Hey, look! It’s ‘Jesus in Montana’ | AspenTimes.com

Hey, look! It’s ‘Jesus in Montana’

Barry Smith
Aspen, CO Colorado

Sunday: My opening performance of “Jesus in Montana” sells out four hours before show time. Monday’s show is already sold out as well. All is going well, except for the van-is-still-broken-and-in-another-city thing.

I’m walking down the street pondering when I’ll get my van. I pull a flyer from my pocket to check on my show times this week to see when the best day would be (assuming it gets fixed this week.) I hold the flyer against my lower lip, the way one does when pondering, and I continue to walk, lost in logistical thought.

Someone points to me and says, “Jesus in Montana.” I realize that she’s pointing at my flyer, which I am holding in a way that seems like I want people to read it ” like my way of promoting my show is to walk down the street with a flyer pressed against my face!

I’m mortified and want to stop her and explain about the van and the times and the things I’m juggling in my head, but I think better of it.

I generally have no shame in self-promotion, but this was embarrassing.

My computer remote stops working during my show. A very long three to five minutes pass while I fumble around on stage to get it working again. Ugh.

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Monday: I use the AV tragedy of the night before as a call to get a solid remote and projection backup system in place, something I’ve been meaning to do for the past few months but never seemed to get around to. Have one of the best shows ever. This is my seventh show in a row that I’ve done without a microphone. Tired, sure, but why mention it?

Tuesday: Sold-out show. I get a call inviting me to have my show held over in Edmonton. I can’t, as I have to be in Victoria doing my new show, “American Squatter,” at that time. Damn. I consider flying back for just one day of shows. Nah. Push on.

I did a great show to a mostly quiet sold-out house. Whatever. It happens.

Someone comes up to me after the show and says he wishes I was the premiere of Canada. He was serious. Another guy comes up and says I should look into Taoism. People like to offer spiritual direction to me after hearing my tale of living in Jesus’s basement. Makes sense, I guess. Wishing a political career on me seems like an odd choice, though.

Get a call that the van is fixed. Buy an online Greyhound ticket to Calgary.

Wednesday: Bus to Calgary at noon. They had an 8:30 a.m. bus, but c’mon. … I give the mechanic my credit card for my rather large bill, he swipes it then tosses it back. Rejected. I step outside to call the credit card company. They take care of the problem and ask if I’d like to increase my credit limit? Sure. They put me on hold. The hold music, I swear to you, was the Eagles’ “Take it to the Limit,” and it’s right at the chorus.

I assume this much be a subliminal promotion device, but the next time I’m put on hold it’s some Motown song that has nothing to do with finances. Weird.

I drive three hours to Edmonton. I had hoped to get there with time to eat and rest up before my show, but I don’t. Instead I scarf down some chicken fingers at a bar.

The show is a bit quiet. Then again, it did start at 11:30 p.m., so what do you expect?

This wouldn’t bother me that much, except that I had the show taped. Just as a quick aside, I’d like to send out a personal message to people who sit in the front row and doze off.

Ahem. … I CAN TOTALLY SEE YOU!! OK, thanks. Usually if people sleep in the front row I’m hurt. Tonight I think I may have been a bit jealous …

Thursday: At some point during my trip to Calgary the rest of my shows sell out. I field calls and e-mails from friends and acquaintances and people I’ve met briefly and don’t remember, all of them wanting to know how they can see my show. The answer is, “Sorry.” Jennifer calls about PR for the San Francisco shows. I’m nervous about today’s show ” I’m having it taped, too. I have breakfast at one o’clock. Jambalaya. Jambalaya for breakfast! I have arrived.

Audience is quieter than I would have liked. I’ll watch the tape in a few months and decide then whether or not it was good.

Friday: Day off. I make photocopies of programs and start to work on relearning my “American Squatter” show. But mostly I sleep. It helps a little.

Saturday: I honestly can’t remember what happened on Saturday. I did a show. I think it was good.

Sunday: Final day in Edmonton. Show tonight at 8:30, then I throw everything into the van and start driving to Victoria, about an 18-hour trip. I have to be there Tuesday morning. No closing night festivities for me.