ENTRY #151
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1:12 AM, Wednesday, November 14th, 2001:
In the past 24 hours, I've realized something about my psyche that has always been there. I think it just may be the key to my success. It's why I can barely sit through a movie without getting up: Nearly every personal thought revolves around a self awareness of my position in life. Whenever I have a moment to myself, or am spacing off - I step back and look at where I am in my career, and if I'm doing everything I can to further it. Is this strange? Does anyone else do this? This isn't just an everyday thing, this is a constant throughout the day sort've thing. And the reason that I just realized this? The results of these thoughts is now incomprehensible. I simply do not believe what's happening. I can't believe what happened last night, I can't believe what happened today, and I can't believe what's happening in general. The story I'm about to tell is truly a head shaker. For personal reasons, I'm just gonna write every goddamn thing I can remember last night so I don't forget it. This will be long-winded and may not be horribly cohesive, but I'll try my best. I do not want to forget these feelings.
My dad finally did get in. The second I picked him up I was instantly cool. The zone. Nothing was gonna phase me at this point. This was also the moment Jess started to get really freakin' nervous. Are we not perfect? The nerves just kind've transferred. Apparently I had a lot of them to hand over and Jess and Charlotte had to share them. LOL. Anyway, my dad was a little late so we had to hurry home, get him changed and get goin'.
Now, the only thing that could ruin this night at this point would be a blizzard. Something that would keep our people from coming out. Well in LA, they call blizzards "rain". And holy SHIT did it start raining. This is not good. Simply put, people will not come out. I laughed at Murphy for a moment, and simply concentrated on getting there in one piece. As we start to load in, I notice that the tables that we were promised would be moved, were still there. On top of that, they were all bolted together. (sigh). Both Gary and Belinda said these puppies would be gone. Well, luckily my dad and Jess rearranged everything while I was setting up. This is very necessary as they actually BLOCK the bottom TVs in the act. And you take Spencer out of The Trinitrons, and you're missing the show. Well Belinda comes in and says "this won't work" because of fire codes. (sigh) This just adds to the politics of this whole event. From her talkin' shit about Jim Carrey and Don freakin' Knotts - to Garrett Morris shooting one of his TV parts on Monday (like she didn't know this a week before). And you want some more? How's this for amazing:
As I said in the last entry Gary apparently originally told Belinda that I was just doing this for fun, and just for some friends, and could she help me out. This was his idea of helping me get in. Like you can't look at that tape and realize this might be for more than "fun". Once I finally bypass Gary and get Charlotte in on all this - this all comes out. So Belinda gets Charlotte's guest list and realizes how big these names are. Belinda then proceeds to be elated about the prospects of our show all of the sudden. So what happens? They book a freakin' New York Benefit Show in the MAIN ROOM completely out of the blue in a matter of days. Apparently to lure these huge casting directors over. And they take the name of my show off of the recording on their phone line. Can you believe this. Can you believe this fuckin' disrespect? On top of that...the show on every sign, and recording starts at 8:30, but I'm going on at 8. That fact and that they're trying to steal the people Charlotte killed herself to get there by diverting them to a second show is absolutely, positively....
;-) - Actually that's unfair to this city. That's showbusiness.
So I'm set-up, in the "Live Adam" garb, and playing the part.... As you may remember, from the beginning we wanted to have me be "Live Adam" the entire time leading up to the show. Even to the point of pissing people off at what a DICK I am. Then, when they see the show, they'll realize it was part of the joke. Well, apparently my friends just thought I was really pissed. LOL. Either that, or I was being an "actor", and needed to be all stoic and meditative. Even my dad said: "Uhm, is this how you are before a show? 'Cause I can leave you alone." Man, it was funny as shit. I kept trying to tell everyone, I wasn't all nervous and being moody...lol. Then I get word that Belinda's sketch comedy group was gonna go on before me. ?!?!? The whole reason I'm goin' on FIRST is because of how bad my set-up is. And now these people are gonna come in and off from behind the curtain steppin' on every wire, dodgin' between my tvs?!?!? Livid. Fuckin' livid. Thankfully, they decided to come onstage from the side and we avoided potential disaster. Either way it was just one more thing that they pulled on me knowing I was already there and I couldn't do anything. Disrespect is just beautiful ain't it? I don't mind going on later, in fact I like that better, but she's still just pullin' one over on me.
