Posts Tagged ‘Todd Hunt’

No Fooling

April 2, 2014

Tuesday April 1st, 2014 – Gurnee, IL

The first quarter of 2014 is now history, and I have no idea where it went. I put in a lot of work on a lot of things, and it went by a lot faster than I expected. It was productive, but I never think I do enough so there’s still some disappointment. I did pull off the benefit show for Sheri Johnson, so that was satisfying. I also reconnected with my siblings, and I’ve waited for that for decades.

Another positive was getting my monthly newsletter restarted. We’ve sent out three editions so far, and each one continues to improve. That’s a big deal, and I don’t intend to let up. I also had a varied array of fun shows, and that always makes me feel good. It’s been a positive three months. I haven’t slacked off, and every day I try to accomplish at least a little. Progress is being made.

Still, I’m nowhere near satisfied with any of it. Surviving is one thing, but I want to kick things into high gear and live life on all cylinders. I’ve had a few flashes, and it feels great. It’s time for me to get my payoff for all the years of struggle, and I need to buckle down and try even harder.

I am sold beyond sold on the Uranus concept, and that’s going to be my main point of focus for at least the next six months. I still have to survive like I always have, but I’m going to set aside a chunk of time each morning to work on all things Uranus. I’ve started and stopped and started all over, but that’s just not good enough. I’ve achieved a few results, but nowhere near what I want.

It’s now or never, and the clock is ticking for us all. My biggest regret in a lifetime packed full of them would be to go to my grave with this idea still in me. I realize it might well be a flaming failure, but that’s never been the issue. Not giving it my best effort would be the worst scenario.

I don’t care who thinks it’s a stupid idea. I like it, and that’s all that matters. I feel it in my soul, and I know exactly what I want to do with it. The King of Uranus is the ring master of a circus of talented people just like George Clinton is the ring master of Parliament/Funkadelic. He oversees everything, and decides what projects get done and who is involved. I will take on the same role.

I want to fan the flames of talent, and encourage people to stretch their boundaries to achieve a result they never thought they could. I’m a great mentor if nothing else, but I think I also have an eye and ear for knowing who can do what and matching them with people that complement them well. My role is that of maestro, and it’s a lot more than just being an idiot in a goofy costume.

That costume will eventually be a trademark, but for now I want to build the gimmick from the ground up, and get myself established with a chunk of the public. It will be a much bigger chunk than I’d ever be able to attain as plain old me, and if that’s what it takes I’ll play along with it.

I had lunch with comedian Dan Morris today, and he’s a very sharp cookie. He is a published author, and I asked him what I’d need to do to create a proposal like an author would. He said he would help me, but I have to get something on paper first. That’s my next order of business to do much sooner than later, and I’ll go from there. I had dinner with speaker Todd Hunt, and I could tell by his stare he isn’t on the same wavelength. That’s ok. I’ll focus for now on those that are.

The King of Uranus role is starting to take shape.

The King of Uranus role is starting to take shape.

Much like George Clinton in music, it will be the role of maestro. He oversees the mix of talented people. I want to do the same.

Much like George Clinton in music, it will be the role of maestro. He oversees the mix of talented people. I want to do the same.

Sun Ra was another 'calculated kook'. Despite his outlandish costume, there was a whole lot of smarts under that Jiffy Pop hat. He was also a master maestro.

Sun Ra was another master maestro. Despite his outlandish costume, there was a whole lot of smarts under that Jiffy Pop hat.


Long Range Planning

February 21, 2014

Wednesday February 19th, 2014 – Gurnee, IL

One of the most difficult – yet very necessary – aspects of the entertainment business is to have a long term vision and work steadily toward distant goals that are far off into the future. There is usually no shortage of daily chores to keep one busy along the way, so finding time can be tough.

In my world it’s extra tough, just because I have so much going on. I have several projects I am working on at any given time, and that tends to slow things down even more. I’m too far into this to drop everything, so I’m choosing to team up with others and help delegate what I need to do.

