Saturday August 10th, 2013 – Genoa, IL
Just when I assume I’ve seen, heard and done everything, something brand new comes along to prove I have not. Any and all delusions I may have been secretly harboring about being in actual show business officially came to a screeching halt today. I no longer have a clue as to what I do.
Right around Thanksgiving of last year I paid a fee to sign up on a booking website called “Gig Masters”. Their purpose in theory is to hook up live entertainers of all types with people looking to hire them. They’ve been around for years, and I decided to give them a shot to hopefully score decent paying work I wouldn’t normally get from comedy clubs and expand my horizons a bit.
Quite honestly, many of the acts I’d seen listed in the comedians section were poor to mediocre at best. That’s often the problem when the public is allowed to buy acts themselves rather than be legitimately helped by a reputable agent. They don’t know quality, and often get stuck with a dud act and it turns them off to ever trying comedy again. The sting of poor quality trumps low price.
I can’t stop anybody from listing themselves on a site like this, even when they flat out stink as a performer. I saw people listed on the website that had no business being in the same room with sound amplification equipment, so that’s what made me sign up. If those idiots were getting paid work at ridiculously inflated prices, I should be able to clean up. So far, I haven’t made one cent.
I’ve been notified for quite a few gigs, and I have no beef with Gig Masters. They’re providing exactly what they promised – leads. It’s up to each act to respond to each one, and then the client chooses who gets it. This is where the trouble lies, as they have no idea who the best people are.
I’ve lost out to several people for private shows that are nowhere near my level, but that’s their call. They have their reasons for who they choose, and I can only submit my name and resume to throw my hat in the ring hoping I get chosen. It’s a total crapshoot, just as most of this game is.
Today was my first actual score from all the leads, but of course in Mr. Lucky tradition it paid a flaming zilch. It was a charity benefit, and I always try to do those whenever I can. I’ve made a point to donate my time to worthy causes whenever possible, and today it fit into my schedule.
The show was at a V.F.W. hall in Genoa, IL which is not far from St. Charles where I had two shows at Zanies tonight. They wanted me there at 4pm to do a 45 minute show, and the purpose of the benefit was to raise money to help retired military dogs that were used in actual combat.
Those who showed up for the event were all really grateful I came, but the problem was there were only ten of them – and one of the dogs. It was an aging German shepherd that moved a bit slow, but I was told it actually killed people during the war. Which war that was I have no idea.
They led me into the bingo hall at the V.F.W. where there was a stage with a giant bingo ball machine on it. There was barely room for me to stand, and of course the ten bikers sat as far to the rear of the hall as they possibly could, adding to the already sky high degree of difficulty.
A few minutes in the dog walked on stage and proceeded to sniff my crotch and ‘leather donut’ as one of the bikers referred to it. How totally embarrassing. Inside I was crying, as even though I love to help good causes this just wasn’t what I’d had in mind when I started in what I thought was going to be real show business. Did I help a cause? I hope so, but I didn’t help my career.