Friday, September 30, 2005
(Click here for the entire article from the New York Times.)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - William J. Bennett, the former Republican secretary of education, came under fire from Democratic Congressional leaders on Thursday for comments he made on a radio program about the potential for reducing crime by aborting all black children.
"I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," Mr. Bennett, now a radio talk show host, said in a broadcast earlier this week. "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."
I like how his qualifiers come in this order:
1) Impossible: As in, "Too difficult. Hitler tried something similar and look where it got him!"
2) Ridiculous: As in, "Who's got time to go killing all the black babies? I mean, there's just so many of them!"
3) Morally Reprehensible: As in, "Oh yeah, and it's illegal."
Now, I left the last sentence in that paragraph about "far-reaching, extensive extrapolations" (most sound clips haven't) because as you'll see below he is apparently talking about the economic impact of abortion, so I thought, "Okay, let's keep it in context and see if it gets any better." It doesn't.
"I was pointing out that abortion should not be opposed for economic reasons, any more than racism or for that matter slavery or segregation should be supported or opposed for economic reasons," he said. "Immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong, not because of an economic calculation. One could just as easily have said you could abort all children and prevent all crime, to show the absurdity of the proposition."
Wait a minute - "...any more than slavery or segregation should be supported..."
Y'all, did he just say... SUPPORTED?
"Yeah, but then he said or opposed."
Right. Thank you hick, right-wing Christian farmer screwing a pig while reading my blog. I failed to stress that. Yes, you are correct. He said, "SUPPORTED," and then he said "or opposed."
You can get away with saying that lots of things should not be supported or opposed solely for economic reasons, like:
1) waxing the beaver - too painful and too personal a decision to support or oppose solely for economic reasons.
2) shopping at the corner bodega - yeah, it's expensive, but it's close. Whaddayagonnado?
3) wearing your socks two days in a row - hey, my husband does it. I've told him he doesn't have to, but who am I to judge?
But when something is flat out wrong, like, oh, say SLAVERY or SEGREGATION, you might not want to say it's okay to support it - regardless of its economic impact.
"Man - have you noticed how expensive cotton underwear has gotten since we let those darkies out of the fields?! Jesus!"
This dude wrote a book on morals? What's in it? How to get away with cheating on your spouse as long as it's not for economic reasons?...
"People say you're fucking your neighbor for his money, ma'am."
"No! Not at all! It's cuz my husband has a small dick."
"Oh. Okay, sorry. You may go."
Mr. Bennett, who was the secretary of education in the Reagan administration and is the author of a best-selling book on morality, said he was referring to a debate in the online magazine Slate that had discussed race in the context of an argument about whether abortions contributed to lowering the crime rate. That debate, involving Steven D. Levitt, an author of the best-seller "Freakonomics," apparently appeared in Slate six years ago.
Six years ago. Ah, so that puts it in context. He's been thinking about aborting black offspring for six years. Clearly this man is just responding to the hot news of the day. Who can blame him for his slip-up? He's only had 6 YEARS to come up with an intelligent and compassionate response to the proposition of using abortion as a stop-gap measure to fight crime. I hardly think we should judge him.
Now. I first heard this sound bite on The Daily Show last night. It was the "moment of zen." I couldn't believe it. I said, "What?" really loudly and then said to Mark, "Did you hear that? He should be lynched!" (Ironic, eh?) Then I heard it again this morning on Miss Jones' show on Hot 97. (Yes, I wake up to "blazin' R&B and Hip Hop," thank you very much.) That's because I love her show. I love that she is out there talking about race every single morning - confronting it - dealing with it - unlike most (white) Americans who are scared shitless of saying the wrong thing - while secretly harboring hatred like Mr. Bennett here. When Mark heard the quote, he said, "See - that's what these people really think. And sometimes they actually say what they really think." It's true. How many (otherwise lovely) misguided white people heard that quote and thought, "Yeah - I see his point." And these are people who probably even have some contact with black people - (you know, the "good" ones) - and don't think that they're racist at all. They just see the numbers (bringing it back to economics) and look at everything in black and white. In black and white...
I know I ripped Bennett a new asshole and then referred to the white people who silently nod at his comment as "otherwise lovely," which is a contradiction. That's because in essence I am referring to people in my own immediate family, and am I supposed to hate them for their ignorance? I have been trying to convince them for years that it's not about "good" blacks and "bad" blacks and it's not about race but socio-economics and yada yada yada. Ultimately, to most people who are not college-educated (and even to some who are) these nuances are worthless because the only confirmation of their opinion they need is the fact that when they turn on the news at night - who is getting arrested for rape and murder? Black people.
