Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dancing In the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)

This has been a surreal week for me. Last night I got news my grandfather, Pop Pop, had emerged from death's door. The man was amazing. Twenty years ago he had a blood clot and was gonna die. He beat that. After that he had skin cancer and prostrate cancer. He beat that too. In that mix he also had some heart stuff. He beat that too. I think he survived World War II in Japan. A lot had happened. Then this morning I got news my grandfather passed away in his sleep. My grandmother, Nunni, a mercurial white haired woman who passed this spring, probably greeted him when he woke up in heaven. I got a call from my mother that things got so bad she begged my grandmother to come fetch my grandfather. Nunni answered.

The night before had been crazy. I had a mini meltdown when I received some disappointing news about a project pertaining to my book. I tried to tell myself that these weren't the people to help me. All week things had been hard. Another project had difficulties. Two weeks before were spent prepping for a network audition. I was sick and thought at one point I had some form of whatever. And then there is the usual he said she said bullshit of my line of work. I thought maybe I would get a break.

On the flipside, my Pop Pop is no longer in pain. He is happy and playing tennis. He is with his brothers and sisters who love him. He went out of this world knowing he was cared for and loved. He was ninety-five when he made his great exit. Fred Wallisch had six kids who grew up to be champion swimmers, coaches, teachers, lawyers, dentists, actors, and artists. His grandchildren were artists who had their work shown internationally, ballet dancers who danced with city ballet, professors, athletes currently prepping for Olympic trials, doctors, writers, and comedians. My Pop Pop lived to see me be on national TV and was the first to buy my book. He was so jealous when I got to go to the US Open because he was a huge tennis fan.

All day I have been in a weird limbo. While I know my Pop Pop is at peace I feel a weird sensation like it has been hard as hell to focus. This morning I delivered a singing chicken to the son of a Saudi Royal in Trump Towers. In a strange LSD like trip I ran across Sixth Avenue to get there and all along the way were these floats. Huge balloon floats. My beloved Pop Pop is dead and I am seeing huge balloon floats. Then I figured I would take some photos. People were pretty okay. Not bad. Plus my Pop Pop was someone who always looked at the bright side. The bright side was I found myself smack dab in the middle of the Macy's Day Parade. Who can be sad when you see an inflatable Papa Smurf?

The son of the Saudi Royal was not happy about seeing me, but his cousin tipped me $100. Makes up for having a death in the family I suppose. My brain felt like it was unraveling at a furious speed.

My second delivery was to Long Island. This was also kind of surreal. The family saw me as the cab was dropping me off and invited me in. I said I was a friend of Judy's, the contact. Anyway Judy wasnt there. I thought this was her house. It was almost two. Apparently people arrive late. I was supposed to call Judy first. Anyway I changed and the mother was nice but she wanted me the fuck out of her house. The rest of the family was warm and talked to me in the turkey costume, waiting for everyone else to show up. As I was waiting to sing, Judy arrived with some kids. The mother pulled Judy in the kitchen. There was something wrong. There was some yelling. WTF...Okay.

I sang and the family seemed to enjoy it, but there was this feeling in the room that was odd, and there was dead silence after I read the message. Finally I read the message. The mother angrily said, "Let me see it." She looked at it and ripped it up. "This is nonsense! Their nerve!" She screamed and stormed into the kitchen

The grandmother asked me kindly to pick it up as she reassembled the message. Clearly I had missed something. I apologized several times to the family who all assured me I was just doing my job and I had no way of knowing I walked into a land mine. They were quite nice, especially when they helped me out the back quietly as the mother was swearing her head off. What the hell had happened? This was a stunning strange dream. Grandpa was dead. I had run across the Macy's parade where a giant elf had greeted me. A Saudi Royal hates me forever for waking him, and his family tipped me generously. Oh and I accidentally poured salt on a festering wound for a bunch of strangers. All is costume.

The train ride home had me reevaluating my day as well as my life. What would be next? Did I know where I was going? Maybe it was time to move home. This had been a hellacious month that was just not getting any better. Just then I remembered when my grandfather found out I was performing comedy. He cut out a bunch of jokes from Reader's Digest and sent them to me. He also cut out his favorite Bob Hope jokes. A lot of family members tried to steer me away from the stage but Pop Pop always supported me and believed in me. The man was always telling funny stories. Always encouraging me.Always making someone laugh.

I found myself hoping maybe I could heal the familial pain these strangers felt. Because when you lose someone, it's too late.

I also found myself in a dark hole. Then I remembered the words of a veteran comedian who gave me a pep talk during another dark time in my life. A big black man, he said in a booming voice, "Sweetheart, when times get tough and you think you might never laugh again, you reach for God and you reach for the punchline."

So I did what I have always done during hard times. I took out a piece of paper and began to write. My Pop Pop lived as long as he did and conquered cancer all the times in a row for a reason. The man never let anything get him down. So as the jokes poured out of my veins, some may be gold some may be mold, I knew one thing was for sure. I wasn't just gonna be fine. When I was done climbing out of this dark hole there might be a new half hour set at the end.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet Fantasy (Mariah Carey)

I have a crush. I know it sounds pathetically first grade but I do. He has only met me once. We spoke a few times online. He's cute. I don't know much about him except he is nice. We click. We have a lot in common. He actually writes as well, and might even be a better writer than I am. I don't say that about many dudes. Actually I never say that about a dude. I am crushing on him big time though. The strange part is he is totally not my type. 

He has kind of flirted with me but kind of flirts with all the girls. I think he is more ladies man in bravado than he is in actuality. He is also nice looking. I think I already said that. In some ways he seems different than a lot of the guys I am into. He is way more soulful, way more eager to talk about how he feels than any dude I have ever been into. Truth be told, that scares the living hell out of me. I think if we were to couple up I would be the man in this picture. Still, since the last time we spoke, I just feel this sparkle. 

So I have only been to his facebook page once a day. This girl kept posting stuff. I thought what a fugly slut. Then I realized it was his sister. Didn't just make me feel psychotic but rather idiotic. After that I felt like running into the Hudson River rather than face my feelings. There is always this fear of rejection when the guy is cute. It is like I am thirteen, fat, and my mother picks out my clothes again. Of course a guy who looks like this only wants to call my house because I know stuff about history or did the English assignment. Or he is asking me out as a joke. Then that highlights every hang up I have when it comes to myself.

I know how I come across to the outside world. They think I am outgoing because I have been on national TV several times. They think I am weird, eccentric, cool, and the life of the party whether it is with my puppets on the red carpet or with my singing telegram bag of costumes and songs. Or they think I am just funny all the time because I tell jokes to a crowded room. Or there is this thought I am good with words. And then they probably think I am sexually adventurous because most of my companions are male, gay or straight. If I have female companions they are like me, out there. Good with words....only on paper.

In all truth when I like a guy I can't tell him. Not because I don't have social skills. Actually that is correct, but I am also really shy. On top of that I have no skills when it comes to guys. Oh and want to know the best part? Sex talk actually makes me queasy. It makes me feel awkward. I want to run in the other direction like I saw Godzilla. Anytime I have a crush on any dude I can never tell them. The second they find out I deny it and run in the other direction. I am so freaking dysfunctional the guy has to do any and all pursuing. Crazy I know.

So far in my mind this week I have made mad passionate love to this dude like twenty times. And then we have also held hands and all that smushy shit. Oh and we had Chinese food. We also made mad passionate love during a rainstorm. In my fantasy he didn't talk. And when he did he told me how beautiful I was. So this will go on until Thursday. Then Friday I might slip up and say something by accident. Then he will turn into an evil man and in my mind I will dump him like moldy leftover Chinese. After which I will ride by with my hot new guy. I will tell the new dude who still has yet to be revealed in my mind he mistreated me.

Jesus. I can't do this dating stuff. I will stick with the puppets and costumes. They won't disappoint me by being male and human.  They won't break my heart.

Now back to my Lifetime Movies with women who go crazy and kill their husbands

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What Is Love (Howard Jones)

I had a deep conversation with a fellow comedian online last night. This dude has had a hell of a year. I would tell you but it means putting his personal business out for the world to see and he is not in a place where that would be good let alone helpful for him. Anyway, we were discussing relationships and such via facebook chat where all good things happen. And then the subject of love came up.
I don’t believe in love. I don’t think it is possible. I think that humans should just be polyamorous creatures. It’s hard to be loyal so why should we do it? Love always fades in the end. People always disappoint us. Sex cheapens everything. Just have open relationships and then the cheating factor is out the window.
The dude surprised me by saying he felt like he needed to watch a Disney Movie after hanging out with me. He said that if it weren’t for love life wouldn’t be worth it. Either this was a line to totally bait me, or he is that much of a sucker. I teased him and told him to stop acting like such a damn woman. I couldn’t tell what he was going for, Emo or Shakespeare. Either way, it made me think. Maybe I am too cynical.
I thought of the two men I almost married. The psychotic fiancé and I were so intense I thought it was love. It was really two self-centered children who got high off of drama, conflict, and loved the attention it brought them. When the ex stalked me when it ended it was about control, not the fact he still loved me. I also spoke about it Friday when I was interviewed on camera for a documentary. I thought if I gave up my ventriloquism for someone who was emotionally and physically abusive he would change. Instead it was a testament to my low self-worth, and that is what scares me the most to look at. That I played a role.
The second time he had pretty outsides like a nice job and he could have given me a nice life. I didn’t really like him. I just wanted to live happily ever after. I was happy he didn’t call me a bitch, hit me, and thrilled he had a job. He said he loved me but I never believed him. Maybe it’s because I knew I wasn’t being honest. He spent lots of money on me. I treated him like crap though. Then I found out he had a lying problem. It served me right. I was so fixated on the externals I didn’t focus on what really mattered.
For the most part these days I am happily single. I don’t even think of love. My friends in relationships all seemingly want to jump into traffic. And when they don’t whine about the fact their lover snores or whatever, they are forced to give up their dreams to be baby making machines from hell. And are they happy? I don’t know. They say they are but then they tell me how they wish they had my life. I am broke a lot of the time. I do my own home repairs. I sleep alone. As a result I follow my dreams and am starting to have an inkling of a career. That is why it pisses me off when my coupled friends and rels try to fix me up, as if I am some sad, bizarre charity case.
On the other hand, sometimes I see couples walking hand and hand. Sometimes I just want someone to hold me, tell me it is alright just like the womanizing friend in Wedding Crashers. As I get older too I wonder if I will die alone. It’s weird. Sometimes I just want someone. I want to believe love exits.

