Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wow, soooo much better!

Hooray! A good show tonight! And a personal best for me, I think. A shift has occurred. Tonight I felt more comfortable than I ever have hosting a show. It felt easy and natural. And what a great audience! Another full house, which is always good, but this group was there to laugh. Stacey, Audra, and Scotty's sister, Tanya, came tonight. I'm so glad they got a good show. I'm really happy right now. _________________________________________________________________________ The icky girls from last night were replaced by a cute, funny, HAWT dude named Brady Matthews. Google him and check out his photos. Day-um. Anyway, he was really good, and Melissa Villasenor did a very nice job as well. At the end of the show when I was doing the raffle, Rick came out and made the stretch-it-out sign at me. Again, since it was a big audience the checks were slow to arrive and it was taking some time to process everything. I slowed down the raffle as much as I could, and then when it was over I went into the audience and chatted with the people who were still waiting for their checks. That worked pretty well. No one got surly, and they seemed to enjoy talking to me. I'm going to do that from now on. ____________________________________________________________ Rick was happy with my performance. He said, "Have you noticed we're booking you more often now? There's a reason for that." Awww. During the show Stacey came to the back and sat with me a while. That was so cool. I enjoyed sitting with my sis having a nice, quiet little chat about the show. It really was a special night. ________________________________________________________________ The 10:00 show was a bit difficult, but it always is. Just a bit. We had maybe 8 people. I did my best to give them the same kind of show a big audience would get. They were a nice, polite audience. At the end I didn't bother to use the microphone during the raffle. What's the point? They were just right there. __________________________________________________________________ It's been almost a year since I first started doing this. Last year, on August 8th we all went to see Bobcat Goldthwait at Flappers Burbank, and Tracey and I went into the bar before the show to use the restroom. That's when Deven invited me up to the stage to sing a few songs. Then, on September 2nd I stepped onstage at Flappers Claremont. What an amazing year it has been. _______________________________________________________________ So happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Last night

(Again, no paragraph breaks. This blog is broken)__________________________________ Oh man, it bothers me when an audience pays to get in and then they get a shitty show. Well, not the whole show..._______________________________________ The 8:00 was mostly pretty good. Melissa Villasenor is the headliner this weekend, and she's very funny. She was a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent, which helps to make her a big draw for the club. The featured comic was Esther Povitsky, and the guest comic was this friend of theirs who, I don't know, maybe got to perform because they asked if she could. She is an experienced comic, but I've learned that that doesn't always mean something._______________________________________ We met in the green room before the show. Melissa had also brought her sister along. I introduced myself and we chatted for a bit, but it was clear that I was the old woman in the room who was putting a damper on things. I asked them how they'd like to be introduced. Esther said, "Oh, I don't know. Just say anything." I told her I'm just not experienced enough to do that. I need something to go on. she said she'd think about it. Then I asked their friend how she'd like to be introduced. She said her name was Amy. Amy Cheapho, spelled C-H-E-A-P-H-O. It's Croatian. I kind of said, "Wha? What?" She said, "Yes, it's Cheapho. It's Croatian." Um, ok. I said (jovially), "Are you fucking with me, Amy?" She acted quite taken aback and offended, and I was instantly sorry I had put that out there. I tried to save it by asking her if the "ph" was pronounced as an eff, or if it was just Cheap-ho. Oh gawd.____________________________________________________ She said, "You can say I've appeared all around L.A. and I'm a big hit at my mom's Al-Anon meetings." Ok...heh, heh. Esther still couldn't think of anything to say so I decided I'd just say something about how cute she is. And she is cute. Cute as a button. Cute as a bug's ear. Just a teeny little thing. I can do something with that._______________________________________________ I left the green room so I could give them time to roll their eyes at each other and talk about what a clueless bitch I am. Something like that. Anyway, I didn't want to hang around with them any longer. Soon it was time for the show to start.__________________________________________________ The place was packed. A total full house, and the audience was lively. I had only 10 minutes so I zoomed through my set (Middle-aged Woman, Voodoo Doll, Phone Sex) and then introduced Amy. Oh my god. Am I that old and out of touch? Am I too unhip to appreciate that kind of raunchy gutter humor? I don't think so, as long as it's funny. The Claremont audience wasn't laughing much. She got a few good ones in, but I would say they ever really laughed. I thought it was pretty embarrassing. And then I thought about her acting so shocked when I asked her if she was fucking with me. I'm thinking, gee, a girl who tells jokes about her mother performing oral sex has no business being offended by ANYTHING I might say. _________________________________________Then it was Esther's turn. I introduced her with a joke about how cute and tiny she is, and how I accidently sat on her backstage. I give her set about a 7.5. It's this self-deprecating, I'm-so-ugly-and-undesirable stuff that can work if it's done right. There were a lot of long, uncomfortable pauses, but about halfway through it she got 'em going. Really, the stuff that worked was very good. Maybe I'll raise that to an 8. During her set Amy took a flash photo of her, which is a big, fucking no-no. Half the audience turned around to look. When Esther was finished I shook her hand as she left the stage. She has the tiniest little doll hands. I said, "Wow, I just shook Esther's hand. She's so tiny and dainty I just want to take her home, tie her up, dress her in something frilly and set her in front of a mirror." Then a guy yelled, "Turn her into a voodoo doll! Stick pins in her!" People laughed at that one! ____________________________________________ Then Melissa was on. She really is very good. She's a good physical comic and her impressions are spot on. If you're curious, just look up her Youtube videos. She's funny. ________________________________________ With such a big audience it took a long time to get everyone their checks. Like, way too long. People were getting surly. While the staff was rushing to get people their checks, I helped clear the room. Then it was time for the second show. ________________________________________The 10:00 audience is usually much smaller, and it can be harder to get them to laugh. I'm kind of used to that. This audience wasn't buying Amy's icky jokes. (Oh yeah, I came verrry close to accidently introducing her as Amy Cheap-whore. Really!) Again, I was embarrassed for the club. AND this time Esther took a flash photo of Amy! And again, people turned around and looked. When Esther went up I thought, ok, she did a pretty good job at the first show. Things will pick up now. Nope. She was so thrown by the second audience being quiet that she went into brat mode. She wandered around the stage and said stuff like, "Um, what should I do now? Um...." She picked up the menu and read some of the items. She picked up the raffle form and talked about how stupid it was. Jokes that landed well in the first show fell flat, and she didn't even do some of the good stuff she had done before. When she was done I felt like I had to fluff up the room, so I told the joke about turning her into a voodoo doll. It helped. ____________________________________Then Melissa got up again and her energy was just down. People laughed, but I couldn't help thinking that some of them were wondering why they wasted their time coming out. When the show was over I went back to the green room to grab my uke. These girls had left a big mess of dishes and trash for the staff to clean up. I was offended by that. I picked up their trash and bussed the dishes.______________________________________ Tonight Melissa is performing again, but the other girls won't be there. Different feature comic this time. The 8:00 show is sold out. Yay! We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Ok, I haven't posted in a while, and the whole set up looks way different. So, WTF is up with blogger? My last big post is one big run-on paragraph with no breaks. This will not do.