I couldn’t do a newsletter by myself, and I know it. Eric Feinendegen is helping me get that up and running, and there have been several annoying glitches that have slowed it down. If I didn’t have him, I’d either have to shut it down or allow everything else come to a complete standstill.

A lot of my projects have come to a complete standstill, and frustrating as it may be what can I do but focus attention on the daily tasks? I’ve got all I can handle to keep myself solvent for one more month, but if I’m ever going to get out of that meat grinder there has to be a plan in place.

If I don’t work on the big picture, it will never come to be. But if I don’t tend to the daily grind, I won’t survive to shoot for the big prize. How cruel is that? The answer is to carefully divide my time between both, and stay as close as humanly possible to those parameters. It’s the only way.

Working on things that aren’t on the immediate agenda requires discipline, but I know it needs to be done so I’m including it whether I like it or not. One of those things is polishing my speech for corporate events. The last thing I want is to go up with a half baked rambling unfinished talk.

I worked diligently to prepare for my first booking last month for Coldwell Banker Realtors in Brookfield, WI, which by all accounts went quite well. I was happy with it for a first try, but I’m not naïve enough to think I don’t need a LOT of improvement. That was just a start, and to really move ahead I need to keep working on it constantly – especially when I am between bookings.

Tonight I had dinner with my speaker friend Todd Hunt who was kind enough to have watched my full video several times and make notes – five pages of them. His extreme attention to details is what he’s known for, and I listened intently as he went over his list of well thought out points.

Our roles were reversed, as for several years I have been helping him add humor to his speech. I’m his ‘fresh eyes’, and can see where the jokes go. It’s been a work in progress, and he’s used it to build a solid product. Now he’s returning the favor, and I can see how beneficial it really is.

I don’t have any speeches booked in the near future – or far future either come to think of it. It wasn’t really necessary for Todd to make his critiques tonight, but he was available and took the time to make notes so I took the time to listen. It was worth the price of dinner and much more.

Todd was dead on with his observations as I knew he’d be. I’ll add what he said, and then hear what Eric has to say as he’s a speaker too. I’ll bend and shape and tweak until my next booking – then I’ll do it again. And again. And again after that. I’ll have to find time, but I will. It’s crucial.

Long range planning takes discipline - especially when things get hectic.

Long range planning takes discipline – especially when daily life gets hectic.

Without the help of Eric Feinendegen, I wouldn't be able to have a newsletter to build a base of fans and people to hire me. It's long range planning.

Without needed help from Eric Feinendegen, I wouldn’t be able to have a newsletter to build a base of fans and people to hire me. It’s long range planning.

Todd Hunt is helping me polish my corporate humor speech. He has worked years on his own, and it's one of the best anywhere.

Todd Hunt is helping me polish my corporate humor speech. He has worked years on his own, and it’s one of the best anywhere.

A Whole New Game

December 10, 2013

Monday December 9th, 2013 – Chicago, IL

My pursuit of marketing excellence begins. This is going to be the majority of my focus for the rest of my life, and I want to put it out there so people call me on it. My natural instincts are to be a performer first and focus all my creative energies there, but that route proved to be a dead end.

It takes plenty of creativity to be a marketer too, it’s just focused in a different direction. I need to consciously divide my waking energy between my actual product(s) and getting word to those I need to have be aware of who I am and what I can do so they can hire me . It’s a balancing act.

Before, all I would focus on was the ‘show’. I loved it and still do, but there was far too little of an effort put into the ‘business’. There was enough work for enough time that I didn’t need to put much effort into chasing it, and in fact it found me. I was competent enough to have bookers line up for my services. What I didn’t realize was, they weren’t ever going to get me to the next level.

Now I know much better, and I need to approach those who can help me advance. They would include network television show talent bookers, national and international media outlets, meeting planners for corporate events and venues I have wanted to work but haven’t for whatever reason.