Then when I get a boyfriend I want to strangle him for being human. I want to yell at him for not being perfect. I berate him for not saying the right thing or getting my script in the mail. And then I get bored when I realize he has needs and can’t always be about me. Oh and I will end up hating his friends. And then if he snores I hate him more. Then I want to smother him with the pillow. As I look around my room and see my costumes and puppets I think I am better off with them.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maniac (Michael Sembello)

I am a self admitted control freak. My ex boyfriends will tell you horror stories. Maybe this is why I like puppets. I know what is going to happen the second I stick my hand in. I know what they are going to say. I know I am going to like what comes out of their mouth. Notice I start every sentence with I.

Lately things have been crazy. My big audition is DONE. I haven't done a shitty open mic in almost a week. The crazy thing is I did so much to get ready for this special thing. I ran around and was onstage for as many as three times a night. I practiced in front of my mirror. All to do my thing, hear thank you, and know that I won't know for the next few months. They were nice. It's the nature of the game. I am someone who wants to know now though. I know there are so many factors as to why one does and doesn't get things. They say be undeniably funny. Trust me, they can still deny you. They can deny you because of age, race, gender, or whatever else. Funny doesn't mean jack shit. I am slowly letting go of it, but it's almost as if I have fallen on the pavement from another planet. I have run around like a chicken to get ready, squawking about how I had to do stuff, and now it's over. Finito. I want to use my magic eight ball to get the answer. I want to analyze their reaction. I want to read into everything that was said and wasn't said. I want to make myself crazy.

On top of that I am working on another project. I can't say too much about it but it's with a company I like. There is much to be done and we have been in this spot before. I have been doing everything I can to get it right. This past week I kinda did something that made me a hero there. I want this thing to go so badly. I almost killed myself doing this thing. It took two days and a bunch of texts. I am so worried this thing won't happen. I won't die just my pride. We are working so hard and life isn't fair. Don't remind us please. Still, there is much to be done and we haven't yet scratched the surface. I just want everything to go right and everyone to do what they are supposed to do. I know I can't control them but I want to. Why can't people just be puppets?

Then there are some other projects that I am doing. Some people can't get back to me until after Christmas because of their schedule. Some are sidetracked for whatever reason. Some just move at their own pace and I want to scream. The worst is that they all then turn around like it is my fault when they don't get what they want and I move on. Whatever.

I have no idea what is next for me. Lots of doors are opening which is good. One is bound to have a nice room. Still the doors are not opening fast enough. I have never had anything handed to me. I am not one of those comics who has just had a career handed to them because of my gender, race, or whatever else. I have been denied and fuck it I have been funny. I am a semi-star having been recognized from time to time but in my heart I am worried of that semi-star fading. As I said I have no idea what is next. I should be excited but instead I am scared. What if I bust my ass and I don't get any of the things I am going for? It is a risk we run I suppose. We all risk dying in obscurity. Or maybe I can wear a dress and a crown and rant about how I was once almost a star like a fucking loser? Wait I have a puppet that does that. Nevermind.

I really don't sleep. When I do I just wake up tired. I haven't been eating well. Maybe that will work out because female comedians are supposed to be fat and ugly to be successful. I lost my keys twice and almost broke my arm knocking my door open twice that was deadbolted. I need a bone and I need a break.I am at the end of my rope.

I know it will be fine. I need to let go, relax, and stop being such a damn basketcase. I just need to let go. I am afraid that if I turn my back it will break. However, maybe letting go will be a good thing. Cause right now this shit has my bloody claw marks all over it.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Weirdos Ball

Sometimes I have weird experiences with people. Yes, NYC is WEIRDO CENTRAL sometimes. Anyway today I was delivering a Marilyn Monroe singogram and I change into my new gown my mom's friend made for me. The contact asks me if I have black liner. I am looking at myself in the mirror. I have my beauty mark. I have my red lips. I have my curly hair. I have my white dress. I asked her why. She said for the top of my eyes. WTF!!!! Wowsa, that is the weirdest Marilyn request I have ever gotten. Well Miss, you have the hair, the nails, the outfit, the beauty mark but the thing that is missing is the liner on the top of your lid. I never do liner on the top of my lid. My eyes are big. WTF! I told her no and she was like, okay. And then I sang for the dudeski who was awesome. Well I did my three songs and then they said they wanted another Happy Birthday. Actually at this point I had done five. It was hard to tell whether or not they liked it. These were strange agents. Note to self: wear eyeliner on the top of my eyes because that is what people look for. Not costume, not song, not routine. Eyeliner on the top of my eyes. And then when I am done I will hold my audience hostage.

Of course this reminds me of the time I auditioned for a TV show I will not mention. I met with the party planner, this black lady. They wanted kids entertainment and stuff. Anyway, I went in and they were looking at the pictures of my puppets. The first words out of this woman's mouth is, "She has no black puppets, wait, she has only one. Why does she only have one black puppet?" Then she asked my black puppet's name and I told her it was Shanniqua. She flipped because I only had one black puppet and it's name was Shanniqua. She was like, "Of course it's name is Shanniqua!!!!" Most white people are flipped out that I have a puppet of color. They think the idea of Shanniqua is racist. This woman on the other hand, she was offended that I only had one black puppet. Hell, I think when I get all rich and famous I will get a whole army of black puppets. Yes, just to make her happy. Christopher Walkin says more cow bell. This crazy bitch demands more black puppets. For the record, my footage did make the show. Still, the experience was STRANGE, ODD, BIZARRE, AND WEIRD.

Gotta love oddball feedback

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I hate the word crazy. Not because it is an adjective. I like adjectives as a writer. It's because of the way the word boxes people in. It's because of the stigma it carries. It's because it puts a bad spin on something that might not be a person's fault.

Sunday would have been my friend Joe's 34th birthday. To give you some background, Joe was an artist and celebrity personal shopper. Always having a box of cigarettes and a Starbucks, he joked that now that he quit slamming crystal meth he might stop smoking. He never succeeded in his goal. Nonetheless, he was extremely gifted and walking down the street with him could be an adventure. When there was a film shooting he would know the people working in wardrobe and we would stop and talk. Joe kind of taught me how to be a better networker. I was twenty five when we were friends. While I had escaped the demon of an abusive fiance that terrorized while we were together and after we broke up, Joe knew I was floating around. He got me to write again, and pushed me to ultimately write my book. Joe was also bipolar I, the hardest to medicate. After relapsing and some other events that I will not detail, Joe took his own life. Yes, he was "crazy." Yes he "took pills." But I don't remember a friend who was in a straight jacket. I remember a kind soul who encouraged me with my comedy and to write again. I know he made a choice and I respect it. It's the scarlet letter the word carries, that's all.

Fast forward to last night. Being an artist I always have colorful friends. One friend in particular suffers with severe bipolar. When he is good to go he is a talented director, makeup artist, and stylist. He has even done my hair on a few occasions. On the other hand, when he is off his meds he hallucinates and believes people are following him. Shit show is the understatement of the year. Anyway, he was having a manic fit and had meds. As we were over our other friends house he was wandering back and fourth and just couldn't keep still. We told him it was okay, we are kind of used to him like this. Plus he is kind of entertaining when he is manic. On the train ride home he started to break and asked my friend Smithie and I if we would take him to the hospital. We agreed.

When we got to the emergency psych center they took him in. He had been there two weeks ago under duress so the security dog remembered him. To give you an idea, my buddy loves his dog Amelia a lot and they admitted him and he couldn't walk her so he went ape shit on the guard. Well yes, the guard remembered him. Smithie and I kind of made jokes the entire time because the evening was so weird. First Mo is having a manic fit. Then there is a full moon. After that some weirdo street performer broke out his sax and just played in our ears. Now we were at a psych hospital. Mo was admitted and gave Smithie some instructions on how to care for his dog. And then we were off.

Smithie said when he went into see Mo for the instructions on how to care for his dog everything was white. The bed was attached to the wall. There were chairs but not really. There were guards everywhere. You couldnt bring even a pen to write with back. Everything was super safe. At the same time, we were both proud of our friend for having the insight to admit himself into the hospital. It was also amazing how gentle and nonjudging some of these staffers were. I was also relieved to know we were leaving our friend in good hands. For as much as Mo can wear on my last nerve sometimes, I also felt tremendous compassion for him and how he literally has to struggle with the bipolar demon. Then I thought of Joe.

I know suicide carries a stigma. I know people have a long way to go before they even begin to understand mental illness. I had a lover once who was bipolar who also struggled with addiction. I had to let him go after a short time because he wasn't going to take his meds and had no intention of staying clean. But the thing was, Mo, Joe, and Holden didn't use drugs because it made them feel good. They used drugs because at the end of the run they knew how they would feel. Bipolar people never know how they are going to feel. I heard from Holden not too long ago. He swears he is clean but his behavior indicates otherwise. Maybe my actions last night were a little codependent. But not many people understand how truly sick people with mental illness are sometimes. People think depression, they need to get some sunshine. Snap out of it. Stop doing this for attention. If only the solution were that easy.

We don't joke about cancer or AIDS but it's okay to joke about bipolar, schizophrenia, drug addiction and eating disorders. Cancer and AIDS kill people but so do the untreated affects of those diseases. We say someone with mental illness is being selfish by not getting treatment, when meanwhile they have a disease that tells them they are not ill. We think they take their meds they will feel alright when all they feel is flat, unattached, and different. I don't know what the solution is. Maybe more compassion. Maybe more education.

Or maybe it is to take the word crazy out of our collective vocab as a way to label people who are bearing a cross that we still struggle to understand.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Saturday, November 16, 2013


My audition is over with. I went in and let my material do the work. I smiled, had fun, breathed. They were stoic but laughed at the end. They said they would make sure my paperwork was good and let me know if I was free to go. That could mean anything. Either way, I did the work, had fun, and did my best. I also looked good. Now it is in God’s hands. As I was leaving though, someone recognized me from TV. Crazy how that works. 
I also had a stage mother or two snarl at me with their little Brandene who was just another Selena Gomez knock off. I wanted to tell them that if they were going to pimp their kid out, they should at least realize that there is one difference between Selena and Brandene. Selena has this magical thing called talent, little Brandene, not so much. 
Today felt good but I also felt drained. I worked hard to have my set timed with network friendly material. For two weeks I put my pride aside, humbling myself as I went back to shitty open mic afte shitty open mic. To say I didn’t want to slit my wrists each time my ego took three steps back and shilled out money for stage time I would be lying. To say sometimes I didn’t want to take the freaking mic chord and hang myself from the rafters for the first few days would be a lie as well. I worked my ass off for the opportunity I was given. I paid in blood, sweat, and tears for this audition. Maybe the universe will take that into account.
On the other hand, I feel a certain love for comedy that I haven’t felt in sometime. Work shopping a new, clean set has been nothing short of exciting actually. While most of my stage time was open mic, I actually looked forward to a new challenge everytime I stepped up there. Sure some of the folks I shared the stage with were newbies, but I learned a thing or two from their wonder and enthusiasm. I also journeyed out of my comfort zone to some alt venues where I found they not only loved comedy, but were very welcoming of me. I have always been hit or miss with alt venues, sometimes they are wonderful but sometimes they are just too weird. However, I felt a new respect as they wrote smart jokes, used SAT words, and didn’t pander to the lowest common denominator. In addition, I also found the basements of my earlier days homes that still welcomed me with open arms. The stage felt like my safe classroom again. It was as if I was twenty years old, no TV credits and no books published to my name. The only thing I wanted was to be a good comic and to write the perfect punchline. I was eager to get onstage even if I tanked. So what I was sick? Like a heroin addict needs their dope I needed my fix too. It was making me sick, I was going without basic needs, and yes I was going broke. Stage time was my crack. While I am not used to paying for it these days, I was grateful to have it.
All week my comedy angels have been around me which has made me feel nothing short of blessed. For as much jealousy as I have felt since my face has been on TV, I have felt a lot of love too. Whether it was two headliner friends of mine looking at my material. Or a club manager friend who threw me up so I could practice my audition set in front of a real crowd. I feel good about the kindness I have been experiencing from those around me. It’s like the jealous shitheads don’t matter. Actually, they don’t.
For the past two days I have been ill from burning the candle at both ends. Dayquil and penecilin infused I headed to my audition. I did what I set out to do. I hit my jokes on the mark. When I felt like I was speeding up I took my breath. They asked me a question about how I got into vent. Then I was done. The whole thing feels like a surreal blur now. Did I get it? I don’t know. But this was a moral victory. I was scouted for this thing. I prepared a clean set. I followed directions. I set out to do what I needed to do. Now I am at the next level, ready for prime time baby.
I am now at my house. My body pounding from the past three weeks: book talk, audition tape, clean set prep, and big audition. Now what is next? I am disinfecting my place because Wednesday I got a stomach bug and threw up everywhere. There will be a lot of laundry that needs to be done. I really feel weird because I am not in front of my mirror practicing with May, and I am not a shitty open mic paying for my comedy drug. I am not pounding on doors for stage time either. I feel like I am counting days in a drug rehab. What to do with myself?
My skin does itch. My head does pound. I am feeling useless as I look for the meaning of life. I am depressed cause there was this build up and it is over. At the same time, I am relieved my act came out of my mouth smoothly and my roommate and I hit the mark.

It’s called withdrawl. May Wilson suggested we need to tell some good dick jokes. Maybe she's right.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ode to Maui Taco

Several years ago, when I was earning my wings (I think I have earned them, but the bigger set is coming in the mail), I inherited an open mic at a venue called Maui Taco. For almost two years I had been a regular at the Taco. It was close enough to where I lived plus I liked the hosts. However, the Tuesday mic was hosted by someone the comedians didn't like. The owner, Christine, asked me if I wanted to step up. I said sure. Hosting at the Taco seemed like a big deal at the time. It was the next step to making me legit.

The Taco was a taco joint owned by a Chinese lady named Christine. They served food that was subpar at best, but she worked hard. I always ate for free at the Taco, and ordered chips and dips that served to perhaps spike my insulin in a most unnatural way. Instead of a red light I had May. As news spread that I was hosting I attracted my regulars. However, being an open mic host is not all it is cracked up to be.

My mic barely worked half the time. Sometimes we went without. The stage was a safety hazard. It nearly broke under my feet once and nearly flipped on several male comedians. The ceiling leaked. I always did my best to try to boost the morale in this dream morgue. Truth be told, my comedians were always good sports about the whole thing. They wanted to laugh and work on material. Plus there is something special about giving someone their first time onstage, even if there is no heat in the place in the middle of winter. Or even if on a summer's eve their is no air conditioning and everyone is melting in the basement that probably has some fugus that could kill. Either way, it is a testament to the things young comedians do to earn their stripes.

The upside was sometimes tourists came and we got to perform for them. Sometimes they knew no English and could have cared less. Sometimes they were awesome and some even still follow me on facebook and have even purchased copies of I Came, I Saw, I Sang. The Taco was proof that while some places are dream killers, if you use it wisely the payoff is good.

As time went on the quality at the Taco diminished. Heat was sometimes on in the winter but more often than not. The ceiling was leaking to the point where that too was a safety hazard. The stage had almost killed a few people. The mics stopped working. Also, there was no communication between management and the hosts sometimes, and the mics were cancelled without me knowing. Around this time I became a part of a regular show at Stand Up NY and scored a promo job where the hours were brutal. As such as I loved the Taco I had to let it go. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the mics were cancelled.

About a year later the Taco had a severe electrical fire, and then a few months later closed. Yes, the place was depressing. Yes, the place was where jokes went to hang themselves, if the comedians didn't use the mic chord as a noose from the rafter first. Yes, the place made anyone with dreams want to abandon all hpe ye who entered.

However, it is part of what made me who I am not as a comedian but a woman. The Maui Taco taught me to work hard and ultimately inspired me to do what I love best as an artist, create my own work. It was also part of how I earned both my stripes and wings as a comedian. As I see some success and continue to grow, I always hold a place in my heart for that mildew infested tourist trap that sometimes made me doubt my choices in life. Sure, it was a mess and a trainwreck most of the time.

But The Maui Taco and the comedians who set foot on the safety hazard of a stage with the microphone that didn't work are part of my fabric, they are part of who I am.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Red Light Sucka

Back in the day I did a lot of shows in the Village. I lived around that area so it was easy. McDougal Street was literally Comedy Country. Yes, there were a lot of clubs in Midtown but those were tourist traps. McDougal on the other hand, it was where the heart and soul of the comedy world hung out. It was sort of a comedy utopia, where national headliners who had been HBO and mere fledglings like myself rubbed elbows. While they usually bumped me, which was okay because I was a mere mortal earning my angel wings, I always learned a lot by watching them. Sometimes they would encourage me and have a helpful word of advice. Sometimes they would just tell me to hang in there. The beautiful thing was, because so many of us ran alongside each other anything could happen.

One evening such a thing did. I was at a club called Mo's Comedy Mad House. Located at the back of what was formerly the Thai Hut, a Thai eatery (duh), we had our regulars. Some were open micers like myself, others were national headliners as I said, some were regular drunks like Leo. Mo was always good to me. I always was fed and ate for free. When my set didn't go so hot he always got up to the mic and said, "Lets hear it for April. It's New York and you can see anything here." Sometimes he even threw me a guest spot. However, Mo had his moments where he could administer justice in the way no other club owner could.

