Friday, March 30, 2007

A meeting of the minds

So I've been given advice. I'm a sucker for advice and extra info. The problem with me is that I tend not to filter the solid advice from the crap. I take it all in. Yeah, I'm a "Gull-i-bull," as Wayne from Wayne's World would say.

To avoid me completely getting snowed, I tend to seek the advice of many all at once. Preferable the many, all of us, are in pursuit of achieving a common goal. The meeting would be the means leading to a clear and concise end. Ideally this meeting would take place in a chamber or room, if you will. We, the many, would be throwing ideas out at each other. It would be a regular British Parliament.


I dissect and digest better when there are several points of view around. Recently, I placed an ad on Craigslist stating that I'm looking for Comedic Partners/Writing Partners. Ideally, these partners would be other comedians/iennes that would like to "make it," whatever "make it," means.

And so far it worked out fairly well.

My ad went a little something like this:

Hello, fellow aspiring comic! I need a comic buddy. Someone willing to meet up everyday to freshen up and heighten my comedy set. I will be writing new material every day and I need someone to bounce ideas off of.

This is supposed to serve a DUAL purpose.

I, in return, will offer the same support.

But you need to be SERIOUS about this pursuit! (Over the next 1.5 - 2 years of honest "balls-to-the-wall" dedicated writing and performance!)

We will help each other out:

- attend open mics together
- give encouragement when needed
- offer advice, interpret, add to current material

This relationship will grow into a comedy team (although on stage it will be a solo pursuit)... but we all need cheerleaders!

If I receive more than one answer, I have no problem turning this into a writing group (no more than 5). But once again, you need to be serious about this and be able to hang many a late night.

Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, Mike Birbiglia, Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin...

Here are all my responses:

Person A: "Hi, I'm responding to your ad on craigslist. I don't see myself as a performer...maybe I'll try who knows, if I've got the balls. anyway, I like to think I know what's funny. I just recently got into writing. I thought it was a waste talking to the TV when I should be writing this stuff down. I'm working on several writing/tv projects right now, but I'm game if there's a chance to be creative. Give me a call to discuss."

Person B: "first me: 26, transplant from midwest but been in nyc for 3 yrs....public school teacher although never intended to be (its a good story)....taken classes at UCB1 but haven't gotten serious as i just finished a grad degree i never intended again (related)...usually use capital letters...u get it.....anyway, ready to get serious in the coming months, especially considering i'm now done with grad school and have july/august off.....sarcastic, dry, inappropriate....alright, anyway, hit me back"

Person C: "hi! I am am comic as well. Wondering if you found what you are looking for. I'm not available everyday, but if you want an online compaƱero, or a phone friend, perhaps I could help out. Have you been to many open mics? What were your thoughts? I haven't been to any here yet. Thanks"

Person D: "Hi, I am a freelance copywriter. In ad school, we had to take a stand-up class. Very hard! But I am thinking, if I have some value to you, you may have some value to me - getting inspired by other creative endeavors is perfect for me to improve my own ideas.

I also hold the belief that low-brow or high-brow - it's all the same! I'm not snobby because cleverness has no bounds. Kinda like Beethoven and the Ramones, right? One is much more moronic than the other, but that's not to say that the Ramones are not relevant.

Anywho, I'm babbling at this point. If your interest is piqued, shoot me an email, ask me whatever you want"

Person E: "Interesting idea. I think I’d be more into a group thing than a 1-on-1 (this really does sound like a Craigslist reply, doesn’t it…). Let me know if you’d like to get together, or if you’re getting a group together.

Person F: "Hi, I think this could be a match. I started doing stand-up 10 years ago in NY, moved to LA from '96-'05, and — after a long hiatus — have just barely gotten back to normal in Manhattan. Aside from a handful of bringer performances since June, I haven't done the open mic, hanging out at clubs, and hoping to go on late night for no pay, get recognized and cast in commercials, etc., DREAM lately. I never made it past bringers in LA -- but I'm way funny and I love helping others tweak their jokes and performances."

Person G: "I am responding to your ad on Craigslist,(obviously) I am an ex Wall St trader who has been told for years to be a comedian. I am very interested in talking with you about this because the only thing i lack is the confidence. I have also written a pretty funny book, but you probably have never heard of it because no one ever wanted to read it. I am very interested in current events (truth is stranger than fiction) and i feel that I can make a living in comedy on the back of my take on current events."

Person H: "I'll keep this short and to the point. I've also begun writing and doing standup comedy in the area, and know the importance of somebody to bounce ideas off of. If you want to talk further, or compare ideas, feel free to respond at your leisure. Thanks."

All these were responses within the first week. I posted the ad on a Mon and the responses trickled in, ending Fri.

So this proves Craigslist is not as scary as it might seem, especially if you ask the universe for what you really want. I'm a big believer in sending out positive vibes, asking for what you really want/desire, and the universe hands it you.

I met up with Person D, E, and F that Wed and then Person C and H Thursday. It turned out great. Next week we're going to kick it in high gear and see where it takes us.

**Awesome Omen Alert!**
While waiting for the meeting to convene at the obligatory Starbux location, well-established comedian David Cross2 walked by the window I was facing. I wanted to jump up, run after him, and say "Hello." But I was afraid I would lose the three chairs and a table I had previously staked out. I considered it a good omen, seeing as the reason I was sitting there in the first place was because of comedy.

See you next post!

1UCB = [Official NY website|Upright Citizens Brigade] [Return to Entry]

2David Cross [Official Bob and David website|MySpace|Wikipedia] [Return to Entry]

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Balls to the wall!

When I used to row crew in high school, we had this term called, "Fly and Die!"

It referred to an all-out sprint in the 1500-2000 meter race. (For you Americans, 1500 meters is 0.93 miles and 2000 meters is 1.24 miles.) It doesn't seem like much, but how many Olympians do you know can run a mile at a full sprint?

But we need to compare apples to apples. The sprint was in a boat (shell) that weighed (52kg / 114lbs ) with 3 - 8 other rower(s)/coxen(s), all varying in weight. My point is that in crew, it's combined effort.

I'm getting off base here.

You FLY (give it all you got) and it makes dying worthwhile. You put all your effort into it, and by the end you can't move. You’ve exhausted all your energy. You’ve given it your all!

I'm applying this methodology to Stand-Up comedy.

For years, I've thought about it. I've written quips, jokes, puns and never put them to the test.

In my trek to learn the NYC comedy scene, I had a fascinating conversation with a club owner (former comedian). He provided me with all the tools I needed to make this happen.

So what constitutes "make it happen"?

I dunno really. I want to be a successful comic, but I don't know what SPECIFICALLY I'm looking for. Perhaps a small bit on Comedy Central's, Premium Blend. (I've always loved that show.) I don't want my own TV sitcom, but I do definitely want the capability to produce a film. So maybe that's what I'm looking for--to make a narrative film via the platform of becoming a successful comedienne.

And I'm going to document it all right here. I might put jokes up, every so often, but it might not work in written format.

I'll try to post videos/performances. I'm not sure how internet savvy I need to be to be able to do that. But otherwise, this will be a deep look into the career of an aspiring comic. Not original, but mainly this is to keep me inspired and motivated. I'm even putting some checks and balances to make sure I don't get off track or just plain stop! Yikes!

Here it goes!

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