Posts Tagged ‘Dave Rudolf’

That Midas Touch

August 23, 2013

Thursday August 22nd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I truly do have the Midas touch in life. Everything I touch turns to mufflers. I thought I’d found my way around that hassle at least for a little while, but when I started my car this morning I was greeted by that loud annoying noise of unquestionable familiarity. My car sounds like a Cessna.

   I know this is part of buying a used car, but this is the last thing I need right now. I’m on a very tight summer budget these days, and don’t have any extra cash to be throwing around on exhaust systems. The last one that fell off cost me $850. I still haven’t sold that turd, but even if I do I am never going to recoup that money for the exhaust system. It turns my stomach to think about it.

   I’m afraid to even have it looked at. They’re going to run the scam past me that I’ll need a new whizzenfluffer flange on my doo hickey pipe, but they don’t make those anymore so they’ll have to custom ship one in on a slow boat from the Congo. It will be made of pure ivory and cost only $3000 – plus 6 hours of labor from the specialist they will have to fly in from Japan to install it.

   I really like the Toyota Camry I bought, but it’s going to be a real killer financially. I juiced up my credit card all the way to buy it, as that was my only option at the time. I used to have a fund for repairs, but my little hospital fiasco in 2011 ended up totally wiping me out. I’m SO screwed.

   The car is very clean, and it had new tires, brakes, battery and a tune up when I bought it. It has extremely low miles for its age, and I assumed I’d have a trouble free car for a while. Having this jump out of nowhere put me in a foul mood, but there’s not much I can do about it. Life is cruel.

   I’ve been working my ball joints off of late doing all the shows I can find, and also working on all kinds of side projects that I am hoping at least one of eventually pays off financially. I’ve put it all on the line for so many years that I would have thought something should have hit by now.

   How many lumps can one guy take? I’m reaching my limit. I tried to turn my radio up loud all day, but it didn’t cover up the noise. It’s like taking a ‘French whore’ shower. Putting all the pit spray or cheap cologne on in the world won’t eliminate the stench of not having taken a shower.

   I’m trying hard to be a good person, I really am. I go out of my way to help others when I don’t have to, and have tried to make the world a better place than when I found it. One would think if there was some kind of higher power He or She would take that into consideration and cut me at least a little break. What the hell else do I have to do? All I’m asking for is relief from the storm.

   What makes this even more stressful is that I’m going into a period of even more instability for the next week or so. I’ve got three nights in a row that are door deals, and that could mean a total washout with zero cash. I took chances in three different places, and I can’t say what will happen or if even one paying customer will show up. Sometimes that’s how it works out, and this is it.

   I am at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL next Friday doing a storytelling show as requested by my friend Dave Hendrickson. He thinks that’s a hot thing right now, and I hope he’s right. I’ll cross my fingers, but I don’t know. Saturday I am working another door deal in Homewood, IL.

   Another friend Dave Rudolf is a musician and wants to try a comedy night at a music club. It’s a small room from what he tells me, and even if it fills I won’t make big money. It’s called “The Twisted Q”, but if nobody comes out it’s twisted bankruptcy. I could sure use a break right now.


Ann Arbor Affection

June 30, 2013

Friday June 28th, 2013 – Ann Arbor, MI

   Back on the road again, and it’s been a while. Part of me missed it, but a bigger part didn’t. It’s a definite lifestyle, and not for everyone. I could tell I’m out of sync, and that’s a place I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. The road bug has been in my blood all my adult life, but I’m just not intoxicated by it like I used to be. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s how I feel.

   The good thing about this week is that I’m back in one of my very favorite places of all time in Ann Arbor, MI. The club here is The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, and I’ve always knocked it out of the park here as the audiences are traditionally intelligent and show up wanting to laugh.

   Places like this make being a comedian fun, and I’m bummed there aren’t more of them. It’s a treat performing for an audience that gets it, but that’s not always the case. And it’s not like I do particularly atom smashing brilliant stuff either. My material is relatively smart, but at times that just isn’t what certain audiences want. They want loud stupid filth, but that’s just not what I do.

   It’s different here, and I’ve always loved it. Ann Arbor is a very hip town located in the middle of the rust belt, and dangerously close to Detroit. People think I’m crazy, but I have always loved the Detroit area – at least the suburbs. I love the whole car culture, and at one time it was the hub of everything. I know people make fun of it now and with good reason, but Detroit was a giant.

