I just booked entirely too many things between now and November and I’m having a mini-freak-out about it! Right now I’m on my way to an open mic to try out a story for a storytelling show that I booked, forgot about, remembered, and found out I had the wrong theme in my head for. And it’s tomorrow. Originally (or how I remember it), a very great guy Ken who runs Story Club Boston, asked me to do a storytelling show in Dorchester. I remember him telling me the theme of the show was “Courage”; apparently it’s “Drink Up” because I remembered it wrong. And it’s in a brewery, so, drink up. Get it?
By the way, the thing that makes Ken a great guy is he puts up with my bullshit stand-up comedy at his storytelling shows. Because stand up and storytelling ARE NOT the same thing. Closely related, and my comedy toes the line, but still not the same thing. So, I have tonight to figure out how this story of the time I literally turned my back on an angry mob of a punk bands fan and their lead singer, buy didn’t die. While shoehorning it into the theme of Drink Up, because I can’t remember any good drinking stories.
To add to my overextending stage abilities, I booked myself on a paid, (I only mention that because it adds to the importance of DON’T FUCK THIS UP DUMMY!) comedy show doing a 20 minute PG-CLEAN set. Be funny for 20 minutes? Fine. Don’t curse or be offensive for 20 minutes? Sure, easy. I worked in radio for 17yrs, piece of cake. Do both at the same time? Yeesh, that worries me for some reason. Now granted, in radio if I slip up and say “fuck” the penalty is being fired and a $300,000 (that’s the right amount of zeros) fine from the federal government. If I screw up this gig I lose a $50 booking. I rarely curse on stage; don’t know why I’m worried about one and not the other honestly. Maybe it’s because I have to leave my own Comedy Cookout early to do this gig?
Yeah, this Saturday is the final Comedy Cookout for 2016 that my roommate Jesse and I host together at our house. So, Saturday I have to wake up early, clean the house, mow the lawn, prep the food, cook the food, setup the sound system, all while CO-HOSTING A COMEDY SHOW! What is wrong with me? Why do I this to myself? I’ll literally run a comedy show where I give away free food and booze, but putting on a monthly show at a bar where all I have to do is be funny and introduce my friends is “too much of a pain in the ass”??
It doesn’t end there dear readers. Oh no. I’m also doing a play, a real genuine theatrical play (done in the round), where I have a 2 page monologue (and I probably have the least amount of lines in the play) to learn. So, instead of sitting on the T trying to memorize my lines, I’m writing this. Which is something I’d like to be doing more of honestly.
Writing, that is. Well, acting too, but this play doesn’t pay. Neither does my blog. But I could write some “comedy” articles and get a freelance job here or there. That is if my writing was any good I could. Maybe. But my writing can’t be that bad because I got… hired(?) to be an on-set writer for a “comedy” web series. There’s also a submission packet for a satirical website I want to finish and submit too. Both is not just writing words but writing a ton of jokes. Okay, like 10 joke headlines and one article for the site and punch-up/riffing (I think) for the web series. But still, that’s a lot of comedy brainpower. Not to mention all the stand up I need to write so I have it on record, punch-up, make funny, and figure out how to fit it all together and memorize.
Speaking again of memorizing. I got cast in a Murder Mystery tour, that ACTUALLY PAYS MONEY! Something I’m actually pushing booking notifications out of the way right now so I can continue to write this on my iPhone. I have give or take 4 roles in a dozen or so shows to learn (not really an exaggeration), by next month. After all the money problems I’ve been having, am I pushing paid work to the back burner? Is it because the whole thing seems embarrassing and hokey to me? Yes. But, it’s supposed to be fun. And it pays cash money. Maybe I should suck it up or go back to throwing bags of dirt and rocks at Home Depot.
When did telling jokes and playing make-believe become so much work and stress? If I had the time (HA!) and know how (mope, I’m dumb), I’d build myself a time machine so I can go back and brag to 8yr old me what I’m doing at 35. Maybe that way I wouldn’t spend the next 27yrs clinically depressed because I’d have the knowledge I’m getting to do playtime as an adult. Running around the backyard playing John Wayne or in the streets playing Errol Flynn in the 3 Musketeers (were you born during the Great Depression, Dennis?) become work? When did it become a reason to stress out? Especially, when you have a heart condition? (I’ll explain that some other day… maybe. If I can find the time. *ba-dump-ching*). I literally went for a stress test yesterday, where they monitor my heart while I run on a treadmill. What a waste, they could’ve just watched me squirm at my work desk (work desk? Yeah, where I go 40hrs a week to pay my bills that has yet to be mentioned in this post) updating my calendar. And it’ll be a lot less sweaty. By the way, anyone else ever look at sweaty and worried you’ve written sweet and vice versa?
Nope, just me? Add that to the proverbial log pile of worries I create for myself every day. What I need to do is light that fucking (don’t say this Saturday) wood pile on fire, warming myself with the comforting glow of talent and the “WOOHOO THIS IS FUN!!” attitude all this should warrant.
I’ve never been a stop to smell the roses kind of guy, but if I’m going to insist on staying so busy so I don’t have time to listen to the voices of catholic school bullies in my head, the least I can do is reach out the car window, pluck one of those roses off the vine, and place hang it from the rear view mirror as an air freshener to remind myself this is all for fun.
Read more of my ramblings at deadairdennis.com