Last Friday, I had a chance to do something that I've always wanted to do. I got to travel to another city and perform comedy. And then they gave me money.
Sure, that city was Rockford; it was only about an hour and a half away; and the amount of money was a mere $150 split two ways, but you have to start somewhere.
Here's how everything came about:
Just before RvD's Sketchfest show in early January, I received a random email from someone I didn't know asking if RvD was 'available for booking.' There wasn't much info in the email, but I had the blessing of the group to at least ask him what the hell he was talking about.
Rockford does this show called "First Fridays" where the first Friday of every month they put on a concert/comedy show/art show. They usually have a couple of standups, a band and then a local Rockford sketch/improv group. That sketch group wasn't able to do the February show and, since the people in that sketch group had seen RvD, they wanted to know if we would come out and do the show. They couldn't offer much, but they would feed us drinks and food afterwards.
Well, it's hard to get a group of seven people to drop everything on a Friday night to run an hour and a half outside of the city to do a show. Particularly when you would have to put that show together in less than a month. One would need to be crazy to bother with that.
Well, luckily I know two who are crazy enough.
And so Geoff and I put together some Crassus sketches we had performed previously and off we went to Rockford, our significant others in tow.
We showed up at the event. It was at a cool 250-300 seat theatre in downtown Rockford. The event coordinator people whisked us off to the backstage area, told us how excited they were to have us, let us know that we were actually headlining and then got us some water.
We performed the set. The house was about as full as our sketchfest show. The audience loved us. The event people were really thankful that we came out. They paid us. They took us next store to this cool bar called Kryptonite (which I would highly recommend if you are in Rockford ever - good atmostphere, live music, great freshly made foccacia) and basically treated us as though we deserved to be treated well.
You contrast that with your typical show in Chicago, where sketch comedy and improv is literally everywhere and you have to beg friends and coworkers to even come to the show. It's just refreshing.
So here's to you, Rockford. Thanks for having us.