Celebrity Drop Ins
Apparently Wichita, Kansas is the new Hollywood. I’m hanging out at the show. It’s the late show friday which means slow show. There was maybe 20 people. Very low pressure. I decide I’m gonna do a different set and play around with some older jokes and newer jokes just to dick around. The atmosphere is so low key. Very hands off. Almost too much. It’s my first time in the club I wanna make an impression. I show up, nobody gives me any announcements. Today before the show, nobody even gave me a “Hey we’re about to start the show.” The lights just went off and the owner started doing the announcements from the back room. I’m like “Oh I guess I should get near the stage.”
So today after the first show. Everyone’s hanging out in the back bullshitting. About 5 minutes until the show starts the owner (mark) walks in with a guy next to him who looks familiar but it’s really dark and I can’t really tell who it is. Mark goes “Do you know who this guy is?” It’s really dark and he’s still walking up. The main problem is I keep thinking “Who would I know in Wichita, Kansas?” Is it a local headliner or something? I know that face. I reach out to shake his hand and introduce myself “Hey, I’m Andrew.” “Hey” I’m like ok. Apparently I should know who this guy is. No name. Right as I pull my hand away. Someone goes “OMG Craig Ferguson!” – Then it hits me. “OH!” but I still have a feeling of “WTF? We’re in Kansas. What is he doing here?” Apparently he was doing a show in town and decided to drop by the local comedy club and see the late late show.
The headliner I’m working with Jim Short has been on Craig Ferguson 3 times. He walks up to shake his hand “Hey man, I was the first comedian on your show. I did my set at the 2nd taping.” Craig just kinda shrugged. Him and his friends sat at a table and were playing around on the phone. I text a friend and twitter. My first reaction is nervous. Then my second reaction is “aw, so much for doing the new shit.” (although I did sneak a new one in that I really like and has been working really well.) I didn’t look at notes before I went on stage. I didn’t pace. I actually was kinda calm. There was a small audience. They moved to the back of the room at a table near where we were and he seemed to be on his phone. Probably tweeting.
Yep. Tweeting. I started talking to the other comics. Nobody really seemed to care that much. I asked Craig if he was doing a guest set. He kinda laughed at me and said no. I was conscious and aware enough to realize “calm the fuck down. You’re not on the show. This isn’t your audition. This isn’t gonna make or break your chance of ever getting on the show. He’s probably just hanging out, unwinding. He probably won’t remember you tomorrow. He barely remembered Jim Short and he’s been on his show.”
So I went up, the show was starting late and my only instructions the whole weekend were to get off 15 minutes after the advertised start time. If the show starts at 8. You’re off at 8:15. If it starts at 810. You’re off at 815. Second show was a 1030 show. We’re starting about 1041. I decide I’m just gonna do 5 or 6 minutes. That’s the minimum I can do. I can’t do 3 minutes and get the crowd warmed up properly. Plus the manager wasn’t paying attention anyway if I went 2 minutes over. No biggie. I went up and start in on my opening joke explaining that I’m from Seattle. and some guy goes “Booo” and I’m like “Did you just boo Seattle?” He goes “yeah” and I’m like “We’re in Kansas and you boo Seattle?” he goes “Yeah” and I’m like “Well fuck you too. It’s no Wichita but Seattle is nice.” I thought I shouldn’t be swearing, Craig is in the crowd, lol, I wanna show him I can be on TV. Then I was like “ahh fuck it. He’ll see the jokes are clean.”
I do my set and it goes pretty well. I wasn’t nervous. I could hear him laughing a few times which made me happy. My next thought was: THE BOOK! OH NO! It’s at the comedy condo. It’s literally a 3 minute drive. I didn’t drive. The guy who did is on stage. Alright my plan is to go get the book during the headliners set, run back and have him sign it. but he clicked his heels and left as soon as the feature set wrapped up. Damn. Damn. Damn. You don’t know how many times I’ve fantasized so many times about the right place right time scenario to fame. Think about randomly running into David Letterman or Jay Leno (but Ferguson will suffice.) and having them sign the book and then they think “Wow what a crazy cool idea.” like 90% of people who look through it say. Except he has a television show and he thinks what a great story for the show and says “You know you should talk about this on my show some time.” or something like that. And I’m like “I think so too.” and then I’m on the show talking about my book about to go on sale and he signs it on the air. Then he says where you gonna be performing the next couple weeks and I say Laughs or Tacoma Comedy Club. Then I get like a million friend requests and publishing deals and I’m a draw and I get a tv credit and get bumped up to headline shows and then I forget all about the little people who helped me. Then shacking up with waitresses becomes a regular occurrence. Then I never look back. and people will be like “How did you do it?” and I can say “I busted my ass and worked really hard and I got really lucky but I was prepared.”
But I wasn’t. That’s it. My whole career flashed before my eyes. It’s over. I missed my shot. The day I dreamed about and I choked. I’m kicking myself and probably will be forever. As stupid as I know it is to imagine that whole scenario happening. The least I would’ve gotten was a signature. Which would still be a cool addition. Oh well.