Sunday, December 13, 2009

Commitment and Contradiction

Alright, this blog is obviously brought to you by the letter "C" and by the number "2"

This isn't gonna be one of those funny blogs (not that many of them are anyway) but this is going to be a blog about two things comedians come across, or at least I think they do.

Last week or so, I performed on a show with Joe DeRosa. During his set, he spoke about a television show, I think it was Bridezillas, and he then commented about how he shouldn't have done that bit because he "didn't fully commit to it." Now whether he committed to it or not, it was still funny, but from what it seems like I've heard and learned from other comedians and books is that with full commitment a joke can go from a C or a B joke to an A joke. I think that you have to fully be behind with what you're saying and show your passion and commitment for what you are saying by using facial expressions, body language, and words used. Because from what I've been taught, if you seem like you don't care about what you're saying, then why should the audience?? I seem to have this problem at times. When I feel like a joke or an act out isn't going over as well as I thought it would, I tend to bail on it and don't finish it and move on to the next bit. Or if it still doesn't go over as well as I thought it would with all the lines intact, welp, then that joke apparently fucking sucks.

So let's go onto contradiction. Now first off, let me just say that I love criticism, positive or negative. I think that it's also important to get criticism from other comedians that you consider friends and peers and at the same time you respect them and their own craft and material. With that being said, a lot of times feedback can be contradicting. For example, awhile back, I was told throw in new material to get a feel for it in front of real audiences and to not worry about the laughs, and take risks. So at a recent show, I did just that. I didn't worry about the laughs and I got a feel for some new material that I'm really starting to like. Well, apparently, that wasn't the right thing to do, because someone watching the acts to give feedback to (agent and/or booker) said that my set was one of the worst of the night. Alright, that's fine. I think that if you're going to get feedback and criticism, you need to take it, do something with it, and move on. You make your own destiny in this world and you choose what happens and you pave the way. If you wanna go up on stage and try out a lot of new material and not worry about it being edited or fleshed out, then do it. Do whatever you want to do and do what you think is funny and do what makes you happy. I think that if you do that, then it's going to be obvious to the audience, and you're going to seem real.

Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass, I dunno...but what I do know is that commitment and contradiction seem to be an important part of this growth, and damnit, I'm gonna figure that shit out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You Never Forget Your First...

Hello there Adamaniacs, I have something magical to share with you today and as the title says, it has to do with my first...

On Friday, December 4th, 2009, I got my first heckler! Comedy vocab time!!

heckler - noun. A person who yells out while a comedian is on stage. This heckler usually yells out things like, "you suck." Heckler is also a Latin word, meaning asshole.

Alright, now that we have spread some knowledge in this blog, lets get to the action. I was performing at New York Comedy Club for the 10pm show Jeff Lawrence and friends (always a good show with great friends/great comedians) I was scheduled to perform before the headliner, which is usually the same time the checks are being picked up and paid (also known as the check spot) I usually like to perform during the check spot because you don't really have to worry about material and it's a great time to try crowd work, and you can just talk to audience members, because no one is really paying attention because they are paying their check. That night, I chose to do a little bit of material and then crowd work. About 2 minutes into my set, I glance at this girl sitting to my left, and she yells out, outta NO where..."you have a lot going on up here (pointing to her face) which must mean you're pretty small down there (pointing to the dick area)"

Now, first of all.....what? There were a couple of "ohhs" in the audience, but it was mainly confusion because this came out of no where and I said NOTHING to provoke or offend this girl....and I've been saying girl because that's exactly what she was. She had on glasses, looked like she was 13 years old, and at the time I was on stage, I THOUGHT she had braces on. So after I try and think about what I said to piss this GIRL off, I said "listen, I could care less when the next Harry Potter book comes out, and I have no idea what I said to make you yell out." Now on the other side of the stage, there was this drunk whor...I mean, woman. And of course SHE wants me to whip it out too on do I know she wanted me to whip it out? I'm glad you asked, because she yelled out, "come ooooon, take it out!"

But this blog isn't about's about the 13 year old troll that was sitting stage left of me. After I talk about the drunk woman for a bit, I go back to the 13 year old shape shifter and tell her that if she really wants to see my dick, I'll take her in a dark alley after the show and show her, which lead to a random guy yelling out "YEAH!" which I responded with, "that guy can come too and watch"

So needless to say, I tried not to dig into this girl too much, because A) I was completely blindsided by her comment and B) I had to deal with the drunk whore too. But what was really strange was what happened AFTER the show. The flat chested 13 year old girl came up to me after the show and said, "were you the comedian?" which I responded with, "yeah, there were a lot of them in there, were you the girl that yelled out for no reason?" She then tells me to give her one of my cards, and I tell her I don't have any...which is a lie, because I love my little business cards.....she then asks me for my phone number, and I tell her "no, because I don't want to get stabbed by scare me" So she THEN tells me that she wants me to be on her TV show, and hands me her, I'm not going to mention the TV show name, but just know, that when this girl looked into my eyes, I could feel her piercing my soul. I'm pretty sure this "TV show" of hers is done by her high school audio visual aid club, right after she does the morning announcements. Her friend she was with, was carrying two big shopping bags, filled to the brim with shit...what kind of shit? I dunno, crazy shit...I'm pretty sure she was carrying around Beanie Babies or something.

