Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh glorious comedy

Last Friday night, I had a show in Lexington, then I went over to the Comedy Studio to hang around my friends and watch the network television debut of our friend and comedy colleague, Joe Wong.

I've been working with Joe for a few years now, doing shows hither and yon. I was so excited to learn that he made it on to Letterman. I was really tired last Friday night, and I knew I had to work early Saturday, but I really felt strongly that I wanted to be with my friends to watch Joe on the TeeVee. Did I ever make the right choice. I wish everyone could have been in the second-floor bar at the Hong Kong to watch it with us.

If you missed it, you can check it on the YouTube (I embedded it, but it fouled up the margins of this page, alas. You'll have to click).

The Hong Kong folks turned down the music and we all gathered around the TeeVees to watch. The love and electricity in the room were palpable forces. Just watch his set. He had to pause for laughter and applause after every joke. I think we were all feeling it like it was us. It was so powerful. I felt so honored to be there and grateful be a part of this magical night and the whole incredible Boston comedy scene.

We're all trying like hell to make it. I was afraid I'd feel a little bit jealous, that we all might. But I totally didn't. For that perfect moment we watched our friend on stage and we were all so proud. When he was done, the men were shouting, the women were crying (or just I was crying) and everyone was hugging. I think it was the most incredible night of comedy I've ever been party to.


Craigslist Killer

I hate that this happens to me, but I am just like everyone else in America and I get fascinated by news stories. I've been drawn in by this Craigslist Killer story for a number of reasons.

One of them is that this guy and his lady have been together for four years and were planning a summer wedding. I can't imagine the horror of discovering the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with, who you thought couldn't hurt a fly, was secretly a giant moron at serial killing.

Seriously, this guy thinks he's smart enough to be a doctor/serial killer and he doesn't realize that phone records and IP addresses would lead investigators directly to his sorry ass? He may as well have left directions to his apartment with the victims. Give me a fucking break! This guy is supposed to be the best and the brightest? Bah!

Also, the part where he totally snowed his lady gives me the terrors, particularly the part where she's defending him and saying he couldn't hurt a fly while investigators are pulling his victims' underpants out of their apartment. The least he could do is give her some kind of sign so that she doesn't go on Good Morning America and become the pathetic fiancee of the Craigslist Killer.

Also, there's the part where Scott and I met on Craigslist on that fateful day nearly three years ago. I said to him yesterday, "Listen, brother, if you turn out to be a murderer, can you at least do me the favor of telling me so I don't make a total fucking ass of myself on television defending you."

He said, "Don't worry. I will only kill people that I don't meet on Craigslist."

What a sweet relief.

I think this might make it to the stage this weekend.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Saturday night show (please come!)

I so seldom have a show locally to which I can invite you, but I've got one and it's going to be good.

Saturday night I will be at the Basement in Northampton. The cover is only $5, I think, which is awesome because you'll get 15 or so minutes of me, plus 15 or so minutes of my friend Myq Kaplan. Myq is just about the funniest person and best performer I know from my travels to Boston. He's just plain dynamite. So even if you're tired of my jokes (please be advised that I have lots of new ones mixed in with my old ones), you will not regret taking in this show. I promise you that. It starts at 8 p.m.

In unrelated news, I fucked up my back last night while I was putting on my pajamas. Don't ask me how putting on comfortable clothes could fuck up a back because I have no idea. All I know is that I'm basically decrepit today - like an old lady! I had to miss work and see the chiropractor and do stretches and lie on heating pads and take frequent short walks all day. I'm feeling mostly better this minute, but sitting up is a strain so I must away.

See you Saturday maybe? I'll be fine by then, I bet, so no worries.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Audition in review

Tonight I had an audition for a big comedy festival and now I remember very keenly why I stopped doing these kinds of things a number of years ago.

The person I auditioned for is also a scout for a network late-night television show. There were 14 of us auditioning tonight. Everyone totally rocked. I was so pleased with my performance. I felt strong and really there.

