Road Living Conditions

Saturday July 21st, 2012 – Neenah, WI

   The unexpected week of work at The Comedy Quarter in Neenah, WI has been nothing but fun and I hope it’s not the last time I’m here. This is a beautiful room with top level sound and lights, and the audiences they get come out to see comedy. It’s exactly the kind of place I want to work.

The staff is friendly, and the comedians are put up in a place human beings can exist, not some hellhole stereotypically sleazy ‘comedy condo’ that looks like where they found Saddam Hussein hiding in Iraq. Believe me, it means a lot to be respected enough to get decent living conditions.

The public at large would never believe how horrific living conditions can be on the road. It’s a part of the business only seen from the inside, but it can be a real deal killer. Hotels are where we often get housed, and that’s a sore subject unto itself. Often we are stuck into an off or non brand toilet that puts us way in the back near the maid’s quarters so the club gets a lower weekly rate.

Other times, we’re stuck in an apartment or ‘condo’ that can be even worse than a cheap motel. The neighbors often have it in for the comics, as there’s always someone new each week and the parties can get out of hand. I was never a partier myself, but I’ve seen all kinds of debauchery in comedy condos that fuel the legends most of them have acquired. It’s no place for the squeamish.

The clubs don’t have to provide us with a mansion, but someplace at least halfway respectable is always nice. Some clubs don’t care at all, and even laugh about the subhuman conditions. It’s a major red flag, and usually means they’re screwing us over in other ways too. I don’t think it’s necessary to save a buck that badly, and if the margin is that low they should go out of business.

The Comedy Café in Milwaukee had a notoriously hideous condo for years. I’m glad I had my falling out with them when I did, or I’d have had to deal with it. As it was, I survived more than my share of human kennels over the years and my expectations are low. I remember Lansing, MI where an old woman died in her house, and the club owner bought it and stuck the comics there.

It takes the wind out of one’s sail to stay in dumps like that, as we spend way more time at the condo than we do at the actual club. It’s a morale sucker, and after years of getting mine sucked all over North America I’m about sucked out. Having a quality place to stay is a welcome detail.

The Comedy Quarter puts us in a nice place close by, and that’s a huge perk. There’s furniture to sit on and sheets and covers on the beds. There are laundry facilities in house and that’s a nice added perk too. I really appreciated it, and it added to the pleasure of working here this week.

Also adding to the pleasure was a nice guy in the feature spot named Jack Warren. He was very respectful and easy to deal with and we got along great. That also makes it easier. This week was enjoyable on many levels, and I really had a fantastic time. I’m looking forward to coming back.

Now it’s home to get all my other projects going. This week was hectic beyond belief, but all in a good way. I got a lot done, but there’s a lot more to do. An entertainer’s work is never done.

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