Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Promotions...or I Couldn't Do A Talented Post Right Now

Okay so this is a tide-me-over-until-the-New-Year post because I've been running around like crazy trying to set up all my dominoes for 2009 (which I am super-excited about, as supposedly it's my good year). I was planning on blogging abroad (and by that I mean from my parent's house in Brooklyn) but I forgot my damn power cord and my laptop - wonderful piece of machinery that it is - fails to recognize that I have a battery that can charge. So, I have a ton of hand-written notes about Christmas, numerology, and story-telling that I can't transcribe and translate into writerly gold right now.

But I am doing a lot of stuff tomorrow so I figure "Hey while I have the spike in site views, let me slip in a little promotion." After all I am a Rat person (so says my unofficial numerologist) and we Rats love self-promotion (but ironically not cheese). So here's my Tuesday Biz:

I'll be on 99.3 The Joynt, tomorrow at 10 AM talking about the wackest moments of 2008 (and believe me there were a LOT of 'em - personal wack moments excluded). If you have internet, stream this ish!

At 2:30 PM, I'll be seen on QPTV (Queens Public Television) hosting a comedy show. Hey, it'll be my first television appearance all year so if you're free please come by the studio. Lisa Harmon runs it and she's an excellent comic and producer. Here's the address if you want to be in the studio audience: 41-61 Kissena Blvd., Flushing Plaza, 2nd Floor.

Finally at 8 PM, I'll be performing at the last show of the year for Del's "Comedy For The F&*% Of It" at Alibi Lounge (116 MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker Street). After this, she's moving the show to Eastville Comedy Club. I don't know if I'll go with it, but you guys are more than welcome to follow her there! Seriously, she is one of the best hardest-working comics around and I saw her kill it at Comix (with laughter not cyanide).

So feel free to stalk me and I'll totally tell you about spending Christmas with the fam, and by that I mean Christmas with On Demand (thank you Santa for the gift of Premium Cable!!!).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free Comedy Show Monday Before Christmas

I have a lot of stuff going on in 2009 that I'll be super-promoting soon but let me get the basic stuff out of the way. Tomorrow, I am hosting the President Jackson Show and, since these are the last two shows of the year, it would be great to end the year with a good laugh (or a good audience). Details below:

TITLE: President Jackson Show
PLACE: 326 East 35th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
DATE: December 22nd (Monday)
TIME: 9 PM - 10 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: 2-for-1 on Well Drinks and Select Draft Beers

Hope to see you guys there, and if not, then I hope your work week flies by fast so you can enjoy Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

George Bush - The Third Destiny's Child?

I feel like I should do something about this. You must not have electricty (or access to a newspaper) if you missed this but President George W. Bush was attacked by footwear while speaking to the Iraqi press.

Now I'm not even going to try and comment on the political or comedic ramifications of this journalist's act, nor will I condone or condemn this behavior. But is it just me or does President Hamid Karzai's face look far too reminiscent of Beyonce and Kelly's face when that Destiny's Child fell on stage during that live performance? You be the judge.

Destiny's Child Fall - More free videos are here

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No, Not Amy Winehouse

I was on a crowded train looking over a passenger's shoulder at his AM New York when I saw the headline "Kiss and Sell" about Amy Winehouse. Normally, I would have dejectedly rolled my eyes, but the actual article was about how her husband (Blake McEnglishman or whatever) was going to write a tell-all book about Amy's life if she didn't fork over $1.5 million. And I was thinking "Really?" Is there even more to the story?

I mean, what don't I know about her that TMZ, Star, and the rest of the gossip columns haven't told me? I know she drinks a lot, misses concerts, loves cigarettes, smokes crack, does heroin, snorts cocaine, has five teeth left, gets violent when she's on stuff (which is all the time), says randomly racist things, elected not to go to rehab on several occasions, has permanent lung damage from her partying lifestyle and has a tattoo of a naked woman. At this point, his book would be a tell-more, and even then he's out of ammo. The only thing he could say that would shock me is if he wrote about snatching off Winehouse's beehive and finding out she's actually a man. And even then I wouldn't be too shocked; it looked like she was sporting a bulge at the Grammys.

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Current Comedy Bio

[Don't laugh. Or rather do laugh wherever you think it's appropriate.]

Calvin Cato is a New York native with the distinction of being the only black person he knows who can gentrify any neighborhood. He got his comedic start in the Wesleyan University stand-up comedy troupe Punchline, then transferred his unique brand of humor back to the Big Apple. He's performed in comedy clubs, off-Broadway theatres, coffee houses, the backs of bars, and even a beauty salon. His credits include the Game Show Network and the critically acclaimed Naked Comedy Show. Come catch a high-energy act that promises to never be the same show twice!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nouveau Poor Comedy/Music Show Tonight!

Addendum: I was recently informed that I was mistaken about the December recession thing. Oh well, the snark still stands.

Last minute plug (and a desperate hope to boost the google count on Nouveau Poor - yeah, I taking it back!), come see the big comedy/music show tonight!!!
As of December 1st we're officially in a depression. But you don't
have to hop a freight train for excitement though! Calvin S. Cato
(Game Show Network, Stand-Up New York, Naked Comedy Show) presents a
wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Moroccan venue. One
gander at these fiercely funny flappers and Felixes gracing the stage
and you'll forget all about your unemployment woes. Oh and everyone is
free to exchange resumes at the show.


Liz Miele (Live At Gotham)
Becky Ciletti (Time Out New York's Joke Of The Week, Naked Comedy Show)
Carolyn Castiglia (VH1, MTV's White Rapper, Chicks and Giggles)
Joe Pontillo (Zombies!, New York Underground Fave)
Meg Cupernall ("The Lighthouse," Comic Strip Live)
Stacia Jensen (Comedyland, Astoria for Obama)
LOCATION: Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West
40th Street)
COST: Free
DATE: Thursday November 20, 2008
TIME: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!
TAGLINE: 100% Talent, 0% Health Insurance

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Advice on Open Mics...or Humiliation, Where Do I Sign Up?

Yesterday I did Del's showcase again, which is always a pleasure! I didn't realize that one of the audience members was actually actually a comic. I saw her on the train home (as I'm stupidly reading urban legend stories...listen the only box of books I have access to right now are the deadhead ones, okay?) and we talked really briefly about the show and careers. She asked me what mics I usually check out. And...I didn't really have an answer.

She then asked if I do mics or if I graduated up to showcases now. I have largely stopped doing open mics with the same fervor than I did a year ago and it's weird to think that I somehow graduated "up" from open mics; I guess the change was so subtle it flew past my head. I'm certainly not saying that I'm "bankable" or even that I'm too good for open mics, but I've been slowly phasing open mics out of my life.

Frankly I don't even know which open mics I do on the regs anymore. I've tried numerous times to create a list and I can't get it together. Why? - because all open mics are different. I could say that this place is great and this place blows and blah blah blah but what works for me doesn't work for Comic X.

In all honesty, you grow as a comic by checking out as many varieties of clubs/venues as possible. And each mic hones a different skill set. You can go to alt-mics to hone your persona, or strictly comic rooms to work on your writing. There are mics that you use to increase your confidence, mics you do because you need to be taken down a couple of pegs and mics you go to only to network (make sure you bring your A game). I've done mics in three different bouroughs, mics that were mostly music, mics that were all poetry, mics with a slant in ethnicity or gender and everything in between. And the variety really helped me to learn how to connect with an audience and use my wording efficiently.

So my advice is to go to as many different kinds of mics as you can, and if possible, NEVER go to mics where you know everybody there. Familiarity breed contempt (as well as lazy writing). Build up a core group of friends/collaborators and go to different mics but be realistic about your friends' laughs. Are they "Hey I'm your pal" laughs or genuine guffaws? Whenever you get to an open mic, have an idea of what aspect of your performance you will be working on today. At first, you should be going to get a feel of the stage but once you feel comfortable, establish a goal for your next mic. Say to yourself: "I have to work on riffing or learning how to get rid of my verbal tics or learning how to bomb gracefully" (yes, you can use open mics to do that). Especially in New York City, open mics run expensive and it's your money! Get something tangible out of your experience.

If you do want a list, on the right sidebar check out Slava Yaryshkin and Gigglechick; they have great listings.

I hope this helps! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Yuengling - Ironic To Like Now?

Of all the inexpensive beers I've drank in my life, nothing is more enjoyable than Yuengling. My friend was recently telling me that Yuengling is set to replace Pabst Blue Ribbon (affectionately called PBR or Peeber) as the new working-man's drink imbibed by non-working pseudo-artsy 20-somethings. I didn't want to believe it but I came across this Salon article from months ago that confirmed it.

