Act Your Way to Riches
Written by Dave Fulton   
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 11:26

                                                                                                                                                                             July 12 2010…late

I fucked up. I should’ve been an actor. Instead I went to university and got a degree in music composition and went on to work on my masters at Manhattan School of Music in NYC. What I time that was. That’s pre-Giuliani mid 80’s Manhattan when you really could get killed for a quarter in Times Square. What a shit hole it was back then. It was great. Back then I went hungry, a lot, worked at a sporting goods store near Union Square, lived in a one room at the Chelsea Hotel and witnessed some of the best live jazz ever. Old guys I only read about who even though they were on the dirty side of fifty or sixty they still brought a soulfulness and believability to what they were doing so much so that you didn’t care if they dropped a note or two. It was fucking real. It was also apparent I didn’t have the patience to one day play with one of those guys let alone be one. And all that time I should’ve kicked the music to the curb and gotten into acting. I didn’t because I never liked most of the other idiots I came across trying to be actors. I found them boring and weak in character. Guess I was hanging with the wrong crowd. Besides most of the actors I ever knew in high school that got all the plays and stuff were either gay, Mormon or both. I could never be a Mormon as I never liked organized religion much let less one based on an extinct white tribe living in North America that Jesus stopped by to visit after the Jews nailed him to a tree and Gay? Not a chance. I liked girls and their vaginas way too much to get used to the taste of cock. Also, doing any kind of theater in North Idaho in the seventies was just another excuse to get your ass kicked on a regular bases and I didn’t need any more of that considering I was carrying a trombone to school every day and wearing glasses.

Sometime later I got into doing stand-up comedy because it was easier than shoveling shit, selling line protection in a boiler room and robbing graves. All of which I have done. Really. Once I got into the comedy racket I figured all I need to do is stay booked in the clubs and try and not look too much like an idiot. That last part I’m still working on. Had I instead trained to be an actor with the instincts of a comic I might’ve been able to know more about self promotion and eventually script up an act that would give people what they want night after night as opposed to just trying to avoid a day job. A scripted comedy routine that was friendly and quick to the mark. Sell the same shit with the same smile and not bring up some idea or incident I thought was funny but at the same time made others stare and search for a label to pin on me because it made them feel better for laughing when no one else around them would. I might have even learnt to keep my big mouth shut off stage as well. Since I’ve been doing this I’ve been called a lot of things while on stage, misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American, homophobic (when I lesbian hits you in the face you’re not supposed to hit them back) and gross. Okay, I’ll take that last one. My favorite review is still the one the News of the World gave me years ago, “…irritating even when funny.”

Edgy? What the hell is that? Near as I can figure the only true edge is honesty and I’m guilty as hell for having not done that with any regularity. I wish I would’ve known that nowadays to be insanely successful self promotion is way more important than being funny or original or honest. Give the business a promo package with a couple of slick headshots, pray they don’t fall for more white guilt and hope for a miracle. Someone recently told me in comedy, what do you call a thief who steals from the best? A millionaire. So, now that that’s off my chest I’ve found that maybe I’m starting to become that old guy in the dark club just trying to find that right “note” all the while dropping one or two or more. Will I ever be written up in some book or recorded or…? I don’t know. It’d be nice but right now I’ve decided to go back to what I know best. Staying booked and paying a few bills and when I have enough money I’ll head off to the mountains to climb. And finally I’m pretty sure I can sleep nights knowing I got whatever meager career I have from not taking some stand-up comedy class. Gawd bless your pointed head Doug Stanhope for pointing out the issues with that scam better than anyone ever could. By the way Doug, $2900 in the bank is still fuck you money for some of us. Hell I’ve bought scratch tickets on the way to gigs with the hope that I’ll reveal 3 smiling cats and win $500 so I don’t have to go to some place like Vacaville California. “I’d love to come and perform at your Montana truck stop but I just won a free scratch ticket so I’ll take my chances here.”

 

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