Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Barbecued Buttocks

November 8, 2013

Thursday November 7th, 2013 – Ft. Atkinson, WI

There has been an incredible fire lit directly under my buttocks, and I am motivated like I can’t ever remember. The main ingredient in that fire is fear. If I don’t get myself making money soon I’m going to have some really rough times ahead – as if I haven’t had to deal with any until now.

I have sacrificed my entire adult life to hone my craft, and now it’s time for a payoff. It’s like a farmer taking his crops to market. Whatever it took to get those crops planted, watered, grown to maturity and then harvested is all history. All that matters is how much he can get for his supply.

I’ve got more than one crop to sell, and that’s a plus. I have a rock solid standup comedy show that I can perform to a wide variety of audiences from clubs to cruise ships to a corporate setting. I have never been a ‘saloon act’, and that’s going to be a huge help. It’s not where the money is.

Theatres and nicer venues have always been what I aspire to, and whenever I’ve been fortunate enough to play them I feel totally at home. I played some sweet venues in 2003 when I competed in the San Francisco Comedy Competition, and that has always stayed with me as what I wanted on a much more regular basis. The mythical smoky nightclub has never been where I want to be.

That’s why I totally love doing my ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show at Northern Lights Theatre in the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. That’s exactly the kind of venue I picture, and everything that I need comes with it. The lights and sound are as good as it gets, and the staff couldn’t be nicer.

They have an advertising budget, and it’s a venue everyone has heard of. This is where to be in my opinion, but there are a lot of comedians who enjoy the bar gig scene. It’s home to them, and I’ll gladly let them have it. I want to focus on performing in venues where I get paid a lot better.

Another crop I have to sell is radio content. I have paid my dues there too, and can either host a show myself or be a funny sidekick. I’ve got years of hands on experience doing both, and would be able to walk right in to any radio station in North America to start a job tomorrow. I’m ready.

Cruise ships are another arena I’ve had experience and paid some dues. It was a big adjustment at first, but I was able to really improve in a short time, mainly because I had so much experience to draw from. None of it came easy, but sometimes farmers have a hard time nurturing their crop. There might be drought or flood or locusts or who knows what? It doesn’t matter. That’s history.

If I can just hang in there, I have to believe the future looks quite bright. I know I’m able to do the big shows – whatever it happens to be – but now I need someone to give me my shot. That’s the next step, and I’ve been putting the word out with as many people as I can reach in these last couple of days. I’m in touch with a major radio station in Chicago, and a cruise ship booker also.

I’m not going to keep doing what I’ve been doing forever, but I did have a show tonight in Fort Atkinson, WI at a bar called ‘Fat Boyz’. I’ve been there a couple of times before, and had a good time. It’s an older crowd, and they love comedy. There were about 60 people in there, and it was a fun show in addition to being a much appreciated payday on a Thursday night. I’d much rather be doing theatres, cruise ships and radio, and as hot as the fire feels on my buttocks I’ll get there.

There has been a fire lit under my buttocks.

There has been a fire lit under my buttocks.

Like a farmer, I have worked hard to develop my crop. Now it's time to get my payoff.

Like a farmer, I have worked hard to develop my crop. Now it’s time to get my payoff for a lifetime of paying dues.

If you're in Milwaukee in December, come see "Schlitz Happened! An Old Milwaukee Blatz From The Pabst" at Northern Lights Theatre!

If you’re in Milwaukee in December, come see “Schlitz Happened! An Old Milwaukee Blatz From The Pabst” at Northern Lights Theatre!


Heidi Ho

June 12, 2013

Monday June 10th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Once, maybe twice a year – if that – I’ll get an especially dark, nasty, venom soaked email from out of the blue. It usually has misspellings of easy words and embarrassingly poor grammar, and without exception gets sent under a made up email address that of course won’t allow responses.

   It usually prattles on about how I’m ‘going to get what’s coming to me’ and ‘how unfunny and lame I am’ blah blah blah. Most of them are pretty disjointed, and difficult to read because of the mangling of the English language. I might not be Shakespeare, but I try to make coherent points.

