Sunday, April 30, 2006

Penultimate Show

It's my second to last show of my month as "Comic in Residence". First off, some guy in the audience offered to buy all the comics a drink. All the comics a drink ! Sharey , the waitress , had to keep going up to people in the dark and whispering "Paul wants to buy the comics a drink. What do you want?" I had a bottled water. Thanks Paul !
The audience was really ready to laugh. They were in a great mood. Even though some of them were late because the Zombie parade shut down traffic on Mass. Avenue for a bit. There were police cars and everything ... . where are the Walsh Brothers when Zombies are parading ? Oh right, In LA, maybe starting real careers. .. 'n stuff.
Rick started the show before 8:10. It was standing room only by 8. The place was pretty packed -not Christmas show packed-but it was packed. The audience really loved Rick. They were really giving it up . Consequently, I thought I did pretty good , too. I just mixed it up a bit. Doing the recently added material mixed in with the other stuff. I was enjoying myself , until I got to the end of the coffee can bit-when I realized there was no one in the booth to flash the light AND I was over my time, I stuttered through the ending and then I forgot it ! I hate when that happens ! It 's a variation on people (meaning me) telling a story , it goes a little long, and then they forget why they (I) started telling the story in the first place. What was the point ? Is there a connection to what we were talking about before ? Like that there. I stopped short after that, because I was sweating that I had gone over. I just don't want to go over. It's impolite to the other comics. Overall , I felt very good about tonight's set.
Then it was Jon Rineman, I know he was getting laughs, but I wasn't paying attention because I had taken it upon myself to go do the light in the booth. When he was done, he came back to the booth and took over from there. I descended, feeling he knew what he was doing. I don't quite remember the order. I think Shane Webb was next. I always like seeing her, she just has such a nice way about her . I think her material has a nasty cast to it, which I also find endearing. Then , little Renata Tutko , Sean Sullivan, Cyndi Stiles. Tissa Hami did a great job. Joe Wong closed the show. The audience loved him . It's always amazing to me that he can A) Write such good jokes and B) He's doing it in a second language ! His material is frequently very verbal and I am amazed at how he phrases his jokes. Always impressive.
Half way through the show, I got a little sad thinking about my month ending. It's not like I won't be trying to perform other places, but I had been looking forward to my month for so long and it feels like it barely started and it's almost over. Though, truth be told, I am very tired and I'm looking forward to a night or two off. One more show to go . . . .

Saturday, April 29, 2006


So, I came in to do the show tonight and Mr. Jenkins said I was going to host the show. I only faltered for 2 seconds and went "Thank you Sir, May I have another ?". It was unexpected , not not undesired. I have long harbored an insane belief that I could host a show. Tonight was the night, I just wished I had been dressed better . . . you know a leather skirt and pointy toed high heeled boots. . . . but I was dressed comfortably. I believe that the feeling comfortable will help me do a better job. Mr Jenkins gave me precious little by way of directions. I happen to know to tell people where the bathrooms, exits and thermostat were. I introduced the waitresses and bartenders . At the end of the show, I invited people to come again and that we had shows here 6 nights a week -Magic Show on Tuesdays. I tried to channel my energies into being energetic and positive. My friend Dee-Rob and I had written down what we thought a good host should be and do. Fortunately for me, I have had occassion to look at my notes 3 times in the last year. So, our musings were readily accessable in my brain.
However, I worked all day , too, so my ass started to drag a little bit towards the end. I was able to do material and I had something kind of funny to say about each of the comics without being denigrating. However, I may have been a little too enthusiastic about keeping the show going, because at 9:15 we only had 2 comics left. ... but we ended up making it to 10 PM !
So, in the audience , at various times were Maggie MacDonald, Pruhfessor, Mike Sweeney and JJ Leslie. Amanda Beals did the door but did not do stage time. I tried to be conscientious about getting introductions. Pat McCloud wrote his out for me and I couldn't remember it! Then I was afraid I would screw up Amy T's intro , she had written it for me as well. First up was Rick Jenkins. I'll tell ya-that was wierd ! I've gotten really used to him doing that for me. I thought Rick did a very good job. I introduced him as the founder of the Comedy Studio. .. maybe made him sound a little more institutional than he actually is. Jesse Gersten - I introduced him as being recently married and the inventor of those wheelie sneakers.He said it didn't matter how I introduced him ! Maybe not completely clever and funny. Then Debra Farrar-Parkman - she was a little concerned I might get a little too effusive , I toned it down- but she is accomplished. She did really well. Then Pat McCloud, he ran out of time , he did crowd work, completely unrattled. Good for him ! Next was Amy T, I think she was concerned about a couple of her new jokes, but she was great. The crowd really liked her. Sean Sullivan did a great job, but I think they got scared half way through his set. I especially liked his little porn piece. Then Tom E. Morello. His usual good job, he had some extra time , so he did some new material. Then Joe Wong brought it all home.
They were a generous but subdued audience. They were laughing earlier and then I think they just got tired. Rick commented to me that I might have gotten a little tired as well and that the trick in hosting would be to resist that fatigue. I am , across the board, having trouble resisting fatigue. I was very excited to be hosting tonight and if I had had time to prepare , I think I would have written sections of my jokes , so I would have ready access to them in my pocket, should my brain let go. I was very pleased that I didn't back down and it was actually fun for me. Which, at the end of the day, is what it should all be about. It is why I want to do this. Thanks Rick !

