“Give Up!” -Gilbert Gottfried
As a younger comic, I wasn’t performing every day as much as I wanted to, I wasn’t working every weekend. I’ve talked about submersing yourself a little here and there. But that’s exactly what I was doing. I would go to almost every show possible and if I wasn’t performing, I would just watch. I had a few advantages. Shows at most places I didn’t have to pay. If the comedian didn’t do a public meet and greet I was usually able to meet them afterwards in the green room.
Gilbert Gottfried came to Snoqualmie Casino. My dad was good friends with the management there, and I had performed there a few times so they knew me as well. They would link me up with the VIPS and I could go meet them. Gilbert actually had a public meet & greet though. So I waited in line for like 20 minutes and I approached him and shook his hand. I told him about the book and he quickly nodded and grabbed it before I even finished my usual “sales pitch” –
(Normally I try to explain the concept to the comics by giving examples. I would be like “I’m a comic, this is my advice book, blah blah.” I guess I worry they’ll think it’s just some random signature book.)
So he grabs the book and nodding his head like “yeah yeah” and starts writing. He hands it back and has his normal wide eyed smile. I read it and he is sort of laughing and he poses for a picture and I head off.
The significance of the advice is that while he was telling me to give up. He was in his own unique way saying, keep it up. The longer you go in this biz, the more guys telling you how much you suck and how you should quit you will meet.