Your Shows Suck
today at 11:32 am
Shouldn’t we happier? It’s been a rough couple of years, to say the least. The pandemic has given us all reasons to worry, be anxious and live through a type of fear most of us have never quite experienced before. Still, as vaccines and other advanced medications gradually snuff out the beast, we could assume that we should all be easing up a bit and becoming a little more cordial to each other. I’m ready for that to start at any time. Instead, there is still an edgy feeling that seems to be carrying on for too long.
People are under stress for many reasons, I suppose. Bad boss, unhappy marriage or not enough money are all reasons to potentially make someone act surly. None of this is new, but the way people are acting out their misery to total strangers is much more noticeable than what I can remember. For example, I produce a comedy-based variety show (The Tomfoolery Fun Club). We’ve staged over 100 events in nearly eight years in what has turned out to be a fun “side hustle”. With our show as the vehicle, thousands of people have been entertained by some of Chicagoland’s best, brightest and diverse comedic talent along with some of the most talented and dedicated musical artists anywhere. We try to make every show a little different but keeping within the overall brand that “fun is our only option”.
This past week, in response to a promotional email we sent to our followers, a woman who I’ll refer to as Leeann unsubscribed to the campaign. It’s not unusual to have 1-2 recipients of an email ask to be removed, as our list now numbers well into the thousands. Leeann, however, didn’t just ask to be removed. She felt the need to attach a message to her request which read, “your shows suck”. Hmmm…ok. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? My feelings were a bit stung, and my first instinct was to crawl through the internet router and poke Leeann in the eye. After thinking more about it though, I came to realize that poor Leeann must have been having a bad day, or should I say night since it was in the wee hours of the morning that she sent her little nastygram. Since she said that our shows (plural) suck, I was somewhat happy that she must have attended more than one show, thank you.
I’ve always said that no one pays to see the host of a show. My co-host (Ms. Michele) and I consider ourselves to be the free portion of the program. Kind of like the basket of crackers you get when you order a bowl of soup. The paid talent, however, bare their souls every time they take the stage. Anyone who has ever been forced to get up in front of a group of people and read so much as a weather report, knows how intimidating and frightening the experience can be. For those who have the courage to stand naked (figuratively, of course) in front of hundreds of people with the intention of being engaging and funny for the audience’s pleasure, there’s a special place in heaven for you. For those insomniacs who feel the need to spew vile written comments in the middle of the night, maybe sign up for an open mic sometime. Give it a try. Oh…and try not to suck.