and we’d stop there to visit her family, who were actually very nice people. I realize that now, but back then it was torture to go anywhere near Daggett, Iron Mountain, Escanaba or the U.P. in general.

I can’t help having ugly Daggett flashbacks, especially when I have to drive right past it on my way to some of these gigs. I’d prefer to leave those buried if I could, or better yet, I wish I had a recycle bin in my head and I could empty it once and for all. I don’t want that old childhood pain in my life, but that’s part of being a dented can. What do I do with it?

All I know is to keep plowing forward, exhausting as that can be. Making 487 mile trips this late into the game is not what I thought I’d be doing, and I admit it’s getting to me. If I had an auditorium full of loyal fans screaming my name and paying top dollar to see me, that would be different. Going there to work my ass off for those who got in free is rough.

What’s the answer? I wish I knew. I’ve been trying to figure it out my whole life. I know I have talent and have a show that blows audiences away in the right venue, but how can I get to the top paying venues where those people would love what I do? That’s the mystery I can’t seem to solve, and it didn’t help having the entire day behind the wheel of my road yacht Cadillac to dwell on it. Kristi McHugh slept most of the way back, so I was alone in my world with my thoughts. I don’t like my world right now, and I need some changes.

Far Northern Exposure

April 22, 2011

Thursday April 21st, 2011 – Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Totally different circumstances today. If there’s one thing that’s constant in the comedy business, it’s change. Yesterday I drove 443 hard miles in a rainy/sleety mess to entertain about 30 people. Today I drove 43 miles in bright sunshine to entertain about 300 people.

The short drive today will be long forgotten about on the big long nasty one tomorrow. The one today just makes tomorrow’s that much longer because it’s in the total opposite direction of civilization. It will be all I can handle to make it back without flipping out at some point. I hope Kristi McHugh can keep me occupied with interesting conversation.

The facility up here is really nice. It’s called Kewadin Casino as was last night’s place, and everything about it is first class. There’s nothing wrong with the location we were last night, but this one is way bigger and better. They’ve got an auditorium where they book a lot of big name acts, and it’s a fantastic space. I’d love to headline that facility someday.

They’ve got a wide range of acts coming in from Styx to Ray Price to a lot of the newer country acts like Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson. It seems like casinos are becoming the new Vaudeville circuit in America where acts travel and can make a living by touring.

It makes perfect sense in many ways. The casinos can afford both the acts and the ads to draw them in. the accommodations for the performers are way above what they’d be if the shows were at regular nightclubs or even a local auditorium. This is a self contained unit.

I guess I don’t feel so bad about playing up here because a lot of big time acts have and are doing it, but I wish I could work in the big room and be a draw. That would really be a thrill, and make the trip a lot more exciting. Until then, I’ll have to keep my mouth shut.

We did have a completely jam packed house in the comedy room tonight, but I doubt if even one of them were there to see either Kristi or me. They do pack them in at this joint, and always have. Unfortunately, there’s no cover charge and many of them are just there for a drink and don’t care who or what’s on stage. There’s always a crowd murmur here.

The show was hosted tonight by a really nice guy named Allan Gibbs, a radio guy I met at another casino show in Harris, MI which I happen to be doing again this Sunday. Allan is a real pro and has worked in some major markets, but like everyone else in radio he has to take whatever gigs are out there. There just aren’t that many out there, and it’s a shame.

This was his first time hosting the comedy night here, and his bosses were in the crowd so I went out of my way to get the audience to applaud for him. This is his town now, and I want to see him do well and keep his job for as long as he wants it. I know how it goes.

The audience tonight weren’t the biggest laughers, but they seemed to enjoy the show. I gave them my best, but the whole time on stage I was thinking about the long drive home in the morning and dreading it. Fun as tonight was, I’m not sure if the drive was worth it.

Sleet Happens

April 22, 2011

Wednesday April 20th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL/St. Ignace, MI

Snow, sleet, rain. Snow, sleet, rain. Keys, wallet, phone. Snow, sleet, rain. 443 miles in a 1983 Cadillac, much of it on two lane desolate highway can be a long enough marathon without having to deal with the elements on top of it. In typical Mr. Lucky fashion, I dealt with the three magic words that have come to personify who I am – ‘worst case scenario’.

If anyone has a tougher commute to work than today, I’d sure like to see it. I picked up the feature act Kristi McHugh who was staying in the Milwaukee area with some friends of hers, and managed to hit stalled traffic pockets in both Lake County and Milwaukee.

That was frustrating enough, but I hadn’t even gotten on the real road to head north yet. The temperature was right near freezing and at that annoying temperature where it’s hard to keep the windows from fogging up and it’s a constant battle to keep the defroster at the right setting in order to see outside. Usually it involves opening windows and getting wet.

The whole trip was one hassle after another trying to find ways to adjust to whatever the kind of precipitation it was that was making life difficult at any particular moment. By the time we reached St. Ignace, MI I was ready for a long nap. This is not what I wanted to be doing at this time in my life, and it made me want to develop my other projects but quick.

There’s nobody to blame here. I chose to take this gig on this particular week, and I also chose to buy the Cadillac. I could have chosen to work this run just about any other week on the calendar, and I could have bought a gas sipping Honda or Toyota like I’ve done on numerous occasions in the past. It just worked out that on this day life was out of sync.

I played the odds and I lost. Nothing new there. By all accounts, this should be a springy type weather week and I could have rented a brand new car to save on gas. That would’ve probably come out to close to the same as if I’d just driven the Cadillac anyway, so that’s what I chose to do. It was a little inconvenient driving in the weather, but we still made it.

The bigger picture is what I’m looking at here. I don’t want to be driving all this way to do gigs for people who aren’t coming out specifically to see me. Period. That’s not ego, it just makes business sense. The audience tonight was maybe 40 people tops. I can get that at a library within walking distance of my house. Why should I drive through a blizzard?

That’s just it. I shouldn’t. I don’t want to anymore, and gas prices aren’t making things any easier either. Surprisingly, I was wrong about the price of it up here. I thought it’d be $4.50 a gallon or higher, but it’s only $3.99. They’re practically GIVING it away. By the end of this trip I’ll have spent $200 in gas all total. I need a paper route to pay for it all.

I tried to enjoy the ride and have fun, but it wasn‘t easy because I was so focused on my driving. The last thing I‘d need would be to put my giant rig in a ditch somewhere. That’d really make life miserable. Unpleasant enough, we stopped for a bathroom break and had to use an actual outhouse because that’s all they had. I felt like diving in and ending it all.