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shortlived Redemption

I really have to stop whining. Frankly , I 'm just disappointed in myself. I'm glad I tried some new stuff, but I am so fatigued that I couldn't get back to the regular material. My brain is like swiss cheese. . not clinically , it's all still there. .. but I think parts of my brain are organizing a strike to shut down for sleep and thinking about how am I going to carve up this week's paycheck. I am either hormonally challenged or clinically depressed. . both diagnosises would require a trip to a medical professional and I simply don't have the time.
So , as assessed at the mid-show break, the show was , at best, "Sparse". Dan Sally achieved sparse. He had adorable little girl friends sitting up front and center but they were the type of girls whose idea of fun was to change clothes and drink. It's okay that they didn't laugh at me . (No seriously, I had friends in the audience, you don't matter to me Mean Girls). they really weren't laughing at anything, not even Dan . . . and they were his friends !They didn't give anything up until Micah Sherman got down and dirty with them. I now worship at the altar of Micah Sherman ( sorry Mr. Poulton). He got right in their faces and practically spit on them . That was the kind of attention they needed to start laughing. Spitting on them . Spraying them with bacteria laden spit. Mother of God, I can only hope they got charged too much on their drinks.
On the show was the Great Andrea Henry,she was mentioned in the Globe today. Brian Gordon, David Powell and 3 comics that came out from the North Hampton area -Ann Podolske, who I had done shows with at Jimmy Tingle's theater, Jennifer Myszkowski, and Mike Lemme. Mike Lemme looks like the child David and Chris Walsh would produce if they could actually reproduce. .. with each other. Mike Lemme tried to get the waitress to give him a kiss as "Audience participation" . . .. Mike Lemme is 16 years old, seriously.I feel worse for the comics who came all the way from Northampton for this show. I can tuck my tail between my legs and be home licking my wounds in 20 minutes.. .. but the ride back . .. dissecting that show . . ..they'll probably just pull over at a rest stop, roll up the windows, and leave the car running.
Mike Whitman had even more new material. He's a comic who almost always has something that surprises me. I don't want to repeat the joke, but he did a joke that I thought was beautiful, disgusting and scary, but beautiful.
I only have 4 shows left. I hope I spend them wisely.


Well, tonight's set went much better than I would have been able to plan for. I may actually be able to achieve my goal of having 5 new minutes of material by the end of my reign.
So, we had a good size house. Liz Simons had a lot of people come and Phil Yebba also had a lot of people. I , too, had a couple of friends in the audience. My friends Mark & Lydia and the musician Owen Plant. I was humbled that they would take the time to show up for me. It was very nice. Oh, and there also seemed to be people who had stumbled into the show completely unawares. . . and stayed !
They really weren't giving it up for Rick. As near as I could tell, they liked political dick jokes. .. and then Rick brought me up. SO, I did most of the same material I did on Sunday night with a few modifications. I think the new stuff will soon be bright and shiney with enough attention. I found some more new stuff in there tonight. I must be on my right track. I was also surprised by how a subtle attitude shift has made all the difference in the world to me. It's not a very positive position to go on stage not caring what the audience thinks. .. not that I care what they think but that I am not going to let their reaction to my material hold as much sway. Of course, keeping in mind , that the goal is to be funny and have fun. If I can't be funny then I can at least have fun. I know how to have fun by myself, it's just doing it in front of a room full of people that is going to take some getting used to. SO, I'm pretty pleased about tonight's show. Not nearly as resigned. . . nor as completely without hope.
So who was in the audience watching the show. . .Sean Sullivan stopped by, as did Elijah Jospeh, Maggie MacDonald, Shaun Bedgood and a couple of comics from Maine, they came down with Tuck. On the bill were Steve Albert, Daniel Forlano, Baratunde, Chris Torres, Tuck and Steve Calechman. Liz Simons was doing her second to last Boston set, she's moving to New York next week. I will miss her . She was really nice and very funny. That's why all her peeps were there tonight and Phil Yebba. I hadn't seen Phil before and I thought he was very funny. I liked his writing . Also, I always like seeing Steve Albert, I always get the feeling from him that he's loboring away in a janitor's closet somewhere , working on his material when he should be unclogging toilets or cleaning up vomit. A civil servant man of mystery. . . .
As an aside, The Boys & Girls Club sent Rick a fruit arrangemnet in honor of the Studio's 10th anniversary. It arrived on Saturday and they just notified Rick about it tonight. Steve Calechman made the snarky remark "They just didn't know what it was " (Meaning you would never find fresh fruit at the Kong. Which is ridiculous, that's "fresh " fruit in the Scorpian bowls !) He put it on the side bar and invited everyone to help themselves. By the time I got over there, all the pineapple bits were gone . Ah well. .. . . . .there's always a scorpion bowl.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Taking Another Shot

I blogged last night's show earlier today and it didn't take. Unfortunately , I compose directly on the computer and I am concerned that my earlier brilliance has disipated. Still, I press on . ..
SO, last night's show . .. . they weren't giving it up for Rick . SO, I didn't care what they thought and I told them that.I was going to have fun and keep going, regardless. Last night's set was for me. I went almost 5 minutes of unprepared material, just concepts I had been banging around and I just went onstage last night and threw it out there to see what would stick. I was surprised that there seemed to be more good stuff than bad. A lot of it needs some polishing , but it was a worthwhile endeavor. If nothing else, the other comics seemed to appreciate what I did. I didn't get to my regular material until the first blue light was lit.
I watched all of last week's shows on the dvd the Studio made. I think I have about 3 good jokes. I'm a lot funnier in my head. I can't believe Rick keeps letting me get onstage ! I called a veteran comic friend who is on the road right now and he said "Well, the good news is, you never have to do that show again. Belive it or not , that stuff makes you stronger" . . . stating the obvious. . .so I slammed the phone down. .. .BASTARD!!!!.. .. No, I didn't slam the phone down, slamming a cell phone is bad. But , of course he's right.
My relationship to comedy feels like the last guy that stopped calling me. I am bewildered, I thought we were having fun. I liked him, I thought he liked me . What happened Stand-up ? Huh ? Did you go back to your last girlfriend ? Huh ? Are her set-ups better than mine ? Are my punch lines too fatty for you ? Hum? What happened to us , Stand-Up ? Huh ? Actually, I'll always forgive comedy and go back to it. ... .
The show turned out pretty good , once it got rolling.On the bill were Sarah Blodgett, Jon Doherty, Jim Duffy-I liked his stuff, John Lincoln, Little Renata Tutko, Anthony Scofield and a new guy Elijah Joseph. However, for my money, I thought Ken Reid had the set of the night. He did a lot of material I hadn't seen before. My favorite line was "They smell like ferret cum and piss". . .that should be on a business card.
I'm sure doubt is part of the process . Doing this month is like a dream come true for me , but I'm really surprised at the uncertainty I am feeling. Seriously, watching that dvd, I'm not getting the laughs I thought were there. Maybe I'm more a fun person to hang out with than a stand-up comic. This has been a very educational process. One more week left. .. .

This Fuckin' Thing !

