Monday- I was super tired from a long day at work (which I love, but which is also difficult), and so I had no plans to do anything except eating and sleeping…but then I saw the Whiplash lineup and decided to go standby. The lineup was James Adomian, Nate Bargatze, Eric Andre, surprise guest Tom Papa, and Neal Brennan, all hosted by Leo Allen. Neal’s been one of my favorite stand-up’s for a while, and I try and see him whenever he’s in New York. I saw that he was doing shows Tuesday and Thursday, probably Wednesday as well, but I pretty much new this was the only one I could actually go to! Also, since seeing the fantastic craziness that is the Eric Andre show on Adult Swim, I really couldn’t miss seeing him do stand-up. So I went standby, waited for an hour or so, and snagged one of the last seats. The show was absolutely fantastic, it was the first Whiplash I’d been to in a really long time, but all of the performers were just on fire. I was particularly curious to see Eric Andre’s set, because his show is so different from the basic idea of traditional stand-up (not that this is good or bad or anything), I didn’t really know what to expect with his set. But he was weird and silly, but seemingly himself the whole time. Yeah, so altogether a fun fun show, only downside was the late late night. I ended up going to bed at around 2, even though I had to wake up at 7:30 for a full day of work.
Also happened on Monday: I registered for classes at UCB!!! I start Improv 101 on Monday (it ends at 10, so I can probably just walk over to the Whiplash line after every class!), and Sketch 101 on Tuesday! This means that I pretty much won’t be able to go to the Sweet show for the rest of the summer, which is kind of a bummer. But these classes are more an investment in myself, my comedy writing, and writing in general. And I’m very glad I decided to bite the bullet and enroll in both, because I kept going back and forth, which would be better for my career, which would I be better at, which would be more fun, which is eventually less money etc. But at the end of it all, I won’t really know unless I try both, and I don’t really want to have false feelings for one, like becoming sad if I never tried Improv, or mad at myself for not doing the probably more practical Sketch writing. But yay!!! I really can’t wait, I hope I meet some nice people, have fun, and really start to craft some comedy skills.
Tuesday-Worked all day. I was really really tired, but I promised to meet my friend at a special secret advanced movie screening at Lincoln Center. So, I got out of work at 5:30 or so, and decided to be a crazy person and walk from around 23rd and Broadway to Lincoln Center in the drizzly raining day. Yep. Classic me. It was a nice walk, except for when a car gave me the huge splash you only see in movies. So I was dripping, and laughing at the absurdity of the situation when I eventually got to Lincoln Center (at around 6:45 for the movie at 7). I hated the movie, I thought it was pretty dumb, yet almost pseudo-pretentious enough to have that offensive feeling of superiority even though the ideas were remarkably shallow. But it was kind of fun to watch, and look around to see how everyone else was experiencing it. The survey afterwards was also kind of funny to fill out.
Wednesday-Worked all day, got food, got home, got excited for The Chris Gethard Show. I was weirdly nervous, I couldn’t calm down, I was counting down the minutes almost, and they were taking forever. I took the subway a bit early, so I walked around Columbus Circle a little to bide my time. It was Random Melissa’s last episode, and the musical guest was Mal Blum (who was really really amazing, and once I get my check from work, I am buying all of her albums), and I was pretty sure that either this week or next week they would be casting the new Random, and I wanted a shot. I also brought with me my book of translated German radio plays, which I love, so I read through some of the poems in Dreams, and another of the plays, which are so marvelously dark. I wish I understood German so I could read a bunch more of them. Okay, back to TCGS, I tried to kind of calm down, and it was cool, I ran into a kid I met my very first time at the show, which was fun/amazing. So we caught up while waiting in the lobby. Everyone is always so remarkably nice. I couldn’t recommend the show more highly. So we went in, and it was the best, as always, and Chris explained the rules of the Random contest. So about fifteen or twenty minutes in Mal Blum went up, and I took my opportunity to check in, throw my name in the ring for the Random competition. There were a couple of people already waiting, but everything was cool, and I knew enough about how the show worked to feel comfortable, deferring to their judgment, and kind of letting the show go around me. So standing back and waiting to go up was probably the scariest part of the night, I