And so do you, William J. Bennett, for hiding behind your qualifiers and your precious "context." Why don't you just come out and say how you really feel? Black people know it. They know. And they hate you more for pretending than for feeling what you feel. This country is never going to get past its latent issues of race if people don't stop being polite and start getting real.
Sorry - I know that last bit is from MTV's The Real World, which first aired in 1992, but it just seemed appropriate. Besides, some things stick with you for years, don't they, Bill?...
Thursday, September 29, 2005
You know what? The next time you say something corny and someone calls you cheesy or a cheeseball, you take that as a compliment, okay? That's an order. Because I am sick of cheeseballs having such a bad reputation, okay? I LOVE PORT WINE CHEESE SPREAD AND COLD-PACK CHEESE FOODS OF MULTIPLE VARIETIES and I'm not gonna sit here and let them take this kind of abuse!
And anyway, if you say something is "corny," isn't that enough of a food descriptor right there? Why do you have to bring cheese into it, huh? Cheese didn't do anything to you. Oh, whatever, just because you're lactose intolerant! The cheese didn't know that. He was just walking down the street minding his own business and because you are BIGOTED AGAINST CHEESE and you HATE HIM FOR NO GOOD REASON, of course he felt threatened! That's why he kicked you in the stomach and made you feel nauseous. I mean, damn it, people - WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Photo by Dan Rhatigan.
Oh, what a night! Last night's WYSIWYG Talent Show was totally fantasmagorical. (That's right Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - eat it!) Everyone was hilarious - the audience was awesome - and who doesn't want to perform on a chartreuse green snack shack in front of stadium seating? PS 122 is the best. (p.s. - no pun intended... who knew Claire Danes could dance? That dude who won the membership to PS 122 is a lucky bastard! You got tickets to Claire Danes' after party and all this pregnant glory? Now that's $7 well spent, mi amigo!)
I shall, in all fairness and tradition, now give a shout-out to all my fellow performers:
Chris - Way to start us off, chica! And not only that but keep your fierce persona throughout the show wrangling that Wild Turkey. Nobody f*cks with a dyke's pussy! Mrow!
Frank - As you know, you made history last night with the mess heard round the world. I'll never look at my KY the same way. What a talent you are!
Jon - I'm so glad we're on the same cycle! I almost died when you talked about gay guys and straight girls being bad roommates. Both my roommates junior year of college were gay and one kept trying to rub my titties while the other kept stealing my tampons. Gay as the day is long, though! You tell me...
To all the gays I've lived with before
Who traveled in and out my door
I'm glad you came - along
Singing Madonna and Cher songs
To all the gays I've lived with before!
Dashiell - Em-PHA-sis on the second Syl-LA-ble cuz you know you got soul! You are Balki Bartokomous without the accent, and I mean that in the "it's 1989 and Perfect Strangers is so hot it caused a spinoff" kind of way. Funny and adorable!
David - 9x6 and filled with farts. I think that's how my kid must feel about her illustrious surroundings... "Everyone knows all bi-sexuals are liars" was priceless - and provocative! I'm surprised you didn't have to blog yourself this morning!
Rachel - Former lawyer, excellent writer, professional blogger, actress, hottie - and a nice roommate to boot? Who needs a shout from a cranky comic when you've got a resume like that?! ;) Your piece was a great way to end the show. "Bye, Jew!" goes down in infamy!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Half way through Desiree's laundry list of lovers, my friend Laura turned to me and said, "Don't you ever wish your list was a little longer? Not that we're not lucky to be settled down, and maybe we're happier than those still searching, but still..." Considering that I've only slept with 4 guys in my life, I said, "Yeah. That's why you gotta send 'em on vacation now and again." Her boyfriend is in Singapore this week. I wonder what she's doing right now?...
Monday, September 26, 2005
I'm so psyched to be reading at the WYSIWYG Talent Show Tuesday night at 7:30 pm! P.S. 122 - corner of 1st Ave. and 9th Street - $7. These shows are always amazing - and I hear there's gonna be a cave on stage... other than my big ol' Holland Tunnel.
