I don’t post frequently enough…
I start alot of posts that way, but I think it’s neccesary to acknowledge my faults before I can tout all the amzing things I’m working towards on the Horizon.
Here’s what I’ve been upto:
I reprised my role as “Royal Guard #2” in Gründlehämmer, the flagship production of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s 7,000 year quest to take over the universe. BROS is about 5 years old now and, while I’m not one of the founding 5, I’ve been involved in some form or another since the first production of Gründlehämmer way back in the day. I was 1 of only three from the original production reprising their roles and it was awesome to see it all come back to life. We did 13 performances in 3 different cities over the course of 4 weekends and it was a big move for BROS.
Now first of all the name of my character doesn’t quite do justice to the importance I and the other royal guard played to the show. We had our own songs and moment and I had a solo (you can see me performing it in street show here)). The 3 of us were the evil enforcers, stormtroopers, dreadnoughts, orcs and bullies of the realm. We provided menacing comic relief as we tore our way through scenes goosing girls, and terrorizing villagers. AND I dare say we probably have our own fan clubs in some of the cities we hit. We were awesome.
Asfor the rest of the details of Gründlehämmer. I think you should probably just check out the BROS site and see for yourself what it’s all about. I’ll probably mention them again further down in this post.
I started applying to festivals this year, and as of this writing the only one I’ve gotten into was Laugh Fest (3 or 4 others haven’t announced yet). I’m not too concerned over the rejections, cause I’m just a toddler in the comedy world at this point and most of them are very selective. I do think the Limestone Comedy Festival was on the fence about me though, they extended their decision date to mull over submissions longer. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As far as the other fests go, I’m optimistic, but let me stick to the heading…
I drove up to Grand Rapids, MI for the opening weekend of Laugh Fest in March and ended up having a blast. I did 2 Amateur Showcases (could have done more if I didn’t have to rush back to prepare for the aforementioned Gründlehämmer tour), Saw some awesome headliners (Todd Barry and Rory Scovel) and met some great comics that I’m sure I’ll cross paths with again. Long Story Short, I’ll do this fest again next year.
***I did actually start to write the long story but I believe I’ll relegate that to it’s own post.
The big thing I gained from this festival was the reassurance that I’ve got great material and I just need to get out there and let more people see it. I also feel that I could organize a brief tour with the experience and contacts gained from this venture.
I started an open mic comedy night called it ” [sic] Joeks” with a friend of mine at a local hang out called The Beatnik. After a rocky start I think it’s really picking up steam and getting into a rhythm. Wanna read more about the rocky start? Well here’s a brief summary in the form of tips:
1) Make sure the venue has a PA
We didn’t, which meant at least a few nights of going unplugged, which isn’t horrible, cause it’s a small place, but it still looks and feels wierd
2) Make sure the layout is conducive to comedy, and if not that you can make it so
The first few nights had a real awkward layout and there is a piano in the space that you’re not allowed to touch. We eventually found a layout that works great for us, and they really don’t care what we move around as long as we don’t touch the piano.
3) Make sure your partner and you are on the same page with equal expectations
I began this night with Ezra Lefko. I only new him through mutual admiration at other comedy nights but he has connections and he’s much better at making new ones than I am, so I figured my comedy sense + his business/ networking sense would be awesome… Well his business sense made him quickly dis-interested with a small room that offers no chance for profit after his networking sense opened new opportunities for him that could, while my comedy sense still allowed me to maintain my excitiement for hosting an open mic in small room.
Ezra is a great guy and I hold no ill will towards him. We’re actually much better friends now than we were before we started and we may even start another room that will make money, and I will continue to work with him at the other rooms he is now running that he aims to make profitable, but he’s not so much involved with [sic] Joeks anymore.
My new co-host is Stephanie Joyal, a whip smart new comer to the scene who, like me, just wants a platform to try jokes out. She stepped up to help out in a big way when Ezra and I were busy doing other things.
4) Pick a predictable interval for your show to occur at
At first it was every-other Tuesday, but then a holiday hits and you’re off schedule… We’ve ended up just saying 1st and 3rd Tuesday now. Sure a 5th Tuesday will pop up and make it weird but it’s more predictable than anything else.
All in All…
[sic] Joeks is doing great, it’s right where I want it to be. We’ve been getting about 13 comics sign up and we’re getting a good repeat audience. Stephanie and I trade off the duties from week to week so we get to have our own little showcase to flesh out ideas, and if one of us needs a break the other is there to cover. We give our comics 5 – 8 minues in front of a smart crowd that enjoys comedy, which is a lot more than you can get anywhere else. I think we’re getting a good reputation amongst other comics too and that’s important to me. I’d like to see it grow to a point that spots are sought after and comics and crowd alike just like being there for the experience, whether they get on stage or not.