After the show was over, I went to gladhand the man I auditioned for. He told me that he thinks my comedy is too much here (pointing to head) and not enough here (pointing to stomach). Too much poise and not enough gut, he said. I need to bring more of myself to the stage. I'm funny, he said, and he thinks he'll be seeing more of me, just not right now.

I asked him if he had specific advice about what I can do to improve. He said I just have to keep working. And he kept saying that I have to bring more of myself to the stage.

I am open to constructive criticism. I really and truly am. But I wasn't prepared to be told that I wasn't bringing myself to the stage because I feel that I am all I bring to the stage. In fact, I was once challenged by someone to bring less of myself to the stage and to be funny without being personal and I couldn't. I don't know how to do that. Whatever.

So afterwards, everyone went down to the second floor to chat and hang around, but I found I was unable to stay. I tried, but I ended up crying in front of a couple people, which was embarrassing since everyone else seemed like they were totally fine.

I pulled myself together and went to talk to Rick, told him what I had been told, etc., and he said, "I love you. You're great. I believe in you." So I had to cry and rush out. Which was lame, but I really preferred to cry in the relative privacy of my car and not in a bar where there was karaoke and general barroom insanity.

So I did. And then we hit the road.

Of course, now it's a few hours later and I've got a little distance and I know that one guy doesn't get to decide that I don't bring myself to the stage. I think he's full of it. And I have to remember how happy I was with my set after it was over. I realy felt good about it. Also I'm happy I have some shows coming up so that I don't have an opportunity to feel mopey and sad about it. I just have to get back on the horse.

And I also think I have to do more of these types of auditions so that the rejection doesn't feel so personal. I don't know how to make it feel less personal since I lay my personal life right out there on the stage. I guess I'm just going to have to learn.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

How you know you're at an open mic where you maybe don't belong (but you actually do!)

I've got a kind of important audition this weekend. I don't want to say much more about it here. In any case, I'm trying to get ready like nobody's business.

I went to an open mic tonight that will remain nameless and location-less so as to protect the identity of the innocent.

It was primarily a music open mic, the kind I swore off years ago. And if I weren't desperate for stage time to prepare for this weekend, please be assured that I wouldn't be there. Nosiree.

The host opened up the show by saying (I hope this doesn't give too much away) that she got tickets to see Dar Williams for Christmas one year from her husband, but then she had her baby the week before the show, and because she couldn't go to a concert with a one-week-old baby, she stayed home. "This is a song about a concert I didn't go to."

Scott and I looked at each other and we knew we were both thinking the same thing. And I said to him, "You should know that I know how much you love me. You show me because you are here with me right now."

I think that's how you know that you're with exactly the right person, the person you were meant to be with. If I believed in predestination (which I kind of do a little bit), I would believe (and I kind of do) that I had lived my entire life up until this point just so I could sit in a coffee shop, pay $3.25 for a small cup of babaganoush and listen to a lady sing a song about a concert she didn't go to - just so I could live in the perfect moment of Scott and me looking into each other's eyes and not having to say a single word before we stifled laughter. This is the stuff of life!

I ended up doing the whole set that I planned for my audition. I came in 30 seconds short of the maximum amount of time I can use in the audition, which is perfect because I felt like I was rushing a little bit. I can relax a little. And people laughed even though it was a music open mic. I'm feeling really good about my set and just excited to be taking this next step with the comedy. I haven't done any kind of audition since 2001, if you want to know the truth. I should have been doing auditions all along, but I haven't been doing them. I'm not sure what's stopped me. Fear, probably. But not any more.

I actually ended up having a great time at the open mic tonight, and I met a lot of nice new people, many of whom I may well see again because - get this! - I think I might go back. I surprised myself by how much fun I had even though so many people totally sucked (and I mean this in the most supportive way possible, because I'm pretty sure I sucked when I first started out too). But I won't make Scott come with me. Unless, of course, he wants to come.

I said to him, when we're old ladies and men, we will look back on this night and laugh. I will be in my rocking chair and I'll say, "Gosh, I would love to listen to a song about a concert someone didn't go to." And then we would laugh.

Scott said, "Okay, but you might have to remind me of this story so that I remember to laugh."

Do I ever love that guy!

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