So the show starts around 8:30 to an absolutely packed house. Alissa, the one Aspen judge is sick as hell and couldn't make it. BUT. (huge but here...) Said she would take the word of both Anne Maney (head of casting at fox) and Grace Wu (casting director at NBC). Both of them were there, so it was on. The paramount casting director also showed, and one other person that has erased my mind. Amazingly of the 68 total people on Charlotte's list, 57 showed. That's the shiznit.
So I'm sitting backstage on this metal folding chair with a harsh flood lighot right next to my face waiting. What was supposed to be a 15 minute act turned into 30 minutes. Then, another comedian is to go on to bridge the 2 30 minute shows. Now I know I should be nervous at this point, but I was damn near asleep backstage. To have such a build-up for this event for weeks and then to have to sit and wait right behind the curtain for 45 minutes is just anti-climactic to say the least.
I told the announcer Emcee dude to NOT announce me, that my show does it by itself, that he should just give me the cue and I'd hit the tape. This was quite a strange request for him. He seemed so befuddled. "So I just stick my head back here and say "Hey Adam?" "Yeah, that's better than hey Bob." He found that funny. Well he finally did it around 9:15 and we were off.
As I opened the curtain I didn't immediately realize I had forgotten my hat. Heh. Here's something Charlotte and I labored over: The look of Adam. Sunday night talking about how we finally had the look down and that the hat would stay on the ENTIRE show. I could only imagine what she was thinking at this moment. Somehow (and I do mean somehow) I found a way right at the beginning to jump back, get the hat, and be back on stage while the audience was directed at Cameron and Spencer. Even if you noticed it, it didn't seem to out of the ordinary.
Now as far as the show was concerned it was...god I'm shaking my head at this moment. What words are there? Let me put it this way...you're all gonna call me a pussy...LOL! But when Spencer's song ended, and the audience was going absolutely nuts, I had turned my back to them and put my head down (as the embarrassed Live Adam). At that moment, listening to the audience, I started to tear for just a second and then pow back into character. It was as if the real me was so happy and so excited that inside I was screaming and jumping up and down. And for one moment it came through me. I had chills. It was the ultimate moment in my career. It was the moment I knew I was making it big. I wasn't "gonna make it" - I was "making it" RIGHT THEN. And for a nanosecond it overtook me. Fucking unreal.
The end of the show actually made Jessica cry. They started clapping to the beat of my song and followed it through until the very end and then just SCREAMED. This show just made me. I walked on that stage an absolute nobody, and little did I know that once I left that stage I would be treated like a COMPLETELY diferent person. Goddamn, I just reread that sentence. Can any of you fuckin' believe this!?!?!? This is how it happens!! This is the story of me making it. This is what I've wanted to know my entire life! Here it is! Wow.
So Paddy, my dad and I tear those puppies off the stage and goddamn record time. Both just kept saying: "That fuckin' ROCKED man". When we get everything off, I go to walk to the back of the room and here come the hands. You have to walk through the crowd to get to the back. Now the next comic was already onstage since I was semi-tearing down, so I was walking through in the middle of his act. So I was quite suprised that people watching him start putting their hands out and congratulating me. It seemed rude as hell of me to interrupt him but I wasn't...the audience was. Once I got to the back, I had so many hands on my back and my arms I felt like I was getting robbed. Enter amazing moment #2. You know how you can never understand how celebrities don't just love the adoration? We think they're assholes for avoiding their fans. How can N 'Sync not love the attention? Well these weren't horny chicks, so I'll have to get back to you on that one...but I'll tell ya - it was a bit unnerving. I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words, and shake everyone's hand but I couldn't. All the while, Belinda is grabbing my hand to follow her.
