Posts Tagged ‘The Twisted Q’

Weak End Weekend

September 2, 2013

Saturday August 31st, 2013 – Homewood, IL

   This is not a great weekend for comedy, so I arranged a couple of door deal shows to hopefully make the most of the situation. Everyone has to be more entrepreneurial these days, but that’s no guarantee even one paid customer will show up. Making a living performing is harder than ever.

   Not only does one have to have an act worth booking, part of the game is now running events at least from time to time. I’ve never enjoyed that part of it, but there’s little choice if one wants to stay in the game. There are 52 weeks to fill every year, and that’s getting harder all the time.

   It’s a combination of everything from gas prices soaring to too many bad acts bastardizing the business and clogging the toilet, but the entertainer of today needs to develop a whole new set of skills to survive in the ever changing economic jungle. Things just aren’t what they used to be.  

   It’s not just for comedians either. My friend Dave Rudolf is a musician and he’s facing exactly the same situation. He’s always been one to stay working regularly, traditional or nontraditional venues included. Whatever it takes to pay the bills, he does. I respect that, and can totally relate.

   Tonight Dave booked me in Homewood, IL at a venue called ‘The Twisted Q’. It was formerly a bakery, but is now a barbecue joint that has a stage with live music of all kinds. Dave asked if I would like to try a comedy night, and I said I would. It was a roll of the dice, and everyone lost.

   This was just not the right week to be trying indoor live shows. Last night in Libertyville was a sparse turnout and tonight’s was even sparser. The people who did show up had a great time both nights, but there weren’t enough of them to make it financially viable. All our wallets took a hit.

   I was really disappointed, because everyone involved all weekend are people I like and respect. This was the cream of the crop as far as nice people go, and I hate to see nice people take it in the shorts. Unfortunately, those are the ones that seem to do it most. We took a risk, and got burned.

   Dave and I had an agreement that this was a door deal, and we knew from the start this wasn’t a stellar weekend. Still, when it actually happens that there’s a small house it’s a kick in the balls of the heart and hard not to take it personally. It’s even harder to get up for performing for such a small audience, but that was part of the agreement too. My whole time on stage, I felt like crying.

   James Wesley Jackson was there too, and he did a splendid job as he always does. He is one of the nicest human beings walking the planet, and always has a positive attitude about everything. If there was ever a night I needed that, it was tonight. James and Dave are two favorites onstage and off, and if nothing else I wanted the joint full to support them. But it wasn’t. What a letdown.

   Also on the show was former student Joe Nuccio and eleven year old Trevor Burke whose dad Joe took my class many years ago. Again, these are all high quality individuals who came out to support. I felt really bad there was such a small house, but that’s how it is in this fickle business. It all boils down to the ability to put butts in seats, and that’s a puzzle I am still trying to solve.

That Midas Touch

August 23, 2013

Thursday August 22nd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I truly do have the Midas touch in life. Everything I touch turns to mufflers. I thought I’d found my way around that hassle at least for a little while, but when I started my car this morning I was greeted by that loud annoying noise of unquestionable familiarity. My car sounds like a Cessna.

   I know this is part of buying a used car, but this is the last thing I need right now. I’m on a very tight summer budget these days, and don’t have any extra cash to be throwing around on exhaust systems. The last one that fell off cost me $850. I still haven’t sold that turd, but even if I do I am never going to recoup that money for the exhaust system. It turns my stomach to think about it.

   I’m afraid to even have it looked at. They’re going to run the scam past me that I’ll need a new whizzenfluffer flange on my doo hickey pipe, but they don’t make those anymore so they’ll have to custom ship one in on a slow boat from the Congo. It will be made of pure ivory and cost only $3000 – plus 6 hours of labor from the specialist they will have to fly in from Japan to install it.

   I really like the Toyota Camry I bought, but it’s going to be a real killer financially. I juiced up my credit card all the way to buy it, as that was my only option at the time. I used to have a fund for repairs, but my little hospital fiasco in 2011 ended up totally wiping me out. I’m SO screwed.

   The car is very clean, and it had new tires, brakes, battery and a tune up when I bought it. It has extremely low miles for its age, and I assumed I’d have a trouble free car for a while. Having this jump out of nowhere put me in a foul mood, but there’s not much I can do about it. Life is cruel.

   I’ve been working my ball joints off of late doing all the shows I can find, and also working on all kinds of side projects that I am hoping at least one of eventually pays off financially. I’ve put it all on the line for so many years that I would have thought something should have hit by now.

   How many lumps can one guy take? I’m reaching my limit. I tried to turn my radio up loud all day, but it didn’t cover up the noise. It’s like taking a ‘French whore’ shower. Putting all the pit spray or cheap cologne on in the world won’t eliminate the stench of not having taken a shower.

   I’m trying hard to be a good person, I really am. I go out of my way to help others when I don’t have to, and have tried to make the world a better place than when I found it. One would think if there was some kind of higher power He or She would take that into consideration and cut me at least a little break. What the hell else do I have to do? All I’m asking for is relief from the storm.

   What makes this even more stressful is that I’m going into a period of even more instability for the next week or so. I’ve got three nights in a row that are door deals, and that could mean a total washout with zero cash. I took chances in three different places, and I can’t say what will happen or if even one paying customer will show up. Sometimes that’s how it works out, and this is it.

   I am at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL next Friday doing a storytelling show as requested by my friend Dave Hendrickson. He thinks that’s a hot thing right now, and I hope he’s right. I’ll cross my fingers, but I don’t know. Saturday I am working another door deal in Homewood, IL.

   Another friend Dave Rudolf is a musician and wants to try a comedy night at a music club. It’s a small room from what he tells me, and even if it fills I won’t make big money. It’s called “The Twisted Q”, but if nobody comes out it’s twisted bankruptcy. I could sure use a break right now.