Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's In A Name

If you are an up-and-coming entertainer, it is a well-established fact that you will Google yourself at least 8 times a day. In the course of said internet searches, there will always be one person who either has your name or a very similar name who seems to be neck and neck with you as you vie for the top spot. My Google nemesis is Kelvin Cato. He’s a basketball player who’s been around for a while but is now a free agent. His career isn’t particular stellar (I could probably beat him) and it’s frustrating because we have such similar names that googling “Calvin Cato” will pull up articles about him or message boards saying “Calvin Cato sucks at b-ball and life.” Granted I have a small but critical fanbase, but come on people, start searching for me and clicking on my relevant shit.

Why I’m angry is that I had stupidly used this Google feature through my Gmail to up my blog to the number one spot on the page thinking that, “Hey if people want to find Calvin Cato’s blog, bam here is the blog of Calvin Cato.” As it turned this only shows for me whenever I’m logged into my Gmail, and I’m constantly signed into my email. All. The. Time. So I signed out, and to my horror, not only is my sadly neglected MySpace page first, not only is that damn misspelled Kelvin Cato article there on page 1, but my blog has fallen to the bottom of page two. This is sacrilege I tell you, sacrilege. Sure I’ve been less prolific and I’ve petered out on some of my writing projects, but come on people. Boost this blog back to page 1 at least. How many times do I have to say Calvin Cato is important in a blog entry before Google connects Calvin Cato to Calvin Cato’s blog? I mean seriously, Calvin Cato works ridiculously hard blogging for Calvin Cato because Calvin Cato is a Calvin Cato kind of writer writing Calvin Cato stuff for Calvin Cato’s constituents. Give Calvin Cato a break, statisticians!

Calvin Cato.

Monday, April 20, 2009

This Friday April 24th is Nouveau Poor - Free Comedy/Music Variety Showcase @ Comix!

As you know it's promotion time again! I won't bore you with the super long paragraph that I can't be bothered to update, but faithful readers you should come and check this ish out. Plus there may be a documentary crew filming the show (I wish I could say it's for me but it's not [sad-face here]). Anyway, try to come and I've linked to the Comix website directly for more details!

PS: I really REALLY hate the new Facebook. I needed to hit up an FAQ to find out how to make an event and then the damn thing kept crashing when I tried to invite people. Now the thing is that I wanted to invite strategically (i.e. not people who don't live in New York City) but that didn't work so now almost my entire list was invited. So basically I'm sorry if you live in Alaska and got an invite and I'm sorry if you actually live in NYC and didn't get an invite. I'm workin' on it!

Whoever thought the "New Facebook" was a good idea needs to be put out to pasture. Hell, I didn't even like the old New Facebook. Enough curmudgeoning, here's the info. And without further ado:

Nouveau Poor:

DATE: April 24th 2009 (Friday)
LOCATION: Comix (Ochi’s Lounge downstairs) – 353 West 14th Street east of 9th Ave
TIME: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
COST: No cover, 1-item minimum

Comedy By:
Jiwon Li (NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity, Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fights)
Dan Hirshon (Boston Comedy Festival 2008, contributor to The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Jokes)
Selena Coppock (Detroit Comedy Festival, Texas’ Ladies Are Funny Festival)
Joe Pontillo (Broadway Comedy Club)
Desiree Burch (featured in New York Magazine, 52 Man Pick-Up)

Musical Comedy By:
Kelly Dwyer (Hysteri-Killy, a one woman show – featured in New York Metro and Go Magazine)

Special Music Performance by:
Adam Dunstan (featured MySpace performer, as seen on That 80s Show)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nine Inane Thoughts That Should Never Be Posted On Twitter

1. I had the best shower ever! Ever!

2. Who’s using mint-flavored toothpaste? I am, I am!

3. Rice AND beans? I’m eating like a king!

4. No. Wire Hangers.

5. Yay a call! Let’s pretend it’s my agent.

6. Arm hairs feel like silk sometimes.

7. What…is the weather?

8. Oops forgot to upload those fun pics on Facebook.

9. Wonder how close I can get to 140 characters without going over…will it be now or now or...hmm let's try now? Is it now? Wow 140 is a lot of

Friday, April 10, 2009

Grin And Bare It At The Naked Comedy Show

Tonight is the night, when I choose to do the Naked Comedy Show. Yes, I am going to stand in a room full of strangers, friends of mine and possible exes and attempt to tell jokes that will make the audience laugh and distract them from my penis. God help me.