was extremely nervous, I didn’t think I would get it, but I would have been mad at myself if I didn’t try. So after various other show happenings, the first girl went up, Random Sabrina, and she had a good story involving Canada, visas, and potential deportation. Then Random Brian from Harlem went up, and Random Jaymie, both of whom showed up in the middle of the show (so both deserve major major props for that) (also, ugh, did I just say props? Can’t think of anything more appropriate though). I thought as of that point it was kind of a no brainer, Random Brian was going to get it…but then they sent up Billy and Beanbag together, who were funny and weird, good potential randoms. I thought Beanbag deserved it especially because of his clear commitment to the show, he’d been in the studio pretty much every week I’d been there, and probably for much longer than me. After them, I went up, shook Chris’s hand, and took the microphone. At that point, I was there, there was no running away, and my nerves went out the window. I answered questions, tried to express as best I could my love for the show, tried to hear everything they were saying, and did the weirdest thing I could think of, recite the perimeter of the United States. (*sidenote, that very morning I dreamed myself reciting part of the perimeter, randomly in the woods, and it was correct, so that’s how much of a crazy person I am…my subconscious apparently can recite the perimeter correctly.) I bowed awkwardly, and explained the tiniest bit about Ray Ezell, pretty weird geography teacher. I mean, as a kid, I didn’t really realize how weird that stuff was, it was just school and I did it, so it’s pretty funny to think of that in specifics now. But yeah, I did it, and went back to my seat by the LLC. Everyone was super nice and I was pumped and nervous. After me, Random Ellen went up, and Random Lauren was cheering pretty hysterically for her friend. And then Random Nell, and then Mal Blum again. I danced and clapped and sang along, and generally had the time of my life. Random Melissa and Random Andrew conferred and decided on Beanbag and Ellen for finalists, and the Human Fish picked Ellen as the winner! I wasn’t disappointed at all, weirdly enough, I pretty much knew I had a very small chance of actually winning, and it was a big enough deal for me that I actually tried. So yeah, amazing night, I chatted with some people afterwards. I probably should have headed to the bar to hang out, but I was still overtired from the past couple of days of shows and work, and instead took the subway home to almost instantly fall asleep.
Thursday, worked all day, with a special champagne toast for one of the Holt books hitting the bestseller list!!! Hooray! So that was fun, and one of the big-wigs of my imprint complimented my work. So I was flabbergasted and astounded and happy. I just hope to do the best I can every day, do my work fast and well, so I can make an impression and prove myself. As of now I’m really really enjoying my time at work, it’s hard, but the work is diverse and great. It’s a place I can really see myself working at, and enjoying. I’m also getting very productive on my Work-in-Progress manuscript, because I’m thinking so much about story structure, character development, pacing, and narrative. All of this critical thinking feeds into my thoughts on my own writing. After work I grabbed food, watched some of Death Proof, and headed to my first Cage Match at UCB. This time it was Airwolf vs. Johnny Romance. Airwolf was fantastic, and Johnny Romance was solid, but it was pretty clear from the start that Airwolf was going to continue it’s streak of wins.
Friday, summer Friday! I had a half-day, finished reading an incredibly long manuscript, wrote up an in depth summary and half of a review, then got out of there. I got bagels for lunch, got home, caught up on incidentals, and napped, finally finally catching up on sleep. I was so tired I almost missed the Stepfathers show, but convinced myself to get up and go. I’m incredibly glad I did, because it was so so so funny. My throat still hurts from laughing so hard. It culminated in a series of “one-man shows”, including Connor Ratliff jumping hysterically between parts, and improvisers coming in with stools and curtains over their heads. The silence at the start of one scene was pretty incredible as well, watching the group just be so patient and confident and smart and surprising. It was truly unmissable.
So after that I decided randomly, to take the long walk home. I stopped and got Sixteen Handles on the way (yeahhhhhh), and walked way too closely by two people smoking what looked like crack, but then again, it could have been some other drug, I don’t really know. Either way, I’m still incredibly happy and lucky to be in New York. Had a great week. I’ll update again at the end of next week, with a new show report! Sorry this was so long, just had a lot to say.