I have a couple non-comedy things coming up that I’m really looking forward to. My friend Jared Stroup has written a great screenplay that he’s gearing up to produce. There’s a really fun…and sizable role in it that he asked me to play. I’m super flattered and honored! I’m beginning to feel my limitations as an actor. I think sometimes people have a natural talent for things and sometimes they don’t.
My first love is music. I really wanted to be a musician. Growing up all of my friends were musicians. I was in a handful of bands to the dismay of my bandmates who had to carry my load. I think playing with good musicians helped me get better, but I just didn’t have what it takes to be good. I’m noodling around with a bass now and am probably as good as I was twenty years ago when I practiced a lot!
I’m hoping I’ll find some secret talent when it comes to acting. I just watched a clip of a thing I shot over the past year and was pretty disappointed. I think I did a passable job in Deadpan, but those were words that I helped write…and a character that was based pretty close to myself. Jared’s movie is going to be the thing that makes me decide if I want to keep trying this…or maybe check out an acting class. He and I have talked about my worries. I have a lot of confidence in him as a director though. Read the rest of this entry
Maybe it’s nerves or the adrenaline rush of doing what we’ve waited all day long to do, but many comedians tend to talk a bit too fast on stage. Comedian and owner of the Komedy Korner, Leo DuFour once suggested when I got off stage that I slow down and enjoy my time like I would a delicious meal. Maybe that was a health tip and I’m forgetting that I was scarfing down a Poutine platter at the time….it was Canada after all. Let me find another example.
One of my best friends asked me after a show why I don’t speak on stage like I speak normally off stage. He was right. I didn’t believe in my material at the time so on stage I would yell and ram my jokes down the throats of the audience as quickly as I could.
I have spent close 24 in my car in the past week just driving from gig to gig.
On Tuesday, my buddy Dave Landau and I kicked off the comedy season for the Village Pub in Pentwater, Michigan. They’re over on the west coast of Michigan between Grand Rapids and Traverse City. Man, that place packs in an audience of people who really like comedy. I had a really fun set and then Dave crushed it as well. It was nice getting to travel a little with Dave again. That’s been happening a lot less since Funny Business moved me up a little. Dave and I have a really similar sense of humor, which is to say, dark!
After that, I drove home for some stuff and then headed back about an hour or so north of Pentwater to do the Leelanau Sands and Turtle Creek Casinos. It was my first time working with Todd Yohn. When Dave found out I was working with him, he had nothing but a lot of praise. Todd is a pretty spectacular showman, with a super positive attitude. He may be the only 30 year comedy veteran who has the same excitement level as someone maybe 30 weeks into it. It was really refreshing to meet someone so well put together both creatively and mentally. Todd took me out to breakfast on Thursday and we had a really nice conversation…for two hours. Todd can talk! He’s instantly likable and I’m glad that I made a new friend.
Friday and Saturday I headed to Merrillville, Indiana which is just south of the west coast of Michigan border. I’m working with my buddy, the great Bill Bushart. I figured out what Bill is to all of us in the Detroit comedy scene. If you listen to any episode of Jeff Conolly’s Nerd Comic Rising podcast, everyone idolizes and praises Bill. It’s like we’re all in the world of Oliver Twist and Bill has taken in all these scruffy little comedy orphans. Bill Bushart is the Fagin of Detroit comedy!
Now, I’ve seen Bill perform a lot! Friday night he was on fire. He knocked it out of the park. His timing was perfect and his goofy rubbery face and creepy eyes that work independently of each other really sold each moment and boosted the laughter from 100% to somewhere far off the chart. Every moment of crowd work he threw out there just landed hard. It was a humbling experience to go from thinking it didn’t get any better than what I did to just having Bill ride that wave of laughter like the most experienced surfer. That audience witnessed magic! Saturday night was amazing as well. He kept tying together seemingly unrelated threads from the audience. I was watching a master at work! I’m glad I was there to be part of it too!
This week I’ll be at Connxtions in Toledo working with Felicia Gillespie. I watched a bunch of her clips and I think this is going to be an amazing week of shows! I’m looking forward to it. If you’re in the area, swing on over!
On a completely unrelated side note to performing comedy, I’ve been working on a screenplay with my friend Lesley. I’m super happy with the progress on it. Lesley had an awesome idea and I’m so glad she’s letting me work on it with her. It’s a super smart comedy. I don’t want to say what it’s about, but think Bridesmaids meets The Social Network.
Here’s a classic from my buddy Dave Landau. I had no idea how much weight he’s lost until reviewing this clip. I feel like a lady for even noticing that.
I spent a good chunk of the past couple of years traveling around as far south as Florida and as far west as Oregon with my friend and fellow comedian Dave Landau. Dave has been one of those bright stars in the Detroit comedy scene who started shining a light on the rest of us when he gained national exposure on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and two seasons of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
Dave and I sat down together in a hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin during a week that started with the audience taking an intermission to smoke crystal meth in the parking lot and ended later ended with us not being able to get into our hotel rooms because the owner of the comedy club either forgot or assumed we would just be driving eight hours home after having performed three shows all day long for him.
I’ve traveled with a lot of comedians, but Dave has consistently been my favorite. We share the same incredibly dark sense of humor and through working with him so much and wanting to see if I could make him laugh, I started bringing more and more of that to the stage. We’ve battled personal demons together. We’ve changed more than a couple flat tires…all on my car unfortunately. I feel like we did a tour of duty together and when our discussions weren’t horrifically dark and not fit for human ears, they were informative about our chosen trade. I wanted to make sure I got the chance to share some of Dave’s words with the rest of you.