This past weekend I performed 4-shows at CG's Comedy Club in Bolingbrook, IL. Each show was uniquely different and fun in its own right.
Often times people ask "how were the shows?" and the typical response is "good!". But if you're looking for something more than surface level, these were the emotions associated with the shows this weekend?
Friday 8pm Show - Crowd was about 3/4 full and I had about 10-15 people in the crowd that I knew. This causes me to overthink and go "what have they heard before, what's new that I can do, I hope I don't eat shit while they're watching, why did they come here” (cut to the end of the show). “That was a great show, I'm so glad they came, my new stuff went over really well, I should promote myself more.”
Friday 10:30pm Show - At 10:25pm we had zero tickets sold and were on the verge of canceling. This becomes the love/hate part of comedy. On one hand, you want to do the show. But, on the other hand, you're hoping that either 20 people walk in, or none do. The last thing you want is 8 people showing up right at 10:30pm and now you have a small crowd. (cut to 10:30pm). “Perfect! 8 people just walked in!” This is where the panic for a comedian starts to kick in. The size of the crowd shouldn’t matter and as a performer, you are determined to give it your best no matter what because you never know who might need a laugh that night. Even knowing that, and having done this for 18+ years, you still can’t help but think of all the worst-case scenarios of the evening. For me, the evening turned around when I heard the one lady in the crowd tell the emcee “It’s my son’s birthday and we’re here for him”. That’s all I needed to strap in and ensure we made it a great night for him. The crowd was pre-dominantly African American as was the hilarious feature comedian that night, Todd Thomas. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, but my usual “fan” is a 34-50 year old, white, male. (I’m not choosing this, this is just what Spotify analytics tell me). The combination of Todd doing so well and the demographics of the crowd had me concerned that it could be a struggle to get the audience on board with me quickly. I just had to trust myself that my experience would pay off. I got up on stage and opened with “As a fellow black comedian” (audience laughs), “we’re going to have to pretend in here tonight for this to go well “ (audience applause), and I was in! What an incredibly fun show this was. This just proves, don’t judge a book by…I’m an insecure asshole.
Saturday 8pm Show - When I pulled up to the club on Saturday night, it was in my wife’s car, as she dropped me off. The night before I lost my car keys and had to have Glen, the owner of the club drive me home. When my wife dropped me off on Saturday, I brought my spare set of keys and found my original keys still in my car. These are keyless keys, you know, the fab that detects your proximity to the car and lets you unlock your car within range. The beauty of this type of key is that you can’t lock your keys in the car, because of the detection feature. Turns out, I’m the unlucky asshole that found a way to have his car lock with the keys inside. I still have no clue how it happened, but now I had to take shit from the rest of the staff at the club for being an idiot. I was excited to walk in the club and see my buddy Vinny Santino there. He’s a funny young comic from Florida who I met on the road a few years ago. Just a few weeks back I saw on Facebook that he moved up to Chicago from Florida, and I wanted to help him meet a few clubs. He came out and did a 5-minute guest set and did a great job.
This show was jam-packed and had good energy from the first minute. My cousin, her mom, and a friend came out to this show and it was their first time ever seeing me live. I wanted to put on a good show. For the most part, it went really well. In the middle of my act, I heard a lot of chirping from this older couple stage left (your right). I look over and they are discussing the bill. Fine, it happens. About 5-minutes later I see they are still talking about this fucking thing. I started asking out loud (playfully) “How long does it take to look at a bill? Did you order this? No? Then it must have been me! It’s not complicated shit guys”. They didn’t look up from the bill at all, just kept discussing it while the rest of the audience and myself had a good laugh watching them doing long addition on a short receipt. Turns out, the waitress gave them back the wrong credit card. Which, in my opinion, made the situation worse for two reasons.
It should’ve been even easier to spot “this isn’t our credit card” from the very start, and this whole exchange should’ve been over with, within two seconds.
If they got the wrong credit card, that means another couple in the crowd also got the wrong credit card, and they didn’t give a shit about it.
Oh well, you can’t apply logic to an illogical situation.
Saturday 10:30pm Show - We had about 20 people in the room for this show and I was just flat out exhausted. I’m 37-years old and I start to feel my age a bit when those late shows hit. In my 20’s I would do 3-shows a night and still be ready to go out afterward. Now, I’m 37-years old with kids and my body behaves like whiskey dick before the late show. I have to punch myself, and prop myself up until the energy of the show kicks into high gear. The crowd was a lot of fun and I actually for the first time in a long time, did material off of “No Complaints”, “I Plead the First”, and my upcoming album “Vincesectomy”.
At the end of the night, I ended up signing the wall at CG’s. Signing the wall is a tradition at a lot of comedy clubs. It’s like a rite of passage for the performer. Over the years, I’ll eventually make my way back to a club I haven’t been to in a while and see my signature from years ago. It always brings back great memories, and even though it’s a silly signature, I still take pride in being able to do that. So many clubs that I’ve signed the walls of years ago are no longer around. I hope to see my name on this wall for years to come.