Columbus!

On delta to Columbus via Houston and need to listen to set. Great to see jackie! As I said before, I’ve made a decision to go from profit sharing on shows to paying her a flat fee because the business income is down from last year. I feel really awful about it as Jackie is part of the reason I can even do the road and she makes the shows just great and a ton more fun. The business expenses are higher than they used to be – due to having more “staff”- accountant on call for quarterly payments and bookkeeper and travel agent and publicist and then earning enough to pay myself on the payroll – including all of the taxes. I’m going to meet with my debtors anonymous sponsors (not that I am in that program :)- haha. I’ve gone for 24 years and it’s a free resource I’ve gratefully utilized for support and community despite being an atheist. I figure prayer is just a creative cognitive behavioral excercise to help the mind stop ruminating. I pray to science and the human spirit. And that’s one of the rules of 12 step- is that everyone gets to go. Even if you’re on meth and you eat all of the donuts, you are welcome to be at a meeting. Any money, I’m going to ask 2 people to look at my numbers and see if I’m just making a decision out of fear or if I really can’t afford to bring an opener. I hope I’m wrong.

Listened to set from echo park late show and boy did that bum me out. I didn’t get a ton of laughs except for one loud laugher who may have been a comedian. Agh. It’s like I’ll think I have it smooth and finished and then it’s just completely crumpled again.

Listened to Addison, Texas hour (where everyone laughed at everything) and that made me feel better (even if it’s just a lucky unrealistically supportive audience).

Then, grateful (again) to me Jackie Kashian who taught me how to get in the delta sky club (you’ve got to choose your benefits!) and did hole machine- and found new life in a few bits she’s heard a billion times before (ok maybe 50) and I listened to her new chunklets.

There is nothing better than the feeling of having prepared and rehearsed for a show. It’s a solid glow in the sternum.

Right before show in green room with Jackie Kashian. She’s got merch. I have a real fear of selling merch. Which is dumb. Will talk it over with my debtors anonymous crew.

Going to try to do only new material (nothing from my prior special). I hope I can do it. I don’t want the audience to have a bad time, but I also need to try it.

I couldn’t do it. I did 3 things from the last spesh. Oof. Ah well. I have ego about a strong finish and I didn’t want to work stuff out for such a nice group. And I was afraid.

Fresno prep

Doing a show tonight at 9 pm in east Hollywood. Feel a little rusty.

That’s an issue I have is not rehearsing a little every day so I don’t feel so scared when it’s show day. I worked a little on the tiny trump chunk and worst cooks celebrity story. Maybe that’s enough.

I’m going to my pals house. My friend is a therapist and so they’re going to practice doing EMDR on me. I’ve done it before so I hope it will be ok before a show. It’s supposed to be for trauma and the only trauma I experienced really was depression as a kid and adult- so I don’t think I’m the ideal patient, but maybe the ideal guinea pig!

Well, did the show at the Mexican restaurant on sunset. I certainly wasn’t as polished as the young man who emceed and I overheard some people leaving the show after my set saying, “that was weird” and I’m not sure if that’s the gift of paranoia working for me, but it was 20 minutes of life and trying the worst cooks story and so, at least, done and that’s always a relief.

It is always humbling in Los Angeles with the amount of chutzpah and gifted artistry on offer and I tried to be a part of it and the valet was only 10 bucks and so, not a bad deal to participate in a good show.

Now, to rehearsing again. I never want to. It’s never appealing, but neither is taking a shower or making plans with people I love a week in advance.

Just listened to set from Austin- which went slightly better than I thought and I have some tags. Feel embarrassed at how slow my delivery and mind is. Driving in the 2008 Prius with 114k miles and bird poop frosting and dear hubster, Scott.

Now listened to Addison Texas set again and seem to really be unwilling to rehearse. I’m going to ask a friend to FaceTime rehearse over the phone today. Feel so mad at myself and therefore, irritable.

Scott driving to breakfast and I was able to eek out rehearsal of 2 bits. The 3 rounds at who’s the better person with my mom, sharing and caring. Oh and I also did U of mn. That helped enormously and I was able to enjoy Forestiere Underground Gardens. A quote from Baldessarre Forestiere, Italian immigrant, “to make something with a lot of money, that is easy. But to make something out of nothing- that now is really something”. And I type that out on my $700 iphone into an app I also paid for.