Every year I ask to do the show, then forget that the major conceit of the show involves being naked, then start panicking and get third-degree burns from shaving and Nairing myself. A small part of me does it to prove that I have the balls to do it, which I inevitably find out after a nice trim (ew). Another part of me is doing it for the resume boost (a very small part because while I am career-oriented, it's not an agented showcase by any means). But as to the real reason why I’m doing it, well, I can do a nice little speech about how it’s art and it’s a representation of man’s inhumanity to man or some bullshit like that, but the honest truth is that…it’s kind of fun.

Here’s the thing: I’m not really comfortable with myself being naked in front of people…or bright lights or spacious rooms. I’m a clothes-on kind of guy; I like the mystique that a hoodie, sweater, t-shirt and thick jeans affords. I’m a fan of necessary nudity (like in a shower or a strip search) but I don’t need to have genitals on the couch. The thing is that I have to get out of the mentality that bodies are gross and this show helps me do that.

Don’t’ misunderstand; I’m not a hippie at all, but there is something rather neat about the fact that we spend so many weekends trying to crawl into bed with someone in a sexual context and yet try to completely avoid looking at the naked form. As a society, we are so afraid of looking at junk and yet it is such a voyeuristic pleasure. I like the idea of removing the veil and saying “Look, this is me. Now decide if you want to hit this, or friend me or not.”

In college, our school used to have Naked Parties, which were exactly as advertised. I went with two friends of mine who were freer about their bodies than I was at that point. I kept worrying about it being an orgy or accidentally groping a boob or random fluids and when I got there with my clothes on, I actually felt out of place. There was no eroticism, no shower of condoms, it was just people talking to each other, holding Dixie cups, naked. It was probably the least sexual experience I’d ever been through. I remember getting to the “changing room” and thinking “I don’t know if I can do this.” I turned around and saw my friends run out of the room naked. At that point, I felt compelled to take off my clothes and join in. I’d be lying if I said my eyes didn’t wander at the party but it wasn’t that serious. I was like “Oh well that’s a penis, that’s a vagina, wow that looks like high maintenance value, good for you!” And again, there were people who didn’t fit that retarded unrealistic Hollywood/porn star mold but it was beautiful simply because these people chose to express themselves.

I spend so much time cowering in fear of my imperfections when the truth of the matter is that I have to learn to embrace myself before I can feel like a real artist. Does my sac affect the quality of my life? It shouldn’t. I’ve had friends go to the show and talk to me afterwards and, other than a couple of below the belt jokes, everything was normal. I think we as a society would learn a lot by having naked performances of their own, maybe not in front of strangers throwing dollar bills at you but start small. Have a naked dinner party or a nude movie night (don’t watch Jaws though, trust me on this).

I always think about this piece from Margaret Cho’s set when she talks about some fashion magazine’s tips about how to look hot while having sex. Her abridged response was “Fuck that. I’m going to sweat and look ugly and you should be happy to be here fucking me.” I feel the same way about this show; it helps me boost my self-esteem ever so slightly (unless I bomb but I’m trying not to think about that). And even if I do bomb, fuck it, at least there was an audience curious enough to give me a chance.

If you are free here are the details:
The PIT (People’s Improv Theatre)
154 West 29th Street bet. 6th and 7th Avenue
8 PM
Run by Andy Ofiesh and Rob O'Reilly