a priori/a posteriori

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rebel without Applause, 4: Imagining Success

Wed  6:43  AM

My computer tells me it's

October 1

October is the "go month"

Mic in hand, this month.

Mic in hand.

Run-throughs.  Building up the time, throughout each day.

I already did a one-minute run-through, this morning.

Will I do any longer ones?

We'll see.
A big part of this special will be based on who I've spent time around, these past 2-and-a-half years.

This special will be a big part Miss Butterfly, a big part Koji, a big part Mike Pullano, a big part my family.

It will be a big part who I spend time around this final month, leading up to it.  So again, Miss Butterfly.  And SkyeWalker.  And probably a few comics.  Damen.  Drew.  And the kids in my SAT classes.

It's not a choice.  It will be.  That's how spending time around people works.  You rub off on them, and they rub off on you.

Koji Frahm.

I've been affected as much by Koji as just about anyone, outside of Miss Butterfly Starfish, these past few years.

I love his blog.  It inspired me to start about 30 of my own.  (sorry, everyone-who-tries-to-follow-my-progress)

This week, he talked about Tesla.

He's talking about Tesla.

He's going through a Nikloa Tesla phase right now, as he learns about him, via writings and biographies about him.

This one blew my mind a little:

Tesla got to a point where he felt he could imagine things happening so accurately, he no longer felt the need to physically experiment.

As Koji so eloquently stated:

That's what I intend on doing, this next month.

I won't be going out much.

A little, sure;
I don't want to forget how to use the trains, or anything.

But as far as my stand-up performing?

I don't plan on spending my time at clubs, or even at open-mics.

I plan on staying mostly at home,
in my living room,
and preparing for the special there.

I'll invite friends over, to come see me perform.

And I'll imagine that I'm performing at Legion Bar,
performing the special itself,
in my living room.

And I think --

and this is just my theory, and apparently Tesla's --

that I'll be able to create a beautiful work of art,
both hilarious and culturally relevant,

-- or at least fun --

by following the beat of my own drum.

And perhaps,

the drum of the people I spend the most time around.
At the end of the day,

if my wife and I like the special,

then I imagine everything else

will take care of itself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rebel without Applause, 3: clean my room

I need to clean my room.

Maybe that seems like I'm "putting off" preparing for my special -- which occurs in something like 34 days, and which I have something like 2 punchlines for, currently.

It is not.

NOT cleaning my room, is "putting off" preparing for my special.

Because however cluttered my physical environment is,
that's how cluttered my internal environment is.

Here.  Let me take a few pictures for you.  I'll do so with my phone.  And then post them here:

(I leave the computer for a while......)
It seems like I only have a month left, to prepare for this special.

Wait.  It doesn't "seem" that way.  It is that way.

It seems like the best thing I can do, is start panicking, and hurriedly putting together a set-list.

In my current reality, what I actually need to do, is clean up the two pictures, directly above these words.

Because until I order that space,

I won't order my inner space.

And sure, I could focus in the short-term, on making my special appear as together as I can.

But if I want it to actually be worth something -- and be something I'm proud of -- then I want there to be proof within it 

that I've made 

Time to go buy some cat food, and then redd up my rooms.
Thanks, Lava Girl !

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rebel without Applause, 2: build a lego special

I always loved playing with Legos, growing up.

I just never had the patience to actually build anything.  I would watch my brother, sure.

He'd read the directions, and carefully figure out how to turn a bunch of plastic bricks into a fully-functioning 1/24 scale car-wash.

Lousy Preston.  Always the patient one.  Always the builder.
Now, I sit here at my desk -- which I may never have finished putting together, if not for the help of my fiance' -- and I try to imagine what my special will look like.

I try to imagine what the directions would say,

if my special were made out of a bunch of tiny, plastic bricks.

Here's a red brick, with three holes underneath.  "You know, like...the news."

Here's a bright yellow one, with 4 holes on top.  "We gotta do something -- about ME."

Here's a big one, and I have no idea where to put it.  "We've never been neighbors -- we've been roommates."

Here I sit, trying to build my special.  One piece at a time.  And I feel frozen.  Intimidated.  Just like when I was 5.

In this case, my older brothers (and sisters) are the comics who have come before me.  People who have "ripped it down," as Chappelle said.

People who have put together the Lego pieces they find in their mind, and turned it into a masterpiece.

Into their masterpiece.
I will do my very best, to do just that.

I had some great pieces, in my first special.  Things I'm proud of, and things I can show the world and say, with pride, "I went up there swinging."

That "Red Sox and Jews" bit currently has over 1200 views on YouTube.  Which I find kind of hilarious.  Because at some point in the future, it will have more.