It was rumored amongst the comedians Mo had mob ties. No one knew where he got his money to keep his small club standing, plus he lived in a nice flat. I didn't care. The olive skinned, mustached, screamer comedian was always a friend to me. One evening it was an open mic night. It had been an up and down night. I had done a decent set with a few nice laugh breaks and a dead spot or two. Barry Lawrence, my buddy, got up and did well as always. After our sets, Barry and I were at the bar where Barry was helping me clean up a joke that had some promise. Sue Costello had stopped in and was onstage, and Dean Edwards had given us the big hello. Lena Oslo had motioned for us to move over at the bar. She had a great set that night. The dimpled degenerate ordered her usual, and I was ready for a Jack and Coke. Mo fronted the bill despite me being underaged, twenty.

Just after Sue Costello departed the newbies resumed the night. The audience was thankful someone knew what the hell they were doing behind the mic. Just then, this guy got up in this tragic looking suit. He looked as if Upchuck from Daria picked out his clothing. Just then he began his big wet abortion of an act. It was unfunny hack jokes about hitting his girlfriend. The audience listened politely and gave him a pity laugh or two. Barry Lawrence looked at me, held his beer up and said, "This is why I drink." And then downed his beer.

"Damn straight." Lena Oslo said as she engaged in her alcoholism as well.

I joined in. The man continued to groans. This was terrible. Finally Mo was flashing the light after five minutes. There was relief. Somehow, this would be comedic genius didn't see it. He kept going. The light kept flashing. This man kept going. The audience started laughing as Mo's light was doing sort of a fancy light show as she was flashing it, at the point where it was sort of a strobe. The genius wasn't getting it. He thought he was killing!!! So then the audience started clapping for him to get the message. Meanwhile this reality detached numskull was in comedic bliss. Finally Mo gets on the loudspeaker and says, "Yo, I am flashing the light because it means your turn is done man.!" Then the audience began laughing.

"Holy shit." Lena Oslo said as she, Barry, and I burst out laughing. This whole thing was real. I was laughing so hard I fell off the bar stool. I was wearing a dress and fell down accidentally showing the bar my undies.

Barry and Lena picked me up preserving my dignity. The ventriloquist had escaped her turn without bombing. The freakshow onstage was eating it, and we only wanted more. Finally, the idiot said goodnight ant Mo returned to the mic. Dean Edwards took the stage. Talent, punchlines, and show quality were restored. The moron left the stage and joined his girlfriend. They left. As soon as they were out the door, Lena, Barry, and I laughed again. Then we got drunk some more.

You don't want to kill in the wrong way and die a horrible death. You don't want to be the punchline for all the wrong reasons. Hell, you don't want people to keep laughing as soon as you leave the stage cause they really don't want more.

That is why you always obey the red light, sucka!

I Came, I Saw, I Sang:Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Empty Cans

It is always amazing to me how the people who have the least to say are always using their mouth muscles. In my life and time idiots seemingly babble on for what seems like a record amount of time. However they manage to say absolutely nothing. The awesome thing about an idiot is that they will make themselves an expert on just about anything too.

In my career I have been told that May Wilson needs to be Chinese and talk with an Asian accent. They claim it will be funnier. Yes, making my puppet racist for no reason will make her funnier. Thank you. Another killer suggestion I got was to ugly myself up onstage. This was from an idiot male comedian who claimed my sexy attire was distracting him. Note, I have not seen him since. After that comes the genius who suggested I have a Dali puppet in my act. OK, whatever. Oh and then there was the family member who shall remain nameless whom insisted I should take a joke book with jokes by famous comedians and use them onstage myself because they work. Aside from steal material and being branded a joke thief and never getting booked anywhere ever, that was brilliant advice. Thank you for sharing.

Then there are those who want to chime in when you see any sort of success in your life. There are male headliners who haven't done anything in years who insist if I weren't a "cute woman with a doll" that I wouldn't get the things I get. Of course then there are the women who decry the way I dress and act as if I am playing unfair. Okay sugar, rant on Gawker. Don't work on your act. That hurts you and only you alone, baby cakes. Oh and there are the idiots who say stupid shit at open mics when they find out you have been on TV. One imbecile found out I was on The Today Show. After talking he asked, "So what are you doing now? That was totally a year ago. It doesn't look like much." Well asshole, I just wanted to sharpen up because I WROTE  A BOOK. DOESN'T LOOK LIKE YOU READ.

Idiots from the past are the best empty cans of all. A week ago someone who I was very kind to once upon a time wrote something scathing on one of my youtube videos. I stood up for this hack when he was drinking away his career because I liked him as a person. His commentary was not only fueled out of jealousy but just plain stupid. I was hurt because he had been so cruel when I had gotten him a gig he ultimately fucked up. However I wanted to write, "How long did it take you to compose this paragraph you fucking washed up drunken ungrateful hack of a person?" But I didn't. Instead I took a shower.

Speaking of idiots last night I was at an open mic where there was feedback. This is always a place for the biggest moron to show their stupidity. So I decided to break out a new puppet. No one important was there. Moron of the year raises his hand and says, "I don't know if the puppet is a good idea." I thanked him for his feedback and moved on. He tried to talk more and I cut him off. The shit for brains host really wasn't controlling the feedback. Then some other moron was like, "It's a feedback mic." I said it was, however I had the floor and the job of the room was to critique the jokes and not the comic. The rest of the session was okay. I felt like telling this moron that while his feedback was wonderful, there were several television shows that I have been on that would respectfully disagree as well as several well known producers. Then I remembered shilling out money is the only way he gets onstage. I, on the other hand, have featured, headlined, and have been on national television. The closest he will ever get to my career is watching me in his living room.

My mom consoled me and told me there were people who took her exercise class once and would give her teaching tips. Or better yet, they only took one other exercise class once and now they were an authority on fitness. My mom is a good sport about it, and she knows her stuff having taught for almost forty years. However, if it were me I would tell them that just because they stopped frequenting the bakery as much a few days ago and just saw an exercise bike didnt make them Jane Fonda. But what would be the use?

Stupid people are amazing. They vote. They write. They talk. And boy do they talk. Aye aye aye.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Monday, November 11, 2013


This past week I have been trying to go up as much as I can to prepare. I have returned to some of the haunts of my youth in the Village, in the days before I knew what it was to have fans let alone be on national television. In the days where my ideas were on loose scraps of paper before I wrote an actual book. While I only have started to make some real progress I am a long way from where I once was. The return has been good and once again they are becoming my old homes. Same with my former home club and other places. However I know the game there. I know the crowd. I know the comics. So I debated journeying out of my comfort zone.

I have long since heard about The Creek and The Cave. There was a part of me that was curious about the place. Certain comedian friends of mine raved about it. Others insisted it was cliquish. I never had been, but already I was judging. I didn't have a weird beard or weird glasses. Although I have a doll, I am hardly alt. I don't strive to be ironic. So basically I wrote the place off. Contempt prior to investigation as they say.

Finally today I told myself I had to go. I just needed to do something different. Because the same places had become my practicing grounds I was getting bored of them, getting bored of my act, and the chip on my shoulder that I have been trying to get rid of was reemerging. After showering and putting on fresh clothes, a spiritual shift in case you have never tried it, I decided to pose the question on facebook. Everyone said shake it up. So on the 7 train I went. I got there early of course and ordered some chili. As I downed my tasty dinner I saw a couple wander in. They were theatre people talking theatre talk and using the SAT words my mother claims I threw out with the bath water as a basement comic. I wasn't sure how I felt. I am not that kind of "smart person." Yes, I write books. But I am not a shit head who corrects people's grammar. I knew this could go either way.

The comedians rolled in and I chatted it up with two newbies. They were new to the game and nervous about the whole standup world. I told them talent doesnt depend on how long someone has been doing it, and that someone could be good or bad at any level. Everyone though seemed really stoked about comedy which was a good thing. I saw some people I hadnt seen in ages which was sweet. Suddenly, as the chili settled in my stomach I had a feeling I made the right decision by venturing out of my comfort zone.

The mic began with the host, a girl named Peggy, doing a few minutes. She was very sweet, warm, and funny. Immediately, she made everyone feel welcome and creative a supportive atmosphere in the room where everyone was safe to be themselves. One by one the comedians took the mic. Each had varying levels of experience, talent, and preparedness of course, but each was passionate about comedy. Each was hunting in their own way for the perfect punchline. Each felt the love and support from their fellow comedians. Making a comedian laugh is like making a mime talk, it's hard work. However, these people did laugh and gave good feedback. I felt a love, comfort, and gentleness here that is a foreign concept in most city rooms. Here I felt a lightness, a passion not only for performing but an art of comedy itself. I felt like I could crash and burn without getting bruised if things didn't go well.

I also garnered a whole new respect for alt comedy. Sure, some of it is hard to take. However, there are also some talented alt people who are good writers and good performers. All comedy does not have to be dick jokes. As I have been crafting this clean set I have gotten a whole new respect for people who are smart and clever. Yes, it might not work in some of the basements but not every show has to be in the basement. When I speak to kids about writing I tell them everyone has their own voice and there is room for everyone's voice. Same goes for comedy. Usually I am guilty of thinking of my own set as well. However, I was busy watching my fellows do their thing which was very exciting. It felt like I was learning and growing in a way I hadn't in some time.

I was amazed by what a family this group was. One of the cohosts had a birthday and the other cohost got her a cupcake and we sang. This cohost also somehow had gotten two ventriloquist figures for her birthday. And when I came up with a real ventriloquist act she thought it was amazing. When my turn came, I did something that has been hard for me for sometime in comedy. I HAD FUN.

 As time goes on, all comedians, myself included, take themselves oh so seriously. We start to see money from comedy and it becomes serious business-ironic when you think of it. And then we develop chips on our shoulders and attitudes about the politics. Soon it becomes more about who we think we are and less about the art. Suddenly, we start writing less and get sick of our acts. We never get sick of hearing ourselves talk about ourselves or others talk about how great we are. We are sick creatures like that.

I had a lot of fun though. The room was also very kind to me. Some of it was that they like comedy. Some of it was that I have been working hard on the set I am preparing. Some of it is that they were supportive. However, a portion was due to the fact I let go and felt comfortable doing so. Afterwards people told me I did well and asked if I would be back. The answer is yes I will. My experience at The Creek and the Cave was a good one. It left me more stoked about performing and more excited about writing than I have been in YEARS. Comedy has a good home and every comedian, old and new, has a safe place to perform, experiment, and grow in whatever way they need to.

This winter I wrote a blog about stepping up my standup and not being sure how I could do that. The answer is to be around people passionate about comedy, writing, and go to out of your comfort zone. And maybe this place has it's little circles but so does every place. Whenever I focus on being funny and don't focus on the politics, I don't feel that sting. I am there to perform, not pass notes. When I do that I get along with every comedian and do decently with every audience, no matter where I am.

So yes, I will be going back to the Creek and the Cave, I will be eating more of that delicious chili. I will be chasing the perfect punchline. I will be wandering out of my comfort zone. Just like the twenty year old kid who dreamed of being on national television and carried her ideas on loose pieces of paper, I won't stop until I get the perfect punchline.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fear and Loathing

Comedians are like bitchy scorpions. There are only so many spots at any club, only so many people who can be on any show, etc. It's like we all can't have nice things. This is most apparent on car trips. It starts by bringing up one comic and then it is a trash fest. Some of it is out of jealousy that they got the spot we wanted. Some of it is out of fear that we might never get what we want. Some of it is out of insecurity because we must trash people we feel are lesser. Deep down, it is more fear. More fear that we will be forever trapped doing shit open mics, shit bar gigs, shit check spots, and at the end of the day we will languish in obscurity only to die unknown.

Early in my comedy career I saw people floating around who had been at it for years. One woman had been doing open mics for fifteen years and still sucked. I deeply hoped that wasn't going to be me. However, I was afraid it was going to be. I saw others seemingly never move from the bringer system, damned forever to be comedy cattle running and feeding off of dream grass only never to get the nutrients. At other venues I saw people bark for what seemed to be forever never to move up. And then I saw some people do the same terrible set for years with the same lackluster jokes. Running the open mic marathon it seemed as though the lanes were clogged like a bad LA traffic jam and I would never get the red light. As for the road, I did that as a feature. I opened up for guys who were either really funny and would never have their talent recognized, or incredible hacks that killed for audiences that didnt know better. For a while it felt like there was no way to make it.

As a comedian I never believe my fans or the audiences that love me. In the initial early stages of my career, I very well knew I wasn't very good. When I would have a bad set, it followed me for sometime in my mind. When I had a good set, I bragged about it. Some of it was that I was proud of my work. Most of it was because I thought it would never happen to begin with therefore feared it would never happen again. I was accused of having no humility. It was true. I was deeply insecure and not the biggest April fan. But humility is not thinking less of onesself but thinking of onesself less. I was thinking of April all the live long day.

Time went on and I accomplished some things. It wasn't so much talent but hard work. I will admit, there is always someone funnier, prettier, and a better writer than I could be at any given moment. However, none have pounded the pavement like I have. Even my enemies have to high five me for my work ethic. In order to accomplish that fear and loathing, I became even more bragadocious. I don't think it was an accident that I found myself more depressed than ever deep down. Yes I was releasing a book but why did I secretly feel like dog shit run over by a mac truck? Answer, I was chasing the wrong solution. I thought ranting about being a woman in comedy was the solution. If I were a man I wouldn't have to fight so hard. I had fans writing me letters. Fuck open mics. Let me tell you how successful I am. Want to read a copy of my book?........

This past winter, I found myself unsure of how to step up my comedy. How to grow. The answer was to drop the fear and loathing and to do the work. This past week I did a show where the audience was slower to warm up to a ventriloquist act. However they got into me and I ultimately ended up doing well. After I stepped offstage I didn't hear the congratulations from the audience or felt the love I received from my fellow comedians. Instead I could only focus on the fact they didn't dig me at the beginning of my set. I was talking to a fellow comedian about this and how I always focused on the weak part. The audience members who didn't like me. My comedian friend concurred that she did that too. We all did.

On my walk home I worried that I was never going to go where I wanted to go. I also worried that I was going to settle again. Then I realized no. That wasn't going to happen. The mistake I made was falling victim to the fear and loathing. My ego seduced me into taking April the Reality TV Queen and April the Author into comedy clubs. That person doesn't always belong. Instead, when I go to a club I am just another name on the lineup. My job isn't to primp my feathers and remind people of who I think I am. It's to make the audience laugh. Also, there is something to be learned from every comedian on the lineup whether they are a household name or whether they are unknown. When that is my attitude there is always something gained.

These days when I step onstage I take the twenty year old kid who was awkward and had a weird looking, antiquated puppet. She wasn't afraid to fail, and was humble enough to do the work. She took tanking hard only to keep doing more of it until she got good. The beautiful thing was she wasn't so egotistical she wouldn't take a suggestion. As a result, the Comedy God's smiled upon her again and again. She was a good kid, sometimes taking things too hard but always chasing the perfect set. She always knew she could do better and the secret was more stage time. These days I bring her to the clubs. Not April the Reality TV star or April the Author. Those two idiots wouldn't have been possible without that weird, determined, and tough kid blindly chasing a dream.

Good things have always happened when she has been around. Sure she succumbs to the fear and loathing, but only to get up and try it again.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bitches Be Cray Cray

I am always astounded at how I find myself on the wrong side of some women. Usually it is the current girlfriend of an ex or the current wife of a fan or former high school classmate. I don't get it. And they are so psychotic about it too. Wowsa.

Two years ago I had just been on national television a bunch and everyone from my childhood and beyond came out of the woodwork to congratulate me. Some were classmates, some were old friends, some were original fans from back home. One was a former neighbor of mine who played football with my brother. Although he was older than I was, I always got on with the dude. Anyway, I was making videos and doing well and posted one on her dude's wall. She writes me a scathing message. I was like WTF?!?! I don't want your man. We don't even live in the same city. I don't even know you lady. Well he got smart and dumped her like the fat bag of wet laundry that she is. Oh and he got full custody of their kid. Now he raises his young son as a single dad and is doing well. We were talking about Miss X and it turns out that she is bipolar and refused to take her meds. How lovely. You did the smart thing by getting away. I should know.

After her was this baby mama of a fan of mine who wrote me a profanity laden email threatening to kill me. Then when I basically told this breeding lump with a bad tan that all she ever did was push children out of her vagina that probably is so loose that it swings like a kiddie tire swing I blocked her. Then she got her red neck friends who are probably so inbred that they are their own grandpa to write me nasty notes. After I blocked all of them she started an I Hate April Group. I was like wow, you must really have no time on your hands. God forbid you catch your husband reading Playboy or watching Baywatch. Eek! She had some redneck name too. I mean, I saw her mother's wedding pictures and they all had that white trash ink. Who knows? Maybe her man had to look elsewhere. Dreaming is free

Lest we not forget the former girlfriend of my psychotic ex fiance. He was nuts and she was even nuttier. She basically was a childhood sweetheart of his that reconnected with him in the myspace days. Our relationship ended and this trouble maker started sending me nasty messages. As if it was even her freaking business. Then when my ex was stalking me, she starts stalking me biproxy leaving nasty messages too and doing some of his dirty work. When he posted drawings of someone that looked like me being gored, the cunt (I dont use the word lightly but when the shoe fits wear it) was the first to like them and claimed she wanted more art work. She too had a hobby of making babies with numerous men. An obese semi-shut in, she coached cheerleading and liked the same music her children did such as Z100. Note, when you are in your thirties listening to that music and putting hearts next to Justin Beiber end your life now. Then when I got on TV she starts posting shit on every forum there is about how I slandered my ex, stalked her, and how I had so many mental problems she needed to block me. No you big fat cow. I had to block you and as I recall I was working with myspace at one point who limited the things you could do on your page and blocked my ex from using again because I had proven my case. WOW. Anyway, she has moved on to taking one of her baby daddy's to court. So I don't have to worry about her. Maybe she will die of a heart attack.

Of and then there is the current girlfriend of my ex. A wannabe singer, comedian, and half assed poet this big, fat, heap of a woman who gains more weight the longer she stays with my ex made my winter/spring quite interesting. A true wannabe, this wench began copying my look. When I put up a video, so did she. When I announced the release of a book, suddenly guess who starts writing poetry and she had never written poetry before. Guess who keeps a blog and guess who announces she is working on a book? I would have dismissed that nonsense except she began prank calling me. Oh and then she and her friends made a video where a girl named April got her head beaten in. After that, she insisted I was harassing her and spread her filthy lies about me like AIDS. Meanwhile bitch is copying my look and career and doesn't have the talent. Oh and she wrote a nasty poem about me and plagiarized a line from one of mine. Couldn't even diss me with her own words. From the looks of things she does drugs and drinks all day and doesn't have a job. I have done nothing to this woman except  I once dated her boyfriend and now am doing well with her life. She no longer bothers me either. Now she plays shows with her shitty rock band for three people who can tolerate the out of tune nonsense she calls a voice. But according to my friends she still alludes to me on twitter. Let her talk. She's got a good subject.

