Performing in the Round

You spin me right round baby like round...

Been very busy lately with a few different projects, so things that don’t pay me any money (see blog) have had to take a backseat. Here’s a quick story, though.

My last blog entry I discussed was doing a Northeast summer tour with a Frank Caliendo. Definitely one of the most interesting weeks of my life.  We started out going to ESPN and doing the Mike and Mike show. The ESPN campus is enormous, though I have to tell you I did not see any celebrity athletes or mascots walking the halls. We then drove an hour and went to the Dan Patrick Show. Their studio/man cave is the coolest radio studio I’ve ever been to. It looks very cool on TV, but in person you realize that it has everything a dude could want. That night we did a show at a beautiful old theater in Connecticut. An old theater filled with people who are stoked to see comedy is a pretty great experience.

The next night we did a large outdoor tent stage in Rhode Island. It was located right next to all the yachts on the Atlantic. Beautiful setting. The audience was good, though for those that have never done a tent show, it gets really hot and doing standup outdoors is a little strange.

We moved on for the next show which was at a dingy rock club/bar in New Hampshire. I liked the atmosphere and if I wasn’t under the guidelines of doing a PG rated show in front of Frank Caliendo, I’m sure I would have killed it. Now for those of you keeping track, we have done a theater, an outdoor tent, and a rock club on our tour so far.  Kind of diverse.

Oh I forgot to mention that the day of the rock club I tagged along with Frank to do an appearance for the Jimmy Fund telethon that the Red Sox have each year.  It was being held next to the concession stands of Fenway Park. After we got done, the public address guy for the Red Sox asked if we wanted a tour of the venerable old park. Duh. It was an amazing tour.  He took us out on the field and we stood behind the cage with Jason Varitek watching batting practice. Next the PA took us through the whole stadium including behind the Green Monster and up to the press box. Best tour I’ve ever went on.

The following day we got in the private plane and flew down to Jersey. There we were picked up by a limo to drive across the bridge into Manhattan so Frank could appear on the Mike Huckabee Show on FOX news. Now I’m not exactly the FOX news demo, but I like to watch some of the people on the network. (see Shep Smith, Dennis Miller and yes, Bill O’Reilly) I always enjoyed watching Huckabee when he was on the Tonight Show or Real Time with Bill Maher, so it was cool to meet him. He could not have been nicer, which was helped since he’s a HUGE fan of Frank’s. Behind the scenes at FOX news, there are a lot of hot young women working there who have a bawdy sense of humor. I’m telling you, they seemed like smart, politically incorrect, party girls. Kind of like Ann Coulter, except without the bitchiness and male genitalia.

The final night had us in Hyannis Port at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. This was kind of surreal day, as it happened to the day of Ted Kennedy’s funeral. The resort town was packed. Weird atmosphere, especially opening for a guy whose George W. Bush impression was at it’s peak of powers. Backstage at the Melody, they had posters of all the shows this historic place had witnessed. Pretty much every major performer of the past 60 years had been onstage there, from Bob Hope to Bob Dylan.  I was thinking, wow, I bet Judy Garland had popped pills in this same dressing room I was sitting in! Some of the performers that are scheduled this year include Bonnie Raitt, Bill Maher, and the Wiggles. (Click this link for the complete list.)

One unique element of playing the Melody Tent is it’s built in the round. Weird deal to do standup where people are looking at the back of your head. I’m not sure what you are supposed to do in that situation, but I would kind of slowly turn myself after each bit, so by the time I did about 2 minutes I had moved 180 degrees. I’m telling you, it was fun, but strange.  At one point, the show was going well enough that I decided to have some fun with it.  I told the punchline of a joke and then did a 180 jump to soak in the laughter. I think I scared people. Just more proof that comedy has nothing to do with rock and roll, except for a mic, stage, and lights.

After the show with friends, Elana, Mike Gardner, and Jacky Pawulich.
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