Thursday, March 24, 2016

Talking to the Hand: Olympic Ventriloquism

I have been working really hard to master the perfect technique as of late. Each day I have been practicing tirelessly. I video myself now, which means my practice regimen has become Ivan Drago like. Actually, it has been helping quite a bit. Over time, I became lazy with my technique because of the street performances and late nights in the clubs. Alas, there is no substitute for the basics.

My mentor has been having me learn a new routine. Each day I send him a video. He gives me feedback. Several days ago he said I looked tired and needed to take a break. I said it was ventriloquist death march. He corrected me. It was zombie ventriloquism.

Each day, I have been delivering telegrams all day and at night I have been practicing. I do not want to hit the clubs yet because I do not want to reveal my new routine. I do not want to hit the open mics because I tire of the amateur hour there. I accept money to do comedy. Granted, while open mics are a safe place to fail I don't feel I get anything done there. Plus what comedians like and what real people like are quite different. It's hard to get certain spots being a woman. That is why I am letting my mentor guide me.

Yesterday we talked about my want to headline. I did a longer set recently, and all would have been a complete explosion but for the help of an understanding club owner who gave me a kick of tough love and got me working with a puppet stand. The stand has made all the difference and has brought my puppet work to a whole new level.

My mentor explained that a headlining set is making love while a shorter set is like a quickie. Still, there is no place in NYC to really perfect the longer set. Again, I will let my mentor guide me on that one.

Either way, I have more ventriloquism to practice. This is how I am going to kick my evil landlord where it hurts. This is how I am going to get my ex who lied and was fucking around behind my back with some cheap swamp trash who accepted her court fines paid with Western Union. (Oh and cheating he was, oh yes he was). This is how I am going to get my fiance back who used to abuse me and wanted to take my puppets away. This is who I am going to restore my faith in myself. This is how I am going to give it to every Goddamn male headliner who ever thought I was chattel. This is how I am going to give it to every dumbass woman who got mad at her husband for sending me fan mail. This is how I am going to give it to everyone who ever made fun of me in school.

Call me Gepetta!

Shit, they are still making fun of me.

Better get back to my puppet stand...........I'm going for the gold. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Escape From Toms River

Years ago, as a mere neophyte in the comedy game I took gigs anywhere that I was booked. Hungry for stage time, money didn’t matter. There was many a time I lost money getting to a gig, and this inspired some interesting fights with my parents where they yelled, “WE ARE JUST CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR FUTURE. YOU ARE GOING NO WHERE FAST!”

Mind you, most parents aren’t thrilled at the prospect of their kid becoming a professional ventriloquist. They were happier with that than the original plan, and that was to become an acrobat in the circus. Yes, I wanted to become an acrobat. I was a skilled tumbler as a child but after injury continually sidelined me I picked up a puppet. Oh what tangled webs we weave.

Anyway, most of the time I just performed for the sake of food because I rarely ate in those days. Comedy was my only love. I wasn’t jaded then by the politics and sexism involved in the game, nor did I know to be. Heck, I was so unspoiled and humble I would even do a check spot because it meant getting up. Looking back, not having awareness or standards in some ways was a very beautiful thing.

Through craigslist, I got a gig at a fundraiser for a 7 year old girl that had a genetic illness that was killing her, and treatment was expensive. The family couldn’t afford it, so it was going to be a night of music and variety. I asked if there was pay because I always did, plus it was a long way away. Yes, Toms River, the small town one meets before going to Atlantic City. Maybe they would even have food. They had neither, it was a benefit. These days I would probably say no, but then stage time was stage time so I went.

When I got on the bus immediately I knew this was going to be a strange night. In those days, I always travelled with radio blasting in my ear. The bus driver, an old black man resembling Uncle Remus, turned around and told me he could hear my radio. The strange part was, for as loud as my radio was, it’s not like anyone but him was complaining. He remarked that my “white noise” was going to interfere with his driving. Later I understood why. Uncle Remus was a terrible driver, and he needed to concentrate all he could. Yes, it was one of the bumpiest, most terrible bus rides ever.

After getting off the bus, I was so dizzy I was afraid I was going to vomit. While AC was only a stones throw away, this little hamlet seemed peaceful as opposed to the glitzy, sometimes seedy gambling capital of the Eastern Seaboard. People were probably kind and hard working…….boy was I wrong.

Of course, later in life, against my better judgement, I would date a man from Toms River. He’s currently in prison. Don’t feel bad. Prison is better than Toms River. He’s moving up in the world.
However, I had yet to experience the culture and high society of Ocean County. The man who organized the event said it was walkable. So I began to walk. In the darkness, I only saw a handful of streetlights and became rather nervous. That is when a cop car began to follow me.

At first I thought nothing of this cop car following me so close. Maybe he had things to do. But when I turned the corner, he turned the corner. This literally happened for five minutes. I knew I was an outsider in a small town. Still, there are times where outsiders are picked up because the good old boys feel they need taught a lesson, and cops are notorious for hating blacks and women……especially in small towns.

I picked up my step and began to run and the cop car proceeded to follow me. I was lugging May Wilson in tow, suitcase and all. My heart beat as I ran into a 7-11, sweat pouring down my brow. The cop car pulled in. I figured that I would just get arrested peacefully.

Instead, the cop got out of his car. He resembled a mall cop more than regular patrol, and had the look on his face like he was confused as to why I was so frightened of him. “Officer, I…..”

“Are you okay?” The cop asked, confused, his gut hanging over his belt buckle. I wanted to tell him he had only been stalking me for a few blocks and I would get arrested peacefully. Then he went on to tell me how good the donuts at the 7-11 were. Yes, he was going to the 7-11 to get donuts and we both happened to be going the same way. Suddenly, I knew this town was perhaps the safest place ever to commit a felony. All I would have to do was race walk away, and not do it in the vicinity.

So I asked the cop where the venue I was supposed to perform at was. He gave me a look of utter cluelessness. Why would Barney Fife know the town he patrolled ever? I got into the 7-11 and asked the middle eastern man behind the counter whom the cop called Akbar. Apparently, Akbar knew where the venue was. Akbar revealed he lived a few towns over. Yes, Akbar was the one who didn’t scare me in a cop car but would be collared as a terrorist by anyone else. We like Akbar.

The venue was five blocks down, and I figured the night could only get better and perhaps this show was going to be a good one. When I caught sight of the venue, it was glowing the embers of a crisp, early spring night. A sign said, “Help Save Little Kayla.” It had teddy bears and other things on it. This benefit was a darling idea.

But then from the inside I heard the symphony of heavy metal music, and a singer yelling, “DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!” So much for saving Kayla. Wasn’t this because they wanted her to LIVE?

As the melody of the prose of the lyrics caught my ear, I saw two of Toms Rivers finest scholars, Plato and Socrates, on the side of the brick wall. Both were taking turns banging their head on this brick wall. I watched in utter shock and horror as both of this young man approached this mind reducing task with Herculean effort.

Plato said to Socrates, “I bet you that if I hit my head hard enough, I won’t crack my skull and won’t get knocked out.”

Socrates remarked, “Oh yeah, you are probably going to get knocked out first and I’m just gonna keep going.”

Both Plato and Socrates engaged in this intelligent, top of the bell curve discussion and proceeded to bang their heads against the wall for about another minute as I watched astonished. Mind you, I grew up with some geniuses but these guys were of the special, gifted variety. Just then, Plato caught sight of me and asked, “What the hell do you want looking at us all stupid?”

Not even getting into the irony of the statement, I asked if this was the benefit for poor dying Kayla just to make sure I hadn’t entered some parallel universe. Yes, the one who fate maligned when these two able bodied individuals were turning themselves into vegetables.

Socrates, who’s one brain cell appeared to sometimes work told me it was, and Kayla’s stepdad was in a heavy metal band and all of his friends were playing. Okay, so at least these people were using their resources and attempting to do something nice. Granted, file it under fail, but they were attempting which there was something to be said for that. But then Socrates asked, “Which one of us do you think will go longer without getting a concussion?”

Yes of all the eternal questions one could ponder such as the existence of God, the possibility of world peace, or even the end of all war, there was this. Oh this world was beyond fucked. Fucked up the asshole. And the odds of these two reproducing someday were quite good.

I just smiled and said, “Be careful.” Then I went inside. What else could I do?
Once inside, the band onstage was yelling, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!” 

Years later, a club owner I worked under told me when a comedian kept yelling that in their act they didn’t have jokes. And apparently when a band yells at onstage they don’t have lyrics. Perhaps they could have benefited from a session with my club owner friend and wrote something meaningful, but in the words of my mentor, “You can’t fix stupid.”

Two girls, high school age were talking. I overheard one mention she had a baby. Quickly I did a double take. While this was not the epicenter of new aged philosophical discovery, it also appeared that at 23 I was already at advanced maternal age. I saw Kayla’s mother wandering around for a minute. She looked to be a little older than me. Kayla was 7. Dear God in heaven, these people weren’t just white trash. This was a snow covered landfill.

I found the event organizer who was in fact very nice. He had heard about Kayla’s plight through mutual friends, and the reason he was able to even put on the event was that he wasn’t from the town and therefore had the only brain in the box. Unlike Socrates and Plato, he spent his time writing music and had performed earlier that evening. I had a feeling his songs had words in them, and not, “FUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!” OR “DIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

The event organizer told me Kayla’s bio dad was nowhere to be found. Who knows what might have happened? They may have lost him accidentally when his skateboard went too far off in the distance. Either way, Kayla’s stepdad was picking up the slack and raising her as his own. Granted, while Albert Einstein was not to be found in this quaint hideaway, at least their hearts were in a good place. 

Seconds later, the event organizer pointed out little Kayla’s stepdad. He wasn’t onstage playing, but rather, he was with the rest of the Darwin Award nominees starting a makeshift mosh pit. And the band onstage continued to yell, “FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!” That is when Kayla’s stepdad stage dove. I took a deep breath. In Toms River, this man was not just a knight in shining armor but a prime catch.

Finally, it was my turn to go on. The room full of heavy metalers looked at me as if I was an alien from another planet. This was going to be interesting. I did some material and to my surprise they gave me polite chuckles. I wasn’t going to hope for a miracle and plus they had seen metal all evening, so polite chuckles would have to do. However, if one isn’t careful polite chuckles turn to silence and that is when I decided to hit them hard and went blue, very blue. This was no time for a clean set.

May Wilson took them home, and they LOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEDDDDDDD the dirty, shock worthy stuff. As a matter of fact, they laughed really hard. I was surprised that it went over as well as it did. Then I got off the stage. It wasn’t my best work, wasn’t my worst, but I lived. And in comedy, sometimes that is the best you can hope for.

When we got offstage, Socrates and Plato, now my friends both ran up to me. “That was good.” Plato said.

“You thought so?” I asked, now somehow caring about the opinion of two people who I would have probably tutored in high school.

“Yeah, you were good. The last comedian totally ate it.” Socrates told me. “I mean, he fucking sucked.”

“Really?” I was now curious.

“Yeah, he was really bad. So bad we chased him off the stage after the third joke. Not even letting him finish. I mean, it was awful. And then another dude was supposed to come perform, but they saw him being chased off and he ran out scared. You lasted. You’re alright.” Socrates explained.
“How did you chase him off?” I asked, now curious.

“Oh, we got on the stage, told him to get off, and then ran after him so he would get off.” Plato informed me. They had literally chased him off the stage. The fact I had lived through this set was a bigger miracle than I thought.

The conversation with the scholars made me need some air, so I went outside. Standing was a crowd of young women, all who had pitch black hair that looked like it had been sexually assaulted by the nearest can of tar. Their faces had cheap, drug store makeup, and they had so many piercings they would make a metal detector have a wet dream. As for the tats, they weren’t just body art, but you could get Hep C just by looking at these ladies. But by the way Plato and Socrates approached them, these honey traps were akin to Miss America.

One gave me an up and down look of contempt, probably because she felt my lack of trailer park chic made me inferior. Then one whispered to her friend, looked over at me, and went inside. Whatever it was, it was a series of one syllable words. Oh well.

Just then, I was approached by an evil, inbred clone of carrot top with a vicious mop of red hair, a scowl, and crooked teeth rotting out of his mouth.

“You want to know what I thought of your set?” He asked.

“No.” I replied, knowing it wasn’t good and I really didn’t want to talk to him.

“I thought you sucked.”


“You were way too shocking and too dirty.” He told me. Wow, and this was from someone moshing to a band that kept yelling, “FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!” The standards in this town were quite strange.

“Do you want to hear anymore?” He asked.

“No.” I said and walked away. This was definitely my cue to go.

“I have more to say to you!” He called. And I kept on walking.

After my strange evening, I made my way to the bus depot. The streets were dark and I wasn’t afraid of getting killed, but being kidnapped by some of the mutants I had just met. I had also lost my way so I called a cab from a number I had scratched down on a piece of paper before I left my house.
The ride was short and the cab driver was nice enough. He mentioned he had a wife and three kids, and I figured this town wasn’t all mutants. Maybe I was going to be okay. Just as we got to the bus depot, the driver mentioned it was going to be a while before the next bus came and wanted to know if I wanted to talk.

I said sure. So then he asked what my financial situation was. When I mentioned broke he offered me $50 for a blow job. Something told me for as much as the money would have been great, getting out of this situation alive would have been even better. So I jumped out of the car and ran like I saw Godzilla. He drove away, probably a tad upset that his manhood was crushed. But rest assured, if he went a little ways up some of the women at the show would have given him what they wanted. After all, they probably needed the money to feed their throngs of children out of wedlock. Then he would forget about me because they are the standard of beauty in Toms River. 

At the bus depot there were two other people. One was a big black dude and the other was a short, fat white woman. I asked them when the next bus out was, and they said it would be a while. So we began talking. The black dude revealed he had just gotten out of the Ocean County Jail and since the moment he got arrested, all he wanted to do was get out of Toms River. Now he was trying to make his way back to Paterson, an even bigger shithole. But alas, that was his shithole.

The woman revealed she had been in and out of mental institutions for the last three years with various bouts of bipolar and schizophrenia, and was now looking for employment. Despite the fact I should have been afraid, these were the two most normal people I had met since I had come to town. She lamented that she didn’t know how to explain the gaps on her resume. So the ex-con and I began to brainstorm ways to help her. It was team work in the most surreal scenario ever.

The ex-con suggested making up places of employment and using friends as references. It had worked for him. I suggested saying she was caring for a sick relative, and was the only family member they had to do so. She remarked both were good ideas. Then we talked about the importance of helping others.

Just then a ragged kid approached wanting to know when the next bus out was. All he wanted to do was get out of Toms River. He wanted to get to New York to the Salvation Army. Note, the Salvation Army is no great shakes, but it is still better than Toms River. The kid was worried he missed the last bus out. We told him he still had time.

Finally the bus came, and the kid didn’t have enough money to get to NYC. I had $40 on me, and the ticket was $20. Looking at the kid, desperate and ragged, knowing that like the three of us he just wanted to get out of Toms River, I said, “Here, I am your guardian angel right now. Take it.”

“Thank you! How will I ever repay you?” He replied, speechless at my generosity. Note, I am not normally that generous. I pity the fool that is stranded in that town.

“Do something nice for someone else and don’t be a dickweed.” I replied, and off we went.
And whenever something good happens to me out of no where, or someone does something nice for me, I believe in my heart it’s karma coming back to help me for the young man I took pity upon as we all worked to escape that ever hallowed layer of hell before one reaches Atlantic City.

]Moral: Sometimes a crazy night produces a great story, and when in doubt, help someone else because it's the right thing to do.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Doin' My Hair

Since moving to my new neighborhood, I have joined a new gym and a new church. However, I have neglected to find a new hairdresser. I joined the new church right quick because it is two streets down from me. As for the new gym, I kind of dragged my ass on that one until after the new year. However, as for the new hairdresser, really procrastinated on that one.

The circumstances around my departure from my old neighborhood were dramatic and traumatic at the same time. So when I moved into my new digs, my head was spinning. This new chapter is turning out to be good. I am on my way to designing a good headliner set, and I LOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEE my mentor in Vegas. The hair needs work though.

Until I moved to New York at the age of 18, I had the same hairdresser my whole life. That was my cousin Mari. She has always been gifted at helping people not only find the perfect style, but also look and feel great about themselves. I know it sounds cliché, but she is truly gifted at that she does. Her shop stands on the cusp on the industrial edge of the town we live in. Next door is a used clothing store for children, and two doors down is the karate school that rivaled ours back in the day. Across the street is the video store we once went to, an Italian ice place, and a pizza parlor.

My cousin Mari’s shop kind of resembles that of the one in Steel Magnolia’s. As a matter of fact, it is one of her favorite movies. Mari has her regulars that come in, shoot the breeze, and she knows all about their lives. Once woman had terminal cancer and Mari used to style her wigs. Another woman was getting a divorce. A third was sleeping with the post man. Always some drama, always some intrigue.

Mari is the daughter of my paternal grandfather’s brother’s youngest. Uncle Johnny was a jovial kind of fellow. He was a chain smoking algebra teacher who worked for years in a neighboring district. Good guy, but a tad old fashioned.

Once, my mom was getting her hair done and I overheard the following conversation:

Mari: My dad calls me and asks me what I do all day.

Mom: Don’t worry, my husband does the same thing. It’s a guy thing.

Mari: So I decided after he asked me a few times to tell him the truth. You see, Anna, I have this customer who has this husband who’s a nice guy but he’s not all that bright. So anyway, she’s been having an affair with this guy she met through her gym who’s younger and kind of a bad boy, but not as nice as her husband.

Mom: Wow, that sounds complicated.

Mari: Yeah. So she went back and fourth for a while and finally decided she didn’t want to leave and loves them both. Now when she comes in, she just tells me about both. I told my dad this and he never asked me what I did at work every day ever again.

Since Mari’s salon was always the epicenter of gossip and intrigue, we always knew who was doing what and when. And we could say it was the first place we heard it. Her shop was more on point than Liz Smith and more up to date than Perez Hilton, and with the same intensity as The National Enquirer.

Mari gave me my first cut. I think I was 18 months old. We have a picture book of the whole experience, lock of hair and all. I am sitting on the stool, smiling like I did something important. I still visit her when I am home and she does my hair. Mari has all my press clippings in her salon and sells my book. In case you are wondering, yes, she is doing the hair for Skipper’s wedding. And yes, she and her mother are invited. (Uncle Johnny has since passed).

Moving to the city, I went through several stylists until I settled on the guys who were next door to me in Hell’s Kitchen. Although they were talented, I didn’t go often because of the expense. They were VERY EXPENSIVE BUT VERY GOOD. I used to go to them when I had an important taping or whatnot. As a matter of fact, I went to them on my last birthday. They were good guys and kept track of me, especially when things got bad at the end. Oh, and they also have I Came, I Saw, I Sang on their shelves.

Yesterday I decided to take a big adventure, a hairy adventure…..hahahahahahah. I decided to look for a new beauty salon.

I went to one on my way home from the gym to check it out, and they looked like a high class establishment. When I got there this guy who was probably named Derek was from the Midwest spoke in a really bad, feigned foreign accent. The prices were outrageous and they were playing very bad, bubble gum Euro Pop. So I took the over styled menu and got out of there.

Another hair salon had a stylist who looked like she would murder you with the scissors and her hair looked like a weed whacker did it. They say you will walk out looking like your stylist and that scared the living crap outta me. So I vamoosed.

After that I went two doors down to the nail salon that also has a hair styling part. The nail salon is always packed to capacity, but the salon was empty. I asked them how much a cut and highlight touch up would be. They were charging too much, and the woman who was supposed to be doing hair had a head full of badly processed pumpkin orange. Again, they say you look like your hairdresser and I was scared my hair was gonna be PUMPKIN ORANGE! So I left.

Finally, I went to one shop up the street from me. The outside resembled my cousin Mari’s shop, and I looked inside and they even had the same posters. It was hair only, and it looked to have a person or two in there. The woman working was a Korean woman who didn’t look too crazy, and she was meticulously working on the hair of what looked to be a regular customer. I asked how much a cut and highlights were, and the price was reasonable. So I decided to wait a few minutes.

On the couch was a woman who looked to be the owner’s mother, probably hanging out and helping out in her old age. That is the thing with an Asian business, the whole family works there, literally. The owner also had photos of her kids and the rest of her family decorating the place. As I waited, the two women chattered in Korean, probably gossiping about the affair someone they knew was having. Steel Magnolias Asian Edition.

The lady did my hair and at first I was scared. She understood English, but didn’t speak it super good. My hair wasn’t gonna be orange, it was gonna be PINK!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I WAS GONNA BE FENCHIE FROM GREASE!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!

I got admonished for my split ends and mediocre hair care. Yup, just like Mari. It was official, this woman was probably gonna be my new hairdresser. Somehow, the more she did my hair the more I trusted her and I had no clue why I trusted her, that’s the weird part.

In any event, when she was done I looked amazing. Like a million dollars. Yeah, amazing. I feel like good hair will be the next chapter of my life. Hey, how can I grow into a master ventriloquist, international personality, killer show closer, and bad ass writer with bad hair? I think not. Gotta have good hair. And then I spent some dough on some new clothes. Life is good. Now I gotta do laundry, because life is only so good when you have no clean underwear……….

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More Fear and Loathing

It's after midnight and I have been practicing ventriloquism for several hours now. My practice ritual has stepped up a few notches. In the past the mirror was my friend. However, now I am filming myself. It is intense because not only are you filming yourself, but then you have to play it back and it is terrible watching yourself. TERRIBLE. As a matter of fact, Robert DeNiro hates watching himself.

My mentor in Vegas has me working on a new act. He's such a good guy and we speak at least once a day. The guy is technically my manager, but in the past I have had managers drop the ball on me. He's truly guiding me therefore he is so much more. But I am making the videos of the new act and then sending them to him. And then it is time for a joke by joke. More this, more that, more cowbell.

I also made from this weekend and he is having me send him new material to get his feedback. This is a good guy. Not only is he passionate about comedy, but he really knows what he is talking about. He worked with me on reshaping my act for the better part of 4 hours, and it was like night and day. As a matter of fact, filming myself was his idea. So far it is helping, because as he explained you never get an accurate idea of what you are doing in the mirror. So true.

I have been pouring over old ventriloquist videos, mostly the legends. They are amazing. For as good as I am, and for the successes that I have had, I have a long way to go before I can even touch them. These guys are the whole package in a way my generation of vents could never be. I am inspired, but at the same time I am painfully aware that there is much work to be done. Life was so much easier when I was just shooting off bullshit in my blogs about all the times I killed or all the times my fans recognized me or my puppets. Yeah, I got wrapped up in the bullshit of it all. Bullshit. And here I was so clouded by my own ego unaware that I have such a long way to go.

Or maybe I was aware and the bullshit became like a drug, making the ride less painful as well as the truth. Self-awareness is a mofo.

Either way, I am becoming quite aware of my own mistakes onstage. For me comedy is serious business. If I don't hear the first laugh in a certain time I freak. Then I resort to doing something dumb because the ends justify the means even though it cheapens my act. Mind you I always forget the audience wants to laugh and to have fun because I am so fixated on doing well. Mind you I always chase after the punchline because I am so eager to get there that I rush and I talk superdupersuperdupersuuuuuuuuppppppppeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr fast. And I forget that I have to sell myself AND HAVE FUN.

Either way, I am wearing the burdens of the last two years on my back. I signed myself away on a project I will not name that made me rather visible. Because I didn't know about asking price, I answered fan mail broke and had people tell me they saw my program on TV when I didn't know how I was going to feed myself. As a matter of fact, I found out I was on Dutch National Television a half hour after getting my second set of eviction papers.

Yesterday, a situation was kind of crazy but I had to stick up for myself. It was a rock and a hard place kind of thing. Needless to say, I probably burned a bridge but oh well. It's fine. I was going to lose by getting a backbone and by being a doormat. There was no winning. It made me second guess the loyalty of some people I had been good to, but the whole situation was impossible. Still, they expected too much from me. I let them know this, but who cares about that?

They say they will make it up to me. Famous last words. Either way, I don't care. As my mentor explained, I have bigger fish to fry. If they call me, great. But if they don't, oh well. Part of me hopes they don't call me. I don't trust them.

Of course as I was having the eternal weekend of growing pains and the week from hell my mentor, the booker and this lovely club owner all let me know this was growing pains. Fucking growing pains. Oh, and I am not allowed to say fuck anymore onstage. Fucking fucktard. So I have to fucking get it out here. I know, I sound like an angry child with nothing to say and it sounds worse onstage, trust me. But I am allowed to have my moment.

Deep down, I do fear I won't get to where I want to go. When I go to Vegas, and I go again soon to work with my mentor, I will pass Caesar's Palace enviously as I always do lusting for my spot on the mainstage. When I pass Colbert, Radio City, or Carnegie Hall I will look wistfully wondering when it will be my turn.

Until then, my throat is sore from my intense new practice regimen. I had a half a plate of steak nachos yesterday as an "I'm Tired and Hate Myself" snack and had the other plate today. I am watching Magic because for as crazy as it sounds Corky is a hero to me, and I hope to be that good even though he's not real. I just sneezed. May is talking to me. Probably time for me to go to bed and maybe interact with people a tad tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dorkin It Up

Lately I can safely say I have been getting my groove back. For months I had felt dead inside. I was putting away some decent sets, but was kind of phoning things in. My act was so memorized that I just did it. A lot of times I was like, okay, here are my jokes. They were always saying I had been on TV and blah blah blah like it mattered.

It wasn't that I was lazy, the last several months have just burnt me. As I said I have been dead inside. I went to a magazine party, and this magazine had done a nice story on me. It was the day after I had the test to determine whether or not I had cancer. Everyone was really cool, but I was just in some fog like someone who's faced eviction, a bad breakup, and now might be dying of an asymptomatic female cancer. Everyone was swapping cards and I was just glad I had a roof over my head and wasn't puking blood.......yet.

Then the sets I did, they were decent but not my best work. Plus I was going too hard for the shock laugh. It wasn't even my fault. I wasn't even being lazy. Every piece of energy I had was gone. When an audience didn't do that I wanted I went for the cheap laugh, and hadn't done that since I had been a kid. I was just so burnt. Yeah, my young audiences loved it because they didn't know any better, and the free spots that I was doing didn't demand a high standard. I had been on TV. I had enjoyed that brass mini ring long before my world came tumbling down. Now I was content to yuck it up in a basement.

Even when I scored the mentor I did I still felt dead inside. We had the chat about my rating and blah, blah, blah. My rating. I promised him I would watch videos of Abbot and Costello and I did......kindof.....when I wasn't busy feeling sorry for myself. Yeah, self-pity, that thing that we indulge in and the thing that cripples us all at once.

But this past weekend changed everything. I didn't want to go and feared it would be a disaster. My friend told me to do it because I needed to focus on comedy again. She was sick and tired of hearing about my eviction and legal drama. She was tired of hearing about the break up drama. She was tired of hearing about how I thought I had cancer. She even told me that if I tanked, it was at least it was going to get me focused on comedy again.

"God is telling you that this is what you should be doing with your life." My friend advised me.

"Or this is the weekend where He shows me I don't have it," I whined.

Needless to say I ate it really hard my first night. But someone was on hand to help me. Someone who knew what they were talking about, and someone who's input and suggestions made all the difference between one night to the next. Needless to say, my first set the following night consisted of huge laughs and even some applause. It was a world of difference. The following set was okay, but not as good as the one I did before. I was more peeved about that than I was about my bad set for some reason. My mentor said I am too hard on myself. But I am an act who either does really good or really bad, doing just okay feels like decaf coffee.......tastes nice but doesn't quite do it.

One thing that helped was the stool. Yes, there is a stool ventriloquists use. I never did use one, because when I was young I enjoyed roving the streets with my children and travelling onstage. However, there was always the issue of dead hang. Yes, the limp body of my babies. And not to mention your hand gets tired. I thought of propping my knee up and letting my kids sit on there, but sometimes I like to perform in skirts and well........

But the stool this weekend made all the difference. So much so that I spent the Monday looking for a stool for my puppets and I. Something to make it easier for them to sit, and something to make it easier for them to seem more real. I called the buddy suggesting I go on the road about my weekend and told her about my mission. She tried hard not to laugh. Her dork friend was back.

I finally broke down and ordered it online after not getting what I needed at the magic shops. My children and I needed a stool. We were getting one from a ventriloquist dealer. Never have I been so excited in such a very long time. I know, weird things excite me.

And as suggested this weekend, I have been practicing in front of my mirror, but rather filming myself so I kill my bad habits. I have been running my new material, a cleaner, wittier version, and performing it over and over again. I want my technique solid before I hit the ground running. In a few days, when I get my stool I will be practicing with that too.

In between, I have been watching the best ventriloquists. Willie Tyler and Lester are amazing, and he puts the mic on Lester creating the illusion that he was real. Otto was the first to admit his lip control was not the best when he was alive, and I know having worked with the man twice, However, the way he masterfully made George come alive is unparalleled and the way he operates the character, after a while you start to entertain the fact George is alive. Dan Horn and Steve Hewlett have voice throwing ability beyond the pale, and something I have yet to have. Paul Zerdin is amazing, enough said. And of course lest we forget Edgar Bergen, the father of all venting, the one who's lip control laxed when he did radio. But Bergen's character's were real, and when the audience didn't give him what he wanted he just kept going. Eventually, after a few beats they did. You never saw Edgar, Charlie McCarthy, or Mortimer Snerd sweat.

Did I mention Jeff Dunham is amazing, and quite entertaining?

And yeah, I am eagerly watching Abbot and Costello as a guide post on how to write.

So the verdict is in. I am a dork. Everyone around me thinks I have lost my mind as I showed my landlord his first Otto and George today and he thinks they are funny. I tell my mom about my stool and she's like, "Baby, you do that," because she agrees but thinks I have gone CRAZY!


Hey, being a dork might make me a dork but it sure as hell beats feeling sorry for myself. Being a dork is constructive.......

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Comedy Etc.

This weekend was a good weekend. My first night didn't look so good. It was like being at a party where you meet someone who seems nice but as you talk you have nothing in common. When most NYC comics come across this, they figure it's a gig and they get in and get out, happy they are still alive to tell the tale and laugh it off later. After stepping off the stage I figured they were nice at least, but these werent my people.

However, luck would soon change. The club owner who's also a comic, one who has headlined in Vegas, and does so twice a year, had some things to say. One being, "Things better be different tomorrow night."

Usually when a club owner gives feedback one shrugs and says whatever, or it's good. It all depends on the club owner. At first in my mind I was like, "Whatever, I've been on TV." It's a craptacular attitude to have albeit an egotistical one, but it has kept me going as my life has unraveled the last few months.

However, within seconds my attitude changed once it was revealed he had been doing comedy for 25 years, nearly as long as I had been alive. During some of that time, he also taught comedy and mentored comedians quite a bit. Oh, and he had just returned from a headlining engagement in Vegas. During our talk, he mentioned Abbot and Costello, something my mentor always cites as an example of what a vent act should be. And then he also mentioned he liked the Mr. Okay concept and used Defending the Caveman as an example. (The longest running Broadway show on The Las Vegas Strip). Yes, another show my mentor is very heavily involved with. Something in me, that part that sometimes has a good idea, said, "Don't be your asshole self and listen to this man."

He worked with me for quite a while the next day on my act and had some excellent suggestions. I tried them the following night and it was like NIGHT AND DAY. Even the waitstaff of the club was like WTF?!!?!?

I was talking with the headliner who told me it was good I took suggestions, good I listened. In the end I figure why not? The worst that happens is someone's suggestions don't work and I move on. Or they do and I am better because of it. Either way, I was very happy with the second night and now know what to do to go to the next level with my comedy.

Our headliner who was in several movies has been doing comedy since before I was born I think. Actually, yeah he has. Either way, he was what the owner referred to as a 10 on the scale of funny and headlining. The way this man closed out a show was amazing. I'll admit I pale in comparison, but he has made himself so funny that he's impossible to follow as all closers should be.

At the same time, he's been doing comedy longer than I have been alive. It was amazing how he could just make the room do what he wanted, and didn't sweat about being liked. A lot of comedians do that. Yeah, I am trying to do it less, but when the audience doesn't give me what I want I panic. I go for the cheap laugh. The club owner as he was working with me said don't go for the cheap laugh.........but it's so easy when you aren't getting what you want. I think most comics do it out of fear. Actually, we all do it out of fear. But this headliner, it seemed as if that fear was gone. Maybe it was because he didn't care, that's why he just killed it so easily.

Another comic who partners at the club is also a touring headliner, however, he didn't headline that night but rather stepped in because the club owner was doing a spot elsewhere. He revealed he had been doing comedy for a mere 20 years in comparison to the club owner's 25 and the headliner's 32. We had a conversation about wanting to be liked onstage, and he said the most important thing was to have fun. If you had fun the audience would have fun. And the audience, they are on your side. They want you to do well. How hard that is to remember when you are onstage. But they are on your side......and we both agreed yeah, again, it is hard to remember sometimes.

The fellow who booked the gig has also been involved with comedy for sometime. Maybe not as long as I have been alive but since the 80s. While never a comic himself and always on the booking end, he is an eternal student of comedy and has even hung out at clubs just for the hell of it because he likes being around comedy. When he takes notes at a showcase, he goes joke by joke writing everything down. I know because he has done so for me in the past. Very thorough, he tells you what works, what doesn't and why. His feedback has never failed me. Translated, just like the club owner, the headliner, and the other partner in the operation, he knows his shit.

This whole weekend, my mentor in Vegas was there for emotional support. Of course he's managed some top grossing variety acts who have been on every major TV program ever. And he is actively involved in the Vegas scene, and his people play Caesar's Palace among other places. It is safe to say he's been involved in show business longer than I have been around. Mind you he started his life as a magician touring college campuses and evolved into managing. As I was bitching about all that was happening, he says, "It's called growing pains. That's all."

Eh. Growing pains. Eh. Then again, he's probably also thinking that I'm a little over a decade in, oh poor kid, she's only ten years old........

I guess the point is, you are always still learning and growing. And sometimes it is best just to listen to people with more time at something, because they might know something you don't. Actually, most of the time they know something you don't. Bottom line, you only know what you know when you are supposed to know it. Am I a better comic and ventriloquist than I was years ago? Probably. Still, it's amazing how much I still don't know after all this time.

However, I am also learning to embrace the knowledge and experience of those that do know. It's cool to get to work with those people. It's cool that they were so gracious to guide me. The club owner mentioned that others had done the same for Mitch Hedberg (RIP).

My landlord mentioned the same is true with life, you are never an expert and you are always learning something new. Mind you, he always understands where my parents are coming from being one himself. Yeah, he's got more time on this planet which comes in handy sometimes. It's life.

Comedy is about being real. It's about life. It's about telling the truth. It's about reaching people. Fake doesn't sell. How soon we all forget. Or maybe we don't realize until we are supposed to. Shit this was deep.

Either way, my problems are now I need to perfect my act to go to the next level. I need to purchase a stand for my puppets like the one the club had on hand this weekend that MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD and suggested I use. I need to stop saying the f word onstage. I also need to talk slower. Oh, and I got rid of a really hack stupid bit I leaned too heavily on that was just cheap. Go team!

As opposed to a few months ago when I was being eaten alive by bed bugs and the mold in my place made breathing difficult. Not to mention when I complained my landlord retaliated by trying to evict me. My hair was also falling out because of the chemicals, stress, and other issues involving my living situation. I was in court or a lawyer's office at least once a week. Then when my landlord tried to burn down my apartment I was told by the cops to find somewhere safe, and had to move under duress. Once I moved the doctor's thought I might have uterine cancer because of the way my tests came back.

These days my problems are having my act be funny onstage, and how to make that happen, being the headliner who can reach all audiences like a Jeff Dunham. (The booker mentioned he was the most watched Comedy Central Special of all time). Heck, my sister in law and 13 year old cousin both love him. I can focus on what's important, and that's what I do onstage.

Maybe at times I am guilty of becoming embittered and beaten down by the politics, or resting on the laurels of the successes I have gotten so far, refusing to grow. Both are the wrong way to go because they warp your perspective. I can say that for all the hell I have been through in recent months, for the first time in forever I really and truly love comedy again. I love it. I love it. I love it. I will scream it I LOVE IT!!!!!!

(Of course all those I encountered this weekend have probably had similar feelings to mine at times)

And if it took walking through hell to get me to this feeling and a rough first night in the middle of no where complete with pinched nerve in my neck, I will do it again. Watch me, I'm unstoppable. But first I need to take a shower because I don't want to be unstoppable for all the wrong reasons.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cold Turkey

Today I got a call from a booker I haven’t spoken to in forever and a day. It was kind of weird because for the last year and a half, in the midst of my blonde ambition and press coverage, I have vocalized my want to tour, especially internationally. As a kid, I did the road every weekend for no money. Actually I take that back, bad money and rainbow meat hamburgers.

What ended up happening is, the road took me out of the city so I kind of decided to return when I got more television credits under my belt and could demand actual money thus it would make sense to travel out of town for a tad. That being said, the sojourns out of the city were adventures and paid respites, although not well paid respites may I add. Plus I missed the camaraderie and the sometimes harried tales of comedy that brought us all closer together as a community.

Anyway, this booker whom I will call Paul Feinstein and I haven’t spoken forever and a day. Truth, I wasn’t pursuing road work in honest, at least not in the United States. But as I said this past year I vocalized wanting to tour, however the bookers I were pursuing were in Europe. In any event, I got a mentor who advised me to capitalize off of my international press in the US and then work my way to Europe. Since debuting in Vegas, the wheels have been turning that way.

Yes, I still want to go to Europe and plan on it. But my luck has changed in the United States and just as I dealt with some wonderful people abroad I am dealing with some wonderful people here. Bottom line, there are good and bad people everywhere.

Paul and I have kind of a strange history. He and I worked together a few times back in the day but life happens and you lose touch. Plus I think he was breaking up with a business partner which happens from time to time. Nonetheless, Paul has always been in my corner. He also managed one of my heroes before his unfortunate passing nearly two years ago. An eccentric workaholic, the best time to reach Paul is between midnight and 1 AM. It’s true, he told me to call him around that time back in the day and he always picked up. A copious note taker, Paul will go through your act joke by joke and tell you what works and what doesn’t.

Paul’s assistant Jake called me with news of the gig and asked me to close the show. Because the focus has been on the video end, I haven’t been doing as many live shows. However the closer pay was good. Paul then got on the line and asked me if I was closing regularly. I was honest, I wasn’t. Paul lauded me for telling the truth. He was giving me a gig that was going to pay decently for featuring, and plus the club covered hotel. Either way, this was what I needed.

For the past year I had been questioning, despite all the international buzz, whether or not I belonged in the comedy world. An eviction, even when it’s not your fault, will make you question how you conduct your affairs quite a bit. At the same time, I had been thirsting for more reasonable road work, because it pays the bills in between appearances. Also, if all goes well, Paul gives me more gigs and although he is a little crazy as we all are, he pays and is fair.

The conversation that followed is one for the books though.

Booker: Well thank you for being honest with me about everything, that goes a long way.

Me: For sure.

Booker: You see, it’s great you are a vent (ventriloquist) act. They originally wanted to use Mike Jones but apparently he’s no longer doing ventriloquism.

Me: What?! Mike Jones is so known for ventriloquism. It’s what he does.

Booker: Yeah, I know. Tell me about it. He’s no longer doing ventriloquism in his act though. The most insane part is, he isn’t even letting anyone know.

Me: Wow. Really?! That is insane. What’s he doing instead? Regular stand up.

Booker: Yup, and the worst thing is, his regular stand up is not funny enough to stand on it’s own. So he is still being booked as a ventriloquist and just showing up without his puppets.

Me: Wow. That’s nuts.

Booker: Yeah, he didn’t even do it gradually. He did it out of no where. You can’t just go cold turkey like that. It throws people off.

Sigh……this conversation sounds like it was ripped straight out of a Woody Allen movie. I often feel as if my life is a never ending adventure film that continually writes itself. My mom thought this was good, because if I can get consistent work on the road that pays half decent it will fill in the gaps when things get slow. Plus it will be making money. Not bad. As she said, "Honey, this is an open window for you."

Still, the whole situation is only mildly insane because Mike Jones was a friend I made through the ventriloquist circle. He taught ventriloquism. He performed ventriloquism. He was so into ventriloquism he sent me a persnickety note about my lip control. Mike Jones was ventriloquism!
Am I Woody Allen or Mel Brooks right now? Hard to say. As I said, cannot make this stuff up. The club owner even wrote on the website, “Our ventriloquist decided he didn’t want to be a ventriloquist anymore. Can’t make this shit up.”


Sigh…….to have a booker saying you quit ventriloquism cold turkey. Granted, I know I am known for being addicted to my puppets and leaving a man so we could have the best life possible. Still, I have heard everything and have never heard this.

This particular ventriloquist was Mr. Ventriloquism too. He was a contemporary of Jeff Dunham as a matter of fact. He was good friends with one of my heroes, the late, great Otto Petersen. He had appeared as a headliner in Vegas and on TV AS A VENTRILOQUIST!

What happened to throw this man over the edge? Why did he put his wooden friends through the proverbial wood chipper? This was so sudden, so odd, so WTF?! The man was one who even sent me a note on my lip control technique. Bottom line, he knew his vent.

It was as if the planets crashed and out of the blue the sky began to fall after a storm of raining pigs. I told my mom this and she suspected something awful had happened in his life. But he was so dedicated, so passionate, even his own son was doing ventriloquism! What became of this poor, unfortunate family?

Either way, as my mom explained this left a headlining door wide open for me and my job was to really perfect my act. (And technically it is a double headline event it seems between me and the other fellow). She also explained that if I could get enough headlining appearances in between being on TV like I am sometimes with my kids, we could sustain ourselves more heartily. Plus I like being onstage so it’s not bad. When you get to the headliner point in comedy you can demand more money, you are the headliner damnit. It’s the way to go.

The strange thing is, I almost quit this past year as I mentioned. My faith in God is something I am proud of and do not hide, although I am not the type to shove it in people’s face. Around the beginning of the year I asked Him to guide me to see if this was what I was supposed to be doing in the first place.

The truth is, He gave me an amazing mentor in Vegas who has been a gift from heaven in every sense of the word. “Stay,” a cover I did a few years back, cracked the top 40 on a New York Dance Chart on Reverbnation. Usually you have to pay for it to crack the top 100, meaning you are independently wealthy or have a label behind you. I had neither, it just did it on it’s own. My publishing house sent me a royalty check, aka “surprise money” as writers call it. This caught me off guard, but right before my first eviction court date I found out my book had been selling overseas. Then someone was interested in an idea I have held close to my heart.

And then out of no where I get a call to do this gig. I suppose He is answering my question.
Maybe whatever is up there has been answering my question all along. (I like to call it God but who knows what it is if there is anything). Last year, as I lost two well paid campaigns to others for a myriad of reasons, none having to do with talent, I struggled to keep the faith within myself. Yet the news about my family and I hit the web. It went viral. One press agency thought I had hired a publicist. I wanted to tell them, “Silly rabbits, when you are facing eviction you can’t even pay your rent…….a publicist is out of the question.”

In the midst of the bed bugs, mold, and other drama I found my story somewhere new in the world daily it seemed. Yes, I was on my way to being homeless in America but damnit they were singing my praises in Albania. I also got onstage religiously and was putting away some awesome sets. For the first time in forever I was enjoying comedy. Maybe this was whatever was upstairs guiding me to keep my head on straight because sometimes I lose sight of what’s important. We all do. Bottom line, we get what we want just not in the way we think we will get it, and everything happens in it’s own time.

Maybe Mike Jones went through a difficult phase like I did. I know he wasn’t the same after his massive heart attack and might be losing his mind. Maybe, just maybe, during those difficult times he had idiots like my ex friend whispering their negativity in his ear. And maybe he didn’t have the strength or awareness to tune them out. Whatever the case is, I hope he finds some peace. Mike is a nice guy.

Either way, this whole thing is playing out like a comedy melodrama online. Mike has written a scathing post in regards to this club owner whom he refers to as an egomaniac, and says the man is in violation of contract. As Mike has aired his grievance, many of his supporters have rallied around him. He insists, “No club owner can tell me how to do my act.”

Mike has gone so far as to encourage other headliners not to work with this particular man.
On the same token, the club owner has fired back as I explained earlier by writing, "You can't make this shit up."

He further blasted Mike on the comedy club's website without using his name, but referred to me as a “better, more talented entertainer” that they got to replace him. Mike was an excellent ventriloquist, so if I am better or more talented remains to be seen. I get wanting to grow as a comedian and do other things, but you have to ease people into them. And I get where the club owner is coming from, it's like going to a diner, ordering scrambled eggs, and them bringing you chili. I know I will probably get the full story this weekend, and I will say it's none of my business.......although the industry gossip in me will be all ears, interested to know how this thing went down and I got in the middle. 

 I get to do this weekend with an old open mic friend I haven’t seen in years who is doing quite well. At the very least this will be a good story. I am excited because of the opportunity, but scared so that means it’s time to work on my act.

I feel like I am living the movie Broadway Danny Rose. It’s one of my mentor’s favorite films. Maybe I will watch it later today. 

Check out the club's website

Monday, March 7, 2016

Just Say Maybe

When I was in elementary school, it was a big thing to be in the 4th grade. It meant being upstairs and finally being one of the big kids. It meant having a big kid locker on the first floor. It meant finally getting to sign up for the Just Say No Club.

Yes, the well intended and oft failed Nancy Reagan brainchild. It was conceived during her trip to Day Top Village while campaigning for her husband. She saw all the addicts and shuddered for the youth of America. Nevermind many had traumatic upbringings, were Vietnam vets, or it was a genetic predisposition. Nevermind science has been asking what makes a person an addict. Nevermind the world has wracked their brains for years to treat these people as rehab doesn't work, jail is a fail, and AA barely does a mediocre job with this issue. Nancy Reagan, clutching her pearls came up with the anti-drug platform of "Just Say No."

Well I joined Just Say No as soon as 4th grade hit like all the other good little adherents in my sheltered suburban elementary school. Our sponsor, Ms. Dallet, an old school mistress type who got angry when you doggy eared your library books, was losing her hearing so we had to shout when we spoke. We watched a video about the dangers of pot. It was sort of an after school special type of thing, full of drama and at the end it's okay that little Jimmy said no. He did the right thing. As we watched said video, we had the drug free but ever sodium and sugar filled pretzels and soda. Note, some experts consider sugar a drug but nevermind.

After the video was shown, they asked us what to do if we ever were in a situation where we were offered drugs. Our little voices shouted, "JUST SAY NO!"

Then there was the practical portion, what to do if offered drugs. I raised my hand and suggested making an excuse, like you were sick or had to go. I got Ms. Dallet's praise and the approval of the group. And then a few other people gave suggestions and we yelled, "JUST SAY NO!!!" again.

Yes people got hooked on drugs because it was all about peer pressure. As I said, there is a genetic predisposition to addiction, and science even backs me up on this. Heck, some of my own family members are case studies. But truth be told, it was all the evil PEER PRESSURE, PEER PRESSURE, PEER PRESSURE. They were putting that joint in your hand and pouring that liquor in your mouth. And then there is the Gateway Drug Theory, but I could spend a whole blog debunking that but won't. Bottom line, science still doesn't know a lot about addiction and it is foolish miseducation like this that punishes addicts, shames the sick, and kills people. Yet at the time we didn't think of that. We were cool and got to join a big kid's club.

The following year Ms. Dallet's hearing loss forced her to retire and hang up her spurs as the Just Say No sponsor. She was replaced by a woman by the name of Ms. Samson. This denizen was a biker moll who somehow was teaching 5th grade. She wore leather and too much makeup, and how she got a job in the district I will never know, It got awkward when she came to student events with her motorcycle boyfriend named Rick who had long hair. Sometimes he would show up drunk.

Ms. Samson was about 25 I think, and would smoke during lunch behind school. The year before she had gone on our pumpkin picking trip for Just Say No and smoked behind the bus while the students were picking their pumpkins. Yes, we were supposed to Just Say No to tobacco too.

Our first Just Say No meeting with Ms. Samson we got pizza and watched a movie. Unlike Ms. Dallet who took the whole thing seriously and maintained a moral high ground, Ms. Samson didn't front. After the movie she said, "Kids, say no to drugs. Seriously. They are bad. Life happens. But seriously do your best to try to say no."


Needless to say, the mission of Just Say No pretty much fell apart and disbanded shortly thereafter.

Over the years, many former Just Say No graduates went on to drink, smoke, and do drugs. A few went to rehab, but most turned out alright. Still, it was amazing how much that initiative failed worse than Mama June at Weight Watchers.

Heck, I have even seen people I love negatively affected by drugs. One former boyfriend who self-medicated because they couldn't get his bi-polar meds right could never get sober, and I had to let him go. I buried two friends I cared about because they couldn't get clean. A kid I went to karate with died of an overdose. Another family friend has a son who desperately cannot get clean. Even some of my family members too.

However, it's not that they won't say no. It's that they can't say no. Plus sometimes people get hooked because they are given a medication and it is much more complex. Then again, liberal critics said the same thing I did so I know I am not crazy.

Yet at the same time, I look back at how campy and corny those meetings were, and how well intended the whole thing was. It just didn't work. Like Communism. Sigh......

Maybe Ms. Samson was onto something. Do your best. Just Say Maybe....

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pepperoni Pizza

Today I shot some videos and hung out with my friends. It's been forever since I have done both really. You see, through all the drama I have been through friends kinda hit the back burner. Plus getting acclimated to my new neighborhood has taken time. Plus there were some people I seriously cut out of my life......and with good reason.

These two are long time friends though. Yes, the witch and the magister in The Church of Satan, Don and Hedda. He does all my video work and she helps. We usually end up hanging out and shooting the breeze about mutual friends and people we don't like. And then another friend of mine, Paola, helped with the video and she bonded with Hedda. So thus we ended up hanging out long after the video was done and eating pizza.

Pepperoni pizza to be exact.

It has been forever and a day since I had a good pepperoni pizza. There was a dollar pizza place by my old apartment, but the pizza tasted like Midtown; stale, worn, and beaten to hell.

This pizza was good let me tell you. I mean, actually it was great. Melted in my mouth. Plus my insulin was low from making the videos so it brought me right back up. Before the pizza was there, I was starting to feel sleepy. I began to close my eyes and Hedda said I was getting sleepy. Don of course thought this was funny as did Paola. So I told them no drawing a penis on my face. Hedda told me she would never do that.......she couldn't find her sharpie.