Last but not least is the wife of a former classmate of mine. The dude who I will call Johnny went to school with me from elementary school to the end of high school. We were always friends actually. Anyway when I graduated I went to NYC and lost contact. I guess in the meantime he met this beast creature that he married. Johnny always liked pretty girls, but this one could crack a mirror. Anyway she looks like a weed whacker cut her hair and is heroin chic skinny, probably from shooting up. So this spawn of Norman Bates writes me a nasty letter about how she wants me to "stay the fuck away from her husband." Wow. We don't even live in the same state and you live in a shitty white trash part of my former city. No problem. And then the freaking internet tough girl blocked me so I couldn't reply back. Nice to see my former grade school chum has found himself in a codependent power struggle with a woman who is cat shit crazy. Then I looked on her page to see who she was. This nutcase kept posting videos of her smoking, getting trashed, and then her statuses were about how she hadn't slept. I saw a photo of her and my former classmate and they both had pock marks on their faces, circles under their eyes, and looked like they were either coming or going to their neighborhood crack house. How sweet, two addicts who found love. Tell Flaco and the rest of the crew at the crack house I said hola. Hope it works out for you both. Until then, know your husband does in fact secretly dream of me. It's not because I am pretty. It's because I am not you, you crazy bitch.

Still, this makes me not want to get married ever. All marries seems like is an exercise in codependency. If anything it makes me glad I am single. The older I get the less I want to be married with kids. Some feel the need, after the shit I have seen I don't. If your marriage or relationship is that much of a power struggle get out. You don't need a man to complete you. You can make it on your own. You were a person before you started sucking his dick and you will be a person afterwards. No man is worth wearing prison orange over. Good riddance.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sludge Hammer (Peter Gabriel)

Every comedian has had a hell gig. Some of us have had many. It's part of being in the game. Several years ago, I had the mother of all hell gigs. Curtain up and enter the Moose Lodge. A buddy of mine named Jimmy McCaffrey who was a sometimes comedian and in full time conflict with his ex wife had booked it. The show had a mix of folks still in the incubation stages of comedy like myself, seasoned comedians, and of course headliners. I figured the show could have gone either way when I got there. After all, this was Jersey. These were all white people. I had done well in a black room only the week before. This would be a breeze, right?


The show began and my friend did a minute and a half up front. The rest of us were looking at each other like "what?" The first comedian went up. He was a slight fellow named Paul Mazeroff who's gift was the business side, but as for material, he had a solid minute and a half. Paul wasn't even onstage for a minute and he was already being heckled. I was supposed to go next. OH SHIT!

After three minutes of this nonsense Jimmy gave Paul the light. The next comedian was Howard Feller, who killed it. This was an awesome experience and even more awesome to watch. Okay, maybe they weren't going to eat us alive after all. After Howard I went up. I brought May out. Some of the room was into me. Some wasnt. Actually, they were divided down the middle. I didn't care. I just wanted to survive. Some drunken white racist idiot said, "This isn't standup comedy. She has a puppet." No shit Sherlock. I have a puppet.

The next comedian, who's name escapes me, was a blur. After him they interrupted the comedy show so this weird looking Napoleon Dynamite kid could say a prayer. In a surreal blur the comedy show continued. Some of the comedians battled with these bizarre angry white hecklers. One lady, a mom comic who's name escapes me that kept talking about her kids, gave one guy a t shirt. They were silent during her set, which meant they were paying attention but not laughing is the most brutal form of bullying in comedy. The show finally ended with Danny McDermott taking down and ultimately verbally killing a heckler.

After the show, one of the worst hecklers said, "I felt bad for the comedians. No one would even give them a chance." Yeah asshole, you heckled. A bunch of folks gave me and the rest of the comedians backhanded compliments. One tattooed dude said he really dug me.

They say from every hell gig you learn something. One of the weirdo hecklers said he saw my jokes on my hand cause in those days I wrote my set list on my hand. I stopped doing that and just memorized it.

Years later, when I was on TV the tattooed dude who liked me dropped me a fan note.

Last night Chris DiFate and I saw each other after a number of years. While it was good to see an old friend, it was even better to laugh about the shared shiteous experience we had together. I had forgotten about the horrid prayer. Chris reminded me. The beautiful thing about comedy is everyone pays their dues. As you move up the ladder, you laugh with others about the same harrowing experiences.

There is no business like show business

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Thursday, November 7, 2013

All Dicked Up

A few years ago I was invited to audition for Puppetry of the Penis. I thought it was a dirty puppet show. Being a comedian and puppeteer, I thought this touring show would take me out of my career rut. I hadn't booked anything in months. So I figured, why not? They sent me pictures of different shapes one could make with said organ, and I just thought they were going to be lifesized puppets.

I arrived and was greeted and given paperwork. However, I was also given an odd look by all the guys who showed up to audition. That is when the director emerged and asked what I was doing there. I told him I had come to audition, and even bought May Wilson. In those days we were waaaaaayyyyyyy dirty. Anyway, that is when someone told me that this perhaps wouldn't be the job for me. And that is when I found out that it truly was puppetry of the penis. The director and producer met as to decide what to do. So before the show began, and they invited me to stay and watch, they had me do my act for everyone. It went well. After that the pants came on and the dicks came out.

The director, an Australian, said, "Okay, time to warm up." That is when he dropped his pants, rubbed his dick and made it pliable and flexible. The rest of the men in the group did the same. Suddenly I was looking at ten random dicks. I felt like I wandered into a gay bath house and forgot my crystal meth. Despite the fact that a woman's presence could be intimidating, these guys were not floored. We all felt awkward. Penis tricks include wrist watch, propeller, pretzel, and many others. Some of the guys were less penis savvy than others. One dude was real good. Apparently he was dropping his draws and doing all his penis puppetry at the theatre arts parties at Pittsburgh's own Point Park University.

After being struck speechless I saw a fellow comedian I only met once or twice at the mics. I introduced myself and we both laughed about what happened, cause how could you not? He shook my hand and said, "From now on, you can always call me Shane."

I said, "And you can call me April. I saw your dick and therefore we will always be bonded." Max laughed. He agreed. I suppose while awkward keeps being the choice word, it was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.

"This is the most interesting lunch break I ever had." Shane said.

We laughed. How could we not? Afterwards I ran into church and said a few prayers. While I am not terribly religious I kind of had to after that.

Since that time Shane has gone on to appear with me on Wendy Williams. Today I saw his girlfriend Trixie at the health club. We were talking about Trixie's film, her new book, and I found out Max was her boyfriend. I asked her if he ever told her about our infamous audition at Puppetry of the Penis. Apparently he had. Truth is, we have both seen her boyfriend's penis. She wanted to, I did by accident. Does that make us tied for life? I dunno. It's just something else that we laugh about as New York Comedians climbing the ladder and following our dreams.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Starving the Devil

When I first started comedy, the only thing I had were my dreams. I was a kid from Pittsburgh. Having no idea what it really took to be a New York City comedian, I chased my dreams running on the hard pavement like Hussein Bolt. Of course I made friends with other young people chasing theirs as well. We saw each other at mics, grabbed pizza, and talked about how one day we wanted to be on TV in some capacity. We also traded punchlines and sob stories as we journeyed towards our pipe dream. We were going to be friends forever, right?

Time passes, and comedy is a vicious game. Being funny is part of the equation, along with the business and being at the right place at the right time. There were times I was acid tongued because I believed someone less talented advanced for no reason whatsoever. Of course there were other occasions where I was just bitter in general. We were all mice going for the same three pieces of cheese. There was going to be a little resentment over the fact there were so many spots, right?

Finally two and a half years ago my comedy luck began to turn. It seemed I was getting on TV quite a bit. Granted, I had a niche skill and was working for it. Not to mention that I branched out into music and was on my way to publishing a book. It looked like spending my twenties as a poor bohemian were finally starting to pay off. Sure, my high school and college mates were getting married, having kids, and starting their lives. I lived in a cramped apartment with no man and no money and a shitload of puppets and costumes most of the time. Yes, my bathroom looked like a drag queen vandalized it. However, I was also getting fans around the world. I was getting my music to chart on internet radio. My job as a talking head was fun and exposed me to even more folks in different reaches who saw me on TV. Oh and I published my book. My friends were going to be happy for me, right?


Suddenly it seemed I was public enemy number one. I was dissed on several blogs, and my so called friends from back in the day were the first to take shots at me. Some accused me of sleeping my way to TV time. Others said I lied and cheated my way to get things. Then there were those who called me an open mic hack. Meanwhile I was featuring and sometimes headlining. When they saw me in person they would be fake after slandering me online, which was even more painful because one idiot even left his name. Then there were some who decided to shun me all together. It was like we were friends who talked about our comedy dreams and then they couldn't say two words to me. Of course there were the brave idiots who took shots at me whether it was something backhanded or outright fought with me. Translated, I was being bullied and paying the price for seeing success. I couldn't get a break.

For a while I tried to tune it out, but it's hard to when people are nasty for no reason other than the fact they are jealous. I tried to keep in mind I earned these things: living off my laundry money and being so poor that sometimes I washed my clothes in my bathtub with my own shampoo. Soon I became nasty to counteract these people. Fighting back is the only thing a bully understands. Finally, as doors opened elsewhere my attitude became that I was too important to pay for stage time. I would show up if I liked the venue, was getting money, liked the producer, or if a fan was booking the show. Of course when any idiot started with me I would be quick to remind them that I was on TV in case they had forgotten. I thought I was showing them.