I’ve been pretty active with the Connected Comedians Facebook group which is a great resource for comedians. They moderate it pretty tight so the group page doesn’t get cluttered with Spammy show announcements and other promotions like other comedy group pages do. I still get the email notifications of the spam before they’re deleted, but ultimately when you actually hit the group all you see is what really mattters, an open discussion board where comics from across the country can discuss the business of comedy. Some folks post articles other post general questions or vent about something that’s happened, but there is always lively and useful discussion.
The FB group is associated with the blog of Josh Spector a marketing guru who specializes in promoting comedy. One of the things he’s started doing is to allow group members to submit summaries of podcasts we find that have useful stuff in them for other comics. The idea is that no one has time to listen to everything out there so if you find something good you can sum it up and share it with the world. Recently completed a summary of Barry Katz’s appearance on Professor Blastoff and you can read it HERE.
It’s my first contribution to another site, but I’m happy with how it turned out. It took me way longer than it should have to produce, but now that I’ve got my first one out there I think I could write up others much more efficiently. There’s an episode of Todd Barry’s podcast where he and Todd Glass talk in depth from the experience about the Do’s and Don’t of a good comedy club. I think I’ll try to tackle it next.
The experience also has me pondering the idea of writing more review type things for another site that i was talking to a guy about. I flaked initially when he asked for content, because I was just too busy with other things, but I now I think I’m ready. Besides, even if I write the stuff and he doesn’t want it, I can just publish it here.
I like writing
When I get a chance to write what and how I want, I really enjoy it. So I’m going to keep doing it and put out as many different things as I can. I’m on a quest to get as many things published in broader markets as I can.
Creative Writing and Producing
I’ve already been posting some things here like Spell Check Poetry and Micro-Fiction pieces, but I’ve also been writing some sketches, formulating some rock opera pitches and devising some fun show ideas that I’ll be getting off the ground soon.
Here’s some highlights:
A Very Special Episode
– Staged Readings of Very Special Episodes of old sitcoms, the first will be “the Bicyle Man” Episode of Diff’rent Strokes which will be performed in conjunction with the Charm City Comedy Project as part of their Saturday showcase in June
– A series of sketches about a well intentioned super-hero who stumbles into the office of a dentist who just happens to have a name that sounds like a super-villain; To be done across several nights of a variety show.
A Caveman Rock Opera
– I’ve mentioned my pitch before, (watch the first one here) but I’m going to submit it again, and if chosen for the next BROS Pitch Party, I’ll manage my time better. The story revolves around an alien ship crashing into pre-historic earth and how that one event effects two different groups in vastly different ways. It’s ancient Aliens mixed with the Flintstones and a Quest For Fire
Tent Revival Exorcism Rock Opera
– A short Rock Opera also to be submitted to BROS for consideration in the first of what will become an annual Mini-Rock Opera festival. A Faith Healer is faced with a true demon and must break free from the control of those around him who’ve been forcing him to supress his true power in order to exploit his followers for money.
– I’m closer than I’ve been before, I have the tools and I’ve even recorded segments, but I’ve yet to start editing. I believe it will be a combination of interviews, sketches, music and found audio. It might have a narrative but it might just be a mish mash of interesting bits tied together by AM radio interferance as if an Alien is Channel Surfing the Universe.
More Of All the things I’ve already been doing.
I still have plenty of Volume I of Spell Checked Poetry to process and I’ve started on Volume II and some other side chapters. And lets not forget my primary focus,
STAND UP COMEDY
I’ve been making great strides there. I’ve had some great sets lately and I’ll be doing a big set in May as I host an afternoon of improv as part of the Charm City Comedy Festival. I also have a feeling that I’m going to get into at least two more festivals this year…. I don’t know why, but I believe that typing that feeling and acknowledging it here is the first step in getting it to manifest as reality.
I’ve been taping my sets for the past year and I may try to share some of those once I can get them edited properly, so that is a fun thing to also look forward to. In the meantime heres a set from a random open mic that a friend of mind recorded. It’s almost entirely new material that I was working out for the first time and I even plug my open mic at the end.
This post has gotten away from me, and I’m sure there is much much more that I can share, but I think I’ll just stop right now.
Thanks for reading this far guys.