Friday, April 25, 2014

Two Days Notice

Thursday April 24th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

   Woe is me. It could be a lot “woer” I suppose, but it’s still pretty cruddy. I got the dreaded call no entertainer ever wants this afternoon telling me the gig I thought I had booked for Saturday is not going to happen as planned. They changed venues, and they’re having a hard time spreading the word to their customer base. There were only a few tickets sold, so they are pulling the plug.

   This is absolutely maddening on many levels, but it’s also part of being self employed. I didn’t have a contract with the guy that booked it, and he’s actually a pretty good guy. I met him maybe a year or so ago when he was booking the original location where the gig started, and I ended up doing a ten minute guest set and blowing the doors off the place. He’s wanted to book me since.

   It’s flattering to be wanted, but not when the actual show doesn’t come off as booked. It’s not my fault they moved locations, but too bad. I have to take the financial pounding. Not only am I not thrilled about it, I turned down a weekend gig out of town. I assumed I’d have this booking.

  Now I’ve got nothing, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Summer’s wasteland is right around the corner, and like a squirrel stockpiling acorns I’m trying to get all the work I can in to help me make it through the drought. This was supposed to be a decent paying venue as I heard. It was a partial door deal, and apparently the last few acts through raked in quite a hefty payday.

   That won’t be happening this week, at least not with me. I’m sure the guy will rebook me some other time, and that may or may not be any better. I hope it is, but there’s no guarantee. All I can do is accept it, and move on. What am I supposed to do, sue the guy? This goes with the territory and I knew that going in, but I’m really getting sick of this territory. I’ve taken far too many hits.

   I’m all for cutting people breaks in rough situations, but who cuts me one when I need it? I am out a significant chunk of cash with two days notice, and chances are slim to none I’ll be able to rustle something up with such little warning. I have to eat this now but it will make it hard for me to eat next month because this was expense money. There’s nobody to complain to. I’m screwed.

   In the last couple of years, I figure I’m out about $5000 worth of glitches like this. It makes me sick just thinking about it, but it’s happening more and more. Funny Business Agency still hasn’t paid me $110 in bounced check fees from working their closed club Giggles in Germantown, WI that was bouncing checks all over the place. When I complained about it, they told me to get lost.

   I’d worked for them for twenty years, but that didn’t matter. ONE incident that wasn’t even my fault ended it – and they still didn’t pay up. Little things like this add up, and before I know it it’s Death Valley Days with no work. This kind of stuff happens over and over, and there’s not much an act can do except eat it and hope for the best next time. As for me, I have eaten all I can stand.

   I would be remiss in not mentioning the fact that Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago paid me IN FULL for the shows I did a couple of weeks ago when there was a power outage and we missed a show. THAT’S professional, and should be a lesson to all. That’s what will pay my May rent.

I had a gig fall out this week totally out of the blue with only two days notice. Still want to be self employed?

I wonder if this guy will let me use his sign on Saturday? It's that, or sell another kidney.

I've been working for Zanies Comedy Clubs since the mid '80s and never ONCE have they bounced a check or not paid me for a show. Even two weeks ago when there was a power outage, I was paid IN FULL. Now THAT'S professional. Thank you Zanies! You should be a lesson to everyone in the comedy business. I am extremely grateful.

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