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  1. Grateful

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    By Samantha DeRose

    Last night I had the privilege of hosting at Tierney's in Montclair, NJ for the 3rd time.  If you're not familiar with the venue, the room sits atop an Irish pub that I frequented throughout my college years as did most people from the Northern NJ / Essex / Passaic County areas.  The place is a landmark.

    A few years back, just before I started in comedy, Lee and I used to take the kids for guitar lessons across the street from Tierney's at Valley Road Guitar.  We'd sit in the restaurant's bar area for the hour that the kids were having their lesson and when they'd finish, we'd all have burgers, the kids would play video games, and we'd be on our way.

    Oftentimes, I'd see flyers promoting their "Sunday Comics" show and think in the back of my mind, "God, I'd love to be able to do that one day"  knowing full well that I'd never have the courage to be a comic.

    Lo an behold, a few years later, I took a comedy class at Gotham and, after a year or so of open mics and bringers,  mustered up the nerve to reach out to Pat Grillon, the booker for Sunday Comics.  Mind you, I was filled with self-doubt, knowing that I'd never be good enough to join the ranks of these folks and knowing full well that Pat would never give a no name like me a chance to perform on her stage.

    But alas, Pat got back to me right away and graciously offered me a spot on her stage.  I was thrilled / petrified / elated / scared shitless / grateful.  You name it.

    To my surprise, one spot ended up turning into several over the last few years.  Pat runs a tight ship at Tierney's.  She has high expectations of the comics and treats them well by offering them a nurturing environment to hone their craft.

    Pat even produced a wildly successful show that benefited St. Baldrick's when I shaved my head a year ago.

    After a couple of years, I, once again mustered up a smidgen of courage, and asked Pat if I could give hosting a shot.  I fully expected her to suggest that I work on tightening up my material and wait a while but she didn't.  She offered me a hosting spot within a month.

    Of course I ran the aforementioned gamut of emotions again, but I walked onto the stage that evening managed to not pass out.  Throughout the night, I thought for sure I'd never be asked to host again.  You may recall a few blogs back, that I mentioned trying out a song that I had written on the day of a show... (the Cougar Valentine song).  Well, it was THAT NIGHT.  The song flopped.  STUPID STUPID STUPID.  I had violate every rule of comedy.  Not to mention that it was my first hosting gig.

    I left the stage and drove home in fear of what Lee was going to say to me.  I can always count on Lee for brutal honesty.  When I walked in the door with my tail between my legs, Lee said, "You did a good job, Luvvie."  I knew it wasn't bullshit.  Lee doesn't bullshit when it comes to my comedy.  I've been told when bits don't work.

    I emailed Pat to thank her again for the opportunity.  She immediately wrote back and asked for my avails.  I couldn't believe it.  She was giving me another shot.  Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, Pat gave me hope.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not the best comic out there and I have a lot to learn on my comedic journey.   People like Pat, who provide a safe, well-run environment for novices and professionals (she gets phenomenal headliners) to work, are rare.

    Thanks Pat!  You're a true gem.


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  2. 2 comments:

    1. Nice. And I can't stand the throw-in-the-towel talk. Just because it is as hard as can be and scary as shit and provides no paycheck at the moment...

    2. Lisa Harmon said...

      Love this - the emotions on getting the gig! And it is nice to have someone in your corner!

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