DC Recap – Soccer Uncle Opening For Attell
This past weekend was one of those weekends that can give a comedian enough energy to pursue a failing dream for another year. After a weekend of opening for the great Dave Attell in Indianapolis I coincidentally had the opportunity to open for him for six more shows at the DC Improv. The DC Improv is consistently one of the best clubs in the country, if not the very best, in terms of audience and the weekend did not disappoint. However, the audience that saw me as Superman on stage did not realize that I was living a very Clark Kent-lifestyle during the daytime.
When in DC I stay with my older brother and his family. How convenient, right? Absolutely, except for the fact that I have to room with my four year old nephew. He would be roommates with his six year old brother, leaving the attic to me, but his older brother has sleeping issues, so the four year old has been relegated to the attic. I give the kid credit. He is four years old and sleeps in an attic by himself and does not seem to be afraid of it. Of course, when I saw Paranormal Activity 3 last Friday, which focused on a child who sees a demon spirit, I could not say the same for me.
My nephew was apparently not that thrilled that I would be interfering with his four year old autonomy. He asked my brother if I could sleep on an aerobed in the basement (second scariest place in a house after the attic). But I don’t know why he was upset. I managed each night to enter the room practically silent and never waking him. However, every morning at exactly 615 am, my nephew would announce that he was ready to go downstairs and then engage me in 10-40 minutes of conversation. This may explain why I appeared semi-comatose by the Sunday night show at the Improv.
Saturday was sports day. With my brother in NYC on Friday and Saturday it was up to me to take the four year old to his morning soccer practice and his noon basketball practice. My brother was responsible for bringing snacks to the soccer practice so he had purchased some Kashi brand granola bars. I realized at that moment that I am only in favor of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating for kids initiative in theory only. And to add pretension to injury, when the coach was asking the majority caucasion kids their favorite ice cream one kid said “Mango Sorbet.” I then encouraged my four year old nephew to bully that kid, both in person and via cyber tactics, whatever would let that kid know that he is not OK. And on a particularly disturbing note – I discovered my fly was open for the first thirty minutes of the soccer practice. Not one emasculated, granola snack serving dad said anything! So I am running around a bunch of four year olds with a gaping hole in my crotch at four year old face level and no one said anything. Throw in the fact that I am an uncle and I am lucky to have not been shanked in jail later that night for being an accidental pervert.
After soccer practice it was time for basketball practice, which my nephew said he did not want to go to. Having been an accomplished college benchwarmer in basketball, I was a little taken aback by my nephews comment. But then I realized why. The coach of the basketball program was pretty intense. For a high school coach. But he was coaching and running through drills a group of kids between 4 and 8 years old. All the kids were black, so naturally the snacks were Dunkin’ Donuts. You can take the sugar out of the white soccer practice, but you can’t take the diabetes out of the black basketball practice. My nephew wasn’t terrible, so he seems sure to continue the Cauvin tradition of mediocre hoops accomplishments (but since he is relatively diminutive the expectations of his career will be much smaller than his gigantic uncle). And for any hoops scouts there was a seven year old at the practice with defined muscles in his calves and a consistent 8 foot jumpshot.
The shows, however, were nothing less than awesome. I had a great time. I even decided to join a couple of fans at a nearby bar after Friday’s late show. I basically did it just to prove to them that I would (they seemed sure that I was lying). They told me to meet them at “Public.” So I went a block away to Public to discover it was a four story bar/lounge/date rape emporium. I did not find the people (sort of like meeting someone in NYC and saying, “Yeah just meet me in Macy’s”), but the owner of the bar found me and he had been at the show and he bought me two drinks. Thanks, and just kidding about the date rape comment. It seems like a place where I would have thrived as a law student (for the record “G-town law student” much higher value in the bars than “unknown comedian killing it”).
I handed out more cards over the six shows than I have at any other gig since I have had the cards. And I never force them on people. I only give them to people who ask, or people who are so effusive in their praise that it seems reasonable to hand them one. And my trash ratio was great. For about 150-200 handed out I only found one on the street outside the Improv between the six shows. So for all that glad handing, performing and card dispensing I have added four Twitter followers, three facebook friends and two blog fans. So unlike my usual bitching I will just say thanks to that small, but incredibly lucky group of people in the DC area. The only problem is that a week of featuring at the DC Improv was the highlight of my comedic year. If DC is my peak fan base then I fully expect to see my body burned in effigy, composed of my cards, sometime this week in Syracuse. See you there!