Patron saint for dating couples
On one tape they saw the piano player throwing the paddles overboard at around midnight. Then, during the later shows I figured I’d try letting it all hang out a bit more. Jameson, please report to the front office or make yourself known to a crewmember…” I went back to sleep.
In the middle of my second late show I’d gambled on some material about being Jewish and being married to a black woman. ” Before I knew it, I was reaching for his neck, but JR slid between us and jammed a beer into my hand, miming a helicopter noise while steering me in the opposite direction. Five minutes later: another announcement, then another, and another, all telling her to report to the front office with increasing urgency. A Filipino steward came in and dutifully looked in my bathroom and under my mattress.
While I had one foot in the Manhattan clubs as a regular, another was on the pedal doing road gigs.
Still, I figured it would be smart to give the world of cruise ships a shot, even though with Circus, I was starting at the bottom.
If Saul and Esther liked you, then, like a tuna sandwich with low-sodium mayo, you would be considered palatable fare for the passengers. Port’s left.” I scribbled it all down on my nautical crash-course cheat sheet. The beauty of comedy is that there are essentially no rules besides showing up, being funny, doing your time, and not getting the club staff pregnant.
The crowd was ornery, and each act struggled through their shouting of phrases like “speak up! JR led me to my cabin, which was down a narrow hallway behind a bank of elevators. But on Circus Cruises there were rules about what performers could wear (pressed dress-casual with additional options for “elegant night”), where performers could eat (the crew’s mess hall), and how to appropriately interact with passengers (no sleeping around – one of the few I didn’t have to adjust to).
Single.” Even though following that guy was like following Springsteen in Jersey, I managed to book one gig. “I guess I’m gon’ be your orientation.” “Where’s the venue? It was also freezing, with no way to turn down the air conditioner. My act had to be completely rearranged into three different half hours, one child-friendly, each one repeated once, plus a different “welcome aboard” show, not to be repeated.
It was with a cruise line that, as a professional courtesy, I’ll call “Circus Cruises.” It had the collective ambience of a floating Red Lobster. I flew into Texas where the ship, headed to Mexico, would be taking off. My act is essentially a low-budget indie film about my life in New York with neighborhood characters like “heroin dude” and “check-cashing place lady with beard eating an LGBTBLT.” I’d also been warned that if passengers complained about a performer, that performer could be helicoptered off of the ship. Cruise ships are one of the last refuges for veteran comedians to make a living doing what they do.
There was a running joke among the ship’s crew about the captain: “Knock, Knock” “Who’s there? ” “.” Americans were conspicuously absent from the crew, replaced by a bunch of people who were all probably really good at soccer.While most other cruise lines give the performers cabins among the passengers, Circus cut corners by having the performers bunk below deck with the crew in spartan conditions – and by paying a fraction of the going rate. Once aboard, I was shown around by a veteran cruise-ship comic I’ll call “JR,” a baby-faced fireplug of a man sporting a baseball cap, a reddish tan, and a slight North Carolina drawl soaked in sweet tea. While there are many funny comics working on ships, calling a comic a “boat act” is the ultimate insider insult, implying that they are the worst kind of hack – someone whose jokes are the equivalent of tying verbal balloon animals.“You look like a Spanish Billy Bob Thornton,” JR greeted me. Only way to call out.” “No.” “Tell you about the cash card? But if you are of a certain vintage, and haven’t hit – meaning you aren’t on a show, writing for a show, doing warm-up for a show, and are not a You Tube sensation or whatever else puts asses in seats, then you’ve got to explore options so you don’t end up like a punchy boxer who never saw the expiration date coming.” That was until the Yiddish-singing piano player, slotted to go before me, took the stage. When I opened the door and saw the inside, I almost had a panic attack. Name tags were to be worn at all times, and besides random drug tests there would be quizzes on the differences between muster stations and embarkation stations, weather-tight and fire doors, crew alerts and general emergency alarms, when to use a C02 fire extinguisher or a dry chemical one, what “alpha” and “daco” codes were, and how to identify a mass casualty incident.This guy annihilated so hard that at the end of his set, an old lady in a sunhat slipped him a number and said, “I got a daughter in Queens. “That’s where the shows are at, but first we got a ‘welcome aboard’ show. It was tiny, no windows, bare floor with a bed, a small desk, and a bathroom where I discovered later that, to fit onto the toilet, I had to jam both legs into the shower stall. My act would be graded based on such criteria as “Did comic receive big laughs at regular intervals? ” There were select allowable words for “family shows.” “Change ‘hell’ to ‘heck,’” the pamphlet read, “‘damn’ to ‘darn,’ ‘bitch’ to ‘witch,’ ‘sucks’ to ‘stinks,’” and “avoid words like ‘sex’ and ‘gay’ as well.” I had a total of two “family shows” and three or four regular shows, plus one “welcome aboard” show.