Craigslist – Stealer of Dreams

You want one piece of advice, starting out comedian?  Don’t move to the suburbs.  

This lesson I learned the hard way and tried to rectify by responding to an ad on Craigslist for a reasonably priced basement apartment at Bloor and Ossington.  Fantastic location for a striving comic.  Less than 5 minutes walk to the subway.  Stumbling distance to Comedy Bar.  Perfect.  I went to check the place out and everything.  It wasn’t great.  But with a woman’s touch, it could look pretty damn adorable down there.  Also, my pet cat Peanut has a way of making any living space adorable.

The landlady agreed that I could bring by a deposit for the apartment and I was thrilled.  I would be moving back downtown.  After 2 years in Etobicoke, and a brief stint in Mississauga in an attempt to save some money, I would be back in the centre of the action, and I could not wait.  I could dream-taste the downtown garbage-day air already…

 January 1st 2014;  with Second City’s Conservatory program now complete, moving into a new place, I’d have more time free than I’ve had in a while.  Time to get back out there.  Do more stand-up, more improv, more storytelling.  Maybe meet some people willing to work together in a sketch troupe.  Get working on my writing; spec scripts, originals.  The whole nine.  Productivity ahoy!  This is going to be THE year.  But then…

RENEGE!

The landlady informs me in a poorly structured e-mail (weird, for a former teacher) that her current tenant is not able to leave when he said he would.  Which begs the question… WHAT THE FUCK were you posting an ad on Craiglist for if you weren’t even sure your fucking tenant was going to be leaving?  It’s like.. “Here!  Do you want to buy this car?  Yes? Well too bad, you can’t  It’s not for sale, sucker! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

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I’m fairly certain that’s the entire point of an online marketplace.  You don’t put something up, unless it’s good and goshdarn available!  I’m sure somewhere there’s a law against this type of flaking, but because no money was exchanged, it’s really just a matter of screwing over the person you lead on, then crushing her hopes and dreams.  (Dramatic, much?)

I know an argument can be made for the fact that it is possible to be a performer and live in the ‘burbs, but personally, I feel as though I’m wasting SO much time on the commute, which drains my energy and my drive.   If I stay in town after working an 8 hour shift, to see a show  instead of say, going home and preparing dinner, then going back to town to see a show, I’m saving time, but draining my wallet.  Ultimately, it’s a vaccuum of wasting time and money on eating out, gas, parking etc.  I think living in town, even though rent is more expensive, the ultimate savings occur in time.

So now it’s back to the drawing board.  I’m off to spend hours on Craigslist, Kijiji, ViewIt.ca and other such sites in an ongoing search for a convenient, not horrible location that won’t break me financially and/or morally (that’s right, I’m not moving to Parkdale.)

Keep your eyes open for me please, friends.  And never, ever move to the suburbs if you want to keep performing comedy at this early and fragile stage.

Water Wings – Toronto Brieview!

Just over two weeks now until Water Wings hits the Montreal Fringe Festival.  I can’t believe it.  The show is coming along well – got most of the lines memorized.  And dance moves.  What?  That’s right.

I’m super excited about my first Fringe experience – as a performer, that is – I tried the spectator role, as well as the volunteer role, but something tells me I’m going to like this role a whole lot more.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get as many people as possible to attend the Toronto Preview of the Water Wings.  Since we won’t be able to perform at the Toronto Fringe Festival this year, we’d really like to give our friends, family – and sketch comedy fans in Toronto a taste of what we worked hard to put together.  So, if anyone reading this is available, come on down to:

Comedy Bar: Thursday, June 6th 2013 @ 10PM.  

Erin promises treats!

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My Online Presence Renewed

Recently, a friend and colleague of mine told me “You need to have more of an online presence,” which I took as a sign that I haven’t posted anything here on CCC, so it’s time to get back to it. No more excuses or nonsense.  It’s not like I’ve been all that busy or anything…

Well…

Part of the reason my posts have been dwindling is because I’m co-managing another website lately for my sketch duo Lake Erie.  We’ve been working tirelessly at creating content for our upcoming Fringe show and in an effort to promote it, we put this little website together:

http://lakeeriecomedy.wordpress.com/

So far the show is coming along nicely, and we had our first shot at performing some of its material tonight at the JokeBox Live Comedy Lounge.  We spent all day yesterday preparing for the set and filming what will soon be our first promo short for the Fringe show.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but I may or may not have been driving around in a Mustang convertible for the shoot.

With all the Lake Erie stuff coming together, it’s hard to believe I’ve also just finished stage 2 of the 6-part process that is the Second City Conservatory program.  Last Wednesday my class had our final Level 2 show, and we finished with some fun improv and our first shot at performing some scenes written a la Second City style/process.  Our next term starts in a few weeks, and we’ll be focusing mainly on archival material, which is always fun.  I remember back from the Archival Show I did at Humber that performing other people’s stuff can be pretty darn fun.  Heh.  Colonel Angus

I’ve also added to my responsibilities belonging to the Communications Committee for the Canadian Comedy Awards.  The festival is going to be in Ottawa this year, so well in advance, I’m warning my remaining Ottawa peeps that it is very important we get together and get drunk while watching some hilarious shit that weekend in October.

