LA Diary #9

Well, I got my own place in North Hollywood! My friend I was staying with is moving to India to pursue comedy there, which is what prompted me getting my own place. I spent this whole last weekend getting tortured by Ikea. From getting lost in the store maze to putting together 11 pieces of furniture with an allen wrench. But it was all worth it. A few weeks ago a fellow comedian turned me on to a studio apartment opening up next door to hers. We hung out and I saw her place and it was super cute, so I decided to sign a lease. She’s really been the best and it’s great to have someone right next door that is on the grind and can relate to what’s going on with me. We’ve been having the best time and for the first time, I really feel comfortable here in LA. Oh we got a really nice pool also, so that’s pretty sweet. I feel like I’m finding my place here and my people and its gooooood. I went almost 2 weeks without drinking any alcohol which was nice. I’ve been staying off of Sunset for the last week and a half and that’s been really good. I feel like The Valley is much more “real”. It’s doesn’t feel like an amusement park for tourists which is how I would describe Hollyweird. I’ve been spending more time with my Dallas comedians out here and they’ve been really amazing. They’re some of the funniest people I know and spending time with them really keeps a smile on my face. One of them had a birthday and we went down to San Pedro and got a mountain of seafood fresh from the port. It was so fun!

I’ve made so many new friends here. There’s so many creative and interesting people in LA. The kind of people that you would have to scour Dallas for, are here in plethora everywhere you look. I’ve only been here 3 months and I have plenty of people to hang with and activities to do. For example, one of my new friends took me to The Magic Castle. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. It’s a giant mansion on a hill in Hollywood and you have to be invited or have someone who is a member take you. Men have to wear a suit and women an evening dress/gown. There are all sorts of different rooms full of oddities, magicians, owls that answer yes or no questions, ghosts that play the piano and take requests, seances, and a library where magicians can study and practice their craft. It’s the closest thing to Hogwarts you can find in real life. Another friend has a duel membership to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and took me as her guest to see an exhibit and have a light dinner. I found a small piece of art on a bench outside with a note attached to it saying “Free Art to whoever finds it”. It’s those kinds of things that make this place so amazing. Some other friends took me to a Drag Brunch in West Hollywood (The Gayborhood) and we had a blast. Basically there’s 4 drag queens that perform song and dance numbers as they weave through the crowd of patrons and tables. You put a bunch of singles on your table and as they come by you tip them. It was super fun.

Comedy is going pretty well despite my not being very focused on it the last few weeks. I’m ready to get back into the grind this week.

Love and miss my Dallas people,

CC

P.S. There’s no fucking mockingbird singing all night long at my new place. I hope that bird dies in a fire.

LA Diary #8

Got my first taste of LA drama this week. I figured it would happen sooner or later, but I didn’t figure on it happening this soon.

What I’ve learned:

People that you think are your friends are not always your friends.

Never say anything to anyone ever. If you hear some shit. Keep it to yourself.

Keep your mouth shut. You learn more by listening.

Keep your eyes open.

Things are not as they seem.

Stay on your grind.

This is all about you. Fuck the rest.

This goes for you and everyone you know.

Things are the same as they were in Dallas…but times 10.

You think it’s a game in Dallas. It’s even more so here in LA.

You have to be friends with everyone, but you’ll learn that it’s harder than you ever imagined. It takes a resolve that is almost inhuman. But I’m up to the task.

I’ve made many friends here. I’m good at the networking aspect of comedy.

I’m good at the performance aspect of comedy. Balancing the two is proving harder than I had expected, but I will prevail.

It’s time to take it to the next level. I’m not leaving and I have no other option other than to succeed.

This week I did a show at The Comedy Store. A real show. Not an open mic. I did my best and I think I did well. I didn’t book that show myself. I had help. And I’m so appreciative of that help.

I’ve met another writer that has an amazing script idea that I’m super excited about. We’re going to start working on it next week.

I’ve never felt more alone since I’ve been here than I do this week. But that’s the nature of this business. I’ve got to buckle down and rely on myself.

I can finally relate to what those that have come before me have said. I get it now.

You have to have your crew. You have to stick together. You have to champion each other.

I’ve been working to get in where I fit in. After this week, I”ve definitely learned more about this game out here. It’s real. You think you know, but you have no idea.

