The first day of having nothing to do or anywhere to be is a huge relief. For now, I’m staying with my friend Chris who flew down from the Bay Area and got a hotel room by the theater. We spend the day walking all over LA with the rest of my bandmates, taking in the sites and nice weather despite it being January. I still feel like a big shot that’s finally getting to relax and enjoy everything. Later on I get dinner and walk around Santa Monica with my friend Matt, though my confidence is gradually being replaced with weariness.
The next day, Chris checks out of his hotel room, and we spend some more time walking around exploring the city. It’s still fun, but now that we’ve checked out, I’ve got all three of my bags with me; my guitar, my travel backpack, and my duffle/sleeping bag. I like to think it’s easy enough to do, but after a while, it wears me out. But we’re both exhausted, and take some time to rest for a while before splitting up and going our separate ways.
I have my first solo stand up show tonight, at my friend Daryl’s house in Highland Park. He lives in a former dentist's office, with the show taking place in the waiting room. Riding the subway over, I start to get nervous. I’m not sure if I can do the show, how people will enjoy the idea of a stand up-house show, and dozens of other things. It doesn’t help when I get lost while walking over from the light rail station.
I eventually find the house and Daryl and I catch up for a while, sitting and talking in his living room. Part of me hopes no one shows up, and I can just get away with hanging out for a while. But right at eight, a crowd of people arrives, friends and strangers. The show starts with a band comprised of Daryl and Adrian Chi from Razorcake called Burrito Reich, with each song being a review of a different Mexican restaurant. They go first, on account that they only have six songs, since they were formed just to play this show. It blows my mind how talented my friends are. They’re great, and I don’t want to follow them.
I go up immediately after, on the stage made out of the former magazine table, and do my set. Everyone’s surprisingly into it, and when I finish up my confidence is back. Another band plays an acoustic set, and everyone in the room takes turn sharing their favorite jokes, no matter how cheesy. While everyone hangs around afterward, I’m not sure what I like more, getting to catch up with my old friends, or hearing people I’ve never met before say they liked something I did.
Now that Chris went back to the Bay Area, I’m staying with my friend Matt in San Pedro. We finally drive back to his house, and I use the couple of bucks I get from the show to buy us snacks from a 7-11 to eat while watching Saturday Night Live, and I go to sleep on his couch.
Up Next: Joe finishes up his time in LA.