I’ve been a full-time road comic for over four years now. And it’s been a thrill ride, even on those nights in seedy hotel rooms where bed bugs have Priority Club status. I’ve truly had a blast seeing America.
But it’s time for change. And that’s coming in the form of a move to New York City. The decision has been received with mixed emotions…excitement from my comedian friends in the city, and slight anxiety from my parents.
My dad expressed concern when he asked if I had money saved up, and I replied, “You bet I do…almost a thousand dollars!” Did you know that my father snorts a little when he sobs uncontrollably? It’s adorable, really. I should tell him I’m joking before he has an aneurism. My mom is also worried, but more so because I have yet to see my new apartment and therefore don’t know what my color scheme is. Anxiety, apparently, shows itself in different forms.
Many people have asked why I chose New York over other big markets like L.A. or My Space. There are five main reasons:
- New York is home of the 2006 World Champion Mets
- L.A. is on Pacific Coast Time, which is just plain evil.
- Stage time in NYC is usually reserved for comics…not actors just looking for face time during pilot season. Those people can kiss my big apples.
- I can be a comic without the understood obligation of writing a screenplay.
- On any given day, I’d rather sit on a subway with strangers for 20 minutes than sit in smog-filled traffic on I-10 for five hours, even if I do have a kick-ass Saturn.
I am fully aware that I will experience some readjustments. For example, my new bedroom is about 50 square feet. That’s smaller than what they gave John McCain in Hanoi. But I can make it work. Closet space? A little bit, yes. But I don’t need much anyway. I’m storing stuff in it, not living in it like Tom Cruise. So that’s not a big deal.
The need to downsize my possessions was obvious. Old clothes, CDs, expired Tylenol…everything must go! I had to sell what I could before leaving Nashville.
Whodini once sang in the ’80s that “The freaks come out at night”. Those words, however lyrical and catchy, are not true. The real freaks come out at 6:30 on the morning of a garage sale. And they’ll knock on your door as if you’re having an unadvertised sale in your living room that precedes the one on the lawn. It’s more annoying than a neighbor haggling you over the price of a 25-cent coffee mug.
Once the lawn was set up, my astute neighbor informed me that I improperly announced my event. Since I in fact had no garage, I should have advertised a “Yard Sale”. She was serious too, which made me wonder if she called the Better Business Bureau. Would government officials show up in trench coats, flashing badges and screaming “What-da-ya think you’re doing here, Mr. No Garage?” Then they’d shut me down before issuing a kid a citation for selling iced tea at a lemonade stand.
No ominous henchmen ever appeared. However, I experienced something worse instead. A young married couple stopped by. While perusing through my clothes, the man turned to his wife and said, “Honey…don’t we have that ’80s party coming up next week?” I laughed away my embarrassment and then managed to utter, “This is what it sounds like when the doves cry.”
The day as a whole went well. I sold several items and made about $80. Not horrible. That’s just enough to buy eight beers in New York at happy hour prices. Pretty sweet, huh? Eighty bucks for some pretty worthless items. Of course, I classify them as worthless. But what do I know? Six months from now I could see someone on the Antique Roadshow get $1,500 for a broken Walkman I sold for 50 cents. And then again…doves crying. And yes, with cable TV being a luxury item from now on, chances are good that I will indeed be watching Antique Roadshow and other PBS shows from time to time. I wonder if they still make Doctor Who. That guy was a superhero without possessing any superhuman traits…basically Batman, but instead of a gothic car and tool belt, he had a scarf and a robotic dog. What do you expect from public television, people? You want lasers and explosions, then fill out a pledge card.
As far as I know, I’m all set for the move to the big city. Feel free to shoot me an email sometime to keep in touch. Keep in mind that I’m not leaving the road for good. I’ll still be working it, coming to your town every so often. The heart of America is out there, not in the confines of a gigantic metropolis, a fact that Hollywood and the New Yorker media abhor. I hope to see you soon.