It s getting harder to stay motivated. Sometimes I think I made a mistake coming out here. It’s hard. As good as you think you are, it will beat you down. Sometimes I doubt myself. It’s easy to do when you’re dealing with bullshit. I’m going to strip all of the bullshit away this weekend. I’m done. I’m going to find my own place. I’m going to start working to have a stable income here and build a life here. I don’t ever want to leave. It’s time to man up and get my shit straight.

CC

LA Diary #7

Things are still progressing at a steady pace here in La La Land. I haven’t been doing any shows the last two weeks, but I have been branching out and touching on other comedy happenings and exploring different avenues here. I’ve done a few open mics, which have been decent. I wanted to shy away from doing open mics here since they’re usually pretty shitty. The one’s I’ve done haven’t disappointed (in being shitty), but I have a lot of new stuff I need to work on, and that’s the price you pay as an unknown comedian here. I did the open mic at The Comedy Store this week. It went decent and I’ve been making an effort to hang around there more. They seem to be more accommodating to comics than The Laugh Factory and I’ve had several comics here tell me that I need to be hanging out there more.

I’ve been spending more time with my fellow Dallas comedians here over the past few weeks. It’s a really nice change from the usual. They have been so open and helpful and I’ve been having a really great time with them. I’m going to enter into an agreement with one of them to set writing goals and hold each other accountable which I think will be really good to stay focused and motivated out here.

I went to a bar called The Parlor this week to hang out and network. It was fun as usual, but the really amazing thing was Chris Rock stopping in to practice his material for the BET Awards. Getting to watch a comic legend like Chris work was an amazing privilege that I won’t soon forget.  Also, last week I got to see Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey on stage at The Laugh Factory. It was nice to see Hanz and Franz together again on stage.

One thing that has been really cool is hanging out with established comedians and helping them with bits. I’ve given several comedians tags for jokes that they have actually been using successfully, and I get as much enjoyment from helping them as doing my own material. I gave Tony Rock (Chris Rock’s brother and an amazing comic in his own right) a tag that he’s been using on stage for a few weeks and it’s been working really well. Him coming up to me after using it in a set and asking what I thought about it is super surreal and rewarding.

The comics I’ve met out here have been so amazing. The amount of positivity from the people I’ve surrounded myself with keeps me motivated. I feel like I’m where I should be. I got to help one of my new friends and fellow comic out with some writing this week. He’s writing for a game show on the GSN Network and he got a little swamped this week. I offered to help in any way I could and he accepted my offer. It was so fun to be involved in something like that. He liked what I submitted and was very appreciative for my help. I have to say that I really enjoy writing almost as much as performing.

Before I sign off, there is a mockingbird that has been living across the street ever since I got here. This motherfucker sings ALL NIGHT LONG! Seriously, if another bird could please come fuck this bird, that would be great! I have contemplated buying a pellet gun and camping out to kill this piece of shit like a marine sniper. then I would nail his carcass to a tree to let all the other mockingbirds know that I mean business. Other than that shitty bird, things are super. Miss my peeps and my fam.

Love,

CC

LA Diary #6

Tonight was great. I went to The Den around 10pm after I had hung out at Laugh Factory. I ran into several people who had seen me at a show last week. It was a show put on by a friend of mine who is a comic and a bartender at The Den. It was a comedy show that he puts on every month in his back yard, which was a very different venue from what I’m used to. Two different groups of people stopped me and said “Hey we saw you at Jeremy’s show last weekend! You were really funny and we really enjoyed your set.”. I went to the show to just hang out with friends and Jeremy threw me up unexpectedly and I ended up doing about 20 min. I had a real epiphany on that show. I was following another friend of mine who is an established comic here in LA and he killed it, so I was a little nervous. I decided to just have fun and talk about my experiences here in LA since I’ve been here. I didn’t do any real material. I just talked from the heart. It was so nice to have an audience who were listening and receptive to what I was putting out. I didn’t think anyone would actually remember me or give me a second thought. So it was super weird to have multiple people recognize me a week later and compliment me on my set. Not only that but they wanted to keep in touch with me so that they could support me on other shows.