Got my friend Steve to listen to 45 minutes and then did a few with Jackie Kashian. Backstage listening to jackie and she’s doing great, half-full crowd. The guy backstage said that was pretty good for Fresno. 2 is amazing for la.

Austin

Here for the moontower comedy festival. So lovely to connect with other comics and hoping to have dinner again with OphirA Eisenberg and Jackie Kashian.

Will bookend working on set- listen while walking the river trail downtown and writing for 20 minutes on book.

Set went ok last night but I hadn’t rehearsed and I jumbled words during an 8 minute performance and that felt dumb.

I am just having my publicist (a short story writer herself) Jess “like” and “mute” all the more horrendous tweets. I’m all for free speech but there’s only so many times I need to read “you’re an idiot c–t”. (Though subjectively true- I am a woman who had a c average from a state school).

Will check in later that I have done my tasks!

Did the listening to Addison set! Feel very chuffed how it went- the crowd was just lovely.

now to prepare for Saturday long set- I do not want to, but I know I’ll feel so much better after I have gone through the words. Maybe I can convince myself to do it with the promise of a treat. A $5 cold brew from the royal blue grocery, perhaps. I will bookend it with you, blogoterias.

I listened and rehearsed for about an hour. Worried I get used to such nice crowds that I’ve gotten “soft”. I’m not sure what I would be “hard”, but I think I might speak faster or more succinctly. It would also involve living in New York City for at least a month.

Tired

On way to Houston and haven’t rehearsed. Had an odd experience with taking action on a joke premise. I thought it’d feel like doing “something” to file a restraining order vs the President. The internet feedback is – and I should have predicted this- half-good, half-bad. And my usual reaction of course is shame- that I shouldn’t have done it. And there is some of the criticism that rings true- it is just for attention, it is narcissistic, it is something that a white lady with plenty of free time can do, it does stuff up an already burdened legal system. All those things are true. So, maybe a mistake, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

There are so many comedic premises I’ve heard over the years that aren’t considered as “real” possibilities. These are relatively inexpensive and legitimate actions of diplomacy or domestic policy- like sending in a high-energy high school marching band into a conflict, giving convicts years off a sentence for certification in Byron Katie’s life coaching program, “the Work”. So I thought I’d follow through on the comedic premise that our President has threatened our safety and the powerlessness I feel as a citizen to do anything about it. I guess the one good thing is trying- even if I was wrong to do it. Maybe someone else will think of something more useful. Ah well. Off to Houston.

A book!

WHY I WANT TO WRITE THIS BOOK

-Because I don’t know how else to make this new hour of material meaningful

-becuase maybe it can help other comedians (or creatives) to go forward even if they think what they have to say is unneccessary or that their point of view is redundant

-because  it would be great to have something to keep me company on the road along with Jackie – something that is just MINE

-because I’d love to create something that isn’t dependent on my skill as a performer

-because it might be a great way to connect with other artists and maybe build my business in  a new way- where I can be of support and connect with others as I get ollder

-because it would be an added form of passive income  where I can live anywhere and I don’t have to travel

-because I LOVE BOOKS

The Older Artist- how to keep going – I’d like to share how to keep going when the money is still needed but the driving force to be “heard” has been more than sated.

How I work with fellow artists and with income decreasing and the embarrassment of making mistakes as a perfomrer and as a business owner

Being married and having a traveling business

Then ambition- honesty with what I am willing to do, what I have time and energy to do- rather than loioking at the prestige, fame or money

Doing something with creepy pressure from others (when something doesn’t seem like it’s yours anymore)

Working with others- i hate effort and compromise- not knowing what is important- what is compromise.

Juggling things daily with voiceover and developing the series and living in a new neighborhood and responsibilities and friendships and family and health

How can I help people- I dont’ know- I guess showing the process of writing material- how slow it is  – having this feeling that I am a “hack” -I am doing very old material, shame. Lack of willingess to do short shows in LA.  

I’d love to share the numbers too-I’d love to put in all of my spending- because that is hilarious to me too. I mean. Why not?   

So I guess filling out the journal.  I no longer have anything more to say about my own experience with mental illness- I’ve been stable for 7 years and it just isn’t something I’m that into anymore as a result of positive brain circumstances.

Southwest flight home

I’m reading a book about writing and it suggested that I write why I am writing (this blog) in order to inspire myself to keep doing it when I want to fall backwards into a pool of emails.

