Monday, July 31, 2006

Memoir of a Memoir Writing Class

So I took this memoir-writing class at Gotham Writers' Workshop in 2004. The only good thing to comeo out of it was this series published at


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Epilogue, Alternate Endings, and Outtakes!

Rock On,


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yet ANOTHER Open MIc Story

Open Mic Story

On Sunday I wanted to do an open mic, get ready for my "big gig" on Monday (HA!). I had never been the the Comedy Village, so I subwayed it down to the village. It was cancelled. No, not the village, but the open mic. Swell.

Since I was already out and about and jonsing for a mic, I decided, against my better judgment, to hit the mic at Stand Up New York, my least favorite by far. What makes an open mic good or bad? The host.

The Right Way to run one is to do some material at the beginning and do a joke here and there between acts. If you are fortunate enough to get "real" audience members who stumbled in off the street, make them feel welcome, etc

Then there's The Wrong Way.

Let's forget the fact that this chick (the host - Daniella) feels the need to tell us that she used to be married to a rock star and has made out with several top comics (and she manages to bring it up every open mic...I used to be a regular).

Let's forget the fact that if one of her friends pops in, she'll put them up immediately, making those who got there earlier wait.

Let's forget the fact that she does material in between each comic - and I use that term loosely as her jokes are brutal (there's a reason why she's been hosting an open mic for years).

Let's even forget that I've seen her berate the comics...once saying, "I'm gonna think about you guys tonight while my boyfriend is screwing me to keep from coming."

No, my "favorite" part of this particular mic was how she ripped into the people who wondered in off the street who came in to see some comedy (obviously they had no idea what an open mic is, or how little - intentional - comedy is delivered at an open mic).

She spoke to a couple of chicks who were here in NY for some sort of month-long actors studio intensive class. The host nonchalantly informs them that they are wasting their youth...that acting will only lead to a life of disappointment and squashed dreams. But she was just warming up.

There was another couple of women there, who told Danella that they don't do comedy but they used to do Improv together. Daniella was more than happy to relay that improv is the weak sister of comedy. Feeling like she hadn't laid into them enough, she decided to do an "act out" -

"Here I am, in the Sahara...boy is it hot here... (she wipes her brow)...applause. Now I'm driving a car....(she pretends to drive)...applause. It's ridiculous." Yeah, THAT'S ridiculous. While the actors stayed, the Improvers soon left.

Two and a half hours after it started, I got to go on.

Rock On,


Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Break In Comedy?

By the way - regarding that audition last night - I was thinking it coulda been part of some reality show where they do anything possible to disrupt the performer...I'm surprised they didn't have someone yell "Noonan!" every ten seconds.


So I just got a call from the guy that runs the new talent shows at The Improv. During the summer they run pro shows during the day because they get a lot of tourist traffic in that area.

Anyway, he's giving me a "guest spot" on at least one of those shows - so this Monday, I'm leaving work early for a 4 PM spot at The Improv. (Since it is mainly a tourist crowd, I'll be telling jokes about Justice Alito and Queens College to people from Denmark...this'll work).

As an aside, he told me that the owner's son will be watching - maybe I was reading too much into it, but I guess that means that if I do well, I'll have a regular gig.... once the owner dies.

Rock On,


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Comedy Should Not Be Performed in the Afternoon

So I did a show yesterday afternoon I left work early to do a show at The Improv. I try to learn something from every set I do and here's what I learned yesterday...

Comedy Should Not Be Performed in the Afternoon.

I had heard that they get a decent crowd. There were 12 people in the audience (two of them were girls, ages 14 and 17).

Of course, since the show at at 3:30, no one was drinking alcohol (I'm a lot funnier when you're drunk...cuter too, but that's besides the point).

So we're doing comedy for 12 sober tourists (two of which were from Alabama...nuff said).

The woman before me, Lisa Landry, who's been on Comedy Central and plays all over, looked disgusted before she even went on. While onstage her cell phone rang - she mentioned that she hopes that's her agent cause she's got a word or two for him.

I did my set...did okay (impossible to "kill" in such a room), and left, only to see Lisa on her phone screaming at someone. I couldn't hear who it was as she was walking away but I could guess. What a business.

Rock On,


Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Audition

So I had this audition last night for a producer. It was held at Joe Franklin's Comedy Club (located at 45th and 8th Avenue). It's in the back of a bar/restaurant (Charley Oh's).

Problem #1 - Apparently, their music system can not restricted to just the front area. So whatever radio station was playing, we had to do our act over it. And it was a radio station with a DJ, which was even more difficult to talk over.

Problem #2 - I assume the kitchen was in the back of the restaurant, which was near the front of this comedy club. Every once in a while, we'd hear a "ding!" I felt like shouting "Chicken Marsala for table 2's ready dammit!"

Problem #3 - There was no microphone. So when I say that I ha to shout, that's what I meant.

Problem #4 - There were about 15 comics there and the producer who was watching us. Well, he was watching us when he wasn't on his cell phone. As I'm doing my act, I was wondering if I should stop till he got off...after all, I was only doing it for him - not the other comics who were looking at me like I had two heads (I kept going).

I love this business.

Rock On,


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Trip to the Vet

Went to the vet yesterday for my dog - vet told us that we should be brushing Stewie's teeth every day.

"Every day?!? I exclaimed, "I don't even brush my teeth every day!"

Rock On,


Monday, July 10, 2006

Me in a Nutshell

this is a converstion I had with a friend after a show a few weeks ago

Me - I wasn't very good

Friend - The crowd was dead for everyone

Me - That's no excuse...good comics get laughs anyway

Here is a conversation I had with a friend after my show on Friday night

Friend - Wow - you were great

Me - Nah, I wasn't very good

Friend - The crowd loved you

Me - Yeah, well, they loved everyone.

I just can't please me. It's like I'm my own mother. I have no idea what that means either.

Rock On,