Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Way Up In The U.P.

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 - St. Ignace, MI

Good news is coming from all directions, and I’m not complaining. First, I’ve got a full week of decently paying gigs, even though I’ll have to drive all over the U.P. of Michigan and back to do them. That’s ok, it will give me a chance to pay some bills and also help a young comic named Tom Slovinski get some road chops. He’s my hand picked opener.

I met Tom at the Zanies Rising Star Showcase a few months ago and I thought he had a lot of promise. He lives in Lansing and I was able to pick my opener on this run so he was the one I chose. He’s thrilled to have the work so I swung through Lansing to pick him up on my way. He’s young and eager and wanted to talk about comedy for the whole drive.

That made the trip a lot shorter because he asked excellent questions. He’s a student of the comedy game just like I was at his age and I’m glad I’m able to pay forward some of the mentoring people like C. Cardell Willis, Gary Kern, Kyle Nape and others did for me when I started. Tom is a bright guy and very funny and I don’t think my effort is wasted.

I hit major rush hour traffic in Chicago on my way through but there’s not much I could do about that. I left home a little later than I wanted and got caught, but I was up late so it was better to at least get a couple of hours of sleep before driving 521 miles to St. Ignace.

On my way to pick up Tom I received a call from Marc Schultz telling me I was chosen for a holiday party on December 18th. He sends out DVDs with several acts and the client chooses who they want. This one picked me, and I’m thrilled. It was a direct result of my Late Late Show appearance and that’s great news. That’s starting to pay off for me now.

Marc said this probably won’t be the last one, as he sent out quite a few DVDs to quite a few potential clients and he’s gotten positive feedback about me from a few people. It’s finally starting to pay off after all these years and I’m not going to take it for granted. I’ve worked super hard to get in place to even be considered for these shows, so I’m grateful.

Next, I got a call from Jerry Agar telling me we’re booked in January for the first run of our play “You’re On The Air” with The Kidders. Vicki Quade put it together and we’re at The Beverly Arts Center, where I’ve worked before with the Chicago Style Standups. It’s the exact kind of place we want to be playing, and we were all pumped to hear this news.

Then, another call came in from Rick Piccolo telling me he’s working on not only a gig for Jerry’s Kidders, but a paid comedy class session at one of the local colleges where he lives. He’s been working on it for a while and it looks like it’s finally coming through for next year. It will be a paid situation and he said the people in charge are glad to have me.

Not as glad as I was to hear of all this. One call after another came in with one piece of good news better than the next. The show tonight was extremely fun, even though it was a small audience. They were fantastic laughers and the staff was great too. This is exactly how I pictured life is supposed to work, and I’m going to keep that picture in my head.

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