I can even improve dramatically with places I already work. It would take minimal effort to put together a monthly or even quarterly newsletter of what I’m doing so I can get my name in front of them even more. They already hire me, but even one more booking would be worth my while.

This is just simple business maintenance, but I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t done it. There are zero excuses, and I’m going to change my ways immediately. What needs to get drilled deep into my rock hard skull is that these are sales accounts, and they bring in money. They’re cash cows.

It would be easy to beat myself up now, but that won’t do one bit of good. What will do plenty of good is to look ahead and make dramatic changes for 2014. On the good side, I can’t think of anybody who has paid more dues than I have getting a show together. I’m completely fresh meat to a whole new market, and I have to believe I’ll be able to get hired and establish a stellar name.

I’ll also continue to work the places I already do, but market myself a whole lot better. I’ll stay in much better contact, and I’ll put time and effort into a mailing list to keep my name fresh with booking agents, media and fans. Those are all areas that need to have steady contact maintained.

Another cage I’ve thought for a while about rattling is the National Speakers Association. I’ve heard mixed reviews on whether to join or not, and it’s a significant financial investment that has no guarantee of bringing in speaking work. I have had people I respect tell me to join, and others I respect tell me to avoid it. I’m still on the fence, but I’m going to look into it a lot more closely.

The main reason I am considering it at all is that speakers as a rule are light years ahead of any comedian in the marketing department. James Gregory and Heywood Banks are a pair of shining stars at comedy marketing, while there are too many speakers to count. Todd Hunt is outstanding as is Larry Winget – but so are Dale Irvin, Greg Schwem, Mikki Williams and Steve Olsher. I’ve met all of these people personally and will model their methods. I’m playing a whole new game.

I'm thinking about joining the National Speakers Association. I have heard pro and con, but I'm still deciding.

I’m thinking about joining the National Speakers Association. I have heard pro and con, but I’m still deciding.

My NEW Business!

December 7, 2013

Friday December 6th, 2013 – Gurnee, IL

My future boils down to marketing, and I know it. It’s not a secret, and now it comes down to execution. Will I or will I not be able to sell myself to enough people to continue to forge out a living doing what I was born to do? I say I will, but I am going to have to rethink my methods.

The first thing I will need to do is assume I am starting all over – which in a way I am. I’ll need to put together a complete list of everyone I can find who has the possibility of hiring me where I see myself working, and then get my name in front of them in a positive way until they hire me.

A content filled up to date newsletter is going to be a must have for 2014. Building long lasting relationships takes consistent effort, but it’s so worth it when it works correctly. Zanies is a great example, as we’ve been helping each other for twenty years. That relationship has been win/win.

As much as I love them, that’s not nearly enough. I need to forge similar relationships with lots of people all over North America and beyond. Comedy clubs don’t pay nearly what the speaking field pays, and I’ve got enough true life stories and stage chops to make a mark there in a hurry.

There have been quite a few top level speakers that have come directly from the comedy clubs, and I know several of them personally. Dale Irvin, Greg Schwem and Tim Clue are all based out of Chicago, and they smartened up a long time before I did. They’ve all been speaking for years.

Todd Hunt is a friend who was never a comedian, but he does give humorous speeches and he is THE best marketer I’ve ever seen – with the possible exception of James Gregory. Todd and I exchange ideas often, and I’ve helped him make his speech funnier over several years. Now he’s making suggestions how I can market myself better, and I’m listening with wide open ear holes.

There’s a whole lot of work to do, but that’s not the problem. The key is to sort it out into what needs to be done in what order, and sticking with that plan no matter what. I look at it as if I were building a house from the ground up. There needs to be logical progression, or it won’t get built.

I’ll admit that’s been an issue in the past. I’ve intended to build a house, but instead of digging a foundation I might varnish a door or squeegee a window. That’s not the right order, and that’s why I’m in the position I am in now. I’m not beating myself up, I’m just assessing my situation.

