Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Here Comes the Sun

My mind races. I have many things I have to accomplish, but I am living in yesterday right now. Looking absentmindedly at the river, I recall the past couple of days.

I had a show last night at the number one comedy club in America. It was a show that I was promoting for one month. For all intents and purposes, this was going to be a great slot, a wonderful opportunity, and the best show ever.

Here's what actually happened: no one showed up for me. I was not able to perform. This was the first time I had been benched at a show. Any other time I had promoted a show and not enough people showed, my time was merely cut. I was still able to play.

How it works: when there are shows at a comedy club, you can either have a spot, be a regular, be featured, be an m.c. or it could be a bringer show (where you have to bring people). This was a bringer show, but it was also a showcase of new/up and coming comidiennes. The owner of the club was watching to see which comidienne he would 'pass' next. This means that he was looking for someone to add to his regular team of comics. This is also the third show that I have heavily promoted in the hopes that I could submit a tape that Comedy Central has been expecting since February.

How the night unfolded: Receiving numerous cancellations, I frantically got on my computer, sent messages, texts and talked on the phone for what seemed like hours, trying to get people to come. The only calls I recieved where from other comics calling to tell me to give messages to the booker. Never mind. I would face my fear. My people would come.
Arriving at the club 45 minutes before the show, I watched everyone arrive. Ten minutes before the show, I watched one comic down a couple of beers, another smoke 4 cigarettes, and yet another drink copious amounts of Robotussin and then chase it with a white wine spritzer. Five minutes before the show, I watched my colleagues' loved ones wish them well, as they took their seats. One hour in to the show, I watched many other newer comidiennes, take their shot and perform to a warm and lovely crowd. One and one half hours in, I watched my comedy idol perform. One hour and forty five minutes later, I grabbed my things and bolted towards the door. The hot tears that had been welling up all night could no longer be held back.

As I tried to make my elegant exit, my best friend in the business grabbed my arm, pulled me in to her arms and comforted me. The repressed tears rolled down rapidly with an intensity that almost made me wonder if steam was going to emit from them. As I was reduced to a second grader, she asked me what was wrong and I croaked out "I feel like I have no friends". The booker then saw me, and made a couple of light hearted attempts to make me feel better. They both said they knew that I was one of the hardest working comics there. Sympathy has a strange way of actually making me cry harder.

Gathering the last bit of my pride, I made a few weak jokes, grabbed my jacket and walked out the door. The sun had set and the air had a Spring chill to it. More comediennes tried to stop and chat, but I told them I had to run. Then, it happened. A comic who has a special and various t.v. shows under his belt grabbed me by the arm and began to talk to me. Apologizing for being rude, I made a comment that I was rushing home to work on my suicide plan.

"Some women masturbate to release the pressure, I cry and work out the details on how I'm going to kill myself". While he laughed, he handed me his card and told me that he wanted me on one of his shows. Tucking it in my pocket, I made a couple more jokes and said my final good byes.

Two days before: Mother's Day. Making my way out of town, I was off on my timing for the entire day. My family gave up in frustration (as they wanted me to visit the cementary with them). This was the first Mother's Day without my grandparents or favorite uncle. They talked about a family vacation, and offered me a 'discount' on it. I reminded them that I had no set income and that it would be tough to come up with the deposit right now. My sister snickered under her breath, "what else is new"? After a full day of activities, I had to leave right after dessert was served. "I have a show tonight," was all I could say when the disappointed looks were accompanied reproaches of "do you have to leave so soon?" I did.

Mother's Day, evening: Chris Rock dropped in to perform...yet again. This time, he patted me on my arm! I felt like I had arrived as a comidienne.

RIGHT NOW: The Hudson River lops before me at its languid pace. The sun shines brightly. There is not a cloud in the sky. I have several phone calls from friends who called to apologize about not making it last night.

HERE COMES THE SUN, I say. It's all right. It's all right. Little darlin, the smiles will return to the faces now...

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posted by Rumi @ 5/15/2007 02:41:00 PM |


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