Then I'll be running over to Raga with Nichelle to catch our show, Chicks and Giggles! Click the link to see our fantastic lineup.
Only one more show to go before baby - if I make it that far! Mintyfresh at the Laugh Factory on October 8. The kid is supposed to tap dance out of my vagina on the 9th. Anybody wanna book me for that night?...
CHARACTER: People You Wouldn't Invite to Dinner
An evening of solo character comedy by New York's hottest stand-ups and sketch acts. Like Diddy, we aren't just funny, WE BLOW YOUR MIND.
Out of the minds of babes... Carolyn Castiglia and Lianne Stokes.
Wait til you see what comes out of our mouths!
Hosted by BrYan with a Y and Rexxxx
(Shawn Hollenbach and Jenny Rubin)
Nick Kroll (Welcome to Our Week)
Laura Mannino (Mintyfresh)
Sara Schaefer (...is Obsessed With You)
Theron Steiner (Freedumb)
Allen Warnock (UCB)
Is that sick or what? And check this shiznit out, yo. It's FREE!
Monday, September 26 at 8:00 pm
Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th Street (Kent/Wythe)
For detailed directions, visit the Galapagos site. Unless you practically live there already, hipster. In that case, have another PBR and stay cool. I like your Frohawk, dude.
p.s. - Second or third to last show before I pop, man. Come see if I have the baby on stage!
UPDATE: Character Recap!
Shawn and Jenny (when she got there from her show at Pete's Candy Store) were great hosting as BrYan and Rexxx. Those guys have been everywhere! I wish I was as famous here as they are in South Russia. Collars up!
Lianne was fantastic as Toni - teaching us all that working at Enterprise Rent-a-Car does not cover the cost of being fabulous and that she is the prettiest slut in Long Island. "You know, Maria Finocchio, the dental hygienist with the googlie eye?" Love her.
Allen did three hilarious characters doing stand-up: Eli the Southern comic, Jamie the insane sexist-machismo comic and Elaine, who was angry and frizzy at the same time. So funny!
Laura's Dara Schwartzenstein from 72nd and Park was awesome - she knows way too much for a sixteen year old. I can't believe she didn't know Manhattan had bridges going out. I mean, she knew, but she didn't KNOW, you know?
Michael Stipe visited us randomly in the middle of the show to give us some good old fashioned Wok-n-Roll. If you believe, then put some bran on Theron's spoon - he deserves it! That spasm at the end was hard core good stuff.
Sara Schaefer was too funny as Patricia (Pa-tree-shuh)! She reads the New Yorker, New York, the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Sun - and she feels sorry for black people. Priceless.
And lastly, Nick Kroll was hysterical as the 6th member of Ace of Base trying to sell Julio Iglesias records and baby sunglasses for another hit of Crystal Meth. I think "I'm going to cut your ass off and fill it with hate" coupled with "I feel like an old omlette" are the two funniest things I've ever heard in one sitting.
Thank you to everyone who did the show - I haven't had that much fun in almost a week! ;) I'm so lucky I get to laugh all the time. My kid's not gonna cry to clear her lungs - she's gonna point at the nurse and start guffawing.
Friday, September 23, 2005
More than a week after she gave birth, the world finally knows what Britney Spears and Kevin Federline have named their little bundle of joy: Sean Preston Federline.
Speculation about the baby's name ran wild last week, as Us Weekly had it as Preston Michael, "Access Hollywood" opted for Sean Preston and sources close to Spears told MTV News that the name was Christian Michael. We asked you to give us your picks and 36 percent of you went with Preston, with "none of the above" in second place with 28 percent, beating out London (15 percent), Michael (13 percent) and Kevin Jr. (8 percent).
None Of The Above Spears. Ha! That's pretty funny.
The one goddamn thing Britney can keep secret is the name of her kid?! We saw her trashy fried-chicken, pink sweatpants wedding - we've seen just about every square inch of her body, but for over a week nobody knew the name of her kid? God that girl's either really good at playing the media, has totally f*cked up priorities or both. At this point we're lucky she didn't name the kid "Cheeto Espresso Latte Spederline." (All the things she loves in one name. Except Houston's. Cheeto Espresso Houston's... it's got kind of a ring to it.) I can just see her now...
"Cheeto Espresso Spederline now I told you if you didn't pick up that beef jerky Bit-Bit was gonna eat it! She can't help it, now - she is only a dog! You don't make me run into the gas station convienience store barefoot for nothin' now! You need to respect me! I am not a slave 4 U! I am your mother! I can't hold this snake up here forever, you know!"
Back to the MTV.com article...
Spears, 23, who had been scheduled for a C-section on September 15, delivered the baby a day early after she began having early contractions, according to the magazine. She was accompanied at the hospital by Federline, her mother, Lynn, and sister, Jamie Lynn.
The proud parents were both crying as Sean Preston (6 lbs. 11 oz.) was born. Federline, 27, held his wife's hand throughout the operation and was "very affectionate toward her" during the operation, a source told People.
Oh, really, K-Fed? Then why is it that your wife is "smiling through her tears" according to this MSNBC article? Because you forgot your anniversary, you dumb shit! And then you go out and buy her a "mother's ring" and that's supposed to make up for it? She's all worried that she's fat and she's never gonna fit into anything but Mom Jeans (at least Tina and I'll be with you, slugger) and you forget your anniversary? You really are a douche bag, dude. Shave your goddamn face!
Now look - I don't wanna go feelin' all bad for Britney because frankly she is "resting" in a 9,000 square foot mansion right now and I am sitting in my bedroom/nursery/kitchen. But still... this kid is a jizface and everyone seems to know it but her. Well, maybe now she does...
At any rate - my friend Shawn knew the baby's name was Sean all along - I swear! You win, Hollenbach. Good job! Now maybe he can foretell something good about my kid...
Thursday, September 22, 2005
The past two nights I've been running around town talking about Kirstie's new Jenny Craig spot because it's so insane and I had to post about it because it seems a lot of people haven't seen it yet. You must!
Now, as you can see from the photo, Kirstie has lost 50 pounds. Good for you, girl. And I know since she used to be super-huge she thinks that dress looks great on her, but I have to say it's a little tight on the FUPA, don't you think?
So in this ad, she's running around in this tiny purple dress trying to catch this kid (who's randomly on the set for some reason) going, "Come here kid - I just wanna see how much you weigh!" This is presumably to see if she lost an entire child-worth of weight. (Kettle, this is the pot calling. I can't wait to lose an entire child-worth of weight, believe me.) However - since Kirstie is so damn Krazy like the rest of her Scientology buddies who don't believe in drugs (cuz they don't need them! Two words Kirstie, COKE BLOAT. Watch out Kate Moss...) you know there is a take somewhere in the can where she's running around like the witch in Hansel and Gretel going "Come here you little shit - stop running so fast - I'm starving! I got 30 points left for the day and you're it, kid! Ha ha ha ha ha!"
In an interview last summer with Digital Spy Kirstie said, "I'm proud that I gave my kids the best years I could possibly give them. I thought, 'These are the wonder years. Truly they are the years that you are shaping your kids and giving them the fundamentals of life and giving them the richness and protection of home. Nothing says loving like something from the oven."
Like two little children, perhaps?...
p.s. - Holy shit! Kirstie has a blog! What more proof do I need that she's the wicked witch than this statement from her most recent post:
"I did bite the heads off of two frosted sugar cookies my kids had made. So I just added those calories in! I did not go over my calorie intake and I felt very proud of that!"
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I do! I'll be jokin' it up at THE SOCIAL tonight with a great lineup (click the link to get the deets) so why not come down? It's FREE!
The Social at Sin Sin
corner of 2nd Ave. and 5th Street
p.s. - This is my last Social before giving birth! Come make it special (and buy me a drink!) Sprite. Just Sprite...
p.s. - Also, check out the rundown of last night's Chicks and Giggles here.
Monday, September 19, 2005
It's TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! September 19 is an international holiday requiring nothing more of us than a few Ayes, Arrghs and Grrrs. No need to go to church or see your family - just slap on an eye patch and break out the wire hanger hook arm, call your rum and coke "Grog" and your bitches "buxom wenches." (Chances are if you're the kind of person who uses the term "bitch" seriously this is not gonna work out for you.) "Yo buxom wench, get that phat ass ovah here, shorty, and suck my one-eyed trouser snake! Arrgh!"
For those of you who really want to do your best pirate impressions, I found this English-to-Pirate translator. Mostly it just changes the words "am" and "is" to "be" and "my" to "me," as in, "I be gettin' abused by me husband, someone call 911!" I'm kinda surprised the translator didn't change "husband" to "master" and "call 911" to "join in," but maybe it's just not that authentic. Ah, raping and pillaging all across the Seven Seas. Those were the days, my friends...
All this TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY hoo-ha has gotten me sentimental for the olde songs we used to sing at the Renaissance Faire, back when pirates (I mean, sailors) like Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh were humping the high seas (and, mayhaps, the Virgin Queen.) Two of my favorites were "Wild Rover" and everyone's favorite Irish drinking song, "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?" We used to come up with all kinds of crazy improv'd lyrics like, "Take him to jail for not paying child support!" or "Tell his new girlfriend that he's got herpes!" Oh - man... Good times!
"All for Me Grog" is another great song that comes to mind. A little repetitive, but fun to sing after you've been outside acting (or, interacting, to be more precise) all day in 95 degree weather wearing 5 layers of wool for approximately $1.50 an hour. The lyrics go:
And it's all for me grog,
me jolly, jolly grog.
It's all gone for beer and tobacco.
Well, I spent all me tin
on the lassies drinkin' gin,
Now across the Western Ocean I must wander.
Throughout the course of the verses this dude loses his hat, his shirt, his pants and his bed. (You know what that means... he slept at her place!) Now isn't that just like a dude - get you trashed, sleep over, and then leave the next day to go plunder other ships, only to die in a terrible jail fire where the dog just runs round and round with the keys in his mouth... Oh no, wait. That's the tableau I got stuck in on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World when I was twelve. God that was fun! I bet they could make that ride into a movie... It worked so well with their Haunted Mansion!
Oh, all these piratec memories - it's like a flood coming over me. God! I wish I had a scanner so I could show you the picture of me in the pirate costume my mom made for Halloween when I was in Kindergarten. I think I won best dressed that year! This will just have to do in its place...
Love you, Johnny. Can't wait for the sequel! Hey, maybe that new treasure movie "Into the Blue" will be good? Jessica Alba is the next Tim Curry.
A big shout to Mike Muldoon for sending the link! You made my day, buddy! Arrgh!
Friday, September 16, 2005
See, I happened to catch this show on MTV today - I know, I sound like a 14 year old but at this point in my pregnancy there's not much I can do but sit on the couch like a beached whale. It was called "Diary" and it was a sort of video journal of a trip Angelina Jolie and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs took to Africa. I think the show was only half an hour long - or at least that's about as much of it as I caught - but in that time I saw Mz. Fish Lips herself visit a hospital and several farms - and not just to make a celebrity appearance - she asked several insightful questions, seemed genuinely moved by the whole experience - AND did about 10 minutes of back-breaking labor in an old woman's corn field. I couldn't believe it. There she was, Mrs. Smith - Brangelina, if you will - getting dirty just because it was the right thing to do. I have to say I was very impressed. And she looked way hotter doing it - sans fish lips I must say - than she ever looks when she "tries" so damn hard to be sexy. I guess the bottom line is, caring is sexy - passion and intellect are sexy. Next thing you know, there's gonna be a porn of Angelina just digging in the dirt. No sex, no close-ups, just those juicy, jiggly jugs jumping around in the jardin. I'm somehow sensing that "hoe" should be in the title.
Angelina: Dirty Hoe
Hoe Down with Angelina Jolie
Hot African Hoes: Jolie Style
Now, speaking of fish lips, I was also informed today that
Renee Zellweger and her hubby of 4 seconds Kenny Chesney have already broken up. This should come as no surprise to anyone since they dated for about 3 minutes before they got married - but still. Renee - why are you so damn crazy?! Maybe you should take a trip to Africa with your Shark Tale co-star, unmangle that scrunched up face for half a second and dig in the god damn dirt. It seemed to work for Angie. You might even end up with your own adult video...
Me, Myself and That Hoe Irene
Bridget Jones's Diary: The Hoe of Reason
The possibilities are endless! I wish you luck my puffy-lipped friend. Go adopt a baby and maybe we can hang out. Hey - we could have a threesome. Imagine the title of that video?
Three Hoes and Their Babies
It's a start...
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Click the title of the post to check out my interview!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I'm happy to say that despite my due date being smack dab in the middle of the fest, I still get to be a part of the shenanigans as co-producer of Chicks and Giggles (click here to see us on the Fest site) and potentially in the lineup of Mintyfresh - provided I am not giving birth or getting puked on by a newborn. I'd love the chance to go up at The Laugh Factory, so, we'll see what happens.