I blogged a couple of hours ago and it's still not up. I don't have time to re-write it. I will re-blog tonight. I am pissed.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


To express my feelings about tonight's performance would sound dramatic and extreme. . .and they are my feelings.
I did not get laughs.
I did not have fun.
I am not skilled enough at the craft to redirect myself.
I Have no resiliance.
It doesn't matter how many shows are left in my month.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Show # 15

SO, tonight was a Friday night show . Only about 6 people came looking for the Walshes. . they aren't here. . they're in LA. Jim Murphy got drafted to do the door. Myq Kaplan, EJ Murphy, Greg Thibideau, Taylor Connoly, Sandy Asai,Mark Basch and Tommy Morello were on the show. Tony Moschetto came by and did a killer set. In the Audience were Randy Winn , Maggie MacDonald , Kofe and Corey Manning.
The audience was reticent. My friends Marion and Paul came to he show tonight. They bravely sat up front. I promised them no one would pick on them, that was mostly true .
I thought my set went okay. They weren't what you would call "Laughers" at least not for me. I tried a couple of things , not really jokes yet, but I was out there trying. They weren't giving it up for me. . . Reminds me of my prom date !!! Zing! Bang! It was the kind of performance that prompted me to pause and reflect about wether or not I should be bothering people with my little "jokes" and "ideas". . .. I could better serve society as a bank teller or a dog walker. Even Greg offered to tell the joke I fucked up on during his set. However, things were going much better for him, so, there was no need to make the effort.
We folded up the chairs and put them away and then we adjourned to the second floor. I had a nice conversation with Mark and Sandy. The was a buffet there for some kind of a private party. I kept glancing over at the unattended chafing dishes , wondering if I could get away with copping a boneless spare rib. I don't need one, but it was there. . .. Too tacky. I left when they inevitably turned the music up a few hundred decibels. I find it hard to converse with people against that loud noise. It's exhausting. Then I went home and retrieved a message from a friend who did a HEll gig someplace else. Comparatively, my night went pretty well.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Show Cancelled

Be careful what you wish for . .. you just might get it.
I was so tired , after working today and then coming home and turn around to go back out again. It was nice to hang out last night, but I was toast for most of the day. My boss wouldn't let me ring certain sales up because she thought I didn't have the concentration (we were .04 short when she balanced the register. "unfocused" MY ASS!!!!).
I was running a little late tonight because I had to get gas and I couldn't find parking. .. and I had to go to the bathroom-urgently, immediately, inevitably. Pee-pee, right now !I was begging the universe to let me have a close parking space and could I please not wet my pants before I get to the toilet ???? While I was whimpering and cursing in search of a space, I was thinking I should leave the show as soon as I could. No hanging tonight. I was so brittle today, an elastic that has been elasticized one time too many. I could snap-either temper wise or weeping. Both viable options. "How could I make myself go home as soon as socially possible?" -I asked the universe.
When I got up the stairs, I was greated by the talented little Renata Tutko and Dan Sally. Maggie McDonald was there. SO was Shane Mausse ( who I kept calling "Sean" because I'm senile). Tom Dustin and Tom Lisanki showed up later. Phillipa, the waitress was there and Steve, the bartender. There was another kid there, "TJ" ? I think that's almost everybody. Ricky was there, of course. And . .. uh . .. . let's see. . .no. . .nope. . .un-uh. .. that's mostly it . . no audience. We waited until 8:15. No, still no audience. 2 kids showed up with one of the younger comics. They didn't count as "Audience". We cancelled the show.( And when I say "we" , I mean Rick.)
I was equally relieved and pissed off. Relieved , because I could go home early and relax. Since I've been getting home so late, it takes me a long time to unwind and I 'm not getting a full night's sleep. Pissed, because that's one less show I get to do. Maybe it's for the best because I was so tired and I wouldn't have the concentration to try new stuff. The extra rest should contribute to a better performance tomorrow.
I arrived home with great hopes of laundry and removing clutter. An evening of the Thursday night line up . Good basic cable and all that that can entail. However, it was all repeats. I had seen it all. Yet, I was helpless to put the channel changer down. Pausing just long enough to eat the last piece of birthday cake. I ended up mesmerized but a "Cat Fancy" show on PBS.
I got what I wished for, I just wish I could talk the Universe into giving me the winning MegaMillions numbers. . . . .

Lucky Number 13

So, tonight was my 13th show. My friends Cathy, Dawn, Dawn's friend, Lynn and Marie came out to support me. Also, it was the Emerson Comedy Stand-up class. Oh, and, CBS The Morning show was there to tape a couple of Emerson kids. CBS-Network-National morning show. ... on the TV. So, really . . no pressure.
I had planned on doing some new stuff, but Rick needed all of us to stay to our time. I was going to stay to my time, dad gum it !!!! I did the new stuff, it got a good enough response to warrant another attempt at it. My friend who inspired the "Suicide Buffet" piece was there. I was concerned she might be insulted, it's not mean and she inspired it. She was fine with it. It went well. I did 5:50... it helped that I kept to my time. The room was really overlit for the camera crew. I love being in a room with mama-jamma camera equipment, but I got a little thrown by the bright lights.
Amanda Beals stopped by and she graciously covered the door for me while I was on stage. I got off stage and then went to the desk. I wish I had know that there would be a camera crew there, I would have worn the jacket instead of the sweater. I am saving the jacket for tomorrow night. It feels good and it looks presentable. I was able to hear the Emerson comics , but it was so crowded, I couldn't see the stage or the monitors from where I was sitting. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I saw it standing room only on a Wed. night. Dan Sally did a great set as well. I have great hopes for him.
Then we ushered the kids out and we folded up the chairs and put 'em against the walls. Max Goldberg helped with the task. I had a chance to speak with Mike Bent about comedy things and sketches and stuff like that there. Then I hung out with Rick downstairs after the show and talked about comedy things -theories and history. Brian Gordon and his girlfriend stopped by. It was nice to see them. I am glad I was able to hang out , but I am going to be dead meat at work tomorrow. My eyeballs are already squeaky. . . . .
What a freakin' month to be Comic in Residence ! I can't believe the coverage that has been happening. I couldn't possible contrive , in my wildest dreams, being in the room for any of these things. Unbelieveable.. . . . . .

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Blackout & A Movie

My friend Cathy and I went to see "Thank You for Smoking" tonight at the Kendall Square Theater. As we were driving down Broadway, we could see pitch darkness up ahead. From Prospect Street to Portland Street, all the lights were out. The only illumination came from the Police cars and NStar trucks. Pitch Black. We were concerned that the Kendall would be blacked out as well, but it wasn't. We had already missed the 9:05 in Lexington. It was the kind of black out I used to experience a lot when I was living in Somerville. For no reason, 3 bocks would be out and then there would be lights for a few blocks, then darkness again. This happened intermittantly the whole time I lived in Somerville. It didn't matter what the weather was like, the lights would just go out.
But I digress. .. I enjoyed the movie. I especially enjoy looking at Aaron Eckert. Yumm-me ! The movie is about a tobacco lobbyist. It's a satirical view of lobbyists in general , and smoking in particular. It was a nice little movie. It also starred Robert Duval, Maria Bello, William H. Macy, Sam Waters and Katie Holmes. Good cast . Good script. I am forgetting some of the lines, but it was funny. Not Dumb & Dumber funny or There's Something About Mary funny. Definitely not Gallagher funny. Adult -who- reads- newspapers- and- used -to -smoke
kind of funny.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I always surprise myself at this time of year. For some reason , tax day always catches me unawares. Which doesn't make a lot of sense because my birthday falls on Tax Day. It even says it on the calendars I use. It doesn't say "Dot's Birthday". No, Tax Day. I check the calendar on the new year to see what day of the week it falls on. I am cognisant months in advance. A casual observer would think that would enable me to prepare prior to the date. That's where the casual observer would be wrong.
I am pathological about procrastinating. I am a petulant teenager ignoring the inevtitable. Except that I am not . . a teen ager. I'm old enough to know better. I'm too old to be playing "Beat the Clock " in this manner.
But I did. .. beat the clock. I made the deadline. I filed my taxes. I got them in on time. I probably did them wrong, but I got them in on time. SURPRISE !!!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Show # 12

Tonight was the after show Anniversary party. Heather Campbell , Arielle Goldman, "The Great"Andrea Henry, Thom Brown and Lynn, Brian Longwell, Winston Kidd, Josh Gondelman, Doug Chagnon ,Matt Winniger and I . Ken Reid were in the audience. The place was fairly well packed and they were a good audience.
I thought my set went well tonight. There were a couple of good laughers up front and they really encouraged me. I also found a new ending to the part I refer to as "Suicide Buffet". I wasn't trying to be funny, but I was with this audience. Actually, I AM usually trying to be funny , onstage , when I am practicing stand-up comedy. I don't spend my social life desperately trying to be funny . That is tedious and exausting. However, the whole point of doing stand-up comedy is to make an audience laugh and that has been my deliberate goal. The throw away line came out of me and I think it is going to stay. I was pleased with the outift I was wearing , casual but it still looked like I took the time to get dressed -which in fact I had. I left the stage on a laugh and I did my time.
Rick hosted the show. Usually , Erin Judge hosts the Sunday night show. I thought she looked particularly cute this evening. Tommy Morello had a good set. So did Rich Gustus and Elisha Jaffe-he 's got some network interest . . . Way to go ! DJ Hazard did his usual great work and then Rick told the Vermont story afterward. I don't know how many times I 've heard that story, I still love hearing it. Eugene Mirman did another great set, almost completely different from the last two sets I had seen him do this week. Though I did recognize a bit from seeing him in Edinburg. How does he do that? How does he come up with that material? Is it all new or am I just seeing him do stuff he's done a million times for the first time and he just makes it look new , today? Robby Roadsteamer closed the show . Or should I say "wrecked" the show. Poor Nick. ..
At the end of the show, Rick brought Thom Brown up to the stage and thanked him for being there , at the beginning , all those years ago. Thom thanked his wife Lynn-she used to help set up the tables and did the door back in the day. Then DJ came up on stage and presented Rick with a crystal clock engraved with the Comedy studio logo and 10 year anniversary from all the comics.
Everyone went downstairs to the second floor for a buffet. I ended up leaving before the food arrived . I became very tired after the show and just wanted to go home. I finished about 3/4 of my taxes today and will complete the rest tomorrow. It was a very good show and looked to be a fun night. I regret I couldn't stay for "The Hang". Best Wishes to the Walsh Brothers for their trip to LA.
I am very tired now. I would like to go to sleep.

11 Down. ..

11 to Go. . .It is the half way point kids. The rest of my month has 11 more shows in it. Tonight was another fantastic line -up -what the hell was I doing there ? I'm Comic in Residence. .. THAT'S WHY !!!!!!
Let's see , Sam Walters was in from New York, sporting a freshly inked tatoo. Kyria Abrams was there , Dan Newbower, The Walsh Brothers ( I laughed until I hurt), Steve Calechman, Eugene Mirman and the great Kelly MacFarland. Pat O'Shea who, apparently had been in bands with a couple of former beaus of mine. In fact one was in the audience and I didn't even recognize him (probably says a lot about our relationship) . I saw him and thought to myself "Hey , that guy looks like Bob Sensio" the guy looked at me- didn't smile or wave or anything. .. That was Bob . . .and guess what makes this a sad and pathetic event, tonight was my birthday and our disolution revolved around my birthday a thousand years ago. .. . I cried a little in the disco downstairs. I believe that's what discos were invented for. . but this blog isn't about my useless little existence. . . this is about my residency.
My set went okay, but I feel like it took a bit to win them over. My best friend Marageret , and her fiance , were in the audience and she was laughing pretty loud. Wether out of mirth or solidarity, I can't be sure, but I'm greatful for it. I tried no new material this evening. I don't believe I had enough alert brain cells to retrieve any new stuff. SO, I felt okay about what I did tonight, but I would have liked to have felt like I killed. Tony Moschetto killed last night. I want to be like that. Go up and get them on my side with my material. . .I may need new material. Arrgghhh!
I assisted Steve Calechman with that slow dance bit of his he does. I have no idea if it was funny, my back was to the audience the whole time. After the show, I folded the chairs and took down the curtain. Then everyone adjourned to the Disco downstairs. Val Kappa showed up , so did Tim McIntire. I think Steve Donovan was on the premises as well. After the music got really loud we rolled up the street to another bar. We left there and Kelly MacFarland and Carolyn Plummer and I went to breakfast. It's really late now .The good news is, I got coverage for work tomorrow. The Bad news. .. I haven't done my taxes yet. Because I'm an idiot.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Show # 10

It was a packed house tonight. Val Kappa had car trouble and couldn't make it. Too bad, I was looking forward to seeing her.My friend Keith came to the show. He's a musician. He was genuinely laughing throughout the show. I was glad he saw such a good show to justify the climb up the three flights of stairs. After Paul Day, he asked me "Do you know him ? Do you really know that guy ?".
For my money , Benari Poulton had the set of the night.Or, I should say, there were some outstanding performances tonight, for me Benari was the most surprising. He did his impression of Rick Jenkins. He did some of Rick's material and had his mannerisms down. . .and . .then . . he did "The Aristocrats " joke as Rick Jenkins. The punchline was a punchline from one of Ricks' jokes. I am not worthy to stand on a stage that Benari has stood on. Thoughtful and well executed. Beautiful in a very awful way.
Tony Moschetto had a set down town , so he went on first. He did great . I did not want to go on after him. Beautiful. . .he did poetry, actual poems and made them hilarious.
My set went okay. Upon reflection, I 'm realizing I don't know how to hear the laughs. I'm doing the material, and when I change it up , I throw my rythmn off. I really need to think just far enough ahead to put a bona fide laugh at the end. I change it up and then I get to the end and I'm not ending with a laugh. It's not discouraging, but it feels so fundamental that I should just know it. I felt okay about my performance, but it wasn't fulfilling. I feel like I left the table before I was full.
So, Brian Longwell had a great set. He just got back from the Comedy Festival in DC. Mike Bent had agreat set. I don't know why but every thrid time I see that overgrown sea monkey bit, I laugh hysterically . Thom Brown did a set and , apparently, he hasn't performed in quite a while. Tony V closed the show. He was great . He didn't do any of the material he did last night and killed . How does he do that ? He was great. He was my friend Keith's favorite.
Thom Brown's wife, Lynn, commented that I was the only woman on the show . I didn't even notice. It was a great show. It's really great for me to be at the Studio every night to see these shows and the performers changing it up (or not changing it up) and how it affects their performances. It' s just great to be seeing shows every night. I still get such a rush out of being at a show. Especially if I'm performing on it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Show # 9

I had a difficult time finding a parking space. I have been trying to show up at 7:30. It gives me some time to "feel" the room (I don't actually "feel" the room, I just like being there early to think). I arrived at 7:45. I did end up getting a great parking space, I just wished it had appeared earlier.
There seemed to be a lot of talent in the room.Ordinarily, Dan Sally hosts the Thursday night show, but Rick did it tonight. Renata Tutko, I. Ken Reid, Greg Thibedeau, Erik Chung, Daniella Capolino, Liz Simons, the Walsh Brothers, EJ Murphy. .. those were just the people hanging around to see the show.Brian Gordon, Amanda Beals, Greg Rodriguez, JJ Leslie ( last months Comic in Residence)Were in the line-up .As was the great Dan Sally. Then Tim McIntire did a set and Tony V closed the show ! Maybe I'm not seeing very clearly , but these have been some really great shows. I'm really glad I'm in the room to see them. Jimmy Tingle swung by at the end of the show.
The audience was a decent size but they were a little stiff. They weren't really giving it up easily. I hadn't organized my thoughts as well as I should have. I tried one new concept, still, I hadn't actually writen a joke for it. Good premise. . needs work. Because I was trying new stuff out and didn't stick to a specific order, I think I was soft on the set-ups and the jokes withered a bit.It just reinforces my belief that I need to organize my self better and spend some quiet time with my premises. See if I can tickle the little syllables into a giggle. Something I can write home about.I am feeling more confident in my stage presence. .. I need to respect the jokes. I prefer to have the jokes. It being comedy and all.
Tonight's benefit was that I was more comfortable in my skin on stage. The slightly negative thing about my set is that I feel I could have done better. I didn't squander my stage time. I just would have preferred to be more thoughtful about what I was doing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Show #8

11 Minutes !!!! No one was manning the light . .. . I kept going. . . I made it to 11 without flinching. I didn't get nervous, I just thought I had lost my understanding of time and space. .. it could happen. ...
In trying to utilize the stage time, I had some new jokes I had not yet tried . One, I had thought of last night on the way to the gig, and forgot to do it last night. It will, of course, have a limited shelf life. ... but the reaction it got made me happy. The new stuff. .. good enough to keep doing. I got some laughs in odd places. Happy , I'm happy.
Doug Chagnon, Sarah Blodgett and Joe Wong were on the show and Mike Bent's comedy class from Emerson. It was nice to see Mike. Jim McCue came by just to watch the show.
I hung out for a little bit afterward. I wish I could have stayed longer to hear Jim and Rick tell some stories. I have to work tomorrow and I have to be up early. I feel pretty good about what I did tonight.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All Asia-TOOO-NITE !!!!

Oh yeah , Baby ! I can't get enough ! Gimme stage time Mister! Hey Lady?? Can I get a set tonight ? My friend Janet hosts an open mike at the All Asia the first Tuesday of each month. She invited me to do her show. She also invited me to do the door. We made $30.00. Oh Yeah . ... . that's how Meryl Streep started out !
There was a musician from Kansas named Jason Fickel. He was really good . And he had some kickin yard sale spectator shoes. Trained by an an olds blues musician in Tennesse who was trained by Robert Johnson . . . that kind of stylin' lineage. The Glow performed, I really like that kid. Heather Campbell was there and did some new stuff and Emily Singer, also sporting new material. And me . .. . .
I opened with the usual All Asia show opening. Commented on my outfit- a combination of dyke formal and a bass player. I'm not gay, buy the outfit sure was. Tried some material I found in my notebook, it worked better than I remember it from the last time I did it, which is why I only did it the one time. Then finished up with the stuff that I know works. I didn't forget anything I set out to do. I thought I looked good and sounded good. They were laughing. I haven't listened to the tape. It was not much of a challenge , essentially there were 6 paying customers, the comics in the show and the musicians who arrived early for their gig. Not a tough crowd.
I'm glad I went out tonight and did the show. I'm really tired now, but at least I tried something.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What I'm Doing

I've been writing this blog trying to share my experiences. Mostly for myself. Being the Comic in Residence was a commitment I was excited to make and I have been well rewarded for that promise thus far . . . . and I'm not even half way through ! I have been blogging part of the thoughts I have about performing. Yesterday, I was really questioning my purpose and then I had a great set and all was right with the world !
I believe we all have stuff that we think about . I was thinking that I hate figuring things out. I don't like losing the instruction booklet on an appliance. I don't like figuring out if a guy likes me or , conversely, is about to dump me or has been banging my soon to be ex-friend. I have been trying to figure out how to be "Comic in Residence". I think we should get a booklet the week before we are to begin about setting goals and coordinating outfits. There should be information on the appropriate time to hang out and when to depart. Meal plans to maximize energy and endurance. Perhaps a coloring book and a section of mad-libs to loosen writers block. Maybe a video presention starring "Ajax Nerd" on comic etiquette.
But . . life ain't like that. None of us get an instruction booklet (Except for those of you Christians out there who can decipher the Bible). We can swallow the party line and hope for the best. Marry and propagate. Or we can keep hacking at the underbrush and cut a trail up the mountain. You have to go up the mountain, that's where the comedy club is. .. ..

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Show # 8

Well. .. .today my ass was dragging. All the young kids at the booth kept asking me if I was feeling all right. I looked like shit and I felt like it , too. My eyeballs feel like old , dried out sponges that you find under the sink when you move out of your apartment that have been there since the tenants before you. Dried up and useless. Not absorbant, more effective to scratch stuff with.
I caught 40 winks during my lunch hour and I got home early enough to take a little nap before I needed to get myself ready to go out the door. 20 minutes, just enough to make me feel a little bit more human. On my way in to the club tonight, I was really questioning my view of myself. Maybe I'm not really funny . Maybe I'm funny to hang around with , but not funny on stage "funny". Maybe I'm "nice". Maybe I'm just a nice kid. A "nice" person like an ex-nun or a retired cafeteria lady. Good enough to play Bingo next to. .. but. . .. Maybe I don't have it and maybe I can't bring it. I know I had it before, but maybe I can't do it on my own. .. . Long story short- not really the kind of interior dialogue a fatigued comic in residence should be having with herself on the way to a show.
To up the ante, Eugene Mirman and Todd Barry were swinging by to do sets. They weren't there to judge me, but I could decide that's all they were there to do and really screw with my head. Fortunately , JJ Leslie was there, last month's comic in residence and then my good friend Janet Cormier and I had a chance to chat and then Alvin David, a future comic in residence, made sexually inapproriate comments and had me giggling like a school girl ! I was feeling more human. I had a nice chat with Mr. Jenkins employing golf as a metaphor for last night's show and my head got a little more balanced.
Erin Judge did a great job hosting and I was able to try out the new opening again-slower, I felt like I was enjoying it more. I heard someone anticipate my punchline out loud (Todd Barry?) but I kept going. . . I remembered all the material. I changed up the order, unintentionally, but it worked. I didn't have them doubled over with laughter, but I think I did a good enough job opening the show. I felt very good about what I actually did, but I want them laughing sooner and harder (Reminds me of my prom date !) I don't really know how I will achieve that . . but a kid has to have a goal.
The comics on the bill tonight were really fun. Dan Boulger is a favorite of mine. Alvin David has a rapid-fire delivery and it feels like he is never going to get to the punchline, but the getting there is all that much more fun. AND Tony V showed up and did a set ! And Frank Santorelli came by just to watch Tony !!!!! I couldn't believe I was there to see this show !It was really fun ! Being the Comic in Residence puts me in the club to see the comics night after night. Yeah, I'm beat because I have to work the day jobs. Different line up each night, a different set of possibilities to be amazed and entertained.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Show #7

Ahhhhh. . . Where do I begin ? I'm tired. I worked all day today. I haven't had a day off in two weeks. I feel tired and I look tired. My scheduled day off is a week from tomorrow. When I am this fatigued, it is difficult to be creative or even try to think of things. I can't believe I used to be out every night of the week-I'd work all day and then be out rehearsing or performing and thren drinking and then get up and do it again, day after day after day. Performing at an inferior level was completely acceptable to me. It didn't matter that I felt like shit, I was out there "Doing it". Tonight, I just want to curl up in my sweatpants and eat tortilla chips and 7 layer dip while my laundry whirls around in the washing machine . . . . .
Tonight 's crowd was tough. They were not as willing to give it up. There was a glitch with the mike, I don't think it was anything I did, but Rick's opening intro sounded like he was performing at the bottom of a canyon. I did the Welcoming intro, I'm usually psyched to do that, but when the house lights went down, so did the lights in the booth and I couldn't read the intro. I would say it was a soft opening tonight.
So, I thought I 'd change up my performance attire a bit and I wore tweed pants and a reed wool sweater set. I felt I was nicely dressed, but it wasn't an outfit to feel funny in . It's more an outfit to work the reception desk or attend a co-workers baby shower in. I shant wear it for comedy again.
I opened with a new set-up and closed with what I thought was new joke ,but I think it's still more in the "good premise" stage. In the middle of my set , it sounded like someone was talking on a cell phone and I stopped what I was doing and said "I'm sorry . Am I interupting someone's phone call?" Silence. "Oh, I thought I was bothering someone." I wasn't funny. I was actually kind of pissy and then I went back to my material. I know I announced at the beginning of the show to turn off all cell phones and pagers. Probably somebody just got a new cellphone and wasn't used to it yet. Yeah, and mokeys might fly out of my butt. Andy Ofiesh took me aside after my set and suggested I needed some material to address that sort of thing like "Hey ! Shut the fuck up !".
The audience was really pretty stingy tonight. O rI felt they were and some other comics who performed tonight shared my sentiment. Frankly , I don't think they gave it up until Doug Chagnon loosened them up with some racist and flatulence jokes. He actually is able to combine outrage at racists with flatulence and that's just a winning combination in anyone's book ! I think Doug is a good writer and he always has something that surprises me. By the time Andy got to the stage , all he would have to do is say "fart" and they were laughing. Rick actually got up and said something like "Shit , cock, piss"(I'm paraphrasing) and got a laugh. He said "Oh you're that kind of a crowd" And they were. So, what I really need is some sort of joke that helps me gauge the audiences temperature and then , if they're blue, I need to have a bunch of porno /stripper jokes. Or perhaps, strippers with gas and the hilarity that ensues when encountering the pole at work.
Overall , I'm pleased that I tried something new. I remembered all the stuff I wanted to do. I don't think the outfit I wore was a "Funny" outift. I'm digging being there and watching all the comics. I look forward to getting the dvd of what I've done so far.
I'm tired, I don't have a good ending for this . Thank you and good night.

Show Number 6

Well, tonight was a tough one. I knew , last week, that a scout form Comedy Central was coming to the show tonight. There was also a crew from Chronicle, taping the show. Oh. .. and the Globe and the Herald Reporters were there as well. No pressure. . . .
I had tried not to freak out about it. There are only so many things a person can control. I solicited some friends whose opinion I trusted. My friend Henny said to do the tried and true material . Maybe I'm sick of it (I'm not actually) but the scout would not have seen it before. My friend Cyndi quoted Carol Channing and suggested I picture someone who loves me very much sitting in the audience and play to them. That was very comforting. My friend Brian suggested that I should not give a shit. They weren't there to see me. It's a fluke that I'm on the show. Fuck it ! That was the most positive stance I could take. All excellent ideas. I used them all to some degree.
Since I was pretty sure I wasn't going to write 7 new minutes of FANTASTIC material this afternoon, I just concentrated on trying not to stumble over my words. I kept practicing my set in the car. I was stuttering a lot. I was moving the order around. I was trying to keep it to a tight 5. Yes, I had 7, but I wasn't going to drag the beginning of the show down with me trying out a new "Tai Chi" move. My job, as I am developing it, is to put the audience at ease. Don't panic. Or, if panic is mandatory . .. don't let anyone know I'm panicked. Since the automobile rehearsals were so stammery , I slowed it down on stage. I paused , I smiled. I looked at individuals. I was trying to have fun.
I was thinking about the very fundamental origin of why I want to do stand-up. I can trace it back to my friend Kevin Hession and I calling each other the next morning, in the summertime, and discussing Carson's monologue from the night before. We would laugh and laugh. It was fun. I started to want to do stand-up because I like to laugh. I like to share something with people. The best laughs are the ones you have with very close friends. After my Mum is gone, the memories I will have of her will be of her and me doubled over begging the other one to stop because one of us was in danger of wetting ourselves. Just Howling with laughter. Convulsed.
But I digress. . . . . .I had chosen an outfit before today and then felt like it didn't look right on me. I've put on some weight , so the clothes didn't feel right. I took off part of what I was wearing and tried something else and I knew that I had chosen the other out fit before and it made me feel good. I went with the colors that felt right to me. Yes, I did have a little spare tire, but I didn't look hideous.
I remembered the 8 minute bit , but I forgot the candy part. Really, the new stuff was in the pauses tonight. Some guy in the audience sort of yelled during my set. Not really Heckling, more like loud "Helping". . the guy was really drunk. I did 5:50. Good amount. I didn't end on a big laugh, I didn't say "Well, that'll have to do". I concluded by saying my name and that I was the Comic in Residence for the rest of the month, so that Rick would have enough time to get back up on stage. What a show it was. It was an amazing line-up and I can't believe I was able to be a part of the show. Even the audience watching the show was as talented as the line-up onstage. I saw some new stuff and some old stuff. Some people, I knew their punchlines and some had changed it up . I saw Dan Sally do some stuff thet he had done just last night and it killed tonight. Gosh, Tim McIntire -great ! Steve Calechman -Great! On and on . . .The Walsh Brothers -Fantastic !!! It was great the whole way through, as far as I was concerned. Unfortunatley , the lady from Comedy Central did not seek me out. She gave a little chin nod and a wave. . . . . but no business cards were exchanged.
I felt good about what I did tonight. I presented my self with confidence and some humor. I was present in the moment. I did not flinch. and, most importantly, I didn't wet myslef on stage.
"Hey , do you have a cat ? "
" What's that smell ?"
"Oh, that . .. that's our Comic in Residence this month. .. ."

Friday, April 07, 2006

4rth Show

Okay, that stuff about the wheel ? I'm not even re-inventing the box. . . Tough crowd tonight- and small. I think the highlight of the show was a bit that Dan Sally and Any Ofeish did where Andy critiques the show. Hilarious. . . . . .
So, I did the new stuff up front. I dispensed with the salutaions and just told the audience a little bit about myself. It wasn't jam packed with jokes . In hindsight, I would say iot wasn't even interesting.. . . . .An observation was made that the new stuff seemed tentative(true) and old stuff was rock solid. SO, that's good. That's part of the plan. I didn't wear my glasses on stage , see how it looks on the tape. I remembered the 8 minute thing that I forgot last night, but tonight , there were more words than usual and that sort of screwed up the timing. Words were not added intentionally, it was just me frantically flipping the fickle rolodex of memory, trying to remember what I want to say.
Comparing standup to sketch-with a sketch , I know what the other person's pre-arranged words are going to be. If they digress, I'm fairly certain it will come back to where it needs to go . With an audience , as your partner on stage, you don't know how they're going to react. I need to learn how to get them back. It's like getting a new intimate relationship every night. It's love, you care about the audience and maybe sometimes the audience loves back and sometimes, they don't even bother calling . . . . .