   It was a blue collar working class giant much like my home town of Milwaukee, but that’s not the vibe in Ann Arbor. It’s very artsy and eclectic here, and I really like it. Madison, WI has a bit of that kind of vibe too, but not like here. For whatever reason, what I do seems to fit perfectly.

   It’s an easy week too. I can’t remember if there were Thursday shows in the past, but now it’s a Friday and Saturday only. There are two shows a night, and the club is located in the basement of a delicious vegetarian restaurant called Seva. I was the first to make fun of vegetarianism back in my youth, but this place won me over. It’s one of the best anywhere.

   On the way here, I stopped to have lunch with my friend Dave Rudolf. Dave is booking acts at a smaller club in the far southern suburbs of Chicago, and wants to try a comedy night. He asked if I would mind doing the opening night, and I said I would. I don’t really work the south side of Chicago much, as it’s a long ride from where I live. It’s 90 miles one way to get to Dave’s house.

   In contrast, it’s only about 50 miles each way for me to get to either downtown Milwaukee or downtown Chicago from where I live. The only way it’s convenient to visit with Dave is when I pass through on my way to a gig like I was today. Gas prices are making us all plan trips more.

   It’s bleeding us all dry, but who has a choice? I could rant and rave about how they could run a car on pickle juice and coffee grounds, but they’re never going to do it. It’s all about money, and those few who have it aren’t about to turn it loose to the masses of us who don’t. We’re screwed.

   That’s not about to change any time soon, so we might as well enjoy whatever we can. I have a fun gig this week in a place I really enjoy. I won’t get filthy rich, but I at least know my rent will be paid Monday so that’s a big relief. The shows tonight were both solid, and I loved being back for the first time in two years. I know that because the last time I was here I went to the hospital the next week with my type 2 diabetes diagnosis. That was a fun week too, and I’m thrilled to be back. If I had 52 weeks like this every year, life would be a breeze. I don’t, so I’ll enjoy the trip.

Creative Connections

February 20, 2010

Friday February 19th, 2010 – Frankfort, IL

I put 350 miles on my car today and didn’t leave the Chicago area. I didn’t plan on that, it just worked out that way. The first stop was lunch with my friend Dave Rudolf, one of my favorite people ever. He lives in Park Forest, IL, which is about 80 miles south of me.

It’s much closer for me to drive to Milwaukee than it is the south side of Chicago, plus there’s always the added torture of getting through the city. If I go through downtown it’s usually a traffic nightmare, and taking the I-294 bypass involves tolls I can’t stand paying.

I was booked tonight at CD&ME which is in Frankfort, IL. That’s not far from Dave so I thought I’d combine the drives. Dave is the greatest. I can’t begin to tell it with a couple of sentences, so check out his website. He’s a musician, comedian, cancer survivor and fantastic entertainer all around. Plus, he’s a super human being also.

I worked with Dave over 20 years ago at Snickerz Comedy Bar in Ft. Wayne, IN and we have stayed in contact since. He does a charity show every Christmas and is a giving soul type just as I try to be. The guy is always working on something fun and never gives up.

I’ve lost count on the number of CD projects he’s done, but I think it’s 24 now. He said he’s working on three more, and a couple of books too. Oh, and a play as well. He has his own recording studio in his house, and he puts it to good use. I love his creative energy.

He’s always been a big fan and supporter of mine too, and I’m very flattered by that. It’s always fun for me to hang out with creative types and exchange ideas and that’s what was planned for today. Like everyone else, Dave has been hit by the economy and has to think of new sources of income. Rather than complain about it he’s coming up with new ideas.

Dave has taught workshops on the business part of music and we’ve talked about trying to put together something for entertainers in general. Music and comedy and most genres of entertainment have similar business models, at least at the beginning and most newbies have NO clue as to how to get started. They’re left to their own mistakes, and that stinks.

Dave asked for some ideas for things he was working on and gave me some great input for the Uranus Factory Outlet project. He has a few connections he recommended and we had a very productive lunch. Dave is the kind of mind I want to have around my projects.

I was going to hang out on the south side until show time, but I received a call from my t-shirt guy Mark in Antioch, IL telling me my ‘T E I A M’ shirts were ready. I could have waited another day, but I decided to drive back north and pick them up. It was sunny and traffic was moving and I know it was a long drive but I didn’t care. I was in an up mood.

The shirts look really good, and Mark is proving to be very easy to deal with. He gets it. I drove back south to get to the show by 8pm, and it was a really nice audience and we all had a great time. I don’t mind driving if it has a payoff, and today was worth every mile.