Clusterfest

Getting ready for a festival. I’m not sure what kind of venue it’s in and if it’s outside it may be sort of like “doing the time” even if there isn’t a ton of audience response because it’s outdoors and people are distracted.

Was listening to NPR Terri gross interview about Rodgers and Hammerstein- that when they got successful, the quality of their work went down due to being overstretched with new money making opportunities and I definitely worry about that for myself.

Scott and I are trying to downsize – adding 1 roommate and then maybe a 2nd and 3rd- so there isn’t as much of a burden on earning instead of focusing to do a good job on one thing. I’m grateful to have a bunch of streams of income with voiceover and some tv acting, but I wonder if the quality of stand-up (and personal life) goes down with having a bunch of stuff going on or so much that you can’t really enjoy one thing at a time.

Need to rehearse, but have a script to memorize and bookkeeping to handle and an animation script to punch up and so- not giving full attention to the type of work that I enjoy the most anyways.

Going to have friend Joanna Cruz over to help me out with rehearsal (committing to new hour) and script memorizing (Stan vs evil on ifc- crazy nurse) and down sizing (putting all tax records in basement to clear a space for another human beast). I’m paying her $50 an hour for the creative help and $25 an hour for the office work. I don’t know if I’m over or under paying, but I do know that I own a home and none of my friends do (except for Jackie) and so it seems at least not taking advantage of her time.

I used to work for people organizing and cleaning homes and it really bothered me that I got minimum wage. Not to be ungrateful, but to just question your hourly rate when there’s a separate bedroom and closet (lots of outfits) for the dog.

We do have two dresses for The dogs that we purchased on Etsy from polka dog designs and I hope that lady seamstress is paying herself well. But that’s it for clothes. Sometimes we put one of them in the laundry room (jackie) because she’s bitten her sister (Betty), but it’s not “their” room.

Sent shorter 7 min new set to my manager Bruce for him to hear for a short appearance at jfl. He was worried the opener wasn’t strong enough, but I think he’s wrong. I almost don’t know why I sent it because I feel fairly stubborn about it. I guess I want to appear open and flexible while maintaining an inner rigidity and defensiveness. Good thing one can ever sense that.

Went through hour with Joanne. At least I practiced the words if not the meaning of them. Some (if not all) of my material feels so useless. Like it doesn’t have any great epiphanies or non-stop laughs. Went to a show last night and saw Zack galifinakis and his work is just so joyful and seamless and (seemingly) effortless and it was laugh a second. It is embarrassing to follow and just do what I have, but that’s the whole thing (for me, anyway) to continue on showing up despite little sign of genius or profundity. That it’s ok to keep making stuff even if it’s not the greatest. I may be a dandelion in the sidewalk but hey, a pretty nice dandelion in the sidewalk. (Substitute any commonplace flora/fauna at your discretion)

  • Whoops. Clusterfest is a little stressful because I get nervous for shows and so I feel scared if there’s any rejection at the out front and part of showbiz is trying to get in the door even when you are on the bill. It’s just that security professionals are doing their job and I have the shame that I probably don’t belong. Those combined bring out a weird combo of embarrassed confusion begging to get into the venue I’m performing in.

Woof! Rough show. Oyuoyoyoy. I headlined a show following the electrifying crowd work of Michael Che and boy was I a letdown. Agh! I did 30 minute and basically just filled the time, bailing into old material about 15 minutes in. Very humbling. It’s been a while since I’ve done a large show with non-super fans in the crowd. Well, it’s over now. (Jackie kashian on stage below!)

4 thoughts on “Clusterfest

  1. Hello (insert name),
    1. Thank you for this blog, it’s refreshing, insightful and courageous.
    2. ~300 more posts, slap them together, add a title and you will have a bestseller.
    3. Install six Japanese hotel style capsules, in your guest bedroom, and you’ll be fine.
    Thanks Again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you! This is such a hard decision for freelancers. I’ve been working freelance for twenty years and struggle with this question all the time. Right now I’m trying to maintain a 60/40 balance where I do my one true thing 60% of the time and all the other hustle and money work the other 40% of the time. It’s working ok. Good luck. You’re awesome. Hope Clusterfest is a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dandelion, eh? I’d say more of a Blazing Star… It’s an actual flower (Thanks Google: Flowers A-Z ) and you did say it was up to our discretion. Ask any great comedian there top 10, or 5 even, and you’d be on it… and holy crepe, thanks a gazillion for being on the MTL JFL lineup, too! Don’t listen to Bruce!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dandelions were purposely brought over to the “new world” and have been used for medicines for centuries. I think it’s the aspirin (not same use – just generic and abundant – but useful.) of the plant world.

    In Southern Indiana I make around $15 an hour now doing basically the same job I have done since 1984. It’s specialized, takes thought and special skills. I have a BS and an associate degree (that are totally unrelated to my job.) People in other areas of the company make $20 an hour fresh out of college. So figure that into your market and take it for what it’s worth, and also figure I get some hidden benefits like health insurance and a percentage match on a 401K. I’m part time, so the health insurance was very recent. Should there be a sliding scale for people doing jobs if the person for whom they are doing the job is wealthy, middle class, poor? Or if it’s the same job, should it be the same pay? I have zero answers for you. Just reference points.

    I’m trying to downsize slowly. You and Scott could downsize to a tiny house and travel the country to venues and/or doing comedy out of your house/stage.

    I’m so very impressed with your courage to push through your fear, to try to do what you think is right, for your humor and intelligence.

    Liked by 1 person

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