A new year is just ahead, and this is a perfect time to be thinking about all of this. I’ve hung in there this long doing it my own haphazardly way, why not switch it up and learn from my many mistakes so I can achieve results I really want? I’m excited knowing I’m doing it right for once.

I met with Eric Feinendegen tonight to plot out 2014. He’ll be my pit crew chief as I transition into speaking and more corporate work. I have the ability, and now I’m putting my team together to finally get my payoff for all my decades of struggle. I know there’s a place for me somewhere.

The most important thing to remember moving forward is that I’m not in the comedy business. I mistakenly thought I was for thirty years, but I’m in the MARKETING business. Humor is my basic product, but comedy clubs aren’t the only outlet. It took a while, but I’m finally wising up.

McDonald's isn't in the fast food business, they're in the real estate business.

McDonald’s is not in the fast food business. They are in the real estate business.

Walmart isn't in the retail business, they're in the trucking and transportation business.

Walmart is not in the retail business. They are in the trucking and transportation business.

Dobie Maxwell is not in the comedy business. He is in the marketing business - and this is the age I should have known it.

Dobie Maxwell is not in the comedy business. He is in the marketing business. This is the age I should have realized that. I know now.

Giving And Taking

June 4, 2013

Monday June 3rd, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   Today was a trip down a two way street. I dealt out a few doses of constructive criticism while teaching my comedy class, but I had taken some of my own before I got there. It was all meant to uplift and improve, and that’s how it was taken by everyone involved. There was growth today.

   Criticism of anyone’s work – constructive or not – is an extremely delicate process. To achieve maximum benefit, it has to be given in exactly the right dose. Too much and it turns into nothing more than a personal attack. Too little and the message doesn’t get across. It has to be done right.

   My father was a perfect example of how not to do it. He had an uncanny knack for deciphering someone’s biggest weakness or shortcoming – then pointing it out in a mean spirited way right in front of everyone. He could be wickedly funny – if it wasn’t YOU. He was the original ‘Simon’.

   His words of criticism were anything but constructive, and lo all these years later I still flinch a little when I remember some of the nasty things he said – especially to those who were supposed to be the closest to him. They still sting years after he’s dead, so that’s why I try to be a lot nicer.

   There is no need for personal attacks, and there is an art to getting the message across so that a person receiving it can reap the benefits and not just sit with clenched jaw and hurt feelings. I’ve seen it happen countless times, and try to avoid it like the plague. Today everything worked fine.

   Before comedy class I met with my friend Todd Hunt. Todd volunteered to listen to the DVDs of my ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows from April and offer his input. I have ultimate respect for Todd and his input, as we’ve developed a working relationship over years. I’ve helped him by adding a few punch line suggestions to his business speech, and then he decides if he will use them or not.

   Many times he has, and it’s been a constant work in progress as long as I have known him. Our roles have been reversed, and now he’s the one making the suggestions. There was no need for a buffer, as we understood the process. I wanted him to make suggestions and not only did he offer input, he got it from someone else who had never seen the show. I got twice what I had expected.

   Todd happens to know someone who is originally from the Milwaukee area and has experience in the entertainment field. He played my show for her to see what she’d think, and she in turn did it one better and threw in some very helpful suggestions. I knew immediately this would be a big help. Todd offered some solid input as well, and I’m excited to add it all to the mix immediately.

   Todd and his friend were ‘fresh eyes’, and they both had the right demeanor. They were trying to make improvements, rather than just throw out half baked opinions based on half thought out ideas. There was a plan there, and I totally appreciate both of them taking time to make the notes they did. Todd is very good at what he does, and always has been. His effort will not be wasted.

   There were no hurt feelings, or ignorant comments as can happen all too often. How often have I had to sit across the table from some halfwit who starts his or her dimwitted diatribe with a line like “Here’s what’s wrong with what you’re doing…” After that, nothing else has any meaning.