Good golly, it's been a while. So much has changed. I don't like that I've neglected this blog. It really helped me through those tough times and I like being able to help myself remember all that stuff by going back and reading old posts. And I do enjoy writing, which these days has become kind of important. I need to write. Writing could actually get me somewhere. -*-*-*-*-*- Comedy just keeps chugging along. I've performed twice at the Ontario Improv (awesome audience) and hosting at Flappers is getting to be a regular thing. And that's why I need to write and why it's important to keep up with the blog. I just need the exercise. My song-writing rate seems to be stuck at one per year and that ain't no good no how. I am getting ideas, tho.-*-*-*-*-*- I got a job. I've been working for the last four months for a nation-wide company that, among other things, provides live-in care for people who are profoundly developmentally disabled. I work in the office. It's kind of funny. I applied as a receptionist, was hired as a temp Administrative Assistant, and, if the main office approves it, come December I will be promoted to Office Coordinator with a raise and bennies. This is big. I've spent too many years in financial drain. It kind of blows my mind that soon I'll have enough money. I'm tripping on the concept of "enough". Enough to live on and pay my bills. Enough to do some home improvements so I can protect my investment. Enough to put a few bucks away while also having some fun here and there. It's kind of hard for me to really see what that will be like.-*-*-*-*-*- Other than work and comedy, things have been a mixed bag. I'm pretty much always able to float along in a happy state (denial?), but it hasn't been as great as it could be. Watching my savings dwindle has been a drag. My house is kind of falling apart (no AC right now. FUN!), and it got very, very messy. I've spent the last few days cleaning and cleaning and it's still not done. Still, it's nice to look around and see progress. I mean, I'm reeeeally cleaning. Furniture is being moved, stuff is getting scrubbed. I'm looking forward to the next phase- PAINTING.-*-*-*-*-*- I had a big yard sale a couple months ago. Drew and Mindy brought over a bunch of stuff and we all moved some shit OUT. We put the leftovers in my sunroom intending to have another sale in June. Now the plan is to have the next yard sale on August 18th. After that, no leftovers. It all goes. Then it's back to the old tile game (remember that?), but I kind of like the tile game, and it should be easier because I've gotten rid of so much stuff already. I'm just glad this stagnation phase is ending.-*-*-*-*-*- I'm itching to do something creative and artsy. The mosaic supplies in the garage are calling to me. In my head I'm finalizing the design for my fireplace and I'm getting excited about getting started.-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- Oh yes, now I remember what it felt like to spend time with the bloggy. I like this.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Over the moon...

