Because I’m an only child and my parents worked very hard to cater to my every whim, I genuinely believe the world revolves around me. My whole life is built around the idea that opportunities fall out of the clear blue sky when you’re least expecting it, and there is no such thing as “too good to be true.” So when a “manager” sent me an e-mail expressing an interest in taking my career to the next level, I was flattered. I also had some hard to ignore “this is happening way sooner than I thought it would” feelings. Comics, actresses, engineers, anyone working toward a goal wants help along the way.
I got an e-mail from a Mike George, from Raleigh NC, asking whether or not I was looking for management. “Yeah, I need help managing my life, can you do that?” The first red flag was that Mike seemed hesitant about telling me where he saw me perform. He eventually said that I “popped up” on youtube because he was looking for female comics. Ok fine, I’m out there. The big recurring theme was that Mike wanted me to commit to him exclusively … yesterday. He used a lot of assumptive language, he proceeded as if we were already partners. He claimed that he wanted to get to know me. I recognized his tactics from both fundraising and dating. But I really wanted this to be real.
He wanted to come up to NYC to meet me in person and see me perform live. He needed me to find him a place to stay. This is the same guy who claimed to represent actors who made “millions of dollars a year.” Another red flag was Mr. George’s choice of language. I know that men past a certain age missed out on the politically correct seminars of the 1990’s, but still…even my father knows the difference between respectful and disrespectful language. It wasn’t so much that he made direct sexual passes at me, it’s that he was working from the assumption that I was a stupid little girl, and expected me to act accordingly. He referred to the Pink Collar Comedy Tour affectionately as a bunch of “hot bitches.” I told myself he didn’t know us well enough to know that was inappropriate.
He was talking big time, interview with Rolling Stone, getting famous. I know I’m not ready for that, hell I’m not ready to feature. And there is no shame in that. I will be ready, but if he did half the things he said he could do I would be looking at a calendar full of disappointed audiences. I went with my gut and told Mr. George, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
As Tom Simmons
put it “Sorry it wasn’t the head of show business with a map to the top.” There are many paths up the mountain, but I can’t ignore my gut instinct that mine will be better without the potentially disastrous help of Mike George.
I spent about 48 hours flirting with the idea that maybe being cute and young and enthusiastic were a fine substitutes for building up the basic skills I need to be consistently funny. It’s not. There are many paths up the mountain, but no short cuts. I’ll keep writing, keep performing, and when I’m ready I have faith that someone will be looking for fresh talent.