Business Show

Tuesday September 24th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Sorry to bust the bubble for anyone wanting to get into show business, but it’s a lot more like a real job than most people think. There may be a lot more reward – or at least the potential for it – than a regular job, but there’s still a frightening amount of boring minutia that needs to get done.

Those on the top end of the food chain can surround themselves with a paid staff to take care of a meaty chunk of their grunt work – but then someone has to watch over them all like caffeinated hawks to make sure everything gets done correctly, efficiently and without getting robbed blind.

That leaves all kinds of unattended cracks for glitches to slip through – and many do. One way or another, performers have to make sure things get done or it’s game over. I always tell anybody who asks me about getting into show business to make sure they love it with everything they’ve got, as that’s what it will take to stay in it. If anyone wants less work, go manage a Burger King.

No offense to anyone who does happen to manage a restaurant, but it’s less work than being in the entertainment business and you can count on your check at the end of every week. It may not have any commas in the total, but it’s there. It’s kind of like a civil service job with a salad bar.

I spent most of today doing many of the piddly little tedious jobs I never liked but have to keep doing to stay in business. I spent a couple of hours going back and forth with several bookers via email, but it did lead to five dates on my calendar for November and December. I still have zilch for this week and it will probably stay that way at this point, but at least I filled some open holes.

That process never ever ends, and although I’ve never liked it I’m learning to at least handle it with more of a regular schedule. Tuesday through Thursday is the prime time of every week for doing bookings, and there’s nothing close to glamorous about it. It’s a chore, but it needs doing.

That chore can fester into a downright hassle when dates fall out at the last minute or a booker doesn’t respond to requests for an open date that would fit perfectly either in routing or schedule.

Today I happened to pick up dates that did both, and the main reason is I’ve been working at it of late. It’s taken a while to see results, but I knew I would. It’s also extra work and I knew that too.

Unfortunately, the extra time and effort I put into it has to take time from somewhere else. I’ve been completely ignoring my act of late to make that happen but I spent a couple of hours on that today just to stay sharp. I can’t just let it go completely. That’s not how it works. It’s my product.

I also worked on updating my bio and resume, as I intend to make a push to get some bookings for holiday parties this year. The economy wiped those off the map for a few years, but it appears as if that market has bounced back at least a little. I have to get out there and let people know I’m available, and there are limited dates in December and January when companies tend to do them.

By the end of the day, I’d put in about a dozen hours of work but didn’t tell a single joke. I sure didn’t get into this for that to happen, but it becomes part of the process to be able to keep getting paid to tell more jokes to different people. Again, “show business” is always said in the incorrect order. “Business” should always get top billing. That’s the most important ingredient in the stew.

Without it, there IS no "show".

Without it, there IS no “show”.


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