Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gold Dust Woman

A tribute to my late friend Michelle Dobrawsky xoxo

It was the winter of 2005. Somehow I was fumbling around the comedy scene in NYC with my puppets. I was twenty years old, and everything seemed so daunting. The guys all wanted to sleep with me because they smelled blood in the water. The women all hated me because the guys wanted to sleep with me and I wore too much makeup. I was sort of a punchline when it came to the more clean cut comedians who made Montreal with no problem. To people like them who’s act has come and gone, easily forgotten, I was an abomination that seemingly had no business being onstage. But what TV shows have they been on again?


Trying to find my place I joined the Improv Resource Center. I had done some improv but was leaning more towards standup. Still, I was booked in shows that did both. Anyway, like everywhere else I went it seemed I was an unwelcome guest with no friends simply lost. Within my first week there I got into three fights. One was with an idiot who sent me a nasty letter and got a nasty reply back that he forwarded to the head of the site threatening him. The second was from some fluffy, ugly woman who just wanted to start crap because I posted something unknowingly in the wrong forum. The head of the site sent me a nasty note telling me I was on thin ice. Then there was Gold Dust Woman.


She was a moderator who basically came on the post where the nasty canker sore started things with me. Smoothing things out, she informed the internet Gestapo that I was new, didn’t know any better, and that they had to simmer down. Then she sent me a private message telling me to be nice because I might need the support of these people someday, and that sometimes the best way to deal with them was not to feed into them. She also mentioned that they could be a little intense sometimes and not to take it personally. In a bizarre maze where I felt like Alice lost in Wonderland, it seemed I had made a friend.


Gold Dust Woman proved helpful on several occasions. Whether it was a venue for a one woman show, possible summer improv classes, or shows that welcomed weird women with puppets she was supportive. It seemed everyone on the IRC liked her. She was sort of the queen of the place, and whatever she said went. But she was a benevolent ruler of sorts. One thing was for sure, those bullies backed off. I started to feel more welcome there because I didn’t take them so personally. Gold Dust Woman was the best.


That spring I would get to meet my internet friend. I was at the Village Lantern getting ready to kill or tank, it was either one or the other in those days, sometimes both in the same night. That’s when I was approached by a woman who said, “Hi, you’re April.” I nodded. How did she know me?


She said, “I’m Michelle. But you know me as Gold Dust Woman on the IRC.” My jaw dropped. There she was. She was a bigger woman, but was attractive and had a good energy about her, almost a light. Michelle had a huge smile on her face. One that could light up a room. I remember instantly being drawn to her. It was hard not to be. She was the same person in real time as she was on the internet.


I told her it was nice meeting her and that I appreciated her coming to my aid because it seemed like everyone was ganging up on me. Michelle let out a laugh, “They can be crazy sometimes. When I got divorced all I wanted was just to have fun and I went out with this guy who was a good time. And they all went crazy and said, ‘Don’t go out with him. He’s going to break your heart.’ I was like guys, I just got divorced. I don’t want love. I want a fling. I mean, I love them, I really do. But it’s the internet and people go crazy.”


At that moment I let out a huge laugh. It was nice to know Michelle had a sense of humor about the kingdom she reigned over. I knew I had a true friend in real time and on the internet. At that time in my life, that said a lot.


I got to know Michelle pretty well during that first year. She was a force of nature. Michelle had been sort of a Renaissance Woman. Originally, she had gone to Johns Hopkins to be a doctor, but changed her mind and went to law school. She worked as a lawyer, and found her way into standup and improv as her marriage was ending. Onstage she was funny as hell, always talking about her life with well timed punchlines at the end. Offstage, she was a friend and great support to people just getting started and finding their footing in the vast world of standup comedy and improv.


She was also an independent woman and was very much her own person. Once, I had ended things with a guy and was having a meltdown. Michelle gave me a hug and assured me there was life before he came and then there would be life afterwards, for as hard as it was to believe. Being pathetic and twenty, it was hard to even fathom that. But somehow, she made it okay. She was a good friend not just to me but everyone she crossed paths with.


I didn’t just love her, everyone did.  Michelle was supportive of those around her. She was a member of the comedy community, and one we all adored. It was easy to like her, it was work not to get along with her. That’s rare in the world of comedy.


I hadn’t seen Michelle in years because well sometimes that is the way it goes. But I got wind that she was sick a while back. Yesterday, when I was on the train and using the facebook app on my iphone I found out about her passing. It made me sad because she was a good person who was loved by so many people. I just wish I could see her one more time just to tell her about my book that is coming out tomorrow. She could tease me for self-promoting but would buy a copy and tell me how proud she was that I wrote it. I would tell her about how crazy my life was and about all the things I was doing. She would be proud of me but tease me for having the ego that I do.


I know cancer got her. She went too young and she will be missed by a great many. On the other hand, I know I was lucky to have known her and we were all as lucky to have her as long as we did. It is a gentle reminder that we are all visitors here and can be called home at any time. Michelle was called home where she doesn’t have to suffer with cancer anymore.


I guess if it’s one thing I could say to cancer it would be this, “You may have taken her. But here’s the thing, you can’t erase the memory in my mind of perhaps one of the few people who was kind to me when I was very new and very off in New York City Comedy. So seriously cancer, go get fucked with a big old, wooden, splintery, black dildo.”


Love, April

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chivalry in a Coma

Thursday I went to Carona, Queens to deliver a singing heart to a girl from her boyfriend. For those of you that don’t know New York City, Carona is one of the rougher neighborhoods. Mostly Latino, it’s one of those hoods that used to be real bad. These days it’s gotten better, but it’s still not somewhere you want to end up if you are white.

When I got off the train I began walking to my destination. Most of the folks were seemingly family people in stark contrast with the drug dealers and gangsters I heard about. I had dated a guy who grew up in Carona for a hot minute years ago. He had been a rebound from a love that I thought was going to last. Unfortunately, when someone thinks telling the truth is optional that is usually a deal breaker in any relationship. But the guy from Carona was cool. It’s just that he had a kid and well, I wasn’t ready for that.

Walking up the street I got to my allotted destination. I buzzed the buzzer. Nada, zippo. Going around the corner I dawned my heart costume. Just then I heard a young voice, “Hey Miss, are you putting on a show or something?” I turned around and three young kids were standing there. On the short side, they seemed to be about the block. While they looked harmless this was still Carona. I told myself to proceed with caution. They looked harmless. On the otherhand, when one lets their guard down at times like this in a rough part of town that’s when one gets robbed and killed.

“Yes.” I said studying the three young boys.

“Oh, for who?” The one with the red striped shirt asked.

“Stephany. Do you know her?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, they live on the second floor.” The boy in the blue striped shirt said.

“Yeah. Are they home?” I asked.

“They are home.” The third young man replied. Unlike his two counterparts who were dark haired and more pale he was slightly darker skinned and had hair that looked like a little fuzz ball on his head.

“Who’s it from?” The boy in the red striped shirt demanded.