That's how I feel. What a great night!

This weekend was my hosting debut at Flappers. Barbara, one of the owners of the club, invited me over a month ago to start hosting. For me, someone who's just getting started in comedy, this is a pretty big step. I've been wanting to get into hosting, I just didn't know it would happen so soon.

Friday's 8:00 show was almost a full house and the audience was great! Friends, Rich and Cindy, and Tammy and Fernando, Jim and Colleen, and Terry and Sue came to the show (Thanks so much, guys!). Rick, the manager, took me aside before the show to give me some instructions. I've seen several shows at Flappers, so I pretty much knew what to do. Still, getting the instructions was necessary because I did make some mistakes. Rick gave feedback every time I left the stage. I felt pretty good about my opening and my set. People laughed. I wasn't as strong when I was introducing the comics. Before I host again I will be working on my weak spots.

The second show didn't go as well. The audience was much smaller and not as jolly. I kind of lost my focus and flubbed a lot of the stuff I was supposed to say. There was one woman in the front who was just a little drunk at the start of the show, but by the time the headliner (Drake Witham) went on, she was fully quite fucked up and wanted to "participate". That involved raising her hands and shouting, "Woo hoo!" at inconvenient intervals. Drake had some difficulty getting through his set. But he's very good at working the audience and he didn't let her throw him. She was annoying, but he made her outbursts part of the show.

At the end of every show, the host gives away prizes and is supposed to send everyone out on a big round of applause. Rick is pretty specific about how he wants that done. With my nerves and inexperience, I kind of messed that up. Not too horribly, I thought. Overall, I felt pretty good about how the night went.

When I arrived at the club on Saturday, Rick was in a bit of a mood. He kind of snapped at me about how poorly I had ended the show the night before. Not a lot, but it was enough to shake me up, and I could feel myself starting to crumble. I went into the green room so I could be alone and try to pull it together. Thoughts were bouncing off the inside of my skull and I was in a small panic. I told myself, look, you're trying to get into this show biz game and this is not the last time someone will be displeased with you. In fact, you're going to hear worse. You need to be able to deal with it. (breathe, breathe, breathe...)

I needed to walk around and get rid of some energy. I went out front to chat with Onely (sweetness and light). While I was out there I saw Rick kind of snap at her too. That actually made me feel a little better (sorry, Onely) because then I knew it wasn't just me. He was having a tense night.

(Before I go on, I need to say that ever since this whole thing started, Rick has been nothing but kind and encouraging to me. He's the one who first put me on that stage. I will always be grateful to him for what he's done for me.)

Posted all over the lobby were flyers about the show. James P. Connolly was making a guest appearance! I got excited when I saw his name. He was performing at Flappers the first night I got on stage, and he's very funny. I had family and friends coming that night, and I was happy that they were going to get a great show. I went back to the green room for a little while (breathe, breathe, breathe) and then went back out front to see who was in line. Jeff and his friend, Tim, were right at the hallway. Whew! So happy to see friendly faces! We had a nice chat (I told them to applaud wildly at the end of the show. Yeah, cheating, I know.) and then I saw Stacey and Scotty in line so I went to talk to them for a bit. Then I went back in and waited for the show to start.

FULL HOUSE! While Onely was making her opening announcement, I was offstage jumping up and down to get my energy up. Then she announced my name and I hit that stage like I was on fire! Hiya, hiya, hiya, ladies and germs! Well, not quite like that, but you get the picture. Oh man, that audience was great! GREAT! They laughed at everything! I was in love! I did three songs, told some jokes, introduced James P. and then I was off. When I went around the curtain, Rick was there and he just threw his arms around me. He said, "You knocked it out of the park, kiddo!"


I went back to the green room (fortunately it was empty) and did a happy dance, punctuated by fist pumps and giggles. I was higher than a fucking kite. It was an amazing feeling. Then I went back out for the rest of the show. It went fairly well. Still some mistakes and wavering focus, but overall pretty good, and I was HAPPY! After the show I saw my friend Chuck Craw. I hadn't seen him before the show and I was so glad that he had come. Then I talked to Lindsay, Paige, Kyle, and Samy for a bit. We all went out front for a big hug fest. Then I had to go back in and reset for the next show.

Heh! Big difference for the 10:00. Twenty-two people in the audience and they were like statues compared to the earlier show. Yeah, ok, whatever. I didn't care. I think they still enjoyed it. We got mild chuckles instead of guffaws. Some audiences are like that. You still need to work just as hard for them as the ones who love everything you do. After the show I went back to the green room to fill out a W9 form. Yep! I is a professsssional now!

