Category Archives: Shows

I was my own opening act!

Using comedy for the benefit of others is a force multiplier for good.

Sometimes I’ll perform pro bono for a cause I like or for friends (and causes they like). Other times nonprofit organizations hire me to put the fun(ny) in their fundraising events. Sometimes, I’ll split the difference and give a smaller nonprofit my charity rate.

I wish I could do all shows for free, but that’s not practical (or financially prudent). Plus, when there’s a price tag on your performance, both the performer and the event organizer work to fulfill each other’s expectations.

In any case, a good thing done well is a great feeling and I one I always strive for. The other night, I “worked” with a long-time friend who gave me the gift of a show (and a little ego boost) in exchange for my gift of time and comedy. I got to open the show and close it. Yes, I was my own opening act.

He counted on me to anchor an anything-can-happen variety show filled with (mostly) amateur performers of song and story. In true showbiz fashion, there were even some last-minute backstage crises to deal with.

I opened the show to a nice response, and the middle was filled with a diverse line-up that made the evening a win for both the audience and performers. My closing set went better than the beginning and the audience welcomed me back like an old friend.

Being paid in laughter—when the bills are already mailed—is a great feeling.

Peter Paull and…Steve!

Many years ago, the ’90s, (yes, last century!), I was booked as the emcee/opening act for a variety show at the Catch a Rising Start comedy club in Las Vegas. This series of shows had a singer in the middle and a comedian headliner. It was one of those opportunities where I got everything possible:Continue Reading

Live from The Laugh Cellar

Performers have a word for the non-show biz people who attend a show for the first time: civilians. Some civilians like what I do at that first show and want to come see me again. That makes ‘em fans. (In comedy, people rarely give you a chance to disappoint them twice.) Now these civilians areContinue Reading

The devil is in the details

MY COMEDY SPECIAL WAS RELEASED ON VIDANGEL LAST WEEK!  (Yes, I am shouting.) VidAngel is a streaming entertainment service with a twist: it lets customers with Amazon Prime, HBO and Netflix choose to skip or mute content that might be disturbing to some viewers. Their slogan? “Watch however the bleep you want.” In addition, VidAngelContinue Reading

Performing for the hometown crowd

I am happy to report I survived my first headline event in my hometown since moving back to Santa Rosa. I was a little nervous, but this formula made it all work out: Part rehearsal, part performance, part audience, part learning curve. It’s interesting—and very unusual—to see so many familiar faces in the first fourContinue Reading

Looking forward to a hometown gig

After weeks on the road, I’m performing close to home on March 10, 2018! I get to do some comedy time for a good cause: the Sonoma County Family YMCA. Their 5th Annual YMCA Comedy Night will let me perform for and with new comedy friends I’ve made since moving back to Santa Rosa. I’mContinue Reading

When the comedy road crosses memory lane

As I come to the end of the year, and anticipate what to put on my annual “Things I’d Like To Change’ list (more commonly called “New Year’s Resolutions”).  One thing that’ll be high on my list is to take time to appreciate the things I’ve been lucky enough to get and do and see.Continue Reading