Teaching And Learning

Saturday June 23d, 2012 – Wauconda, IL

   If variety is indeed the spice of life, I qualify for spice rack status. It’s difficult if not downright impossible to keep up with all the activities I have going, and it’s been that way for years. I know I probably should trim my list way back, but what do I drop? Everything I’m involved in is fun.

I still love being a comedian, even though the politics aspect is a big time hassle. The stage part never gets old, and there’s no reason I can’t keep doing it indefinitely. I may not be constantly on the road like I’ve grown used to for decades, but there’s no reason I can’t do gigs close to home.

In fact, I’d enjoy that a lot. I’m still working on growing my name in the Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford areas – what I call the ‘Squared Circle Of Uranus’. I still believe there are enough people between those four cities to squeeze out a decent living, and I’m out to prove it.

I’m also discovering that I really enjoy writing. Besides this little daily diatribe, I’m also doing a weekly sports related blog on www.espnmilwaukee.com and a weekly humor blog on the Visit Lake County Illinois website at www.visitlakecounty.org/blog/. That’s keeping my fingers busy.

Today’s stop on the variety wheel was Wauconda, IL to teach a one day comedy class with Bill Gorgo at the Energee Center. Comedy classes are another ongoing project that I really enjoy, and something I know I could expand if I focused on it more. Performing is the best, but classes are a close second. When students are into it, it can be extremely satisfying to watch them get better.

The real reward is getting to meet some super nice people along the way who often evolve into personal friends. The typical type who would take a comedy class – especially out in the suburbs – is usually a creative based person with above average intelligence. That makes teaching a blast.

There were only a handful today, but for a first time trying it nobody was disappointed. We’ve had small turnouts before, but Bill and I would talk about comedy even if nobody else showed up so there’s no real risk on anyone’s part. The only thing gambled was the gas we used to get there.

We never get sick of being around the fundamentals of comedy, especially when people attend who want to learn something. Most of them will never do standup more than once, and some will never do it at all. They’re interested in what goes into it, and many times they’re there to network and socialize. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, and 99 times out of 100 everyone is happy.

We didn’t make a whole lot of money today, but we did make some. That was encouraging and gave us hope to try it again, maybe in the fall. What was less than pleasant was finding out about a benefit show scheduled for later in the evening that was to raise funds for a little seven year old girl with cancer who just had a major surgery on Thursday. When I think I have troubles, I don’t.

It was a no brainer for Bill and me to donate our meager take to the girl’s fund. What horror it must be for any family to have to go through that, much less a child. Yes I’m struggling, but she needed that money more than we did. Next time I feel like bitching, I’ll know I have no reason.


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