My dad was complaining about my lack of posts. “Just figured I’d be a dick.” – I’m sorry if any of you have been checking in consistently hoping for new blogs. I’ve started a few, and saved them in the drafts. I just haven’t had time, and as far as I know, my dad is the only person who checks this site regularly and he’s used to being disappointed by me. So, I figured no big deal.
LA was interesting, got to hang with Titus for a little, spent some time on the beach and did some shows. More on all of that later.
I got to Tucson and I gotta be honest, I had some low expectations. West coast liberal cities are usually comedy havens because the people are educated, the towns are doing well, people are employed. Tucson was looking pretty desolate. It’s100 degrees every day and it sucks. To my surprise, I had a lot of fun, they got all the jokes, and laughed well at everything. The manager already contacted me for a return date in 2013, but we couldn’t work out anything specific just yet. As I wasn’t comfortable heading that far in the Winter, and I feel like I’ve used all my roadtrip savings money on this one. He was full in March and I already had some things planned in April back in Seattle. Which doesn’t give me much breathing room on either side of the trip to try and book around it and make it profitable. and he didn’t want to book May yet. So now I have to bug him every few weeks and see if he’s ready to put me in for May.
Tucson was fun, I got to work with a pretty fast rising star out of Denver. It’s always fun to work with a comedian you like and can respect their craft. His name was Adam Cayton Holland. A question I get all the time is “Do you guys tour together?” – Most of the time, probably? I don’t know how most people do it actually. Usually a headliner can bring his own opener if he wants to. I book lots of trips on my own. More than a lot of people I know that aren’t touring with anyone. Perhaps I’m lucky, or just that good. The truth is I wish I could have my say in who performs with me. You can be confident in certain comics to do a good job. That’s why it’s so fun to bring a buddy. As opposed to working with some crazy guy who insults the audience or whatever.
In Tucson, one of the guest comedians who lived there did a guest set on the first show. He did a set on 3 of the 4 shows actually, but the first show is always the toughest. I’m especially self conscious at clubs I’ve never been. I have no idea if anyone will like me. You get the idea. A guy named “Shortbus” is doing a set on the show right before I go up. Shortbus. Is in a wheelchair. Not “special” or “retarded” as Mitt Romney probably says on secret private video recorded meetings. He’s got some muscle disorder. He can’t move his arms or legs much. He has a motorized wheelchair. but that’s heavy, so he has a regular one where people will lift him onto the stage. This guy, is pretty damn funny. He does 5 minutes and closes on a sentimental note: “Every morning, I wake up and crawl into a wheelchair. People make fun of me. People laugh. They take pictures. but at the end of the day, I always have a smile on my face, you wanna know why?” *insert thunderous applause from audience* “Because I’m not one of you people! GOODNIGHT!”
Now it’s my turn, how do you follow that? I’m gonna go up there like “Yeah so I drive a lot, it kinda sucks. and uh my favorite baseball team loses a lot of games. and umm. Parents are crazy, am I right? Whos with me?” After the audience just had a lesson in not sweating small shit, I’ve literally got 25 minutes of jokes about small shit. So while he’s doing this, all this is going through my head. I decided I would just be honest with the audience. I said “Give it up for shortbus everybody! So, how do I follow that? My whole act is me complaining about stupid things…. ‘Having legs sucks, you guys know what I’m saying? I have to drive everywhere…I’ve gotta write some new jokes. Hey don’t you hate it when you wake up…. that’s it…'” and then I went on with talking about sports and crazy parents and driving everywhere and I had a grand ol time.
Now on the other shows, I tried to emulate that opening, never quite worked as well as it did the first time because getting the emotion and the nerves and the honesty of that first performance would take practice. So once I knew the joke worked, I wasn’t as nervous doing it, and I wasn’t literally scared that I had nothing to talk about. Sometimes an audience can smell fear on you. It happened to work in my favor that night. Also there was one show where another comedian did a guest set in between me and shortbus also. He didn’t even bring it up. Which showed me, I was sweating the small stuff. The audience is at a comedy club they just want to laugh. I guess we can all take a lesson from a funny guy.
Anyway, I have a video of it, I’ll cut it together and post it on youtube in the next couple days. I’m uploading a half hour tape from that club (currently at 5%) to start sending out to new bookers and old. Because my current 30 minute tape is from February and most of that material has been replaced and even the stuff I still use is outdated. I always worry someone is going to watch it and be like “this guy is awful” and I’ll be like wait, it’s 6 months old. Hear me out. That’s all for tonight. I’ll try to bring my laptop when I get my oil changed tomorrow so I can write some more. If you’re ever in Tucson, look for the very funny Shortbus!
EDIT: VIDEO IS UP: