Saturday January 25th, 2014 – Woodburn, IN
Comedy work has been flowing very nicely of late, and January has been an excellent month. I love to stay busy, but it always ends up being part of a cycle. Right now I’m riding the wave on a hot streak, and life is peachy. Then it will be slow again, and then heat back up. That’s how it is.
I would absolutely work every night if I could – seven nights a week each and every week - but that’s a tall order. The performing part is that much fun, but unfortunately that isn’t everything to have to think about. Booking actual dates and dealing with travel become a full time occupation.
Tonight was the last of a manufactured three night run and I was booked with Jimmy McHugh and Patti Vasquez for a volunteer fire department fundraiser in a small town near Ft. Wayne, IN called Woodburn. That might not sound very exciting, but these kinds of shows can be electric.
Electricity became an important theme all day, as there was a power outage in the town and we weren’t sure if there would be a show or not. Jimmy and I were booked together in Frankfort, IL last night, so he chose me to be part of this fundraiser to make travel easier. We drove together.
Weather can obviously be an issue this time of year, and we knew that. We expect that driving can cause grief, but we weren’t expecting a power outage. Jimmy called around noon to check on the snow conditions, and was told they weren’t sure if they could get power back in time to do a show. They were worried on their end because they’d sold out and didn’t want to give refunds.
We heard back by mid afternoon they could get an emergency generator, but we were keeping our eye on the weather as well and knew we had some rough conditions for driving. It’s not that far from Frankfort, IL to Fort Wayne, IN with ideal conditions, but in the snow all bets are off.
The drive was unpleasantly tense most of the way as we went through everything from slush to sunshine to snowfall and everything in between. It was way more stress than Jimmy or I wanted, but that’s part of the game. Nobody gets to choose when the stress arrives, it’s always random.
Patti was about an hour behind us, as she had a show in Marinette, WI last night and didn’t get home until 4:30am. Jimmy was concerned she wouldn’t make it, and we would have to cover her time. We could have easily done it, but he promised three acts and didn’t want to fail to deliver.
She ended up making it about an hour before the show, and the three of us were frazzled as we drove to Woodburn from our hotel in the Ft. Wayne area. The shows themselves aren’t stressful, but getting there often is. We’d all had all we could stand all day, but we also had a show to do.
The generator was working fine, and there was a jam packed house ready to forget about power outages and bad weather and have some laughs. We gave them exactly that, and they couldn’t be a better audience if they tried. As stressful as it was to get there, they made it worth the trouble.
Jimmy really works hard booking these shows with his “Chicago Comedy All Stars” fundraiser concept. Last year he was here with Mike Preston and James Wesley Jackson, and they rocked as well by all accounts. He’s always looking for new business - www.chicagocomedyallstars.com.
|The Chicago Comedy All-Stars specialize in doing standup comedy fundraiser shows for anyone and everyone that needs to raise funds. www.chicagocomedyallstars.com.|
|Tonight it was at a firehouse in Woodburn, IN along with Jimmy McHugh and Patti Vasquez. Woodburn is just east of Fort Wayne, and right near the Ohio border.|
|The show was really fun as usual, but getting there and back in a snowstorm was brutal. Welcome to the wonderful world of Midwest show business in the winter. Glitz and glamor have nothing to do with it.|