Sunday November 24th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL
After all these years of performing standup comedy, I still feel not only that I am growing but I have a lot more upon which I can improve. That might disappoint some people, but I love it. I’ve got a reason to stay the course, and that’s important right about now. The road is plenty rough.
I just finished up a nice run of work that ended last night with week of eight shows at Zanies at the Pheasant Run in St. Charles, IL. Last night’s shows were very strong, and I felt myself doing a lot of things better than I ever have before. I’m going through a growth spurt, and it feels great.
That particular stage has always been one of my very favorites, and I’m extremely comfortable there. I’ve gone through a lot of growth spurts there through the years, but now it’s time to find a launching pad to take what I’m doing to a bigger audience. I know in my heart I’m ready to pop.
What I don’t know is where that launching pad is located. My crowd is not a typical bar crowd, and maybe not even a typical comedy club crowd. I do well in comedy clubs, but I still think I’m best suited for theaters. They don’t have to be huge cathedrals, but I’d much prefer that setting.
The atmosphere at Pheasant Run is very close, as there has been a theater there for decades and they are known in the area for it. I would assume at least some of the people who come to Zanies have been there at some point, and as a rule the audiences in that part of the world like what I do.
I appeal most to people over 30, and the fact that I’m not filthy is a huge plus. I can do a whole show and not say one swear word if necessary, and that’s a lot more rare than most people would think. I can also slug it out with bikers and sailors when I have to, even though that’s gotten old.
That’s never the kind of comedian I wanted to be, and it’s painful when I have to do it after all these years. Unfortunately I’m good at it, so the crowds usually love it. I can’t stand having to be my own enforcer, but most clubs refuse to bounce anybody these days because they buy drinks.
I’ve never been interested in being a saloon comic, even though that’s frequently where I have gotten hired over the years. Some comedians live for it, but I’ve always viewed it as a paycheck. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I have sucked in second hand smoke for a dozen.
The direction I’m thoroughly enjoying is the shaping of stories that have personally happened to me, and taking the audience on a trip. I used to just try to think of jokes, but this adds so much more depth of character. I don’t just stand there and talk, I like to move around and use my face and body for punctuation. I lean into it and give them all I’ve got, and it’s really working well.
This is going to be a perfect fit to take the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show to the next level. I’ll be at Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Casino the next five Saturdays, so I’ll have ten shows to keep this momentum going. The only thing I wish I could change would be to add more shows.
In a perfect world, I’d be performing seven nights a week somewhere. The fewer miles I have to go, the better. Having a month of shows an hour from where I live is a huge leap in a direction I’ve been looking to go for a long time. I’m going to enjoy this next month. www.paysbig.com.
|I will be performing my one man show 'Schlitz Happened! An Old Milwaukee Blatz From The Pabst' at Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Casino Saturday 11/30/13 and all Saturdays in December. www.paysbig.com.|