“Her boyfriend Danny. Do you know him?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, he’s good. We saw them kissing the other day.” The boy with the fuzzy hair replied.

“And they denied it.” The boy in the blue striped shirt added.

“How old are you guys?” I asked.

“Oh, we’re thirteen and he’s twelve.” The boy in the red stripes answered. I studied the three. They were very small looking, almost miniature. Then I remembered boys don’t really grow until they are fourteen or fifteen.

“Do you have a man?” The one in the blue stripes replied.

“No.” I said laughing. “And you are not twelve and thirteen. Try ten and eleven.” I said.

“No miss, we are that old.” The boy with the fuzzy hair told me.

“How do you guys know each other anyway?” I asked them.

“Oh, we’re brothers and he’s our friend.” The boy with the blue stripes said. It was as if each player in this drama had a turn to speak.

“Wait, you two are twins?” I asked astounded, looking at the three amigos standing in a straight line.

The boys with the red and blue stripes shook their heads. I asked if they were looking forward to school and the boy with the fuzzy hair said, “Of course. Cause when I go to school I get girls.”

My mouth dropped open. “You date?” I asked. The three shook their heads again. These kids had better love lives than I did. Lately my boast has been a guy in trouble with the law who from what I understand is getting sober followed by a washed up, would be comic/actor and reality tv star. Wow. These kids were something else.

“Why don’t you have a man? You seem nice enough.” The boy in the blue stripes informed me.

“You deserve someone nice to take you out, spend some money on you.” The one with the red stripes told me. I asked them if they knew anyone and they shook their heads no. I bit my lip trying hard not to laugh. I told them they could holler at me in about ten years. They chuckled.  Then the three proceeded to dish the dirt on Danny and Stefany and apparently they had been caught kissing behind one of the cars, sort of making out, but they denied it. But overall, they gave Danny their stamp of approval.

Now it was time for business. The twins tried the buzzer but no one. The boy with the fuzzy hair tried the buzzer, no one. I called Danny who asked if I was at the right house.  Assuring him that I had the correct address, the boy with the red stripes informed me, “Tell him you are with the twins.”

Danny, upon hearing this, chuckled. He told me he was calling Steffany and she would be down momentarily. The twins, ready for action, hid me around a corner while the boy with the fuzzy hair served as a look out. Just then Steffany ran down the stairs. The twins both told her that they had a surprise visitor with her. The boy who was serving as the look out then led me over. Steffany was more than amazed to see me.

I began to sing to her. Squealing like a young girl in love, Steffany was every inch smitten with her new man and understandably so. With my selection of love songs, her affection began to grow. However, her father, walked by with a look of contempt and suspicion. I think that is Dad nonverbal comminicae for, “You two are sixteen. This is moving too fast. If I am a grandfather in a year I will kill you both.” Then I handed her the message. Steffany’s eyes lit up again.

Why can’t I get a guy to do that for me I wonder?

Afterwards I began to talk to the twins and the boy with the fuzzy hair who asked me again why I didn’t have a man. The twin in the red striped shirt said, “It’s because guys are jerks and she probably has dated a few jerks.” Man these kids were good. They had been reading my blog methinks.

“We take good care of our girls.” The boy with the blue striped informed me.

“And we get a lot of girls. But we treat them well.” The fuzzy haired boy informed me.

I found myself dying with laughter. They had a point. Then as a group they informed me that they were always on the block. They also told me to get someone who treated me nice. It was an order and I was off. On my way back to the train I realized it had been some time since I had a date. There was the ex-fiance that beat me. The ex cons who stole things for me. The lawyer who lied to me. The almost boyfriend who got obsessive. The fugitive who stole my heart. And the washed up comedian and actor who tried to use me to revive his basically dead career. So my record isn’t so good. How did these kids know?

I guess I don’t believe deep down I deserve someone nice sometimes. But I do. I do deserve someone nice. Why couldn’t these kids be older? I told them in ten years to holler at me. Still, whatever girl gets them as a boyfriend should be so lucky, and if they are smart they will hold on to them.

Chivalry is not dead. It’s in a coma. My three little angels in Carona proved that.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cleaning House

This past weekend was fun. Friday night I thought I was going to see a friend’s band. But the truth was, I was much too tired. It had been a rough week. My stalker has started to calm down, but going to the cops at the start of the week is never fun. The fact this man obtained my information off the internet still makes me ill. The friends around me have stepped up though which makes me feel good. Then there was the (former) friend who went off at me, blaming me for everything that is going badly in his world. It could never be something like his drug use. Why take responsibility when you can  blame someone else? Oh and then being snubbed by another former friend, one who was slated to be a star when we were in school who isn’t working. Again, why blame yourself for being lazy when you can pin it on someone doing the work. For serious. Of course there was the entanglement with the old flame who felt the need to start in the middle of the train station.

Yes I was tired.

So I started cleaning. Friday I tackled my bathroom and the common room. It wasn’t the old throw it in the closet and hope for the best routine. I actually swept, scrubbed, and dubba dub dubbed. At first I felt like shooting myself. Why was I cleaning? A clean house is a sign of a misspent life I used to tell myself. To me, people who were neat and tidy were as annoying as shit not to mention repressed in every way possible. However, when you are walking around and there is glitter on the carpet not to mention you can’t find anything and are tripping worse than a college freshmen on acid it’s time to make some changes in your living space. Plus Mordecai the Magic Mouse was beginning to get a little too comfortable.

Time to clean.

Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice I wanted my mops and brooms to come alive. However, there was no such luck. After much cringing, I had the ego deflating experience of cleaning my bathroom. After the bathroom I started on the common room. Both tasks drained the living freaking life out of me. Of course there is my bedroom. Should I just throw my damn costumes in my closet and hope for the best, only to mess it up when my boss calls me for a delivery?


Instead I organized my clothes, my costumes, my makeup and everything else. Translated, for once in my filthy, freaking life I know where everything is and I feel good. I have been sneezing less because there is not as much dust in my apartment. There is no glitter on my carpet anymore. Sharon Needles has taken her street fight elsewhere. Although me and the lady have never met, I am sure she would love the statement of the glitter war on my carpet.

Sigh. Tuesday. My book comes out Friday. I am like a kid at Christmas. Except my mother isn’t telling me that everytime it rains I am making Jesus cry and Santa doesn’t like fat children.

Just kidding. I do that sometimes. But I am excited about my book. So excited that I think you should buy it. Go to or call 877-buy-book to order I Came, I Saw, I Sang this Friday at 2PM EST.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Peter and the Wolf

The forest is dark

Running from the beast

Will he have a feast

Or will you dodge his teeth

With sweet music?


Wandering deep,

Through the brush and trees

Deep in the pitch black of death dark

Over your knees

Over your head-


The wolf

He wants you dead

Do you fight?

Do you run?

Will it be rope?

Or the gun-


What lies do you tell?

Are they by the roadside

Or in a jail cell?

