©2012, Mirror Image Presentations
PRIMERO — THANK YOU for tuning in.
WRITER’S CAVEAT: This post has not been edited since 2012. No apologies for misplaced commas, excessive use of the words have, had, that, or excessive use of exclamation points!
I am just an embryo with a long, long way to go and boy did I learn something tonight! This was the third time (out of three) in a row that the (world famous) Laugh Factory cancelled on me just hours before a performance — in a voice message. I’m not stupid. It only took me three times to learn their ways (okay so I’m just a little bit slow but I have a good heart), so after being put on hold several times on three different days without anyone ever coming back to the phone, a week ago, I finally could confirm that I was indeed, at the top of the list. Again, yesterday, I verified and confirmed before sending out invitations to the same people who showed up months before, only to be told at the door that open mic had been cancelled — and still not let in. You’d think they’d have given them a complimentary pass after they had already put ten bucks each into their coffers to park their cars, but that might be — God knows — unethical? Or maybe just good business sense, considerate, and polite. But what am I thinking — this is L.A..
This past afternoon I called again a third time just three hours before the performance to confirm. “Yes, you, Alan Obermayer, are up first tonight,” – or so I was told. Each time, I got the name of the person I spoke with who verified that I was indeed on their list at Number 1, (not my choice but I adjusted). Being first can actually be good if they let you speak. It can but it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be when you are introduced as someone else whose name you don’t even recognize and then everybody goes on TwoFacebook to look for someone who doesn’t exist.
When I arrived tonight my name was NOT EVEN on the list! After much banter back and forth in which I was all but called a liar, I was placed “back” on the list. Then, when I got on stage, the mic wasn’t working and what for over a week of practice had always come in at home, in my car, in the park, or at Marty’s between 2 minutes and 25 seconds and 2 minutes and 35 seconds got me cut before I could even finish. That was no three minutes, folks! My friend, Mr. S.L., was in the audience taping me: I just played back his tape: The old man cut me off at exactly 2 minutes and 24 seconds. Me thinks someone didn’t like my line, “Why are you waving your arms at me from back there in the dark like a mad man?”
There IS a clog in the cog. Perhaps old man (and I AM nearly sixty) read my post — one of my seven hits — on last month’s experience with them. Or maybe they didn’t like my PSA??? I didn’t use the “F” word — until now. I never even got to explain why my zipper was open the whole time, in case anyone noticed (besides comic Number 3 in the black T-shirt from Detroit): “Remember, what happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas but now goes directly from his fingers to your spouse – overnight on DVD. Never before has keeping your zipper in the upright and locked position been more cost effective. Caveat infidelis; cheater’s beware!”
Maybe my Public Service Announcement came too close to home to someone who spends his life back there in the dark. Or now that I listen to the tape, maybe he was offended that I left out the line that was supposed to follow, “Forgive me, I’m so sorry. I agreed to read a very important Public Service Announcement.” God loves even those who believe that they may be my enemies. But let’s talk about friends…thanks S.L. for showing up and following through with the taping. I owe you a couple of drinks. I don’t know much but I do know this: I didn’t stand in line three weeks ago for over three hours to be tossed around by ignorami to be judged by anyone but YOU – the audience – my fellow comics.
And oh yeah, my name is Obermayer not whatever the fcuk that gray haired old man called me even after three times correcting him politely, finally having to spell it out for the poor soul. It seemed all too intentional that he bastardized my name. It’s wasn’t that hard for the first graders I once taught; it’s a Mayer with an Ober in front of it. Add the two to come up with Obermayer. Not too hard for anyone who graduated – junior high and knows the alphabet.
I’m going to skip all the rest of my %☝^#☟%^*@ thoughts and just say the following before I get on with the good part of my evening’s review: “✄∴∜≤☄%☝^#☟%^*@#@##äßlöäääöööäüüüüüü!!!”
NOW THE GOOD PART: I WAS SO DELIGHTED AND IMPRESSED WITH THE COMICS WHOM I SHARED THE STAGE TONIGHT! I was so happy NOT to hear dick and pussy and masturbation jokes! My three previous experiences at this venue’s open mic have not been among the top favorites of my life but TONIGHT — I LAUGHED hard at some real talent; something I did not expect. Every single one of the comics has his or her own perspective and attitude, and every single one I would pay to see (if I wasn’t paying people to come fill the seats so we’re not performing to ourselves). Thank you all for showing up, I learned so much just by watching you strut your stuff for me! I look forward to sharing a stage with you again, perhaps this time with an audience as (was it Michael?) so obviously visualized looking up into the balcony as he spoke his reminder, “Mom, look! — I made it!” You filled the house!
One brief note I have before closing: by the end of the evening I counted 16 people in the house, okay, 17 if I were to count the analphabet. It seems to me that the least we can all do (for ourselves and one another) is stick around and pay our fellow comics the same respect they paid us by listening to us *”strut and fret our three minutes (or 2:24 in my case) on the stage — to be heard no more — (don’t count on it!) Life is a walking shadow; a poor player. Tis a tale told by a fool, full of sound and fury – signifying – nothing. Out, out brief candle.“
* words of Uncle Willie Shakespeare.
And now I close by reaffirming once again that there is one life.
This life is God.
This life is perfect even if I do not see Him now I know that if I keep reminding myself, He will eventually sink in.
This life is my life now as it is the life of every one of us who dares to bare (or should that be bear?) his or her heart and soul on stage for the benefit of a world that is badly in need of laughter.
I know that it is as I say it is because I know that my word is divine cause and divine cause is the end and all of everything.
I give thanks for knowing this and for being allowed to reaffirm my truth in a land of freedom with liberty and justice for all — well almost all. I KEEP BELIEVING IT and it must be so!
I let my word go to return to me multiplied in good faith…
And so it is.
Good night and Good God! Finally, I can sit back and watch tv, drink beer and clean my house tomorrow!