A fun night…

…at the Alley last night.

I planned to get there about 6:45 (showtime was 7:30) in hopes of talking to the owner — Christine had been on vacation when I was hired as an emergency fill-in at cash register (and, eventually, sound).  So I expected that 45 minutes before the show, it’d be quiet. 


They were wrapping up a summer kids’ comedy camp with the traditional free show for the campers’ parents — the place was packed.  So I did what I do naturally there – helped turn the theatre over for the 7:30 show.

Then word came from the back that several players hadn’t shown up (we think they never knew about being on the schedule) and the regular box office person (whose 2 sons are performers) had to switch to waitstaff so that one of her sons could play in the show.  That meant Mr. Emergency (me, of course, silly!) got to work box office for a suddenly 2/3-full 7:30 show.  Once I got my bearings, it went pretty well.  And then we went from 60 to 0 by hitting a brick wall… the jazz show set for 10:00 drew a crowd of 3 people who were friends of the band and who thought that this meant they didn’t actually have to pay for anything.  I believe the good folks over at LiveJournal’s “Customers Suck” blog call them Entitlement Queens… 🙂  Anyway, the band played on… for 2 hours… for 3 people.  Yipe. 🙂

I have today free (but will definitely go over to Oldies to catch up on some production)… tonight it’s a doubleheader of Comedy Sportz at the Alley… tomorrow I’m at Oldies for production and my 6 hours of Oldies power (noon-6, in case you haven’t read the back entries) and then a sold-out show of “Sarah Laughed” (Comedy Alley’s Biblical musical) at 6:30… and then it’ll be Monday and back to Anthem.

Can’t wait for Labor Day weekend — it’ll be a relatively quiet 4 days… off Sept. 3 from Anthem, working a very quiet Saturday shift the next day at Anthem, and off Sept. 6 from Anthem (and probably Oldies).  Before that, though, it’ll be another mad rush as I expect to be covering Jeff Beck’s show all week Aug. 30-Sept. 2.  It’s going to be a fun schedule juggle, that’s for sure. 🙂


Between rounds 2 and 3

Wow.  Got out of Anthem at 3:00 today (boss was kind and gave me “get out of jail early” pass because it was so quiet)… ran by the radio station to find nothing that needs to be done today… which means I have just enough time to leave this entry before I move on to the Alley.

About the radio station – having been a listener long before I became a participant, it’s kinda weird working for someone I listened to for years.  That’s the case with my production director at Oldies, Jeff Beck.  Richmonders will recognize the name immediately (so will New Yorkers with long radio memories).  Jeff was part of the legendary morning team of Jeff & Jeff (with Jeff McKee) until XL102 blew them out with no warning a few years ago.  I was a regular listener.  Jeff went on to start Thunder Country in Fredericksburg, then came back to Richmond as ops manager for WLEE/WHAP/WVNZ, then came over to us.  It’s wild.  Not only am I getting to work with someone whose work I really respect, but I get voice coaching and production training from him.  And he’s not afraid to tell me when something stinks… or when it’s solid.  I’m enjoying it while it lasts — Jeff may be switching to our new station (WCUL/98.9 in Richmond) when it fires up in October, which would take him out of my line of reporting.

OK, I have just enough time to do something about food and then go to the Alley.

If I don’t get back here by then, I’ll see you on the radio (107.3 FM/Richmond, 100.3 FM/Petersburg) noon to 6 pm Sunday.

Thursday night…

…and I’m back again.

Just got back from the Jessie’s Girl show at Hyperlink.  The usual – good show, small audience.  JG did play a short show tonight (they usually have 5 performers, tonight they were down to 4) – just over an hour.  Michael B. from Komic Sutra showed up.

I wish all of Richmond’s improv groups could find a way to draw a crowd…

And I read tonight that Ginger (kind of the “leader” of JG) mentioned me in her blog the other night. Cool.

It’s kind of weird having some time to myself tonight – of late, I’ve been spending Thursdays at Comedy Karaoke at the Alley, but that’s off tonight because the DJ is on vacation.  Well, I’ll make up for that tomorrow (see below!)…

You know you wish…

…you had Jessie’s Girl.

They’re performing tonight at the Hyperlink Cafe, a yuppie bar/club/performance space near Virginia Commonwealth University.  This place is so yuppie they sell whiffs of a flavored oxygen bar.  Sheesh.

JG haven’t had the best of luck at Hyperlink — it’s a nice place in the middle of a ton of college kids, none of whom seem to know it’s there.  Hopefully moving the show from the main club to the smaller “Internet Lounge” will help.

Tomorrow, I get to do my three-job Friday — 7:30-16:00 at Anthem, a quick run across the river to the radio station for production work from 16:30-18:00, then back across the river to (possibly) work at the Alley from 18:30-23:30.  For those of you not in Richmond, “the river” (James River) is Richmond’s Berlin Wall.  In the ordinary course of business, people simply don’t cross the river.  If they can’t find what they want on their side of the James, they don’t tend to cross to find it — this could be a mindset, it could be because the bridges are inconvenient, overly tolled, or both, and it could be my imagination (but not after watching this play out for 10 years now). 

Wow.  Two blog entries on my first day.

Wonder when the next one will be. 🙂 


OK.  Blame Mesha () for this — she’s a member of the Jessie’s Girl and Komic Sutra improv groups, and after reading her blog, I decided to join the blogiverse.  Whatever that is.

Now that I’ve started in the middle, let me backtrack to the beginning.

I was born a poor black child…  (<whistle> NEW CHOICE!)

I was born in Queens, New York in the fall of 1963.  I was named for my dad.  My parents are still married (rare, I know) 40-plus years later.  They’re in Illinois now — the Chicago suburbs, actually.  So are my two younger brothers, their wives, and my nieces and nephews.   So why am I in Richmond?  That’s where the job was, in the spring of ’94.  But I’ve wandered to the middle again.

I lived in the New York borough of Queens for my first 28 years… moved with the family to Chicago in 1991 when my Dad went to work for Kemper Securities (now, after several ownership changes, known as Wachovia Securities)… then moved to Richmond in 1994 to go to work for AMF Bowling in their Tech Support Center.  That job sprung from my last Chicago job (running a bowling center for Fair Lanes that used AMF equipment) — and the fact that one of the other AMF techs was someone I’d known for years in New York.  Long story.  I’ll fill in the gaps someday.

I’ll jump around a bit now… I now work for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia, doing (you guessed it) TECHNICAL SUPPORT!  I’m also a part-time radio personality (Sundays noon-to-6 on WBBT/WARV-FM in Richmond, “Oldies 107-3”) and a part-time jack-of-all-support-trades at Comedy Alley, the home of Richmond’s Comedy Sportz.

I’m 40-something, single, and living on Richmond’s North side.  I’m overweight, diabetic (those two are related), somewhat insecure, and often sarcastic.  And I’ll answer just about anything.  So I’ll close this one and start making smaller and more relevant entries.