   I started getting them in 2004 when I was working at 97.9 ‘The Loop’ in Chicago, and I talked about it on the air. I have no problem if someone doesn’t like me personally, but I do find it very cowardly that they won’t sign their real name and give their contact info to allow me to retort.

   If I legitimately wrong someone, nobody feels worse about it than I do. If someone should tell me to my face something I did irritated them, I’ll be the first one to apologize sincerely and try to do whatever I can in my power to make it right. It’s never possible to please everyone, but I have no desire to have issues with anyone. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work as smoothly as I’d prefer.

   There’s always some snaggletooth self appointed crusader with a flaming bug up their keester that feels a need to “put me in my place.” Really? I matter that much to some anonymous scrub that they’d take time and effort to peck me an email hoping I die soon? Now that’s motivation!

    I hadn’t had one in a long time, but a couple of days ago a new one came. I could tell right off the bat because it was a comment on something I wrote and the person making the comment had the user name ‘heidithinksusuck’. It went on to ramble and babble as I’ve come to expect, and of course there were wishes that I ‘get what’s coming to me’ and the usual psycho claptrap. Yawn.

   Who the hell IS this? I can’t think of anyone I know now with that name. I used to work with a war pig named Heidi at a day job years ago, but we never had issues. Even if we had, it was long ago and I can’t believe she or anyone else would just pop up out of nowhere and spew such hate.

   There’s a deeply dented can here, no matter who “Heidi” is. Maybe it’s a ‘touched by an uncle’ situation or she knows someone who hates my guts. Who can say? As far as I’m concerned she’s some hose bag I don’t know personally. Or maybe it’s a poison pen name of someone I do know.

   I must say, in a warped and twisted way her laughingly feeble attempt at cyber scolding me for perceived sins really cheered me up. I’ve been struggling extra hard lately, but knowing that my survival pisses off pinheads I don’t even know makes me feel like I’m finally starting to make it!

  One of my all time favorite obscure bands Was (not Was) has various versions of the same song on a few of their albums. It’s titled “Woodwork Squeaks and Out Come The Freaks”, and I never get sick of hearing any version of it. This world is full of freaks, and now they’re seeking me out and sending caustic emails. How sad and meaningless are their lives if hating me is their hobby?

   My skin is as thick as a watermelon rind when it comes to stuff like this. I have stood toe to toe for decades with boozed up psychotic hecklers – and won, why should a rambling email make me do anything but laugh? Knowing I piss someone off that badly is a great boost to my self esteem. It gives me hope! If I affect idiots like this, I can affect others positively. Take your pill, “Heidi”.

The Letterman Dream

September 10, 2012

Sunday September 9th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’ve been keeping up with my exercising of late, and even though it’s a significant commitment of time and effort I feel it’s a worthwhile investment. I feel great, and there’s no reason to slow it down any time soon. I’m already behind on everything, but at least I’m alive to try and catch up.

Stopping exercise is not smart, but I’ve been known to do dumb things before. For now, I’m in a healthy groove and I intend to keep it up indefinitely. One of the many benefits I receive is I’m sleeping soundly after exercise and I wake up feeling very refreshed. I’ve not had sleep problems before, but I really notice a difference now. I nod right out, and I have vividly realistic dreams.

I don’t know why that is, but I’m sure there’s a reason. All I know is, in the last year I’ve really been able to remember my dreams in detail – even after I wake up. We’ve had dream interpreters on The Mothership Connection radio show on AM 1050 WLIP, and they all say to keep track of them all. I don’t know if I want to go that far, but last night I had one that really stuck with me.

I dreamed I had an audition in front of David Letterman’s production staff, and out of a line of others they chose me. They loved my set, and then they brought in Dave himself to meet me and watch my set. He loved it, and asked me to be on the show next week. I said no, and he laughed.