Your eyes flicker with fear

They always do


The wolf,

As he comes to get you

You cannot lie

You cannot escape your head

No matter how many psych meds


The man may give you

No matter how many hugs

Your kids may give you

No matter how much love

Your mother may give you


What about your ex-wife

You call her a bitch

A supervillan

But you strapped her down and sucked her blood

Feet covered dirty mud


Running from the wolf

She didn’t understand how fast you had to go

Running at top speed the world does not know

That this is the Aztec Ball Court

And you might not live to tell the tale


I tried to save you from the forest

I tried to guide you out of the darkness

I tried to take you to the sun

I declared my love

Believing you were the one


I reached out my hand

But you couldn’t see

You wanted me to come to the woods

As you tried to run away from me

In a bizarre, twisted, contradictory paradox


Lost the creatures taunt you

In the deathly forest

The wolf appears

His teeth so shiny bright

Will you fight?

Will he crunch on your bones and blood?


And have a feast tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fighting Back

My stalker has calmed which means one or two things, either he has burned himself out or he is stepping up his game. While I am still watching my back, I am feeling less worried. Everyone that I have spoken to has been great. A friend of mine said, “There is never a dull moment in your life, is there?” Then I asked to borrow one of his and he chuckled.

Last night I decided the best thing to do was to get onstage. I almost elected to stay home and cover my head after the drama with the lifetime open micer the day before. But I told myself that would only be feeding the negativity and I need to starve it at times like this.

I ended up going to Queens to Waltz Astoria. I had never been but I wanted to go somewhere that I could sort of hide out, get more stage time, and not be under the glowering eyes of comedians who hate my guts because they don’t have my drive; nevermind having drive takes work. Instead, it would be strangers I didn’t know. Plus I had to clear my mind from having a stalker.

When I got off the train to go to the Waltz I just told myself to chuck my ego. I wanted to be my twenty year old self again so badly, just wanting to jump onstage because it was the only place where I was even close to being successful. At twenty I was shy as ever when it came to guys. My fashion sense needed an ambulance. Oh and I was as dumb as a box of rocks. But somehow, when I was onstage that all disappeared. Years later I am more smooth. I am no longer shy when it comes to guys, just the opposite. My fashion sense is still bad, but these days it could settle for outpatient treatment. I still do stupid things but I know a thing or too. Plus I have an ego the size of Canada.

I told myself to chuck the ego. The thing about standup, is that it is easy to get an ego but your ego is not your amigo. Sometimes I think it is mine, and when I do it kills my comedy. Yes I have done a lot and blah, blah, blah. But bottom line, you are only as good as your last set. Even if you have a stalker that has seen you on TV.

Walking into the Waltz I talked for a minute to some guitar player, but I didn’t want to talk too long. I was there to work. Plus the stalker has left me on edge so to me anyone and everyone is crazy. Not to mention these days I have gotten too comfortable, resting on the laurels of my almost fame and am goofing off a little too much before shows. My best work is done when I go in, plant my feet, study my notes and talk to no one. I was probably perceived as being unfriendly by a person or two. But I am not there to be their friend. I am there to work. There are so many people who claim I get my TV time because I am weird, because I am pretty, because I am an attention whore and they all say I am not funny. Well the only way to shut those people up is to show them that I do have the goods. And to do that is to write, get stage time that I use wisely, and lastly, to humble myself enough to go back to the drawing board when something doesn’t work.

Show time started and to perform you have to order a few items. I didn’t mind because the food was good. The first few comedians that went up were decent, but the guy who went in front of me was amazing. The insecure part of me, the one that wants to be surrounded by scrubs so that I can shine, wanted him to suck secretly so that it would be easy for me to get good. But then in the immortal words of my old friend Daryl Wright, “I am always getting funnier. The funnier you are, the funnier I have to be.”

With that they called my name and I was up. I got to the stage, riffed a little, and began my routine. I talked about Kindred Spirit and how he assumed that I would speak to him. It needs work but for the most part killed. Then I pulled my new puppet boyfriend out, Don Juan. The transition needs some work, but Don Juan killed it. The people loved him. Some of the stuff I wrote worked, but as usual when I work off the top of my head I do my best stuff. But something also clicked. I remember during his pep talk with me on facebook Eddie Brill told me he had a great set in the Poconos because he had fun. I wasn’t just having fun. I was having a blast! I wasn’t intimidated either, I just kept rolling. I didn’t work too dirty either, which is awesome.

When I got the signal to finish up, I put Don Juan away. The ending needs a lot of work. But the thing is, I am doing the work so it will come. When I got offstage the comedians there, mostly guys I didn’t know, gave me the high five for good job. One whom I had never met starting talking to me and told me he had an idea for a joke/tag line. Just like the old days I had my notebook minus the attitude and was willing to try it. The whole experience wasn’t just awesome. It was beautiful. For the first time in forever, I felt really safe and supported because all those guys liked was comedy. And the love of the thing that kept me going returned to my heart.

I remembered all those times that comedy saved my ass. It saved my ass one rainy night when I was nineteen, alone, and was thinking about leaving the city. The following year it saved my ass when I was heartbroken, insecure, and feeling unpretty. Of course at twenty one when my ex-fiance wanted me dead it not only kept me sane but helped me fight back when I wrote a routine blasting him that always kills. At twenty two, it was right there to let me know everything was okay as I was taking self-destructive dieting, too much drinking, and diet pills out of the regimen and losing my ever blessed mind. Then there was twenty three, where not only did I find I could take risks in a healthy way but even did it on national television. Twenty four, when I paid the price for being myself and had no money, it was the only place I felt worth anything. At twenty five, it helped me make my own videos and write the first draft of a book that is to be published next month. At twenty six it helped me get a few national tv spots, work on my feet on live webcasts, and expand to other things.

Yes, there was the fall out that I mentioned in previous blogs with an old venue.

Bottom line: Standup not only gave me the things that I smile about, it has kept me alive on so many occasions. And at twenty seven, standup is letting me keep my sanity against the jealous people who openly take cheap shots at me and a stalker who may or may not be dangerous. While that is a lot of negativity to deal with, I will be Goddamned if they invade my happy place and even more Goddamned if they think they can stop me from getting ahead. Sure, I have credits and accomplishments, but the goal is always to get better no matter who you are.

I have tried other things. I have worked other jobs. My parents often wish I would pursue a career with things like money and stability. But the truth is, this is the only place I belong, whether I like it or not. I am a have to, that’s what an old acting teacher of mine told me. I have to this because in his words, “There’s a need. You have to be up there. If you aren’t you’ll go crazy.”

Walking home after that set last night, I didn’t feel so crazy. I felt good. I felt like I had gone back to the nuts and bolts, made some progress. While the strain of this week’s drama was taking it’s toll, I felt a certain peace come over me.

