Twas The Week Before Christmas…

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

                 This has

been an eventful week, one that started out fairly gloomy but ended on several gleeful notes. On Monday, I was informed that I had been pulled from Thursday-Friday in Leeds, partially due to my nightmare shows in Glasgow. Then on Tuesday, I was told that my New Years gig in Swansea was cancelled, with the consolation that I’d be paid 3/4 of what I was to make that night. So where I should have been panicking about the expected income from December depleting by almost half and my self-esteem taking a huge blow, I didn’t! I didn’t fathom the idea of taking a train back from Leeds on Christmas Eve, anyway, as it put several social commitments I’d made into a precarious position. Problem solved and here I am at home on Saturday morning, able to get a good start on this busy day.

                 I also had Tuesday booked in Littlehampton, a South Coast village not far from Brighton. This was NOT a “Let’s invite five groups of 80 wankers from the same firm to have their drunken Christmas do, oblivious to the performers trying to entertain” type of gig, thank god. No, this was a proper comedy gig, where the locals of Littlehampton (which they call “LA, as in Little’Ampton”) were attentive and gracious to what Jeff Innocent, Adam Crow and myself had to offer. This one had been on my schedule for a couple of months, and after the debacles I’d endured in Leicester and Glasgow, I so needed this one. On the good side of the corporate gigs, I’d had a good one last Saturday in Watford, put possibly too late for redemption.

                   So there was still Thursday and Friday free, and not fancying just hanging around pissing and moaning over money lost. The same guy that booked Tuesday’s gig had something going on in Sutton, just south of London, on Thursday. He had asked me before about my availability, and I said that I was still booked in Leeds, but that could change. Change it did, and I managed to reach him in time to get the booking, not a whole lot of money, but it turned out to be another absolutely delightful crowd that despite great amounts of alcohol, treated all the performers with respect. I did 30 minutes but could have easily done an hour.

                     Then there was Friday. My agent was able to find a private party in a mansion in the hills just outside of Chesham, about 20 miles northwest of London. It turned out the woman throwing the party had contacted my agent, whom she knew socially, and asked if any of his clients were variety entertainers, as she’d decided to have live entertainment for her annual pre-Christmas do. The gig was booked on Wednesday, though the woman had never seen my act, and was trusting my agent’s judgement. I was cautioned that there were going to be several young kids in the audience, so to refrain from any profanity and limit the sex and drug related humor. A tall order, but I merely edited myself as I went along, and the biggest struggle I had was actually FINDING the fucking place. (I had to go 30 minutes without swearing last night, so I’m still in “catch-up” mode) I succeeded beyond expectation, appeasing the young girls who wanted to hear Katy Perry, older folks who wanted to hear Kate Bush, and even older ones who wanted Cat Stevens. The great part is: I got paid the same amount I’d have gotten in Leeds! 

                      So that final week before Christmas turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve had in many years. Instead of working my ass off and losing my voice for people who could give two shits, I wound up having relaxing and gratifying work that also opened up a window for several future gigs. Oh, yeah, and just as my New Years Eve gig in Swansea was cancelled, the same corporate entity was also cancelling remaining Christmas gigs at some of their other venues, and Leeds was one of them. 

                          I enter this holiday weekend with faith renewed in a lot of things, mostly in humanity, and whatever bah humbug attitude I had a week ago has been eradicated. I wish nothing but the best for all of my friends, family, and readers, in this time of loving and giving, as well as for the coming year. “Always look on the bright side…” 

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