Posts Tagged ‘logic’

The ‘C’ Word

August 15, 2013

Wednesday August 14th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   One of the most unpleasant not to mention energy draining facets of the entertainment business is the constant attention that’s required to maintain a booking schedule. I’ve never enjoyed it, but there’s no choice. If one wants to be a professional comedian, the calendar needs to stay filled on a regular basis. In theory, that doesn’t sound so difficult. In reality, it’s a constant pain in the ass.

   Today was a perfect example. The website “Gig Masters” sent an email a few weeks back that a corporate gig was available between Madison, WI and Milwaukee. I applied for it, and thought I had it. I heard from the person who placed the inquiry, and she told me I was the main finalist.

   This person is not in the entertainment business, and has no idea how it works. I received word a few days later they were changing the date of the event to another date in October of this year. I happen to have a fairly solid October, and couldn’t do it. The lady said they’d love to have me, so I approached the booker for the date I had already booked that conflicted with the new date.

   The corporate show paid three times what I was scheduled to make for the entire weekend at a club, but I really like working that particular club and I’ve had it booked for months. They treat me well there, and understood my situation. They said they’d understand and switch my week if necessary. Not every club will do that, and I can understand why. It often turns into a big hassle.

   I made myself available for the corporate date, and wouldn’t you know it they changed the date AGAIN. The lady I’m dealing with dropped the ‘C’ word, and I knew I was in trouble. It’s a sure fire recipe for disaster, and the word is ‘committee’.  Any time a committee is involved, it’s hell.

   They’re 99.999% of the time filled with idiots that can’t make a decision, and I’ve been burned time and time again. There is always ONE self appointed crusading comedy snob in the mix that thinks he or she knows what funny is and it usually ends up being some inbred kin of theirs that plays a kazoo and works for free beer. I’ve lost out countless times to someone I never heard of.

   Well, chalk up another one. I was booked for their third night, but I told them I could get out of it if they could guarantee the night at the same price. This was six times what I was to take in for a one nighter that I’d have to drive several hours to get to. Had they said yes, I’d have had to call yet a third booker and cancel a date I just booked. They wouldn’t be happy, but money is money.

   I heard from the lady a few minutes later that they’d just booked someone else but she thanked me for my time and patience. I wanted to dash off a nasty note, but I’ve learned from experience that does far more harm than good. She didn’t mean to push all my buttons, but she certainly did.

   In the end, I’m still booked for the one nighter I never cancelled, and the booker never knew I was even considering it. I’ll drive farther than I want to, but it’s a decent gig and I’ll hope to sell some merchandise and make it worth my while. I’m also rebooked in the comedy club as well. It could have been a lot worse as often is the case, but this time no real damage was done. Whew.

   Drama scenes like this happen all the time. I’m beyond sick of them by now but what can I do? It’s an unavoidable part of the game, and if I don’t play at least a little I’m out of business by the end of the day. The average Joe assumes comedians are on a ‘circuit’ and there’s some kind of a                                                                                                                                                logical and preset order. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. We have to fight for every booking we get, and every week we deal with a new potential crisis. And people wonder why I flip out.

Low Rider

June 1, 2013

Thursday May 30th, 2013 – Libertyville, IL

   Life is a continuing series of ups and downs. I happen to be stuck in a down right now, but I’ve been here plenty of times before so it’s nothing new. Although it’s never pleasant, the only thing to do is wait it out and try to weather the storm as well as possible. Sooner or later, it will switch.

   I’ve given up on trying to figure out a logical reason, because I don’t think one exists. I think it boils down to a planetary vibe, or something bigger than all of us. Maybe it’s moonbeams or star dust or cosmic dust from Uranus, but some days or longer periods of time are better than others.

   Why is it one day I’ll wake up and everything falls into place? I hit all the green lights in traffic and I go to the restaurant and get the cutie pie waitress to flirt with rather than the 300 lb. sea hag with stale perfume that smells like her sump pump went out. On those days, nothing goes wrong.

   Then, other days I can tell it’s going to be exactly the opposite. I get behind some nose picking Neanderthal drooling into his cell phone in the left lane of traffic who directly causes me to miss one green light while he slides through, leaving me steaming at the red light unable to retaliate.

   That in turn throws me off course and I end up hitting every other red light the rest of the entire day, and then getting not only the ugliest waitress at the restaurant but the newly paroled first day on the job cook with trench mouth and pink eye that sneezes on my omelet. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad, but I’d ordered a chef’s salad. When I’m out of the groove, it doesn’t matter what I do.

   Right now, I’m out of the groove. Sometimes it last for days, sometimes for weeks. Sometimes it’s longer than that. I was in a really good groove just a few weeks ago, but that’s gone now. I’m not sure exactly when the switch happened, but I know it did. I wish I could identify the process.

   One thing that’s really been an annoying issue of late is traffic problems. I got a speeding ticket in January that’s been a festering dingle berry since it happened. First, the fine was $250, and the gig I was going to in Eau Claire, WI paid $200. I was already in the hole, but the rental car I was driving cost me even more. Then I went to fight it in court, and they misfiled all my paper work.

   I eventually paid the ticket after finding out they screwed up the filing, but last week I received a notice from the state saying my driver’s license is suspended. That’s another fine I had to come up with, and the torture is never ending. I’ve never had my license suspended in my life until this annoying little hiccup, but now I’m a criminal because some smug cop had to play Dirty Harry.

   Normally I respect the police, but that guy had a bug up his ass as he got out of his car. I don’t know what his problem was that day, but he sure took it out on me. I could tell when he climbed out of his car I was going to get a ticket by the way he goose stepped to mine. I was out of luck.

   Other days, I’m able to make the cop laugh or just get off with a warning. I’ll admit I’ve gotten off completely several times when I probably should have gotten pinched, but for reasons I can’t identify I slid through the cracks. Was it because I was a nice guy? Caucasian? Without any past criminal record? It could be a combination of all of those things, but I can’t put my finger on it.

   Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t feel like I am doing anything different, but there sure are different results. Right now I’m on a low, and try as I might I haven’t the first hint of a clue as to how to change that. If I could, I would. But I can’t. I’ll have to wait.