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  1.  
     
     
     
    In the neighborhood donut shop, I had a chance to speak briefly with a woman I was once close friends with.  I think in a very few sentences, we were basically caught up on the big picture without the details.
     
         "I like your hairstyle.  It looks glamorous."
         "Even though the beautician ignored my instructions and I didn't like it, when Tommy saw it, he said it was marvelous."
         "Who's Tommy?"
         "Tommy's been around for about thirty years."
         "Well, we haven't really spoken at length in about that long or more.  I've been married and divorced.  My son is twenty-two."
         "Your son is twenty-two.  Wow.  You look good."
         "Now.  Even when I'm not all fixed up, I at least look like I want to live.  In a bad marriage, death doesn't seem so bad.  It would all be over."

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  2. I submitted to a comedy festival.  Those accepted will be announced by September 1, 2014.  There's an entry fee and I got the early bird special entry fee, so I feel reasonable about it.  I accept that the prize money has to come from somewhere.  I don't have a real sense if submitting is premature, or if I'm a contender.  I go back and forth on that.  But I had the money and chose to take a shot.  It can really boost things along if I'm among those selected to participate.  Paid work, exposure to some who can impact my road, and all that jazz.


     

    I know some who have won in the past.  They are definitely further along.  They may have been further along before entering as well.


    I asked around some to hear views about entering.  Of course, in any competition, the majority do not win.  So some of those folks felt ripped off.  Having to pay someone to watch their tape didn't sit well.  I understand that too. 
     
    Speaking of competitions, I'm also in the running in the poetry category of the annual competition from the Bronx Council on the Arts.  They select people for B.R.I.O. (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) awards which comes with a grant.  There are many categories.  I won in 1999 for nonfiction literature and in 2001 for poetry.  There is no entry fee for this as the money comes from grants.  The monetary prize would help me a lot now.


    ....
    On a totally different note, I have had a twisted back for over a week now.  I was in so much pain.  Took a hot shower, had Ben-Gay on, but my sleeping surface isn't helpful and may be partly responsible.  It had been getting better last week, but then maybe I re-injured it in my sleep.  I couldn't do much this past weekend.  Took me over eight hours to get one small wash done at the Laundromat.  Ugh. 
     
    Then there's all the emotional stuff which is what I consider the real life.  There are many people I want to be able to make contact with while we are all still on this Earth.  Many are cousins who were kept in the dark about what my life was all about growing up.  The problem is how risky it all is.  Some prefer the dark.  They paint their own pictures.  Some could never believe things I experienced by people they had very different experiences with.  Some feel abandoned by me but have no idea how painful it all is for me.  Some can't process my reality.  There's a lot of blaming the victim that goes on.  Then there are people who were friends, and for whatever reasons, some still unclear to myself, I didn't continue the friendship.  One has weighed on my heart much of my adult life.  Billy Groginsky.  A very good human.  I often want to contact him but am not sure what to say that would mean anything to another person.  He didn't deserve to be made to feel bad by me.  He was always good to me.  I've cried much over this.
     
    There are aunts and uncles who I wish could understand what weighs on my heart.  I had hoped my autobiography would've been written before now.  I had hoped everyone would've understood more of the picture.  But it isn't written.  Truthfully it wouldn't have been as good as when I do write it because I have reached deeper understanding now.  But my grandparents, parents, and my mother's oldest three siblings have all passed.  I hope they are still alive in whatever form and aware of me.  Sometimes I feel sure they are.  I talk to them often.  Some cousins and friends have passed too.  It all hurts a lot.  The estrangement with those alive hurts too. 
     
    When my body isn't up to par, I can really delve into unhappy places.  I guess it boils down to missing my mommy which was often my grandma as well.  While I miss everyone, these were also very troubled relationships (not so much with my mother as I never had to doubt her love, but that's a whole other tragedy).  Anyway, I remembered a once best friend telling me about the wonders of Alleve.  I bought some, and it helped my back (and mood) a lot. 
     
    Some relationships at work are great while others are challenging in very different ways.  Sometimes for breakfast, I watch this to help me get ready.
     


     
    ...
    Then, due to the era in which we are living, there are moments that are such wonderful surprise gifts.  A woman on Facebook from Australia saw my video and wrote:

     
    Hi Mindy loved your standup video-I would love to see more youre really good!


     
    ...And that was so uplifting and made me glad once again that I applied for the festival.  So we'll see what happens.  You know I'll share with my readers, fans, friends.  While I'm thinking of it, let me ask you once again if you know folks who'd be curious about the off-stage life of a N.Y.C. woman trying to make it in comedy, please share this link with them.  I thank you.






     
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  3.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Did ya ever want to just call your job and say:
     
    • I can't come in today.  My ass is broken.
    OR
    • I can't come in today.  My spirit is crushed.
    OR
    • I can't come in today.  I was doing yoga, and my big toe is stuck up my ass.
    OR
    • I can't make it in today.  The weight of modern society has dragged me down.
    OR
    • I won't be in.  I'm way too orgasmic to go to work today.
    OR
    • Turrets kicking in, ya phony bastard.  So I am calling in sick, condescending bigoted asshole.  You disgust me on so many levels.  Have a good day.  Shit fuck.  See you tomorrow, God willing.

    
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  4. Have some laughs with me...

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014



     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    It is still women's herstory month.  I'd like to think we are making tomorrow's herstory. I've decided to share women in comedy who are not yet as well known as last week's sharing and are some of whom I have enjoyed.
     
