Friday, April 24, 2015

Loring Park Episode #51: Roll with the Punches (SERIES FINALE!!!!*)

Previously on "Loring Park": TJ the bartender moved across the world! A friendship went off the rails! Terri Runnels!

Lessons in Comedy

March began with me doing three shows in a week! I loved how busy it all felt. On Tuesday, I was invited to do a showcase at the VFW, on Thursday I performed at Bryant Lake Bowl for the LOL/OMG show, and Friday I had an awesome time slot in the Die Laughing marathon, where I got to do a half-hour set (that's the fundraiser for which I did "Brunch with Jakey" last year).

Show business, it seems, is kind of the devil. Yet you are always learning when you are in the trenches, and that is what I love.

First of all, the VFW show is really fun because they have a DJ by the stage and you can kind of riff with him and it's like having your own Paul Schaeffer. Bryant Lake Bowl was fun because I got to work with my friend Chris again, and Jason Schommer always puts together an eclectic and fun group. And Die Laughing was fun because of what I made out of it.

Other than my mom coming to the Bryant Lake Bowl show (which I really appreciated), nobody else I knew came to any of these gigs. Which is fine because no one owes you anything. I always believe that! But when people on Facebook insinuate they're going, and say they're gonna bring four of their friends, and then they don't, it becomes kind of a letdown. It especially felt his way at the Die Laughing Marathon, because I was led to believe that several folks from my high school were coming. I even brought my old yearbook! Also, the room was held in a HUGE banquet hall, so the audience of less than 20 looked even smaller.

But right before I got onstage, I realized the lesson. It does not matter how big your audience is, or who necessarily is in your audience. I mean, work certain angles if it makes the show better, but don't obsess over it being all women or all dudes or young/old whatever. It matters that you do your best to better yourself as a performer but more so for the people that are there. I let go of my disappointment that none of my friends showed up and had a damn good time on that stage. I was happy to learn that Fearless Comedy Productions achieved their fundraising goal over the weekend. Without them there would have been no Fringe Festival show for me, and I will always be grateful.

I walked to my car and made the drive back downtown. I realized it was a Friday night at 9 and were this just a week ago, I would have called Sean. We would have pre gamed at his apartment and maybe done Jetset or Saloon. Later in the month, Entertainment Weekly would do a full-length article on Delilah, the sappy radio DJ we both admired. It was an abrupt loss that, while certainly not romantic, was nonetheless difficult to process.

I had a paid gig that was cancelled a week later when I was the one who noticed the venue was advertising a completely different show for that evening. The booker felt bad and I didn't take it personally. Still. Show business is the devil.

I did the Tuesday Night Showcase the following week. I didn't do as well as the previous week because I was arriving right from work and was all frazzled and didn't have a clear routine. The crowd was still really cool. After the show, Gabe Noah, Isaac Witty and I went to The Saloon and drank Fireball and watched Latina drag queens and judged everybody doing karaoke. Life does not always have to suck.

My friend Sarah McPeck was the first ever female celebrity guest on Drag Queen Game Night! I was so proud of her. My friend Markie noticed my gut on this evening and later in the month an acquaintance grabbed a fat roll and on Easter Markie (again) would tell me to "suck it in". As stressed out as I have been lately, I am hoping some of it will lead to accidental weight loss.