Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Road to Fort Wayne

Sometimes it is straight there and straight back to get to a club for work. Other times you have to go the long way.

It ended up being the long way to Fort Wayne.

This week I was working in Fort Wayne Indiana at Snickerz Comedy Bar. I love that room and really enjoy working there. Plus my parents house is on the way. Usually I get a chance to stop by and visit my mom and dad on the way out. My dad will be 92 in February and I take every chance I can get to see him.

Unfortunately there was no stop at my parents on the way out this time. This time I had to stop in Omaha. My parents would have to wait until the way back.

I stopped in Omaha for two reasons. The Omaha Funny Bone and the Todd 'N Tyler show.

I haven't worked at the Omaha 'Bone for a couple years now and I used to be a regular there. Unfortunately for me the club changed their booking agent and I was not one of the comics he worked with. So since then, no working at the 'Bone for me.

This kind of thing happens a lot in the comedy business and you never know when. Networking is everything and your circle of friends can change faster than gay entertainers at a drag show. You appear a club and 2 months later all the key people change. You call back for your next booking only to find out that no one there will take your call because they've never heard of you. The fact that you've worked there a couple of times a year for the past 5 means nothing.

The only to get back in is to get your name in front of the right people again.

So even though I don't work for the 'Bone anymore I still need to keep a relationship with them. Just because the new booking agent doesn't feel the need to hire me doesn't mean the next one won't. The best way to keep myself in the running is to make sure they still remember me. One way is to hang out at the club, but that is not an option here. I live 10 hours away.

The good news is that I stay in touch with the manager Colleen Quinn. Every once in a while the club needs someone to fill in on an odd night. So I always call Colleen a month or so before I head through to see if they need anyone. This time they needed someone to do a show for them on the Wednesday before I was scheduled to be in Fort Wayne.

So I keep my relationship with the club, I get a FREE place to stay (the condo) on the way to Fort Wayne, and I get to make an appearance on my favorite radio show.

Definition: "Condo" - Anywhere that the club has to put the comics up that is not a hotel. It could be a house, apartment, town home or an actual condo.

The bad news is that I won't get paid for the show. But that doesn't matter to me. I'm just happy to keep a connection with the club.

Then there is the Todd 'N Tyler show. It is the number one radio show in Omaha and I am one of their friends. In fact, I have a standing invite to stop by and be on the air with them whenever I'm passing through. I love doing radio and I gel very well with the boys. I always have a good time on (and off) air with them. Even if I couldn't work the 'Bone it is always worth it to stop in and have some fun.

Even if I am paying for a room for the night.

The plan was to leave first thing Tuesday morning. As always I was held up and FINALLY left for Omaha at around noon. With the time change and all the driving I got into Omaha somewhere around 11:30pm. Not normally a problem but since the last time I was there the club had moved and they also moved the condo. So here I was at 11:30 at night cruising around an apartment complex I've never been to trying to find the right building number. All along waiting for the police to show up to ask me "what the hell are you doing"? After about 15 minutes I finally did find the right building. I also found the key to the condo right where they said it would be hidden.

Even so I'm always a little nervous when I get to a new condo for the first time this late at night. I've never been to the place before, I don't even know if I'm in the right place. What if I actually found someone else's key in some freak accident of nature and when I open the door and start going through the house someone will think I'm breaking in.

Plus you never know what you're going to find in a condo when you come in late at night "un-announced". Maybe I'll walking in on somebody jerking off, play hide the stick with a friend or walking around naked (all of which have happen).

I don't want to know that stuff.....

Fortunately for me though I'm the only one there. As I walk through I can tell it a comedy condo. It clean but is furnished sparsely. What furniture is there is mismatched, very few knick/knacks, or pictures on the wall. In each bedroom there is a bed and not much else. The kitchen has just the basics; a fridge and a microwave.

Basically it's like a badly put together model home. It looks like you could live there, but not for very long.

I will have to say though this is one of the nicest condos I have ever seen. It is in a very nice complex and is a town home with a garage underneath it. The first condo with a garage I could actually park my car in.


By the time I get all my stuff out the car and unpacked it's nearly 2:00AM. Another late night.

Again, usually not a problem but I need to be at the radio station by 8:30AM which means I need to get up by 6:30AM. I need time to get cleaned up and wake up. So Wednesday morning I get up early and get down to Z92 studios. I walk right in and get right on he air. I haven't seen the guys in a year but it feels like I just saw them last week. I had a great time.
So after radio was over I went down to see the club for the first time. What a beautiful room! I wish I had some pictures but I have no camera so you'll just have to take my word for it. I was also able to see the manager of the club Colleen and her assistant manager Stacy. I've been friends with both of them for a long time and I was able to catch up with them some. It was a nice visit but I couldn't stay long. They had work to do and I was just getting in the way.

The nice things about being on the road is that you have a lot of free time. I was able to spend the rest of the day hanging out at a coffee shop cruising the Internet and I even had time for a nap!

The show that night went well, it was a small crowd but we had a lot of fun. There isn't really anything to tell about it. I did learn something after the show. I learned that pineapple juice is a great chaser for cheap Tequila. The bartender taught me that one!

So by the time I got back to the condo and into bed it was nearly 12:30AM. Not bad for a regular comedy day, but not good when you have to leave by 5:00AM. I had to get to Fort Wayne Indiana by 6:00PM that next day. I had a lot of road and a time change ahead of me. Since you never know what will happen when you travel it's always good to get going early.

So since this is going long I'm going to end it now.

Coming soon Part II.....

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