Rick came downstairs and handed me a check. He said, "Donita, I've written checks for everything from a box of cups to paying big name comics. I have never taken so much pleasure in writing a check." He was full of praise and he even commended me on how well I took it when he snapped at me. He said he wants to put me in the hosting rotation. And I, true to form, burst into tears.

I went back into the green room to pack up my stuff. Drake was there. Heh! He asked me if I was ok. I told him I was fine, I'm just a big weeper. We sat and talked for a while. He said he thinks I'm going to do really well in comedy, and he liked my story about how I got started. A couple more hugs from Onely and Rick and then I went home.

As I drove I looked at the moon. I said, "Yeah. I could take that."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Still stuck, but better

Every day I do a little more with the house and every day more items go on the yard sale pile. I'm planning to have it in April. I'm researching and photographing the music and sound equipment and putting them on a blog I created for the sale. When the time comes, I'll put the blog address on Craigslist so people can preview the sale. Time for this stuff to go. Besides, I really can use the cash.

The kittens are almost ready to got outside. I'm looking forward to the day when I can unblock the cat door and get rid of the litter boxes. Paige and I have been letting them outside for supervised play time, and all of them have discovered the fabulousness of the loose dirt in the back yard. Not having the litter boxes in the house will be a big relief for me.

I can't move the treadmill on my own. I started taking it apart and found that the electrical connectors don't really want to be pulled apart once they're clicked in. I'm going to have to call in a professional. I'll do that after the yard sale, which will be sometime in April. Too much stuff piled around the house right now.

That's about it. The job search continues.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Feeling like a fuck up

Not looking for rescue, I just need to vent a little.

2:39 AM. Ugh! I'm feeling a bit off. I hate this restless, aimless thing I get into every once in a while. One problem I have with being single after being part of a couple for so long is I don't have anyone who will just tell me what to do. I don't always trust my own decisions. Sometimes my mind wants to go in a Lucy Ricardo direction and I have to rein it in. Right now I'm working on making some changes around here and I keep wondering if my energies could be better spent doing something else.

But I do want to get this stuff done. I think it will be good for me in the long run. I can't afford to do the major stuff that needs to be done to this house, but I can at least make things function and look better, which will help me feel better. I'm working on getting the tv room ready to move my treadmill in. It just didn't work for me to have it in the back bedroom. I don't know if this will be any better, but I'm going to try it. I've also moved all the records into the house (finally!). All my art stuff will move to the back bedroom. The nice room divider that's back there will move to the tv room and be used as a desk for the record digitizing project. One set of large shelves will be moved to the back for the art stuff.

All this is a lot of heavy lifting, but once it's done, it's done. And I think it will look much better than the mess it's been for four years. AND I can get started on the record project, which I think will be really cool and fun. The treadmill will be facing the tv. If I can sit on my ass and watch Maddow for an hour, I might as well get some exercise.

So, that all sounds pretty positive, but I'm still churning about stuff. I still don't have a job, and I fucking well need one. Soon. I haven't been doing a very good job of taking care of my health (treadmill in tv room, good step), and that's bullshit. It's foolish to let that slide. My car is on its last legs, and I can't afford to replace it. Really, pretty much everything that's bugging me would go away if I had some money coming in.

I'm registered for Spring semester, and if all goes well, this will be my last. Scotty thinks I have enough units to graduate. We're waiting to hear from the Evaluators about the math requirement. I might have taken care of all that at Santa Rosa, but he's not sure if it qualifies. If it doesn't, I'll have to take a math class in the Fall, which would SUCK. Oh well. So here's where I feel like a fuck up. I'm fifty-five years old and I have almost no skills that are useful in today's world. Instead of learning marketable skills, I stayed home and raised kids. NO regrets there, believe me. But, jeez, I sorta, kinda thought I'd have a husband to grow old with. The one I had had a good career and his earnings were going up year after year. I thought we were all set. We both did. Oh well.

So, now here I am. When I worked at RCC I did learn a lot in a short time. I do have some computer skills, but some of these job postings pretty much ask for the moon. I've even seen some that require a Bachelor's degree to do reception work! I know what kind of employee I am, but why should anyone give me a chance when there are so many more skilled and experienced people looking for work? So, yeah, quit whining and go get some skills. Well, I'm working on it.

I really didn't think I'd be out of work for this long. I was surprised when I hit the six month mark. Things are shitty all over.

So, it's more fun to work on my house. It's more fun to do comedy, and work on getting good at it, and dreaming about hitting it big someday (soon!). But I also don't like having that kind of dream, because it seems so foolish and juvenile. Like, when I grow up, I'm going to be a rock star or a pro football player. That shit doesn't happen to real people. But hey, it's already kind of happening to me. The question is, how far will it go?

In the meantime, I pay the bills and watch my savings dwindle.