First of all, may I be the first to say "Noooo!" I've liked Yuengling ever since high school (I mean I totally didn't drink in high school because that's not even legal, but I smelled an open bottle once and it seemed enjoyable) and my affair was rekindled when I graduated college (it's legal now; it's just wrong to indulge before noon). I like the taste, the color, the body. I even like the green bottle. And best of all, it's inexpensive without being cheap. At any bar (in NYC at least) you can find a Yuengling for $4-7 and not feel like a cretin.

I'm not rich by any means but I just can't stand PBR. It's watery and tasteless and not even that carbonated. I hate the fact that it comes in a can so cheap you can taste the metal flaking off in your drink. I hate the people who drink PBRs - snobby types who cry "Poverty!" but always manages to have a baggy of drugs. PBRs just feel dirty to me. It's like seeing that constantly unwashed guy who somehow manages to get laid despite having a bad personality. I look at PBRs and go "What the hell?"

I already get enough flak for being a hipster because I have a messenger bag and use polysyllabic words in conversation (much like that last sentence), but I'm just learned. And the last thing I need is for waif-thin trust fund babes to take Yuengling's (one of the last vestiges of urbanite coolness) and invalidate it by appropriating and cannibalizing it. I don't want to hear a crew of people make up insipid pet names (by callng it a 'Ling or a YL or a Double G) and then talk really loudly at the bar about how they're so poor that this beer is all they can drink and then swap dealer numbers. Blech!

Please hipsters, keep away from making Yuengling the new symbol of irony. There are tons of shitty beers you can make into your mascot instead. What about Schlitz, eh? It's making a comeback...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stick A Fork In The Economy, It's Done

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research and Wikipedia apparently, as of December 1st, the United States economy has officially entered a recession. The millions of unemployed and underemployment responded by saying: "No shit, Sherlock!"

I guess it's nice to know that a bunch of people in an ivory tower have mercifully decided to pay attention and call a spade a spade before things spiraled out of control. I mean, I thought everything was going so well, with the tons of layoff stories popping up online and the inability of people with Master's Degrees to get a job, but according to the NBER, Americans were sitting pretty until this Monday.

I have a good mind to e-mail all the staff members on NBER and thank them for all their muckraking and research. Better yet, why don't you readers help me out? Here's the link; just click on a name and send these earls and duchesses an e-mail. And for any NYCers, there is a New York Office so hit them up for a job too, assuming there isn't a (gasp!) hiring freeze there too.


Well, you'd think I'd forgotten about the bloggity blog. I've actually been doing the writing-by-hand thing for a while, what with the limited access to internet and the life breakdown and all that. I did move to Washington Heights (although, I'm being optimistic so I'm calling it WaHei) and now I get nothing but stank stares. And I'm 3 steps away from unemployment - how'd that happen? Okay I get it; I can only hear "We don't want you here" in so many languages before it gets old! Spanish, Creole, Chinese...calm down I am not bringing down the property values nor does my Izod sweater mean that an influx of leggings-clad hipsters are coming to displace you. Oh well, you just have to plod along.

I guess this is the point where I start bemoaning my state of affairs, but I don't have anything to complain about. In fact, I like it that way. I'm actually having fun and looking at things more positively. And I have shows to plug. I invite you guys to come and stalk me (especially if you're an agent!; don't come if you're psycho or have a predilection for knives):

MONDAY: President Jackson Show @ Pinetree Lodge - 9 PM
Hosted by Joe Dixon, America's resident black atheist. I'm still down with God though (hedging my bets).
ADD: 326 East 35th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, New York, NY

TUESDAY: Comedy For The F$&% Of It @ Alibi Lounge - 8 PM
Hosted by Del, who has to be the funniest, most hard-working-est comedienne you should know about.
ADD: 116 MacDougal Street between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street, New York, NY

THURSDAY: Nouveau Poor @ Tagine Dining Gallery - 8 PM
Hosted by me! Featuring a Recession Day Special! With Liz Miele (Live at Gotham), Carolyn Castiglia (MTV and VH1), Joe Pontillo (Zombies!), Meg Cupernall (THe Lighthouse), and Stacia Jensen (Comedyland, Astoria for Obama).
ADD: 537 9th Avenue just south of West 40th Street, New York, NY