   Saying something like “Here’s a point you might consider” opens the door without insulting or belittling, and is much more professional. That’s what Todd did with me, and that’s how I make a point to do it in my classes. At the end of the day, it all worked out exactly how it should have.

My friend Todd Hunt is a great business speaker.

My friend Todd Hunt is a great business speaker.

A Team Scheme

May 1, 2013

Tuesday April 30th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ‘Schlitz Happened!’ since Saturday night. I thought I could let it sit until fall, but that’s not going to be the case at all. There are too many details to be looked after, and even though I won’t do any performances for a while I still need to improve on every aspect of it on stage and off. I’m not going to let myself flub this project like I have others.

   There was a very nice build throughout the entire month of April, but I guarantee the next time it runs I’ll have it at a much higher level in every facet. I have some good people on my team that I know will have input I can use to keep polishing this chunk of raw coal into a shiny diamond.

   In addition to the people I already thanked, I forgot to mention others like Todd Hunt who was kind enough to offer to listen to the recordings of my first shows and make notes. Todd’s insights are always welcomed, and I’m sure his input will take root immediately. That’s just one source.

   Art Hinty came out to the final show this last Saturday, and he’s as sharp as they come when it comes to tweaking and punching up existing ideas. He’s a newspaper reporter by trade, and he’s been a great source of ideas and realistic input on most of the stunts I’ve tried to pull off of late.

   Art has a real grasp of the real world, and he’s another one I listen to with reverence. He’ll put a heaping ladle full of solid ideas into the stew pot, and he already has. We went out to eat after the last show, and he gave me the thumbs up as far as a show concept but also loaded me down with some useful structure details from a writer’s viewpoint and he was dead on with his notes.

   Mark Fenske is another friend that took time to come up from Chicago to see the show. He has lived in L.A. for years, and did some acting as well as standup comedy. He went to school to be a director, and he sat through two shows and made some notes as well. I’ll take all I can from all of these sources, and also keep making my own notes as I go. I already feel a lot of positive growth.

   Then there’s the off stage side of it. I need to keep working with Mark Filwett on website stuff, as content creation is always crucial. I’ll need to create products too, and also keep reading up on all things older Milwaukee so I can expand what I already have going. This will also take work.

   I don’t mind working, but my question is what’s the right work to be doing at a given time? It’s always a time management issue, and I don’t want to waste a second this late into the game. I am always biting off more than I can chew, so I’ll either need to start chewing or spit something out.

   I also need to start delegating a whole lot more or I’ll never get anywhere with anything. I just can’t do everything, and I’m proving that every day. Making myself the project leader of several teams is the way to go, and that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no way I can do it all by myself.

   As of now, ‘Team Schlitz’ is operating pretty smoothly. I have the people I need in place to get what I need for the immediate future, and I have a clear idea of who I need to engage after that to keep things moving. If I didn’t have so much other stuff going, I’m sure I’d be able to pull it off.

   The trick now is to get all the teams running like this, but I’m not there by a long shot. I have a lot of scattered and half baked projects that could be working smoothly but just aren’t because of my admitted lack of focus. I do believe this is all doable though, and it’s a matter of creating one big master plan with a lot of little mini plans woven in. It won’t be easy, but what in life ever is?

Borrowing From Broadway

April 17, 2013

Tuesday April 16th, 2013 – Hoffman Estates, IL

   As unimportant as it may seem, I want to be known for something positive after I’m dead. It’s difficult to be known for anything after one is dead, and that’s why I want to do it. It means there has been effective work done somewhere along the line, and future generations benefit from it.

  Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges and Buster Keaton are perfect examples. I used to watch their work with my grandpa when I was a kid, and we both laughed uproariously. I have pleasant memories to this day because of them, and most of them were dead before I was born. They gave millions pleasure while they were alive, and millions more after they died. That’s true success.

   I don’t know if I can do that, but it sure is a noble goal. I think I’m on or close to the right track at least a little, and I intend to keep working for as long as I’m breathing. It will end soon enough anyway, so why not shoot for the moon and beyond? Making a difference would make me proud.

   Right now, the project at the top of my mind is ‘Schlitz Happened!’ That may well be what I’m known for if anything, so I want to knock it out of the park and make it a high quality product for years to come. It may only be enjoyed by a select few, but I want those people to love it dearly.

   I’ve been doing my due diligence to improve myself on every level of late. Meeting in Atlanta with James Gregory and taking Steve Hofstetter’s business seminar really inspired me to take my level of business up a notch, and today I met with my friend Todd Hunt to continue that process.

   I always learn from Todd, as he’s one of the top marketers I know along with James, Steve and precious few others. There is major skill required to be a top marketer, but it also involves a well executed plan and a lot of plain old hard work. James, Steve and Todd have all done it correctly.

   Not only that, they’ve all done it in different areas. James works comedy clubs and theatres for the most part, while Steve works colleges and comedy clubs. I doubt if any of James’ fans have a clue as to who Steve is, and vice versa. And I’d bet none of any of those fans would know Todd.

   Todd isn’t even a comedian. He’s a ‘business speaker’, which isn’t the same as a ‘motivational speaker’, and neither of the two have a ‘circuit’. Todd has to dig up jobs one at a time, but he has done it successfully for years and continues to grind out his marketing plan on a consistent basis.

   I would bet 95% of his business or higher comes from his relentless cold calling, sending flyers and mailers and constantly shaking the trees of human resource people nationwide. If I had to do what Todd does to get work, I’d be out of business in a week. He really knows what he’s doing.

   Not only that, he’s a huge fan of Broadway shows. How does that help me? Well, he’s into that world like I’m into sports, and he has a working knowledge of the entire culture. I am completely clueless to that subject, but it doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it. Todd explained a lot of how that game works, and I listened intently trying to pick out anything that can help me with my project.

   Todd is also really good at making critiques and suggestions, and was kind enough to offer his input on the shows I’ve already done. I will listen to what he says, and incorporate the things I’m able to use to keep the show constantly improving both onstage and business wise. He gave me a one on one seminar just like James Gregory did, and I am grateful to have friends that are willing to offer help. I’ve always tried to be that way myself, but when it comes back it feels fantastic.  

Astronomical Odds

January 24, 2013

Tuesday January 22nd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   This just in from our news desk– LIFE IS DIFFICULT! Oh, and in a related story – it’s not fair either. I didn’t happen to just stumble across these particular revelations today, but it’s becoming a lot clearer as I get older that anyone’s chances of hitting anything really big are extremely tiny.

I happen to know a lot of people who happen to be in the creative arts in one way or another. It doesn’t matter if it’s standup comedy, acting, radio, music, writing, professional wrestling or any other artistic pursuit – there are zero guarantees the best people in any of them will ever hit it big.

The term ‘hit it big’ can be defined differently depending on who is asked to define it, but I am referring to the biggest of the big – the ‘A’ listers. I’ve crossed paths with literally THOUSANDS of aspiring artists of all genres in my time, and only a handful have ever made it to that top level.

I’ve been doing standup comedy the longest, and the three names – wait, four that pop into my head of those who really hit it are Jeff Foxworthy, Drew Carey, Larry The Cable Guy and Frank Caliendo. I would say all those guys have household name recognition with the American public.

I have no personal issues with any of those four, and I’m not jealous of their enormous success. BUT…I would like to be able to figure out exactly why it was only them. No offense to anybody on the list, but other than Frank being able to impersonate the current celebrities of his day I have no idea why the other three have been able to climb so high while so many others are struggling.

Again, I like Jeff, Drew and ‘Larry’ (not the name I knew him as when I met him, but that’s his secret and I’ll respect it) very much as people, and I’m happy they hit pay dirt. But can’t there be at least a little pay dust left over for the thousands of others who have rolled their own life dice?

