No More Toilets


Thursday December 5th, 2013 – Island Lake, IL

I’ve been in a pretty good mindset the last few days, and I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about the future. I tend to get very down this time of year, but what helps me get through is being booked a lot and performing regularly. I’ve been doing exactly that, and it has kept my spirits up.

I love to be on stage performing standup comedy. There used to be a period after that statement but I’ve amended it over the years. I love to be on stage in a quality venue, performing for people who are there to see me – or at the very least there to see standup comedy. Trying to fight drunks in saloons that have a poor imitation of a comedy night is not nor ever has been my idea of fun.

As I get older, I realize I have spent WAY more time than I should have in places I should not have been working. That’s the only game I knew, but I was too busy scraping together a living to try other avenues. I now realize in this moment of clarity that I have to evolve, and do it quickly.

I have intended to do this before, but I haven’t executed it even close to where I need to. I have made minimal progress, but I see it has fallen far short. I need to completely revamp my method of doing business, and get in front of an almost entirely different audience. I can’t continue as is.

This isn’t good or bad, it’s just a fact. Driving 600 miles for $200 was something I needed to do at one time because I needed experience. Now I have a surplus of that, it’s money where I have a shortage. I have plowed the field and cultivated a time tested product. I have a fully grown crop.

The last place I’m going to get top dollar for it is where I’ve been farming all these years. The comedy club business might make some club owners rich, but comedians – at least those like me that aren’t a legitimate draw – have to struggle to stay booked every week and that’s not right.

It’s also not going to change any time soon, so the one doing all the changing is going to have to be me. I’m fine with it, but unless I throw myself totally into the pool I won’t make enough of a splash to achieve the results I’m looking to get. There won’t be a future without total evolution.

I won’t be able to do it overnight, so I’ll still need to supplement my income with at least a few club dates in 2014. Zanies in Chicago has always been great to me, but they can’t book me every week. The key is to cherry pick the places I really want to work, and not just take any honky tonk hell hole gig that comes along. It goes against my nature to say no to work, but I’ll need to start.

The days of working the toilets need to be OVER, no matter how much I need the money. It’s a big drain on the psyche, and those gigs have never been what I aspire to. I want to build myself a career, and that requires a completely different strategy. I have the necessary skills, now it comes down to how well I can market myself. If I can get in the door, I know I can shine with the best.

My problem has been I have not been knocking on the correct doors. The solution is to change my mindset and go where I need to go to make what I want happen. That may involve moving to another city, and at this juncture I’d be fine with it. I’m not being held in Chicago, and although I really like it here I know I could survive just fine in any number of other places. The number one place I need to survive is in my own head. Once I’m at home there, my base city doesn’t matter.

The Chicago area is a great place to live, but maybe it's time to shake things up and move somewhere else.

The Chicago area is a great place to live, but maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit and move somewhere else for a fresh start.

I've always loved Atlanta. The climate is mild, and the women are gorgeous. It's a fantastic city.

I’ve always loved Atlanta. The climate is mild, and the women are gorgeous. It’s a fantastic city, and I have some great friends there.

Los Angeles has always been a favorite place of mine as well. A lot of people hate it, but that's them. I'd live there in a second if I had even half a reason.

Los Angeles has always been a favorite place of mine as well. A lot of comedians hate it, but that’s them. I would live there again in two seconds if I had even half a reason.

The best choice of all might be Las Vegas. It's close to Los Angeles, and it's an entertainment town. I've always liked it there too - except in the summer. Yikes. "Dry heat" my barbecued buttocks.

The best choice of all might be Las Vegas. It’s very close to Los Angeles, and it’s an entertainment town. I’ve always liked it there too – except in the summer. “A dry heat” my barbecued buttocks. But I’d still move there.

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