Botched Business


Thursday August 9th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   For someone who is allegedly funny for a living, I sure do have some serious problems when it comes to the business end of things. I’m in big trouble, and a lot of it is my own fault. No matter who or what put me in this pickle, it’s completely up to me to find a way to get myself out of it.

I won’t be able to do it myself, but it sure does start with me. I have to find somebody who has some pull in the comedy industry to take a liking to me, or at least realize that I have a product to sell that can make them money. I can hold my own on a stage with the best of them, but I need to find more stages to work and bigger audiences to entertain. My show is there, my business is not.

It’s SO hard to keep up with both sides of the game, but it’s absolutely crucial or someone ends up like me – toiling away in obscurity with a razor sharp product. Some people focus the bulk of their energy on the business side, but then their act suffers. They get seen, but they can’t deliver.

I know I can deliver, and I’ve been proving it in front of small audiences in even smaller towns for my entire adult life. I’ve worked so hard trying to learn my craft and survive, I never polished up my business acumen. If anyone could use a quality manager, it’s me. But it might be too late.

I recently submitted my Craig Ferguson video to a comedy festival that’s coming up some time in September. I don’t really enjoy festivals, but in theory that’s a place to be seen by some people with clout who are allegedly there to scout talent. I’m in need of a break, so I thought it would be wise to give it a shot. There’s a charge to watch the entry videos, but that’s how it is these days.

I’m old school, and it irks me to no end to have to pay some faceless moron to reject me, but if I don’t I’ll never have a chance to show what I can do. It’s like buying a lottery ticket, and that’s the way most festivals do it these days. I sucked it up, paid my fee and sent them my submission.

Today I got an email telling me I wasn’t accepted, and it came with critique from the “judges”. They noted that I was “polished but not unique” and “did standard old guy humor”. Well there’s a Tony Robbins self esteem builder at 9am. Some twenty something nobodies told me I was old.

I guess I am old, especially for an undiscovered entity. I’ve been doing it so long I would think I’d have caught some kind of  break by now, but it just hasn’t happened. Part of the reason is my lack of pursuing it. As much as anyone thinks, it doesn’t just come knocking. One has to chase it, and chase it with all one’s might – and there’s a long line of others chasing the exact same thing.

I don’t enjoy that chase, and never have. I highly doubt many actually like it, but with some it’s a consuming obsession. They have a need to get famous that’s beyond my comprehension. I love being on stage, but the game never mattered to me. That’s where I’ve really screwed the pooch.

One rejection does not take me out of the running, but it sure was an ugly wake up call. I’ll get a lot more of those before I’m done, and I’ll need to have rhinoceros thick skin or quit and drive a turnip truck. Those are my choices. For now, I’ll keep trying. Truck driving doesn’t sound fun.

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