Rain, Cold, and Silence

One night earlier in the year my Facebook feed included a mention of B)i(G Fire, an outdoor comedy festival in the mountains north of LA. That was intriguing enough, but then I realized that the producers are from the Burning Man community so I knew I wanted to be there. I mentioned my previous stage time at Burning Man (including this) in the application.

The El Niño rains that were supposed to end our SoCal drought have been sporadic at best this year, but they were in full force the weekend of B)i(G Fire. So much so, that the planned Friday night camping for performers was canceled. I went back up to the site on Saturday and had a great time performing on a stage of wet leaves with the crowd huddled under two EZ-ups against the intermittent rain. Someday there will be a bit about that I’m sure. I saw some friends perform (Steven Briggs and Carlos Mendez to name two) and some groups I’d heard about but not seen (like The Lusty Horde).   A great, if wet, weekend all in all.

I had a blast MCing the Drummer (nothing to do with music) contest last year, and the producers asked me back this year. I started putting together the schedule in March, and made sure to allocate more material so we wouldn’t run short like last year. Also I wanted to make sure we gave the featured (drag) entertainer plenty of time to arrive since that was one of our timing issues last year.

Flappers asked me to do a Sunday night show. I take that as a compliment. I already had the Drummer contest in San Diego that weekend, but I could get up to Burbank in plenty of time to do this show, so I accepted.

Last week, the cold or whatever bronchial bug that’s going around found me. I made a point of getting lots of rest and fluids, but when it came time for the Drummer weekend, I still had it. I left the Friday night festivities early to rest for my performance on Saturday; besides we had some last minute changes I had to incorporate into the schedule/script.

I took the stage on Saturday with gravel in my voice from coughing, but as they say “The show must go on”. I told the audience I was using “my butch voice”. And it was a great show again this year. Most of my jokes and gags landed on target, and I was able to keep the show on schedule for the first half. We had some items run over in the second half, but overall it was a rousing success.

John made some hot tea in an insulated bottle for me to have on stage, I took some decongestant, and I had cough drops. Between all that, I made it through the evening.

But it was too much. I woke up on Sunday with no voice at all. Silence. No way could I do the show at Flappers that night. So I cancelled. I’ve never canceled a show.

Today is Monday. I’m resting at home. I still have some congestion and coughing, but my voice is mostly back. I’m not going to push it – I won’t even consider an open mic this week.