Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweat Home Chicago

Tuesday October 15th, 2013 – Toronto, ON/Chicago, IL

   Back to the highly intense stress of travel and deadlines. It was great to take a few days to visit a friend, but I had to get back to Chicago for a week of work at Zanies Comedy Club. I was up to my armpits in things to do before, but now it’s over my head. Those few days away put me in the trick bag, and it will take herculean effort to dig out. There’s nothing I can do but keep plugging.

   It was fun to relax a few days with Jerry Agar and daughter Kaelin, and I really enjoy Toronto. This was the most I’d ever seen of it, and I hope I can get back to perform someday. I don’t have an in and Jerry doesn’t either, but if I put it on the radar I’ll bet I’ll get a booking at some point.

   I knew I was in for a stressful return trip as my flight was scheduled to get in at 5:30pm. That’s cutting it way too close for an 8:30 show, but Jerry didn’t think of it when he bought the ticket. It wasn’t intentional, but I cringed when I learned of it because I knew I was on a paper thin margin for error. One little glitch could make me miss my show at Zanies, and that would spell trouble.

   Everything about today was difficult. I flew out of a different airport than I flew in, and it was out in the sticks and an hour drive. Jerry missed his exit, and we were riding around looking for a place to turn back around. We’d left in plenty of time, but there’s still that underlying tension of wondering if we’d find it. Jerry had never been there before, and neither one of us knew the way.

   We did get there eventually, but it was so far out in the boonies there were no restaurants to get a snack before my flight left. There was a coffee shop in the airport, but as soon as we walked in a lady informed us they were closing…not for the day – for good. It was like a comedy sketch.

   There was a snack bar open, and we had a sandwich and visited for a while. Jerry is busting his ass in Toronto trying to get ahead, and he’s doing a marvelous job on the air – but he did the very same thing in Chicago and Kansas City before that and Raleigh, NC before that. He’s wants what I want – stability. I know this isn’t the right occupation for that, but damn it would be refreshing.

   Jerry had to get back to the city, and I assumed I was going to get on my plane without a glitch. Ha! Who are we talking about here? There was a weather squall in Chicago and it caused a delay of about an hour, and that made my bilge hole pucker. Now it would be a race to make my show.

   This is the part of the business nobody ever plans for, and it was torture waiting until we finally got to board the small plane and head home. I tried to do a crossword puzzle to forget about it all, but I couldn’t help thinking I was going to be late. I can’t stand that feeling of such helplessness.

   The ride back was even bumpier than the ride there, and by the time we landed I was ready for a full body massage to loosen up. I made it through customs, and then had to locate my car in an immense remote parking lot which took longer than I expected. My jaw was clenched like a vise.

   I got to my car, and there’s always that hope there aren’t four flat tires – or worse no tires at all. Everything was there, and I fought traffic on the Kennedy Expressway for a while and I got there with minutes to spare. I did my show, and it actually went very well. The audience had no clue of the stress level I went through to get there, but they don’t need to. They have stress of their own.

Other than the dreaded Bears, there are a lot of things I love about Chicago.

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