Most people have tight schedules and even tighter budgets. When they go out, they want to make sure that the movie or concert is worth their time and a babysitter. I totally get it because we have a schedule and a budget just like that in our home. My wife’s schedule may be even worse as she doesn’t get the Date Nights like everyone else.
So when you do go out, you seek the Biggest Name and Safest Bet. I’m not telling you to not see Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart or Louis C.K. with your comedy dollars. I’m just saying it’s awesome when you “take a chance on an unknown.” It’s also significantly cheaper.
Every week, I work with comedians who deserve to be much more famous than they are.
Occasionally, I work with very famous people, some of whom are way more famous than they are funny.
A name doesn’t always guarantee an amazing or professional or really funny night out.
You go to shows, you tell your friends, you come back again and again. Sometimes you bring treats for the comics or buy a t-shirt when you have to know I’d gladly just give it to (some of) you for free.
Every t-shirt you buy, every referral you give, every seat you fill, every sticker or CD or whatever you take with you as a souvenir of our nights together, helps that comedian get that much farther and further (covering my bases) down the road. You helped that guy or girl pay for a meal, get cash to tip the bartender, or feed their habit of choice. In some cases, you’re helping someone buy diapers, groceries or pay for electricity. What I’m saying is you’re helping. They’re not personalized bricks or tiles or anything, but you’re helping build someone’s career.
You just may discover someone pretty damn good.
From the mountaintops I shout: the whole DFW area, while lacking mountains, is lousy with pretty damn good comedy. If you haven’t been out in awhile, you almost couldn’t go wrong going anywhere where there is live comedy.
Everyone works so very hard.
Careers can start anywhere.
So I say this with little-to-no false modesty: there is no way in a million years I could have anticipated the response from this last weekend. I was brought to tears more than once.
The chart thing was pretty amazing, but the words meant much more to me than the numbers. [gag – I know]
You guys shared links for me on my behalf. You said the nicest, most amazing things. Even if you only meant half of it, it’s way more than I think I deserve.
The word “deserve” was used more than a lot. I often think of the differences between deserving something, earning something, and feeling like you’re owed something. I know people in each category. At different times, I’ve felt like I was in each category. Sometimes during the same festival or comedy contest.
I realized long ago that no one owes me anything.
This weekend felt like an “earn.” 14 years went into delivering something. It helps me tell a different story about my last 14 years.
We each have our own art. We don’t always get applause for it. Usually, it’s pretty quiet. Pretty private.
My wife, with her classes and curriculum and costumes and navigating district personalities, lives her art every day. And without bitching about it. Mostly. It’s stunning to witness in person.
Meanwhile, I publicly moan about my art. I whine and lament. I congratulate through gritted teeth. I contemplate quitting so frequently I’m not even going to complete this sentence with a joke.
This weekend will help quiet that inner voice for a good long time.
So, again, with all humility and much to my embarrassment, thank you.
You’ve helped in a way you can’t possibly imagine.
Addendum: The album also made it on to the Billboard Top 10 Comedy Chart. See for yourself (week of August 20, 2016) because I still don’t believe it.