April Fuel

Monday April 1st, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   It’s April 1st already, and somehow I feel like I’m the fool. Time is flying faster than I can keep up with and the first quarter of 2013 is now part of history. Really? I’m still behind on having my computer Y2K proofed, and I have a calendar in my wallet from my insurance agent from 1994.

Where does the time go? Away. That’s all that really matters. I’m seeing how important it is to make productive use of every free second I can, and I severely regret all the time I’ve completely pissed away until now. It’s not a renewable resource, and when it’s gone it’s gone. It’s precious.

If there is reincarnation, I sure hope we get a chance to come back and live life with knowledge going in, rather than being the empty headed halfwits we are now. Having someone to show us a few secret tips would help, but I guess that’s what parents are for in theory. I missed that boat.

My grandfather was great, but he died when I was 18 – right when I needed those tips the most. I made some extremely stupid mistakes on my own, and have kept that up to some degree for the duration. It takes years to get out of bad decisions, and sometimes the damage can be permanent.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to come into the world with some preexisting smarts? Damn, I’d be a major player and a multimillionaire by now. Too much freedom can be a bad thing, but I am by far not the only one to have mangled potentially good situations. Life is a big blind crapshoot.

Tonight I hosted the Rising Star Showcase at Zanies in Chicago, and after the show I hung out with Bert Haas, Jimmy McHugh and Kevin Naughton. Bert is the booker of Zanies, and his wife Sally is a comedian. Jimmy and Kevin are comedians who’ve done it as long or longer than me.

Bert was telling us that he and Sally were having a heated discussion on what a comedian’s job focus is. Sally’s view – and the three of us readily agreed – was that it was to always be working to improve one’s act and to be a better performer. It made perfect sense to Jimmy, Kevin and me.

Bert told us we were all wrong, and said it boils down to two words – SELL TICKETS. That’s never what any true comedian wants to hear, but it is the truth. If we don’t sell tickets, what does it matter what our act is? We might as well be hobby comics, and unfortunately most of us are.

This is a cold hard concept, and one I haven’t been good at embracing. It’s also the exact cause of why I’m not getting the results I’d like and other people are. I’ve known Jimmy McHugh and Kevin Naughton for years, and I like them both as people and think they’re funny comedians too.

Unfortunately, all three of us are among the struggling when it comes to our business. Any one of us could go on national television tomorrow and at the very least not embarrass ourselves, but what is embarrassing is how we’re all living hand to mouth after all these years of paying dues.

Had any of us had the vision of selling tickets first, our lives would be completely different in a good way. We’d be free to work on our acts – even though that’s really never a priority with fans who come to see us. James Gregory knows it. Jeff Foxworthy too. It’s April, time to smarten up.


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