Stress And Strain

Thursday November 29th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   The stress and strain of the booking end of the business continues. It has nothing to do with the comedy end, but then again it totally does. If I don’t get bookings, I can’t be funny. It’s a vicious cycle, and getting more so all the time. It doesn’t help that I can’t stand dealing with any of this.

Too bad for me, as that’s part of the deal and goes with the territory. If I don’t like doing it on my own – and I don’t – I need to find someone who does or at least fakes it better than I do. I’ve never been a good actor, and handing me the salesman role is about as miscast as it gets. I stink.

Today there were two more prime examples. First, I was scheduled to do a thirty minute set at a company’s sales meeting tomorrow afternoon in the far south suburbs of Chicago. The money wasn’t great and it was a far drive, but any time money can be made when the sun’s up it’s good. I have several friends on the south side, and it would be a great excuse to get together for a visit.

I called to confirm, and was told they are postponing the meeting until after the holidays. It was apparently a last minute decision, but that doesn’t help me tomorrow. They may or may not book me for the new date, and I may or may not be in town and available. I was counting on that cash.

It’s the end of the month, and I’ve been hammered by both car problems and the IRS. I’ve been due for a dental checkup for a while, but can’t make an appointment because I have no money to pay for it right now. If my teeth rot out of my head, I’ll have to deal with it later. I’m tapped out.

The other situation was also stressful. I got a call about a possible holiday party in December in the Kansas City area. It’s nice money, but I’m booked at a club in the Chicago area that weekend and it’s going to be a hassle if I have to bug out of it. The pay for the gig in Kansas City is twice what I’m getting for the entire week at the club, but if I take it there will be some risk on my part.

The club may or may not book me back, and that could be at least a semi steady gig right in my backyard. What do I do? I can really use the money right now, so I didn’t say no just yet. It could come through, or it couldn’t. The smart thing to do is just let it play out and then make a decision if and when it comes to that. I can attempt to reason with the club, and that may or may not work.

Everything has to be so complicated and delicate, and I’m growing very tired of having to walk an emotional tightrope for every single booking I get. I just want to go out and perform, but there is always a lot more to it than that. It’s part politics, part sales and total hell – but that’s how it is.

I’m terrible at all this, but so are most performers I know. It’s not what we do, and most people don’t like to work at what they’re not good at. Getting someone else to do it sounds wonderful in theory, but not only does it cost money up front the danger of being ripped off becomes an issue.

My ex business partner scorched me for several thousand dollars, but it was stupid of me to let him have that kind of access to my money. I trusted him, and that’s another mistake. This is part of the business nobody ever thinks about when they get into it. Let it be a lesson. It was for me.


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