After that show, I was fortunate enough to get invited back to play another show the following week, then again, and again for the next two months. It was a decent job, and was a bit of extra cash. I would start working on new material and routines while working my day job doing waterproofing for a local construction company. It was good work, and a good pay, but it also gave me a lot of quiet time on my own to work on new bits and execution. I would rib and ride my other coworkers to test out certain pieces, and it was a great way for me to master new pieces. After I did the re-booked gigs for a while, they offered me a house spot once a week. This allowed me to negotiate my payment a little better, and I went to make double what I was before.
After I kept this up for about six months, I suppose they noticed my dedication to the craft and to not simply telling the same jokes over and over as my routine was always growing and evolving. They offered me a bi-weekly spot, then another day, until I became a resident. A resident spot for a comic is one of the ideal positions. You really get to establish a name for yourself, and you alleviate some of the need to be constantly pitching your work to other clubs. The downfall of course is that you don’t get the same recognition across a multitude of crowds, which may not be a big deal in places like new York and California, but in Portland?
I eventually steered away from the gigs and more into hosting, announcing the up and coming artists and having my face be the one associated with the club. This paid better and allowed me to literally quit my day job to follow my passion. After four more years of doing this though, I received the bad news. The club owner, the man who gave me my started and kept me employed through all these years, was diagnosed with cancer, not a very good one either. He started to think about whether or not to sell. I knew that if he did, I may not find myself with the same tenure, along with some of the other house performers, and so I talked to him about the relative price of running the place.
We talked back and forth for days, getting all the information down, and two weeks later he had me put on the business forms as a co-owner, this way if he passed, the club would just go to me, and he could still do all his stuff with his will and whatnot. Seven months later, I became sole owner of the club. Since then I run it exactly as he did, because why mess with something that isn’t broken, and I still hit the stage because why acknowledge that I was? And I keep the dream going, for him, myself and our other comics.