It seems I tend to have weeks and months where I plumb forget how busy I am until I open up my calendar in Outlook. That happened Thursday. It was one of those things where you know you’ve got the things going on that you do, but you didn’t think it was “that day” already. I had three in a row. I really should hire a PA. Or get a new head.
Something. I got to perform with a pack of my friends and colleagues and also see one of the best acts Canada has to offer. I travelled five hours round-trip to do 30 minutes for 30 people (everyone walked home with a minute’s worth of show!). And after months of scheduling bleah, I finally got to perform at a friend’s room after podcasting the heck out of it. Busy as stink and it ain’t even December yet.
For the second time ever I got to be on a podcast that wasn’t my own and sat down with the Corktown Radio crew who recorded their latest episode prior to the East End Comedy Revue. My input was a review that I fired at them covering both Devo shows that occurred earlier in the week, which in fairness I talked about with Barry Taylor on his upcoming episode of the TVA Podcast. That said, different aspects of the shows were addressed between the two, so it’s not an utter and total cheat. Regardless, had a great time with them as you do. They always do a fantastic job of making their guests feel welcome and always bring out the funny in a situation. I fired a lot of info at them, but it seemed to work. Can’t wait for the episode to hit the nets.
Cut to a couple of hours later and Boyd Banks took the stage at the Dominion Pub front room to host the EECR. Great seeing him, Dave Martin, Darrin Rose, Martha O’Neill, Tim Steeves, and headliner Irwin Barker. His contribution to the podcast dealt with the cancer that he is dealing with, and even weighed down with that particular burden, he is still one of the best performers and probably the most clever writer this country has to offer.
Saturday brought the “Asses in Seats” seminar set up by Derek Forgie at the Comedy Bar where room bookers and comics alike gathered from all different walks to discuss different and varying ways to get, well, more asses in seats, specifically, the seats in your venue. I stood up for seven minutes to bring the gem of an idea that you shouldn’t put on a show in a room that sucks. If you find yourself in a venue that refused to promote your night, won’t turn off football while the show is going on, and then berates you for not having people paying attention to your show, you should probably give it a pass. Something I’m sure all-save-zygotes could probably put together, but if I’ve learned anything from the business world, every meeting needs some dead weight. I was proud to sport that particular jacked for the duration.
Following that was a trip north to Meaford [writer pauses as the reader to type ‘maps.google.ca’ into a browser window] where I was going to do a spot at a Christmas party for the organization that puts on Land Training for the Forces bases in Bordon and Meaford (I think I have that right, and I await the blog posting comments to prove me otherwise).
Good friend CJ hooked up this gig and we were supposed to meet in Mississauga and car pool from there. After calling my new TomTom…well, not ‘Tom’, for taking me to someone named the Cooperman’s house instead of our actual meeting place, I finally got to the rendezvous spot. Not until I realized that we passed Orangeville did I realize that we were heading quite north. Like east-of-Owen-Sound (home of the Platers) north. The room was a good sized dining room with 30 people filling it. Dinner was done, stage was there, proper sound system and excellent lights. Having done some post-dinner shows where the stage is non-existent, the crowd is spread out far and wide like an Italian wedding reception, and dealt with organizers that appear shocked that you’d actually want an amplifier, speakers and a little wire connecting the microphone to this mythical amplification device, this was a dream set-up. Hats off to all at McGinty’s Cafe that helped make the show great from the set-up side. I hit the stage and did the arranged amount of time easily. They were a great crowd to talk to and play with and we seemed to have a good time together. I must have done okay as one person asked for my card after the show for a future booking, and another guy asked to book me right then for a night in December. Damn double bookings.
Sunday had my attention split between one of the most nail-bitingly good Grey Cups and the start of Barry Taylor’s “Last Sunday of the Month” show at The Hideout. Over the course of recording his episode of the podcast (drops Tuesday), he described the room perfectly. A good small group of folks showing up specifically for the show, and a nice place to perform. A great line-up with Bobby Mair, Sean McKiernan, Gilson Lubin and Bryan O’Gorman, all doing well. Everything seemed to work on a night when the Saskatchewan shift scheduling couldn’t.