On The RoadFebruary 10, 2011
I have been traveling all over the country, from Vegas to Florida. It has been an amazing ride, with venues like The Gold Club Casino in Las Vegas, The Stardome in Alabama, The Comedy Showcase in Houston, and some Comedy Zone rooms across the south!
I initially cut my teeth at the Funny Bone in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but it wasn’t until Hurricane Katrina that I began to understand a little more about the “science” behind the performer. I always thought I was pretty good, but in this business, pretty good isn’t good enough.
After the storm, I relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. I was fortunate enough to get an apartment and quickly hit the comedy scene. Without truly being on the road and performing in other cities all that I had to go on was what I had. I did open mics with some success, but the true test came when there was an audition for “The Wendy’s Comedy Challenge.” There were over one hundred comedians lined up outside the Punch Line in Atlanta. I had never seen this before. Once in, we were told that we had to do 3 minutes of clean material. Most of the comedians were shocked. “Clean! For three minutes?” most of them complained. Now, I was in no way a clean comic, but I knew that I had a solid 3 minutes of clean material. I went up and killed! At the time, there was a talent scout from the Aspen Comedy Festival judging. She loved me, and asked me to come back that night to showcase. I STUPIDLY thought to myself, “Now I can come back and show them the ‘REAL’ Bad Boy RedBean!” I can only assume, but I am willing to bet that this was my “Early-Jump-Start-Career” demise. I did 100% blue, and the talent scout asked, “What happened to the material you did earlier?” Wow! A hard lesson that I regret learning to this day.
I ended up winning one of the five spots on “The Wendy’s Comedy Challenge,” but the lesson learned that day was envaluable. (unfortunately I would not totally comprehend this lesson until a couple years later.)
A fellow comedian, Missta, asked me if I wanted to go with him to Houston for an audition for the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. I was a little reluctant at first, but I said sure, why not. We got to the audition, and they told us that if we were selected, they would call us by no later than 6:30 p.m. We did our sets and went to the hotel to relax. By 6:30 p.m., NO CALLS! Missta was like, “Man, let’s just go home.” I went to sleep. My phone rang at about 7:00 p.m. and was asked to get to the comedy club as soon as possible, because I had been chosen to do the showcase that night.
COMEDY IS FUNNY, BUT IT AIN’T NO JOKE — Bill Eldridge (Missta)
With some early success, I am still pushing forward. I am enjoying the ride; unfortunately, currently I am only riding the dream in a pinto (showing my age.) But, sometime after Dr. Ken Jeong introduced me to the stage, I hope to be riding the dream in a Mercedes.