Posts Tagged ‘quirks’

Losing At Schmoozing

September 14, 2013

Thursday September 12th, 2013 – Rosemont, IL

People who don’t know me well are often surprised to find out how quiet and unassuming I am off stage. I have never been one of those painfully annoying comedians who are ‘on’ all the time, and whenever I run across someone that is I can’t wait to get lost in a hurry. That’s not my thing.

All entertainers are attention whores to a certain extent, but I choose to get my fix on stage and that’s enough. Once the show is over, I’m fine with blending in to the woodwork. I don’t need to have around the clock validation from strangers to let me know I’m ok. I’m very much to myself.

As with most quirks, I think it all stems from childhood. I have an older brother and sister and a younger half brother, but was raised by my grandparents without them so it’s like I was an only child. I did visit them occasionally as a kid, but not enough to be considered a full time family.

I got used to spending large amounts of time on my own, and I grew to like it. I was in control of what I wanted to watch on TV, and I liked to read as well. I had plenty to do to keep me busy, and plenty of friends in the neighborhood to play with when I wanted company. I was content.

As I got into comedy, that mindset did me well. Comedians often have long stretches of travel that are done completely alone, and it can be extremely intimidating at first. I remember the first time I went across the country by myself. I was about 19, and I took a Greyhound bus to Dallas.

That was a huge step at the time, as I quit my job as a cook at a steak restaurant in mid shift to chase my adventure. I’d never been out of Milwaukee on my own before that, and it opened up a door that has never closed. I couldn’t begin to count all of the trips I took completely by myself.

I’ve often joked that I could survive prison time, and I still think I could. I hope I never have to test that theory, but my enemies should probably think twice before they try anything stupid. It’s never smart to mess with anyone who isn’t afraid of consequences, but I don’t want to go there.

I want to be a comedian, and I’m already there. I’m not nearly as far as I think I should be, and that’s been my fault mainly because I am such a lone wolf. Schmoozing with others is part of the game, and I’ve been extremely poor at maintaining a facade that I enjoy it – which I never have.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy having fun with other comedians. I absolutely do, but what I’ve never enjoyed was having to hang out for hours watching others get drunk or high, as that’s a huge part of what a majority of people do to be social. I’ve never been a drinker or druggie, and don’t plan on starting any time soon. I prefer to do my show and go home, but that’s not good for business.

Tonight I picked up a last minute gig hosting the show at Zanies in Rosemont, IL. I was glad to have a chance to get paid, even though I just closed the show there last night. Ego doesn’t become an issue when bills are due, and I enjoy working all of the Zanies clubs in Chicago. I’m at home.

If I felt that at home everywhere else, I’d be a lot farther along on my career path. I really need to force myself to find a way to network better. It’s not my nature, but it’s also the only way I’m ever going to get a break. I can be a recluse after I hit a big payday. For now, I need to be seen.


Tweaks And Quirks

February 1, 2013

Monday January 28th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Everyone on this planet is at least a wee bit crazy to a certain degree, and I have yet to hear of or personally meet any exceptions. We’ve all got tweaks and quirks of some sort, and it becomes an issue of whether we choose to either embrace or fight them. Whatever the case, they’re there.

I freely admit to several my own, even though I haven’t decided whether I’m going to embrace or fight. All I know is certain things get under my skin even when I know they shouldn’t. We all have our own individual demons, and I guess that’s what makes life interesting – or maddening.

One of my longest running tweaks has been the insane need to have my gasoline purchases end up at a round number. I’ll try to always hit it on an even dollar amount, but in a pinch I can settle for .50 or .25. What I absolutely CANNOT deal with is an ‘.01’. It drives me out of my mind.

I know in the scheme of life it shouldn’t make even the slightest difference – but it totally does. I can’t stand going over the even dollar amount, and often I’ll keep pumping to the next one even if my tank is already full. I’ll get out a gas can from my trunk and fill that, and if I blow it again I find other cars and top off their tanks. I know full well this is meaningless, but I can’t get over it.

I can’t be the only one to have this be an issue, as I swear some gas pumps don’t even have the ability to stop on the ‘.00’. I’ve had hair trigger pumps that have been impossible to master and it has become a lifelong crusade to avoid them like the plague. Give me accuracy or give me death.

Another deep dent in my personal can is having to wait at a red light longer than those going in the other direction while there is an arrow for them to turn left. This frustrates me to the point of full on mouth foamage, even though I know there’s not one thing I can do but wait for it to pass.

I know I should just turn up my radio and whistle a tune, but it goes deeper than that. I feel like I’ve chosen the wrong life path whenever this happens, and those going the other direction are on the road to success while my opportunities slowly leak away like the water in the baggie holding the goldfish I won at the carnival when I was nine. Is there a pill I can take to make this stop?

Again, I don’t know why this particular situation should be so annoying to me but it is. It goes on every day, and if it were an even split I’d be a lot better with it but it isn’t. I’ve counted  how many times I’ve gotten the arrow in my direction versus the times I’ve had to wait and it’s never been close to being even. Usually it’s about ten to one against me, and that makes it even worse.

I keep thinking the time I have to wait for the other side to go dips into my cosmic rhythm and causes me to be even more off track than I already am. How do I know I wouldn’t miss meeting the woman of my dreams by just a few seconds because I was stuck waiting at a traffic signal?

This is all wasted energy, and sadly I totally know it. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to get over these eccentric issues, but everyone has them and they’re not going away any time soon. It’s a matter of choice as to whether anyone embraces or fights, and I still haven’t made up my mind.