Wednesday November 21st, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL
The average person has no idea how difficult it is to be a professional entertainer. Had I known before I started, I seriously doubt I’d have chosen the path I did. There’s a lot to be said about the security of a ‘normal life’ – if indeed such a thing exists. It doesn’t for me, and I’m not thrilled.
I gave it all up to have my chance at the big time, and the chance of that happening is shrinking by the minute. Bad breaks mixed with bad decisions has put me in a place I really hadn’t planned on being – especially this far into the game. Couple that with changing times for everyone on the planet, and it’s a downright scary scenario. I don’t like to be a downer, but the future looks scary.
Everything I thought I could count on is unstable, and it’s that way for almost everyone except a precious few at the top. It seems to be that way everywhere too, not just in show business. It’s a world of instability, but the older I get that’s the last thing I want. How can I turn this all around?
What’s most frustrating is the politics of it all. I’ve never been a good ass kisser, and that’s hurt me big time. I like people because I like them – not because they can help me advance my career or lift my social status. That’s not the optimal way to play the game, and that’s why I’m not in it.
I also had a couple of delicate situations to deal with today that could easily blow up in my face at any time. Everything is a house of cards, and one slam of a door will make it all come crashing down. That in turn makes for extreme tension and stress, and I’m just not up for living like that.
One situation is my Reno booking December 26-30. I really want to work there, but that’s the worst week of the year to be traveling. Plane tickets are through the roof, and I have to be careful in case I get a New Year’s Eve gig somewhere. I want to leave myself a chance to switch a flight if I have to, but I also have to make sure I can get a ticket at the lowest possible fare. It’s tricky.
It’s coming down to crunch time, and either way I’m going to have to do something. Reno isn’t a driving option, even though in my early days I’d have done it without hesitating. That was then and a very long time ago. Three days in a car each way is not my idea of adventure anymore. It’s a prison sentence, but I want to do the gig both for the money and to get myself into a new club.
The other situation was a one nighter offered to me by a booking agent that’s in a town that has another one nighter booked by someone else. I’ve done the first one, but not for a long time. I am not booked back there at the moment, but they apparently don’t want anyone who works there to work this other place. That’s a lot to ask for a one nighter, but that’s the way the game is played.
Do I stay ‘loyal’ to the first place and say no to immediate work that I could use even though I have no concrete date? It’s a tough call, and I asked the second booker if I could avoid using my name in any advertisements. A buck is a buck, and I’d slide in and out of town like a mercenary. We were all set to go, and then I get the message they’re going to take that week off so the gig is off. Just like that. No pay. No notice. No nothing. Loyalty? What’s that? This is not what I had in mind when I started, and it’s getting old really fast. Come to think of it, so am I. What do I do?