I’m looking for a job with behavioral restrictions. I’ve been bartending and doing stand up for almost three years now. I can show up at either job, drunk with five of my friends and nobody gives a shit. I need a job where I can sit alone and sober up .
Human resource personnel need some training in how to handle stand up comics in interviews. When they learn I perform stand up , they either start reminiscing about the days when they dabbled in some sort of comedy, usually improv. “ Oh God comedy, yeah, I was big into the improv scene in college. Head of my troupe, sketch writing, all sorts of characters, great fun but then, well, you know, you grow up.” ended with a clenched teeth smile.
Or they act like I’m a total nutjob just out on a day pass, harassing any Human Resources person who will agree to meet. “ So you perform stand up comedy? Wow. Ok. So. Hmmm. You’re a stand up comic but you want to work here and be responsible and reliable and punctual? So you think your joke telling experience qualifies you to crunch numbers with accuracy and participate in important business conversations, maybe even make profitable, money making decisions? If you’d just give me a minute I think my associate should be in on this meeting.”
They’re reaching around under their desk for an emergency help button.
If I said I was a singer or an actress it’s a whole different ballgame. People seem to understand those choices but stand up comedy, you’re labeled as a loose cannon. A loose cannon with poor decision making skills.
It is true, stand up comics are like the Mexican day workers of the entertainment industry. We’re all standing around waiting for someone to offer us a spot and when they do, we go, no questions asked.
Booker: “Ok your gonna be performing on this sinking ship over here”
Comic: “ Cool I got some drowning bits I wanna try out”
Booker: “ As you can see, the people are fleeing for their life, the challenge here is to get them to stay for the show”
Comic:” yeah- sure- crowd work -no problem.”
Booker:” Now, there’s no budget for this gig so its unpaid but the good news is, I need an opening act for a rock fight in Alabama………. ”
Often times paying gigs are paid in cash. It’s as if the booker doesn’t want a paper trail you were ever there. “Now here’s a couple of bucks. Let’s keep this between me and you, ok kid? If you tell anyone I let you perform here, I’m gonna deny it, ya hear me?”
The denial goes both ways. Many times I want to deny my set even took place at all. Last week I had a gig in Fire Island. Part of a drag show. I followed a very believable Lucille Ball who did a ten minute spot on, perfect impersonation of Lucy. The crowd went wild.
MC:“Let’s here it for Lucy!”
Crowd: “woo hooo yay ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!
MC: “ and now, a lady who doesn’t appreciate the magic of makeup, wardrobe, or womanhood in general—Kendra, a heterosexual, will tell some jokes in jeans and an ill-fitted blouse without eye shadow or a musical accompaniment-enjoy”
I slouch my way to the firing rang.
I got free shots of Jagermeister before, during, and after the show.
No salary cap.
I miss this guy!
"It takes only one drink to get me drunk, trouble is I can't remember if it was the 13th or 14th drink that did it"
I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.
Thanks for listening
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.