If you've been reading Ian Karmel's posts about being a touring comedian and thinking “I wonder if there are any Portland comedians who are also just starting to tour professionally but aren't as successful as Ian,” you're in luck! While he's off doing shows with famous people, getting his pics in the local papes, and eating sandwiches named after him, I'm bouncing around in small clubs trying to figure out how to spend my generous $15 meal vouchers.
If you want to learn more about what it's like to be one of the 20 funniest (but not top 10) people in Portland (2011), read on, friend. I'll keep you updated as I travel around the country telling jokes to people who are just killing time before Line Dancing Night starts.
Thursday, May 31 - Colorado Springs
I'm starting my summer (on the road 10 of the next 12 weeks) at Loonee's Comedy Corner in Colorado Springs. Note: it's not Looney, like the tunes, but Loonee, like the Canadian dollar coin. In a few weeks, I'll be at Laugh's Comedy Spot, where apparently a group of laughs got together and bought a club. Laff's Comedy Cafe, another summer stop, probably had its name changed from Laugh's at Ellis Island. Snickerz Comedy Bar is setting expectations lower. With any luck, someday I'll be able to work at the Polite Chuckle Lounge or the Awkward Shifting In Your Seats Club.
Traveling as a comedian at my level, I'm constantly shifting between feeling like a rockstar and hobo. Once a barista asked me, "Should you get your coffee for free because you're totally famous?" I'm new to being famous so I said "Definitely"—but that was just a guess. Okay, maybe free coffee doesn't scream rockstar to you, but it's at least trombone player in a ska band—you're still a musician.
At other times, I'm put up in a hotel that's mostly used by escaped convicts. The welcome book at my current lodging has a note that says "IMPORTANT: If you're traveling under a fake name, please notify the desk so we can route your mail properly." I would never have thought to tell the desk I'm using a fake name, that being the whole point of traveling under a fake name and all, but I guess I never considered the massive amount of snail mail I might miss.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP!
Friday, June 1 - Colorado Springs
Summer is a slow time for comedy. Especially in places like Denver, Colorado Springs, or Portland, It's hard to compete with the sun. There are a million ways to take advantage of the newly beautiful weather, and you're trying to assemble a couple hundred people who want to get drunk in the dark and listen to me talk about condoms. The exception to this is a place like Tucson (where I'll be August 10th and 11th) because that's where the sun was born and raised. People are sick of it, so air-conditioned condom discussions are quite pleasant.
This is all to explain why there were only 25 people at the show last night. It can't have been my fault; I tweeted about the show. They were a great group of sun-aphobic people, but it's definitely a non-rockstar moment. And I couldn't know how many of them were there for comedy and how many were hoping to exchange their American dollars for Canadian currency.
To make myself better I drove down to Denver and went to the Denver Botanical Gardens and discovered my two new favorite plants:
Two shows tonight. It's getting cloudy so maybe they'll be better attended. Just in case, I'll tweet twice.