I am so excited to do Mike Uryga’s Bay Hilarea, but my being on that show confuses some people. Some think I am FROM San Francisco, like Born and Raised. Actually I am FROM L.A. Born and raised and Proud of it and living her happily now. I think they mistake me for being from there because
A) I’m gay and everyone think that is where all gays come from, or that everyone there is Gay
B) Because I am a San Francisco Comic.
Being a San Francisco Comic means that is where I not only started doing comedy, but the kind of comedy I started doing. There we NO RULES. Nothing off limits. The only comedy I had seen had been on TV and was very safe and very dull. My friend Michelle from High School had moved up to San Fran and told me about a place where the comedy was really no holds barred. They were even GAY comics. I had seen Comics make fun of gays, but never GAY comics. I was a Speech Communication Major and in school I was very successful and speaking in front of classes about the positive experience I had when “coming out’ since I turned it into a laugh fest. Stand Up seemed like a good fit and since there was no way I was ever going to be able to cover up my gayness, I had to be “out” Like it or not. I had no choice but to be who I was since I am SO who I am. And that was ok in San Francisco’s Josie’s Juice Joint in the Castro District. I had no thoughts of performing anywhere else until I met other comics who played the straight clubs. Naturally there would have to be a distinction wouldn’t there? I thought that since it was San Francisco, that there would not be, but I was wrong as I usually am. There were very few comics that bridged the Gap at first. Yes, there were straight comics on at Josie’s and the couple of other “Gay” venues, (that is how I even heard about the other clubs) but then when i started going to them I only saw a Gay Comic once or twice at some of the main clubs. They where just rare. One in Ten would have been a generous ratio…Not every one was just throwing open the doors. This may have been San Francisco but it was still reality, and “Gay” made people uncomfortable reflexively. No matter what the Zip Code.
So at first I was just a Gay Comic. But some of the cool straight Comics welcomed me in. After all is WAS San Francisco, so wasn’t there a chance that some of them would be gay? And San Francisco is where even straight people could come and be different while still sleeping with the opposite sex. Those first allies had to push for me to get on stage, there is no doubt about that. They where mostly female, they urged, no FORCED me to want to be on at the “straight” clubs too. While preaching to the choir is certainly fun, I could get stuff done by being in the mainstream..the gayness made people uneasy. It was still the 90′s, Gay was not as prevalent as it is now. It was still shocking to hear someone admit from the stage that they where gay, for real! It MUST be true, no one would pretend to be gay, right? Some of the (male)comics were not as cool, and still were homophobic on stage, which after I had made the audience love me by just making them laugh, it was harder for them to make fun of gays without alienating the audience who had just made a new gay Best friend. Yup, I had a Gay Agenda. I didn’t want to turn everyone Gay, I to turn everyone Gay friendly.
Gay or Not Gay, the Comic still has to make the audience laugh. Period. That is the only thing that matters and that is what I did. Made them laugh, consistently. And since San Franciscan are broad minded, whether they want to be, or because that City there is peer pressure to be, I could get booked. It buttressed my confidence. And I became a stand up comic everywhere. Of course eventually like the others on the show, I had to grow up and move out of San Francisco if I wanted to “get serious” about show business. I go back often and perform there. I love it, there is nothing like the smart audiences in that City, and they like very specific comics, preferably smart and saucy. San Francisco Comics are always a little different and I am thrilled to be one of them, and I get to perform with a whole bunch of them who are not only different from comics from other places, they are different from each other, so distinctive all of them, but one thing that they all do, is make people laugh. Hard.
Ah, the after show hangover that I always have after a great Out in the Valley Show at Flappers in Burbank. Sometimes if feels like a monthly bill to be paid, I spend the day being grumpy and waiting (and I don’t even have to wait that long, the show is at 7:00 for god sake) biut then it is all worth it when my hilarious friends show up, and a great audience is there to appreciate it as they did last night. it is truesly what comedy is all about. I am lucky to have the chance to push this thing out onto stage once a month. it is an entirely different feeling then showing up to do a set on another persons show. This one I get to control all the talent and since I only book funny people, i get a flood of compliments from people after the show and it is damn rewarding. I forget why i do comedy sometime (because I have no choice, according to my Lady Margaret Cho, I didn’t chose to be a comic she says, no one does, it chooses you) so I better just shut up and talk.
The show is building a little following as as we head into Fall, which I think is the best season for entertaining, because it is dark and cold and people want to be entertained, I know that more people will show up. And since it is primarily a showcase for LGBTQ ETC comics there is a different kind of vibe then I find when I go to most shows where I am the exception and not the Ruler. last night the audience seemed to be mostly straight people and they were cool, sat right at the front and laughed their asses off. And since I pick comics that actually write jokes and have an act, they don’t fell the need to pick on the people in the audience which drives me nuts. I will be doing lots of sets before then, but do put a special place on your calendar for our wonderful little show next month on Sunday October 21. Once again, i think it will be really fun!
I taped every set that I did while I was last on the road and my last blog was promising some of the fruits of that labor would be put on the farmers market that is youtube for videos.
My Bestie Dan advised me that I should wait a week to give myself “some distance” and i would be more objective and less critical once a little time went by. He said give it a week, but I did him one better, well THREE Better since it has been three weeks and I just opened my laptop and there was a Pearl on the Keyboard it had been closed so long.
I had all kinds of excuses. It was my birthday. June Gloom made it hard to see. The fireworks outside on the 4th of July made it hard to hear. I needed to wash my car. I needed to wash my other car. I needed to refill all the liquid soap dispensers in our house. Water the plants. Shop for matchbox cars…for my nephews. I needed to decorate my new office. I needed to build my new desk. I needed to get my lesbian pal Val to build my new desk. I need to brush, floss, rinse, moisturize…anything but watch my own videos!
I heard them laughing when I did it live, so io know they are all good sets. I do wonder what I said that got those laughs and that is the whole point. All of the new material I did, i have already forgotten, which is why according to those who have watched me regularly, I have a lot of material because I don’t remember it very long…
I am not thrilled with my nasally but low, Valley Boy voice that I am way to old to have but way to lazy to change. A friend suggested I go to a vocal coach fix my accent. I’m like, what, am I Meryl Streep? Even after all of these years i can not get over the gigantic-ness of my head, the way it looks like one of those Easter Island statues. My face has more planes on it that all the runways at LAX put together. I like my hair, except when I am being taped, it seems to revolt. How does it manage to pretend that there is a bald spot on one spot near my ear on what ever side is being filmed. I was going to include an image on this post but I could not find one that did n’t annoy me. I just really need an editor. That will transcribe everything and won’t make me watch any of it. But when I do get it up here, YOU watch it. And enjoy!
I am not a techie by ANY stretch of the imagination. True, I love cars, but that is different. Then I can make work (with the exception of an ill fated VW Scirocco, but that was NOT my fault)
I LOVE my computer because I love the internet. it is the font of information that never goes dry (even if there are accuracy issues) Picture, movies SONGS! I love my iopd so much; the swiftness from which i can pluck a song out of the either and have it in my ears blows my mind. If I could have all of the hours back I spent hunting down songs in record stores and making mix tapes I could rebuild the WTC by hand.
But don’t get me wrong, it is not like I just flick my wrist and this happens for me like it does for a lot of folks. i never take it for granted, practically crying each time I easily upload a song to my ipod, because there has been plenty of times that I have not been able to. And for no good reason usually. I seek out the advice of an expert and there have been many, and they show me how to do it, and then I make them wait and watch while I try it myself with out their help, and they watch, mystified that they exact thing that they showed me, when i do it myself, DOES NOT WORK. “WOW, I have never seen THAT happen before” I have heard so many times for tech guys scratching their heads, baffled. I can do it with anything. Even the Un-failable ipad has conked out in my hands, literally the moment that it was put in them.
This is actually my Second website, the first one collapsing in the hands of it’s creator who valiantly tried to reverse what ever I had set in motion that brought it down. he swore it was nothing I had done, but deep down, we both no better. But all the stuff that I posted on it went down too, so i was back to square one
When things like that happen, It really makes it hard to get things done to move my career forward. As a comic, I have to record Film, tape, video, or something like, my shows. I have to make it last some sort of way. So I can hear it for myself to see if i do actually say anything funny that I can use again. I want to record the good stuff so I can post it on the amazing inter-web for people to see around the world. not everyone can get out to the club to see me. Especially if they are in Belgium or some made up place like that.
I bought a Flip Camera because it was so simple and ingenious. I could not believe it. And the software shot right from the Camera into my computer. It is HD, but not THAT HD, since I personally do not need every pimple, pore and wrinkle recorded for posterity. The only reason I don’t just do audio is no one would be able LOOK at it if I did. The editing program was not that hot, but that is the great thing about comedy, is it is kind of best if it is unedited, just start it at the beginning of the set and end it when you say good night. then the company that makes it suddenly decides that they are no longer going to produce it. wasn’t making money for them.
True to form, when i find something that works for me, it goes away….
Before it vanishes entirely or something happens to my flip camera (like I donate it to the Smithsonian) I am trying to record as much stuff as possible. Not just my shows which I will post chunks of here and there to keep people interested, but what is going on in my day to day life. I am taking a lot of video of San Francisco since I won’t be here for a while, but I can enjoy my walks and views from the comfort of my computer until I can do them again…
I was at Rooster T Feather Comedy Club Wednesday Night for “Fruit Punch, the third installment of their Fruit Punch show. It’s a monthly All Queer Show. Sorry you missed it, it was amazing, but you have more chances to see me there! I will ALSO be there TONIGHT through Sunday, for the Regular Show, with Cash Levy and Tina Allen Gallo.
The Gay Show was DAMN Fun and of course it is going to be a little different then the “regular show”. It was a show hosted by a Drag Queen Pippi Lovestocking with 2 Super gay guys me, and Ronn Vigh, Trans Sexual Natasha Muse and Lesbian Jennie McNulty, and one of the Queerest straight San Joes Housewives, Beth Schumann. It was lot of Gay for Sunnyvale, but they handled it Beautify like they always have, because the great thing about Roosters is they have had queer acts since the beginning of time. I was brought into the Club by Queerest of All, Margaret Cho. But I always did great there. The vibe is so laid back and comfortable that I just felt like I fit right in. And even though it was a Queer show, there were LOTS of cool straight people there sitting right up in front where I could see them laughing their asses off.
I loved performing there when I lived in San Francisco because it was a local night that you got to o a lot of time infront of a great audience. The drive down and up the 280 was always amazing to me, rarely traffic at he time of night I was driving and every time I changed radio stations a song I actually liked was starting. it was like a Magical week, always.
The Club was run by a Lady when I lived and it is run by an number of them now, including the Head Lady Heather who gave me shoulders in a cute top to admire and a delicious glass of red wine. The energy is just so good in there, meaning the audience got all of my jokes and they laughed at them, and i had a great time telling them there as usual.
Come and see us
Car is Gassed, Washed and Ready. I am making my check list and checking it repeatedly, mostly wondering what I will forget, which I will remember as soon as I am far away enough to not be able to turn around and get it. This is a longer trip, about 8 Days, but it is too my adopted home town of San Francisco, and several days in a Town I know super well, Sunnyvale. All to do what i do best, tell jokes. I will see my Bay Area Buddies. i will wear sweaters. I will do a lot of walking around. I am writing this as I pack. waiting for the dryer to bring forth a fresh supply of t shirts.
I am not as scared of traveling as I used to be, but it is still not the easiest thing for me. I am a homebody, and I have a lovely home, with a lovely man to lie around in.
I used to do this a lot. Back in the 1990s before cell phones were affordable, which cut me off from the rest of the world essentially which made me feel so alone. I did it is my 1988 Acura Integra which never failed me once, but I was always scared, racing around the western United states in it, that SOMETHING was going to happen. Something was going to go wrong and I was going to be stranded or killed and never found! And forget flying. it was basically survival until I was back where I started. But I did it a lot.
I am driving up with another comic today, which literally doubles the fun and makes the drive seem half as long. The Integra doesn’t do this voyage anymore since it is only for Local Cruising now. My sturdy Corolla is carrying me the 400 miles up north to my past, present and future. I can’t wait!
After a night in SF with my old friends, I will be headlining one of my favorite clubs in the whole world, Rooster T Feathers, and their monthly “gay show” but then i will be there the rest of the week. Then 2 more delicious nights in The City at the Historic El Rio and at Harvey’s Bar and Grill at the Corner of Castro St and 18th Street, pretty much the Gayest Intersection in the world. I am so excited, I can’t wait to get going.