Thursday December 29th, 2011 – Dubuque, IA/Rockford, IL
I don’t know why it took so long to achieve, but this is exactly how I pictured my life to be. I’m finally in the groove I thought I’d be in twenty years ago, and I see no reason for it to stop any time soon. If anything, I picture it getting even better. I’ve earned my stripes.
The show last night at Diamond Jo’s Casino in Dubuque was tremendous. That venue is a perfect example of the theatre type atmosphere I want to play on a regular basis. It has a monster sound system and a gigantic stage, and it was packed with a laugh ready crowd.
Nobody heckled, and they sat back and enjoyed the show. This is the way I have always thought comedy should be, but it’s been far from it. How many nights of hellish pain have I had to endure trying to fend off drunken idiots who constantly babbled through shows?
Not here. I was able to give them what was billed – a comedy show. And they enjoyed it all, start to finish. The hour went by lightning fast. I was able to dig in and take command, and they trusted me to have an ability to entertain them. This is a very important dynamic.
A lot of it has to do with how an audience is trained. If any venue does things correctly, they set the scene before every show as to what is expected. There are announcements up front to let people know that heckling is not tolerated and to turn cell phones off. That’s a crucial ingredient to a successful show, as is a competent host. That’s a big part of it too.
Comedy shows at Diamond Jo’s are hosted by a radio personality named Scott Thomas who goes by ‘Scotty T’ on the air. He’s been hosting comedy shows in Dubuque for years at various other venues, and does an excellent job. I’ve worked with him before, and he’s a fan of comedy so he doesn’t talk down to us or the crowd like a lot of radio wankers do.
Everything just fell into place, but I didn’t take one second of it for granted. I’ve seen it go the exact opposite way, and it’s not fun for anyone. This was a total gas for everybody involved, and I even sold a dozen CDs after the show. They were lining up to buy them.
They also put us up in top shelf accommodations at a place called The Hotel Julien. It’s at least six levels above the herpes infested kennels where most gigs end up stashing us to save five bucks a night. This gig was class all the way, and I couldn’t appreciate it more.
I’m sensing a trend that I really like. Last week it was great working at Donnie B’s, and now this. The rest of the week I’ll be at Zanies at The Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL which has been one of my favorite gigs for years. Nice venue. Nice people. Nice life. I don’t see why it can’t be like this every week, but at least for these two weeks it has been.
The radio show in Rockford has been going very well too. Jim McHugh is fun to work with, and we know each other so well there isn’t any transition of awkwardness period to get through like most radio partnership situations. We hit the ground running, and have a good rapport. For however long this lasts, I’m thoroughly enjoying my life day and night.