Sunday, July 02, 2006

July 2, 2006
Hot and muggy out. Got another bird in the studio. Happened this morning while I took the dogs for a bike ride. Came back and Peaches ran right up into the loft. I knew immediately what it was and went and got the pool skimmer. Shooed the bird down into the lower studio, then closed the middle door when the bird flew straight into the north window. Peaches and I have an unspoken agreement. We both herd the bird, me pushing towards an open door, Peaches towards her open mouth. Whoever gets to the bird first, wins. Usually the bird will get panicky and fly low to get around me and Peaches will snag the line drive off the wall with all the skill of an American League outfielder. Today, I got the out. I was able to grab the bird against the window screen, run it over to the door and set it free. Peaches was quite miffed and gave me that “play me, or trade me” look.

File This One Under:
a. Show Biz 101?
b. It’s the sizzle, not the steak, stupid?
c. Human Nature vs. Shuman Schmaister?
d. All of the above?

Last week I got an Email from a company rep back east that is coming out to Scottsdale next summer and wants a speaker. They heard about me and wanted to know what I would charge for a “family friendly speech”.

I Emailed the rep back and said I was available and my fee for a “family friendly speech” is $1,000, and that my “mature audience speech” is $1,500. I was being funny (or, so I thought). Normally, I contract in the zero to $500 range (and all points in between), but my good friend Marshall Trimble consistently gets $1,000 per speech and I thought I’d at least float the possibility. Needless to say, I was a tad insecure about asking for “so much moola,” thus the joke.

Last Thursday I was informed by Email I got the gig and to call Jessica to work out the details. I called her and we went over the riders (do I want green M&Ms or Dos Equis in the Green Room? My response: “You have a Green Room?”), and technical stuff like microphone and power point requirements, my social security number, etc. As we wrapped up the details I asked her if the $1,000 fee was acceptable, and this is what she said, and I quote:

“They’re still debating whether they want the mature speech.”

I’m not making this up. They were the ones who requested the “family friendly” speech, and yet, evidently when they were faced with the choice of getting the prospect of juicy “mature audience” material, they were suddenly willing to pay 33% more for forbidden fruit.

No wonder adult films in hotel rooms are $13.99 while regular Hollywood films, with real plots and people who can actually act, only get $4. Or, is that the real message? No matter, it’s certainly an insight into shuman schmaister, no?

”Look for the absurd in everything, and you will find it.”
—Jules Renard

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