For now -- Monday, September 29, 2014 -- I am tremendously proud of that number.  To me, that 1200 is more significant than the 5-million-plus I have on my "internet-famous" heckler clip.

Because to me, that bit about Judaism may actually "flip a few switches," as I like to say.  It has the potential to make someone think differently about something that -- until that joke -- they may have presumed they held firm beliefs about.

So I guess that's the goal:

to create a special with as many of those Lego pieces as I can find, inside my brain.

I'm working through a lot of my thoughts with other comics, one-on-one.  Yesterday, it was a two-hour session with Benel.  This weekend, it may be Drew.  Or my fiance'.  Or maybe even a non-comic.  Koji, perhaps.

I don't know.  But I want to keep trying.  I want to keep trying to do what I used to watch my older brother Preston do, throughout our childhood:

I want to be a hard worker.  And I want to learn how to put things together.
And if it "works"?

If you are reading this, because you want to make a special of your own?

Consider this Step 2, of the directions:

Read the book.  Then hire my brother as your Life Coach.

Can you tell I'm yelling "Fo"?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rebel without Applause, 1: reporting the facts

So.  It's Sunday afternoon.  I was supposed to have finished writing this blog by 2 pm.

As I sit down to start it, my computer whispers into my ear, from its top-right corner--

Sun 2:15 PM

So let's not get too carried away with this.

And anyway,

the more time I take to write something,
the less honest it becomes.

Friday night, I performed for an hour, for my fiance'.

Not in a club.  Not at a "mic."

In our kitchen.

I started at 12:00 midnight.
I set the mic back into the stand at 1:00 a.m.

(we have a mic and mic stand in our living room -- because I live with my dream girl)

I didn't try to be funny.  I just talked to her.  And let her talk, too.  I didn't require that I spoke for the entire hour.

I just stood up, for an hour, and engaged with my audience.

To me, that's what makes a special...special.  Is the connection with the audience.  Whether it's in front of 20,000 people at Wembley,

or to the woman I'm going to marry.

Today, one of my openers arrives at 4 pm.

Benel Germosen.

And we'll do the same thing.

An hour.  And then, he'll get "onstage"
and perform a set for me and my girl.

At least, that's the plan.

There is no better way to prepare,

than to do.
Oh.  And my fiance' had paper and a pen, as we went.  And whenever she thought something was funny,

she wrote down the core concept of that idea.

Or she wrote it in whatever way she thought made it funny.
That's what I've started doing, with the other comics I've been working with.

We just have conversations with each other,
and when the other one says something we think is funny,
we write down what was funny about it, to us.

And then when we're done, or tired, or run out of ink,
we just give each other the notes we wrote.

And if there's a bit we think might be ours,
that we thought of as we were taking their notes,

then we...



wait for it...


talk about it.

So.  That's my gameplan.  For this second special.

Hour run-throughs.  Notes.  Objective opinions about what is making us funny.

I have 36 days, or something like that.  Until I film.

Lots to get done.

But I fully expect to write a blog,
every day,
between now and then.

Whether the special is perceived as "good" or not --
whatever that enigmatic, evolving word even means --

I think it will be a heck of an interesting ride.

A comic

Saturday, September 27, 2014

How Do I Promote a Special?

Looking forward to the 4th!

That's the question I'm faced with, as I get ready for my November 4 special.

It's September 27.  3 more days in September.  31 in October.  And 3 in November.

I have 37 days to...

Wait.  What exactly do I want to have happen?  What do I want  to get out of this experience?

I really know.  But it's scary to dream big, and to allow for those expectations.

But hey:  I have a fiance' now, soon to be my wife.  She fully believes in me.  So...what the hell.

Let's create an infinite number of new multiverses.

Wait for it....









November 4.
8:00 PM
Legion Bar


Do I Care About the Bill Simmons Suspension?

I don't know.

I honestly don't.

I think that's what worries me about it?
On the one hand, I feel like I know the guy.  I've read his brain like it was the sports section, spread out on my living room floor on Sunday mornings, every player of every team's baseball stats, page 14 on the left. 

Man.  Bill Simmons talks a lot.

And writes a lot.

I don't care if he quits his job or not.  I just need to worry about myself.  And whether or not I'm quitting my job.

But I hope he's writing a book about the whole experience.  So that whenever he wants to, he can have a pretty interesting (and profitable) piece of artwork, on his hands.

Now -- back to 'The Book of Basketball'

Thanks for the help, Miss Butterfly

Book 2, Chapter 10. Time for a Happy Ending

I'm ending this chapter.

No.  Wait.

I'm ending this entire book.

I was afraid to commit to my partner.  Miss Butterfly Starfish.

But I have complete and total faith that I'll be better off with her. 

She's also touching herself in the bedroom.

I film November 4.

Gotta go