No rest for the wicked, they say.  Which I’ve never really understood.  Does that mean people who are busy are witches?  Probably.  I’d better get back to my cauldron folks, but stay tuned, I’m going to try harder to update this puppy more frequently as we approach our Fringe show dates and the anxieties increase!

Huzzah!

Oh, and in honour of our first performance as Lake Erie tonight, world, I want you to remember a simpler time when this was relevant:

 

#geekomedy

Last night, I produced the first ever edition of Geekomedy, a show intended to incorporate aspects of media & technology into works of comedy.  I myself made a silly intro with the Voice Plus voice-changing app on my iPhone (my BROKEN iPhone!) and later incorporated the technological element of the George Foreman Grill to my show, by making an audience member a panini.

See what a difference technology adds to humour, folks?  Paninis!

The wonderful and dynamic duo Laura Bailey and Josh Bowman improvised a conversation on Facebook chat for a segment they called “IM-prov.”  Proof that some of the funniest writing people can produce is at home in front of a computer screen IMing to friends/family/ex-lovers recently escaping the confines of the closet.

I heard a comment from someone who walked into the segment late, about how strange it was to walk into a dark space lit only with a screen, to complete silence, and to still be entertained thoroughly simply through the act of reading a comic scene take place right before their eyes.

See kids, reading CAN be fun!

Next up was a PowerPoint presentation by Ashley Moffatt – hilarious as usual, Ashley incorporated elements of her regular routine, but added some flash to it with amazing photos of her famous plant wigs and, dogs.  Dogs everywhere.   I think PowerPoint stand-up is such a great idea, similar to the way SNL’s Weekend Update’s jokes are amplified by silly graphics, or Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert’s stuff – it adds to the joke.  The joke itself is funny, but with the right animation, it can take a chuckle to a full-blown guffaw.

Camille Côté was up next, regaling us with the tale of an incredibly awkward textual encounter she got in after meeting face-to-face and talking to him for a whole of 10 minutes, who later make very bizarre assumptions about her in txt form.  She made a good point about how some guys can be really brave, but only behind some form of screen.    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to eating my bagel now.  (wink wink)

Finally, the fabulous physical comedy of Jorge Viveros brought to the stage a real-life Angry Birds game, where members of the audience could throw Jorge, the angry bird, into stacks of cardboard boxes for FUN!

Many thanks to the audience members who came out to support the show, even though right off the bat, the host told us we all stunk.  (Thanks a lot, Bob Banks!)  It’s OK though, he was referring strictly to our hygiene and not to the quality of our comedy, which makes it better, right?  Right?…

Anyway, here’s hoping there’s more interest in tech-themed comedy down the line.  I think the next logical step would be installing a transporter directly in the Comedy Bar,  saving time AND the need to dress according to the climate. (And allowing for an easier stumble home post-alcohol-consumption.)

Robo-Brie OUT!

Normalcy

The Holidays are OVER!  Great!  Now let’s return to some semblance of normalcy, or whatever normalcy exists when you’re trying to be a comic.

Normalcy

Normalcy

Tonight kicked off the Comedy Bar’s annual Festival of New Formats, which I really wanted to attend, but found myself too tired to after an unusually long commute from Richmond Hill to find fancy cat food, which will supposedly stop Peanut from scratching her own face off.

That being said, my own show is being launched tomorrow on Day 2 of the FoNF and you should totally come and check it out:

Geekomedy jpg

The idea is to incorporate more media into live comedy performances.  The irony is that I’m not much of a tech-y, I just really like the idea of incorporating my computer to my comedy, since the funniest stuff I’ve written over the years can probably be found in old FB chat, MSN & ICQ conversations. Anyway, we’ve got some sweet acts lined up, so click on the image above, it’ll take you to the Event page on FB and provide you with ALL the details!

 

Now, before the clock struck midnight on NYE – the day before, in fact, I was privileged to perform in a really awesome show, again at Comedy Bar, in association with the Canadian Comedy Awards:

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Squint & check out that sweet line-up.  The entire show was professionally recorded and shortly, I will be given a copy of my performance, so that I’ll have a top-notch quality video of me performing stand-up that I can submit to various festivals and events.  I submitted a really shitty quality video to a comedy festival already and have yet to hear back, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.  At least next year, they’ll be able to see that I’m not just a series of very pale blurs.

The CCAs are being held in Ottawa this year – and I’m super excited because I will definitely make the trip up for them, so former friends of Ottawa, I warn you now – I will be begging to sleep on your couches/spare bedrooms in the not-too-distant future.  Maybe we can hold another show at the Avant-Garde while I’m up there.  Who knows?

Only time will tell.

So stay tuned CCA readers…

And check back to find out how Geekomedy turns out!  Or better yet, SEE FOR YOURSELF!  Tomorrow night at Comedy Bar.  7pm.  FREE.  Be there.

 

 

 

Laughs For Loaves TONIGHT!

