@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Where’d All The Time Go
For almost all of my gigs, if a friend or family member expressed interest to come along, my facial expression would resemble having a sip of a drink someone told you to try that is just god awful tasting and you’re wondering if there is something off in your chemical makeup that it taste this bad or if the person who just recommended the drink is a complete moron.
Comedy is not as sexy as people think. In fact, it isn’t really sexy at all. It’s frustrating. Which is the antithesis of sexy. Often, sad. Which can be some sort of romantic because many sad things double as beautiful.
Most of the time, I don’t want company on the road. Ideally, on the road, you’ll be working with another comic who is both someone you admire and respect comedically, and someone you’re equally excited to go to a late night diner with after the show. It isn’t always that way.
Being on the road is work. And I’ve a diligent road routine that involves writing and working out, and mostly that’s it. Sometimes there’s a nap. If the gigs are good I’ll be in a relatively good mood. If the gigs are bad I will question everything.
It doesn’t interest me to have company during these parts of my life. Half because I don’t really want to have to entertain… “this is the part of the weekend where I stare at a spot on the wall!” But also, those who imagine the road as this show business dream are ripped from their fantasy. And then you’ll have this “a-ha” realization that there may actually be proper reason to be anxious all the time.
This is my return trip to a week of shows at The Borgata. It’s a coveted gig, so I’m not complaining. In fact, I am very happy to be doing it, if not bragging about it. But spending a week in a casino is an alternate reality.
Perhaps, for you, reader, a week in a casino sounds like Heaven. Be that the case, I feel bad for you. It’s a strange thing. No windows, no clocks, there is a feeling of being locked in time. By day three, a bit of a madness sinks in. It’s lucky for me I thrive in solitude. But too much of something that can save you can also kill you. Medicine is only medicine at the proper dose.
The Borgata is a nice hotel. One of the nicest hotels a comedian at my level gets to stay in. It’s the only road gig I throw it out there if friends/family want to visit. Though in my pitch I include how I will be going mad, “all work, no play” style, how casino creatures are doldrum trolls that make me sad and that it isn’t really that much fun at all. And then they’re like, “wait… I’m confused, are you trying to get me to come or talk me out of it?”
Ah, yes. I have a knack for talking people out of getting things that I want. Why do I do that? Eh, it’s a debate for another time.
Ah, yes… time! Time can’t be bent but it can appear to be bent. Sometimes this is on a bender. Sometimes this is from spending too much time in a casino. Sometimes this is from going on a bender in a casino. Either way, bending time can be a dangerous thing. Not because it can perpetuate delusions, ignite illusions, but because one day you’ll stop and go, “my god, where does the time go?” And by one day, I mean hundreds of days. You’ll have hundreds of days where it just dawns on you how much time has gone by, seemingly sneaky, like time is a ninja.
A couple friends and close allies in comedy join me Sunday night, St. Patricks day in Atlantic City, perhaps a guest appearance from my brother as well. Two of us will be 30 this year. Broke comedians. Uncertain future. Is this the year we stop being young hopefuls and start becoming aging losers who missed their shot? Or does it just sting that way sometimes?
In my more lucid hours, a sense of clarity brings me a vision of how my story goes and how it ends. Like everyone else’s story, it’s filled with struggles and a bad ending. But every writer knows that all stories stuck without good characters. Good characters are key. Life’s journey is a pretty shitty one… and I’m living one of the better lives. Though I can tell you for certain that whether you’re a starving artist, a hospital worker, an entrepreneur, blue collar, white collar, walking to Mordor— the crew you’re surrounded with is going to make or break your story. My crew are comrades I’m proud to call my friends, and speak highly of them behind their backs and call them, “really big queers” to their faces.
One of my favorite qualities about myself is that I am disciplined in my determination; I do what I say I’m going to do. I am true. Perhaps my least favorite quality is I often get so caught up in maintaining this level, anxiety of fear of failure combined with depression from not meeting expectations sometimes prevents me from enjoying it. Snake eating it’s own tail. Forever caught in a loop where if I were to send a message back in time to my former self’s, I’d say, “jackass. It’s not so serious all the time. Smile. It’s funny, isn’t it?”
No matter what career, hobby, location or lifestyle you choose, we are all going to have days where it seems like time bent and every path has pit-stops where we go, “what the fuck happens to time,” and it’s best to have some drinking buddies who will make fun of your story, and you will make fun of theirs. That when the world itself is so maddeningly absurd, you’ve got band mates that when you look at each other, you just start laughing.
Every writer knows, it’s the characters that make the story.
My mates are all pirates. We may not be winners, but we’re neither phonies nor pussies… and I’m willing to bet… my friends are a lot fucking funnier than your friends.
Because of them, my story is filled with better jokes.