I have been going back and fourth in this bizarre twilight zone in the world of standup comedy for a while. A few years ago I was doing a lot. I was on the road every damn weekend. It was crazy. Then there was some shit that went down that wasn’t so Kosher. Either way, I found myself alienated. I would have been a hero if I were a guy. As a woman I found myself on the wrong end of an art form that is on it’s last leg. No biggie.
There was a lot of me that liked making people laugh and still does. But other doors opened and I did other shit. I really actually didn’t miss standup like I thought I would. Actually it was a relief to be doing other shit. I realized the idea of a community was utter bullshit. As a woman it is a waste of time actually. It seems male comedians have their careers handed to them with little or no work at all.
Lately there is a part of me that misses it. I miss getting onstage and making people laugh. I just don’t miss the politics and the sexism that goes with it. I don’t miss male headliners treating me like a fresh piece of meat. I don’t miss the competition amongst female comedians at all to be the sole female comedian. I don’t miss seeing women on the lineup who are obviously blowing a more established comedian. I don’t miss the gossip and name calling about women who are determined to make it. Plus there is no money in it.
But I do like making people laugh. Granted, these days I do it with my books and youtube videos. However I do miss it. I also miss some of my comic friends.
But the thing is, I have paid certain dues. There is no way in fucking hell I am doing any more open mics. When people invite me on facebook or even via text I want to inform them been there done that. I have hosted a few myself. At one point, I hosted one very successful mic for one club that shall remain nameless. I have also paid a small fortune for stage time. Fuck no, never again. Fuck that proverbial shit with a big, black dildo. Open mics at this point in my development are not only soul crushing but a waste of my budget and artistic time. Most of these idiots taking the stage have no business being behind a mic. A lot of it is inside jokes between cliques who only laugh at each other's jokes anyway. You never get honest feedback. Open mics are good if you are merely starting out and need a place to get up, get comfy, and get your act together. After a certain point-at least for me-having been on national television X amount of times, having published a book, and having blogged for the Huffington Post this is just plain asinine. If anything you should either let me perform for free or pay me to show up. Not to mention I have in fact featured and headlined. So don't waste my fucking time. Been there done that. To those doing it, good for you. Kudos on the stage time and keep on keepin on. But again, paid that due.
While we are on that note it is fucking comical in itself when people drop me a line to flier. Actually they haven't in some time. Paid that due as well. Got more chest colds that way than anything else. Wish I could say it paid off in some way. It was a waste of time that one. Most of the time you don't get strangers off the street and they are pissed they are being bothered. I did it like a good girl and I didn't complain. I took more shit from more male producers about how I wasn't "efficient enough," when meanwhile members of their boys club fucked around and smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk. Then again, my fans recognize me on the street and these moron members of the boys club are no where to be found. As the woman I am always expected to carry more weight anyway. It all works out.
As for bringers, did those too. I brought my share of people. I have run out of friends. I know the tricks. There are no industry there. Paid my dues there as well. Not that it fucking matters to people looking to make a second income in the club scene. Some go on to become club owners. Some producers. Most blood suckers. Dealt with them. For the love of God please don’t text me to be on your fucking bringer. Otherwise I will ask you if you own a television or go to bookstores. I will be a bitch about it.
I am also done producing shows. Did that too. Again, paid that due. Am not paying it again and again in my blood thank you very much.
Fuck it. I did it all. These days I am particular about where I perform. Yes it means I perform much less. I only perform if I like the venue. That being said, that means only a top notch place or an A list club. I am done with club owners who have second rate digs and I am done with being forced to pay dues I have when I am more famous than the entire lineup. I also perform on fan shows as well. I do these as favors cause I love my fans. I love it when they ask me to perform and show up willingly. I also have no problem performing on really alt shows. Love those. I also do a shitload of shows for druggies. Love a recovering druggie audience. I also appear if you pay me. I know, makes me sound like a whore but eh. That being said, I don't show up just anywhere.
Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Yes. I have worked hard and have eaten shit because I am a woman with a niche act. I have worked my entire young adult life while many of my friends have wantonly become slaves to male captors and have become their breeders. Maybe I should just throw in the fucking towel and get a job marketing where I can pretend to care about someone's kids and have candy on my desk. But then I think, nah. Made too much headway. Am making too much progress to let them all win. Don't let them. Don't tread on me. I probably could get a cush dayjob but a lot of places wouldnt hire someone like me because they would be terrified I would make off when my career took off. And it's true, I would.
As for my living situation, have no fucking idea what is next for me there. I love New York but I pay too Goddamn much in rent. Thought about moving to Queens, Brooklyn, or Bronx but I am used to everything being so close. Plus add travel time and all, you are better ending up in Manhattan. I thought about getting another roommate but you always end up getting a crazy or worse yet, you always end up making up for the fact they are too unstable to pay rent. You are better off breaking your ass and working a little more.
I have no desire to move back to Pittsburgh. While I love my home city, there is nothing there for me. I don't know what I would do if I moved back home. Maybe I could marry a man and pop out some kids. Then I could watch soaps all day and be a housewife. Maybe I could teach elementary school or something. But I hated school when I was there. I would probably drink again.
Then of course there is the thought I could move to LA. I would have to learn how to drive. That’s the downside. But in a lot of ways I feel like I have exhausted New York. I have done the clubs, performed of Broadway, and everything else in between. LA might be the next logical step. But maybe I am too old. Maybe I should have done that shit when I was younger and could have gotten breast implants. I don't know.
I have also toyed with moving to Europe. I have thought about London but then there is the issue of the work Visa. However, I have heard I would have tremendous luck in the Euro market. Still that is a lot of red tape.
I have no agent or manager. Despite being more famous than their entire roster, a ventriloquist makes them all gun shy.
Who the fuck knows what is next? Maybe I will win the lottery. Maybe the world will blow up. Or at the very least maybe this strange mood will pass.
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl