Tulsa, OK to Nashville, TN - Nine Days on the Road

Alright, now that I've slept and had a minute to reflect on the trip I just got home from. 

I left last Tuesday to head to Tulsa, OK for a show. I did all new stuff there and then stayed in a house on the wrong end of a remodel. No carpets, no thing. It was scary and weird but a good way to start the trip because literally everything since that night has been a huge improvement. We were originally supposed to stay in that house another night but I called the nicest guy in the world, Ben Vogt and he set us up w/ a hotel room using his travel points. Patrick and I hung out in a luke warm hot tub that night and slept like kings in big comfy beds. The next day we went to a small water fall and hung out a while. 

The first show on the trip where I did a version of the hour I'm recording in October, I was using notes because I hadn't done that chunk of time in about a month. It went well but was a tad sloppy. No one seemed to mind. After the show when we were driving to where we were going to sleep we were pulled over in Joplin and I was given a sobriety test that I passed with flying colors. Lucky for me, I don't like to drink before I do stand up so I was stone sober even though I admitted to having two beers 6 hours before the encounter with the police. 

Slept in Anderson, MO that night and the next. We did a show at a small music club called Nomad's. It was very fun and even though it was only the second time I'd done the hour (night after Joplin), I was back in action. No notes. Felt good. Added some new lines. While traveling to Fayetteville, AR, we stopped at Crystal Bridges which is a giant art museum compound thing in Bentonville, AR. Bentonville is where the Walmart family is at and from and the money the community has via taxes and donations for tax exemptions are insane. It's a beautiful area and the museum is awesome. I highly recommend going and yeah, you'll be very confused and maybe a little bummed that Walmart is responsible for something so cool. 

Next day we drove through the Arkansas mountains. I had never spent anytime in that state and I gotta say, it was beautiful. Every hill we went over made the next lay of land look like a painting. It all looked fake it was so awesome. It's a shame that Arkansas holds the head quarters to the KKK. That is located very near Harrison, AR which is where we did a show at a pizza place called Ugo's that was really delicious. Going into Harrison I was a bit paranoid after learning about its KKK affiliations but then we arrived at the home of where we were staying and who had put on the show. A gay man living with his husband in the woods of Arkansas near the town where the KKK has a post office box. I don't mean to sound dumb but I find that incredibly brave and exciting. The venue where we did the show is ran by a wonderful family. The father of the home "used to be a racist but then he grew up". He now runs a restaurant with his birth children and his adopted black daughters. My experience with Harrison was one of the most diverse settings we went through yet is only known for its racism and intolerance. I hate to exploit these people living there but I absolutely loved what I was seeing. Where hate lives there is also tolerance and love that doesn't care about gender or race and we lived it. It was one of my favorite stops on the tour and maybe ever, just to be reminded that nothing is ever as simple as we think. I applaud their efforts to force diversity into that community. 

After Harrison we did Little Rock at a spot called EJ's. The only gigs on the tour that had guaranteed pay! We did sets for comics in the area bored enough to come and hang out. It was very fun. When you can get a room full of comics laughing, you know you're onto something. We had a great time hanging out that night and were lucky enough to be staying a block from the venue and the apt we stayed in was upstairs from a bar so no driving. No fear of a sobriety test like in Joplin. We may have taken advantage of this convenience. 

Next night was in Memphis. We each only did 10 minute sets on a showcase but it was a welcome change. Exhausted. As always, Memphis comics treat visitors like family. Clean blankets, free drinks and good company. I really love going through Memphis. 

Next night was Florence, AL. We did a show in a record shop and we stayed with a woman and her boyfriend through Couch Surfer. The woman, Milly, owns a vintage clothing store in town called Southern Trash. I recommend checking the place out if you find yourself in Florence ever. Cool store but she's awesome. Her boyfriend, Austin, is in a touring band called West Means Home. I looked the band up after they had all went to bed and was going to be super bummed if I didn't like it because they were both so nice but then I liked it. That was pretty sweet. If you're into the mid-2000s resurgence of post-emo thing that's happening then you should check them out. They sound like Microwave from Atlanta. I hope they do well. 

Last night of the trip was Nashville, TN Zanies which is always a treat. The club treats you like a king. Free food, all the drinks you can handle and they pack that room out. I won't lie, the crowd at the show we were at was pretty quiet. Could be the rain. Could be that they hate comedy because no one did particularly amazing in my opinion and that is not a critique on each comic. The room just didn't seem to care for much of anything unfortunately. That said, Zanies is still amazing and I'll go back any time.  

After Zanies, Pat and I decided to just drive back to St Louis since it's only 4-5 hours. We got in at 3 am and I slept like a baby. 


Random Observations:

I watched Pat learn to get out of his way officially and trust himself. He did very well the majority of the shows. 

I thought my hour was "nearly ready" and I'm still adding jokes and rearranging things for the recording. It's all positive changes but it's odd because I was so sure I was done messing with it. 

During this trip I realized I could submit my available dates to Funny Business for more work through them. I like this. They pay and it's consistent work. 

I missed my wife way more than ever before. I have no idea why. I've done several trips but this one was really hard for some reason. 

I'm glad to be home.