Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dig Out Day

Monday October 21st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   After a long week of doing shows, Monday is traditionally ‘dig out day’ for comedians. We’ve got a lot to do when we’re working a full week, even though it doesn’t seem like much. It might appear to the public like all we do is stand on a stage for a short time and collect our money, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Pulling off a week of solid shows requires a lot of energy.

   In my case, getting back and forth to the shows is a major undertaking. I live exactly fifty miles from Zanies, and traffic is an issue every day. About fifteen miles of that is not freeway, and that becomes a daily challenge to avoid both construction and congestion. Couple that with whatever tribulations freeway and big city driving and parking can bring and you have a daily nightmare.  

   Most days I’ll leave early, but I don’t want to get there too early or I’ll have to pay for parking longer than I already do. It’s become insane in Chicago, as it has in most big cities. On the other hand, I don’t want to cut it too close, or there’s a chance I’ll miss the show. It’s a delicate mix.

   Sometimes traffic is clear and I have no obstacles whatsoever. Other times it’s constipated and I’m helplessly stranded and can’t move. If I could take a train I would, but they stop running and I can’t get one back home when I need it. I’m stuck driving, and that becomes an energy drainer.

   The shows themselves require attention as well. As a headliner, I need to watch the entire show to see how it unfolds. If there’s an ad lib or someone in the crowd says something I need to know what it is so I can deal with it. A lot of headliners just go up when it’s their turn, but that’s wrong in my opinion. The audience deserves respect, and part of that is for me to watch the entire show.

   That also takes time and energy from the week. It all adds up, and by the end of the week all I want to do is relax and do nothing. Ha! Who has that option? While I was working at pulling off solid shows all week, everything else was piling up from emails to voicemails to dirty laundry.

   Monday becomes dig out day, and all I see are piles everywhere. I feel great about the week of rock solid shows and the paycheck I earned, but I also feel overwhelmed by all the errands I need to run today like getting mail from my P.O. Box, going to the bank and doing laundry. It’s boring but it all needs to get done. Plus, my phone message box is full and my email pile has returned.

   I had some extra stuff to take care of today on top of all of that. My license plate registration is up at the end of the month, so I went to pay that off and get my sticker. I also needed to have my oil changed, as I haven’t had time or money to do it of late. I can’t afford to have a blown engine.

   I needed to get this done today in addition to everything else I had on my plate, and it ended up taking almost a full day to get it all done. I wanted to rest up and recharge a little, but that wasn’t an option. I appreciate the fact I’m getting work these days, but it’s getting harder to stay current.

   This week is going to be even more swamped. I’ve got meetings planned every day and things going on every night. If I didn’t spend all of today digging out I’d be so out of it in just a couple of weeks that I wouldn’t know which way was up. It doesn’t take long to lose control, and that’s what scares me. I’m working my ass off just to tread water. What will happen if I catch a break?

After a long week of work, Monday is 'dig out' day.

No comments: