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The Sound of Your Voice

This weekend, someone told me that they hated the sound of their voice.  I replied with a much too flippant “everyone hates the sound of their voice.”

Flippant or not, I think my response was kind of true. Our voices sound different to us than they do to everyone else.  When we hear a recording of our voice, we are likely to have an Yzma moment. f30c7262c3ccfa8a271c83eb425477cf Yes, I’m sad to say.  That is your voice.  Nothing you can do about it except get used to it.  Because you want to know who doesn’t think your voice sounds weird? Everyone else.  Many of them have been listening to you for years and do you know why none of them have complained about how horrible you sound when you speak? Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/10

Police Officer Shot a Man in the Back and was Caught Lying About it

If you click through to the link, there is video of a man being shot to death.  That’s important to know because you might not want to watch such a thing.

Early reports about this incident indicated that the victim tried to take the officer’s taser and the officer shot him in self-defense.  That was the story the officer repeated over and over again.  And it was a lie.

If I said I didn't like ice cream, it would also be a lie.  A harmless lie.  Unlike this lie.

If I said I didn’t like ice cream, it would also be a lie. A harmless lie. So when the officer lied to save his skin, it’s kind of like that, right?

Even if the victim had tried to take a taser before the video starts, it is obvious he posed no threat to the officer when he was running away and eight bullets were fired at his back.

Without that video, the officer would not be facing murder charges.  Thousands of people would be telling us that we weren’t there so we couldn’t know what really happened.  We should take the word of the police officer because why would he lie?

I don’t know.  Maybe for the same reasons as anyone else?

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I’m Not Funny

doubt.lNote: This is a post about self-doubt and self-exploration.  It is not a post inviting a bunch of people telling me that I’m awesome and it’s all OK and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and I really REALLY don’t want any *hugs.*  I’m not broken.  I just need to say some things out loud.

I’ve had some nearly crippling doubts the last few months.  I’ve been on stage doing things that have, in the past, been very easy for me and I’ve found myself feeling inadequate.

As recently as this week, I’ve been recording a podcast recording and thinking “I have literally nothing interesting to say.”

I’ve found myself taking part in improv shows feeling as if I was simply not pulling my weight.

I’ve looked at the lyrics for some songs I’ve written lately and been annoyed because I’ve written way better lyrics than that.

And I start wondering, am I getting too old to do this any more?  Was I wrong to think that I should even be doing this sort of thing?  Am I letting the people around me down?  Can they tell that I’ve totally lost it?  Everyone loses it eventually, right?

These thoughts anger me because they are bullshit.

I know that improvisation is not about being the funniest person on stage.  I know that if you don’t have anything to add to a podcast conversation, the best possible choice is to say nothing.  I know that  none of these doubts are about real things.  They are thoughts that get in the way of being successful.

And they are thoughts I know a lot of performers have.  The best performers have them.  The best writers have days where they think they shouldn’t be writing the color text on their own dust jackets.

Every time I write a show, I’m worried that it isn’t funny.  To me, I don’t measure success in ticket sales nearly as much as laughs.  I could sell out every show and if my favorite joke doesn’t get a laugh, I feel defeated.  I know lots of other people feel that way.  At least I hope I’m not the only comedy writer this neurotic.

I remind myself that I’m extremely lucky a lot of talented people want to work with me even when I’m not my best.  I remind myself that best is subjective and I need to cut myself some slack.

But you know, I don’t want to cut myself some slack.  When I walk off stage feeling like I was the worst person up there, I want to demand we go out and do it again so I can do it better.

I’ve had a lot of off days in a row and I just keep asking myself if I’ve lost it or if I never really had it.  As if I know what “it” is.  That kind of thinking is poison.

Knowing it is poison and finding the antidote are different things.  I want to power past it.  I want to get on stage or try to write funny shit as often as humanly possible just to get that doubt demon to go fuck itself.

I haven’t forgotten how to be funny.  I’ve forgotten how to not care when I’m just OK.

The secret to good improv is to just fucking talk.  If you give a shit about saying something funny, you aren’t in the moment.

The secret to writing funny stuff is to just fucking write something down.  Write something down over and over and over again until writing funny stuff is second nature.

And you have to remember that everyone has slumps.  The best don’t give up.

I’m not the best.  But I’m good.  Sometimes I’ve been great.