I was getting onstage. I was fighting back the only way I know how.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crazy Train

Life has been nuts for the past forty eight hours. For one, I am dealing with a stalker situation that has escalated to the point where I now have the police involved. To give everyone a background of what’s going on, a fan of mine who has seen me on TV obtained my number off the internet. For the past month, this fan has been calling me under different names with different identities but is always blocking his number. Sometimes this person is my biggest fan. Sometimes they are a Russian talent agent who wants to take me for the former USSR but then when he doesn’t get his way with me gets belligerent. Sometimes this person is leaving me messages telling me my house has burned down and my puppet children have died. Sometimes, this person also pretends to be dialing my number in the guise of it being a wrong number. I do not know who they are. We never met. They only know me from television. Nothing starts a week off like a stalker.
Monday I had a meltdown on the phone with my mother about the whole thing. While I have had a stalker ex, I don’t know this person. They are a fan. That is a whole different ballgame.
Monday evening I was in Brooklyn to do Ed Sullivan on Acid, my friend Pat O’Shea’s show. I had never done it and was making my debut. Getting off the train, I saw Kindred Spirit. To give you a background Kindred Spirit was the rebound off of Holden Caulfield who said he was cool with being  a rebound, acted like a bitch, blew me off for a girl who was more Jiffy, and then tried to make a comeback with a canned sleaze line. Oh, and not to mention he was trying to get a meal ticket. I knew it was his hood but I didn’t expect to see him. Anyway, I am getting off the train and there he is. I was just walking about when he made eye contact with me. There was that awkward milosecond of recognition and then the dialogue went as follows:
Kindred: Oh hey!
Seeing that he wanted to force an interaction something told me to keep walking. He wants to see if the door is still open and is not.
Kindred: Oh, so you’re gonna be like that, huh!
Seeing he wants to start drama and that I am currently dealing with a stalker, I keep walking.
Kindred: You know what, I feel really sorry for you right now!
So I kept walking as he kept shouting like a moron. Below is what I said to him in my mind.
Oh you feel sorry for me, Sir? You are the one starting shit in a subway station. So actually, I feel sorry for you, you washed up, worthless, underemployed former stud muffin who should be served with a side of washed up. However, you treat women like this all the time. You’re used to being the mutherfucking man. How does it feel to be on the otherside? Not so good. But you are showing me I did the right thing by dumping you. Dodged a big bullet. Now go take someone else to discount pizza and ask them about their finances.
Ed Sullivan on Acid was a treat. The whole show was good and it was an honor to share the stage with such talent. Pat O’Shea of course killed it as always. Then everyone on the show was awesome. There was not one weak link. Actually, I sort of felt like a weak link in a way because there writing was so good and I clearly need to write more. However, all these comedians were tremendous writers. I was blown away. Rarely is there a comedy show where all the comics are good. Most of the time there is one standout, a few are passable, and the rest have no business behind the mic. Not here, everyone was excellent. I just felt like, “Wow, I feel humbled.” As we all know rarely does April Brucker feel humbled.
Doing the show inspired me to reach higher with my comedy. It also inspired me to write more. It also made me feel grateful that Pat felt I was good enough to share the stage with people like that. The best part is, most of these folks love comedy and getting up more than anything in the world. I also met Kendra Cunningham. I have only known the lovely lass online and now to meet her in person was a treat. Maybe we will share a stage soon.
I also got to talk to Pat O’Shea after the show for sometime. While I have known him in passing for years, I never really talked to him and I would have to say he’s a good dude. He talked about being in a band back in the day and how he got into a fight with the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones (ask him to tell you the story). We also laughed about stalkers. It was something I needed after the horror show I experienced on the phone with mine. It felt good to be around good people. And again, I was inspired to step up my game. I also want to work a little cleaner. That is starting to be my goal.
I got home and went to sleep. I hit a kickboxing class before going to the police the next day. There is nothing like starting a day with a visit to the cops. It brings a special flavor to the season. While they were very nice, it just astounds me that this particular fan is this sick. This one fan ruins it for all the people who love me and my children and are grounded in reality. On the otherhand, this person is extremely mentally ill. They call me anywhere from one to three times a day. It’s more than a stupid kid, they are obsessed.
My Hershey Kiss telegram killed. A nice change of day from visiting the cops.
Inspired, I trekked to an open mic. There, I felt good about getting onstage until my set was crashed by a former friend of mine. I had been cool with this person until a few weeks ago when he went bonkers on me for no reason at a mic. The backstory is, I was doing a set that was tanking and as sort of a cunty, off the front remark to dig myself out of the hole I said, “Fuck y’all, I’ve been on TV.” Maybe it wasn’t the nicest thing to say but folks with TV credits do it all the time. I never have but invoked the right at that moment cause I was sensing home dislike. Some folks laughed. This guy, however, took it as a personal affront. Not to mention he had been fighting with another comedian as the mic went on. Anyway, he went up, went on this bizarre tangent about how he has been nothing but supportive of people and they just throw it in his face, and then ended it by saying he had been on TV as a kid as sort of a fuck you to me. Then I realized the whole display had been directed at me, and that this particular unbalanced individual who has a history of substance abuse and mental illness was blaming me for all that was going on in his life and his comedy career.
When I thought he left I remarked on how surreal his set was and he comes back into the room and screams at me. WOW!
So fastforward some odd weeks later. I am onstage just riffing last night and this person just starts wigging. Suddenly, I become everything wrong with his life again. My time is hi-jacked by this nutjob who is just screaming and yelling about how all I do is ripoff his set. First off, he is an open micer who has always been an open micer. Second, I have already obtained TV credits he will never get so this isn’t even a contest over who’s more legit. Finally, he’s the druggie and I am not. I just wanted to apologize for being ambitious, having goals, and this thing called talent. The experience left me shaken. Some folks were nice enough to comfort me afterwards, including the host. While bottom line, I don’t really belong at open mics because of all I have done, I just pop in to keep fresh, try out new things, and to support folks working hard. But it was just disturbing because our feud was over a month ago and he is still on it.
But maybe I should have told him that the night before I was chilling in Brooklyn and a producer for Bourdain was there and as we talked he remembered me being on the show. Take that Haterade, bitch. But I didn’t. Instead I remembered a pep talk by my friend Eddie Brill who told me the best way to deal with negativity was to starve it. He said don’t feed it, starve it. For as hard as it was for me, I walked away from this person who is clearly unstable, clearly chemically dependent, and clearly just jealous.
But the good thing is, I was walking through the West Village on McDougal aka Comedy Street and saw Jeffrey Katzman, Miguel Dalmau, Sauce, Pete, Adam Chisnall and a host of others who always put me in a good mood. I poured my heart out and they gave me comfort. They were also proud of me for the book I am releasing next month, and they wanted to know all about how I was going to make it available for purchase. Jeffrey Katzman, who’s energy is off the chain, did a happy dance with me on the sidewalk and we jumped up and down. I forgot I was wearing a dress and accidentally showing all the West Village my panties. But I didn’t care.
Then I saw that not only do I have to starve negativity, but also to feed myself with positive people who care about the craft and support me in my journey as I support them in return. It makes dealing with a stalker easier and doesn’t make those police visits as scary. It makes dealing with a former fling who wanted to ride my coattails less of an insult but rather people to tell me that I dodged a big old bullet. It makes dealing with haters not so bad because I have more people who love me in my corner.
It makes me throw shade so that no one else can steal my sunshine.
As this week dawns, I have a lot going on. However, standup has saved me from lodging a bullet in my brain before. It has been the thing that has kept me going so many times when I have had nothing else. During those times, the stage is the only place I feel safe. And at times like this, the stage is a safe place to be. I am at that point again, where there is so much going on and the stage is the only place I know I am worth anything. I am not too pretty or unpretty enough. I am not too fat or too skinny. I probly am a lil too weird for some. But I am just me and that is enough. And I have my friends, fans, family around me as my poppy seed army of positive angels. Whatever happens next with this stalker is scary and unknown, but I know I am not alone.
A penguin only orgasms once a year.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Growing Pains

