For me, the best part of the Carnegie Hall gig already happened.
It was a quiet moment when I first found out I’d been booked to do my Q&A shtick on that venerable stage, long before the public knew anything about it. That was bliss. I’d never dreamed about playing Carnegie Hall because… well, I’ve never done anything remotely Carnegie-worthy. Oh, sure – when I was eighteen, I could bend and twist just enough to reach the tip of my cock with my tongue. But while I haven’t read every book written on the subject of that legendary performance space, I’m relatively sure self-sucking live on stage wouldn’t be considered very Carnegie-worthy either.
(Bullshit, I say. I submit that breaking one off in your own pie-hole may be more Carnegie-worthy than anything else for which anyone’s ever taken a bow at 57th and 7th. Think about it: not everyone can do it – and isn’t that why we go to the theater/movies/sporting events/opera? To see people do what we, ourselves, cannot? And if you’re one of those guys who’s worried the homophobic public will cluck their disapproving tongues once people get wind of your viewing habits, you can always insist you’re intently peeping another dude hose down his own tonsils solely as research.)
So the best moment of the gig already happened. The next best moment won’t happen ‘til I’m actually on stage at Carnegie Hall on June 17th (and depending on the crowd that night, it could wind up superseding the aforementioned Best Moment).
But between now and then, I will wake up every morning, praying to Jesus that the show sells out.
Here’s the thing: playing Carnegie Hall rocks, yes; it’s an honor. In this instance, it’s even mind-bending to some degree, as I’m not talented at all. But selling out Carnegie Hall? Now there’s a challenge.
I know me: every morning until June 17th, I’ll wring my hands over whether or not I’m gonna be able to sell out that beastly barn. Because years from now, when I’m telling a Grandkid that I played Carnegie Hall, I know the next thing out of the mouth of that black-oil-eyed alien hybrid from the future will be “Was it sold out, Earth Grampa?” And before I shiv him with that silver spike, I wanna be able to tell him “Yeah, kid – I sold out Carnegie Hall. Now lemme see the back of your neck…”
I’ve got a few factors working against me. Back in November, I did a show at the Count Basie in Red Bank, and then another Jersey gig at the Bergen Pac Center four months later (there were Ohio and Connecticut shows in the last few months, too). The chances of rallying those auds for the Carnegie gig are bleak: most Garden Staters don’t wanna go into Manhattan for any reason, let alone to see a fat, bearded, sweaty ‘tard they just saw mere months back for cheaper.
I can’t count on Canada to save my ass this time either. Between the two shows at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall and three nights of mini-q&a’s after the Bloor’s Kevin Smith Fest I put nearly 10,000 Canuck “bums” (or Ontari-asses) in seats back in February. It was a point of pride then, but now it just means 10,000 less potential hardcores for the Carnegie gig. And while firmly in line with other Carnegie event prices, the “Evening With” ticket price still offers far costlier seats than anyone in their right mind should have to part with to see me – especially in a weak economy.
So what’s this all mean? Well, like everything else in my life (except my true weight), in order for it to be real, I’ve gotta share it with a bunch of strangers. I’ve told you about the time I got so heavy that I broke a toilet. I’ve told you about my anal fissure. I told you when I had unprotected sex during a one-night stand with a total stranger while sporting an open-wound on my dork (don’t worry: I married her later). So why wouldn’t I share this latest nail-biter?
Lemme break down the numbers for you…
Carnegie Hall Capacity: 2804
Comps/Press/House Seats: -300
Tickets to Sell: 2504
2504. Seems huge, doesn’t it? Granted, Roy Thomson seats more – and I sold that out four times (two shows back-to-back). But that’s not a fair comparison; for whatever reason (I love hockey, worship Gretzky, and have been on “Degrassi”), they really like me in Toronto. And while I’ve got some peeps down here in the tri-state area who may enjoy my bullshit from time to time, they’ve had ample opportunity to see me stalk (and sweat all over) the stage the last six months.
“Then why schedule the Carnegie Hall gig now,” you’re probably asking. “Why not wait ‘til you’ve been out of circulation on the east coast q&a circuit for a year, then schedule a Carnegie Hall gig, ya’ dim irritant from the mid-90’s?” In this instance, it doesn’t work like that. Jared and David (the show’s producers) were lucky to get me any date (I mean, it’s Carnegie fucking Hall, not the Elks Lodge Hall in North Middletown). With The Hall, you take what you can get, and what we got was this looming June date.
So 2504 people will fill the place, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to sell it out. And every day, the uncertainty will haunt me. But why should I sweat it out alone? From now on, every morning on my Twitter page (@thatkevinsmith), I’ll keep you updated with the daily sales numbers I’m fed. That way, I won’t be alone in fretting over whether I’m even relevant anymore.
Image is built on perception, and perception can be governed by whoever has the most information. Based on that, common sense would dictate that I NOT share sales info with the general public, as some jackass may try to spin the numbers into something negative. But I’ve never been known for exhibiting a rat’s asshole full of common sense.
Giving out this info is like posting a naked picture of myself: the potential for something positive coming out of such an exercise is pretty slim (ironically). But you can’t live like a puss-hole your entire life, y’know? Sometimes it’s best to throw your hat over the wall, and commit to finding a way to get it back.
I can year you now: “Nut up already, Fatty! Whip it out! You certainly have no problem letting anyone with an eye or ear know when you’ve sold out a gig!” We’re getting there, but first, some further Disclaimers: I used only Twitter (and my website) to announce the gig/sales info. Aside from an ad in The Onion, we haven’t advertised at all yet (though a bunch of friendly movie sites – CinemaBlend, Cinematical, slashfilm, JoBlo, etc – helped spread the word).
Tickets went on sale April 16. Sales results after twenty days, as of Wednesday, May 6…
Tickets to Sell: 2504
Tickets Sold: -1260
Tickets Left to Sell: 1244
1260 tickets sold thus far (mostly in the pricey seats, oddly). That’s something to be proud of, sure. But the first 1000 was always gonna be the easiest, right? Now the daily sales report reads “11 tickets sold” or “6 tickets sold” or “18 tickets sold.” It’s a gut-wrenching game of inches now, and moving the next 1000 tickets has gotta be akin to finding my dick under my gut (as well as my gut’s gut): trying and humbling.
We’re just over halfway from selling out. But it’s a strong start – and I’ve still got plenty of time (a month and change) to fill Carnegie Hall. Can it happen? I guess we’re gonna see together.
Fuck, I wish I was still eighteen and limber…