Thursday, November 30, 2006

Home Stretch + Screw Up (Comedy Update)

So next week is our dress rehearsal. I got to see the room I will be performing in last night and it is pretty cool! There are some columns so we might have to get creative with the table arrangements, but that's ok. I went to open mic last night with a couple comedy buddies and when I got a ride home I forgot my joke book in Marc's car. Every week we do new material so normally it wouldn't be a big deal, except next week is the dress rehearsal! All old material, crap. Anyways I think I remember which bits went well, but now I am regretting not recording my sets. Lesson learned. Another lesson learned for everyone, including those who don't perform: it is rare to have a good sound system. Sit as close as you can to the stage, you will enjoy the show much more.

December 13th!!!!!!!!!! is the big show

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lost Seinfeld Episode

Warning there is some strong language


Monday, November 27, 2006

Who is Judge Roy Bean?

I was road-trippin' with my family over thanksgiving, and for adventure we decided to duck into South Haven, MI which is a B-level vacation town. We stopped at a restaurant named Clementine's that had a drink named "The Judge Roy Bean". I wasn't particularly in a drinking mood, but being a brethren by namesake I asked the waitress who Judge Roy Bean was. She didn't know and I failed to inspire her to find out, but that's what the internet is for. Here's a synopsis
Roy headed to Vinegaroon to become a saloonkeeper, serving railroad workers whiskey from a tent. As his own best customer, he was often drunk and disorderly.

Roy tended bar in Sam's saloon for several years while smuggling guns from Mexico through the Union blockade during the Civil War. Afterward, he married a Mexican teenager and settled in San Antonio, where throughout the 1870s, he supported 5 children by peddling stolen firewood and selling watered-down milk.

One of Bean's most outrageous rulings occurred when an Irishman was accused of killing a Chinese worker. Friends of the accused threatened to destroy the Jersey Lilly if he was found guilty. Court in session, Bean browsed through his law book, turning page after page, searching for another legal precedent. Finally, rapping his pistol on the bar, he proclaimed, "Gentlemen, I find the law very explicit on murdering your fellow man, but there's nothing here about killing a Chinaman. Case dismissed."

Roy spent most of his days sitting on the porch of his saloon, with rifle handy. In his spare time, he served customers. His favorites were railroad passengers, desperate for something to drink while the train took on water. Bean served them quickly, then lingered before giving them their change. When the train's warning whistle blew, customers swore and demanded their change. Roy then fined them the exact amount and sent them cursing back to their railroad cars.

In 1898, prizefighting had become illegal in most Western states, as it was in Mexico, and promoters could find nowhere to hold the world championship title bout between Bob Fitzsimmons and Peter Maher. On February 22, the Jersey Lilly was packed with 200 fight fans who, after a few rounds of drinks, followed Roy to a bridge he built to a sand bar in the Rio Grande River. While Texas Rangers watched the makeshift ring helplessly from atop the bluff, Fitzsimmons decked Maher in only 95 seconds. After returning to the saloon for more drinks...
Read the whole summary, it's fascinating. A real piece of American history; still it leaves one wondering...why South Haven? to be continued...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Comedy Update

So it's getting down to the wire. Writing new material is getting tougher, as most of us have used up all the "material" we had before we got to class. This week was a little rough for just about everybody, for reasons I am not sure. I decided not to do the open mic because: 1: my set this week wasn't my best and 2: the cameras weren't there. So far 4 classmates have done the open mic with two results. The 2 who had done stand-up before this class did pretty well and the 2 newbies also did well, but seemed discouraged. The crowd can be tough, even if you are good and our teacher keeps telling us you just have to roll with it. Easier said than done when you are just getting started.