I will admit being semi-famous is easy for me. Whenever there is a camera people want to point it in my direction. Whether I am on the street, at some random open call with my puppets, or they scout me cause I am weird. I am the only one like myself and that is making me quite famous in some respects. I also have an ego the size of the country of Canada. I am the best in the world. It is my planet. If you don’t like it get the hell out and while you are at it roll over and die. DIVA. I am diva by every definition of the word.
However, the things like actual talent and skill sometimes allude me. I will say it. There are folks who are much better writers and performers than I am. Granted, they don’t work as hard. But the thing is, maybe I care too much about what I do.
Lately, I have been trying a new puppet Don Juan. We have been hitting the mics lately. Hitting the mics makes me feel like a loser in some respects because I have done so much in my lifetime. I have worked the road and seen money from comedy. I have been on TV. I get fan mail from around the world. Sometimes, being amongst idiots who make inside dick jokes makes me want to hurl. However Don Juan is not fit for combat yet. So open mics are like my chemo. They make me puke, make me sick, make me want to die but at the same time are making the routine better. I know he is in no shape for a paying audience.
Don Juan so far has had a rough climb. The first two weeks I began bringing him around he crashed and burned. Now he is starting to come together. Last Friday I did a set with him at a mic and it actually went half decently. It didn’t kill, it didn’t tank. The transitions were rough but the jokes came together well and actually have a nice future as far as this routine is concerned. I think it will have sea legs soon enough for live shows. Then maybe I can do less mics. Maybe I can stop leaving those dingy basements reminding myself that I have seen money from comedy, have been on TV, have written a book, have had an internet hit song, have been on the radio, have caused waves, you get the picture.
Puffing my ego up saves me from slitting my wrists sometimes because mics suck that badly on occasion. Then again that’s what they call humility and ego reduction.
I have done a few sets with May. Some have killed but the truth is, I am getting tired of my jokes. I feel bored with my set. I wrote a damn book so I havent been writing as many jokes. Actually none. My book is getting published while I am convinced some people I perform with cant even read. Anyway, I have been plugging new jokes in. Last night I did a set at the Producers Club. It wasn’t terrible. I was sort of tired from a long day of singing telegram deliveries. The producer of the show, Jason Ongoco actually saw me in Lyndhurst and gave me a lift and we chatted. It was McCray Cray that way.
Last night’s set was alright. I had a good start, hit a snag, kept going and got my momentum back. A bit that usually kills got a light reaction. Then I got them back with something else. I tried a new bit that fell flat with May, but as usual my saver line killed. Something about me being quick on my feet always saves my ass. Then I tried a new bit that I have been working on that I could never get right. But somehow last night the bit worked for the first time under the lights. It felt awesome.
Actually it felt like beyond awesome. For that wrinkle in time I felt like a comedic genius. My goal is to replace some of my dirtier, dumber, hackier stuff with TV friendly stuff that is smart and well written. This bit did as such. I have been trying to ease one signature bit out but didn’t last night. However, I put it later in the set to save myself from floundering. It killed but I can’t do it on national television. Anyway, the new bit freaking rocked it. I felt awesome. Did I mention I felt awesome? Oh yes I did, McDID!
Then I had a rough ending. I am someone who has never ended a set well. Actually my ending outright sucked. It was weak and stupid. I didn’t leave them wanting more. It sucked.
I found myself then crunching on iced cubes feeling jealous and undertalented. An old friend of mine, Daryl Wright, always says he wants other people to shine as well because he knows he is funny. And that he is always getting funnier. He once told me people would give bad advice because they want to see them fail and see themselves shine. While I wish I were as confident and as noble as Daryl, I, on the otherhand, want to shine no matter what. I am like Tonya Harding that way. I am not confident I am always getting funnier. I wish I could take Daryl’s high road because he is often the funniest one. But it’s not happening anytime soon. I am too much of an egomaniac.
I hate nights when I just do okay. I didn’t kill it, okay. I didn’t tank it which is good too. But I did okay. When I do okay it actually makes me want to jump out a window more than I do when I tank it. Actually, I don’t want to jump out a window but just mope. Because I know what I can do. And when I don’t do it but come close enough that I probably could of it freaking destroys me. Yes, I did okay. But I know I can freaking kill them. I know I can go up in front of a whole room jam packed and perform like a rockstar. I know I can crush an urban room. I know I can manhandle any crowd. I have done it. When I don’t do it but do a passable job I feel like shit on a stick.
Maybe one day. Until then I think I will continue to cash in on the looks and the camera being pointed at my face. I have no idea what the next step is for me. Sure, I could slug it out and get good but I have been around long enough to know talent means nothing in the scheme of things. I could try to get into the clubs again with all my TV credits again but as we all know being a woman is a strike against you in comedy so it would probably be a waste of my time and energy. Plus I want a headliner club, not some rat infested shithole. I have too many TV credits and too much pride. That’s my problem. I am an egomaniac as I said. I don’t deny it.
Maybe I could do the whole acting thing.
Maybe I could move to LA.
Maybe I could move to Europe, especially if Romney becomes president.
Or maybe I could just enjoy my Sunday.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bitch Mojo

