“Fortnight In Review” or “Damn, I’m Blog-Lazy”
To say that the shows have been varied over the past couple of weeks is an insult to random number generators and people suffering from multiple personality disorders alike. They’ve been an odd collective. I suppose it doesn’t help when you start the month with an old guy wearing a floppy hat.
Tuesday before last was a Titus show at Nick Flanagan’s Joke Club at the Drake. He thought it would be a good idea to let me go first and take the bullet. Who was to know? Titus did okay in his normal sort of manner but far from caused the room to be renovated. Thanks to Will Weldon who helped me remember the first and most basic rule of improv that would make Titus’ shows way more better, and JP Naphan for giving me a great out where needed for the old guy. Also got to see Rebecca Kohler for the first time in what seemed like ages, since it has been like ages. She gets mentioned because she liked Titus. Want mentioned in the blog? It’s that simple, really.
Next was to be a big promo night for me, Andrew Evans, Brian Hope, Dave Paterson, and Jason Blanchard. We arrived at the Peel Pub in East York to find a fabulously laid-out but completely empty room to perform in. Not a soul. The closer to show time it got, the antsier we got. By show time, we had five people in the joint, and they were brought by Dave’s sister. Show must go on regardless, so we ended up getting another pair in the house and entertained Dave’s friends and relatives, two locals, and the remainder of the staff. Take the positive from this that the owner was looking at the room, seeing the folks who were there liking it, and talking about the most effective way to promote the show next time. Next time. Always good words to hear.
Last Saturday was a restaurant in Hamilton called Logan’s who booked a dinner/show combination. The house was stuffed. That is, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house and the crowd had gorged on huge amounts of food. Good size, but you don’t want the crowd looking for chaise lounges to nod off in. So, we might have our work cut out for us. I was on the show with Alex Lasarev, Dave Merheje, Pio Modi, and Bill Davern; Bill and I representing the old-white-man portion of the show necessary for these weekend gigs. Everyone seemed to do well with highs and lows throughout the sets of varying length. Highlight of the night was talking with septuagenarian audience member Bob who had at his table a woman named Fatima as his dinner companion. Fatima was more in striking distance of my age than Bob’s. One of the audience members decided to pen her “Fatima Nicole Smith”. I elected not to go there, but the thoughts I had were similar. [Side question: When you woke up on the morning of Friday, February 9th, didn’t you find that the world just felt a little less…trashy?]
Which brings us to Thursday. In Angus, Ontario at CFB Borden. I was just happy to be in a town that was nice enough to name themselves after my grandfather, the consummate farmer and wood worker. They only must have known that Angus, well, he made a mean deacon bench. Martha O’Neill, Brian Hope and I made our way up to the show, delayed by traffic and snow; we arrived at 8:00pm…right when we needed to be starting the show. Eep. Add to this the fact that there was no headliner in sight. Gah. So we delayed, called the booker and were told the headliner had taken a wrong turn and was doubling back, and we could start the show forthwith. Cool. I took the stage and saw a huge table right up front that seemed to be enjoying themselves. Awesome. These are the folks that are going to be heading the show in the right direction. I ask them “How are you guys tonight?” They reply, “Okay…Parlez-vous francais?” Damn. Like most products of the Ontario education system around the foreign language, once I’ve secured directions to the library, I’ve pretty much blown my French load. So, they continued to go about their fun times. During the show. Not much we could do. I turned to them at one point and said “Of all the times we want you guys to separate…”
What remained of the English crowd seemed to enjoy the show. Martha fought her way through the French, and Brian took the stage after they had settled up and left and got the army folks on his side instantly. The only downside yet was Brian was the last act on before the headliner, and there was still no sign of the headliner. Doppel-damn. I got Brian to go long and I prepared another 15 to 20 minutes to take the folks to an hour-and-a-half like was expected. Right before I was about to bring out my book of poetry I had written as early as that morning to read to the audience, the headliner appeared as if by magic. No small feat since he was a juggler/magician by trade. I got Brian off the stage, did four more minutes, and brought headliner Dan Cole to the stage. Once done, we were treated to great hospitality by all the guys on the forces base which made for a more enjoyable ride home. You always want nice things to say about the show you’ve had, not crap ones. Thanks again to all at CFB Border. Hope to see you all soon enough again.
Support the troops, yo.