Posts Tagged ‘Tom Skibosh’

Hometown Homecoming

May 21, 2010

Thursday May 20th, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI

Today it was back up to Milwaukee for a lunch with Tom Skibosh, former P.R. director for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s a super nice guy, and I was hooked up with him through my power network of Milwaukee shaker/baker types. I’m learning it pays to be patient, as eventually good things do happen. It’s taken years to build up this quality people network.

‘Sky’ said can help me put a plan together for the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ one man show as far as things like making media contacts and getting an actual program published. He’s an expert on that kind of stuff and has years of experience doing exactly that for the Brewers.

Sky’s assistant was Jon Greenberg, now president of the Milwaukee Admirals. Greenie has always been great to me, and still continues to throw bones my way whenever he can. These are the kinds of people that I want to be around, and in return I’ve done favors for a lot of them as well. Nobody keeps score either, it’s a bunch of friends helping each other.

Some of the best on that list include Drew Olson, Steve ‘The Homer’ True, Ted Perry at Fox 6, Mark Krueger, Art Kumbalek, Gene Mueller, my friend Wade Waugus who works for the Bucks and started there when we were ball boys in high school. These are people I would do anything for, and they’ve proven it time and time again by doing things for me.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to escape Milwaukee, but that’s where I come from and nothing will ever change it. I had so many painful memories there, and all I wanted to do was get out of town and forget them. I thought that would do it, but I was wrong. I still had them rotting inside. It didn’t matter where I went, all that ugliness was still festering.

All these years later, I’m a completely different person. I’ve worked through my painful family mess, at least to the point where I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I proved it to myself by successfully chasing and catching my dream of being a full time comedian. Family and childhood are things I couldn’t control. Things I could have been successful.

I’m seeing things a lot more clearly than I ever have, and even with the heaping helping of stupid mistakes I’ve made, I’ve also managed to squeeze in a lot of positive things too. My confidence as both a performer and a person is finally growing in the healthy way it’s supposed to. Mommy and Daddy never told me I was good, but audiences always have.

I guess I’m finally starting to believe it, at least a little. I’m not cocky or arrogant, but it does feel good when people come up after a show and tell me they enjoyed it. I know all kinds of comedians who don’t know how to deal with that, and I admit I used to feel very awkward in that situation for a long time myself. Now, I really enjoy it. It makes my day.

I’m also noticing all kinds of women around me lately. I’ve always been streaky in that department, either hot or cold. The tide flows in and out, and now it’s in. I’ve been having all kinds of women I’m interested in either contact me or I’m running into them in droves. I sure wish I knew how to control it, but for whatever reason it’s been raining hot women.
One I absolutely adore is Kristi McHugh. She’s a comic from Iowa living in L.A. and is chasing the big dream. We worked together in Lake Tahoe a couple of years ago and she blew me away with her sharp funny wit. It doesn’t hurt that she’s supermodel hot, either.

Kristi called me today and said she’s doing a set in front of Tim Allen and his manager Rick Messina next week at the Laugh Factory in L.A. Yay, Kristi! I know she’ll nail that and I’ve always predicted big things for her. She was with me back stage when I taped my Craig Ferguson appearance, and I knew then she’d take it a lot farther than I ever would.

She has ‘it’, and I’m thrilled she’s getting her shot. She called out of the blue and asked if I’d help go over her audition set. Of course I will. Maybe she’ll let me be her new pool boy, or designated limo waxer. Maybe she’ll put me in charge of keeping her tofu chilled.

I think she’s a cross between a young Mary Tyler Moore and Sandra Bullock. Not in her looks, she’s blonde. I’m talking about in her attitude. She’s got the independent woman in the big city thing that Mary Tyler Moore had in her sitcom, and also the infamous big star quality of ‘guys want to do her, women want to BE her’. I think she’s going to hit it BIG.

Good for her. I had the same feeling about Frank Caliendo, and he ended up hitting it as big as anyone in recent memory. Good for him too. I can’t do one impression and I’m not a gorgeous blonde with a razor sharp wit. All I can do is plod along with whatever I have.

