It was two days ago when I got a message from Sean Lynch to be a part of his latest project. I was dizzy from new author land. My dear mother, my partner on my publishing venture, had read in a book that the pages should be off white. I told my publisher who gently told me most book sellers don’t care. It inspired me to perhaps write a book, The Writing of the Writing: A Woman’s Journey to Literary Superstardom and How She Almost Developed a Heroin Habit Along the Way. Translated, her head is spinning as much as mine. Our heads are spinning together. No wonder we work so well as a team.
As a part of the email, Sean also invited me to be a part of his show at Skinny Bar and Lounge on Orchard. I am not getting up enough these days so I thought why not? Last weekend I had done a spot in Bushwick and literally blew up the house. I remember leaving the venue feeling like a rockstar. That same week I had done Buttermilk feeling like a rockstar. But as of late, not much comedy. Throughout May I was so injured I could barely leave my house. Plus I was still bitter over a split I had with a club I had worked with and earned a lot of money for. While my bitch was with the club system and it’s selfish owner, the resentment transferred onto standup, an art form I am guilty of loving. I remember May consisted of me crying because my knees and ankles hurt so badly, but then asking myself if I did the right thing by pursuing comedy as hard as I had been in the past.
I had met Sean a few months ago at the Underground Lounge. Right away, I was struck by his positive energy. I am a firm believer in energy, and can often read a persons essence within meeting them. When I met Sean I liked his vibe. He was a fabulous storyteller and spun this yarn about his days in Catholic School, and how as a joke he and his friends put a porno in the VCR for health class. Needless to say the nun wasn’t laughing but we were. Sean also has a distinctive, infectious laugh himself.
After the show I remember Sean and I talking at the Underground. Apparently, Sean is a fan of puppets. Every once in a while, he does an act with a black ventriloquist dummy. Hence the project we are working on together, more on that later. Either way, I remember thinking he was pretty cool.
I made my way to Orchard St after dinner at a Spanish restaurant. I figured the rice, beans and food that was filling would offset my usual diet of cheese twisties. When I got to the Skinny, I saw the usual suspects. Chewey Mai was there and yes I still do have her pretty pink umbrella. Kyle Bostic was also at the bar having a drink, and it was nice to see him since his debut on Adult Swim. Rob Shapiro came, and was well, Rob. For as crazy as this super twin is, when he gets onstage he brings it in a way that still amazes me after all this time. Soon Angela Cobb walked in, looking spiffy as ever. The question remained, where was Sean?
Minutes later, he wandered in with Chad Plaines carrying a huge wooden stage. I looked at the both of them lugging this malevolent fiend only capable of giving one a hernia. Sean was huffing and puffing, and Chad had the other side. My neck hurt just seeing them. The show was to be in the back of the bar. I walked back to see the space. It looked like the wall of an AA meeting complete with light that you had to pull to turn on. This was either going to be awesome or an awesome disaster. There was no in between for an evening like this.
The show started and as Sean told his first story, we all laughed and people began to drift back into the show space. Sean’s storytelling was incredible, and he told us all he had a feeling it would be a fun night. Suddenly, my attitude began to change. This wasn’t going to be a trainwreck of a bar show but awesome. Especially when Sean said he lugged the stage for twenty blocks. That’s not just suicide, that is dedication to the do it yourself aspect that makes standup so special out of all the art forms. Actors require so much prep and fuss with their props. Singers warm up for hours and musicians must tune their instruments. As comedians, it is a mic and a stage. We have no tune or eloquent monologue to hide behind. It is baptism by fire, we either shit or get off the pot.
And awesome it turned out to be.
The show began and Neruda Williams took the stage. At first I wasn’t sure if he could follow Sean’s lead but he did quite well. At that point I knew it was going to be a good. Angela Cobb went up soon after, and I remember her being rather green when I first met her. However, she had grown into quite a funny lady from what I saw that night. In that mix was Carolina Hidalgo who I always enjoy. Spliced in was a saucy redhead with an Irish sirname who’s first name escapes me that was a girl after my own heart. Chad Plaines also did quite well, and I laughed especially hard at his Sleepy’s joke. Kyle Bostic also did well too.
In between some guy kept tapping me on the shoulder in hopes of scoring until finally he was told by Sean and the owner of the place, also Sean, to watch the show or get out. He got out. I had two knights in shining armor. Still, I wanted to know, would he pass me a note that said, “Do you like me?” And I was to check yes, no, or maybe?
Of course then there was the guest star from 30 Rock which made me say, “Damn, Sean Lynch is the man.”
Just when it looked like the energy in the room would die, Sean Lynch kept it going. Not only was he a good storyteller but a fabulous emcee. I found myself entertained and wanting to stay and support rather than do what I usually do, go outside and join the smokers cause I am bored. Rob Shapiro went up and destroyed. He reminded me not only what a good comedian was, but why I looked up to him as much as I did when I started out.
Then there was the peanut gallery, a few kids who were fans of Sean’s shows from the Underground. One girl, who couldn’t hold her liquor, began stumbling around. Her mouth started flapping, however she was no match for Dave Lester. As usual, Dave destroyed.
Then a girl went up who had attended Ukranian school as a child. She was funny which was good. Then I went up. Would I hit the mark or would I miss it completely? It was nearly the end of the night and people were getting tired. While the liquor had set in, some were in the stupor. And at this point they would either love me or hate me.
So I got up, said fuck it, and went to the stage.
I went up and had an awesome set. It was especially wild because mid-set May betrothed herself to Rob Shapiro. It wasn’t Madison Square Garden but I was having fun, rocking the house, being myself. Sure, in the past few years I have had my share of TV time. But this was the best I have felt about my standup in years. I wasn’t as eager to impress, I wasn’t trying to prove myself, I was rocking and rolling and having a great time.
Chewy closed the show, and she did a great job. She had also come a long way from the last time I had seen her, which made me proud of this youngster. I always like to see comedians grow out of that green stage and into their skin. As a vet it makes me smile to see someone focusing on the art and what’s important, and actually honing an act. A plus.
When the show was over I had a chat with Sean’s girlfriend Christina who is currently attending Columbia. She too is a writer. Much like me she has written a memoir. Christina is still penning her manuscript, but I have a feeling it will be excellent. From what she told me it is a heart touching story about how one’s death can change a person. I know I would buy it. The death of my dear friend Roger Ferrer made me fly right. Joe Cannava got me to write my book. That’s why I know in my heart I know in my heart people will pick Christina’s book up a million times and read it. I know I would.
Sean Lynch then swooped in declaring Christina the best girlfriend ever. She supports live comedy, of course she is the best girlfriend ever. So I implore on you Sean Lynch, KEEP HER, KEEP HER, KEEP HER. And every once and a while dine and dash at a nice restaurant. Or steal her a nice present.
Wait those are my boyfriends, nevermind.
The show at the Skinny made me remember why I do standup. I don’t do it for the TV time. I don’t do it for the fan mail. I don’t do it so people will talk about how fabulous I am.
Okay, maybe I do
But bottom line, I do it to make people laugh.
PS. I returned the Skinny again the following night for an different adventure. Part 2 soon to come xo