Sunday November 15th, 2009 - Orlando, FL/Milwaukee, WI
Stress is part of life I can do without, but in the entertainment business it’s a constant. If it’s not worrying about a check bouncing from some slime bag club owner, it’s any one of a number of other pitfalls that have to be dealt with regularly. The stressful part is that it’s all very random, and there’s never a set time for a problem to pop up. They just happen.
Today it was travel related. That’s always a huge issue as so many facets of it can screw up so easily. It could be car problems or weather issues or road construction or a limitless number of unexpected freakish events that cause blood pressure to shoot up like a rocket.
I flew out of Milwaukee this time because I got a cheaper ticket. I’m right in the middle between Mitchell Field in Milwaukee and O’Hare Field in Chicago so I don’t mind which one I fly from. I buy whatever ticket I can get the cheapest and it gives me more choices.
I was supposed to be on a showcase for the David Letterman show at Zanies in Chicago tonight for Eddie Brill, the talent coordinator. Eddie is a really good guy and I’ve had two showcases for him before, even though I’ve yet to nail one. He’s a comic himself so he is fully aware of how it works, but I still would like to show him my best for pride’s sake.
I wish he could have seen the sets in Florida, especially Saturday’s show. That was one of the strongest sets I’ve had in YEARS, and of course nobody but the audience saw that one. It’s a completely different animal in an audition situation. Six minutes has a different vibe altogether. It’s a matter of presenting the essence of the character in that time frame.
I did almost an hour in Florida, but that’s not what Eddie or any television booker needs to see. They need to have a short crafted set that gets quick laughs. That‘s all. I had to do that on The Daily Buzz TV shot on Thursday, and that was about three minutes. I did fine in that scenario, but it was completely different than a live headliner set. This is all tricky.
I’ve been working on my set to show Eddie, but not as much as I’d like to quite frankly. I’ve had other gigs and haven’t had time to work on just my audition set, even though it’s crucial if I’m going to get any more TV exposure in the next little while. Eddie has been a big supporter not only of me but to other comics as well and I never want to abuse that.
My plane had some mechanical problems and took off later than scheduled and I would have cut it REALLY close, and by the time I got to my car and raced to Chicago I’d be on at the very end of the showcase. I would have been frazzled and tired and chances are way off my best game, and that’s not how I want Eddie to see me, especially on my third time.
I called Bert Haas at Zanies and told him my situation and he was great about it. He said I could save the stress and not kill myself getting down there on such a thin cushion and it made perfect sense to both of us. I’m disappointed I didn’t get up for Eddie, but to do it in such stressful circumstances wouldn’t have done any of us any good. I’m glad I didn’t try to force it, and embarrass myself. I’m getting smarter in my old age, and it’s about time.