Paola, Hedda, and I bonded over girl time as Don was forced to wait on us hand and foot. He was a good sport about the entire thing, getting us pizzas and sodas as we watched reruns of The Walking Dead. We love zombies.

Either way, it made me realize for as different and flipped out as my friends are, they are awesome. Don and Hedda sacrificed their whole day to help me make my videos. Not to mention they didn't kick us all out after several hours of BS talk.(Lest we forget Don was very kind in getting us pizza and soda as the women took over). Plus they are awesome to laugh with as they are real. Don and Hedda are so talented and so in love. When people say an open relationship doesn't work, I point them to Don and Hedda. When people decry Satanists as evil, I point them out to Don and Hedda, two of the most ethical people I know.

The train ride home with Paola was awesome. We both have a lot in common. We made the mistake of dating dickfaces in the past, but now want to focus on ourselves and on our dreams. We both agree that we don't care if we have a husband or children, we can live without that. What we can't live without is not going where we want to go with our careers, and not living out our dreams.

My mom always said if I looked hard enough I would find friends like myself, just to be patient. For a long time I searched, and so many of my female friends let a man come between us. Or they left the industry for a man. Or they didnt want to work as hard as I did. Paola wants to work as hard as I do, and I think she might actually work harder.

I have known since I was a youngster it was a possibility I wouldnt marry or have children. I have come close several times but no go. Even the last few relationships I have been in, I have always desired my freedom and to fly alone in pursuit of my dreams. It's nothing personal, I just know it's the fabric that I am cut from.

That being said, that pizza was damn good. I have been sick for several days and desperately needed that solid food. My friends somehow sensed that. My friends somehow put up with me. My friends are awesome, and it's too bad I went too long without seeing them and instead hung out with people who sucked worse than a ten cent whore with one tooth.

Now time for bed.


Friday, March 4, 2016

10 Times You've Lost Your Ability to Give Anyone Advice Ever

In life there are people who inspire. There are people we admire. And then there are people who need to stop talking forever and ever. The following examples are some such individuals who have lost their license to give any advice at any time. Although there is no law on the books prohibiting them, there should be. I know, April Brucker for President.

1. You have the names of your kids tattooed on your arm. Way to let the world know you don't pay child support.

2. You have the serenity prayer tattooed on your arm. Yes, you are still a head filled with incredibly bad decisions. Instead of the help of a crack pipe, now you have the help of a mind control cult and your Higher Power.....Go Fish!

3. You are saying that all those who live in trailer parks aren't all trash, simply because there are high end trailer parks. And you even applied to one but got rejected. There is no comeback to this anywhere, and your tongue should be cut out for making such an idiotic statement.

4. You are voting for Donald J. Trump in earnest. I used the word earnest just to confuse you.

5. You are insisting that Hooters is a family establishment.

6. You describe the kid you had as a teenager as "putting a damper on the modeling career I endeared." (It's bad enough you chose not to use protection, but now you are misusing the word endeared. There is a clear level of hell for the stupid of your phylum).

7. You take those facebook quizzes seriously. It's time to tell you Santa doesn't exist. Sorry.

8. You keep pestering your friends to play Candy Crush. You are the most hated person on the planet.

9. You deny the Holocaust and have no evidence to back yourself up other than it's a conspiracy. And then you say the Jews invented therapy. I think you need therapy and mind control drugs. They could do wonders making you into the drooling vegetable we all know you are better off as.

10. You let your kids have long, drawn out tantrums in public. We hate them just like you do. But we hate you even more. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

David Duke, Stormfront, and Other Things Explained

The other day I found myself explaining David Duke to my housemates. Yes, the former KKK leader and ex-Louisiana Congressman who endorsed Trump. While Duke was vocal about not liking Trump’s stand on Israel, Duke got right behind the Donald. Yes, the Donald who says he is not a career politician but is parsing and double speaking just like the rest of them. Donald.

David Duke is an interesting man. He does not like it when you introduce him as an ex Grand Wizard of the KKK although he was. Our pal David seemed to forget his slogan was that he “wanted to bring the KKK into the boardroom.”
In front of the symbol of white European heritage aka missing teeth and trailer livin

Despite the efforts of others, David Duke was elected as a one term Congressmen in Louisiana as I explained. During his time in office he continued to sell white power literature. While in college, he was known to prance around in a Nazi uniform. Just the kind of balanced individual you want representing your district.
Years ago, Scott Walker, another nauseating piece of breathing fecal matter, tried to block David Duke from running for office for moral reasons. Walker wants to consider a fetus a person under the law, and wants to have abortion fall under the pretense of murder, and wants all women seeking abortion to be prosecuted for murder. Charming man, especially since he’s not footing the bill to raise the child and thus creates a welfare state by being the morality police.
Duke fired back at Walker for trying to ban him from running cutting him off at his knees, explaining that he should be on the ballot like any other candidate and it shouldn’t be one set of rules for him and another for someone else because of his past. Walker likened him to Jeffrey Dahmer. Duke decimated him some more. The callers agreed. Put Duke on the ballot. Let the people decide if he sinks or swims. While I am not a fan of Duke, I wish Scott Walker would just walk into the sunset and vanish forever.
Walker: Moral Ranger

The funny thing about elections is the numbers will speak for themselves. Somewhere, some idiot who’s missing his teeth and can barely read will vote for him. The educated will vote for their person. We are seeing it right now with Donald Trump.
The Duke is actually a smart guy. When he speaks about both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, as an eternal student of history I am impressed by his knowledge and grasp on the cold, hard facts. However, seconds later he ruins himself by ranting about how the media is controlled by the Jewish conspiracy and the Zionist empire. How the Jews control everything. And how the Jewish problem must be contained and stopped, and of course we cannot forget his bit about how the Holocaust is just another Jewish conspiracy. Then he rants about how he is a white right’s activist campaigning for the rights of European Americans everywhere. Face to palm….it all goes down hill from there.
Dr. Duke is kind of a colorful character. Yes, he has a PhD in history but that is sort of questionable. The institution he got it from in the Ukraine is one that notoriously houses Holocaust denier academics like himself. Colloquially known as The Institute of Hate, it is notorious for it’s Anti-Semetic bend. It’s accredation was yanked back in 2006, but apparently they gave David Duke a degree one can wipe their ass with.
Perhaps a candid shot from the cave where he's David Duke!

Dr. Duke was living in the US, but then defrauded his followers by telling them he was broke and swindled them out of money. Then he decided he didn’t have to pay taxes. Both times he swore it was the government and the Jewish media out to get him for speaking the truth. If that isn’t seeing your role in the circumstances in your life I don’t know what is. So perhaps we should call him Dr. Dick, because in all actuality the PhD in history is not technically even real.
Because he is a convicted felon and an objectionable human being complete with Holocaust denying, another tool of the apparent Jewish media, he has lived in several different places over the years and each and every time has found himself deported. First it was Austria, but then he denied the Holocaust which is illegal there so they deported him. Then he went to Italy where he was deported as well. For a time he was in The Czech Republic where he was deported as swiftly as he came. Last we checked he was in some undisclosed locale in a cold, barren part of Eastern Europe, possibly because most people do want to kill him. He says he lives in the US but no one knows for sure. Either way, he broadcasts a webshow out of this location, and fights with people on it about topics.
David Duke skypes into shows from this undisclosed cave, and for the most part they make fun of him. But what do you want? The man lives in a cave. Don’t ever expect rational behavior from anyone living in a cave.
Recently, The Duke endorsed Donald Trump. The ex-dominator of the dumb, often on youtube his followers will explain, “You cannot Juke the Duke.” And now Donald Trump has taken the crown and David Duke has had to give it the okay. I get it.
He can't be the face of white hate.....he's orange as a pumpkin

The whole Duke Family unit is a little unique to say the least. His former wife, Chloe Hardin, now Chloe Black, is active in the movement as well. She met her first husband in a white student group, because that is a healthy place to meet men, probably on par with AA, but oops, there might be black men in AA so nevermind. They were married for ten years and had two daughters. However, David’s gambling problem broke that marriage up. Chloe kept the two kids, he left.
Of course one must also know that Ms. Chloe was sluttin it up white power style. She slept with several other white power neo-Nazi types before landing on her ex’s best friend Don Black. Ordinarily that is a no no, but in this family they believe in sharing their fried chicken and sharing their women white trash…..I mean white power style.
David Duke with Chloe Hardin, the babe of the white power movement

Don Black operates Stormfront, a white supremacist website. Apparently it is a safe place for European Americans to express their discomfort at racial mixing, interracial dating, and the immigration issues. Boy do they hate Obama. Often on Stormfront, young people who probably need to join an after school club or sports organization, are dismayed at how people freely mix let alone date outside their race. They feel the white race is dying. No comment. And of course it’s the Jews conspiring against them…..and if that line isn’t so 1938 I don’t know what is.
Don Black, on the internet all day in his trailer writing nasty things. If the man had a job, he wouldn't have time to be causing so much trouble on the internet......