So she drags me into the main room and shows me that there are roughly 12 people there. Yes, the big 500 seat room had 12 people whereas my room was standing room only, so OVER the max of 129. She then says (you ready for this?) "Mitzi called for the numbers. We've made over $2000 in the original room, we've made less than $100 in here. She said that from this point on, I will only play the Main Room."
I'm really not sure I can explain how HUGE this is. In fact, I've never heard of this happening to ANYONE the first time they play The Comedy Store. And without showcasing for Mitzi?!?! I don't think it's ever happened without showcasing for her first. I mean, she's still never seen me - and she makes THIS phone call?!!?! As I write this, I'm trying to think of the company this puts me in - and at this level... I think you all realize what I meant by my first paragraph. This is incomprehensible. I cannot believe that I'm even writing it.
Belinda of course hugs me and is just ecstatic. Heh. I find out later that she then tracks down Charlotte (who was about ready to gouge someone's EYES out over this whole "benefit" bullshit)....tracks her down and tries to get her to commit to a date right then. Charlotte just smiles and says: "Call me tomorrow."
Hell yeeah Charlotte. Hell-Yes. She basically said: "I'm sorry Comedy Store, but I need to look at all my options after tonight, and then make a decision on when I can get back to you". Talk about a fuckin' power shift. You know I don't want to be a dick about this, but after getting treated the way both of us were (even without Gary's interference) - this was quite sweet.
So I make my way to the patio and see Charlotte. Anne LOVED it, had to run because she was sick as hell and said she'd call tomorrow. The Aspen callback is basically set. Charlotte had yet to hear from the rest, but to me...this was all I wanted to hear. First of all Anne's the HEAD of casting at FOX. So her loving the show is monumental, but the fact that she will pass that onto Alissa and I'll get my callback is just so sweet. Then there's everyone else...
I really, really, really have to hand it to Charlotte. To have ANY of these people at your client's show is FUCKING big. The HEAD of casting for FOX? She had numerous people this important. She stacked the deck and we WON THE HAND BIG TIME. SHIT! I just slammed the droor on my desk and woke up my dad. LOL. Goddamn one bedroom apartment, dad's sleepin' on the couch, and I'm in the corner typin' this up. Something tells me this scene will change sooner rather than later. Heh.
So I'm on the patio trying to comprehend all this. Thanking the people leaving (sorry to the other acts!), and just talking to everyone. Every few moments I do the "Self-awareness" thing and realize what just happened and where I am right at that moment. Just mind-boggling. Around 10:45 Eddie Griffin jumps onstage with a comedy troup so we all go up to watch. I hate improv. I mean I hate it. Imrpov is a learned skill that you practice. Basically anyone can be trained to do it. Now to be GREAT at it is something to watch, but those people are very, very few and far between. Also the entire mentality of improv is just unfunny to me. In many repsects it seems to be the product of lazy comedians. Improvisation to me is what you do WITHIN an act that adds flavor. It is not something to build an ENTIRE act around. Anyway, Eddie finally gets the stage to himself and as if the night wasn't mind blowing enough... he does his first few minutes on me.
Eddie Griffin, a guy that 3 years ago I'm sitting with Leon eating white castles and laughing my ass off to his HBO Comedy special, is doin' a stand-up routine on Adam Kontras.
I feel like I should stop writing, go to sleep, and then start back up again tomorrow just for all of you to SOAK IN what this means. Of course, no time would pass for you guys, so that would be quite pointless wouldn't it. LOL.
Now I would give many parts of my body just to have this moment taped, but alas there was absolutely no time to even think of doing this. I will try my best to write as much as I remember...this is absolutely NOT verbatim or cohesive - just snippets.
"So apparently I missed this guy doin 4tvs. What the hell is this (someone explains it quickly) - so this guy does a capella music with himself with characters in the TV. That's bringin' technology into it man...this is one rich mutha fucka. (laughing) This whole place only has one fuckin' TV, and it's OUTSIDE, heh. (laughing) This mutha-fucka has 4 of these bitches? (laughing) This guy comes out here with all this - his family is loaded...I came out with a hat that I dropped on the ground. (laughing) I had to use my imagination. He does characters?  If I had a tv for every one of MY characters I'd have 57 tvs. (laughing) And I know the mutha fucka is sittin in here, his TVs are still here!"
