I got my oil changed again this week. Another 3,000 miles in just under a month. The place I get my oil changed is a cute old fashioned service station at Five Points in downtown Raleigh, NC. I fell in love with this place in one syllable. After they changed my oil, I asked the mechanic,
“ Do I really need to replace my struts? Because they’re starting to moan a little when I turn-”
I’m a customer for life.
He then added,” These little VW’s will run forever if you keep em’ up right. She looks pretty good….mechanically.”
Yeah, “pretty good” is not the phrase I would use to describe the car itself. My 5 speed white VW Cabrio convertible is dinged up, filthy, and the leather interior is starting to just fall off the driver seat. But this is the car I had through most of high school, when I was still smoking cigarettes, and thought the whole world revolved around AP tests. I took her to college in Charleston, SC. This was the period of my life when Pepper, my best friend, threw up in my car. And the VW survived the campaign trail. And now, she’s holding up under the pressure of my attempt to become a road comic. She’s kind of a badass, with a brand new radio and no A.C.
This week in comedy. I performed Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And I got paid! Three times!
Every Tuesday I run an open mic at FLEX, a gay bear club (or is it a bear gay club, or gay club, for bears?) in the shady part of downtown Raleigh. You have to go down a dark stair case and then walk up to a window that looks like a cage to be buzzed in. I pitched the idea of hosting a comedy open mic a few months ago, they offered $50 a week. Then they blew my mind with their support and enthusiasm. They printed full color beautiful flyers with my picture on them, they’re charging $2 admission, so we’ll have an invested audience, and they have a stage with a sound system!
This is exactly what starting out in comedy is supposed to look, feel, and smell like. I wanted to create a safe space for comics to experiment, push each other, rewrite the rules of comedy (and discover for themselves which ones are true), and support each other. Plus $200 a month “guaranteed” will give me more justification to keep this up. Hell that’s $2,400 a year! People in other countries feed families of 8 on that kind of money! Right?
Thursday-Sunday I was on the road. Thursday I performed at Moxie’s in Statesville, NC. I picked up James Hodge and Anthony Crawford in Greensboro, NC. It was kind of a disappointing night for all of us, empty room, and the guy who won the contest was…well he was hacking Larry the Cable Guy pretty obviously, and that’s always disheartening. Friday, I performed at The Idiot Box in Greensboro, and the owner gave me a free t-shirt. Later that night I went out to The Frat House in High Point, NC and ended up hosting the show. Saturday I drove to Charleston, SC to host at the Firewater Grill. Tony Kemp runs rooms in that part of SC, and has given me paid hosting work and a lot of encouragement. Thanks Tony! The next day I drove to Fayetteville, NC to host at IT’Z comedy club. I did two shows that night, and had a blast. Mike Speenburg headlined the show, and he was a lot of fun. He had a solid set and he gave me a piece of tangible advice. “Don’t bring people on stage. It lets them in the bubble, it’s your bubble. Don’t ever do that.”
Thank YOU for reading!