I agreed to a comedy gig on July 4th, outside, at a backyard party in Center Moriches. Everything about this gig spells disaster. Outdoor parties are tough for us comics. You are on their turf. They don’t have to behave. It’s outside, so they can get up and leave, go in the pool, talk, drink, or just basically ignore you. To top it all off, its July 4th. Bombs bursting in air while I bomb on “stage”, or on the deck, or patio, or even the grass. In my earlier days of comedy, I took every gig that came my way because different experiences make you stronger. At this point in my career (haha, I said career), I really should avoid these hell gigs. But I said yes because I like the guy that booked me.
So, I am ready for the worst. I get there to see the typical suburban backyard party, that I was about to intrude upon. Thinking, “I just gotta get through this”, a young girl approaches and says “My mother says she worked with you years ago and you fired her”. Well, that narrows it down to about a dozen (I’m ruthless). Theresa Matozzo. Holy smokes. I not only remember Theresa Matozzo, but she was in attendance at my very first comedy experience in 1991 (gulp). Theresa approached me and we shared the same story of my delusional beginnings in the world of stand-up. It was a pleasant surprise.
The bigger surprise came next. It was the best outdoor party gig I have ever done. Not only were they an attentive and courteous bunch, but they actually enjoyed my show. I did the full 40 minutes and never felt the urge to bail.
It was a day of celebration of remembering battles for America and in my “career” as a stand-up comedian.
A great day.
By the way, Theresa is no longer mad at me for firing her, and she said I have improved after 22 years of comedy. I hope so. Must have been all those years of hell gigs.