Hello void that I feel I’m talking into whenever I type here.
I really should check in with you more. I tell myself to but then I wonder who is even reading these other than me after a few drinks and feeling nostalgic. I also hesitate to post stuff because everything I work on these days comes with increasingly scary NDA (non-disclosure agreement) contracts telling me that snitches get stitches (legally). So I guess this is my version of Vague-Booking on my own site…to myself.
My occasional run as substitute House Hater in the Roast Battle show at the Comedy Store has turned into a weekly gig
which is fun and exciting. It’s the most regular stage time I’ve gotten since moving to Los Angeles many years ago and finding an early home at the Hollywood Improv before bookers switched so many times and I got lost in the shuffle. So after years of playing empty bars and small clubs in the outskirts of town on off-nights, I’m now back playing in front of great crowds every week in one of the hottest shows in town. It’s a lot of fun and a bit exhausting. I don’t think people know how much work goes into what I do there. I have to write a whole new show every week basically and be able to think on my feet for a frenetic 90 minutes with stimuli coming from all angles with the pressure of knowing I’m about to tell a joke I’ve never said before in front of a judge that is most likely an idol of mine or can make my career with a phone call in front of a crowd that is out for blood and a periscope that goes from loving me to hating me faster than my ex-girlfriends. However pressure is where I do my best for some reason so it’s a show that plays to my strengths as a person and performer. Probably stemming back to my more athletic and adrenaline seeking days as a kid where I needed to constantly push the envelope just to have fun, now this and speeding in my car are about as close as I come to feeling any kind of adrenaline. I really need to jump out of a plane or something. Life used to be so much more crazy physically and less stressful emotionally and financially…now it’s flipped, life is boring physically but crazy emotionally and scary financially. Every minute of every day is basically a lottery wondering if I get closer to making it or closer to being the guy that watched all his friends become famous.
It’s funny because I work at a restaurant a few nights a week where I wait on rich and famous people
and then run out the door as early as I can to drive across town and make fun of those same people on stage. Always fame adjacent but not in the cool kids club yet. Knocking on heaven’s door. I do an insane amount of work for no money and the job that actually does pay me is the one I’m leaving early to run to the free show I’m doing that I’m hoping will pay off in the long run. It’s a blind man’s gamble and I always feel I’m close to winning so I keep hitting the ATM to buy more time. The only real currency in life is time and I guess I am spending my life doing what I want to do so in that sense I’ve already won…it would just be nice to get one of those paychecks soon that switches my title from waiter who moonlights as a comedian/actor to just “entertainer” and nothing else. I’ve never been able to figure out in my many years of doing this how to make that leap even though I’ve watched many friends make it time and time again. The mantra I was taught starting out was “get funny and the money will come” but I got funny pretty early on and stayed funny and consistent and professional but the money decided to play hard to get. What a bitch.
I’ve mentioned many times before that the title of my memoirs will be A Series of Near Misses.
Last year I booked a national commercial spot (which can be bread and butter for many performers because you get a check every time the spot airs) but I got cut from the final edit so I basically got nothing. Although they just started airing a new version of the commercial so maybe there’s hope yet for a check to show up in the mail someday. Then I was put on hold to fly to New Mexico to be in the sequel to Sicario but they went with another actor. Same thing happened with a new sitcom on CBS. I did book some great voiceover gigs, one of which being voicing some fun characters in one of my favorite video games (I would tell you which game but…NDA’s) and the same company is now working on a sequel to my all time favorite video game and my fingers are crossed so hard that they call me to work on it that I’m getting arthritis from squeezing so tight. So that was a burst of excitement that lasted a few months and created memories I’ll never forget. If nothing else, my inner 10 year old freaked out that I finally got my dream of working on a video game since those were my favorite things ever as a kid….and still are if not for sex being a thing now. I also got my Comedy Central debut on Roast Battle which I’m hoping becomes a recurring thing when the show kicks back up for the next season. Again, fingers crossed. Maybe that should be the title of my memoirs? Fingers crossed.
Right now I’m just sitting in my apartment wondering when my next paying gig will be
and if it will be the one that makes my career. I never want to sound discontented or ungrateful but after you turn 30 and still find yourself waiting tables the thought of never making it creeps into your head louder and louder and keeps you awake telling you that if you were truly talented you should be farther along in your career by now… Ironically the voices quiet down a bit when you get a good nights sleep and laid here and there but since neither of those are happening those voices are practically screaming loud enough in my head that I feel like the neighbors are going to complain about the noise. Nobody ever said chasing dreams would be easy but I sure do wish I was smart enough and lucky enough to make them a little easier. In the meantime, I’m going to take a nap and try to quiet the noise in my head for a few hours and wake up remembering how lucky I am to live in a beautiful city full of beautiful people where all of my dreams could come true tomorrow…if they all don’t come crumbling down on me today. haha.
Here is a little edit from the Periscope of the show a while back when Dave Chappelle popped in to judge the Roast Battles and made me feel like what I was doing was pretty damn cool
even if I do still have to wait tables to pay my bills. I added closed captioning if you struggle to hear what’s going on so you can just click the CC button in the settings to turn them on. All you need to know going in is that Chappelle had just commented on the battlers right before saying that he didn’t like pun based jokes…and the rest is here…