Preparing For Battle

Wednesday July 27th, 2011 – Cary, IL

Time to take some comedy inventory. Yammering on about how the business isn’t what  it used to be won’t pry me out of the precarious predicament I‘m presently planted in. I’ve got to look at what all my options are, and make an intelligent decision to move forward.

On the good side, I’ve got a lot of experience. I’d go as far as to say I’ve got as much or more hands on experience with standup comedy than 90% of headliners working in clubs today. No situation rattles me, and I’m able to adjust to virtually any scenario imaginable.

Off stage, I’m not a drinker or drug user, and I’m extremely low maintenance. I’m not a diva and don’t whine on about things like the colors of my M&Ms or that there’s not any caviar on my deli tray. I show up and give my very best show, then I’m always willing to meet and greet any fans afterward who might want to meet me. I think that’s important.

On the not so good side, I’ve been known to polarize people and there are some that are not now and highly doubtful in the future to ever be in my corner. A flaming example that haunts me often is the Bob and Tom radio show. Apparently I’ve pissed them off so badly I’ll never be on again, no matter how hard I try to apologize. That bridge has been nuked.

I still don’t know what I did, but in their eyes I’m the devil. Whatever. I’ve tried to say I was sorry, and I meant it. They didn’t accept. I’m off the show, which is heard in a lot of markets across the country. They’re not big markets, but they have a lot of exposure that’s perfect for what I do. I would KILL on their tours, and would have made a lot of money.

But alas, that’s not to be so I have to get over it. The other people I’ve pissed off are not nearly as high profile as Bob and Tom, but word gets around the block and I can tell I’m a bit of a pariah in some circles. Again, I can’t change what people are going to think, and I always try to make things right if I’ve hurt or offended someone. Sometimes they reject it.

What I need to do now is see who’s in my corner and who isn’t, and who has something to offer and who doesn’t. Plus, I need to expand my scope of focus WAY past only doing comedy club work. My booker friend Marc Schultz has been telling me that for years, and I know he’s right. I need to market myself to people who can pay a decent wage for today.

That’s nearly impossible to get in comedy clubs these days. I’ve said it before, but it’s a fact – I need to make myself a draw. That’s much easier said than done, but it’s still a long way from happening. I’m not a household name, even at my house. That’s a big problem.

I also need to take inventory of my whole onstage presentation too. I’ve got hundreds of pages of ideas in a giant computer file and there’s stuff in there I know I could polish into some great bits. But, they’re like songs on a music album. Which ones will become hits?

This is like the second half of a ball game. I’m making adjustments in the locker room, now it’s time to go out and execute that plan. The second half is where games are won.


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