Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Last Friday Paige and I went to see Eric Schwartz at Claremont. I thought we were going to see the singing Eric Schwartz, who (whom?) I have been a fan of for a while, but what I didn't know is there's a rapping Eric Schwartz and that's who was playing at Flappers on Friday. Rapping Eric Schwartz is also very funny, and he's a very nice guy.

After Paige and I were seated, Rick came up and asked if I'd like to perform. Um, yes, of course! I zoomed to the car and got my uke. I did seven minutes at both shows. There were thirteen people at the first show, ten at the second. The first audience was ok, the second didn't seem to have a pulse. The other comics had to struggle a bit to get them to laugh. They laughed at my songs, but not at my little jokes. Eric was very good in both of his performances, but towards the end of the second show even he seemed to bog down. The connection just wasn't there. I didn't buy the videos this time.

So, I've got two more performances under my belt. I wasn't nervous at all this time. I still need to work on some stand-up material. Last night I started an eight week workshop with Bill Word. He produces several shows and comedy contests in Southern California and he teaches these workshops. I enjoyed last night's class, but it's hard to get through three hours in a room full of would be comics all trying to out-funny each other. There were three guys there last night who were finishing up their classes, and they were quite chatty. They won't be there next week. I'm hoping things will be more productive.

I like Bill, and I think I'm going to get a lot out of this workshop. This Saturday there's a free beginning stand-up workshop at Flappers, so I'll go to that as well. I want to learn as much as I can before I do my fifteen minutes on October 7th.

Sunday was my birthday. Lindsay, Paige, Kyle and I all went to see the Old Farts Funnies show at the Burbank Flappers. Oh my. Ron Geezer was there, and he was the funniest comic to perform. I'm sorry to say the rest of the show was a bit sad. The audience was small, which I'm sure didn't help, but all of the comics had this old-fashioned style that seemed even older when performed by old people. It makes me wonder, does anyone ever give them honest feedback?

Anyway, I left there feeling encouraged about my own upcoming performance. The October show has been cancelled because they're filming that day. The next Old Farts show will be November 27th. Thanksgiving weekend. Could be a very small audience indeed. I gotta pack the place with my peeps!

For my birthday Lindsay, Kyle and Paige gave me money to pay for my comedy classes. I also got a gift certificate for a professional bra fitting. Woo hoo! I'll be learn-ed and lifted!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ok, mark your calendars

October 7th at Flappers Claremont, 10:00pm.

That's what Rick told me tonight. He said he'd like to have me perform as a guest at the 8:00 show, but that's not his decision. He'll try to use his influence.

Last night and tonight I went to the Deven and Joel shows at Claremont. Man, they are so much fun to watch. From the time they hit the stage they are in constant motion. So much energy!

Tonight's audience was a bit better. Sometimes it seems like people are just daring the comics to make them laugh, but it wasn't like that tonight. When I first got there and was checking in with Onely, three people came walking out and demanded their money back. Onely asked them why they were unhappy, but they wouldn't tell her. They just insisted on getting their money back. Later, I told Deven about it and she thought that maybe they were unhappy about the two item minimum. Anyway, it was good that they left, because they would have been a big, grumpy, dead spot in the room.

So! I need to prepare for October 7th. I have some jokes and bits I've been working on, but so far my only audience has been my own reflection in the bedroom mirror. On September 24th I'm going to a free, beginning stand-up workshop, and on October 4th I'll be starting a beginning stand-up class in Burbank. That's cutting it close, but I think I'll be ok. The stand-up stuff is just there to link the songs. Tonight Deven told me I can talk to her if I have any questions. She teaches classes at Flappers and she assists the pros when they're preparing for performances, so it's pretty awesome having her in my corner. She's my comedy mama.

Heh! Tonight when I walked back to the green-ish room, Rick asked me if I was there to replace a comic who hadn't shown up. That made me laugh. I could have done it, but they decided it wouldn't work to have two ukulele acts in the same night (Deven plays uke in their show). Rick asked me if I had any stand-up. Nope. Ask me a year from now! It kind of blows my mind to think of me doing straight stand-up without my songs, but really, I should be able to do that. And that makes this whole thing seem completely nuts.

