The show must go on

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It’s 12:46 a.m. I’m writing this article from my room at a multinational military base in Egypt. Much like my body, the battery to my laptop is completely drained, and the adapter for the power cord isn’t working. My article is already a few hours late, but I have to get this done. Our driver comes to pick us up at 5 a.m. to take us to the airport. At this point, my only option is to use my iPhone. I could send a message explaining my situation and try to get out of this week’s submission, but that’s not me. I’ll get this done. The show must go on.
Speaking of shows, we, the GIs of Comedy, a group of military veterans still serving one joke at a time, had a show here tonight. It was our seventh show in 14 days covering four different countries. I didn’t like what I saw when we were introduced to our venue tonight. It was outside, and I am no fan of outside comedy, because much like an Egyptian toilet, it usually doesn’t work. Even when the crowd is laughing, it’s barely audible. I knew the laughter would dissipate into the air, but I also knew the show must go on.
Halfway through our first set tonight, the microphone stopped working. Being the professional he is, our first comedian, Benari Poulten, didn’t skip a beat. He just spoke louder and moved closer to the crowd. He never hesitated. He knew the show must go on. The sound was resolved toward the end of his set.
I went up third tonight and halfway through my set, the sound went out again. I kept chugging along. Surprisingly, I heard the laughter all night long. The sound was eventually restored. I’m glad the show went on.
It’s been a great trip, but it’s been a long trip. Some days have been especially long, consisting of three separate flights. We’ve met some incredible people and have seen some remarkable sights along the way, but we have been exhausted, too. Some days, we never left our rooms until show time. No matter how tired we were, the show went on.
Our second show on the tour took place at a U.S. Army installation in Vicenza, Italy. It had all the ingredients for a terrible show. The venue didn’t seem compatible with a night of comedy. The sound went out there, too, but Benari held it together. It was a Saturday night, and it was raining, so that kept a lot of people at home. It was basically a sports bar, and those in attendance were focused on college football. I can’t blame them. There was a part of me that wanted to cancel the show, but in the end, I knew the show must go on, and I’m glad it did. The other two comics on this tour, Key Lewis and P.J. Walsh, both seasoned veterans of the comedy scene, along with Benari and I were ultimately more entertaining than the football games and had the crowd on our side throughout most of the evening.
There was one soldier running his mouth during the malfunctioning of the opening set, but I quickly transformed into Major Fuller and settled him back down, and the show went on.
Our tour manager was George Ohan. George is an American citizen and an eight year army veteran; however, he was born in Syria and is of Armenian descent, which raised a red flag from security officials seemingly everywhere we went throughout Israel. He understood why they did what they did. Although he was inconvenienced on multiple occasions, he never let it deter him from loving each and every moment of life. In his mind, there was no reason to be upset. He knew they were doing their job to keep everyone safe and that the show must go on.
We are often inconvenienced by life’s obstacles, but an inconvenience should only be a temporary set back. It should never be a reason to cancel the show. Keep moving forward. Adapt and overcome. Make it happen, because your show must go on, too.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer, and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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