Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Joel Osteen and Other Things

I heard Joel Osteen closed the doors of his megachurch to flood victims and am not surprised. Shit costs money. They can't have poor black people dirtying the carpet. Their mansion is expensive to keep and Pastor Osteen needs the fees he gets from his speaking engagements. Victoria Osteen, who looks like she would be as pleasant as a herpes lesion, has had oodles of plastic surgery and we know those doctors don't come cheap. She would welcome you to a women's Bible study until you disagreed with her, and then you aren't part of the sorority.

I went to a women's Bible study for a hot minute in college. It was something I was roped into. The woman heading it was about as pleasant as Victoria Osteen, except Mrs. Osteen was easier on the eyes because of all the work she has had done. I was less than impressed with her, her attitude, and saw how she turned on me when I disagreed with her about a Bible passage.

Joel Osteen got my father hooked for a minute and my dad is not one to pay and pray. But Osteen had a good, mainline message. He wasn't too crazy unlike the toxic Pat Robertson who are simply manipulative predators using the cloak of religion to fund their greed. My dad even thought it was amazing that Joel Osteen told women to wear lingerie to please their husbands. I found this terribly ironic because Pastor Osteen strikes me as someone who's farther back into the closet than a pair of shoes I lost three years ago that is somehow parked there collecting cobwebs. But eventually my dad grew out of it. I think he had the shingles. Let's blame temporary insanity.

It made me miss Tammy Faye. She would have helped the flood victims in her own way, even if it was flooding her makeup job with the tears she always cried. Tammy Faye had a good heart. And today, she is immortalized by drag queens everywhere.

Let that shit spray like Tammy Faye

I have seen the damage megachurches can do first hand. They are seldom about their flock and more about the greed that keeps a pastor like Osteen rich and keeps their operation going. The worst part is, the people pray for answers and these charlatans prey on them to further their own gain.

In my area, we had a Christian movement for young people called Campus Life. Much like the Hitler youth, kids were encouraged to recruit their friends and even distance themselves from their parents if their parents dissented. Their leader trolled our cafeteria looking for fresh blood. Later he was expelled when we got a new principal who was fairly creeped out by the fact he had a Jerry Sandusky like appreciation for young people. Our then principal's suspicion was right when this fellow was arrested as a pedophile.

Other teachers had Bible studies in their classrooms during lunch period. The zealots went, but the rest of us were weirded out. It made a good number of us uncomfortable but no one stopped it. This was a clear violation of separation of church and state, but no one told for fear of the wrath of these evangelicals.

These followers of Jesus talked about how finding God helped people. Meanwhile I saw kids I knew who got knee deep into this dump their friends and distance themselves from people who cared because their so called youth group leader told them to do so. I saw kids who didn't gender conform get sent to conversion therapy. Others who's parents forced them into this nonsense made them go on awkward mission trips to countries that weren't Christian, condescendingly telling the natives about the word of God. It was awful.

But nothing was more awful than tithing.  You had to give a third of your annual salary to the church or else you were out. Meanwhile Jesus was about helping that poor, that is, until his temple needed a new auditorium and big screen TVs for worship. Jesus was about the poor until the pastor needed a new Mercedes. Jesus was about the poor until the pastor's mistress needed her own apartment. Jesus was about the poor but that was so 30 AD. You get what I am saying.

I had two friends who went and left. The father had lost his job and the family was desperate, but the mother didn't want to be cast out of the cult. So she dipped into the family's savings to tithe. Because they had lost the much needed income of the father, this left them in dire straits. The church was not there when the family didn't have winter coats for their children let alone needed to declare bankruptcy.

And then there was another friend of mine, a lost soul, pressured to date within this group of inbred zealots. She found one who actually seemed nice until she discovered he had a double life as a Peeping Tom. My friend was aghast, appalled, and frightened. She went to her pastor for assistance. He told her to pray on it, and it was her duty as a Christian woman to stand by her man. Others in the church echoed his sentiments. My friend grew a brain and left the church. They began calling her and telling her it was all her fault that she couldn't keep this man happy, and her cold attitude must have been what drove him to become a serial sex offender. Needless to say she ran out of there like she saw Godzilla.

I also knew teachers from my school who became immersed into this temple of doom. One in particular would give retests to his fellow congregants, many of these undeserved. There was a young woman who had a family situation and had to miss school. Instead of letting her make up the work he failed her, and then insisted she didn't graduate. She did, just in summer school. Jesus said something about visiting the sick, but guess he was out that Sunday. But if she was a member of the cult he regularly attended and tithed to, you bet your bottom dollar she would have passed without a hitch.

Lest we not forget a personal trainer who worked with my mom at her old job. He went to this Holy Roller church and seemed like an awesome guy otherwise. The only time his moral superiority eeked through was when he told my mom and I he didn't speak to his sister because of her lack of morals. Needless to say, he was cool until my mom's classes did better than his. Then he sought to anonymously smear her on the internet. While your sister might lack morals, I am sure she has yet to act like an asshole on the interweb. Blast your Christian rock all you want, I think Jesus also said something about bearing false witness against your neighbor, Dick Face.

As the memories flood back, I still see Pat Robertson, the more openly sinister precursor to Osteen on my TV screen. His Vulcan ears poking up and his overeagerness to talk about the homosexual agenda. I don't know what gave me more of the creeps, the fact he made my skin crawl or the fact I knew people who called and pledged money to have their prayers answered. And why pray for God? God is free last time I checked.

Those Vulcan ears perk up at the sound of gay sex. 

As the memories flood back, I still see the kids praying at the flag pole in the morning telling God their thoughts. People with no minds of their own, they poured their spirits into the universe. At the time they freaked me out and still do. But now I realize they are the lost sheep they speak about in the Bible needing a shepherd. And in Joel Osteen and conmen like him,  many sheep have found a shepherd. Unfortunately this shepherd is leading these vulnerable sheep to the wolves that will devour them alive.

In closing, faith can be a wonderful thing. There are many mainline denominations with giving pastors who truly believe in what they preach, but also welcome all people regardless of sex, race, and orientation. Just not the closed minded hate cult known as the megachurch.

So to Joel and the bitch Victoria, you know the arm candy with too many psych issues and enough plastic surgery that Michael Jackson had more human skin in comparison, have a great life. Keep smiling with those big, fake teeth. Stay comfy in your mansion during Hurricane Harvey away from the poor people seeking shelter.  Because in the words of Frederick Douglas on twitter, "When Joel Osteen get to heaven, he will be very confused when you see all those flames."

A mansion costs money and so does this bitch's plastic surgery

April Unwrapped: My Naked Dreams Revealed

Monday, August 28, 2017

I Love LA (Gary Newmann) aka Monday Photo of the Day

It was this time last year I was headed to LA for the first time. My mentor and I were walking the Hollywood walk of Fame and seeing the gift shops. I had never been to LA, and therefore as a New Yorker kept comparing it to New York.

It's a force of habit. Everything gets compared to New York. Even your damn grandmother gets compared to New York. Yes, New York is more uban and gritty. LA is more urban sprawl with it's seedy areas being very seedy. The people in New York are fuck off to your face. The people in LA are fuck off behind your back. You know, East Coast, West Coast throw those gang signs bae.

When we got to Farmer's Market he finally put his foot down. While he's very mild mannered, this comparing New York to LA was getting on his nerves. He finally said, "Stop comparing the two. Let New York be New York and let LA be LA."

Just then his phone rang. He got a notice that one of the alphabet agencies wanted to meet with us. It meant nothing, but it was still exciting. But what was I going to wear. My romper was cute, but it was too informal and made me look like they dragged me off the street to the meeting. The dress I wore the night before to The Magic Castle was glamorous, but it would have been too dressy for this meeting.

Immediately, my mentor took me to a gift shop hoping to find a nice, middle of the line sun dress. We didn't find that but we found an oversized t-shirt. Either the person this t-shirt was designed for was very large or I am very tiny, because this fit me perfectly as a dress.

Needless to say, we went to the meeting on Wilshire Boulevard. While they did not scoop me up right there the door is still open. Life is good. At least I got a cute outfit out of the whole deal.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Thursday was kind of a flipped out day.

Not in a crazy way. Well yes and no. I did three front handsprings. This was after years of not training. There were no crash mats. My attire was not even gym attire. No leos or athletic shorts. Just a 32 year old Princess Pan who felt the need to do something in the moment. It wasn't planned. This just happened. The first was during a singing telegram where I was dressed as a chicken. The second and third were both at the middle and the end of a standup set uptown. I could have gotten seriously injured. A 32 year old body is not a 12 year old body.

To give you an idea of how nutso this is, I have a friend who also did gymnastics as a kid. Her coach told the squad, "Get as good as you can before puberty, because once you hit puberty you are out of here."

Yes, gymnastics is a sport for the young and insane. The goal of gymnastics is to stay on the perspective apparatus and not to fall let alone break your neck. Your parents watch in horror as you fling yourself around and you can only think, "WEEEEEHHHHHYYYEEEAAAAHHH!!!"

But the older you get the harder it is. Once you hit puberty, your bones are a tad weaker. You get taller which means you can't go around as many times. And then you get boobs and hips and they weigh you down. So most girls either quit, go to cheerleading or diving. I was a terrible diver and wasn't cool enough for the pep squad, so when my injuries started to plague me I just focused on performing.

As I have gotten older I can still do a few moves because I stayed in shape. However, I am not attempting a back tuck, half twist, or even a side aerial. I did a few back handsprings for my class in college, but after my elbow locked that dream died. I have flirted with the idea of adult gymnastics, but today as my bones hurt and I remember how many muscles I used to use that dream is dying too. Someone asked if this was going to become a regular part of my routine. Only if the venue has a crash mat. My manager has yet to add that to my rider.

In some ways I regret letting my gymnastics go. It was a combination of things. It was growth spurts. It was injuries. It was the fact that the gym in my area that produced elites was two hours away and would have been a four hour drive each time we went. And then there weren't that many scholarships. The dance school in my area that offered acro when my school was sold closed as soon as it opened. Basically, it was time to hang up the leo and do other things.

My sister and I laugh about it all now. She was my acro dance partner and used to kick me quite a bit because she was the smaller of the two of us. We were watching the 2016 Olympics, seeing the gymnasts that progressed to adulthood. As the events unfolded my sister observed, "Whoever thought of balance beam.......that was a really bad idea." Yes, once a gymnast and now an ER doc. She knew this could go bad real quick.

As far as the gymnastics goes, I know I didn't go all the way. But gymnastics is a metaphor for life. So much of gymnastics is falling and failing until you master a new skill. And each time you fall, you get back up again. One must do the same thing when they fall and fail at life, whether it is a career, relationship, whatever. Also, gymnastics is focusing on the task of mastering a skill or routine without attaching emotion or attitude to it. Sometimes we need these same tools to get through difficult pockets in life. And maybe this is why I am attracted to comedy, because you fall and fail until you get funny and you do this at each level. In falling, can either quit or get better. The choice is yours.

Ironically each Thursday was my gymnastics night at my dance school where I was in the advanced group. I would go eat dinner, go to class, come home, and have a snack in front of the TV with my dad who was watching our newly discovered cable. Maybe I am longing for the good old days, or maybe I am happy about life again after a very long time. Maybe it's a combination of both.

Either way, Simone Biles, you better let me borrow your advil. These 32 year old bones need it.

Buy My Book

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pin Up

It was Saturday night and I was 10 years old. Sitting in my basement parked on a fold out cot of sorts, my family and I enjoyed a much coveted night of television. We weren’t aloud to watch TV on weeknights. My father’s reasoning was that if you lived in our house you were a thinker. Both of my parents were educators. As I explained you were a thinker.
My brother sat there picking his nose.
My sister blew bubbles in her root beer float.
I sat picking a scab off my knee that I had gotten as a result of a fall in gymnastics class.
Three thinkers poised for greatness.
My mom was fast asleep as she always was on a Saturday night, next to my dad on the couch. It was four of us up and a black and white movie on screen. We were enjoying one of three channels. My dad’s reasoning was we didn’t watch TV, why pay for the cable?
It was a black and white movie, and my dad knew every line. He had grown up with two parents that watched them. The son of a steel worker, his father enjoyed his days off drinking beer and smoking cigarettes his children rolled for him. And on screen there would be an old movie. My grandfather had apparently known every line. Or so my dad said. He died when my dad was young so I never met him.
Either way, a stunning creature came on screen. Her name was Mae West. My father had always talked about her. He would twist his face and talk like the cigarette smoking, hard drinking, saloon frequenting grand dame. Now here she was with her parasol and hat complete with outrageous brim. Celluloid had a goddess and she stole the screen.
“Do you know how old she is?” My dad asked us.
“Probably in her twenties somewhere. Just like the girls on Baywatch.” Wendell had been busted days before for watching Baywatch. He was a 7th grader. My mother was horrified, but my dad got a chuckle.
“No, she is about 50.” My dad said.

My jaw dropped. She was phenomenal and perfect in every day. I fell in love with this Leo lion princess. Her confidence and sense of self was amazing. I wanted all of that and more. Here I was, age 10. I won the award for most books read the year before at the summer reading club and now again at school. To complete my prize package I also won an award for a short story I wrote as well as a ribbon for my history papers and tests. In no way was I going to Hollywood.
However, over the years performing beckoned. It was public access television in middle school and high school. Additionally it was ventriloquism and school plays. College saw me moving to NYC, studying The Method and performing my act in comedy clubs as well as burlesque and neo-vaudeville shows. Despite wanting to be like my hero, and even wanting to be her at times, there also came growing pains.
Growth is sometimes painful. I am proud to say I am older, wiser, and more awesome than when I took this photo. 
A pin up attempt. Some might give me an A for effort, but I plead the 5th

I found myself with a partner who made me choose between him and the puppets. Naturally I chose my puppets. This same fiancé had taken me out and we met an ex girlfriend of his who had breast implants. My ex had the nerve to tell me in front of a full group that I should ask her who her surgeon was. This as well as the fact he compared me frequently to other women he dated out in the open crushed me.
At the time as a variety act in the burlesque world, I saw many of the greats of our generation not only perform but pose for pin up pictures in the style of Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and of course the late Anna Nicole Smith. While I would post sensual photos online from time to time, I was never consistent with that image. Some of it was the shame I felt as a result of that relationship coupled by childhood struggles with my weight. Some of it was the smart, quirky girl front I put up. Some of it was that my mother hated the pictures and with one screaming phone call they were gone.
Girl after my own heart

So off to the shows I would go in my sundress or pants and suitcoat. My wardrobe became less Mae West and more Paula Poundstone.
Then I did a show at Neer’s Tavern in Woodside, Queens. It was on a rare night we got a tornado in New York. The show was close to being cancelled but a spot is a spot and I went. I had my blazer on along with my jeans. That is when I was told this was a venue Mae West frequented during her early days, before being arrested for pushing the envelope of censorship. Now here I was, the lone comedian on a stormy night that I should have probably stayed in.
One of the most trafficked pics of me ever: seen in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa in various news outlets. 

A week later I was chosen for a TV appearance that would change my life. As a result, I had stories written about my puppet children and I on the web. I garnered many fans, mostly male. I found them funny, honest, loyal, and endearing. I found myself wanting to make them happy as each of their fan letters touched a special place in my heart. They made me realize the journey was worth it, and so were the sexy photos.
One of the first true pin up inspired photos I did. It was Mae West inspired. 

I also began to utilize writing as a pathway. More and more I wanted to create my own work just like Mae West had. As a bonus I was armed and dangerous with the over involved mother, crazy sister, crazy brother, and opinionated father. Not to mention it seemed to take me forever to get from A to B, but when I got there it was in a blaze of glory sprinkled with controversy.
Just like Mae West.
They say growth is sometimes painful. After exiting a bad living situation and a relationship with a partner who believed in my dreams but refused to be medicated, I hit a whole new rock bottom. I moved, but began to have dreams my clothes disappeared. I visited a 10th generation psychic and thus April Unwrapped was born.
A more recent pin up inspired picture of myself. It's one of my faves. 

My pin up/ adult picture book details my naked dreams complete with photos to match. As I completed this pin up book, the old fears crept in. That I wouldn’t be pretty enough. That people would vomit when they saw me. I wasn’t pretty like fill in the blank…….
Mae West was from the flapper era. She wasn’t tall and thin. Instead she was barely 5 feet tall and curvy. Mae West was hot because she was original, had personality, and was brave. There was only one of her and a million of them. She was body positive before it was even a term.
The old fears washed away, and April Unwrapped became an amazing experience to shoot, write, and publish. My list of credits includes actress, comedian, ventriloquist, impersonator, singing telegrammer, published author, and now pin up. I was thinking this the other day on the subway on my way to job. That’s when I realized that Mae West wasn’t so amazing because she was confident, the fact she survived a lot of shit is what made her amazingly confident. Just like me, she also didn’t get there overnight.

As this revelation came into my mind, I realized I not only had a copy of April Unwrapped in my bag but was passing Broadway Junction, the J train stop next to the cemetery where many greats are buried, Mae West among them. As we passed, my phone dinged. My publisher let me know I got another 3 star review on Amazon.
A long time comedian friend of mine with his pic of April Unwrapped. I love this photo and I love him. 

As I smiled, knowing this had not been an accident as we exited my hero’s final resting place I thought, “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.” 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Teenager in Love (Dion and the Belmonts)

My grandmother was a published poet at age 68. Her author bio read, "I have a large and colorful family. It's filled with chaos, excitement, drama, and rewards. I just write it down."

Nothing is more true in a large family. There are all sorts of characters. The way I explain my family to people in you are either at the top or down on the bottom. There is no middle ground. I take that back. Thanksgiving is the only place where someone who just got into Yale and someone who just got out of jail can eat together at the table of brotherhood. 

When I was in middle school, my cousin flipped out. He was the oldest of my grandma's kid sister's kids. My family is large as I explained, so I would have to have a flow chart to even add clarity and that would probably still confuse you some. Max was going through a problem phase. He was 16, in love, and willing to go the distance for his bae. Max had some revolting nickname for her which escapes my mind, but it was something like Sugar Lips. 

Max's parents wanted him to come home after a long day at the fair. The family had only one car, but Max had just learned to drive and wanted to stay and have fun with Sugar Lips. His parents explained it was near his curfew, but Max wanted to do what Max wanted to do. So as they were going home, Max insisted he and Sugar Lips could not be apart. His parents told him to call her tomorrow. On a long and lonesome dirt road, Max jumped out of the car as it was moving. He flew out, hit his head, and his mother was screaming. Her son was knocked unconscious. 

Max was put on a life flight. They were not sure if he would make it. After 2 days in a coma, Max woke up. It appeared he had no brain damage. His memory was still good, but he lost some of his sense of taste. Either way, his parents were glad to have him alive. 

Max went about his life. He was a hockey star, but seemed more aggressive. Max also excelled in math and science, but was more aggressive in class when he chose to show up. Before the head injury, Max's grades were lackluster at best. But after hitting his head they improved. However, as I explained he made a bad habit of yelling at his teachers. That's when he chose to deck one in the middle of class. As you could imagine, Max got expelled. 

Max and Sugar Lips were stronger than ever. Her parents were not fond of Max as he had just been kicked out of school for punching a teacher. But for as strong as teenage love is, it is about as strong as something that is built on quicksand because as we know the plot line could quickly get a rewrite. Another young stag entered the fray. Yes, one who was currently going to school but grudgingly so. One who went to the same church as Sugar Lips. One who Sugar Lips's dad actually introduced her to. One who called her by her real name, whatever that was, and not Sugar Lips. As quickly as he rode in, Max was written into the pages of history in this young woman's life. 

Well they say breaking up is hard to do. 

Max was blowing up the phone of Sugar Lips. She was not picking up. He showed up at her door. Her father told him never to come around again. Max was not giving up. So being the well adjusted youngster he was with a head filled with amazing decisions, he followed her and her new boyfriend. Her new boyfriend felt this was creepy and broke up with her. Max had his Sugar Lips back.......or so he thought. 

Apparently she was done. And so were her parents. So they got a restraining order against my cousin. But some call it legal action, Max called it playing hard to get. 

In rural Pennsylvania, people own guns. You have to. The cops are far away and if you have a farm you need to protect your animals from predators. This was the case with my cousin's family. Most folks use the guns for those purposes, but not Max. He went to his parent's tool shed, took a rife, and headed over to the house of Sugar Lips. His proposal, they rekindle their love or else it was murder/suicide time.

When he came over, needless to say she freaked out. The gun sent her screaming. Max  held her hostage for several hours as she was not allowed to call the cops. When her parents got home he held them hostage too. The police were finally called in some way. And when they came my cousin surrendered without incident. At that moment, he realized the relationship was over and Sugar Lips was gone forever.

Or so he thought. 

Max went to jail and the toss up was if he was going to be charged as a juvenile or an adult. Of course his head injury was taken into account. Max also got several letters from Sugar Lips in jail wanting to possibly be friends someday. She didnt want to cut him out as she still cared about him. However, her parents were quick to stop this. 

Needless to say my cousin made the news. My friends thought he was hot. Yes, at the end of it guys like my cousin get a babe and decent dudes dont. Max ended up being sentenced as a juvenile which relieved our entire family. Before he went away Max said to my grandmother, "You know, it's not going to be all that bad. I don't have to go to school. It's prison for kids."

Apparently it was going to be more than Max intended. In Pennsylvania, kids go to school 180 days. If you are an incarcerated juvenile, you have to go to school year around. Max was incredulous. Hey, it's prison for kids! 

Max had some hard lessons while he was inside. In Pennsylvania, if you are an incarcerated juvenile, your parents have to pay to have you housed in the system. Max's parents decided to emancipate him. So in addition to sucking at the whole parenting thing, they were cheap. Instead of looking at the choices that got them to this point, his mother told the judge her son was "a bad seed and the product of a criminal gene."

His father insisted that it was "just teen love gone wrong and boys will be boys."

Max never had a chance in hell of being normal. My grandmother knew this. She also knew his craptacular family had turned their backs on him. So for his birthday and holidays, she sent him cards and presents. Because his family wanted to save money, this meant commissary was out of the question. Knowing Max had no one, she put money on his books. This wasn't about a head injury or a criminal gene or even teen love gone wrong. Max was lonely, heartbroken, and had no half normal adult to talk to. 

He completed his sentence and got out. Max met a girl and got married. No, kidnapping and firearms were not a part of the proposal. 

Now Max is married with a kid. He's a good dad working 2 jobs to support his daughter. Part time as a used car salesman and part time as a lab test subject. Max's dad brags that it's the best job his son's ever had, "So what my boy can't pee on his own and glows in the dark. He's rich!" 

While he is quite the character, Max never forgot my grandmother's generosity. At her funeral he drove all the way from Ohio where he now lives to speak about how when he was incarcerated, my grandmother was the only one who remembered him when his own family wanted nothing to do with him. 

Now I write the story. I have to. Or in the words of my grandmother's author bio, "I have a large and colorful family. It's filled with chaos, excitement, drama, and rewards. I just write it down."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Taking the Plunge

My climb to headliner status has been a rocky one. This past weekend I headlined my first two nighter for real. I headlined and featured at the same time for the past several years never really knowing the difference. It was an appearance and a chance to make money while making people laugh. Sometimes being a woman was what bumped me ahead. Then it was being a prop act. Wasn't bad that I was on TV a few times.

At the same time being a woman has held me back. I have had bookers tell me I was "funny for a woman." Well Sir, these days not only are my people funny but we go to school, become professionals and even run for president. Really. You should see us. (Asshole). Then there have been men who were resentful that I was billed higher. They would tell me how accomplished they were while bad mouthing me when they felt I wasnt around, bemoaning their fate of having a woman who was higher up than them. At one point it got to me so bad I almost quit comedy. Add in the stupidity from male bookers and club owners who felt it was okay to sexually harass the talent in a skirt.

Then there was the fact I was a prop act. A club owner in Vegas would not give me a guest spot to be seen because of my prop act status. He said headliners didn't like me. He didnt even ask the headliner his opinion. It was just a chance to be a dick and close the door.

Then I was on TV, but it wasnt the right shows. I was a reality star. It wasn't Letterman or Colbert or whatever the newest trend was.

They say try to be so funny you can't  be denied. The nature of the beast is that even if you are funny, you will still be denied. Shit sucks but welcome to show biz.

This past year I have really been working my ass off to get to the next level though. I have been good about not letting the bullshit invade my life too badly. My focus has been on my jokes. I have been hitting open mics like Batman hits the Joker. Several events happened, my eviction and a breakup with a mentally ill partner, to make it so comedy was the very thing that kept me from killing myself.

I have become very conscious of delivery and writing in a way I never have. I did a one woman show, which is not the same as a headliner set but it's an hour of you onstage with no break. It's an hour where you leave swimming in your own sweat. It's an hour where you smash the stereotype that performers are selfish because you are giving your all and then some. It's an hour where you feel like eating lots of sugar afterwards cause you need the simple carbs. It's an hour where the next day you feel like you ran a marathon but don't remember running a road race.

This past weekend I was in Trump country. It was trippy and it wasn;t the easiest room because of the layout. It was sort of baptism by fire for my first headlining set. My first night it was a Green Acres learning curve where it was a love/hate relationship between the audience and I. The second night I was more relaxed and had fun. Both nights the room was tough.

Yet both nights the crowds were appreciative. Afterwards there were photos taken and drinks being bought. I sold some merch on the road, but like a green headliner didn't know to ask for a table to sell it. My first night I was reminded I wasnt in NYC as I have a bit where Kim Jong Un calls and a pipe line worker yelled, "Nuke that little fucker!" Yes, there was audience participation.

The next night, Donald J. Tramp has a joke where he goes to call Hillary Clinton the c word and I stop him. Someone yelled, "Call that bitch cunt what she is. A bitch cunt!" Yes, oh comedy.

(Note, May Wilson killed as usual and Mom was a hit)

One of the best moments though was when I went to the front desk before my second show. The front desk lady said, "Oh, you were the comedian, I heard all about you."

I did a shrug, that could mean anything. I was like wow, and then she said, "Oh, only good things. There was one older gentlemen who was nervous when you stepped onstage. He figured you would just talk about sex all night long. But he was amazed at the creativity and originality of your act and he intends to return tonight."

At first I had a laugh. Yes, women. Some of us have substance to my acts. But you should really see my people. But then I thought of all the women headliners who put up with the same shit I did. The same women headliners who also took time and effort to write an act with depth. And then I thought of all the headliners, male and female, who wrote an act with depth and went the extra mile. I thought of all the people who had helped me this past year and continue to help me.

I also thought of the meltdown my mom had about my life. But she also got me an aqua colored notebook. It's a place to write my new bits down. It's a place to bleed my feelings on the page. It's a place to create more bits that bring people together. It's a place where I can continue to do the work. It's a place where I remember how the rest of the comics wanted to impress me this weekend, and where I can continue to be someone to be looked up to. It's a place where I can write a lot of hack shit and have the bad die in a dark basement out of the sight of anyone important. It's a place where I remember it's a marathon not a sprint.

It's a marathon.

That's why I sweat when I leave the stage.

My mom hates my book but she's happy I am eating more fruit. You should totally buy it. Buy My Book

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trying Too Hard

In my latter teens when I moved to NYC I tried too hard. I wanted to be cool and edgy when really I seemed desperate. I wore fake eyelashes that never looked right. I wore a hair attachment that always fell off. It was fake just like my exterior. I was a bad ass.

No, I was a dumb ass. Especially when I got hooked on a guy that didn't want me back and wanted to be older and more mature. Older and more mature involved getting piss drunk at a Cosi by myself and being dragged out. Hey, I was winning so much I was getting sick of winning. 

I completely tried my ass off when I was younger. I got out of a relationship with a violent, possessive SOB who made me choose between him and the puppets. I told my story behind the mic. I carried my battle scars with pride. I was an edgy feminist. Really and truly I was shrill, angry, and annoying. Feminism isn't about being shrill angry and annoying. It's about the assertion that women are people. Ha ha. 

Then I tried my ass off when I became a reality star and headline. I wanted to be uber cool. I wasnt embracing show business was a business. It was like I wanted to be a nightlife celebrity and Michael Alig was no where to be found. So when I answered fan mail and received eviction papers the same day I was surprised and alarmed. Show business is a business. Being on TV was nice but it's a marathon not a sprint. 

Of course you stop being cool when life shows up. Life showed up in the form of court dates with my landlord. It showed up with my water being turned off and him trying to burn my apartment down during a court date. In between I was abused by his lawyers with endless legal papers. 

Life stopped being cool when I found someone worse than my SOB former fiance who's psychotic breaks became more and more dangerous the more he refused to be medicated. It became even less cool when his friends and family members threatened me after things ended. And the bad boy became a sad tale when recently I found out not only is my ex homeless and shooting dope again, but he's apparently blaming me for the mess he calls his life. 

In between there have been growing pains behind the mic that have made me laugh and cry, and humiliations I thought I was above. 

Yeah, I stopped being cool

But a wise man once said, "Cool is the enemy of comedy."

So I have stopped being cool. My sets have gotten better and I have grown leaps and bounds as a comic. My bumps and bruises are part of my fabric, part of the very thread that weaves me together. But they don't define me the way they used to. 

I make an asshole out of myself on the regular. I played softball the other day and I play like a girl cause I am a girl. But I had fun and raised money for breast cancer, and I made new friends because I didnt try to be cool. 

I did a webcast yesterday. I did it, and tried too hard the first time and accidentally flashed the camera. I had to take it down. I didn't like it anyway. I was trying too hard. Second time I was much better because I was just myself. I didnt care. I cant rap or hit a softball but I am freaking adorable.

I was also able to raise money for breast cancer. I figured I would play for my Nuni Patti Wallisch who raised 6 kids, got her college degree at 66, and became a published poet at 68. She also survived Stage IV breast cancer. Now I think she is more awesome than anyone. 

Also, it was a nice reminder that while I am passionate about relationship violence given my past, there are other women's issues. 

I also tried my hour for a friend who told me to slow down. I thought I was gonna cry. Then I did it again. I slowed down. It felt better. It didnt feel fake. Hopefully it will be good this weekend as I have been working my ass off. Hopefully I won't be too cool. 

Either way I have grown a lot these last two years. The bumps and bruises are worth it. I am ten times the comic I was when I was trying to be cool. I know there's still work to be done. My softball game could also improve. I know I'm gonna be alright. I just need to shower and brush my teeth. Sometimes that's all you need to be fabulous

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey)

The last few weeks have been difficult. Seasonal depression hit like a ton of bricks. Typically I get depressed in the middle of the summer. Work slows and I have more time on my hands to think. There's an old saying. The most dangerous neighborhood is the one in your mind.

Last year I seemed to avoid the seasonal depression I got. I had battled it for several years and thought I finally had it beat. However, it was delayed until August. This was because my sister got married in July and then I went from her wedding to the RNC. I had things to do so the depression didn't have time to sink in. And then I was on Cloud 9 because May Wilson and I were on national tv the following week. I was an activist, an artist, a TV personality. I felt great about life. 

This year has been a lot of ups and downs. A lot of career let downs followed by a lot of ups. But each up and down has been followed by rehearsals, auditions, tapings, meetings, traveling, and other footwork. And even when there was a down there wasnt much resting as there was much more to be done. 

Plus a lot of personal problems hit me like a ton of bricks. A friend breakup that has been slowly happening for two years reached it's final conclusion. And one thing about a friend breakup is you lose a part of your heart that you never knew was there. A lover you know will screw ya, but a friend, you never see it until it's there.

As of last week, things started to get better. In part because I decided to stop paying attention to the facebook reminders of where I was a year ago. I also know I don't have the capability to do the things I am doing now a year ago. I am stronger than I was a year ago. And did I mention I rocked my friend's political fundraiser?

Hell ya. And that got  me back out there mixing activism with art. 

The depression is being lifted. Work is picking up. I had an international order for an autographed book this week to a gentlemen in Northern Ireland. I got out of myself and was there for a friend who had to go to the ER with severe poison ivy. I got out of myself and was there for another friend who's boyfriend is struggling with alcohol. I got out of myself and was there for another friend who is transitioning from female to male and needed a hug.

I also am looking forward to the aspects of my work that I like. I like making people laugh and smile, and I love each audience I perform for. All people do is want to laugh and I am allotted the opportunity to do that. I am also looking forward to doing a headlining set in my home state. 

Apparently this is a real thing. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a real thing. Yes, SAD is a real thing. So if you are experiencing this you are not alone. SAD. Sad. sad. Yes, it's SAD because it's real. It's Sad because you feel sad. And it is sad because here I am blogging about a first world stupid white bitch problem. Sigh mcsigh sigh