The epiphany which I mentioned previously was this: If I just relax, be myself, and talk about my life, people will respond positively. This is so empowering as a comic. I feel like I broke through another level as a comic. I felt so restricted as a comic in Dallas. I felt like I had to do certain things to get work and be a certain way. None of that matters here in LA. Here you can do whatever you want. In fact, it’s better. You have to do whatever you can to set yourself apart from everyone else. I’m growing so much here. I’m surrounded by people who are successful and I’m so grateful to have them on my journey.

CC

LA Diary #5

I got paid this week. First paycheck in LA. It was meager, but a paycheck none the less. Things continue to progress in an upward fashion. Which is really what I expected initially. A few comics told me that the first year in LA was going to be filled with heartache and disappointment, and I gotta say, the first 5 weeks have not been that. I’m continuing to be put on shows in mainly black rooms, which is fine by me. I came up in Dallas doing black rooms and in my opinion, it prepared me for LA in many ways. I’ve been continuing to network and hang out at the various spots in LA for comedy. I’ve been meeting more and more people in all facets of the game. Despite my room mate being gone for a month, I’ve been hanging out with the friends I’ve made and we’ve been having an amazing time.

Tonight I met a guy who was instrumental in forming Ruthless Records and in starting Eazy-E’s career as well as Dr. Dre. You never know who you’re going to come across in this town, and it’s so surreal spending time with people who are responsible for so many artists that have influenced my life. I watched my friend have an amazing set at the Laugh Factory tonight and another friend have an amazing set at The Parlor. I got to hang with a few friends from Dallas at The Parlor and it was great to see them and spend time with them. I started the 7 Minute Workout app on my phone today and it taught me that I’m super out of shape. So I’ll be doing it every day going forward, I made Thai Food for myself the other night, but I’m used to cooking for two, so I ate it for 2 days haha.

One of my new friends took me to the LACMA on sunday and we had a great late lunch and amazing conversation before going and looking at some beautiful contemporary paintings. It’s nice to meet someone who is interested in culture and has access to such an amazing museum. We’re going to go again soon hopefully. I found a piece of art someone left on a bench at the museum. It had a note saying “This is a free piece of art for whoever finds it.”. It was a piece of plywood cut into an oval shape about 4’X7’ with a colorful skull drawn on it and lacquered over with sealant. It was an unexpected gift.

My time here in LA has been just that. An unexpected gift. I didn’t think anything that has happened would happen. I wanted it to happen, but I didn’t know how it would happen. I have sacrificed things to make it happen. And others very close to me have sacrificed to make it happen. And I’m here to make all the sacrifices worth it. I’m going to stay on my grind. I’m going to work as hard as I can. I’m writing every day and working on getting as much stage time as I can. I’m working on meeting as many people as I can. I’m blessed to be in the circle that I’m in. The people around me are super talented, super funny, and I couldn’t have picked them better myself to usher me into this amazing city.

I heard this on my way home tonight. It’s one of my favorite Van Halen songs and I think it speaks to anyone who is following their dreams.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZLKtjATZt0

CC

LA Diary #4

Well I’m a month in.

I’ve been booked on 3 shows all of which have gone from fantastic to average and I’m grateful to have the opportunities that I’ve had thus far. I’ve met so many amazing people and I gotta say I’m having a really blessed experience so far. I’ve been spending the majority of my time at the Hollywood Laugh Factory thanks to my roommate and friend Raj. He has taken me under his wing here and made me feel included to such an extent that I can never repay him. 90% of the comics in LA can’t walk into the door of the Laugh Factory and hang out, no questions asked and I’m able to do that after just being here a month. The staff has been SO sweet and accommodating and I’ve made friends with most of them and value their friendships more than any others since I’ve been here. They’re a lovely family of people and I’m blessed to have them include me and be a part of my experience here in LA. When we’re not at the Laugh Factory, we spend most of our time at The Den which is a bar right down the street. It’s become my Cheers if you will, and is also staffed with an amazing group of people that are always a pleasure to be around. Some of them are fellow comics or entertainers, and spending time between the two places is like being ensconced with a warm blanket of support and love. I need that considering my journey here to a new land where I know few people.

Tonight on my way home I was pulled to stop by the Mullholland Drive lookout. “Hands Of Time” by Groove Armada came on the radio and it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. So I turned it up and got out of the car and looked out over the valley with it’s lights twinkling like a galaxy full of hopeful stars. “I really never felt quite the same, since I lost what I had to gain, no one to blame, no one to blame. Seems to me, can’t turn back the hands of time”. Tonight as I was looking out over the valley, I felt a rush of melancholy and took a moment to reflect. I just started crying. This lyric was so poignant at the moment. It represented what I’ve been through over the last three months. We all make choices for better of for worse. We can’t turn back the hands of time and take those choices back. I have sacrificed so much to be here. I miss the life I had in Dallas. I miss my friends. I miss my family. Sure I’ve made new friends who are absolutely lovely, but they’re an addition, not a replacement for the people who have supported me for so many years. You’ll always be in my heart. We may not talk every day, but you must know that you’re in my thoughts and I love and appreciate you for making me the person I am today. I’m doing my best and I’m going to make you proud.

CC

LA Diary #3

Well after a week in a half in LA things are going pretty well. I got booked on two shows and went to a industry mixer. The first show got cancelled for lack of audience attendance, but I got to meet some nice comics and see a new venue. The second show was at The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club on the Universal City Walk. The show was a ton of fun and the audience was outstanding. All the staff I met were very nice and some even complemented my set. I had a great set and got invited to do another show that actually pays by the same people who put this one together. It was nice to work my material in a new city, and it was nice to be recognized by comics in LA as a person who is good enough to be considered a peer. I was apprehensive at first to see what would happen, but now that it’s done, I know I’ll be ok out here. The industry mixer was fun and I got introduced to a lot of people from all facets of the entertainment industry. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Hollywood Laugh Factory (almost every night) and I gotta say it feels like home. All the comics I’ve met and all the staff I’ve met have been so friendly and sweet.

I miss my friends and my family. I’m so glad you believed in me and were so supportive of my decision to move out here. I was so scared and so nervous to start over in a new city, but after this week, I know I can do it.

LA Diary Entry #2

Well I made it in one piece! I’ve been having the best time! I’m staying in Sherman Oaks with my buddy. I got an air mattress the other day and it’s 10X better than the couch. My friend has been taking me to Laugh Factory every night so far and introducing me to the funniest people in LA. The first night I arrived we went to this bar on Sunset called “The Den” where we were met by about 6 other comics. The atmosphere here is so much more healthy than Dallas as far as comics relating to each other. I received the warmest welcome and by the end of the night had made several new friends. Getting to spend time and be accepted in a comedy club as historic as the Hollywood Laugh Factory is a great feeling. I got to sit in the VIP lounge and listen to Dane Cook hold court with a few other comics and it was so surreal. 

Sorry it’s taken so long to update, but I’ve been busy trying to get settled in while still go out and mingle.

LA Diary Entry #1

I left for LA on Saturday morning 4/19/14 after getting NO sleep the night before. I had been staying with my parents for a month since my wife and I sold our house and decided to get separated/divorced. Moving back in with my parents after 10+ years of living away from them was quite an experience. Like recapturing my misspent youth, but not in the romantic way most middle-aged men think of it. 

I decided to handle my own divorce which may have saved me some money, but not enough to make all the extra effort worthwhile (note to any future divorcees). Dealing with state employees is a task that should merit great monetary compensation. Now I know why lawyers charge so much money. 

If I may back up for a moment, Friday was perhaps one of the hardest days of my life. I felt like I spent the entire day fighting a losing battle against my emotions. I couldn’t sleep on account of my mental state. Around 6am on Saturday morning, I decided to just get up, shower, throw everything in the car and have one last all natural, organic breakfast with my folks. They were weird that morning. I’ve noticed that they always “check out” for my life changing events. Almost like they’re in denial of what’s transpiring.

Anyhow, I planned to stop on the way to LA and visit my friend, who lives in Santa Fe. The drive from Dallas to Santa Fe was sublime and uneventful. Each small, Texas town blends together in a tapestry of stark landscapes and friendly, if not disturbingly simple inhabitants. I could smell Amarillo on the horizon. I was treated to a beautiful rainstorm shortly after Tucumcari, and it continued all the way to the Santa Fe county line. There’s something beautiful and special about a rainstorm in the desert. Like every living thing is getting that which it craves the most. I feel like a desert sometimes and this life change is my rainstorm.

I’ll be at Addison Improv this weekend with Loni Love! Come out and have a drink and a laugh! Two shows tonight (Friday) at 8pm and 1030pm and two shows tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7pm and 930pm!

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