The last week I have spent doing my least favorite thing in comedy: sending e-mails for 2011 work at clubs. To describe the feeling of this endeavor is to look into the eyes of a stripper at a strip club who keeps getting rejected by patrons. “Do you want a dance?” “Ugggggggh, no thanks.” The only difference is the stripper is able to never go back to that customer and salvage whatever pride her uncle did not already take from her, whereas in comedy bookings you keep e-mailing the same person who has ignored you 20 times in a row because
a) maybe they get a lot of e-mails and you just have to be persistent (2 years and counting on several clubs without a response)
b) some of your friends or acquaintances have worked a certain club and you think/know you are funnier than them so at some point you will break through
c) to quote Richard Gere – “I got nowhere else to go!”
So after 45 e-mails this week I have received two responses. One was entertaining because it would be opening for black comedian who has it in his contract that there can be no other black comedians on his show (making a half black, somewhat minority-ish looking comedian sort of a Plessy v. Ferguson test case for stand up comedy). The bottom line is that comedy is looking less and less like a tenable option for employment. Bookers seem to be 1/3 liars, 1/3 honest, but extremely busy and 1/3 indifferent. Perhaps I need to book my gigs old school. Like go to clubs in person. With Luca Brasi.