By: Tony Tripoli
So, I’ve been away, kids, and I apologize.
I was in Provincetown, Massachusetts doing my one-man show, TONY TRIPOLI: I Shit My Pants (An Evening Of Sophisticated Standup), and, since it was my very first time there, I have QUITE A BIT to report.
I got offered the booking there a few months ago, and, while I knew that Ptown was a gay beach town with lots of entertainers performing all summer, and that a number of my friends have worked there and had a blast, what I didn’t know could fill a book.
Or, at least, this column…
First off, the lovely lesbian booker had only one condition for my hiring: re-shoot the poster for my show…shirtless. This, of course, goes contrary to virtually every tenant of comedy. I mean, other than Dane Cook, name a comic you’d wanna bang. Exactly. And, don’t say Sarah Silverman, ‘cause, while I’m a fan, she is hardly the epitome of feminine grace. My point is, as comedians, we are supposed to be outsiders pointing out the flaws in the system, and complaining about how we can’t get laid. If you are half naked on the billboard, it’s sorta sending the wrong message. But, the lovely lesbian booker claimed that THAT is how things are done in Ptown, and that it was a deal breaker.
I re-shot the poster.
What was originally this:
Was changed to this:
But, I gotta admit, it put butts in the seats. Score one for the lovely lesbian booker.
Another thing that is unique to Ptown is called “Barking”. Barking is the act of standing outside in front of your theater, handing flyers to the passersby, and trying to convince them to buy a ticket for your show. It’s very much like being a homeless person begging for change, except with less dignity.
And more dirty looks.
So, every day, I would walk the beach, handing out flyers, and stand on the street, handing out flyers. All the while, asking folks to come to the show, and having them say things to me like:
1) Is that supposed to be you?
2) You look taller in the picture.
3) Do you show your cock?
Lucky I never considered myself an artist, cause this woulda killed it.
All in all, the shows went great, though after my first performance, my lovely lesbian booker asked me very politely to take out 2 jokes that she felt were too edgy for Ptown. A town full of homos, and my stuff is too edgy? Upset, and unsure what to do, I called my dear friend, actor and comedian extraordinaire Alec Mapa. You know him from Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, and his standup is filthy and fabulous.
“What should I do?”
“Girl, I’d take those 2 jokes and turn ‘em into 20 minutes…”
“Yes, but, I don’t have Ugly Betty money.”
“Take ‘em out.”
Disaster averted, I finished my run to nice audiences, and 2 less jokes than I do everywhere else. But, the check cleared, so, screw it.
Remember…I told you I wasn’t an artist.
You can read more about Tony at tonytripoli.com