Do you people understand how crazy this whole situation was!? I was dumbfounded from the time this 13 year old anime creature yelled out to the time she handed me her card. Some of the comedians thought that she thought I was cute, which is why her "heckle" said, you have a lot going on up here (in the face)...meaning I was cute...WHAAAAT?! Did anyone else hear the 2nd part of her "heckle?" How is any of that heckle a compliment at all?? I mean shit, if you're going to hide a compliment in a "I bet you have a small dick" comment, then why not just cut straight to the point and say, "hey, I bet you have a small dick, cutie-pie"...and IF this troll was attracted to me, she could have went about this 2 ways, 1) yell out during my set, then piss me off, leading to her getting verbally bashed in a public place or 2) come up to me awkwardly after the show, ask for my number, then get awkwardly shut down in a polite way...because you ain't greater than or equal to my standards of cute.

With that being said, I'm kind of sad that my first heckler was a 13 year old....retarded girl.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Crying in the French Toast...

Welp, I said that I wanted to keep updating this blog frequently, so here I am. As I sit here and log in, I only have one problem, I have no idea what I want to blog about.

I will say tho, that I have been out here in NJ/NYC for about a year now and I have to admit, I couldn't be happier. Over the last year I have learned so much about comedy and myself and have met some really talented and really great comedians/comrades/friends.

What amazes me the most is that out of all the comedians that I've met out here, everyone's path is different. Some comedians do comedy for therapy, some do it for money, some do it because their mommy didn't hug them enough as a kid. Whatever the reason, I love the fact that there are so many different comedians with their own date with destiny.

My dad use to often ask me when I would do a show, "was there anyone funnier than you?" and my response is always "shut up, Dad." I truly believe that every comedian, male, female, black, white, straight, gay, whatever, all brings something different to the table. I don't see some comedians being funnier than others. All comedians have their own niche, own material, and all do something different with it when it comes to taking it to the stage. There was an interview with one of my biggest influences, Brian Regan, and he talks about working clean. He says that he likes to see comedy in the same category as music. There are all these different types of music under this huge umbrella, and musicians choose to explore a certain aspect under that umbrella, and the same goes for comedy.

One thing that I have been constantly doing since I've been out here is seeing as many professional comedians as possible, and then sticking around after the shows to just ask them for one tip. Most of the time, the comedian says to just stay true to yourself and do what you want to do. Brian Regan told me after a show that he still doesn't know what he's doing and said that it takes awhile to find "your voice," but that voice comes a lot more naturally when you are on stage talking about the things that you care about and want to talk about.

I feel like I'm about to name drop a lot in this blog, so I will apologize now.

Brian Regan and Lewis Black are two of my biggest influences when it comes to comedy. Talk about being on two completely different ends of the spectrum, huh? Brian talks about the stupid things in life, and does it clean, and is very physical with his facial expressions and entire body. Lewis Black on the other hand is extremely angry, bitter, vulgar and is also really physical when it comes to the stage. I've seen Lewis Black twice and met him both times. The first time I met him, he told me to "perform at any shit hole you can. You'll learn a lot more when you're performing at the shit hole, compared to an actual comedy club." When I met him the second time, I told him about the problem that I was having about trying to be more personal onstage and he seemed a bit irritated, as if he has heard something like that before and said, "Fuck 'em, you do what you want to do. You talk about whatever you want to talk about and the rest will come from your heart. Don't listen to anyone when it comes to your material. When I started people told me that I shouldn't cuss...well that would have been a big fucking disaster."

Patton Oswalt said something similar to me when it came to being personal. He said that you shouldn't ask people to critique your work because it's yours and you have to do what you find is funny and what is true to yourself.

I don't really know where to go with this blog, and I have no idea why I chose to call it No Crying in the French Toast, because the title actually has to do with a friend of mine being drunk and crying in his French toast at a diner after a night of drinking. So I have no idea how comedian advice and French toast can be tied come up with your own metaphor with it and pretend that I said it...

Soooo....(insert your metaphor here)......And remember, no crying in the French toast.