Well, I may have spent the past two days sick in bed, but tonight, I’ll finally be getting out of my PJs (or maybe just putting on a more socially acceptable going-out kinda PJs) for this event right here:

(Since the poster was made, we’ve also had two great additions to the line-up: Ned & Dave and Mark DeBonis. Huzzah!)

If you’re thinking about coming, and you’re not sure what kind of food items to bring, check out what some of the performers’ favourite canned goods and maybe you’ll be inspired:

Ned Petrie (of Ned & Dave):

“Pumpkin Pie Filling (although if they could actually ‘can’ the nature of ‘good’-ness, that would be the tops)”

David Tichauer (the Dave part of Ned & Dave):

“My favorite canned good is the laughter on the Flintstones.”

The Sues:

“Peaches… millions of peaches. we love canned peaches so much that we moved to the country where we found a nice man who put fresh peaches in a can. for us and only us… he did make us kiss him in his little dun buggy for each can, but they’re so delish that we were okay with it.”

Kristeen von Hagen: 

“Soup! And Kraft dinner!”

James Kersley:

“Tuna combined with a can of corn. It’s a cheap student meal of protein and whatever corn is. (Chef Boyardee Ravioli is a close second)”

Vest of Friends:

Canned Pizza. It doesn’t exist yet but we’re working on it. We figure people like pizza, so why not put it in a can? Get it? We’re smart.”

All great ideas!  Maybe some of you will end up bringing some canned pizza of your own to give to:

dailybreadfood

Click on the logo to find out more about how the Daily Bread helps in our community

Briecommendations: LAUGHSTACHE

This is happening tomorrow night:


I had the chance to catch up with some of the amazing acts performing on this show to ask them how they REALLY feel about mustaches and facial hair:

“There are those for whom I think it’s essential: Cult Members, Cult leaders, Indie Folksters, Wizards.  For others I believe it is appropriate without being strictly necessary: Cowboys, Ring Leaders, Dock Workers, Henchmen. And, of course , there are those for whom facial hair is an absolute no-no: Babies, Police Officers, Amateur Ironists, Anglican Priests.” – Scott Montgomery, Falcon Powder.

Here’s another opinion about who should and shouldn’t have facial hair:

“Facial hair’s pretty neat, unless it’s on a girl.”  –  Ben Miner

(I’ll be sure to make an appointment to get my upper-lip waxed – AFTER tomorrow’s show!)

What do the mo-sistas think about facial hair?

“LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Love it. Seriously. LOVE IT! Oh my god. Even thinking and typing it makes me happy. I am a beard lover, but I also love an ironic mustache!” – Debra DiGiovanni

Well, you are going to LOVE the ‘staches at Comedy Bar tomorrow night Debra because comedians are only capable of growing mustaches ironically.  Little known fact.

Check out this coming-of-age-and-stache tale:

“We didn’t realize it was quite so much work! All of the waxing, flexing, watering it every day, etc. We feel a new respect for people that wear them all year round. The biggest problem is that it wakes us up all the time. We roll onto our faces as we sleep and it pokes us. Rolling onto your face as you sleep is normal, right?” – Marc Hallworth, Vest of Friends

Just as long as you continue to breathe, Marc.  Just as long as you continue to breathe.

Wondering whether or not any of these acts have grown mustaches this Movember?  Come to the show and find out!  Here are a few hints for ya:

  • “…didn’t grow my mo this year- stupid electrolysis- so now I have to overcompensate with my eyebrows. It’s kind of a double mo!”
  • “…we grew bristles just above our lips. But they PASS as moustaches.”
  • “…I didn’t grow a mo this year because I already had a beard and didn’t wanna mess with my head shot for auditions and such.”
  • “No I did not. My reason is simple: I fear my mustache would, by virtue of its sheer wispiness, discourage people from donating and/or participating in this and all future Movembers. I’d hate to be responsible for something like that.”

Finally – if you were on the fence at all about coming to the show tomorrow night, maybe because you’re offended that people have been calling you ferret-face all month, and they have, read on to find out why these hilarious comics think YOU should be there:

“Its the end of another Movember and it needs to be glorified. Plus, Movember is for a good cause, laughing is awesome and it’s Wednesday. what else are you doing on a Wednesday, jerk?! :)” –Debra DiGiovanni

“Because making prostate cancer and subsequently this yearly blight of terrible moustaches a thing of the past is a doubly good cause.” – Scott Montgomery, Falcon Powder

“Beacuse we heard that Tom Selleck, Hitler, AND Ned Flanders will be there! How can you miss those classic staches!?” – Marc Hallworth, Vest of Friends

And finally…

“People should come to Laughstache tomorrow because if they don’t Rob Ford will light a flaming bag of his own poop on your doorstep. He has a lot of free time these days.” – Ben Miner

:)

And ladies and gentlemen, I really do NOT want a piece of shit on my doorstep, OR the flaming bag!

So come on down!

Tickets are $15

All proceeds from ticket sales are going directly to the

Movember Foundation

For more information about the show, check out Impulsive Entertainment‘s website.