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  1. How It Went!

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Ah the stressful joys of producing.  Things were going pretty smoothly for the 9/13/2019 show on City Island.  The one thing I didn’t do that I had wanted to do was make programs for the guests.  My printer doesn’t work, and my friend who would’ve printed for me was going through too much.  I didn’t want to add anything to his plate that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

    The comics were booked.  I do like my taste, so I felt confident the 
    guests were going to enjoy the show a lot.  I’d been mentioning the show in my blog for several months.  I wrote a press release (something I learned from Anne Leighton) and sent it to the City Island paper (The Island Current).  They responded right away saying they’d include the info in their September edition.  I was thrilled.  I want to get the City Island residents interested since it’s not a laborious trip for them as it is for many people throughout the city (when I say ‘city,’ I’m referring to all the five boroughs that make it up).  I was hopeful but didn’t count on the local folks to come out.  I invited people who I know from the poetry circles, former co-workers whose friendship has held up over time from corporate jobs and teaching jobs, former students (they are adults), long-time dear friends, comedy friends, etc.  I also asked the booked comics to try to bring a guest or two.  However, it’s not a requirement.  I book based on talent – call me old-fashioned.

    Elliot Glick and Monica Glick are really good people, so I was excited about bringing a comedy show to The Artist, which is their place.  Monica made a beautiful flier.  She treated each of the comics to a copy of the newspaper, so we could have our names in print for promotional material, feeling good, scrapbooks, etc.  Elliot and Monica are warm and welcoming.  They also promote the show.

    All the efforts were successful.  I believe all the seats were taken.  Elliot 
    announced that he’ll get more chairs for the next show.  J  I shared all 
    this because several comic friends are often surprised (happily) that I can draw a full audience and ask how I do it.  I think the main difference is that I invite people from many areas of my life.  I think many comics mainly invite other comics. 

    I learned early on that most comics are busy working on their own journey, understandably, and don’t necessarily go to other people’s shows.  It is the rarity when a comic goes to a comedy show they aren’t in.  I’ve done it as have some others, but I also understand that money is limited as is time and energy.  That is why I appreciated so much that Eddie Messanelli brought his wife Svetlana and came out to enjoy the show.  He even posted the next day on Facebook about how good the show was.  For those who don’t know, Eddie runs a free monthly show at Otto’s Shrunken Head.  He even brings delicious cheesecake for anyone who wants.

    But let me back up.  Earlier in the day, about four hours before the show, 
    I was showered but not yet dressed when my cell phone rang.  I felt this was trouble.  I get most of my calls on my landline home phone.  However I gave my cell number to the comics in case they needed to reach me once I left the house.  So a call on the cell is not typical, and I figured I was feeling too relaxed about the show, so here comes trouble.  It was the spouse of one of the comics saying their car was delayed.  I had to look at the clock because I was about to panic that I wasn’t even dressed yet.  Even though I live in the Bronx, I am 3 bus rides from City Island.  When I saw the time, I said “It’s early.  The show isn’t for hours yet.”  I know this person as a very talented poetry and fiction writer.  Now I learned she is obsessively early to places.  I had no idea.  I have the opposite problem. 

    I then started to wonder if I was being too relaxed and should be getting 
    ready.  True to my habits, I didn’t.  I planned on getting there at about a half-hour before we were supposed to start.

    About five minutes before I expected to leave, that cell phone rang again.  Uh-oh.  Can’t be good.  It wasn’t.  One of the wonderful comics had arranged coverage at her job, so she could be in the show.  She was just informed the person who was to cover for her broke her arm.  My comic had to go to her job.  My heart sunk to some degree.  The audience was paying for this show and I had publicized it as with four comics and I’d be hosting (and doing some material).  I wanted to live up to what I had promised.  

    It was an hour-and-a- half ‘til show time.  I began my 3-bus trip and 
    started looking through my contacts on my phone.  There are two Bronx comics on my contacts.  They are both good, they both drive, and I doubted either would be available.  One was on her way to Manhattan to do a spot.  I really didn’t think the other would be free as she’s been getting booked all over the place lately.  My 2nd bus was delayed and now I was just hoping I’d be on time for the show.  I gave up on being there a half-hour early.  I was hoping my deodorant was still working.

    By the time the 2nd bus came, it was packed, I was standing, and I was 
    texting the other comic.  She called me back and I could barely hear her.  I have a flip phone.  Stop laughing.  The bus was noisy.  I hate having to ask someone to repeat themselves and I don’t like yelling into my cell on a crowded bus.  So by the end of our communication, I thought we were clear and all set.  She actually was available but needed some time to get ready.  I told her that she’d be up 3rd so she had some time and didn’t have to be there at the beginning of the show.  Then I got a text from her.  “Is the show tonight?”  I texted back: “Yes. That’s why I’m stressing.”  So I was hoping it was all clear.  I wasn’t counting on it.

    I texted people who I knew were there already and told them one of my 
    buses was delayed but I was on my way.  I wanted them to let others know I was almost there.  I was so lucky that the 3rd bus was there when I got off the 2nd bus.  I ran.  Not an easy task for me nowadays.  The driver stepped on it, and I was at the place only about ten minutes late.  The place was almost full at that point.  Guests were texting me that they were almost there, stuck in traffic, looking for parking, etc.

    I admit, I thought it is easier to be in someone else’s show.  It is, but the 
    advantage to having my own show is I get to book it and know I am going to deliver a fun event that I can feel proud of.

    Debbie Bazza did come to my rescue and filled in with a hilarious 
    performance.  The audience loved her and all the comics.  Everyone left happy, which is what I like.  I want them to want to come back.  No one felt ripped off.  And when the hat was passed around for contributions for the performers, the audience was quite generous.

    I want to thank Iris, David, Mark, Francine, Anne, Sylvia, Marcos, Judy 
    (who also brought wine and sent a glass over to me; then also gave two guests a ride off of City Island and drove me home!), Ernest, Kathryn (who took the photo below), Jackie, Cecily, Lia, Eddie (who made sure two of my friends who showed up late got seats and felt welcomed), Svetlana, Lisa, George, Melissa, Debbie, Monica, Elliot, Hannah (who worked as the waitress for the night), City Islanders whose names I don’t know, friends of friends whose names I can’t remember (and I’m sorry if I’m forgetting anyone).

    Some of my favorite lines of the evening –

    “We don’t have make-up sex; we have make-believe sex.  She makes 
    believe I’m …”

    “Maybe five years ago when it was still juicy…”

    “Leggings go with tunic tops.  We don’t want to see camel toe.”

    Of course the comic who would not pay rent and would eat Ramen noodles because she “loooooovvvvvvveeeeeesssss shooooooooes …”

    “Games with the pussy?!  What kind of shit is that?  As much as you guys 
    play with your shit!”

    The next day a friend from college, who I haven’t seen in so many years, 
    wrote me and told me she had a senior moment.  She thought the show started at 6 instead of 8pm.  She was there, had already eaten, and was sleepy.  So she didn’t stay.  Hopefully next time, Terry!  My friend Steven who planned on being there didn’t make it because his car wouldn’t start. 

    I do feel very good that so many folks attended the show, and others 
    wanted to.  I believe we are going to do this once a season.  When I get a date, I’ll let you know.  It’ll probably be in December. 

     Mark Larsen, Melissa Diaz, Lisa Harmon, Mindy Matijasevic, Debbie Bazza

  2. 2 comments:

    1. Kerstin said...

      Congrats on a successful event, Mindy. So proud of you!

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