Thursday, September 25, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: Maui Taco?

Yesterday's leg...well I was there and it...was. I did get some helpful advice (which I always appreciate) and I got to hear a comedian who equated not laughing at his jokes to ejaculating on his child's face (hmmm...). I had screwed up the set-ups to two of my jokes though (two jokes I've told onstage without flubbing). Sometimes, going to an open mic is like trying to have a cookout on an airplane runway.

So maybe you'll catch me at Maui Taco's tonight OR maybe I'll just cut the tour off early and collect that paycheck I so desperately need. Or, I could play Super Mario Bros. 3 (I got my Nintendo to work for a day!). In case you're stalking me, Maui Taco's is at 330 Fifth Avenue (couple blocks south of East 34th Street). "Show" starts at 8 PM.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: Village Lantern

That's right. The first leg was shaky but this tour is gearing up to be...something... Last night, the only major laugh I got was about Girls Gone Wild having a soundtrack ("What's the point to having a soundtrack? No guy is looking at Girls Gone Wild and going 'Wow, who scored that film, Danny Elfman?'"). Stalk me at the Lantern (167 Bleecker Street between Sullivan and Thompson Streets).

If you can't, stalk this show! Sadly, I'm missing this but you should see this if you're free tonight (it's hosted by Matt Nagin):





Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: McGee's Pub

I'm on a multi-borough Comedy Open Mic Tour again (Greyskull, give me strength...)

First stop: Don't Touch Me There (this one's actually nice, but then again I don't want to jinx myself) at West 55th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. Come stalk me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weird Word War

One word that never sounds right spoken aloud is "psychotherapist." For some reason I always hear an implicit pause between the "psycho" and the "therapist." And there's a very important difference between a psychotherapist and a psycho therapist. One will fix my brain; the other will put an ice pick through it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bringing and Barking: The Comedian’s Scylla and Charybdis

I’m in my sophomore year of comedy and I’m in a bit of an odd position. For some reason, younger comics are asking me how to get ahead in the game and I in turn am asking seasoned comedians about how to move along. The answers I keep giving and receiving boil down to this. There are two Greek tragedies that 99% of new comedians have to face: bringing and barking.

Barking is the comic’s Charybdis. It involves a comedian standing on a street corner and cat-calling potential patrons, not unlike a prostitute. He now has to spend upwards of 2 hours dealing with hundreds of people walking by him who are alternately annoyed and harried and don’t have the time or energy to listen to you talk up a comedy show that he and a bunch of people they’ve never heard of are a part of. The constant street rejections sucks him into a vortex of self-doubt and rage that is nigh impossible to swim out of. By the time he makes it to the stage, he’s so pissed off that he rarely gets a chance to perform at his peak.

Bringing is the comic’s Scylla. This involves a comedian begging his friends, family, exes, old teachers, co-workers, and classmates from elementary to pay $40 to see him perform. Now this comedian has slightly resentful people in a room with other equally resentful acquaintances of the other comics. He now has to perform in front of a multi-headed attitudinal mass of strangers unwilling to listen to you or entertain your opinions because they were dragged to an expensive club. The comedian then realizes that he has brought in $300 worth of business that he will never see. And the multi-headed monster harps on about how overpriced the show was, how overrated the performers were, and how rude the wait-staff acted.

The major question is “Are these routes worth it?” The short answer is “I don’t know.” Considering the fact that most fledgling comedians end up not getting passed at a club in this way, I would say “No.” Considering the fact that it is a foot in the door provided you talk to the right people, I would say “Yeah, maybe once.” There are small advantages to both.

Barking lets a comic flex his creativity muscles and teaches him how to sell himself in 20 seconds or less. Personal example: I now know I can sing in a high falsetto as well as a deep alto about why a passerby should pay to see me perform. And I can do it to the tune of Beethoven’s No 9. Also, most clubs are fond of good barkers. By barking, a comic can potentially get up 6 times a week in front of a live audience (which is a vast improvement on doing open mics in the city, which may have at best 1 real audience member).

Bringing is a great self-esteem boost if the comic’s material is strong enough and if he can work a room (even one with an embittered crowd). As long as he does well, he will receive praise from his peers and water-cooler bragging rights for a week.

A comic’s mileage may vary with either choice but remember that comedy is an odyssey and like Odysseus, a comedian has to choose what to sacrifice, either his friends or his dignity. I can’t make a preference choice for anyone, but for all the young ladies and gentleman out there, whatever route you take, make sure you don’t lose the whole boat in the struggle to negotiate the two evils.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Jokes I Said Verbatim On Stage

I'm feeling a bit insecure these days because I had to do a quick shave for a show and now I have really bad razor buumps. I went on the interwebs to see if there are any home remedies and I come across this article that says that razor bumps are a major problem that affects African-American males. See, I thought that was interesting because I thought a major problem affecting black men was racism, but apparently not.

I dunno, I just don't believe you can call razor bumps a major racial problem. There's no such thing as a "race problem" that can be solved with witch hazel.
I'm not a "drug person" at all. My friend keeps pushing me to try acid. I've only had one bad acid trip in my life, but that was because I slipped on some orange juice and fell on my face (geddit? see cuz orange juice has ascorbic acid and...well fuck you guys...)