Friday, May 09, 2008

'T' on our Forehead

Betinha, Dean Bingham (Agracel president) and I were in NYC for a National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) conference. It is a great opportunity to exchange and learn what others in the industrial real estate market are facing and the one organization that has helped me to learn what to do/not do. Just a couple of those ideas have more than paid for ALL of the future NAIOP conferences that I could possibly attend.

The first night, prior to the conference, my wife and I went to an upscale fresh fish restaurant near Time Square. As we were walking back to our hotel, someone approached us and asked, “Hey, how would you like to go see some stand-up comics at one of the best clubs in the City? The next show starts in 20 minutes and it is only a couple of blocks from here.”

The guy handed us a coupon that gave us ½ off. A block later another person approached us with the same message. Betinha asked me, “Do you think we’ve got a T on our forehead or something else?”

“Maybe it’s just the straw in our hair.”

We trekked to the club and were pleasantly surprised that this was not just a NYC club but actually was named The World Stand-up Comedy Club! Wow!!! The World!! This was going to be good!

We noticed that there were about 30 people in the club as we paid our $10 cover and were informed that there was also a 2 drink minimum at from $5 to $9/drink. We each got a beer at the bar and the waitress told us not to worry, because she would find us later in the theater. Wow! This young lady has got quite a memory.

A few minutes later the usher opened the doors and announced that we could take our seats. Betinha and got right in line and filed in, getting the choice seats a couple of rows from the front. Her theory is that you never want to sit in the front row at an event like this, because you are going to be an easy target of the comedian. A couple of minutes later a second couple strolled in and the show started. Later a third couple and two women filed in, swelling the audience to 8. The waitress didn’t seem to have any trouble locating us for our second beer.

Sitting three rows back didn’t seem to jive with my wife’s theory. When the other couples are from CA, Quebec and Slovakia and you admit that you are from Effingham (when you grow up with a town name, you don’t always realize how other people might find it funny), there seemed to be a much bigger T on your forehead. Although the Slovakians helped to increase the audience dramatically, the fact that they couldn’t understand the language didn’t result in even one laugh from them. I, on the other hand, having had to give some early talks to as few as 4 or 6 people, gave each one of the comedians the benefit of the doubt and continued to embarrass my wife with my belly laughs. Later one of the comedians offered to hire me as his manager and another whispered as she left the stage, “Thanks so much for laughing!”

“Oh there’s the guy that gave us the first coupon and there’s the second one!” They were both also doubling as comedians. It was definitely a bootstrap operation but we ended up having a good time.

NYC is a wonderful place to visit. There is such diversity and unique things to do. Didn’t say I want to live here, though.

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1 comment:

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