     


      
    Robin Fox    
     
     
     


    I've enjoyed me too, but since I just posted a video of my performance two blogs ago, I'll skip this one.
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  5. Funny Women

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

     
     

    People, it's been a very packed week on many levels.  I did have several wonderful experiences in the mix of stuff that felt truly elating.  One was in an acting class taught by a soap opera director and a soap opera actress; one was at one of my jobs where I led a very fun staff development session; and one was yesterday in an email exchange with Lisa Harmon (a funny comic and former "She").  Of course, there were other good moments, but those were outstanding for me.  I consciously rerun them in my mind in order to at least even out the battles with the other team of voices.  

    This is women's herstory month, and this is a site for women in comedy, so I'd like to share some more funny women I've enjoyed over the years.

     
     
    I have Kate Clinton on vinyl from her earlier days in the early 80s.
     
     Robin Tyler (another one I have on vinyl)
     
     
     
    
     
    
    
     
     
     
    
     
     
     
     
    I hope you enjoyed some of whom I've enjoyed.  
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  6. As it was getting closer to the Unboxed Voices variety show where I was to perform stand-up, I was worried that I didn't get enough practice in.  Wednesday evening, I went to Lisa Harmon's open mic -- Lisa's Clubhouse.  It seems to draw a more mature crowd (not referring to age) than some others I've endured.  Comedy open mic's are different than poetry or music open mic's.  For those blessed with estrogen, it can be an experience to endure.  But both times I've been to Lisa's Clubhouse, I didn't feel that way at all.  She has accurately called it the least or one of the least misogynistic open mic's in the city.  Says a lot about the state of things in general. 

      


    Lisa was a good host.  She made everyone feel welcome.  She takes great photos of each comic.  She listens to everyone's set.  What I admire so much is her comfort (or at least a very convincing appearance of comfort) as the host.  Some of her lines were just terrific and so in the moment.  I loved, when speaking of blow jobs, how she referred to a semi-soft old man's cock being preferable to a young stiff one banging the back of your throat.  She had me laughing.  And I really appreciated her comeback when some man spoke of vaginas as something ugly.  "Whattaya think that veiny hairy wrinkled ball sac looks like?"  She had me dying.


     I met some others working on their craft, and I enjoyed most people's efforts.  I especially appreciated the work of Cassidy Kirch.  She took a chunk of how life is for women in a patriarchy and made it funny.  A couple of folks offered me their reaction to my set.  I was told I was thought-provoking and hilarious.  I left feeling once again encouraged.


    Saturday night was the show, and I arrived with no time to spare.  I was told I was up next.  Of course I felt like oh shit no time for a sip of wine.  I found my buddy and his guest.  I gave him the camera and batteries for him to tape my performance.  I asked his guest to hold my coat and bag.  I got a cup of water, looked in the mirror, and then told the co-host I was ready.  It turned out they switched me with the musician who was going to originally go on after me.  So I sat and managed to get a wine before my time to get on stage.  But after two sips, I was up. 


    The show was mostly music.  The audience was mainly 20s and 30s and some older.  I hoped very much my material would work with these folks.  I was starting with something "dirty" though it isn't really dirty as much as sexual.  But many people call that dirty.  None of my stuff makes people go "euwww," but sometimes it makes people go "oooohhhhh."  


     
    I was able to enjoy being up there (sometimes I don't enjoy it until I'm off stage), I was able to be in the moment and say off the cuff things here and there, I was able to deal with an unexpected reaction twice, and stay connected with the audience.  I do realize I freaked out several men.  I hope they let it become a growing experience.  And ya know, it was International Women's Day, we've been the butt of jokes since forever, so if a few of ya can't handle a bit of leveling of the comedy stage, too fuckin' bad. 


    One of the beautiful parts for me was it was like a reunion mixed in because people I've worked with in Unboxed Voices productions over the past two years were there.  My leading man from two summers back when I played Madame Ellipsis in "Ellipses" and my co-actor from a play I was in last summer (who was the first actor I was to kiss in a production) were both there.  The latter is a musician and played piano in the variety show.  His adult daughter was with him.  She enjoyed my comedy as did he.  He made a point of letting me know.  People who had been my directors in the previous two summers were there, and they definitely saw another side of me.  I felt new-found respect from some and new-found distance from others.


    My best buddy taped me.  His date enjoyed the show very much.  She told me her view of the audience reactions.  I felt so glad I was up relatively early in the show, so I could enjoy the rest of it without worrying about my set. 


    Outside of the Parkside Lounge, I practically drooled over the musician, who goes by the stage name Braxton Hicks, enjoying the evening with his adult daughter.  I told her a nice story about working in a play with her father.  Then I said, "I can't wait until my son and I can have evenings like you two."
     
    The daughter asked, "How old is he?"  
     
    "Twenty-two." 
     
    "Give it time."

     
     

     


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  7. Death By Chocolate By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    There’s power hidden in that darkness. It holds acolytes enthrall. 

    The air is redolent, heavy with a sweetness that promises delight, euphoria, even
                     LOVE                                                                                          


    A morsel of the dusky enchantment is beguiling.

    Hungrily, many pursue the rapture. Are you one of the fortunate few immune to the call of
    chocolate?
     
     
    I was an innocent, a child impatient to join the reverie.
    And that could mean the death of me.
     
    To be continued...

    Rhonda Hansome is a dodo in digital wilderness drinking her tears because martinis fuck with her pressure meds.
      
     
     
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