Ever since Last Comic Standing aired, I have been waiting for my check. It's not a huge amount of money, but it's money I earned that hasn't arrived yet. Larry "Bubles" Brown also appeared on the same show with me. He recommended I call a guy in the local AFTRA office. I did. He gave me the name of a woman in L.A. Just as I was about to call, Robert Mac, who also appeared on one episode called me. He told me the woman I was about to talk with would tell me that I would have to prove I was a professional comedian by sending a resume for me to get paid. Amateurs did not get paid.
Dear fellow comedians working your way up the chain. This is how it is. It never stops and it never goes away. One dick leaving the scene is replaced with a bigger one. This kind of petty, self-esteem diminishing, passive aggressive excuse for doing business never stops. The money gets better and the stakes higher, but this kind of petulant, we didn't know you were a professional shit, never goes away until you are famous enough to surround yourself with people who tell you all your choices are correct. How else do you explain Eddie Murphy making, Meet Dave?
The woman in the AFTRA L.A. office called me back today. She asked for a web site and if I had anything on it that proved I was a pro? Ah, there is the first video clip of me being introduced on Comedy Centrals, Live at Gotham. Does that count?
Yes, she tells me, that will work. Then she lets me know that the Producers will now have seven days to scrutinize my "claim" of being a professional. If they find that I am, I will finally get a check for appearing on the most rigged show since the Bush 04 election. If they decide I am not a pro, there by saving the show enough money to buy lattes for all the A.P.'s on one special day, then at least I still have the experience of standing next to Bill Bellamy.
This could be a whole new reality show to pitch; Trying to get paid from appearing on Last Comic standing. Each week, we watch as another comic gets kicked in the self-esteem one more time by being asked if he is a pro or not after 15 years. Then, he has to go through hoop after flaming hoop to get the carrot at the end of the stick.