To give myself meaning to this part of my life. That I’m not saying anything new, but maybe in trying to describe my limited experience- I can participate and share with all of you (flowers and ghosts and trolls included) and maybe, inspire someone else to risk continuing forward with whatever their deal is- even when it seems like there are plenty of reasons not to (who cares, make money, no one needs to hear your opinion, etc). I know what I am: an extremely priviledged, sun damage spotted, shaky older white lady with a few generic character impressions. I am lazy, I did ok in college but not great, I’m no genius and I’m in the latter part of my life- after big success (for me, anyway) and without aspiration for anything bigger than ongoing employment due to above-mentioned sloth. And if I can act like my creativity is worth pursuing, with all the doubts and realities included, maybe someone will be able tell their, more interesting story and I will get to enjoy it. And honestly, and this is the less admirable (?) part, I’d love to have written a book. I love, love, love-love-love-love books.

Waukegan, IL

In an effort to do “something”, I contacted a woman off Facebook from the league of women voters in Waukegan to register people to vote at the shows and she said yes and so that’s “something”. I’m trying to get voter registration at all of my shows til the end of the year. I’d love if I knew more about local politics if there were any petitions to be signed or anything needing support but I’m not sure how to do that without getting totally overwhelmed with ppthe myriad of worthy causes and social conditions that are in a snafu. I tweeted out to LWV Dallas and Houston for upcoming dates and maybe can connect with people there next.

Now it’s been nearly two weeks off of performing and so I need to rehearse today or at least listen to the last set that I did in U.K. That is one thing I can do and I will bookend it with this community du blogop.

I’ll try to listen to 5 painful minutes now just to start. Aaaaasaaaagh!

Did 40 minutes of listening! Yahoop. Maybe I can transcribe some more today for 30 minutes and cut and paste it here so you see how far I’ve gotten.

Well, I failed to do that. And now it is the day before the show and I’ve procrastinated enough to not have rehearsed at all beyond the listening to the set. Embarrassing.

I was interviewed by a guy from Texas (I think- everyplace runs together in my head unfortunately) and he was asking what is motivating me to write now (if not mental health advocacy, I guess) and I’m not sure today except for my own enjoyment, meaning and, of course, employment. It’s pretty selfish and I wish that it were for some greater cause like gun control or human rights or environmental protection. I support the above causes (I’m “for”) with donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, Nature Conservancy, Everytown for Gun Safety and sign all of the online petitions that come to my email inbox, but my writing (now) is about marriage and religion. It’s clear to me that I’m not doing enough- not participating in local government, not making calls every day, not putting these issues first because they haven’t affected me personally yet. Beyond bumming me out as terrible ongoing news. Maybe I could write a political action bit where make one call to my representative on stage? At least that’d be a way for force myself to something every show.

I’ll listen and take notes (maybe transcribe?? Come on, Maria! You can do it!!) on the flight to Milwaukee on Southwest. If I do it, I will reward myself with a new pair of socks!

Ok! Did 1 hour over the phone with friend Melinda and that helped enormously with the building pressure-dread of procrastination. I don’t know why I can’t just skip that part and do continuous rehearsal every day, but as of yet, I have not managed that change in pattern.

Went to lunch with Jackie kashian and we did bits back and forth. I’m fleshing out worst cooks and Harvard lampoon bits and that feels really hopeful. That they may have added meaning beyond just the stories themselves (which I feel ashamed are too boring or irrelevant to anyone alive in the world.

Waukegan show done! Slogged through parables bit and then went into old stuff. I need to work on on the worst cooks and lampoon pieces to make a full hour of new stuff. I didn’t have the courage to put out more new stuff after asking the audience to have the patience to hear bible stories.

A sad note, I may not be able to afford to bring an opener (jackie Kashian) to the rest of my gigs for the year. As a part of not having the extra tv income, the business numbers have dropped drastically and so I need to make sure Bamfooco, Inc is netting enough to pay me and the rest of its employees. Jackie and I have had a profit-sharing agreement the past 3 years where she is payed one third of what I net off of each show (because she provides one third of the show :)) but I might have to scale back and it really sucks. She’s been kind about it but I feel embarrassed. It may end up working out later, but for now I’ve got to be clear that I’m making enough money to pay the business bills.

Oh! And as an idea for “something” to do about fascism, I’m filing a restraining order against Trump! The paperwork in California was only 39 bucks and I figure that’s cheap to try to keep him at least 1000 yards away from my democracy.