But I can feel my confidence level creeping up. Being a comic was a completely foreign idea to me a couple months ago. Sing my songs, yes. Stand-up, no. But now I can see it like a little sparkling light off in the future. Man, back when I was taking care of Dad and then dealing with Jim's death I kept thinking, shit, Mother Universe sure has a twisted sense of humor.

Looks like she's not done with me yet.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Holy shit, it happened!

It wasn't planned. It just happened. I made my debut tonight (last night?) at Flappers.

I went to the Friday night show for another installment of Donita's Comedy Education. Tonight is was James P. Connelly as the headliner, Laura Hayden as the emcee, and Mike Estime as the featured performer. What a great show! Twenty-three people in the audience and they seemed to be in a pretty good mood. Anyway, they laughed, and all the comics were very good.

After the show, manager Rick came by my table and asked, "Did you bring your ukulele?" I told him yes, it's in the car. He told me I should talk to him later. Eek! When most of the audience had left, he told me he might be able to give me seven minutes in the next show, which was about to start. One of the comics didn't show up, so he asked me to step in. I knew it was too short notice to get all my friends there, but I quickly called Paige, Lindsay and Tracey. Paige had to work the next day, and Lindsay was at the Flappers in Burbank. Tracey jumped in her van and made it there with time to spare.

I basically ran to my car to grab my uke. Man, I was so out of breath when I got back! No problem, I had plenty of time to settle down. I went back through the kitchen to the "green room" and chatted briefly with the other comics who were hanging out there. I was way too excited and I knew I really needed to get a grip on myself. I ducked down a hallway and did some deep breathing and planned out what I was going to say. I'm very glad I've been practicing at home for the last couple weeks.

The second show consisted of Adam Feuerberg as the emcee, Ron Geezer, Rawle Dee, and Mike Estime, with Laura Hayden as the headliner. Right as it started, I ran down the hall to use the restroom. When I got back, Tracey had arrived and was sitting in the back with the other comics. We watched the show together. I was the fourth to go on. There were eleven people in the audience and they were laughing at EVERYTHING. I was grateful and relieved. Really, I couldn't have asked for a better audience, considering no one there knew me.

Finally, it was my turn. I got up there and launched into it. I'm not even sure of what I said! I was both comfortable and extremely nervous. But that audience was freakin' awesome, so we all settled in and had fun together. I loved them! Since this was so unplanned, I didn't have a guitar cord for the uke. Oh well. It worked out ok anyway.

I did The Bosom Song and Phone Sex with a little banter here and there. Everyone laughed in all the right places. I had a great time! I was shaking like a leaf, but I had lots of fun. And then, it was over. I went back to my seat. The other comics shook my hand and congratulated me. Man, I was happy. I grabbed Tracey's leg so she could see how much I was shaking. Energy, energy, pow, pow!

I went back to the green room to pack up my uke and to talk to Rick. He was pleased with my performance and asked me how much more material I have. I told him I have four strong songs and that I could do twelve to fifteen minutes. He said I should be prepared to do fifteen minutes next time. He suggested that I take one of their classes so I can get myself some stand-up material. I told him I was planning to do that anyway. Then he said, "A gem like you doesn't come along very often." Oh my. That was quite a compliment.

Before I left, Ron Geezer asked for my contact information. He has a troupe of older comics, and he said I'd fit in nicely with what they're doing. Then, just as I was on my way out, Laura told me about a bar gig that she does in Redondo Beach (I said I'd be happy to make the drive) and said I should get in touch with her on Facebook. Soon, I'll have a video of my performance tonight. Heh! I'll finally be able to see what I did and said!

So, soon I'll be appearing again. For now, these will be unpaid gigs. No problem. I'll take classes, see other comics, and get myself some stand-up chops. And next time, I'll pack the room with my loved ones.

Jeez, can you believe it?

Thank you, Deven!