I am doing a cabaret in two days. Am I prepared? Who knows? I guess we'll really only know when it goes up. I tried some pieces out yesterday. Did they work? Who knows. Theme of this post?: Who really knows anything anyway?
Every Sunday at Etcetera Etcetera on 44th Street, Mark Janas hosts an open mic cabaret. It's always really lovely. The thing that I am always blown away by is the EASE with which these veteran performers speak and introduce their songs. AND IT'S NOT ABOUT THE SINGING. Where was this in all my years at BoCo? It's always about the story of the song/show. Who'd'a thunk?
The theme was "When We Were Young". One other dude and I were the youngest persons there by maybe 30 years. "When We Were Young" seemed comical. I said some BS about hitting my head on the China Cabinet and being #reckless. It went okay. People loved the set. I had tons of people coming up to me after and asking about where the songs were from. It was cool. Then someone said my least favorite phrase when talking about a show: "I'm going to try to make it."
Translation: "I'm not going to go."
There is this really sad lip service that happens in New York City called, "I'm going to try." Everyone (performers and audience members alike) can use this phrase, save face, not come across like an a**hole, and still NOT come to your show. At least they tried, right?
Now, where I grow up, if someone has a show, YOU GO TO IT. SImply because there are probably 30 shows A YEAR in Northwest Indiana. Here, there are 30 shows A NIGHT that people are going to BELOW 14th Street. And your show is not one of them. Sorry. I tried. I tried.
In New York, if I went to every single show one of my friends had, I would have spent $150 this month alone. And August is a slow month. That kind of money adds up. That's $1800 a year. Or two month's rent. I may be homeless, but at least I saw my friends' shows.
AND THAT SUCKS. It sucks that I have to weigh attending my friends' shows against staying in New York to pursue my dreams. And if I want to start gaining momentum in my career by having people see my work, I need people to come see my shows. People... whose shows... I... didn't see. But BOY did I try.
How does one avoid this catch-22? I'm glad you asked! I've compiled a list of how to #overcome.
1. Comp your friends into your shows as much as possible, and hope that they do the same for you.
2. Offer to make your friend dinner in exchange for a discount/comp ticket to their show.
3. Make TONS of money and go see all of the shows your little twinky 24-year-old heart desires
4. Never perform and never go see any shows
5. Curl up into the fetal position and cry until all of the shows are over. No, no, keep crying. The show's aren't done yet. And remember, this is a slow month.
6. Move back to Indiana like your sister keeps joking.
7. Sneak into the show, hope no one sees you (because the pushy server WILL enforce the $20 drink minimum).
8. Sneak into the show, laugh once REALLY LOUDLY so your friend hears you and is comforted that you came out to his show, then GTFO before the bouncer forbids you from ever returning.
9. Sneak into the show, invite yourself onto the stage, accompanying yourself on either ukulele (people love ukulele) or on piano (chances are you remember SOMETHING from those 6 lessons you took in fourth grade). When the show is over, DEMAND that your friend pay you because YOU WERE 1/15 OF THE SHOW, so you've earned 1/15 of the profits. Assuming your friend's cabaret goes the way most (read: ALL) cabarets go, they will actually LOSE money on the show, in which case, you show them the contract you drew up at Staples ($0.60 a minute for using their computers to print.) on which you forged their signature and in which it CLEARLY STATES that in the event their show doesn't make money, you are still required to be paid $100 or their first-born, whichever they find easier to part with. Chances are, you're getting the kid.
10. Just pay the cover and the drink minimum and don't bitch about it on your blog that nobody reads anyway.
I HOPE THIS WAS HELPFUL. It certainly helped my mental stability. Also, try to come see my show. And then don't show up. It's okay, though. You tried.
Forgiving the Body Which Grows My Wings (Part I)
June 6, 2016
The First Day of the Rest of My Life (attempt #4?)