I have been getting up onstage again lately. Most everything with my book is finished. I am back and ready to rock n roll. Yes, I am back onstage as I said. I did a set today which was passable. I didn’t kill and I didn’t tank. But Don Juan and my new stuff is getting on it’s feet decently. Plus it was an open mic set. I mean, you should we workshopping at an open mic. Anyone who does A stuff at an open mic is someone who isn’t writing or doing their homework. Bottom line. I have been on National TV a few dozen times, have been on TV overseas even more, and not to mention I wrote a fucking book coming out in a month. Really, I have nothing to prove to you. Not to mention when I tell people to follow me online I now I have send them to my fan page because I have too many friends. Really, I have nothing to prove to you.
The crazy thing is, because I am not yet famous everyone assumes I am an open micer if I walk into an open mic. There are some pros around the city, washed up divas who really don’t do anything except whine, who demand not to pay the five to do the mic. I could pull the same trip but nah. Plus the thing about an open mic is that you are safe to work on new stuff away from the eyes of execs and agents and stuff.
I had to limit my open mics after TLC because people would be giving updates on whether I tanked or bombed at one particular mic. Plus I got a job as a talking head where I earned money. When is the last time these Golden Boy/Golden Girl headliners who work for twenty five bucks a night did that? Can’t think of it. Plus I was sick of being worked like a dog by a club owner who I did nothing but earn money for.
I was coming out of the open mic last night which was actually pleasant. It was one of the few I feel safe at these days. One guy who was decently funny recognized me from working said club a few years ago. Gag me. He had to bring up that he saw me at the open mic there. Meanwhile I have been on TV how many Goddamn times since then and have done so many things that this was the only thing he could remember me by. Part of me wanted to say something incredibly cunty like, “Well, since that time I have been on TV. Something you will probably never get a chance to do. Don’t worry though, you could always watch me from your living room.” Instead I just let it go. He can google me when he gets home. Plus he wasn’t a bad guy, and he was funny so maybe he will get a TV cred and I will feel like a real tool.
The Village was interesting last night with the mish mash of people running about. One venue a kid tried to bark me in. He said, “The comics tonight all have TV credits.” That’s funny, everyone has TV credits. I asked him to name a few and he couldn’t do it. He was trying to sell me this, they have TV credits. I used to do the same job back in the day. Rattling off names of people and their bonus credentials. There’s a reason the show is free people. The TV credits aren’t real. I almost wanted to tell him who I was and about mine and how I knew the credits weren’t real. But I stopped myself. He could Google me when I got home.
I ended up talking for a minute to one guy who’s credits are real. He met me a while ago and we have several mutual friends and he didn’t remember me. Oh well. Fuck him. We’ll meet again I suppose. Who knows, who cares? He is just one of many names and faces I could either remember or forget depending on how advantageous it is for me.
Then this idiot booker who always emails me his stupidity was putting out something for this showcase that I would be good for. I emailed back as I was interested. This was so good I could bring two or three. Instead he emails me back telling me he hasn’t seen my act in a while. Actually, he has never seen my act. Let’s stop being so sincere shall we? Anyway, he invites me to do one of his mega-bringers. Meanwhile, does he not own a fucking television? Do you not see that I get fan mail from across the globe? I am also a red carpet guest at least once a month somewhere. I have worked with people that you can only watch on your television. In other words, I really don’t need you. I didn’t tell him I didn’t need him, but invited him to use me if he needed an experienced guest spot. He would see my ability to headline at a later date. Bottom line, it was mega-scam time. He wanted to make a few bucks off of me. It wasn’t about his reputation. He has none.
Everyone has a problem with my attitude. I say fuck them. I have earned every little thing that I have gotten including my attitude. Everyone has a problem with the fact I get so much damn TV time. Well maybe they should try having this thing called ambition. Everyone says all I want to do is be famous. Damn Skippy Sherlock Holmes. Everyone says I am crazy. Well you’re crazy if you think you even have a shot at catching up to me, fool.
Sure, I have been out of the game a little bit in between my webcasts that I got paid for, the book I am releasing, and my music that gets radio airplay. I have a career. Maybe they should try it sometime. But don’t try it at home without adult supervision, you might lose an eye.
When my dearly departed friend Roger left this planet I always say he left a part of his spirit with me, the part that didn’t take much shit. I now know this is a good thing. I work hard and play hard. End of the story. The world is my catwalk, my runway if you will. I am a puppet diva.
Turn on the TV, see my face. Turn on the radio, hear my voice. Walk past the bookstore, see my book. Walk past a comedy club, see my name at the top of the lineup. Go to the movies, see me as a star. Bitches, it is happening. My poppy seeds are behind me, and I am taking over the world.
My haters can talk at the back of the open mic, I have done things that they will never do and all the shit talk in the world cannot take that away. This is not the end but the beginning. I will soon be everywhere like a virus. That’s my shade.
I throw it in the name of Roger Revlon, the man who taught me the word.
I came to New York to be a big star. I worked really hard. My dreams are starting to come true.
I won’t stop until I get my star.
That’s my bitch mojo.
Love, April

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I have been thinking of all the twists and turns my life has taken since I have been nineteen. For one I am still alive. I have no clue how I pulled that one off. I mean, I was pretty stupid. I should have died nine times, but I guess I am a cat and instead have that amount of lives. Maybe I am immortal. I dunno. Still, it’s sort of weird that I didn’t get my ass killed being my stupid self. Or should I spell the word stoopid?
I am doing some final prep on my book to make sure it is perfect and it is more work than I ever imagined. I am at the home stretch. When I am done I swear to God I will eat more ice cream than ever and become a big fat woman. I will get six cats and move to the middle of no where. Each night I will waddle out and kill my dinner. Okay, lets finish everything first. Still, why does it feel like this undertaking will kill me?
I used to think my life and career would look one way by this point. Part of me hoped to be rich and famous. I have been on TV God knows how many times, and am sort of famous sometimes. I do get recognized, but I am not on the VIP list. As for rich, oh that is definitely not the case. People tell me they see me on TV. Then I ask if they can buy my broke ass one so I can watch myself.
About six years ago I was ending a relationship where I thought it would cumulate in me becoming a statistic. Before that I thought I was going to marry the guy. One thing I got out of that time in my life was I really got my shit together. Part of me misses having a man though. Someday I do want someone again. Someone to perhaps take me away on a romantic weekend and buy me presents. Someone just to be there. But in the back of my mind I will always wonder when the mask will come off, when he will turn evil and violent, and when he will start lying. I am damaged I know.
When I was nineteen I thought I would just act and ventriloquism would be something I would just do. I was all about acting. When I was twenty I made my way into the comedy clubs and starting pounding the stage and added some standup to the mix. At twenty one I concentrated more on standup because my abusive ex who used to beat me forbade me to work with my beloved puppets. At twenty two I became what’s known as a “cunt comic” amongst certain male bookers whom I hope to never work with, but for the most part I think I really got funny and stopped behaving like a fool for the most part. At twenty three it looked like I was going to be famous, even after a TV appearance that was a daring and beautiful disaster that makes me a legend to some as well as other breaks, but it didn’t happen. At twenty four I was down on my luck and working as a street performer really got good at ventriloquism. Sometimes I would perform so much I would get blisters on my hands and they would bleed, but I got to perform my own one woman show and work with Foxworthy and tour a bit. At twenty five after hitting a wall I began to make videos and create my own work as well as drifting away from standup. Twenty six I was on TV a bunch and even made Gawker with my puppet children. Oh and I started to get fans around the world.
Twenty seven? Did I really make it this long? I had a pilot that didn’t get picked up. I had a song that was number one on the internet this year too. I was a poster gurl for a campaign. I am about to publish a book. My problems are luxury problems. I am still pretty stupid. A few months ago I fell in love with a man who is currently on the run from the law. Part of me will always love Holden Caulfield and I miss him.
I used to think I was going to be this standup superstar. At least that was the dream and the goal. My book is my baby, and like all children it is fixing to kill it’s mother. Seriously, I might die as a result of this project. My puppet children havent killed me yet but it could happen in the dead of the night. I have gotten some offers for club dates, but when everything went down a while back I sort of burned out. I have started to get back into it, beating myself with a feather rather than a hammer.
Still, in the old days I was dukes. I was all about it. Now, if the club dates come my way I take them. I have been writing more material though with my book almost behind me. Why not? Plus I miss it. It’s always in my blood whether I like it or not.
I have been looking up old friends lately online. One was an old boyfriend type who was a brilliant comedian, should be a star. Unfortunately he drank his career away and is no longer doing comedy. He is sort of floating and doing normal people things and says he doesn’t drink anymore. Still, it sort of makes me sad. He was funny.
Another is an old friend of mine who also drank away his dreams. He sort of disappeared from the internet. Maybe he went to rehab. It’s sad because he was brilliant as well.
All my friends who ever lost the battle to addiction were all brilliant, good people though. It’s like the world was too shallow and harsh for them. It didn’t welcome their brand of honesty, one that is refreshing in my eyes. For as much as clubs say they want innovative comics that’s a lie. They want a cookie cutter male. Same with the world it seems. I miss my friends who have passed, but I also understand why they didn’t stick around and did what they did. I know they are proud of me, wherever they are.
As I walk to the next destination in my life, I wonder which path should I take? Will I go on to just write more books? Will I go back to acting and do the whole commercial, movie, and theatre thing and perhaps be a Hollywood or Broadway icon? Will music continue to open it’s doors as a surprising reward? Will I go back to the clubs like I did in the old days and crack audiences up, this time rising to new heights?
I dunno. I never thought I would live this long being stupid as I am.
It’s different.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

