Posts Tagged ‘joke’

A Costly Freebie

April 3, 2014

Wednesday April 2nd, 2014 – Rosemont, IL

No matter how hard anyone tries to disprove it, there truly is no such thing as a free lunch. The concept sounds wonderful – but then again so does world peace and true love. That’s why people continue to try to attain all of them, but to no avail. Some things in life were just not meant to be.

That’s not to mean all of the people trying don’t mean well, I just don’t think the end result can ever be achieved. There’s always a glitch, hitch or hiccup in the mix, and the end result proves to be nothing but wasted time. I had an example of it shoved in my face today, and I’m still hurting.

I have some friends in Kenosha, WI that insisted they wanted to buy me a birthday lunch. That ship has sailed in my opinion, since my birthday is March 14th. I appreciated the thought, but it’s not necessary to belabor the point this far after the actual date. An email or call would be enough.

But no, they weren’t going to stand for that. They were going to take me to lunch if it was their last activity in life, and it got to the point where all I could do was bow to their command. Never mind that since I moved recently, Kenosha is now a 40 mile trip one way. Lunch was on them.

Not only did I have to cut several hours out of my day to plan for this event, it put 80 miles on my car. Even though my Toyota Camry gets decent mileage, that still means burning about three gallons of gas at these rock bottom prices of $3.89 a gallon in the Chicago area these days. Ouch.

So before I took my first bite, my ‘free’ meal has already cost $12 – not to mention all the wear and tear on my tires, brakes, drive train and transmission. It all adds up in time, and this was one more drain on my total resources I just didn’t need today. Truly, a birthday email would suffice.

Nope. I was special. They needed to prove that by taking me to an all I could keep down buffet that cost $7.50. Again, I truly appreciate the thought but it’s not like it was a five star meal at the Ritz Carlton. I chose to eat healthy, so it was basically just a couple of bowls of salad and water.

Halfway through the meal, one of my friends happened to recognize someone he knew that had won an election yesterday and was now a local alderman. He invited the guy to join us for lunch, and the guy asked me what I did for a living. I never like to say I do standup comedy, as that’s an open invite to hear every horrific ‘joke’ ever thought of. It’s one of the worst tortures imaginable.

Sure enough, just as I feared my friend said “He’s a comedian!” That started it off, and I had to painfully endure a barrage of old jokes that sucked any remaining pleasure out of my ‘free’ lunch that might have still been there. Basically, I’d paid a $12 cover to hear them rattle off old jokes. I know they meant well, and I really appreciate their intentions – but this was a very costly detour.

Wednesdays are supposed to be my booking day. I had fully intended to put in my time and do my due diligence in establishing a pattern of making the rounds with the bookers I already work for and more importantly looking for new ones. With an hour there and back and two hours gone at the restaurant, there was no time left for what I needed to do. NO more ‘free’ lunches. Please.

There never has been, never will be nor is there now a free lunch.

There never has been, never will be nor is there now any free lunches.

Business Show

September 25, 2013

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”.