Instead I was only hurting myself. I felt alone more often than not, because I was also shutting people out who were my friends regardless of whether or not I was successful. Because I wasn't performing as much, that side of my personality was emerging in ways that weren't so good. I played a prank on a friend that I thought was funny. She thought it was mean and ended the friendship. I was increasingly glib to the point of being mean. The chip on my shoulder became uber magnified. I had been a woman slugging it out my entire youth and had faced so much sexism. When asked about all I had accomplished I came across as the biggest, most whiny victim in the world. At the times I wasn't sporting a bad attitude, I told everyone about the book I published and all I was doing with it. I claimed I was too tired to write jokes because I had written over 300 plus pages. Meanwhile it was all just a way to run from my bullies. In a way to fight the jerks I became one myself.

Finally I hit rock bottom. I found myself very depressed around the time I published my book. Some of it was the let down from a huge project. However a lot of it was because I wasn't writing new jokes. Standup had been the outlet for my rage and awkwardness back in the day. The stage had been my safe place. I no longer had that. Soon my urge to say the first thing that popped out of my head was getting me in trouble as well.I was turning into someone that no one liked, not even myself. One morning, as I felt the rage build up inside me I messaged a friend whom I will call Mr. Ed. To give you an idea, Mr. Ed is not a talking horse (irresistible hack joke), but an established comedian who has always been a friend that I admire. Positive and successful, Mr. Ed is one of those magical people who still loves to make people laugh.

Mr. Ed is somewhat psychic. We started the conversation about his headlining gig and he told me he killed in a whole new way because as he wrote in caps he HAD FUN. The universe was speaking to me. This was something I had not done in a while. Then I proceeded to pour my heart out and told him what I was going through. I asked Mr. Ed how he handled the jealousy and negativity. Mr. Ed said the only way to handle it was to starve it. I told him that would be hard for me. Like the blind karate master in the Kung Fu movies he had another move. Using the caps lock on his computer he typed it again in big letters. Now it made sense. By fighting back against these bullies I had been feeding into their negativity. They were just nasty people all around, and the only one I was hurting was myself.

I spoke to my mother about this who also had some good input. She said, "They had the same opportunities as you and didn't take them. That's not your fault."

Of course there was an old friend of mine who informed me that my attitude was becoming a problem. He also told me that the people bullying me were "shitheads" and I had to ignore them. Finally, he told me I was alienating people who could assist me. While it was harsh it was also the reality check I needed. Before my success was making people despise me. Now I was just doing it on my own.

Things steadily became easier, but I still had some hang ups. However as I strive to get this audition set ready, I am struck by how many people have come out of the wood work to help me. Some are old friends. One by the way is Mr. Ed. Some are new friends. This has enabled the walls to come down, and some of my old friends have reappeared. It turns out they still cared about me no matter where I am in my career, and are happy for me as long as I am happy. As a matter of fact I have never felt so much love coming my way in my life. It has been amazing, and it has made me love comedy in a whole new way. Since my energy is renewed, I am meeting others who perform simply because they love the art form of comedy and ultimately hunting the perfect punchline. Despite the fact comedy and I have had an abusive relationship as I run after the perfect clean set, I am more stoked than ever to get onstage.

I have also learned that while it is mean to be gossiped about, it is also mean to gossip about others. While sometimes all humans envy, it is important to be happy for others when they are successful. I am also seeing that while everyone is crazy in the beginning of the comedy race, everyone ultimately goes their own way. Some become performers, others writers, some club owners/bookers/managers, or go into TV production. However, those of us who finish end up working together which is kind of cool.

My pink cloud was a little bit obstructed yesterday. Someone who was an old friend back in the day who's second rate hack career has gone no where took a very public jab at me. This moron has no business critiquing anyone, especially since my second toe on my right foot with fungus has more talent. However it upset me because we were friends once upon a time. It was the same knife to the back piercing my heart. Yes, I did cry like a Goddamn woman. After calling a friend and sobbing wildly, I took a shower. I tried to brush it off but felt badly.

That is when I realized it was about him and not me. He had the same opportunities that I did. This man wasn't worth my tears let alone the paragraph above. That is when I threw on some clothes and got onstage.

I found out I was on Wendy Williams which was cool.

I also botched my clean set because I had wasted my energy. TV time is nice, but doing the work got me thus far. Don't stop the thing that makes it all possible, right? Plus in all that goes into show biz so much is beyond our control, so make what we can control good.

With that being said, haters make you famous. On that note, my clean set still needs a butt load of work

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More Than a Woman (Tavares/The Bee Gees)

I have been doing a lot of thinking about back in the day when I was just starting out. Things are different now obviously. At the time I lived on Water Street. In the morning I would jog across the Brooklyn Bridge. The thing about that bridge is that you can always hear the rumble of the trains. As you jog it shakes the bridge a little bit, and there is a part of you that feels the thing will topple into the water killing you. But then you realize this happens every day, and it sort of becomes an ingredient in the whole magic feel of the city you now call home.

One song that always played on my radio with headphones was the song by the Bee Gees or The Tavares, depending on which recording was playing. I found my way to comedy after having my heart broken by a man I was seeing. He was older but had a sweet pad. I wanted love, he wanted the ever eternal sensation of having a much younger girlfriend. To boot, he led me on in a toxic dance for almost the next year. Nevermind, I was going to be strong. My whole life I had been told I was funny. The idea of being a true comedian scare me because you had to be funny. I just wanted to be me. This was scary. Plus if you was like death.

Eventually I bit the bullet and did a bringer show and killed. I did bringers until I exhausted all my friends. As you could imagine many of them lost my phone number and one jokingly claimed she was dead. I was sick of my act too. So I did a lot of open mics and met a lot of characters. Many would probably have been better suited to a therapist's couch than a comedy club open mic but nevermind. We all had a dream. It seemed like it was out of reach to all of us. We were chasing the proverbial dragon, unlike cocaine there was no guaranteed high. However we were willing to risk anything to go after it like a good crack feind.

There was Barry Lawrence, one of my first friends in comedy. An older brother type who was more often than not an angel in disguise, he kept me on track and talked me out of doing my usual stupid stuff. After that was Al Weinstein, a Jewish wannabe comedian who was married for a Puerto Rican woman that he was always on thin ice with. Mostly underemployed, Al chirped about wanting to cheat on his wife. However this was the most cheat free situation ever. Then there was Quinn Harmon, the chain smoking white dude from Texas who said the n word onstage and got away with it. Oh and then there was Rochelle Johnson, the black former beauty queen who was the only person that didn't let Quinn Harmon get away with his crap. In that mix lest we not forget Birdy Douglass, a tough talking hood chick who cussed out a comedy club manager we all hated. And then there was Ella Villa, a Spanish chick who said dirty things and shamelessly slept with headliners for stage time. I cannot forget Ron Santiago, who really used to look down upon my act because he was one of the cool kids. Later he would become a huge supporter. Oh and then there was Don Bosco, a long haired semi-homeless open mic host who used to give me walk on spots on his late show and always had candy laced with something in his pocket. Last but not least, there was Thor Svennson, an overeducated art star who talked down to everyone he met. However, he was the only financially secure one out of the group with his own moving company.

The promoters were even bigger characters. There was Jacob Jankowicz, a gay Jewish booker who sucked the blood out of comedians for his booker showcases. Like a snake he hid at the clubs and looked for fresh blood selling young hopefuls fake dreams. Will Berkley was an old burnt out comic who pressured the young comedians also to do bringer showcases. Quick to critique others, none of us had ever seen the man do anything but bomb. Then there was George King, the eternal middle management of comedy who produced shows but also sucked the life out of the room when he got onstage. Davey McCuen had a messy home life, a dream, and a newborn son. His wife detested his struggling artist attitude, but eventually he dumped her and the kid for a much younger babe. Isaac Greenberg had an open mic where you were graded on professional behavior, and stabbed everyone in the back to operate a room that became a bringer and barker glory hole, only to eventually be fired. Luigi Fiorio booked a dirty room and screamed when he got behind the mic. He dated female comedians who's focus was on getting boob jobs and not writing jokes, but he was always good to me. Last but not least was Terrence Brooks. An urban promoter, he always had big plans and was the master of the smoke screen. A career extra, he often seduced hot girls from his movies into doing his comedy shows. These debuts were a disaster but entertaining to those watching. While a character, he always believed in me too.

It's amazing how many people that I started with are no longer around. To some, standup was too hard. Others got married, had kids, and got a life. They discovered I suppose that there was more to this world than killing or tanking onstage. Many found other ways to express their voice. Some found success writing for television shows, using the standup as a springboard ultimately to another goal. Others found success in acting, using standup for the same thing. Some do voice work and you hear them but don't see them. Others went back to a first love such as music or visual art. One girl became a baker which was random.

I was talking to an old friend of mine who fell out of performing for quite a few years about the people who we used to know that seemingly just disappeared. It's weird. Some were the cats meow and then they were gone. It's also crazy how some awesome things have not just happened for me, but others that I started with. One thing I noticed is that standup is the starting line, but then there are different ways people go. Some continue to do standup. Others write. Some act. Then there are the people who become club owners, producers, and managers. But however, if you finish the race you end up working together which is kind of cool. I am starting to see a little bit of that now. I find myself being called to audition for things because I am recommended by peeps who performed with me once upon a time who now work on the production end. Love and generosity have been coming from peeps who are now club owners too. As for some of my peeps who got Comedy Central Specials, I congratulate them on that, and they give me kudos for my book. When we sit down and talk about the old days, we laugh about all those crazy experiences and the characters we knew. The stage was our school and we grew up together.

