Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Summer Strategy

January 21, 2014

Monday January 20th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

2014 is going on three weeks old, and I really like the direction it’s going. I’m working all over the place, yet staying close to home. Bookings are lining up exactly how they’re supposed to, but smart eyes need to be looking forward to the summer months. They are always the hardest to fill.

In the North, people don’t want to be inside when the weather is nice. Period. I can’t say that I blame them, as I feel the same way. There aren’t that many friendly weather months around here, so when they’re here the last thing I want is to be missing any fun. This is of significant concern, as I don’t want to be missing any paychecks either. I can’t have it both ways so I need a solution.

The time to think about coming up with a strategy is now – not on the Sunday before Memorial Day like I usually do. By then it’s too late, and all that’s left are scraps. 2013 was beyond terrible and I don’t intend to give an encore performance. June, July and August need my attention now.

One satisfactory solution would be another run on cruise ships. I shudder to think of doing that longer than three months, but I could stand twelve weeks if I had to – especially if I could have it booked soon. Knowing I had my summer nut covered would add confidence to everything else.

Another satisfactory solution would be – gasp – a radio job. I haven’t thought about doing that for a while, but the timing would be perfect. I swore I’d never bark up that tree again, but to say never just isn’t realistic. My needs are changing, and this might be the perfect time to rethink it.

I did manage to book a speaking engagement for the end of the month that will allow me to get some video that I can hopefully use to get more. I will at least have more avenues to scour to line up future work, and that brings hope for the summer as well. Depending on comedy alone for the summer months is a major mistake – at least in these times. I’d feel much better with a backup.

One thing that is going to eventually help immensely is a consistently sent monthly newsletter. Even though I’ve yet to send out the first one, it will get my name in front of as many bookers of paying work as I can find, and by sheer volume alone I’m sure some work will end up my way.

I should have been doing that all along, but I haven’t. There are reasons, but none qualify as an acceptable excuse. I was ‘busy’. Really? Busy doing what – not working? Again, I’m focused on marketing this year and this is one of the first things that need fixing. I’ve been bad far too long.

Having a newsletter start out now will give me at least a couple of chances to grab the attention of somebody who can hire me for the summer months. It will take at least six months before I am able to establish any consistency, and I know that going in. I’m expecting a payoff in December.

I’m looking to cultivate names of bookers, fans and media, and get them to hopefully think of me when an opportunity arises. That doesn’t happen overnight, so I’m starting to work on it now. My pit crew chief Eric had to switch carriers, as he didn’t like the software system of the first.

We knew there would be glitches getting started, and this was a big one. It’s a week after we’d hoped to get it sent, but nobody but us cares so we’re golden. We’ll keep plugging until it’s out.

It may be in the single digits outside, but I'm thinking about summer in my head.

It may be in the single digits outside, but I’m thinking about summer inside my head.

Another run on cruise ships may be a way to survive this summer.

Another extensive run on cruise ships may be a way to successfully survive the summer slow season.

A radio job wouldn't be bad either.

A radio job wouldn’t be bad either.

This doesn't appeal to me, even though the sign is pretty funny.

This option doesn’t appeal to me in the least, even though the guy’s sign is pretty funny.


Hillbillies, Hobos and Halfwits

May 28, 2013

Monday May 27th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   It’s Memorial Day, and I’m in a reflective mood. The weather today in the Chicago area really rots, and it’s ruining people’s mood. I can feel it. Barbecues are being cancelled, and I sensed an ominous vibe from quite a few people as I ran a few errands today. I tried to make sense of it all.

   I’ve been in a funk myself of late, and that’s never good. I feel myself sliding down the rails of the abyss, and I know it’s going to be hell to crawl back out. No matter what anyone says, it’s the lack of money that’s causing 99% of it, and there are all kinds of tangled wires that are the cause.

   It stinks and I wish it weren’t that way, but then I think of the people in Oklahoma who’ve just had their whole lives swept away in seconds and it makes me shut my yap. That’s a horrible spot to be in, and what’s left of my heart goes out to every one of them – toothless hillbillies or not.

   This world is full of the toothless, clueless, hopeless and shameless. There are hillbillies, hobos and halfwits, and we’re all thrown together to fight our way through the jungle. We either squeak out a way to survive the madness, or we’re wiped out like bugs on a windshield. It’s a cruel gig.

   The whole war thing has never made sense to me either. I have the utmost respect for all of the brave souls who had the courage to give their lives, but the concept of war itself makes me puke. We’ve been doing it as long as we’ve been a species, but I still can’t see anything good about it.

   Why do we have to kill each other for any reason? I know I sound like a bleeding heart hippie, but I really mean it. I’ve always said I have a ton of people I can’t stand, but I don’t want to kill any of them. I might not want to be within 500 miles of them, but they can go live away from me and screw up their own lives. I would like to think the karma train will run them over eventually.

   Look at all the sadness Memorial Day brings to millions of Americans who lost someone in the service of the country. There are parentless kids because of it, and lonely spouses and all kinds of ugliness that I just don’t see a legitimate reason for. I know war is about money in the end, but if that’s the only way to get it then I’ll stay broke. Someone at the top is missing what life is about.

   Sometimes I feel like I’m the one missing what life is about. In my warped little pea brain, I’ve always thought life was supposed to be happy and fulfilling. We should cheer people up at every possible opportunity, and that’s what I’ve always tried to do. Sometimes it has worked out great, but others it feels like I totally missed the happy boat. Of late it’s been the missed the boat way.

   One thing that really cheered me up today was a note from a wonderful comedian named Beth Donahue – Weedman. What a fireball she is, and I’ve always been a huge fan. She tells it like it is, but unfortunately not everyone can handle that kind of honesty. I know. I’m like that as well.

   Beth and I have both been around about the same time, and we’ve both done comedy and radio along the way. We both have our fans, and both have our detractors. Unfortunately, neither of us has figured out that pesky success formula or chased it very hard. We chose to do things our way and that’s not always the way to win the approval of those difficult to figure out ‘powers that be’.

   I have all the respect in the world for Beth, and the others like her that never seem to reap what they so richly deserve. I feel the same way about the troops who gave it all up so rich politicians can get richer on the blood of the grunts that did the dirty work. This planet is a cosmic carnival.

Beth Donahue-Weedman is one of the funniest comedians in America

Beth Donahue-Weedman is one of the funniest comedians in America!

Go see her at Nashville Zanies on June 2nd, 2013!

Go see her at Nashville Zanies on June 2nd, 2013!

Memorial Daydreaming

June 1, 2010

Monday May 31st, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I think I struck a nerve with what I started rambling about yesterday. Quite a few people made a point of contacting me personally to say how much they could relate to everything I was talking about. I don’ t know whether to be relieved or disturbed. I’m a bit of both.

Why is life like this? People have been asking that for generations, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. There’s injustice everywhere, and it all seems so pointless. I wish we at least had an explanation of some sort, but we don’t. That’s why it’s so frustrating.

On one hand, there’s a part of life that seems so desirable. Then, so few of us ever get it that it all seems like a cruel joke. Then, those who do actually manage to attain it screw it up royally, and it’s even more frustrating. There are countless examples and it baffles me.

In comedy, Richard Jeni is a perfect example. He achieved what most people would say is fantastic success, yet it still wasn’t enough and he ended up killing himself. Would that happen to me? I guess I can’t say that until I’ve been there, but as of now I haven’t been.

It’s not just material things either, but that is a big part of it. We all need to have at least some physical possessions, and money is the way we measure how to achieve it. It’s not a perfect system, but what’s better? We haven’t thought of that yet, so money’s it for now.

That seems to be where a lot of problems lie for a lot of people. It does for me. If I had a nest egg of money, I wouldn’t be in the situation of unpleasant uphill struggle I’m in. I am a lot of the reason for it, and I admit that – but I want to change and improve my position.

My problem seems to be I intend to do it honestly and without hurting anyone else. As I get older I feel my cynicism enlarging like my prostate, and I wonder if it’s at all possible. I’m not saying good people can’t have money, but it sure seems to be rare from my view.

Do rappers and athletes really need to have as much money as they do? Is it fair they get paid like they do when teachers and cops and fire fighters and soldiers and those who do a lot more good for the benefit of us all have to struggle to pay bills every month? I say no.

But who cares what I say? Not many. That’s why it felt so good to hear from the people I did when I started down this path yesterday. There ARE people who see the things I do, and they can’t figure it out either. At least it feels good to know I’m not totally alone here.

Still, I’ve got a lot of work to do if I’m going to change my life around for the better. In a perfect world, I’d be firing on all cylinders right now but this is far from a perfect world and I’m struggling big time just to stay afloat. That makes it even harder to change gears.

I took a lot of the day to just sit and think – about my life, about life in general, about a lot of things. Memorial Day was one of them. My heart goes out to all who sacrificed life so I can complain about mine. I can’t let them down, or myself either. Time to get tough.