Thursday, April 06, 2006

3rd Show

As previously noted, I'm not re-inventing the comedy wheel. Levon Schpeiser had his first show tonight and he brought like 20 of his buddies from school. Levon is 17. He did his first stand-up set tonight, his Mom brought him . Cool Mom ! I think I'm older than his Mom. .. these kids were young. My material might not connect with them . . . Probably shouldn't have worried about that out loud. I probably shouldn't have tried out the new pedophile joke tonight, either. Or, if I did try out the new joke, I should have made sure it was better written. I know the major chunk is there, now I gots to find the funny. I felt comfortable enough to try the new stuff.
I need to work on the crowd work. I don't think I really need to wait for a response to "How ya Doin?". .. takes too long. Unless it's a set-up to something. I forgot one of my bits again, because my timing was off with the new joke. Sometimes, when I'm onstage , I am performing the mental equivalent of rifling the kitchen drawers looking for the scissors. They're there someplace, but I'll be damned if I can find them when I need them. Like my brain is still in the break room, when the rest of the body is back at work.
I did what I set out to do, warm 'em up without crying or peeing on stage. I was hoping to end on a laugh ( I heard audiences should laugh at the jokes.) ( There should be jokes) Anyway, I ended my set with "Well, I guess that's good enough".
I want to take advantage of this opportunity. I should be trying something new every show except Friday & Saturday. Again, this doesn't have to the second coming of Phyllis Diller, I should just take a chance .

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

World's Fastest Indian

I saw the World's Fastest Indian tonight starring Anthony Hopkins. What a nice little film. It's a true story based on the life of Burt Munroe who broke a couple of speed records at Bonneville. Just a guy tinkering away for years. He has a dream to get to Utah from New Zealand and he's willing to do whatever it takes to get there. His neighbors think he's a crack pot who doesn't have a prayer in the world, besides, he'll be dead soon. He doesn't care he just keeps working on making his motorcycle the fastest he can possibly make it.
Also, for an old guy, he gets laid a lot. Yeah , it's old ladies, but well, I guess, I never thought about a guy that old getting around. I figure he'd just select a trophy wife and be happy with that. Burt Munroe isn't , he just keeps focused on the task at hand and doesn't allow himself to get discouraged. There's a quote he makes and attributes it to Roosevelt and I can't remember it , so , I'm going to have to paraphrase. It goes something like -It's easy to criticize or ridicule some one who is doing something difficult , but there is only one man in the arena and he's the only one who knows what it took to get there. He's the one fighting. He's the only one doing it. Every one else is just an observer. Uh, you get the picture. It boils down to , you don't know how much time you have left on this earth , why spend it worrying about stuff that doesn't interest you. Driving 200 miles an hour for five minutes can be more exciting than living a long life prudently and cautiously. .. . But paying the phone bill can be quite a chore .

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Basic Instinct 2

I see a lot of crap. I do. I'm neither ashamed of it or poud of it . It's just the way I find myself doing things. I am not being led around . This happens with my full consent.
Tonight, we went to see Basic Instinct 2. Starring Sharon Stone, David Thewlis-an English actor who I really like and another English actor I don't know. I wish his character was portrayed by Clive Owen. Those naked scenes with Sharon would have been soooo much better for me if he had been in it. She looks pretty good. I think she's had botox and I think the tits are enhanced. A pretty good job. The story revolves around a murder and then another murder and then some sex and then another murder and then maybe a dirty cop and then another murder. Charlotte Rampling stars as an older doctor, a mentor to the younger doctor that I wish was played by Clive Owen. She was quite the little sex kitten in her day as well. I liked the cinematography. I think it will do better box office in Europe.
To damn it with faint praise- I like Sharon Stone as an actress. Even though she plays a convincing sociopath, I still cared about her character. It proves the theory that guys dig crazy chicks. I still cared more about these characters than those in Failure to Launch.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Second Show

Tonight was the second show. Erin Judge hosted it, she did a very good job. The audience was smallish sized, almost 20 people, mostly couples. They were generous enough with the laughs. It was a really good line-up.One of my favorites that I don't get to see that often is a guy named Mike Whitman. I really like his writing and his style. He has quite a bit of material on the phenomenon of ADD. Also, Cyndi Stiles, who I think is a great joke writer was on the bill. That's just the tip of the ice berg. . . .The Beautiful Amy Tee, Amanda Beals did material I hadn't seen before . My friend Margaret and her fiance attended, that was really nice for me.
SO, I thought I did better tonight. I went over the order with more attention today. I did a joke I wrote after the show last night, about daylight savings time. I'm not re-inventing the comedy wheel, but it got a good enough response to start out with. I felt more comfortable about what I was doing. I slowed down and let the jokes do their job. I remembered the material I had forgotten last night. It went well. I screwed up the order on a joke I threw in that I hadn't done for a while and then I re-did the joke. Both efforts got a satisfactory enough response for me to be happy. I was still going when the warning light came on and I had enough time to finish up elegantly and swiftly.
All in all, it was well worth doing. I would like to get a set that is consistent enough with the laughs. .. .. I 'd like to be able to create the same kind of situation when I'm laughing with friends . . .only on stage. Perhaps that's impossible ? I don't want to be everybody's friend, I just want to make us all comfortable enough to laugh together. Next show-Wednesday

The First Show

All in all, I thought it went pretty well. I went through my material , and I had tried to slow it down a lot. I got to the end, the light wasn't on and I called out to Randy in the booth " How much more time" "A minute 10" came the response . . .. So, I tossed out an old opening and made it to the time. As I was sitting in the audience, I started remembering the stuff I forgot-Valentine's, 8 minute. The show , overall, was good. The audience was very engaged and all the comics rose to the occassion. My new favorite is a kid named Renata Tutko, she reminds me of the late-great Mitch Hedburg. It went well. I'm glad it's over. Now I get to do it again tomorrow night ! Yay!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

To Quote Rod Stewart

"Tonight's the Night. . .It's gonna be all right. . "
Tonight , I start my "Comic in Residence" at the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. I am really excited and a little daunted. I have a whole month. I am going to perform 5 nights a week , for a whole month. At the end of this month, I am going to know something about myself. Either I have what it takes or I can walk away and get a job in an insurance company or maybe a job with the town. I'll die at my desk 20 years from now. They'll find my bloated gray haired body slumped at my desk -a stapler clutched in one hand and the two papers I was about to connect in the other. Yeah. . . that's what's at stake here.
I don't know why Rick picked me to do this. I think I'm the oldest Residency he's chosen in the history of this program. I think I'm older than him ! I think he chose me because he knows how excited I am going to be(I am excited) and , maybe, he knows it'll help me come to terms with some things in my life. It feels like I should know more about what I want to do with my life. Maybe I'll come out of this more focused. More focused about something, that's for sure.
I can't wait ! The next 8-10 hours are going to be really difficult to get through. I should really work on my set. . . . .