I know I haven’t lost “it.”  I just have to stop waiting for that one good moment that will make up for all the unsatisfying ones.  I’m confident that moment will come as soon as I stop spending so much time worrying about the fact it hasn’t happened yet.


On The Myth of Laziness

tumblr_m1adwcveET1rr5t33o1_500I know people who honestly believe that if you aren’t making enough money, it is because you are lazy.

I usually look at them and ask if they think I’m lazy.  I spend most of my time writing or promoting my writing or trying to find new projects so I can continue to write.  And I don’t make a lot of money. Yet.

Even if I find a way to make this crazy writing career pay off to the extent I can afford to do it, it is not going to make me rich unless I accidentally write exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.  J K Rowling isn’t insanely rich because she is so much more talented than the thousands of other writers producing books right now.

She is insanely rich because she wrote the right thing at the right time and because she got a whole lot of lucky breaks.

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Kickstarting into High Gear

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m the head writer on a new web series called “Vermin.”

Well, I’ll be the head writer if we can reach our Kickstarter goal and with 16 days left, we haven’t even reached the 25% mark yet.  I still think we can make it but we are going to need help.  Whose help?

If you are reading this, yours!

I’m going to put this into perspective for you.  Over the last week, a pizza restaurant in Indiana publicly announced they would never cater same-sex weddings.  As a result of their public declaration, they found themselves attacked and threatened by gay rights advocates who were pretty angry.

Threats, by the way, are never OK.  The people who did that should rightfully be called out for their hateful behavior.

Because of the threats, the pizzeria chose to close their doors for a short time and a GoFundMe campaign was initiated to help support their gay unfriendly business.  In short order, they raised over $800,000 from 1700 individual donors.

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I Know What I’m Doing This Weekend

fcp_logo_bwFirst off, we made our pre-event goal for Die Laughing and that is amazing!  The board offered a $500 matching grant prior to the opening of Die Laughing and we have already raised $500.  That means we’ve actually raised $1000.  Which is amazing.

This blog entry is about my weekend schedule.  I’m not just the Artistic Director of Fearless Comedy Productions, I’m also a performer.  I’ll be performing a lot this weekend so here, in tiring detail, is what I’ll be doing.

Friday, March 6th

7:00 PM – We kick off the marathon with Fearless Lab.  I’m going to be judging a Vilification Tennis match featuring the last four winners of our amateur show – Nick Glover, Molly Glover, Eric Thompson and Duck Washington.  There will also be stand-up comedy, short form improv and a variety of other stuff.  We also kick off the marathon with a $250 matching grant so help us get started right!

Saturday, March 7th

Midnight – PowerPoint Karaoke.  I’m one of the presenters in my favorite improv game of all time.  Presenters are given a series of slides that make no sense and must make up a presentation based on the slides.  Also presenting will be Windy Bowlsby and Dawn Krosnowski.  It should be amazing.  Also, we have a $250 matching grant from CONvergence during that hour!

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Shit that Pissed me off – 12/19

Sony Pulls The Interview Then Paramount Pulls Team America

I’m one of a comparatively small number of people who has actually seen The Interview and I’m frustrated because the movie is funny and now it is up in the air if anyone else will ever see it.

When people accuse Sony of cowardice, I think they fail to understand the extent of the hack that was perpetrated against them.  Besides, why put a movie into release if nobody is going to show it?  Remember, the whole idea behind the film industry is to make a profit.  You don’t make a profit if your movie is only showing in five theaters.

Paramount, on the other hand, shouldn’t give a flying fuck about allowing exhibitors to show a film that was released years ago.  I have no idea why they went belly up on this one.  The only theaters showing it were theaters that wanted to show it and didn’t give a crap about terroristic threats that are considered unfounded.  So let ’em show it.  What the hell?

America! Fuck Yeah!  Well....fuck maybe....

America! Fuck Yeah! Well….fuck maybe….

Anyone out there who thinks terrorism doesn’t work should use this attack as exhibit one.  Whoever did this torpedoed a film.  Two films, really.  The terrorists won this round with a remarkably minimal effort.

And hey, if this is really North Korea getting a stick up its ass about a less than flattering portrayal of their glorious leader, I have a really good idea.  They can make a film about some North Korean journalists trying to kill a US President.

I guarantee that no matter how much effort they put into making Obama look like a buffoon, he still won’t look any worse than the average Tea Partier’s concept of him.

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