Touching Fan Bases


Friday December 30th, 2011 – Rockford, IL/St. Charles, IL

Another thing that’s taken far longer than I ever imagined is that I’m finally noticing the beginnings of an actual fan base. It might not be huge now or ever, but I do see it growing and I want to acknowledge that. Just like the shows I’ve been having, it feels like success.

Little by little, I’m feeling the love from more and more people who come out to see me whenever I am appearing at places I work frequently, like this week at Zanies in Pheasant Run in St. Charles, IL. There have been at least a dozen strangers who sent me some very flattering emails telling me they‘ve been waiting for me so they can bring friends along.

I’ve had a few of those before, but they’re coming a lot more frequently now. I couldn’t be more flattered and grateful, but this is why I got in the business in the first place. I love to make people happy, and if someone is my fan I go out of my way to try to please them.

At this point in my career, I can easily accommodate almost everyone by providing free tickets to most shows. Saturdays can be tough, because it’s the ‘money night’ for comedy clubs. That’s where they get the money to pay everyone, and unfortunately that’s how life works. I’m usually generous to a fault and try to get everyone in free whenever possible.

Week nights are a different story. I always try to comp tickets for people because they’ll have to buy drinks anyway. I’m grateful that anyone wants to come and see me, so if I can make it easy for them to do that I always will. Plus, I have to believe they enjoy getting in for free. George Clinton told me I had a ‘lifetime pass’ to see his shows, and I love that.

It’s all good business. I’d be a fan of George’s no matter what. I enjoy what he does, but it’s elevated about a hundred times knowing that I’ve made a personal bond with him and can see him whenever I want. I’m going to buy any new products he puts out anyway, and it’s nothing out of his pocket to let me see the shows. I feel the same way about my fans.

I heard an inside story about Garth Brooks once from a radio person I know that worked at a country station that had a backstage meet and greet for listeners. He said Garth was a total gentleman, and there was a woman in the group that was an especially avid fan. She had all Garth’s souvenirs from t-shirts to CDs to whatever else he put out. She loved him.

The story goes, Garth came in and saw the lady and made her feel not only at home, but asked her what she’d bought over the years. He figured out the cost and it had come up to about nine hundred dollars. He then reached into his wallet and pulled out nine $100 bills and gave them to the lady and thanked her for being such a loyal fan. How classy is that?

That’s totally something I’d do, other than the fact I don’t have anywhere close to Garth Brooks’ level of success. I am getting some fans though, and I appreciate every one with a passion. I will always go out of my way to please a fan, and I’m glad they want to see me. Most of them are really sweet people, but there are a few who can get to be a little intense at times. That’s part of the game though, and I’ll deal with it. It’s a great problem to have.

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