Anyway - here's a great article that Big George sent out this morning about the Fest. Just goes to show you should never empty your spam folder without checking it first...
NEW YORK, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Cracked Entertainment, Inc., parent company and publisher of the 47-year-old national humor publication CRACKED Magazine, announced today that it would be joining the list of primary, big- wig, VIP, velvet rope, special sponsors of this year's New York City Underground Comedy Festival.
In its third year, the New York City Underground Comedy Festival is the one of the largest showcases of emerging and established comedy talent in the country. This year's festival will begin on October 2 and run through October 10. It will consist of more than 300 events in comedy clubs and venues that include "The Comic Strip" and "The Gotham Comedy Club," and will feature such comics as Dom Irrera, "Howard Stern" regular The Reverend Bob Levy and Eddie Brill, talent coordinator and warm-up comedian for "The Late Show with David Letterman."
"We really wanted to work with the team from CRACKED this year," said George Sarris, Executive Producer of the Festival. "And it had nothing to do with the fact that a few other publications like THE ONION, MAXIM, RADAR, HUSTLER, KNITTING THIS MONTH and the AARP Magazine had all opted out and that CRACKED was last on our list. Nothing to do with that at all," he added.
"All I know is that I received an email from the widow of Kwaze Mbfattu, the former Nigerian foreign minister, who has millions locked away in a Bengali bank account," said Monty Sarhan, CEO and Publisher of Cracked Entertainment. "We were told that if we sponsored the Festival, Mrs. Mbfattu would be able to get immediate access to her money."
"We also felt that sponsoring the Festival was a great way to support comedy here in New York. The Festival is quickly becoming a New York institution and is a great showcase for talent," said Sarhan. "For CRACKED, it's a way for us to reconnect with our fans and promote the re-launch of our website and print magazine. We're extremely happy to be involved." So too is Mrs. Mbfattu.
Cracked plans to relaunch its all-new website CRACKED.com immediately before the start of the Festival and will be providing full coverage of the Festival's events, including Festival exclusives such as what George Sarris is wearing (today's answer is boxers) and how comedian Jim Mendrinos' beard is growing in. "We think it's off to a good start, except for a small patch to the right of his upper lip," said CRACKED Editor Justin Droms.
About Cracked Entertainment, Inc.
Based in New York, Cracked Entertainment publishes CRACKED Magazine, one of America's oldest and most well-known comedy magazines. The company's redesign of the 47-year-old CRACKED Magazine is already underway, with an all new website slated to come online in October 2005 and the print magazine making a return to newsstands in early 2006.
About the New York City Underground Comedy Festival
Produced by Sarris Productions, the New York City Underground Comedy Festival has emerged -- in the space of only three years -- as New York's leading showcase for comedy. Officially recognized this year by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the Festival has become a meeting-ground for leading comedians and entertainment industry executives from film and television. This year's Festival will take place from October 2nd through the 10th at more than 300 venues throughout New York City. Among those already scheduled to perform this year are Dom Irrera, Freddie Roman, Judy Gold, Wendy Williams, Jessica Kirson and "The Jewish Rapper" Eric Schwartz.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I'm back kids - hostin' Chicks tonight! Great lineup - check it:
Desiree Burch (Host, SMUT)
Jane Condon (Ladies of Laughter Finalist)
Raquel D'Apice (Stand Up NY)
Kelli Dunham (Reading Series at Barbes)
Jen Dziura (producer, The Jenny Vaudeville Show)
Shannon Ennis (The Improv)
Abby Rosin (Laugh Lounge)
8:30 - Raga - 433 East 6th Street between 1st and A - FREE! Be there!
Friday, September 02, 2005
...from all the news coverage on Katrina (which is an awful disaster and we all know it and I could say a lot about it but my last post was pretty philosophical and I'm trying to give you a break) and you haven't seen The 40 Year Old Virgin yet - I highly recommend you go this weekend. It is truly HILARIOUS. I think Steve Carrell is a genius. Here's my review:
"I laughed so hard for so long during the waxing scene I thought my baby's birth certificate would end up saying Loews 42nd Street."
And - lastly - something Mr. Carrell has been lauded for in reviews of the film is his generous portrayal of the character - not just as some retarded doof in some over-the-top spoof. He really does an amazing job of bringing a reality to the film allowing you to invest in his character so much that when the final scene comes (wink*wink), you feel what he feels. (If you are going to see the movie on 42nd Street - make sure you go to the right theatre so that last sentence doesn't become literal. If you have to keep putting quarters in the slot, you're not watching the right movie.)
