Friday, July 16, 2004

CUE VIOLINS

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Being a stand up comic is hard. Sometimes when I think of how seldom comedy actually makes me happy I wonder why I do it. I guess not having a fall back plan helps. I have been doing stand up comedy for 3 and 1/2 years. Thats 3 and 1/2 years since my first open mic at the Comedy Underground. For how long I've been doing it, Im actually doing really well. I feature at Comedy Clubs all over the country and I headline crappy one nighters and smaller comedy clubs. Last year after expenses I made $15,280. Probably closer to $16,800 if you factor in my CD sales the IRS doesn't know about. With a family of three I need to double what I made last year just to comfortably be lower middle class. Im still sort of proud I made $16,000. For telling jokes! Just thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head that eventually people paid me for. If I was single and childless I'd be fine with $16,000 a year. Of course if I was single and childless I would be out a couple of good premises. Ok here's more bitching, Im gone all the time. Gone two weeks, home two weeks, gone 3 days, home a week, gone 1 week, home 3 weeks, gone 2 weeks. What have I missed from my sons life by being gone so much? I'd rather drink then think about it. The good news is, I do spend a lot of time with my son. Maybe more then a "normal" father. When I am home I'm there all day. Most fathers only get to be with their children all day for two weeks when they are on vacation. My wife didn't sign up for this either, when I am gone she lives the life of a single mother. If she left me alone for two weeks with a pain in the ass 2 year old I would yell at her on the phone too. People say to me all the time "I really admire you for having the courage to pursue your dream."
Unfortunately none of those people are my parents. What does it mean I'm "pursuing a dream" anyway. Telling jokes to a bunch of drunk morons? Is that the "dream?" Maybe. Is TV the "dream?" Its not for me. Of course I would love to do stand up on TV, but I dont want a sitcom. I dont want to act either. I didn't start comedy so I could audition for a toothpaste commercial. If I dont know what the dream is how will I know when I've "made it." Thats another thing people say to me. "Well you never know, someone important could see you and you could get discovered." I resent that. Like if I never become famous I've failed. I would never say that about someone else's profession. I would never say to a lawyer "Hey you never know, if you stick with it you could be the next Johnny Cochran." I want to headline comedy clubs. Thats it. Which means I'll be as succesful as a whole bunch of people no one has ever heard of. Thats ok. I'd rather be good then famous.I dont just want to be a good comic though, I also want to be a good husband, father, and provider. I'm still working on that. Maybe when that happens I'll be living "the dream."

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