I wish Ford made a car called a mansion. That way, entertainers who live in their cars, could rightfully claim that they live in a mansion.
Showbiz is all about smoke and mirrors. Nothing is ever as it seems. The real is surreal. There is no such thing as normal in Hollywood, New York, Chicago, et al. There is no definition. Everyone’s a star, working on the next big “project” or pitching the golden idea that will set them for life.
There are far too many people trying so hard to make it big, they’re willing to do whatever it takes, including calling their automobile home. I never chose that route. I didn’t want it quite that bad. I had a business background that served me well when the comedy business would take a dive.
Still, I tip my hat too all of those who don’t care what it takes, so long as it’s ethical. I remember watching Jim Carrey doing stand up at the comedy store before he was famous. I thought, “This guy is going nowhere”. So much for my instincts.
Some people, you just knew were going to hit it big. The first time I watched Kevin Nealon, I knew he would be a star. In fact, he was so good, I quit for about a year because I knew I could never be as funny as him and since I was new to the business, I thought that was the standard.
Then I took my kids to see a movie starring Pauley Shore, who I have never found funny, and decided to get back in the game. If he could make it, anyone could. If it weren’t for the fact that his father was the legendary comic Sammy Shore and his mother, Mitzi Shore owned The Comedy Store, there’s no way that guy would have made it, in my opinion.
The competition is so fierce, you really need a break to hit it big. I had such a break once. I was doing a show in Laguna Beach, CA one night and had a really good show. Afterward, a waitress pointed to a table with seven guys in suits sitting there. I went over and sat down.
There was a guy in his 60’s, with three younger guys on each side of him. He got right to the point. He said, “Kid, you got it. You’ve got the talent to really make it big. I know you probably think I’m just some crazy old man, but I’ve discovered……” Some very impressive names.
He told me to go to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, go to the high stakes poker room and ask for him. He said he was going to introduce me to some people and get my name on the marquee. I could obviously tell the guy was in the mob, and once they make you famous, they own you.
I wanted no part in that, so I never went. I don’t think I made a mistake. I didn’t want to make it big by selling my soul to the mob. Besides, I could always live in my mansion.
See you tomorrow.
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