Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Thoughts On/From the Road

Ever since I was a little kid the idea of traveling as an artist intrigued me. I loved music, and I loved concerts even more, and I knew that the band, whoever they were, was on tour. What a way to live, I thought, you get to stay in hotels all the time, which was amazing to me. A hotel meant you were in a room that always smelled like a hotel, which was an awesome smell, and you could go swimming whenever you wanted, because in my small world every hotel had a pool. Of course, we all know swimming in a hotel pool was the 2nd most fun experience you could have, the first being swimming in an ocean. When I would go on family vacations, I would pretend that I was a famous musician on tour playing whatever location I was in (sure it’s weird that we’re doing 7-days worth of shows in the Outerbanks, what can I say, we’re a big draw here!) As a 10-or-so-year-old, touring was it, that was the alpha and the omega, that was for me, I wanted to conquer the US and then the world, I wanted to play 7-nights a week, I wanted to have atlases coming out of my ears because GPS wasn’t invented yet!!!

The first time I went on the road, which wasn’t all that long ago, I felt like my life had forever changed. This was what all of those other comics were telling me about all those times I did guest sets, and they weren’t bull-shitting, this is IT!!! I thought to myself, “how could anyone possibly ever get tired of this? This is the greatest thing in the world!” The headliner I was out with, a guy out of LA named Jerry Corley, was incredibly cool to me, gave me some very valuable advice and even carried me back to the hotel room one night after I had a bit too much to drink. I came back from that week and I’m pretty sure I lost money, but none of that mattered, something was different, it was loosing one’s virginity all over again. I had a strut for a week.

Several years have gone by since then and I travel fairly frequently on the weekends and throughout the year, I’ve realized that it’s not the rush it was the first time, in fact sometimes it’s not fun at all, and not everybody you meet along the way is cool, and comedy has gone from a labor of love to a reasonably consistent part-time income that I count on each month. I used to say that if this ever starts feeling like a job I would quit, and while I had the right idea, I was na├»ve to a certain degree when I said that. I’ve since changed my position, if it ever starts feeling like a job that I don’t love doing, that’s when I’ll quit. This weekend I was in central-PA and when I woke up Saturday morning and I was congested and my voice was hoarse. I guess the temperature in my room was not a good match and it messed with my sinuses big time. What I wanted more than anything was to sit at home, watch Netflix with my girlfriend and the cats, have a Hot Toddy to clear the sinuses and pass out. But that was not to be the case, home was 4 hours away and I had some shows to get through. I threw down a Monster, had some water and got through it, and it was a fun time even though health-wise I wasn’t quite myself. I didn’t want to be anywhere other than my own bed that night, so I embarked on the drive home as quickly as I could. I was greeted with rain the entire way home, took me longer than it should’ve and I was beyond exhausted when I finally got through the front door. It was well worth it though because I was able to get some meds going right away and by Sunday afternoon I was pretty much back to normal, which was good because I had dinner plans. Anyway, I guess what I’m getting at is that sometimes it does feel like a job. It’s not particularly fun staring at maps for hours on end trying to figure out routing to put together summer shows, it’s not fun sending out e-mail after e-mail, call after call, it’s not fun showing up somewhere to showcase and then finding out the booker left early that night even though you talked to them beforehand, and, of course, like the other 99% of comics out there I’m no stranger to rejection. But, at the end of the day, I’m enjoying the fact that I can spend time doing all those things instead of punching a time clock for somebody else, and…fuck it, what I’m trying to say is I could really use an agent.

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