Happy Friday, y'all!
I just got out of our preview of Anathemaville and it went very well. However, the play is four hours long, so unfortunately some people left between Act II and III. We're pretty sure this is going to happen every night. Now, I certainly understand that a 4 hour play is not for everyone, but it is a bit disheartening to expend the energy it takes to do a 4 hour play for less than the amount of people you started with. (Plus, 3 of my 5 characters don't come in until the 3rd act, and they're really fricking great, so I'm bummed they might not get seen.) But I understand. I'm not sure I could sit through 3 acts, either, even though I love this play and think the cast is extremely talented.
Our director, Jess, was saying that people don't want to be challenged nowadays and they want their 90 minutes of entertainment all wrapped-up in a pretty little bow and that we should be proud of ourselves for being so dedicated and putting on this fantastic work. And I agree, but there's also the flip side (or "reality" as some people call it) that the ultimate goal of producing is creating a commercially tangible product that still fulfills your initial artistic yearning. (A.K.A. makin' a buck.) I've seen many productions - from stand-up to sketch to theatre - be affected by this conundrum, and that's why I wanted to write this blog post. As someone who is constantly creating new work, I deal with this all the time. Hopefully everything falls into place and you can accomplish both goals; but you can never fully take the trial and error out of creating something new. That's also the beauty of it. Some things you think are sure fire winners aren't and some things you're not sure of end up flying out of the ballpark.
Which reminds me of my old acting teacher, Tom, who is on tour doing Shakespeare right now. I think of him for two reasons: 1) This play is just like Shakespeare because it's wordy and brilliant and long and full of stuff and 2) Tom always used to use baseball metaphors in acting class. He'd always say the best batters only bat .350 - that means they only hit the ball about a third of the time. And they get paid millions of dollars. So why is the expectation to constantly hit homers so much higher in performance? And is it really? Nicole Kidman is definitely only batting .350 if you ask me and she certainly makes as much money as Derek Jeter - probably more.
By the way, Jeter's average is .312, which ranks him 12th overall in the Majors. Interestingly enough, I assumed Gary Sheffield's average would be much higher, since he is the "spiritual leader" of the Yankees, and yet he's only batting a .297. Is that me? The bold, cocky one who wags her bat and inspires others but who is (when it comes down to it) actually underperforming compared to the pretty boy who is more consistent and safe and doesn't seem to care as much about the game?
Which brings me to the whole point of this post: what is the worth of risk? And the cost? This play is risky, and only after our three week run we will get a sense of the true reward. But is there something to be said that despite the outcome - what the critics say, etc. - we risked putting it on, bravely (and in 5 characters, 6 costumes, 3 wigs and at 8 months pregnant no less?). That I risked taking time away from doing stand-up to do this (possibly flawed but still amazing) play that I love?
Stand-up has truly become my life, and ask anyone really embedded in the New York scene and they'll tell you that it's an obsession. A queasy lover who leaves you high one minute and dry the next. That's why it's so fucking great. It's like taking coke or gambling - when it's good, it's fucking great. And if you're good, and you get on a winning streak, you feel like the hottest player in the world. And yet it's that risk that something could go wrong and you could lose all your chips one night that really keeps you coming back for more. For the chance to prove that you're skilled enough not to - to walk away the winner again.
Which is probably why those goddamn poker shows on TV are so successful. I mean, who'd have thought watching people play poker would ever be considered a sport? Someone did. And that jackass is now the winner, all because he took a risk.
So now I find myself wondering, "Is there something I could have learned playing Risk as a child? Something that would make me feel like I made the right decision - that as long as I'm constantly 'doing the work' I will prevail in the end?" I doubt it. From what I know, Risk is a game where you roll some dice and try to take over the world. Sounds just like performing to me - except less fun.
I guess I already know the rules; that there are no rules aside from talent and luck - and some good old-fashioned hard work. The Yankees have talent, and they often have good luck, but they only work hard when they feel like it. I have talent, and some pretty good luck, and I work hard all the time. So, for the next three weeks, you can see that hard work and talent in action at the Gene Frankel Theatre if you're willing to sit still for 4 hours. If not, don't worry. I'll be on celebrity poker soon enough...