One young man wrote: The Jews at my school are plotting against me. They talk about me behind their back at their meeting. They were even taking photos of me.
If that isn’t well adjusted I don’t know what is.
Another promising scholar wrote: ‘My mother took my copy of Mein Kampf and wants me to see a therapist. She thinks I am having ‘issues.’ The only issue I have is going to therapy because it was invented by Jews.”
As the hits keep rolling in, perhaps the best one is, “How do I come out to my parents as a white, nationalist skinhead? Any ideas?”
I told my mom this one. She told me to write in suggesting the kid tell his parents he was gay. Then him being a white, nationalist skinhead would be no biggie, right?
Despite the fact they dipped their magic sticks in the same white power slut, Don Black still tolerates his best buddy David Duke posting on his forum and even commenting. Don Black adores Duke as a preacher of the movement and an activist for the rights of all European Americans. David and Don have a very weird relationship to say the least. Most current husband’s don’t want the last man their wife laid with around. But again, a family that sleeps together stays together……kindof.
To put the more fun in this dysfunctional brood, Don Black has been out of work for years. Despite his complaints that minorities and immigrants collect welfare, Don Black has been enjoying the best that the state of Florida has to offer in the area of benefits for the indigent. To top it off, Mr. Black hates Obama, but at the moment might be receiving Obamacare. Like everyone who lives in a trailer that hangs a Confederate flag in the front, Mr. Black seems to vote against his own interests.
Since money is tight and white power does not pay the power bill, Chloe Black has taken a job as an assistant to sugar baron Pepe Fanjul. One of her projects is as a spokewoman for Glades Academy, an institution to help poor children of minority migrant workers out of poverty and into the classroom. Translated, she is using these children as a pawn to help her white hate empire because her lazy bigot husband can’t get a real job. Charming.
As if this family isn’t complicated enough, Don Black’s son Derek has been pimped out on the white power circuit since he has been a wee lad. As a teen, he even had a white power radio show, because why not? However, since going to college, Derek has denounced the white power movement. Don Black, while not formally disowning his son, whines that he has lost a fellow warrior. Others on Stormfront have verbally crucified this young man for finding the brain he never knew he had. And then they all are at crisis about what happened to this young man and why he went rogue.
Young Derek, the only one with his shit together

Personally, I think Derek got out of the trailer park in the back woods and got a glimpse of the world. Not only did he learn that his views were archaic and reprehensible, but they were also completely and utterly bullshit. Then Derek, bless his little heart, discovered that his parents had lied about everything, and that is when the true breakthrough began.
Derek saw people of all races living peacefully and working together. He saw interracial relationships that worked. Derek probably also made friends with black kids, and he probably made friends with Jewish kids who knew nothing about this conspiracy. As Derek discovered the immigrants, minorities and Jews were not working to keep him and other European Americans down, this is when the breakthrough began. And perhaps he discovered he even liked black women, and not in that Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemmings kind of way.
Now Derek seems to be the functional success story of this family that has a lot to figure out. He is not living in a cave which is a good start. He is not living in a trailer, which while better than a cave is not that much better. He isn’t collecting welfare while hating the government that is giving it to him. He isn’t a hypocrite making excuses. He isn’t using minority children to fund his hate. Derek is doing alright. He is running free and running out. We have all had to overcome adversity of some kind, but him probably more than a lot of people.

Maybe they need a session on Dr. Phil.......but then again, therapy was invented by the Jews, right? Sigh McSigh Sigh.........(Wowsa!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

And So It Goes......

The last few months have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, full of dips and zig zags and such. Yes, a cliche opener. If you wouldn't know any better I sound like a whiny high school kid on live journal, except I am a whiny adult in cyberspace.

All the hard work I did despite all I had to endure is paying off. I have a mentor guiding my career who is nothing short than amazing. This man is funny, thinks out of the box, has an open mind, but is kind above all things. Not to mention he knows what he is talking about. It's rare to find a mentor who knows what they are talking about in this biz. But he does.

In the past, when someone tried to help me, I always saw the cracks. Maybe I wasn't ready in a way. But also, I know how to sell myself better than anyone. Not to mention I know what I am selling. When I cut ties with a mentor, I always ended up on national television afterwards, usually through my own doing. This guy knows what he is talking about as I said.

The upside of this man is he has been there through my trials and tribulations in my personal life and God knows there have been a great many. I always feel like giving the phone a hug after talking to him. Granted, cell phones are too small for that but still.

It's weird, I haven't been on TV in a while. I take that back. TV in the United States. This past year I got on Top Channel in Albania, BBC, Dutch National Television, Love TV in Finland, Telemundo, MTV Europe, and something else I am forgetting with my little puppet family. Ironically, this was all as I was dealing with the landlord from hell. I actually got eviction papers the day I found out I was on Dutch Television.

It's kind of odd in a way that this was all going on as my life was hitting the skids in America. Mind you I was getting fan letters as I was trying to make it work in a relationship that was crumbling. We tried but in the end we didn't belong together. Our values were different. I believed in trying to make it work, he believed in being friends with every ex girlfriend he ever had, and rubbing it in when he didn't get his way. He offered to stop talking to them and I said I didn't care, I just didn't want to know about the particulars of these people. It felt awkward, especially since some were serious losers. (Then again, he was a serious loser). I think he did it to make me feel insecure, put me in my place. He liked making me feel like an ugly duckling.

Deep down, for as dumb as he was he knew I was too good for him. If he tricked me into thinking I needed him, this was gold for the fool. Rest assured he's gone. We were friends who should have stayed friends. But we will never be friends again because I do not respect him as a man. Especially after he sent his crazy sister to do his dirty work. If he ever comes near me again I will call the cops, that is how much I never want to see him again.

Yet I am dating again and I really like the dudes I am dating. So much so that for as badly as my last ex treated me sometimes, I am glad the relationship is over. I got presents from a few on Valentine's Day.....hahahahahah. Not really serious with any of them. I like my freedom not just for myself but for my children. It feels good. It feels natural. It feels like I am free from the tyrannical boot of an ex who didn't appreciate my knowledge of history nor my dedication to my craft. He can have his trailer trash former girlfriends and they can have their precious crumbs. I have my boyfriends who are worth something and my male followers. HA!

I debuted in Vegas after going through all I did. I felt shell shocked the entire time but I hit a home run in front of my mentor. I wish I wasn't so burnt and could have enjoyed it. However, I was just feeling the burn, and not in the Bernie Sanders way.

I performed at the venue that Frank Sinatra and George Burns performed at. If that's not something to be proud of, I don't know what is. Either way, despite the pain I have suffered I am rocking and rolling to the next level.

I cut a lot of people out of my life, posers who liked to gossip. I don't miss any of them. I don't miss my old neighborhood. I don't miss the self-help group I used to attend full of phonies and wannabes who made excuses for their constant failure at life. I don't miss my old building. I miss some of my true friends, and there were about 4 of them. Otherwise, the rest can go to hell.

I am voting for either Hillary or Bernie, not decided yet. Whoever gets the Dem nomination. The fact Trump is leading is scary. He reminds me of Huey Long......enough said. The ex supported Trump. Yes, he was in fact that stupid. Just another in a myriad of reasons that it didn't work out with that half-wit. Watching the first round of Republican debates was painful, especially as he ranted about how Trump would make America great again and my friends and I exchanged painful glances as our brains hurt from his lack of thought.

Later when I announced it was over, they said, "Thank God, you were too smart for him."

Or as my mom explained, "Honey, we were all holding our breath on that one."

Either way, these days I am desperately seeking Mr. Okay. If I find him, he will have to be someone who has been walking upright for some time. Someone who knows politics. Someone who doesn't think socialism is evil (it has only helped Canada and the UK and they are doing better than we are). Someone who doesn't make me feel ugly by taunting me with other women. Someone who's family members know their place and their business. Someone with half a brain.

Maybe the next Mr. April Brucker will be a Democrat. Bernie Sanders is kinda sexy.......but he's kinda married. There's always Bill. Hillary doesn't mind, she's busy running the country like she was before. Still, I am on my own and excited about life. What about you kids? What about you?