Maybe it’s not in the cards for me to be a big star, and that’s ok. There are a lot of nasty facets to that whole thing too, and I know it’s not all chocolate cake and limo rides. I have to believe Elvis and Michael Jackson had a lot more painful memories than positive ones, at least after the major fame set in. It seems to get so huge it consumes any one person.

My ego needs are a lot lower than that. I don’t need to be constantly stalked by a lurking  band of carnivorous paparazzi hoping to catch me picking my nose so they can snap off a whole roll of film of it and sell it to the National Enquirer. Some crave all that attention.

I want to DO something in life. I want to help others and do good and be kind to people who can’t pay me back. I want to experience whatever high spiritual level there is to find on a superficial planet filled with psychotic idiots and greedy soulless robots. Can I do it?

That’s the plan. It’s always been the plan, even when I was starting out back in the early days in Milwaukee. I always wanted to be a big deal there, only because it was my home town. Who doesn’t want to be a big deal in their home town? I never got it, and after a lot of years of trying I just gave up and moved on. Now, I‘m reconnecting in a positive way.

I feel good things about to happen in the next few months, and I’ll enjoy every second of every minute of all of it. I’ve come a long way from where I started, and I’m finally in a position to really start enjoying myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and am ready to reclaim my Milwaukee roots by being a part of my team of friends like Sky and Drew and Wade and all the rest. I learned a lot of lessons along the way, and I’m ready to rock.


Detail Disoriented

May 7, 2010

Wednesday May 5th, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI

Up to Milwaukee today to keep pecking at that egg shell. I have a big job ahead with all that needs to be done to get this one man show up and running from just an idea. I have a lot of details to look after, and that’s my weakest trait. If nothing else, I’ll learn something and improve along the way. Good thing I’ve given myself a few months to do all of this.

Today’s adventure started out with a big mistake. I was supposed to have lunch with my friend Tom Skibosh, former P.R. director of the Milwaukee Brewers. I wanted to go over several aspects of all this with him, and he graciously agreed to meet up to hash it all out.

For whatever reason, we got our times mixed up and I was late and missed him entirely. I don’t remember the last time that’s happened with anyone and I felt like a total stooge’s weenie. I didn’t have a cell number for him and I didn’t confirm the day before like usual.

I just assumed we’d be ok and everything would work out. Wrong. I blew a few details right there, and I’m already learning I need to improve. It’s no big deal, and Sky is a great guy and wasn’t upset at all. We’ll reschedule, and next time I’ll take care of business a lot better. I sat and ate my Chinese buffet alone and planned the rest of my day’s direction.

I had two scheduled appointments to see potential venues to perform the show. I’m not used to making appointments to do shows, so the whole process seems odd. I looked over the venues and both are small theatres that should work very well…IF people show up.

That’s one gigantic enormous humongous ‘if‘. I’ll need to put up posters, take out ads and work my list. Oops. Correction. First I’ll need to CREATE a poster, get them printed, then WRITE an ad, and BUILD a ‘list’. Then, I can think about getting the show running.

I had no delusions about any of this when I had the idea. I know it will be a ton of work, but I’m up for the challenge. Sponsorship would be great, as would publicity, but that’s a building process just like the rest of it. I have some past experience from my time spent as a pro wrestling promoter, even though that was many years ago. The process is the same.

I took that business and was able to pop it up a notch from where it always was. I put all my energy into getting publicity and creating an image for the brand and it totally worked. Again, the hard part was the details like getting the actual ring set up and then taken down after the shows. Comedy sure has a lot of advantages. All I really need is a microphone.

Who knows if these venues are right for what I’m doing, but I now have the connection with both owners and will see how it pans out. Obviously, they’d get business too so they want this to work so we can all make a buck. It’s a different dynamic than comedy clubs.

I had dinner with another friend Art Hinty. He’s promoted a few of his own shows and I know he knows the local scene these days a lot better than I do. By the time I got home it was 10pm and I’d put in a solid twelve hour day. Whoever said show business was easy?