Friday September 28th, 2012 – Morgantown, WV/Charlotte, NC
Anyone self employed has to wear a variety of hats. Some fit better than others, and there are a few that don’t fit at all. As a comedian, I have things to tend to onstage and off. I am the product, so I am the writer and performer. I also have to be the sales agent to get bookings, and a publicist once I get them. I am the complaint department as well, both from bookers and actual customers.
I also am responsible for taxes, profits, losses and all kinds of other stuff I’m not trained to do and quite frankly am not the least bit interested in doing. But they need to get done, and I have to find a way to address it. My least favorite part of being a comedian is off stage minutia, and I had a heaping helping of hell to deal with first thing in the morning and it gave me all I could handle.
After trying every conceivable way to settle it peacefully, I found the building in Morgantown, WV where small claims court is located. This is about the last thing I want or need right now, but the amount of money in question will equal several months rent should I be able to track it down.
Vince Skolny is the person who hired me for the engagement, and he cancelled with very short notice this past March. I hired Tom Sobel out of Louisville, KY to negotiate the deal, as he’s the agent who booked me for the comedy show where Vince saw me a few years ago and asked if he could hire me for a private engagement. I went through Tom Sobel because it’s proper etiquette.
Tom drew up a contract, and we all agreed on a price. It was a very fair price in my opinion for what I was going to have to do, but I wanted it to be a win/win/win where we all did well. It was an event I was looking forward to doing, and I hoped it would lead to other events in the future.
I’m very sorry the project didn’t go as planned, but I still need to be paid. We made a contract, and everyone knew that if it didn’t come off we were to receive payment for reserving the dates. Entrepreneurial projects fail all the time, but that’s how it goes. I feel bad, but I need my money.
Tom tried to reach Vince time after time and got ignored. I’m glad he handled it professionally, as I would have probably said something I’d be sorry for later. I held my tongue and hoped we’d be able to work it out, but it doesn’t look good so Tom booked me in Morgantown so I could get the papers filed and hopefully cause Vince to have to pay up at some point. This is a huge hassle.
An even bigger hassle is that it costs $70 to file the papers and another $25 to deliver them via sheriff to Vince. That’s 95 more dollars I don’t have, and I am infuriated I have to think about it at all. I should have been paid months ago, and life should be going on more smoothly than it is.
It stuck in my craw all day as I drove from Morgantown to Charlotte, NC for my gig tomorrow in Columbia, SC. Those long lonely hours in a car weren’t so bad on my way up the ladder but at this point it’s like being in a rolling prison. I drove twelve solid hours before crashing in a cheap motel that smelled like disinfectant and curry chicken. Maybe that was the dish being served, but it sure stunk as I laid on a lumpy mattress with a flat pillow wondering why I chose to be a comic in the first place and stayed with it this long. Is the dent in my can that big that I still need this?