bad parenting

I was recently coming home from a visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. Every year my cousin, a talented painter, is part of the staff art show at Phillips. I got on the train and this mother and her three kids were on there. She was a trash bag to begin with, and her kids looked like they were out of a UN poster because they were all different colors. So I hear a snapping sound and look in her direction. She is letting her kids throw the snappers you give to young children on the Fourth of July on the subway floor. I was amazed, shocked, and utterly horrified. Was this even safe? Was this allowed? She was giving them handfuls and allowing them to do this. Scared for my safety as well as the weapons in the hands of these teeny terrorists, I made my way to a different car. What a bad mother. She thinks just because she sleeps with various men and has kids from every background she can let them do what they want. Seriously, sterilize this bitch.
Then one time, I was riding the subway again, and this kid started screaming. His barely eighteen year old mother and her sleazy boyfriend, probably not the child’s father, didn’t care. The kid went on screaming for twenty minutes. Finally my stop came which made me grateful. If it didn’t come I would have just tossed that little bastard out of the train. Seriously.
Another woman I know taped her kid going through the swearing phase and put it on the internet because she thought it was cute. CUTE! That should embarrass you lady. It shows you don’t know what’s appropriate. You should stop going to church because you and your dysfunctional family don’t have a prayer.
Then there was the time I was crossing the street and had the right away. This black SUV swerves out of no where and tries to run me down. I point to the sign citing this assweed that I had the right away. Then I see a window roll down, and I hear little voices yell, "Bitch, you should have watched where the fuck you were going?" I stood there in disbelief. These kids were no more than five and seven. I told these kids that there dad was a fucking asshole for making them do his dirty work and that they were nothing but white trash. The father than proceeded to flick me off. That just proves my point. Behind every asshole child is an asshole parent pulling the strings. 
The best case of bad parenting I have ever seen was this woman worked as a Dom. Her husband and this woman had an open marriage and brought another dude in. The dom left to go with the other dude and they lived in a basement apartment that double as a dungeon. Dom woman would put the kid in another room to color and watch TV while she was whipping and humiliating male customers. And then she was surprise when her husband called child services and tried to get full parental custody. I mean, we all have to pay rent but keep your whips and chains in a different geographical locale.
This world is going to hell. People who shouldn’t be having children are popping them out. People who want to have children and are more than equipped cannot. My cousin was having a hard time having a baby, and eventually did, but they were trying. I told her to have her hard working husband quit his job, develop a drinking problem therefore acquiring a beer belly, and to start beating her. They would conceive with no problem. Hell, they would probably have twins.
Now I know how felons are created.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I still remember the day I met Barry like it was yesterday. New to comedy I was getting up anywhere I was allowed. There may have been rules but I was breaking them all. The only thing I knew was I had to get onstage. I was hungry. School was during the day, performances at night. Slowly the basements in town became my second home. Older, male comedians believing I was dumb smelled blood in the water and attempted to jump on it because well, there is a disrespect for female comedians. To them I was just another pair of open arms and open legs. Some were subtle, some were blatant. Most just made me laugh because they were either wannabe or washed up losers.

It was raining outside, and I ducked into a joint in the West Village for some abysmal Laugh Off type thing. Barry came in and introduced himself. He was sort of lanky, and seemed kind of humble. The competition started. While I was mediocre, everyone else pretty much sucked. I thought I was going to win. May and I had it in the bag. And then Barry took the stage. With more natural talent that I have seen in many of the comedians I have encountered, he more than stole the show. Barry won first, and the win was fair and square. While I was the first place loser, I got a prize. Barry, being a gracious winner, gave me a huge hug. I didn’t mind the hug or losing to him, he was talented and I actually was flattered to have shared the stage with him.

Quickly, Barry and I became friends. We saw each other frequently, and I recognized him as one of the good guys. The hugs weren’t malevolent like many other male comedians I had encountered. Rather, they were more of an older brotherly nature. We talked, we laughed, and we drank whiskey. Those were the days.

Young and stupid are a deadly combination and I was both. Dumb as a box of rocks fits well actually. On a dare from an audience member at a rowdy show I stripped to my bra and panties and killed. Up to that point I had been a clean cut kid. The maneuver killed and made me the talk of the night. During this time I debated making it a part of my act. I was encouraged by Art Star types as it was groundbreaking. One comedian and radio show host told me he could get me on Howard Stern. This could be a gimmick. Everyone that I spoke to liked it. Goodbye clean cut girl from Pittsburgh. Hello Penthouse Club. Hello Vegas. Presenting April Brucker: Stripping Ventriloquist.

One day, during my usual rounds I ran into Barry. He asked how I was. Stoked about my new career move, I boasted. Instead of encouraging me, Barry gave me a cold, hard look. Not letting his eyes move from mine he said, “April, you are a comedian not a stripper. Keep your damn clothes on.”

I managed to sputter something awesomely stupid as I always did in those days. My twenty year old brain was dangerously stupid and I am quite surprised I am not dead actually. Barry tried again. “April, seriously, you are funny. That’s not what you are going for. Keep your clothes on.” I nodded and left. His response was different than the horny male populous I performed with. Maybe I would try to focus, try to be less daring. Try to keep my freaking clothes on.

