I know you will.
One. Lafonda is on the mend or at least feeling better. I took her back to the vet. Angrily. The vet I usually see there was off and I saw the owner. The other vet had basically told me I would have to decide what to do with her, implying she was dying. This owner said cats are complicated and perhaps there was new stress in her life. There is: Buster Kitten. I asked if the long-acting steroid shot would help because the other vet said she couldn’t handle it. The new guy said she probably isn’t terminally ill and it would be fine. I had him do it. Within days she was acting more lively and now she is out and about and eating on her own. We were spoon-feeding her before. I really think that the first vet was playing on my feelings to get me to do more tests that would probably be inconclusive and put more strain on my old kitty. It looks like I’ll have her around for a bit longer now.
Two. CARNEGIE HALL WAS AMAZING! It was a transcendent experience for me. I have to be honest: A lot of my old mental patterns were haunting me. Would I be able to do it? Would I bomb? Was my material worthy? Am I good comedian? It was nuts what my brain was putting me through. When I got to NYC I just did what I always do. I ate at Veselka. I ate at Mogador. I took the subway to Carnegie Hall. I didn’t want anyone in my dressing room and I traveled alone. This was going to live or die by me and I got myself there. I wanted no distractions. Tom Scharpling and my opening act Nate Bargatze were the only people backstage. We got there early for sound check and when I stepped out there on that empty stage and spoke into the mic I knew it would be good. I knew I could do it. Part of me lives on stage.
The place was sold out. Nate did a great 15 minutes, killed. When he brought me up and I walked out onto THAT stage it was overwhelming. I was shaken. I felt like crying and I knew that would be okay but it was not how I wanted to start the show. I took it in. I sat down. I said things. I felt everything all at once. What I was saying was getting laughs but I wasn’t connected. I was emotional. It took about ten minutes for me to start getting a groove. Then I was up and moving around, doing a physical bit and I felt it. I was totally present, doing what I’ve done my whole adult life in the greatest venue on earth. From that point on I was totally present with freedom of heart and mind. Improvising. Exploring ideas I came up with that day. Opening up. Wresting with myself. Talking to my mother who was there. It was crazy. But I made the giant that is Carnegie Hall work on my terms. I made it small. I made it intimate. I made it mine. I felt it. It was humbling and thrilling. I’m so glad people were there to see it. I did two hours.
After the show I walked 50 blocks back to my hotel. 20 of them with Tom, decompressing, doing a little post-mortem. Then 30 solo. Walking through NYC on a crisp fall night after just killing at Carnegie Hall and feeling good about my life was almost mystical. Joy. Relief. I did it.
I feel like it was a major accomplishment and it made me look at what I do in a new way. I’m going to relax. I’m going to pace myself. I’m going to work at my pace in all that I do from here on out. There’s no struggle on that level any more.
Thanks for being with me.
Today on the show I talk to journalist Sam Quinones about his enlightening, amazing book, ‘Dreamland: The True Tale of Americas Opiate Epidemic.' On Thursday I talk show biz with Shep Gordon, a true wizard behind the curtain, whose book ‘They Call Me Supermensch’ is full of great stories.