SO many examples come to mind of people in all genres who have slugged it out for years, and only had minimal success. My friend Mike Moran comes to mind. He wrestled professionally for years, and came up the ranks with numerous marquee names of that field like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Mankind. He had fun and made a living, but that’s about it. He’s not rich or famous.

That’s no insult to Mike either. He’s a great guy, and very good at what he does. He paid a big price to attain his skill level, and he’s one of the best in the world. But that doesn’t pay any of his bills, and he is just another name on a list. Stone Cold Steve Austin isn’t any better of a wrestler.

I had dinner tonight with my speaker friend Todd Hunt. Todd works harder than anyone I have ever met when it comes to marketing himself, and he makes a living speaking at corporate events all over North America. Todd and I knew another speaker named John Powers who passed away this week. John was a wonderful guy and very talented, and he was successful but not Zig Ziglar.

Being at the top of any field is just plain rare – and talent alone does not dictate who gets there and who doesn’t. A lot of it is luck, with a lot of other things mixed in too. The sooner one learns to accept that the less insane he or she will become trying to chase something that just isn’t to be.

Knuckling Down

October 25, 2012

Wednesday October 24th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   Another day of hard work, and I feel like I’m on the right track. I made a point to get organized for next year’s tax return so I don’t have to go through the torture I’m going through now. I don’t ever want this to be a problem again, and even though I’ve said it before this time feels different.

All of my receipts to date are not only in one place, they’re in order separated into individually marked envelopes. My friend Todd Hunt is a business speaker who bills himself as a ‘recovering anal retentive’. I think I’m getting onset type 2 anal retentiveness, but I’m not going to complain.

Getting this part of my life straightened out will help free my mind up for more creative things. I’ve still got a ton of ideas rolling around in my head like lotto balls, and I know in my heart one of them will have the winning combination. Before I die I’d like to experience at least ONE hit.

In a perfect world it would be great to have a string of them. Everything I’m doing is great fun, but I have to believe it would be more fun if it were making a profit. One healthy run of comedy work for six months would change my life around completely. It’s not like I can’t handle the job.

Working in nice venues for decent money on ONE tour would make my life dramatically better in a hurry. 100 cities with say 1000 people at $20 a head would be what, $2 million? I’d think I’d have to sell some merchandise too, so conservatively that would be another cool million. I’m in!

And those are conservative numbers. I look at guys like Louis CK or Jim Gaffigan and wonder how they did it. I don’t begrudge those guys in the least, but they’re of my generation of comics and I know I could do very well with their fans. How do I cultivate my own group of loyal fans?

It’s not a matter of talent or ability. I can do the job on stage, it’s off stage that I stink out loud. I need help with my business, and I’m not too proud to admit it. Who could put me in front of an audience that would like Louis CK or Jim Gaffigan or Brian Regan or any one of a group of guys that is doing what I want to do? I don’t have a clue how to do that, but I’m sure going to find out.

I want to work in Las Vegas and Reno and Atlantic City. Why am I not doing that? I should’ve been a regular in all those places years ago. Mr. Lucky is a perfect persona for casino gigs, and if I could get a few steady gigs in those places it would help immensely. I’d pay my debt in a jiffy.

Cruise ships are another possibility. I’d go back out in a second, and a few months at sea would turn my whole world around for the better. There’s a new booker at Carnival Cruise Lines, and if I can catch a break and connect with her I know I’d prove myself all over again. I’d be a lot more prepared than I was the last time when I had no idea what to expect. This time I’d be a lot better.

These are my prime years, and they’re fading quickly. If I’m going to make my mark in a good way it’s going to be in the next little while or it won’t happen at all. Lighting this fire under me is the best thing that could have happened, and I’m not going to let the opportunity pass without an all out effort on my part. I’ve come this far, why stop chasing dreams? I want to WIN this game!