‘Killing A Room’: One Phrase, Two Different Meanings
Wednesday saw me once again taking the role of the Angel of Death as I took the stage as the last act at Paul Forsythe’s room at Wise Guys on the Danforth. Show started close to 10:00pm with Neil Rhodes, Dave Paterson, and me being the only in attendance save the table of eight at the back completely ignoring us, two people at the side in a booth, and the owner who didn’t take to kindly to Paul badgering the back table for attention. Dave and Neil soldiered on through their material as one would expect. I stepped up to, well, no one. The table of wing eaters at the back kept to themselves, the other audience couple left, so it was me and the comics. So I took the opportunity to get ready for last night’s show at Laugh Resort. After I got off the stage, I stayed behind to get use of my beer ticket which is when Paul said that the owner had had enough and was calling the end of the show. Damn.
In and of itself it was a nice room with a good focal point. But it’s the type of room that requires work. That being advertising from the bar so that people coming in know there’s a show going on so that they’re ready for it and not surprised or annoyed. Too many times rooms are created on a lark in this city and suffer because of it. The crowd may or may not want the distraction and didn’t know about it. People need to be there for the show and for that reason only. That’s why Corktown Comedy at Betty’s works really well, why the Yellow Griffon could have worked, and why the Peel Pub was a dismal failure.
Which brings me to last night at the Laugh Resort opening for the Doo Wops. Finally Jim the owner was there. Lucky me. I was opening the room with Dred Lee (first time I ever saw him…not bad at all, him), the oft misspelled Michelle Shaughnessy, and Ryan Belleville. Pretty much everyone had a great set including myself. Had a cozy and comfortable time for my six minutes and with Jim in the room I figured this might be the opportunity to bring up the fact that I’d love to be working his room, well, more. So I asked him “So…what did you think?” Cut to him stepping around it by saying things like “Yeah, you’re stronger than the last time I saw you (which was when I was violently ill on stage) so keep going…”
I’m not making excuses for myself here. Quite the contrary. It’s my belief (and I welcome anyone to tell me I’m way off the mark) that I’m as consistent and funny as most that are able to get weekend work there. The frustration is that when Ellen ran the club, I was able to work the weekends. Now with Jim, back to square one. Bitter? No. Just frustrated. Thankfully the Doo Wops liked my set. John from them anyway was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be on for the rest of the weekend to see more stuff. “Well, tell Jim…” which he assured he would. So, I get the feeling that the only way I’m going to get consistent work from the Laugh Resort is by getting every pro act that sees me there to petition it. Truly, is this all worth not working at Yuk’s? I’ll let you know…