Posts Tagged ‘Superman’

Scratching And Clawing

April 16, 2014

Monday April 14th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I don’t often give myself credit for a lot of things, but one thing I have always been able to do better than almost anyone is absorb an inordinate amount of life’s punches. I have had more than the average journeyman’s share of lumps to take starting from my earliest memories, and it’s not getting any easier. I know everyone has their own batch of problems, but not many are like mine.

I have never thought I was better than anyone else and I still don’t, but I do think that I’ve been able to last longer in the line of fire than almost anyone I know. It’s a wonder I am not constantly sucking a crack pipe or guzzling moonshine by the jug. Had I gone that route, I would be dead.

Sometimes when I’ve been at my lowest points, I would get a giddy feeling of impenetrability that made me feel like Superman’s big brother. I would laugh at everything that was crumbling around me, and march through the rubble to continue my journey. “Is THAT all ya got, life?”

Then there were other times that for no reason I’d just turn into a giant ball of nerve endings of the most sensitive kind, and any little thing would cause severe pain and agony. All I would want is to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep for eternity. There has rarely been an in between.

At the moment, I’m feeling the in between. Part of me doesn’t care if I live or die this very day, but another part of me is laughing inside and mocking life for thinking it can defeat me. It’s quite an odd mix I admit, but it’s what I feel. It’s like I’m caught in between gears and stuck in neutral.

Inside there’s a lost little boy cluelessly wandering through life all by himself like he’s gotten left behind in a big Kmart and can’t find his parents or anyone to ask to make an announcement to look for them. It’s intimidating as hell, and I have no idea if I’ll ever find my way to safety.

There’s also a bad ass ape like creature in there that could stomp The Incredible Hulk in a fight with one arm tied behind his back. He is not afraid of man or beast, and has a crystal clear vision of what he wants and where he wants to go. He’s sitting alone in a cage, just waiting to cut loose.

All he needs is an invitation, but that’s the problem. Very few seem to know or care that he’s in there, and even though he would never do any harm those few that do seem to be deathly afraid of having him anywhere around. So there he sits, loaded with potential – but not using any of it.

I guess I’m just suffering from a total shortage of self esteem. Everyone wants to feel wanted by somebody, and I’m just not feeling it from anywhere right now. I scratch and claw furiously each week to barely stay afloat, and as humbling as it is to accept the world is not waiting on pins and needles for the King of Uranus to arrive. I’m going to have to scratch and claw that into life also.

Scratching and clawing is not what I want to be doing right now. Creating and enjoying would be much more to my liking. I’ve suffered enough – at least in my mind. At least a short run in the sun should be in order, shouldn’t it? I’ve hung in there this long, it would be a total shame not to score my payoff. I could really use a little shot in the arm from the universe right now. I’m tired.

Sometimes even now I feel like a lost little boy wandering through life with no direction or guidance.

Sometimes I feel like a lost little boy wandering through life without any direction or guidance.

Other times I feel like I'm bullet proof and can take anything life can dish out.

Other times I feel like I’m bullet proof and can absorb absolutely anything life can dish out.

It sure would be nice not to have to scratch and claw my way through each and every week. How about some relief soon?

It sure would be nice not to have to scratch and claw my way through each and every week. How about some relief soon?

Better Than Sex!

March 3, 2013

Friday March 1st, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   Tonight was one of those special nights that remind me why I still do standup comedy. I was at Zanies in Chicago for two shows this evening, and the early show was one of the best I’ve had in a long LONG time. I’ve been having extra solid shows of late, but this one took it to a new level.

This was one of those rare matches of performer and audience that was picture perfect on every level. I knew almost before I said my first word this would be my crowd, and I don’t know how I knew that but I did. I guess it was instinct garnered from all my years, but my ticket was punched for this one. This particular group was with me from buzzer to bell and we all enjoyed the ride.

I wish I could bottle the feeling of sheer exhilaration that happens on nights like this. It’s better than any feeling I’ve ever felt, and I can’t imagine any sensation on this planet topping it. People often say something is ‘better than sex’, but this feeling truly is. How many people have sex with 100 or more at once, and make it last for almost a solid hour? I’m telling you, it’s an intoxicant.

I heard an interview with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers not long ago, and he spoke of what a rush it was to be on stage playing music. He said it’s the only time in his life he ever feels truly free, and I’m right there with him. When I’m on stage on a night like this, I feel like Superman.

