A Need For Nitro

Sunday May 6th, 2012 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   “How to Be in Show Business for Fun and Profit” is an excellent title for a book I’d love to get a chance to write. Now if only I could experience that pesky little part about ‘profit’, I’d be ready to get started. The ‘fun’ part I’ve got down. In fact, that’s what’s kept me going all these years.

I’ve had all kinds of fun doing all kinds of projects in all kinds of areas, and it continued today. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough. I have glycerin, but without any nitro there won’t be anything exploding any time soon. I’m doing my own thing, and even though it’s fun it’s just not enough.

This afternoon I had a comedy class to teach at Zanies in Chicago. This was the final session of this particular round of the four week beginner level, and they were a quality group. I was able to take them a little deeper than the average beginner level group, and having Bill Gorgo along with Gideon Bailey made it a party. Those guys are both excellent teachers and really add to the mix.

We were scheduled for two hours but were there almost three. Time zipped by so quickly we’d forgotten to keep track, and everyone was really enjoying it so we kept going. How many people can say that about anything they do in their lives? There’s really some passion there, and doing it in a group setting with multiple teachers really gives it a whole new energy. Everybody loved it.

But the question that keeps popping up like Kleenex tissues out of a box is, how the hell do we make it consistently profitable? We’re not greedy, but we all need to eat on a regular basis and if we’re lucky we’ll have that need for at least a little while longer. Gas money is just not enough.

A class like this could REALLY help someone who wants to be a full time comedian. Between the three of us, we’ve probably got close to 100 years of practical hands on experience of being a full time entertainer. Not only that, we are all passionate teachers and do this because we love it.

That should have all the ingredients of success pretty much covered, shouldn’t it? Not quite. In a perfect world, we’d all be rich and famous by now – or at least rich. That’s all I care about after all these years anyway. Fame is a curse. I just want the financial freedom to be able to finance all I’m doing now anyway. My life wouldn’t change all that much other than the lessening of stress.

These classes could be grown to a much higher level in my opinion, but is there a real demand for it from a business perspective? I know there’s a need, but that’s not the same. Newbies in the comedy game aren’t usually financially secure, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. I’m an oldie, and I’M not financially secure. This is all a passion project, and that’s what worries me.

Who the hell cares about passion projects, other than those involved? Those students got WAY more than they paid for, but that was ten people out of millions in the Chicago area. While it was totally stimulating on many levels, there just isn’t enough of a payback to justify all our efforts.

Tonight I had another stellar evening of fun hosting The Mothership Connection radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. There’s another project that could be really great, but I haven’t figured out how to make even one dollar with that yet. At least the classes bring in a few bucks.


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