Staying Humble


Saturday March 9th, 2013 – Menomonee, MI

   Every time I think I’ve almost figured out this whole ‘comedy thing’, a rough show comes out of the blue to jolt me right back into reality. No matter how long anyone is in this game, there are going to be glitches and unavoidable rough patches. The smart thing to do is shut up and let it go.

I had a brutal show tonight in Menomonee, MI which is right over the border of Wisconsin into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I’ve had a lot of shows in the U.P. lately, and that’s always the smart thing to schedule in winter. As if comedy isn’t hard enough, let’s add horrific weather too!

Unfortunately, that’s just where the bookings happened to have been this time around. I’m sure I’ll get some nice work in the heart of Texas in July, and then I’ll be pining for snow drifts above the roof of my car as I slowly bake in my own juices when it’s 99 at night with 99% humidity.

Until then, I have to deal with Old Man Winter and all of his treachery. It was clear sailing for most of the drive north, but of course it started sleeting toward the end as I got nearer to the town and that always cranks up the old stress-o-meter farther than it needs to go on a drive that I don’t want to make in the first place. When peeing in Green Bay is a highlight, it isn’t a pleasure trip.

I had no idea what to expect for this particular show, as it was booked by an agent out of North Carolina that doesn’t normally book shows in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I get along fine with the booker, but he’s more known for his college bookings of which I’ve never been a player even when I was that age. Certain acts play better in certain venues, and colleges aren’t my forte.

I took the gig a couple of months ago, as I had nothing on the books to speak of. Since then it’s been a very good year so far, with a lot of last minute bookings coming my way. I didn’t know it when this came calling, so I took it as a safety measure to insure I wouldn’t have to sell plasma.

Halfway through my set I was figuring in my head how much I would have been able to get for the plasma. Maybe they would have taken a kidney and/or some sperm too in a package deal. My tolerance for rough gigs is getting lower as I get older but a professional sucks it up and shuts up.

The time to bitch in these situations isn’t at the gig itself, it’s at booking time. I accepted a gig in Menomonee, MI in March that was labeled ‘corporate’ that paid a lot less than any ‘corporate’ booking I’ve ever done or seen anyone else do. It was my own fault, and I could have turned the job down when it was offered. It was between starvation and this, so I choose this. It’s all on me.

The people themselves weren’t bad at all. This was a Christmas party for some auto workers in the U.A.W. and they were not mean or vicious. There were a lot of them that felt a need to speak incessantly through the entire show, and it made it rough to keep those listening fully engaged.

There was a bad sound system and poor lighting arrangement too. It wasn’t my place to whine about it to anyone, and I did my very best with what I had to work with. Nobody complained, but this wasn’t what I want to be doing this far into the game. Sometimes it’s better to just say no.

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