Then the staff all came back into the room and welcomed me aboard. I woke up soon after that and it was one of those super vivid dreams that seemed 100% real in every way. It really felt like it was happening, and I was taken aback to wake up actually. I felt right at home in that scenario.

Does it have any meaning? Who knows? Is it a premonition? Perhaps. Is it a sign that the onset of dementia is at hand? That could be it too. Either way, it sure felt real. I was right there talking to David Letterman like we were peers, and I felt totally at home doing it. I knew I could nail it.

Maybe I’m not aiming high enough in life or there’s something else that’s off, but ability to do the job is not my problem. I’m not bragging, but if any of the late night talk shows wanted me to be on – even on extremely short notice – I could do it. I could do it TONIGHT, and I’d love to.

My appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was perceived to be a hit by those who saw it, but I know I’ll do a lot better on my next appearance of note. That was a big learning experience, and I made some dumb mistakes I surely won’t repeat. I would love another chance.

Maybe I had this dream because I hung out with Eddie Brill last week. He used to book comics for the show, and I’ve auditioned for him a few times but have yet to show him my best. He told me I’d probably not be right for the show, but he didn’t do it in a mean way. And from what he’d seen me do, I totally don’t blame him. But I’m way better than that, and I know I would kick ass.

If nothing else, it was a great motivator to get back out there and get in the game. Whether I’m ever on Letterman isn’t the issue. I’d love to be, but it’s a giant numbers game. There is some TV show somewhere that would be a good fit. It was fun to dream about, but now it’s time to DO it.

Balance Is A Bitch

February 18, 2010

Wednesday February 17th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

It finally feels like I’m starting to make some measurable progress clearing off the huge pile of backed up tasks I set out to do at the beginning of the year. Valentine’s Day is past and time is rounding the corner to my birthday. If I keep it up, I’ll be in full stride by then.

All those quips and slogans motivational speakers use are true, no matter how cliché all of it is. Thoughts ARE things, and inch by inch it IS a cinch. We DO become what we put in our minds, and without goals nothing can be achieved. The hard part is taking action.

I spent most of today sorting through the scattered pile of confusion I’ve allowed to get completely out of control. Books and clothing and scraps of paper with comedy notes and phone numbers and receipts and anything else imaginable are laying around like a tornado went through, and there’s no excuse for it. Yes, I’ve been busy, but this is not acceptable.

I’ve never been a neat freak, but I’m not Oscar Madison either. You wouldn’t know that by walking through the clutter where I live, and it’s to the point of no return. I have to get organized very soon or I’ll never be able to get anything done. It‘s to the boiling point.

I really do have all kinds of things going on, and a lot of them are good, but if I can’t get myself into some sort of order I’ll lose whatever positive momentum I do have. This is an inner tweak which is manifesting itself outwardly and I’m just not going to let it continue.

One thing for sure is that my grandfather was SO right when he used to talk about how the most difficult thing in life to achieve was balance. He said it was even more difficult than getting rich, because many who did get rich sacrificed a lot of other things to do it.

Being balanced in all areas of life is the ultimate challenge. Has anyone done it? I used to think Tiger Woods was pretty close, but then he had his little fender bender and all that ended. Who else is close? Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey? I guess I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are some people who have found a way to balance.

Extreme wealth isn’t necessary, but some degree of it is. Also, physical health, a family, creativity, continuing education, a chance to give back and all kinds of other things are on that list. Who has time to do all of it? How about even some of it? Most of us stumble our way through life, maybe focusing on a few things we do well because it strokes our ego.

How about taking time to really work at what we’re not good at? That takes total guts to even try, but I totally want to do it. If I never get rich or famous but continue to grow for a lifetime, does that make me a failure or a success? It depends who’s asked on what day.

I’d love to have it all, but is it in the cards? Is it even possible? I don’t know, but I put a full day’s work in today and in the short run it meant nothing. In the long run, if I keep up daily improvement I’ll be a much better me in not that long of time. I‘m seeking balance.