Unfortunately this is all I can remember. It was such a surreal moment. First of all, I don't give a fuck what he's saying about you. To just jump onstage and start your show like that was an honor to me. Now as you all know, I personally paid for those fuckin TVs and have struggled like NO MAN to pull this off. Jess and I have SCRAPED by - especially BECAUSE OF the expense of 4tvs. So to think people will just think I'm rich is a little stinging - but he never saw the show. As well, this was the one thing I knew comics would get pissy about. I especially thought the other one man shows would bitch: "Hey if I had 4tvs, I could do that, big deal" As if I'm just "lucky" to have this set-up. They don't even see that the concept is just as impressive as the show. And of course the inference that without those TVs I couldn't be funny. "I had to use my imagination"...whew. These are all things that completely piss me off - but again...he didn't see the show. But none of this matters. None of it. Mutha fucka felt I was worthy of being ribbed onstage just by what he heard from his FRIENDS on his was in.
That, is, absolutely, incredible. That ladies and gentleman is "buzz". A "buzz" that started the second I left that stage, and will now follow me for the rest of my life. Seem a little extreme? Nope. Not even an exagerration. This is the sound of me being the big fish in an even bigger pond. Of course the buzz will grow louder as the days, weeks and months pass, and often times, grow a bit softer. There's always a new thing, and it won't always be me...but the buzz will always be there when my name is mentioned from this point on.
This morning Charlotte was flooded with phone calls. From industry and friends alike. You know what she spent most of her time doing? Man, you guys are not gonna believe this.
Convincing people that it was one person on stage.
Now how you can get through that show and not figure it out is beyond me. We even make reference to it in the show. Now once you stop shaking your head at this - realize that they loved the show - EVEN THINKING THESE WERE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Have you any idea what this means? This may be the most astounding part of this entire entry. Some of the people in that audience honest to GOD, thought it was 5 different people. Now that they know it's all me - they HAVE to come back, they HAVE to tell all of their friends, and now they're freaking out. Can you imagine how you'd feel in their shoes? You'd be trying to run through parts of what you saw in your head and still not believing it. The urge to want to see that bitch as soon as possible is absolutely great. This is going to explode.
On the industry side the absolute confirmation from Anne for Aspen, so I will be performing at the HBO Workspace for the 4 judges within the next 2 weeks. Paramount is bringing a bunch of development execs to the next immediate show. The head of a production company (whose name absolutely excapes me but she was Quincy Jones' old partner during the Michael Jackson days) want us to pitch The Trinitrons sitcom to them as soon as possible. This is insane. Absolutely backwards. You should have to ask the networks and the production companies for any chance they can get you to hear your pitch and she called US. Nothing specific from Grace Wu yet, but Charlotte left a message. I think there's something else, but honestly - I am in such a daze right now you're lucky I can even type.
I cannot comprehend the magnitude of everything. This is exactly what Charlotte said would happen. This is what at moments in the past 6 months I've tried to prepare for. It is happening RIGHT NOW. I can only shake my head, upload the entry, and go lay down. Notice I didn't say sleep. That would involve being able to slow my brain down a little...and at this moment - even the thought of THAT is incomprehensible.
Oh yeah, the video. We were told probably 11 times we couldn't videotape. No, no, no. Apparently some dude took a video, and then passed it around saying Mitzi produced his show and it was this big legal battle.
No matter what, we could not tape. We were gonna sign a waiver saying we would obviously not sell it. And honestly, I just want to have a record of every Trinitrons show because there will be SO few. When I'm 80 I want to go back and remember these moments. Didn't matter. Charlotte called Mitzi personally, everything.
Well now the tables have turned. They want me on the main stage? I'm taping that bitch like crazy. I won't play it unless they allow me. I'll still sign all the papers saying I won't sell it...but I just WANT this moment for posterity. Now as far as Monday's show... I won't even tell you, heh. I'll let you figure it out. I'm kind've crafty when cornered. Giddy-up.
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