There is no class next week, as it is Thanksgiving and I will be in Michigan. I still have to write one more original set and then piece together all my best stuff (5 min. time limit) for a December 6th dress rehearsal. At the dress I will get acquainted with the microphone and the lights, which I heard can be discomforting. The show is Dec. 13th - Be there!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Death of a blog

I was procrastinating not just one minute ago when I wanted to see Hawk and DJ's take on the offseason. Apparantly they have had enough. RIP Hawk and DJs blog 11-15-2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Churchill Downs

So this past weekend I went to a political conference in Louisville, KY and part of the festivities included an outing at Churchill Downs. I was particularly excited about this, because I had a vision that I would win big. Churchill Downs
This is the turf race that I scored the biggest on. I had a vision that 3 and 5 would finish first and second, but I didn't know what to do about the third horse in the Trifecta. So I picked 4 different and the longest shot came through! For those who don't bet on horses that is good because the longer the shot the better the payout. I won $733 on an $8 bet - awesome! I promptly picked up the tab for the rest of the trip, which cost me a decent amount of money and got some pricey souvenirs. I probably should have kept more for my CC's but oh well. Great times and I think I am hot right now so I am going to Vegas in a couple weeks.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tougher than it looks (comedy update)

So we went to the open mic after class again. This time, tough, we stayed and observed the Comedy 202 class do their thing. I must admit they seemed unprepared, and I am thankful to be part of such a talented class. One of the better students from class went up and had some mic issues. Basically he was impossible to hear, and he remarked that the lights are something he was not prepared for. There is a lot more that goes into this than it looks, but I am confident that I will one day be very good at this.

One thing our coach said on the first day is that it is the cardinal sin of comedy to copy someone else's material. There was a guy who went up on stage and told a bunch of Steve Carrol jokes. Of course he sounded great, but I was very offended. On top of that he was promoting his show at Second City, which is doubly wrong to profit with someone else's material.

Writing material is hard, but rewarding. Here is my experience: you write 20 jokes and only like 1 or 2. Once you have like 15 you like you have a set. But then the audience will only like 25-75% of the jokes you liked. So basically, only 1% or so is good enough, but you did a lot of work to get that 1%. So don't steal.

UPDATE: Next week the documentary guys are filming the open mic. I will be going up, my coach will go up, and his private student that is featured in the film. Wish me luck

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hilarious Story (warning: you had to be there)

So I went to a mixed martial arts fight last night - the show was really cool with a lot of action. We saw some good tap outs, but no knockouts. If I had one complaint, it was a little long (4.5 hours!). During one of the intermissions there was an exhibition bout for some wussy style of Karate where they can't punch the head. So these two Polish guys pummeled each other's chest for 6 minutes and it was clear they were not really taking it to each other. The fight, to much booing and hissing, was declared a draw. Stay with me

Afterwards, these people felt compelled to impress the audience by "breaking 9 baseball bats with his bare shin". After successfully breaking 4, the next refused to break. At first it was cool b/c you want to see the guy fail. But he kept kicking, kicking, kicking until he had a knob the size of an apple on his shin. Then he switched legs. And failed again. The ceremony ended in disgrace as he failed to break all 9 bats and had to be helped out the ring. Hilarious!

Peter commented that he should have taken one of the bats he did break and perform Hari-Kari.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Comedy Update (again)

I forgot to mention next week's assignment. 5 minutes open set, the real deal. I might even perform at the open mic I visited last week (the bartender told me I am cute so I feel obligated to go back)...out

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bounce Back

Our comedy teacher informed us the cameras would be rolling at yesterday's class, and here's why. There is one particular comedian who got frustrated in his mid-life with everything and decided he wanted to be a comedian. Typical mid-life crises kinda stuff, but this production company picked up on it and his private coach is also the coach of my class. They are filming selected classes to pick a "sub-plot" for the film. We all had to sign release forms and everything, but even if I don't get paid I wouldn't mind being on the big screen.

So I had my best class and put a lot of material into it. Yay me. Then afterwards I decided to check out an open mic; some were good some were terrible. There's no doubt that I am better than the worst, but if I want to be very good I have to put a lot into this. My "graduation" performance is December 6th at the Cubby Bear (I normally wouldn't ever go there, but it is just a "gig").

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Standard for Apology

Someone talk to KerryYou've heard the buzz. You've read the reviews. Now see for yourself John Kerry belittles US military. So now what? In his press release Kerry wrote

If anyone thinks [I] would criticize the...heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a...doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq...

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers...
[it continued in this vein - ed.]

What you'll notice is missing from the press release is an apology. That's right, John Kerry misspoke, Kerry unintentionally insulted 100k+ people, and he did not apologize. Because it was not his intention to insult so many people. I was puzzled when I heard that, because what is the point of directly insulting people if you apologize for it? I don't want this blog to dove-tail into Dr. Manners, but it seems like unintentionally insulting people is textbook apologizing time. But that's just me