We went to an open mic probably two days later. May and I joked about how Barry wanted me to remain clothed. The rest of the male comedians called him a killjoy. One who was very funny asked if I had cottage cheese. Barry stood by the fact that he put his foot down. Sure, he wasn’t biting on the blood he saw in the water. That was unheard of and weird for me. On the other hand, a friend is someone who tells you what you need to hear and not what you want to sometimes. At that moment, I needed a friend more than anything in the world and I didn’t know it. However, he did.
Sure, I appeared bubbly to the outside world but again I was a stupid kid. Inside I was a confused mess. On the one hand, family members were encouraging me to have a Plan B, a career. Then of course life was pulling me to standup. Of course, there were my professors encouraging my art and thinking. But my art made me dizzy because I cared about it so much. The boys wanted a hooker and a housewife. The shoes hurt my feet and I was a lousy cook. The world wanted me to be skinny and pretty. For as much as I tried crash dieting I always ate, and speed diet pills made me kooky. As for pretty, the more makeup I put on the more I just wanted to hide. The world was making me crazy. I felt so unsure yet legally the state could put a needle in my arm. I could vote and did which is frightening. Some wrote me off as just nuts, the girl who cried when sets didn’t go as planned. Barry somehow was undaunted by that and was unafraid of my crazy.

I made it my business to try to make an act, focus on jokes rather than being crazy. Instead, it began to kill me as I just tanked everywhere I got up for two solid weeks. Why did I take Barry’s advice? It was terrible. A manager who heard wonderful things about me put me up. I tanked and he gave me the burn on feedback. I went home and cried afterwards on that snowy night. They say comedy is growth, and I hurt all over. Somehow, for as insane as I felt, I was a fighter and I wasn’t giving up anytime soon.

About a week later I went up and I did a horrific set. I didn’t just die, I was massacred onstage. The emcee, who was a nice guy said something nice. Then they quickly brought the headliner up so he could kill and make them forget the terrible display they saw that was passing as comedy. I heard a few insincere “nice jobs” and then planned on ducking out. I wanted God to kill me but then realized I wouldn’t be that lucky.

Just then I heard a familiar voice, “Hey, get over here and let me give you a hug.” I turned around and it was Barry. I would take the free, benevolent hug from the only guy in the place who wasn’t goading me to strip. Then again, because he wanted me to keep my clothes on things were going badly in my opinion. I didn’t know how I felt about him, especially since I wanted to eat my feelings away more than anything in the world. On the otherhand, he was well intentioned so I took the hug.

“That was bad.” I said knowing I had tanked. My eyes fell to the floor. Suddenly I felt the impulse to let my tears spill. I couldn’t cry in the club though. That would be saved for the cab ride home because of the late hour.

Barry chuckled. “Look, April. We know who May is but we don’t know who the hell you are up there. You are struggling hard for the jokes. But this is what you need to do. Just figure out who April is for a little bit. When you do, it will be much easier to come up with jokes. So just be yourself, figure out who that is, and the jokes will come. And please remember, you are a comedian not a stripper. A lot of people will want you to take your clothes off but they are jealous of your natural talent and don’t want you to do well. Remember that. Now go home and get some sleep, you have school tomorrow.” Then he gave me another big hug.

While I cried during the cab ride home, I suddenly didn’t feel hopeless. I could do this. Without attitude and just humbling up, I did the work. I got onstage whenever I could, and made every set count. I had May down, but now I had to get April down. It was a task but I did. Sure enough, the jokes not only came but started to rain down. Before taking May out of the suitcase I did a few jokes and got the audience warmed up, another Barry innovation if you will. The work started to pay off. I went to a mic where a woman who scared me at the time got up because she was the tough, poetry reading type. She said, “Let’s hear it for April and May. Most people get up here and dick around while they are actually working on something.”

Barry was always in the wings cheering me on, ready with a high five and hug when sets were good and a hug and pep talk when things weren’t so hot. Either way, I knew I had a true friend. In the world of standup comedy where many are quick to stab someone in the back when things get good and jealousy is rampant, Barry was the welcome exception. He was happy when I got good and let me know he was proud of me.

Years later the career has been an interesting ride. With the exception of the Gong Show at BB Kings I have been fully clothed in my shows. While I am known as weird and different I am respected for my talent. Sometimes I am a fame whore, but in the end I am an artist. These past two years things have been good, and it is so easy to focus on the people who have hurt me, cheated me, or stabbed me in the back. Sometimes, the knives still stick out.

That’s when I have to refocus my energy on the positive people who have helped me and are glad to see me do well.

Barry sort of faded from view. He pops up now and again, but sort of burn out and the fact he is a father to a young kid have refocused his priorities. I do wish he would perform more. He was talented.

As I feel the bitterness towards standup and want to go on a rant about somethings mentioned in my past blog, I remember I now have fans that want to see me live. Fans who enjoy an act Barry helped create. As I want to throw a hissy fit and not do the work required to be good I can feel somewhere in the world Barry whipping up a pep talk for me. Somehow, that keeps me on the course. I can see his long stare, the shake of his head. I know he would want me to pound the pavement with my crazy puppet woman self.

Hitting shows, the younger folks know who I am. Sometimes they look up to me. Now I give a pep talk or two. Tanking is hard. I tell them it will be alright. Then I tell them the story of the night in the dingy basement with Barry. I tell them, “Figure out who you are onstage and the jokes will come…….”


Thursday, August 9, 2012


Joe is a delusional moron who thinks he is still hot
This is what Joe sees when he looks in the mirror

You are on a plate

Because you put women on a platter

Don’t like to be objectified

Whats the matter?

Should you be served hot

No you like that too much

I serve you cold

You still think you have it

At forty two years old

You are stud muffin

On a plate

Served with a side of washed up and underemployed

In 2006 you were the man

It was a catch me if you can

You had the master plan

And any woman you wanted to be unimpressed

In your bed

What was that red head?

The one you wanted so desperately to bed?

Instead you made yourself look like the chauvinistic pig you were

In the public eye

You can run and lie

As much as you try

You only go for trash and the bottom of the barrel

Because you are there too

Maybe you should stick to women who swing from poles

That’s all you know

If you were a golf course

You’d have holes for every ho

That’s your word for these women not mine

Actually they prefer the word trick

Because after being with you they wish they could just make the whole night disappear

You brag about the women you bed

The ones that give you head

Who’s touched your head

Maybe you should be a fiction writer

Or maybe you shouldn’t brag

About preying on the help

Of the club you manage


Years ago you were in Vegas

Now you take me out for discount pizza

Asking me about my finances

Hoping I can be your meal ticket

Hoping to rob me blind

Hoping I will stupidly lay on my back

Praying and preying for the intelligence I supposedly lack in your male mind

Not so lucky Assweed

Perhaps one of the stupid, overweight girls

Who like studmuffin with a side of washed up and underemployed

Will date you

Because they are too dumb to hate you

Because they aren’t angry enough to spit on you

Because you put on a good show

Oh yes you do, Joe

I know this could piss you off

At top speed

But you didn’t graduate from high school

And I doubt that you can read

Maybe you can leer on some barely legal girl

And get your fix quick

Or maybe you can tell the world

About all the women you wish touched your dick.