Archive for December, 2009
As 2009 draws to a close I realize it has been one of the best years of my life! In the spirit of trying to be thankful for all of life’s precious gifts, I want to look back on 2009 in this blog entry.
I spent most of January freezing my ass off while running to and from various comedy shows. I auditioned for David Letterman and the Montreal Comedy Festival. Didn’t get either but at least I got seen. Brrr it’s cold!!!
Flew West (???) for the winter. Performed in The Las Vegas Comedy Show and participated in the Venetian Deep Stack poker series. No cashes but gained valuable experience in a major tournament. Cleaned up in the cash games so did a little worse than even this month pokerwise. The shows in LV were incredible, as always. Thank you, Joe Lowers!!!
Back to NYC. Auditioned for Comedy Central. Didn’t book that. The Clayton Fletcher Show thrives and features guests like Gary Gulman and Christian Finnegan! Advertising Age did a really nice piece on my corporate comedy training seminar. Performed on Carnival Cruise Lines with my best friend Jason Dowty. Baseball season started. Go Orioles!
Lots of performing in and around NYC. Auditioned for an Uma Thurman movie. Didn’t book it. The Clayton Fletcher Show going strong and now twice a week, every Friday and Saturday. Was keynote speaker at the Lumin Summit in North Carolina. Also did lots of stuff at Carolines and Stand Up NY.
Spent a weekend in Atlantic City with my buddy Al. I won $7,000 for Third Place at Borgata. Had a nice cigar and an amazing dinner at Bobby Flay’s with my pal to celebrate. Performed to capacity crowds in my hometown at The Baltimore Comedy Factory. Debut of my brand new website ClaytonFletcher.com Beginning of softball season in Central Park!
Back to Vegas for The Las Vegas Comedy Show and various debaucherous adventures (none of which can be mentioned as per Las Vegas policy. It stays there).
Met Jamie Foxx and performed on his radio show, The Foxxhole! Also participated in the 40th Annual World Series of Poker. Didn’t cash but gained more major tournament experience. Took Fourth Place at a celebrity charity event at The Playboy Mansion. Still can not believe that I was at the Playboy Mansion!!!
Broke my previous record of 63 shows in one month by doing 74 in August 2009. Most of them in/around NYC at New York Comedy Club, Carolines, Gotham, Broadway, and Stand Up NY. Wrote some new jokes and got them working. Was featured on the Two Plus Two Poker Podcast live from the Hard Rock Hotel.
Worked with Peppercom on a hilarious promotional video called The Sleazy Underbelly. Performed in the Boston Comedy Festival and made the semi-finals. Sold-out Clayton Fletcher Shows every weekend in New York. Participated in the World Poker Tour Main Event at Borgata. Ran kings into aces and then went home.
Appeared on WNBC’s Today in New York. Had an article published for Simple Motivation magazine. New York Comedy Club open mic named Best in NYC. Had a featured role in the film Whistle and Snap featured in the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival. Worked harder on my stand-up than ever before throughout October. Headlined a fundraiser for breast cancer research benefitting the Tour de Pink bike race.
One last trip to Las Vegas for 2009, this time with my friends Al Martin and Dylan Drazen. We had a blast, named ourselves The Bubble Thugs. Not too much bubbling going on as Al finished in first place at Bellagio and Dylan took second at Caesars Palace. My own glory would have to wait one month. Meanwhile, back at the ranch my show continues to sell out at New York Comedy Club.
Third Place at Harrahs WSOP Circuit Event, my first major final table. Organized an amazing fundraiser for Autism Speaks. Christmas spirit gets the best of me and I spend most of the month being a softee. But God do I hate this cold weather!!! BRRRRRRR.
Here’s hoping there is even more good news in 2010! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
I admit it. I am extremely caught up in the Christmas Spirit right now. Look, don’t be offended if you are not a Christian. This post will have very little to do with Jesus anyway. Keep reading!
When I was a boy, they taught us in Catholic school that the true spirit of Christmas is giving. Of course like all the other kids I was like “blah blah blah giving schmiving, where’s my presents!?!?”
Now that I am all grown up, I’m still like that. My first response to almost any request is “what’s in it for me?” and if the answer is “nothing” you can usually count me out. This is the reality of the life of a performing artist: it is the most selfish way to serve others. Today’s actor/model/comedian/dancer/ventriloquist/sword swallower/whatever must immerse himself so deeply into the task of competing for one inch of room at the top there is frankly little time for other people. It’s harsh but it’s true.
But I don’t know what’s come over me lately. I hardly recognize myself anymore! I’m doing all kinds of nice stuff for people and I am starting to wonder whether a gaggle of diabolically charitable aliens brainwashed me in my sleep and turned me into someone who gives a damn. In fact people are sarcastically giving each other quarters today and instructing each other to call me!
Now, I don’t like when anyone makes fun of retarded people. So many comedians go for the hacky, easy impression of a person without all his faculties and whenever I see that I don’t laugh, not even that awkward forced laugh we comics sometimes do for each other out of obligation. I was always taught not to make fun of something a person can not control, such as his height, skin color, or really bad taste in music. My neighbor’s obsession with The Black Eyed Peas is not his fault so it’s not fair game!
I dont know anyone who is autistic. I am not sure I have ever even seen Rain Man. But when the charitable organization Autism Speaks asked me to headline a benefit performance, I somehow overheard myself agreeing to do it for free without knowing what was in it for me. Damn those aliens!
It turns out that organizing and perfoming in that show last weekend was one of the most selfish things I have ever done. My heart has never felt fuller than when I met the audience afterwards. The look on one man’s face when he told me how much he loves his autistic son is one I will never forget. The fulfillment from doing something good for other people around Christmastime is so strong that for about half a second I forgot that my stand-up has never been televised.
It was the greatest half-second of 2009.
Merry Christmas, everyone.