I find myself with a lot of those old feelings now as I try to assemble my network friendly set. It's another due I have to pay to get to the next level. I am back to hitting the mics, back with those same characters. While I know what a TV credit and publishing a semi-successful book feels like, I have to do the work. I am back to melting down. I am back to second guessing myself. I am rolling my eyes when they sneak in the drink requirement after robbing me of five dollars. But I am safe here. The public is not ready to see my act. After three days of wanting to kill myself, I went up yesterday. I killed it with my clean set.

Of course, I messaged one of my comedy angels with a crazy message. Then I apologized later. He was a good sport about it. The whole thing feels so mystical and magical, like I am a kid finding her way onstage for the first time with her creepy doll. Sure some of my hard earned dreams have come true, but in that quest it becomes more about your ego and less about the art. The passion is back. Goddamn it, I want to make people laugh.

Luckily I am not stuck on some idiot guy. More to come.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Own Bully

Every performer has the side of them the world sees when they step on the stage. Then they also have the dark side. Yes, we beat ourselves up. Many are called, few are chosen. We all want to be the prettiest, the brightest, and the best. There are only so many spots at the top. We all want them. So we bust our asses, show up for ourselves, and then more often than not beat ourselves with the metaphorical crow bar. This is why so many careers are destroyed by drugs, alcohol, and generalized nuttiness. It's not because the person just has issues, they want to quiet that voice that reminds them that there is always someone funnier, prettier, and better for the spot. Translated, we all have our own bully.

I was nineteen when I started performing in the city, and twenty when I took it seriously. My days were spent in class, and my nights were spent doing either multiple open mics or comedy spots. When I did well it was a stroke to my ego. So many people from my hometown, family members included, told me to throw in the towel. According to them I would never make it in show business. Some insisted I hadn't been born into it, and started too late because you have to be rockin out of the cradle. Others said I had no talent. So every time I killed I deterred my haters. I also felt closer to the goal of being on TV, something that seemed out of reach in those days. I also felt closer to the greater goal of being a good comedian.

When I tanked that was a different story. I ate asphalt sometimes because I was green, but also because of the nature of my act. I was also quite young and was trying to find my voice onstage let alone in real life. Navigating the world of adulthood and standup proved to be a challenge. When I died onstage I always felt that maybe the people back home were right. I was making a wrong decision. I would never make it. I was wasting my parents money going to NYU. The voices always grew stronger. Of course then there was the ever gnawing doubt that ate me alive continually.

At first I was rational. I just had to keep getting stage time, learning and growing. I am the product of two educators. I believe in process and craft. Deep down I know you need to fall before you can walk. However, a mentor of mine in college said, "You know what your problem is, you want what you want and you want it now." Oh God she was right. As I became more entrenched into standup, I really became invested in being good. That is when I traded in the rational and loving feather for the crow bar and baseball bat to beat myself with. Translated, I began feeding my inner bully.

In the beginning, I went over a bad set in my head until I got dizzy. Then I asked those around me for input, secretly hoping they would act as my protective parents giving me the bullshit line that it was just the crowd. Sometimes they did, and sometimes I got feedback I could use. Soon that stopped. I started leaving after bad sets. Usually it would be to some establishment that sold food that was horrible for me let alone any living, breathing person. I would stuff my face and put myself at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Other times I would drink until I fell down. Sometimes someone would put me in a cab. Other times they would carry me out of the establishment threatening never to have me back again. Soon, this became the norm after bad sets. Instead of taking what I needed and leaving the rest, I was giving my inner bully what it wanted and was stunting myself.

I remember at the time I had a friend named Barry Lawrence who by all means should be a big star. He was always armed and dangerous with a hug after a bad set. We became friends because during a laugh off he beat me coming in first, me second. I lost fair and square. Anyway, once after tanking badly he was ready with a hug and helpful words. I still remember how the light of reason touched me and my inner bully recoiled. It also educated me to the importance of friends in this process, friends who would tell you the truth and support you either way. Friends who understood. Unfortunately, Barry too was feeding his inner bully. When he drank his Mr. Hyde came out and he ultimately destroyed a very promising comedy career. I always thought he shepherded me like a big brother because he had two baby sisters. But looking back, I think he saw a lot of himself in me. He knew full well I was probably on my way to feed my inner bully and he was correct. I know in my heart he didn't like being beaten up by this force within, and knew how painful it was, especially when it was winning.

I wish I could say it helped, but it didn't. Soon I came to depend on alcohol and bad food completely, before and after sets to shut the inner bully up before it even started. I found myself in trouble because I was drinking too much. I lost time because I was hung over. I did every terrible thing you could imagine to control my weight. My inner bully was quick to remind me someone was always thinner, prettier, funnier, and whatever. While we are all we have, my inner bully always was there to inform me I wasn't enough. Suddenly my drinking was getting me in trouble. I was sick because I was abusing food. Comedy also ceased to be fun. My sets were hit and miss. It's not because I lacked talent. It was because I was so hard on myself that it became more of a chore.

Around the time my inner bully was dragging me down to a rock bottom where I was being kicked by this evil force, I did a feature gig. My headliner, Pat O'Donnell, was one of the most wonderful people I have worked for to date. After being killed in front of a rough Jersey crowd, Pat took the stage and killed it. I remember how he was happy, glowing. On the other hand, I looked and felt beat. I remember Pat was funny and it was effortless. How was he doing this? Afterwards we talked. Pat told me his secret was he had fun when he got onstage. For me, comedy had became such serious business that beating myself up became the rule, not the exception. I had been so busy working myself like a slave I forgot how much fun it was making people laugh.

Soon after I did a show at what was once Joe Franklins. At the time, I was regimented and married to my set list. My inner bully told me my job was to do my jokes and be solid. I was studying my set when Maddog Mattern, who was emceeing, took it and ripped it up. He told me to go up and riff, have fun, that it was going to be okay. I was surprised. Could I do it? Sure enough, for as scary as it was, I did it. I was always thankful for that act of comedic love. For several more months I struggled until the inner bully began to drag me down completely. I had to make a choice, continue to feed the dark side or say goodbye. I chose to say goodbye.

I stopped drinking, joined a gym, and memorized the serenity prayer. While the inner bully still existed, it wasn't as strong. I enjoyed performing again. I hosted mics and shows wherever they would let me. Every weekend was spent traveling to make others laugh. I felt free onstage. I thought my fight was over. During this period I featured, headlined, got on TV, and wrote what was the first draft of my book. I also got a job as a talking head on an internet station. More and more, I began to take notes without judgement and looked at my job a fun gift instead of a dreaded chore. But as I said it still existed. Now it took a new form.

With some success I saw snarky comments from others. Male headliners asserted that I had slept my way to certain jobs. Women ripped on me for being "lippy." So called friends from back in the day stopped speaking to me or dissed me online. In turn I isolated myself and performed at less mics. Now I was letting my inner bully be the boss in a whole new way. I basically stopped eating, walked everywhere, and began dropping the ball in my life in a whole new way. I screwed up with money because I wasn't focused and was sad. When I went to places I was snappy because I was tired. To boot my inner bully insisted I had to be perfect and couldn't be seen trying new things. So it was back and more evil than ever.

That is when I hit one mic in Queens where I didn't know anyone. The comics there loved comedy. One dude came up afterwards and gave me the ending to a joke I was struggling on. For the first time in forever it felt okay. I felt strong, not letting the inner bully win. A few days later, I spoke to a veteran comedian who I look up to and poured my heart out. He told me the only way to deal with negativity is to tune it out. And he told me that the best part about the gig he did, and he typed this is caps, was he HAD FUN. That is when it hit me, I had to kill this inner bully and quick. I didn't need haters. I had myself to thwart my own plans.

While I got sidetracked with my book and such, I am now grudgingly returning to mics. It's because I need a network friendly set for an opportunity that has come my way. At first I felt like slitting my wrists. I have been on TV. I don't do such things, right? Then the same old character defects came out. I wasn't funny. I would never get where I needed to go. No one wanted to watch me. Fuck these people. Saturday when things didn't go my way I had a complete meltdown. The bully was back and bigger than ever. Translated: I was face to face with the same told demons.

I found myself being comforted by comedy friends, old and new. They reminded me that even pros still did batting practice. Also, they told me I was there to run a set and not to worry about the judgement. While they reminded me it was going to get worse before it got better, it was worth it.

Last night I did a set where the show was strong. There was not one weak link. When I left the stage I thought this could be stronger, that could be stronger, ended weak. I was back to beating myself up again. However afterwards people told me I did well. Everyone on the show was good, and that makes a difference. My inner bully wants to tell me I will never be worthy of the company of quality comedians. On the other hand, I know that's not true because I am in the company of quality comedians. I also know it's okay to evaluate myself, and that is different than beating myself up. Audience members told me I did well. The old friend who came liked my set. The producer liked me. Calm down killa.

Ironically several weeks ago I told some high school students to be kind to themselves when they wrote, advice I wish someone would have given me as a young woman. Advice I should probably take myself. Yes, there will be plenty of skinning my face as May Wilson and I get this set ready. The secret though is to keep growing, training, and getting stronger. It's not to succumb to that voice that tells you to turn around and punch yourself in the face. The  line it feeds you is that it makes you a better comic. No, that's bullshit. It only stunts you and holds you back.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl