Writing about writing about writing about . . . .

 

I hate writing about writing. Sometimes though, it is one of the only things that comes easily as something to write about. Somewhat masturbatory in its nature, but it does get the juices flowing, if you’ll allow me a particularly loaded turn of a phrase. There’s nothing like staring at a blank screen willing an idea to formulate itself in my mind such that I want to put it on paper. That I have ANY idea’s at all that make me feel like sharing them is something in and of itself, but as a stand up comedian it’s usually a lot easier to work with the gist of the idea on stage than it is to genuinely think about an idea, write it down, read it back, edit it, etc. Writing on paper (or on a computer word processor in this case) is a seemingly never-ending process of second-guessing. What is even the point of writing about writing? Is there a point to it? They say, a writer writes. Period. That is the only qualification given sometimes. A writer writes. They don’t say anything about what a writer writes ABOUT. Sometimes the act of writing about writing may just be simply to start getting ideas on paper, about jump-starting the creative mind. It’s about tricking yourself into being loose. Sometimes it’s not particularly easy to let the mind wander in just the right way to conjure the magic. It’s a bit like un-focusing your eye’s to see the 3-d image embedded in a painting.

And it’s not as if once the writing about writing is finished that it’s just discarded. Just because it isn’t written with another reader in mind (certainly not first draft anyhow) doesn’t mean that at some point down the line I might not want to let someone else read it.

I like the immediacy of performing stand up. The instant gratification/harsh criticism. Sitting and writing as it’s own purpose is usually a dead end for me. One of the biggest hurdles in performance is getting over that initial stage fright, that nervous anticipation of how anything and everything can and may go terribly wrong. I always told myself that as long as I had prepared material, it could never go too badly, after all, the material I have is for the purpose of performing it. It has no other use. It was created with an audience to share it with in mind. To write it and not perform it is to waste the time spent creating it.

The pretense of a blog is similar. I have written something that may or may not be any good, but it certainly was written with the intention of sharing it with the world, and hopefully getting some (positive?) feedback.

So here ya go world, have at it!

 

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This Month, November 10th!

This month, November 10th!

Featuring:

David Lee Nelson – A favorite all over the NYC comedy scene as well as clubs and colleges across the country, David has most recently been touring with his new one person show, David Lee Nelson…Status Update.
http://davidleenelson.com/

John Mooney – A staple of the NYC comedy scene, John has been featured on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, the NY Times, Backstage, and many more. Find out More at http://comedians.jokes.com/john-mooney

Danny Cohen – First gained recognition as the co-creator and co-host of Spin Cycle Comedy, a weekly comedy/variety show held in a Laundromat. The success of this show was featured in The New York Times, ABC news,CNN, MTV.Danny has also appeared on Comedy Centrals Premium Blend.
http://www.funnyordie.com/dannycohenworld

Emily Birnbaum – She has been featured on Reno 911 on Comedy Central. A familiar face on the LA comedy circuit, Emily brings her goods to the NY stage!
http://emilybirnbaum.com/Emilly_Birnbaum/Home.html

Joey Gay – A native of Brooklyn, Joey Gay is a veteran stand-up comic and actor. Best recognized as a finalist in NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Joey is a regular headliner at comedy clubs across the nation. He’s performed on Showtime’s “White Boys in the Hood,” “The Howard Stern Show,” SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s “The Radio Chick Show” and, most recently, on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.”
http://joeygay.com/

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New This Week!

Oh Boy!

Well, I know that I’m not the best about updating this blog, but there’s big and exciting news this week that is just too big to NOT post on here!

My show at Zinc Bar is the featured deal of the day today on Groupon! So why not swing on by and get yerself a deal!

Do it!

This is the featured page on Groupon:

http://www.groupon.com/new-york/deals/straight-up-stand-up?date=20110402&p=%40counter&s=body&utm_campaign=straight-up-stand-up&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&c=button&utm_content=all-deals-new-york&user=RHOLMES918%40GMAIL.COM

This is my show page, which you can follow and get future deals for my show! Be a follower!

http://www.groupon.com/merchants/straight-up-stand-up

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Getting a Good Tape – The White Whale of Comedy.

All Moby Dick jokes aside (although in all fairness, there probably will be regular dick jokes) I have often found it rather difficult to get a good tape to send out to agents/managers/my grammy that is a proper representation of myself and of my act.

I find that the best sets I’ve performed have often been in situations where I’m either not taping the show. The pressure that I put on myself whenever I am taping usually results in my sounding too scripted, or nervous, or just plainly not connected to my material. It almost seems as though every time that I know that I’m taping (and that the resulting tape COULD potentially change my life forever should I get the right kind of work out of it) I am too stuck in my head and analyzing the situation rather than feeling the kind of looseness that I am able to achieve when I have a really good set. Granted, the fact that I place so much potential value on the tape itself is part of the problem. And of course, the easiest way to solve the problem would just be to make sure that I tape EVERY set that I do, but this is not always possible.

First off, not every room that I perform in has a convenient spot to set up a camera. I have numerous tapes that look as though they were shot from the Hubble telescope, to say nothing of the sound quality.

Secondly, even if I do find a good location to set up, there’s usually a hushed conversation between people in the audience (or with the wait-staff) that is nearly as distracting and un-usable as the tapes that I have where the MC or some other person in the room has decided to stand directly in front of the camera.

Most importantly however, is the choosing of material to use. Optimally, a tape that is good enough to send out is usually clean. You simply can not expect to get top notch work or potential TV exposure out of a tape that showcases all the different way’s you can drop the F-bomb in a 7 minute period. Beyond that, I have been told on numerous occasions that doing pot jokes is also frowned upon.

While I have often thought of myself as a pretty clean comic, I still find it difficult to be 100% clean on a lot of shows that I do. The notion that even doing pot jokes (not to mention harder drugs) is a serious no-no if you want to get work at private corporate gigs or on TV has recently become something of a problem for me. While I do have a number of pot references as well as a number of full blown routines in my act, most of them are rooted in personal experiences that help shape my worldview.

Most troubling to me lately is the fact that one of my favorite bits is a joke about smoking pot with my parents. Not only do I often OPEN with this material, it also serves as a bridge between a lot of other subjects that I talk about. Finding different routes to get to the cleaner material is proving to be much more difficult than I originally thought.

In all honesty, smoking pot in general hasn’t been my greatest coping mechanism.

I welcome all comments and advice…. and dick jokes.

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Is this really only my 2nd posting?!

Sheesh!

Who knew blogging would be such a chore!

There are a number of people who I know within the comedy community who are very active bloggers. So active in fact that I’m not sure where they get the time to do any of the real life activities they seem to be blogging about. A couple people I know have even gone so far as to make a personal (as well as public) challenge out of it for themselves by committing to blog EVERY DAY!

Oy. That sounds like a lot of work. Perhaps they should just be Committed . . .

With this in mind I feel as though I should try and get a new blog up every week.

It’s not always easy to come up with something good to blog about. I mean, who really cares about the trials and tibulations of trying to make it in Stand Up Comedy? More importantly, why do I feel the need to capitalize Stand Up Comedy?

Stay Tuned  . . . the next blog is actually comin up in just a minute!

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1st Post!

1st!
Hello!
This is my blog.
However this is not my first blog. This is just the first blog entry. The beginning of THIS blog.
Hello!
Elllo. . . .
Loooo . .
That’s the echo I imagine that comes out on someone’s first blog.
I think most blog’s are essentially just a long form status-update, except there are fewer people reading it.
Anyway. This blog will hopefully be more prolific than my first blog.
And lets hope that more people read this blog than the last one. To be quite honest, I’m not even sure that I even gave them a once over myself before posting them.
I’m at least using spell check this time around, so editorially I’m already more thorough.
Ok, well that’s it for the first one.
Boom!
Pretty sure we will all agree I knocked this one outa the park.
Now against my better judgement, I am going to make another pot of coffee.

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