As 2010 comes to a close, I realize how fortunate I am to lead the life that I do. I have a wonderful (dual) career that takes me all over the world. I have amazing friends and a loving family. And I personify the old adage “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For all the doom and gloom in the media and the human tendency to focus on what’s not perfect, my life is great! I am so blessed and so lucky, it was good to be Clayton in 2010.
Here are some highlights from the year that was:
Enjoyed visiting friends in Los Angeles for a few days and then took off for Melbourne, Australia. Competed in several major poker tournaments at Crown Casino including the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event. Performed at the Last Laugh Comedy Club for several sold out crowds. Fell in love with a city I never thought I’d see in a million years.
Played in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC), then headed back to frigid NYC to make a few rare appearances in The Clayton Fletcher Show before they decide to change the name! Later in the month, enjoyed performing in and around Albany, NY with my dear friend Greg Aidala. Did lots of writing and plenty of performing this month.
More gigs upstate with Greg Aidala, including a really fun one at Sage College. Taught some corporate comedy seminars in the tri-state area. Continued headlining The Clayton Fletcher Show at New York Comedy Club and working more at Stand Up New York, Broadway Comedy Club, and Carolines. Spent a good deal of time writing and talking comedy with my beautiful and hilarious friend Jamie Lee.
Qualified for the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Mohegan Sun Main Event. Made my first ever Day Two, surviving a brutal table that included poker greats Hoyt Corkins, Eric Liu, and John D’Agostino. Busted out early on Day Two by losing a coinflip to Shawn Buchanan. Also made two final tables in major events on Cake Poker and took first place in a small event at the Borgata Spring Open. A great month of poker but I am eager to get back to the jokes I am working on.
Hit the stand-up scene really hard with gigs from Asheville, NC to Sag Harbor, NY as well as my twice-weekly headlining gig in The Clayton Fletcher Show at New York Comedy Club. Performed at an “after-prom” party near Canada, which led to a really fun new joke. Served as keynote speaker for the Public Relations Society of America Counselor’s Academy, a big retreat in North Carolina. Taught PR execs how to use comedy to enhance their business models and I felt very well received. Did shows in NYC at Broadway Comedy Club, Stand Up New York, and Carolines. Enjoyed playing softball in Central Park with my team, Dive Bar Collective.
Participated in the 41st Annual World Series of Poker and qualified for the Main Event. This event featured 7,300 of the world’s best poker players. I did not cash but I played against new millionaire Matt Jarvis for twelve hours. Matt finished seventh in this event. While in Vegas I also performed in The Las Vegas Comedy Show with my good friend Joe Lowers.
Auditioned for Saturday Night Live. It was a great experience and quite an honor to be considered for such an iconic TV show. Big shout to my agent for pulling that string and getting me that opportunity! Headlined in New Orleans and opened for one of my all-time heroes, David Alan Grier, in the Hamptons. Taped a segment of “Who’s Laughing Now” for Comcast Television. Even made it to New York Comedy Club a few times to headline The Clayton Fletcher Show!
Hit the comedy business hard this month, doing over 55 shows! Headlined in Saratoga and performed all over New York City. I love summer because it’s great to get up all around town and travel to gigs on my beloved motorcycle. Had a really good month in the cash games on Carbon Poker and Cake Poker late nights after the gigs.
Participated in the Borgata Poker Open (WPT) but didn’t cash. Made the semi-finals of the First Annual World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas. Had a blast being funny and hanging with the gang out there. Congrats to Andrew Norelli, who won the damn thing
Made my European debut with my first trip to Sweden! Enjoyed Stockholm and Uppsala tremendously. Always great to be with my dear friend Zinat Pirzadeh.
Performed all over New York and New Jersey, met a comic named Hamburger, participated in the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza in Las Vegas and got to cheer my good friend Dylan Drazen on to his first major final table in the DSE Main Event! Performed with my old pal Bobby Collins at Bananas Comedy Club in New Jersey. Hosted my biggest gig of the year, my brother’s wedding in Baltimore.
Enjoyed a great trip to Playa del Carmen, participated in the World Series of Poker Circuit Event at Harrahs Atlantic City, headlined at NYCC Boca-Nutz in South Florida and enjoyed a great trip with my buddies Al Martin and Dylan Drazen (aka The Bubble Thugs). Enjoyed a great NFL game between Miami and Buffalo and tremendous cash game action at Isle of Capri Pompano. Then a great Christmas with friends and family followed by a great New Year’s Eve Party at New York Comedy Club.
Surely 2010 was a great year, but what will the new year bring? Time will tell, but here’s hoping for even bigger and better things ahead!
I recently took a trip to Stockholm, Sweden to perform with my comedian family there (www.bokastandup.se). My dear friend Zinat Pirzadeh had been trying for years to convince me that Stockholm was the perfect place to make my European debut. Reflecting on an amazing trip, I have to say Zinat was right!
Prior to my trip, I knew very little about Sweden apart from Ikea, H&M, and The Chef. I expected beautiful blonde people who had no idea who I was and wouldn’t understand American humor. I was right about the beautiful part. I expected funky glasses, European attitude, and a general distaste for anyone hailing from the U.S.A. I was right about the glasses. But still I was really worried about them not getting my jokes.
Sweden is a country rich in culture and education. These people all speak multiple languages and they know all about America. A quick view of Swedish television reveals David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sarah Palin. They know what’s so funny about us!
The shows were incredible! Large venues packed with people who wanted to hear my jokes. They are smart and polite; applause breaks are common and heckling is rare. People even bought my CD, even though they haven’t had a CD player for ten years! I felt so much love from the audience and I just wanted to give it back to them. There is an energy when you perform in a place where comedy is still relatively new, and I found myself feeding off that energy and giving it back to the crowd. What a rush! We did shows all over, in places from Stockholm to Uppsala, and even Tierp. I had a blast.
Performing in Sweden is exactly like performing in America, except the audience is way hotter than you are.
My trip was made even better with help from everyone at bokastandup.se, especially Janne, Sara, and particularly Zerina (my navigator/friend/mama). Without the kindness and generosity of these three, I would be homeless in Karlaplan (which wouldn’t be the worst fate either, by the way).
If you want to visit a clean, healthy, beautiful, high-tech city where people think as well as they drink, I recommend Stockholm. I can’t wait to go back in the spring!