Comedy Club Cuisine is a term that doesn’t exist for a reason. There is barely an edible choice on any menu, in any club in the country. Actually, that’s not fair, much of it is edible, it’s often not good for you. It’s hard to stay on a diet on the road. My friend Michael Kosta and I were doing a gig in Missouri and took matters into our own hands and the result was not much better.
Apologies to those among us who actually look like they were born for a goatee, mustache, beard, drake, or Van Dyke. Guys like Jim Rome, Tom Selleck, and the bad guy in silent movies. Most of us have experimented and most were disastrous.
I have dabbled with the goatee, which is actually a Van Dyke. It started in New York when I was dating a girl who liked the look. She was African-American and I think she thought it made me look vaguely ethnic, like a Conquistador with jeans and Timberlands.
There was also the headshot session I had booked and I wanted my money’s worth, which, to me, meant shaving off the goatee half-way through and getting multiple looks. What if I cut myself? Of course the only look the facial hair gave me was being too young to play Iago. Not a master stroke of marketing acumen.
Headshots are the bane of a performers existence (if you disagree, you’re a weirdo). You have to pick clothes you never wear and stare into a lens and try to be sexy or smile like the world just opened up to you. It’s a humiliating process. It makes no sense to complicate it with a shave kit trying to look like the blacksmith at a Renaissance festival.
When you’re young you want to look older, or scragglier, or like a young Springsteen. When you’re older you have no excuse, and if you can’t grow hair quickly, you need time off to get it going. I dabbled again, not sure why, and went through the effort to get some pictures with it. I don’t know what the image is trying to say. Maybe it’s courting work as a “bad guy” in a student film, or an extra in a Nickelback video, either way take a look and try not to laugh.
You often hear people tell you to count your blessings, and you usually want to punch them in the face when they say it. You’re usually in the middle of a good complaining jag and you don’t want anyone to offer you solutions as you get good and worked up.
The truth about being grateful for what you have comes from an inner realization. When you’re relaxed, and with people you love you might notice a sunset, or relish the flavor of a steak and say, “man, I got it pretty good.”
The other day I was in a funk and thinking things were pretty bleak for me, I had to get ready for a gig and as I pulled open the shower curtain I noticed my soap was getting small. I have soap in reserve under the sink, so I took the old, small bar and tossed it. Not a very profound moment for me to notice that things could be worse, but how bad could it be when I am throwing away soap? I have it good enough that I don’t have to lather up with a sliver, trying not to drop it before it goes down the drain.
The problem with us is we are a show-off society and MTV Cribs is partly to blame. Remember that show? Some musician who sucked, flaunted his house to the camera’s, and you would sit there on Saturday afternoon thinking your life sucked because the bass player from Limp Bizkit has Italian marble in his kitchen. Now we see those same houses on reality shows because they were probably rented for Cribs and we wonder how anyone could pay the utilities.
I live, by some standards, an austere lifestyle. I drive a shitty car, but I have more than one watch, can buy a hardcover book when I have to have it, and I can feed my sushi cravings most of the time. And for that I’m grateful, but when you hear about people flying private and blowing ten grand a hand in Vegas, you start to feel a little fucked. I freak out about bills, and don’t know how I’ll retire, but I can get through the day. Just don’t cram your caviar dreams into my face while I’m trying not hunt down a meter maid who gave me a ticket I haven’t budgeted for.
Ignorance is bliss, but being broke is no joke. Maybe next time I won’t throw out the soap.
June 5th is a big day. It’s my girlfriend’s birthday and I want her to know that I love her. I am a bit wary of posting something so personal, but anyone who knows her, knows she deserves all the fanfare that can be mustered. That’s what I plan to do. In the past I have arranged a gondola ride, horseback riding, and meals with large-footed Italian waiters who kept kicking our table, “Scusi, scusi, Senora, I have-a big-a feet,” as I sat there ready to pounce on Fabrizio. I’m still working out what I plan to do, but I think it’s a good sign that I’m looking forward to it as much as I think she is. Happy Birthday S.E.N.
I have a theater degree, which is about as useful as a typewriter repairman certificate, so I’m feeling good about my life choices. You have to re-invent and re-assess, so I’ve come up with something new, a fall-back plan. I’m going to start panning for gold in the Sierra Nevadas, because it’s smart to come up with something practical.
Which brings me to a point, a breaking point for sure, but a point none-the-less. You get one crack at it and it’s hard to know how much to risk in life, so if you got some stones on you, go for it. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I battle flashforwards to me eating stewed tomatoes and cat food later in life.
I joined some dear friends on their podcast and it was as natural as rain. “You’re telling me all we have to do is sit in a room, and wear headphones, and kick it and laugh and share stories, like we’ve been doing for years and people will listen and enjoy?” That’s what I was assigned to do and asked to do with my boys Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson. It was a revelation and I can’t wait to do it again.
Check out The CrabFeast on Itunes and holler at a brother. Nothing like going home. Here’s the link episode dated 5/29/12