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  1. Comics Watching Comics

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    Sunday, June 26th had lots going on.  In my Bronx, the Bronx Museum of the Arts hosted “Boogie on the Boulevard” which takes place on the last Sunday of each summer month on the Grand Concourse.  There’s music and games, dancing and art-making, and all sorts of things.  I want to get to one, but I couldn’t get to it this time.

    Sunday, June 26th was also the Gay Pride March in Manhattan.  Years ago, I went regularly to support my gay friends and the gay community and humanity in general.  But this year wasn’t going to be one when I could go.


    Sunday, June 26, 2016 was the day I was going to be at the New York Comedy Club most of the day for a taping of 50 comics for upcoming episodes 3 and 4 of Comics Watching Comics.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, here are former episodes that I enjoyed watching before deciding to do it.

    Before I reached the train to head downtown, a man who lives in my neighborhood saw me and told me, “Ever since your dog passed away, you’ve put on weight.  You look good.”  He affectionately touched my shoulder.  I believed him that he thought I looked good.  No black man ever told me I was too fat.  One once told me to put some weight on. 

    I sat through 50 comics.  I am super grateful that I was #9 on the list.  I actually went up 8th because the person before me hadn’t arrived yet.

    The show is one where the panelists are going to talk about the set of each comic.  A year ago, I might not have taken the chance.  I am also aware that my work quality and my confidence do not match.  That’s true for many people.  Many seem to have more confidence than their work merits (NOT talking exclusively about comics regarding this phenomenon – I’ve seen it across the board, teachers, writers, poets, etc.)  Then there are those who don’t feel as confident as they should.  My confidence fluctuates and sometimes may have little to do with the actual quality of my work.  

    As it got closer to the day of the taping, I questioned again if this was a good thing for me to be doing.  I’d be performing to a roomful of comics.  Those of you readers not in comedy, I will tell you that performing to comics is not typically the most responsive audience/ rewarding experience.

    Fast-forward.  The roomful of comics turned out to be a wonderful audience!  My set went quite well.  I was able then to relax and enjoy the others.  Between my set and sitting down, I was greeted by Rhonda Hansome, our Thursday “She,” who was also going to be taped performing a set.  It felt so good to see a familiar face and supportive person.  I gave her a big hug.  She hugged back.  That was a nice plus.  And even better yet, I don’t think she and I are competing with each other.  I believe I am in the episode 3 batch, and she is in the episode 4 batch. 

    I left feeling good that I did this.  I can only do my current best.  I am braced for whatever the panelists might say.  I am okay with it being aired.  I’m proud that I feel that okay with it all.  I just hope the cameras (that supposedly add pounds to the look of a person) help people see me through the lens of that man in my neighborhood.  J

  2. Comedy Stuff

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    I heard a young male comic recently say, from the stage, that he did anal, yep he did that.  That was it.  Maybe, amongst his dudes, that alone is something to laugh at.  I was waiting for a punchline, but he just said it as an accomplishment, a credit of sorts.  I didn’t get how he should get credit, unless it was his ass. 

    I had a good time being part of the Real Bitches of Comedy show last Saturday.  The trains were trying, but the woman running the show was totally in the know about what was happening with the trains, so she was so cool about it.  Two of my students went and got there before me.  They bravely sat up front.  Another person with whom I have a mutual friend showed up.  It was the first time I met him in person.  He was the audience star of the show – Rudy.  He seemed totally comfortable being part of the show.  Nice.

    I don’t tend to make anyone feel sorry for sitting up front, but I couldn’t guarantee no one else would.  They were game.  My guests all sat up front and had a good time.

    Heather Apostolidis was great to work with.  She’s funny and kind and human.  I hope to work with her again.  Her almost-husband and his family were such good-vibes people.  I enjoyed them as an appreciative audience. 

    People came over to me later to compliment my set.  That felt great.  I felt uplifted and encouraged to continue on with my funny stuff. 

    Bonus: my students drove me home.  That was a totally unexpected cherry on the cake.  

  3. I recognize that Trump’s personality disorder is one that involves loving the fight more than the prize.  It’s not so different from parents who take pleasure in robbing the child of the other parent, fight for custody just to win, wins, and then has little skill or desire to build a happy person.  The fun is over, the fun of hurting everybody.  Now it’s just a path of destruction left behind.

    Well when Trump was called the presumptive nominee, he looked pale and frightened to me.  The part he liked was over – knocking out others in a junior high bully style.  Now he’d have to deliver something of substance.  But he only has the fight, not substance.

    So he creates conflict and manipulates others to act on his feelings.  In a family, children believe lies and become alienated from and hostile toward the actual loving parent.  In a country such as ours, race riots could become commonplace as he makes America something again.  We'd be in wars all over the globe.  All of it deflects the attention from the orchestrator.

    When Trump decided to complain about his unfair life and named the judge presiding over the Trump U case and the judge’s ethnic heritage, my first thought was he doesn’t want to be president.  It may not be conscious on his part, but this is how he will sabotage himself.  He doesn’t want the prize, only the winning. 

    I wonder how long his third marriage will last.  He can chase them and get them, but then he’s got nothing of substance to offer.
    He’s consistently narcissistic.  I’ll give him that. 

    On a hopeful note, on Sunday after the heavy rain became a light drizzle, I looked up and saw this which looked magnificent and colorful unlike the photo.  I know it is a great big sky, but seeing the rainbow above the buildings right across the street felt wonderfully personal.