Fooling Myself

Sunday February 26th, 2012 – Detroit, MI/Kenosha, WI

As much fun as Detroit can be, the drive home is always a less than subtle reminder that I’m fooling myself to think I’m actually in show business. I’m not. I’m a journeyman who finds creative ways to squeak out a meager existence doing something I happen to enjoy.

I’m basically a one man wedding band playing my comedic versions of ’Proud Mary’ or ‘Johnny B. Goode’ or ’Stairway to Heaven’ week after week, which has turned out to be a stairway to nowhere. Yes, I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends, but that had zero to do with my career. Neither did the show last night, which was also fun. It‘s not enough.

Driving back the next day is when the reality of it all smacks me in the face. Losing that Friday night on such short notice made it impossible to replace, and I ended up just barely breaking even. Friday was my profit, and no matter who was at fault I ended up eating it.

These kind of unpleasant glitches have been happening more and more recently, when it should be happening less. I would think that by this time I’d be able to make a solid living working in venues that would pay me a decent wage. Instead, I have to fight for each gig.

Part of the reason is that the economy really is tanking it. Everyone is struggling to keep the bills paid, and that problem goes a lot deeper than me. It took years to get this bad, but it’s BAD. There are a lot larger problems to fix than creating more standup comedy gigs.

Another part of the blame lies squarely on my own shoulders. I haven’t had a solid plan in place, and this is the result – mediocrity. I’ve been able to squeak by, but a career hasn’t happened because I didn’t have a design for it to happen. I guess I can’t bitch, but I’m not at all happy with the results. I’m really in a pickle at the moment, and I’m not enjoying it.

Even if I were to fly, the fact remains I’m still not a draw. That cures everything, just as winning does for a sports team. Management can focus all they want to on a new uniform design or a funny mascot costume, but winning championships is the best marketing tool.

If I had a name that people recognized, it wouldn’t matter if a fundraiser in Detroit on a Friday night got cancelled. The fundraiser would be ME, as people would show up to see my show instead of showing up to support their cousin’s dance team. It’s a big difference.

Then, to make it more inconvenient I had to spend most of my drive home trying to find a replacement for my cohost Shelley on The Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP in Kenosha, WI. She was sick, but it was still a hassle having to deal with it when I didn’t expect it. She could have replaced herself, but didn’t. This is a reason I have trust issues.

Howard Cosell said he never took a vacation in 45 years because that’s when somebody gets replaced. It’s true. I’ve had to show up and do comedy shows when I was sick, or felt less than funny. Too bad. Nobody cares. But, I’m not able to pay anyone so how can I get upset? If she’s sick, she’s sick. I’m sick of how things are going. I need a change of plans.

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