It’s like being out with a woman I am totally attracted to, and knowing the deal with be closed at the end of the evening. It makes the whole experience that much better from the actual dinner itself to the movie or show to the car ride home. It doesn’t always work that smoothly, but when it does it’s pure heaven. It’s also what keeps one coming back when things don’t fall into place.

I’ve done literally thousands of standup comedy shows in my life, and most of them on average have gone pretty well. At the end of the evening, if the entire audience was quizzed as to whether or not they thought I was a professional, I’d bet I’d get an overwhelming amount of yes answers.

There have been some horrific experiences, but that goes with the territory for anyone who has performed live in any genre of entertainment. Sometimes it’s just not there even for the big ones, but it’s very rare. Most professionals are able to pull off a show to the satisfaction of the crowd.

I’m about as picky as anyone I’ve ever met when it comes to my standards. I’m often bummed out by a performance the audience considered exceptional. They line up to tell me how they were entertained and I thank them sincerely – and mean it – but I know in my heart I could do it better.

Tonight was not that kind of night. I don’t think I could have done anything a whole lot better, and it was satisfying to be able to shake people’s hands afterward and hear how much they were enjoying it too. I really wish I would have recorded this one, but I know how special it truly was.

Then there was the late show. It was fine, but nowhere near the mutual orgasm of the first one. I was still on a high from the early show though, and it didn’t bother me in the least. No matter if I ever get famous or not, I’ve reached a skill level few ever do. It’s taken years, but it’s worth it.

Breathing Easier

December 27, 2012

Wednesday December 26th, 2012 – Reno, NV

   I always breathe a little easier on December 26th, knowing another Christmas is finally OVER. Some years are better than others, but for some reason this one was a nasty bastard. I would love nothing more than to ‘get over it’ or ‘turn the frown upside down’ like a lot of well meaning but completely clueless people like to say, but it’s just not that easy. If it were, I would have done it.

It’s like Superman being bound and gagged and lowered into an Olympic sized swimming pool full of kryptonite, and then people wondering why he can’t get out. Everyone has their weakness, and this is mine. It’s also a big hurdle for most dented cans. Family pain haunts us for a lifetime.

I wish I could ‘fix it’, but it’s beyond my capability. I’m too busy out there slugging it out on a daily basis trying to keep the bills paid. Who’s got extra money to see a doctor and get some help when every penny I’m making is going to pay rent, keep my car running, feed myself and get my IRS debt shrunk down? I couldn’t support a family right now if I wanted to – but I really want to.

Had life worked like it looked like it was going to, I’d be sitting pretty working at The Loop in Chicago doing the morning show with my good friends Spike Manton and Max Bumgardner. We would be making a great living, and having a blast doing it. I’d be known around Chicago and an absolute champion for charitable causes across the board. It was right in our grasp, and then not.

I still can’t figure out why it went down like it did – but it did and the last several years haven’t been a shadow of what they could have been. An opportunity like that doesn’t come often, and it came at a time when we were all ready for it. We would have been great in that role, but it’s out of our hands now and that’s another reason the holidays stink. We were fired on December 17th.

My whole life would have been better on so many levels, but it isn’t and here I sit by myself in Reno trying to pay bills for another week. It’s hard as hell not to be bitter or depressed about the way things worked out, but I’m trying my best to hang in there and keep fighting. It’s a struggle.

I realize I’m not the only one in a rough spot, but sometimes that doesn’t help. My own issues seem insurmountable, and I feel like I’m Superman in that pool of kryptonite. Once I get out I’m confident I’ll be able to get my super powers back, but while I’m down it feels like it’s hopeless.

This week in Reno at Catch A Rising Star will be fun. The first show tonight was solid and the club is beautiful. The staff is all friendly, and they’ve been working there for years so they have a grip on how to do things correctly. I could tell in the first two minutes I was going to like it here, and I have no doubt shows will go well all week. Tonight’s show was a great way to kick it off.

Working in places like this every week for decent pay would help relieve a lot of pressure and make life a lot more relaxed. If I knew I was booked out for a year or even six months, I’d have a little breathing room and be able to get caught up and get my head together. I can ace the shows, it’s having to hunt down the bookings every week that’s the hassle. For this week, I’ll be alright. Christmas is over, and so is my dream gig at The Loop. It’s time to get myself back in a groove.