Monday, March 23, 2009

Fear of Success

After doing comedy for 8 years now, I have to say I understand why a lot of famous people are assholes. First of all I think a lot of famous people are called assholes unfairly. It's just unreasonable expectations. "I met so and so at a restaurant and he said he wouldn't sign autographs while he was eating, what a dick!"
My level of fame is occasionally I run into someone at Costco who says "Hey aren't you a comedian? I saw you once." Sometimes that's all they say too. They don't mention whether or not they enjoyed the show, just "I saw you." If someone at Costco approached me while I was eating a Chicken Bake in the food court I wouldn't mind though. If they asked me for an autograph I'd probably be like "Really? Who's name do you want me to sign?" But if I was famous enough that every time I ate in public multiple people came up to me for autographs and pictures I'd probably have a not while I'm eating rule too. I also wouldn't shop at Costco. Except maybe for socks. I'd buy those by the pallet. My dream is to become rich enough that I will only wear socks once and then throw them away. New pair everyday, cause I'm Gabriel Rutledge goddammit. Dirty socks are for the lower class. And by the way when I say rich enough I mean $50,000 a year.
But here's why I get being a major asshole if your famous. You have to take a lot of shit on your way up. I know it's true in comedy so I assume it's true in acting and music. In comedy it's doing shitty gigs for shitty money, it's gigs getting cancelled, It's bookers treating you like crap, it's people not responding to your emails and messages, it's seeing your peers become more successful then you, and maybe most of all it's just being told no. A lot. Actually most of the time you don't even get a "No", you just never get a "Yes." In 8 years I can't even remember all the rejections. At least 40-50 comedy clubs around the country I've attempted and failed to get in. Plus 5-6 booking agents. Plus Leno, Letterman (twice) Craig Ferguson, jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central(2 or 3 times) Comics Unleashed, Last Comic Standing, The HBO Festival in Aspen, the Just For Laugh's Festival in Montreal, The Boston Comedy Festival(twice), The Great American Comedy Festival, all No's. Plus 6 or 7 comedy competitions I entered and didn't win. And I'm not even bitching that's just the nature of what I do. That's why when something good happens like when I won the Seattle Comedy Competition or went to the HBO Festival in Vegas, it's almost hard to believe. Comedians are so used to "no" that it takes awhile for a "yes" to sink in. So I'm not saying I'm bitter. I'm just saying if I was lucky enough to hit the comedy lottery and become obscenely rich and famous then I'm gonna want top shelf vodka, pulp free orange juice, one pair of new socks, imported bottled water, and only green M&M's to be waiting for me in my dressing room. And you know what? Don't look at me either. I'll have a guy show up before me and tell everyone that. "Mr. Rutledge asks that you don't make eye contact with him. It distracts him from thinking about how much better he is then you."


JOHNNY G and MAISY C said...

can i have your old socks?

gabriel rutledge said...


Anonymous said...

Money and Fame and Power only make you more of who you are. Steve Martin has a card that he gives to autograph seekers that reads "This person has met Steve Martin and has impeccable taste" or some-such.

I hear ya, though. I can't imagine strangers asking me to sign stuff while I'm heads-down on a steak. I can't even stand the F'ing waitstaff asking me "how is everything?" on a 3minute rotation.

I miss you,
Geoff Lott

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this. Its reassuring to know that even funny headliners get rejected constantly in the comedy biz.

joel stice

Andrew J Rivers said...

I have had this same exact fantasy. About socks. New socks are the best feeling in the world.

I tried to make a joke about how when I got rich, forget green M&M's. I want new socks. Because old ones get all crusty after you masturbate in them anyway.


Good luck on your sock fantasy. I'll send you some from the top if I make it before you ;)