A Jewel In Janesville

Thursday February 9th, 2012 – Janesville, WI

I’m working with Dwight York this week, one of my favorite people. He’s a slugger on stage, and has been doing comedy about as long as I have. We’re both considered old war horses, and we have a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses. We are kindred spirits.

Our strengths are similar in that we can work in front of the harshest of crowds and still manage to pull off a show and get paid. How we go about it is completely different, but it leads to the same result. On an experience scale of 1-10, Dwight and I are off the charts.

Our weaknesses are similar in that neither of us are good game players when it comes to business. We’re not ass kissers, and we’re not social butterflies either. We do what we do, do it well, and go home. That’s not good business, and that’s a definite contributing factor as to why we’re both still out here struggling to stay afloat instead of making the big time.

It’s a common story unfortunately, and not one that’s fun to be a part of in real life. This is a rough business, and even rougher to stay out there fighting when nobody is helping to make it any easier. Dwight and I and many others grind it out every week all by ourselves.

We’ve got a nice show in Kenosha, WI on Saturday at the Brat Stop as part of the WIIL Valentine’s weekend comedy show they’ve been doing for several years. I was chosen for it this year, and was able to recommend  Dwight as the other act. I’m glad I could do that.

Like me, Dwight isn’t always the most persistent when it comes to seeking out dates for work. He figures that the bookers should know who he is by now, and if they want to hire him they know how to find him. I’m like that myself, and to a certain degree it does work.

On another level, it’s horrific business. Why eliminate the possibility of getting booked simply because of a lack of due diligence? It’s not like either one of us can’t do the job in virtually 99.999% of any available gigs, and do it better than most. We’re well seasoned.

But if nobody knows about us, how can they book us? Hoping word of mouth is enough by itself is asking for trouble, and we found it. Both of us have holes in our schedules this far into the business, and are surviving by a half a thread. It’s hard to change tactics in the middle of the game though, so here we sit treading water hoping for a ship to pick us up.

We worked a fun little one nighter at a place called The Armory in Janesville, WI. It’s a gorgeous facility which is a remodeled historic building right downtown. They have plays there, but do comedy on Thursdays and have for years. They really try to make it good for everyone, including the comedians. I can’t remember ever being treated better anywhere.

They feed us delicious food, and ask if we need anything and mean it. The audience has no idea how well this place is run compared to most other places in towns this size, and it makes me want to please them even more because the people in charge deserve it. I’d like to see them packed every week. Tonight was solid, and it was fun to hang with Dwight.


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