Thursday, August 28, 2003

Keith is out in the desert burning a man so I felt compelled to blog in his absence. I just watched the clip reel that Bob made for us from the first season's footage. It's really a great reel and it gave me new excitement about the troupe. We put on one hell of a show if I do say so myself! We some God damn funny folks. The reel really represents us well and it's great to see our "friends" Crazy Chicken Tony, Toad-ie, Drag Man, El Tigro Diablo, Naked Man and Jerrod again. Ah, memories... I sent the clip reel off to the Sketch Comedy Festival in SF along with a full packet of press clips.

Michelle, of Velvet Hammer fame, and I are working together to get the flyers ready for the Derby show, yes folks, that's the Brown Derby where the Velvet Hammer and ICBINC will grace the stage together! There'll be a show there with us monthly and the first one is September 20th if yer in that neck of the woods.

I wonder how Keith is fairing out there in the desert without e-mail and a cell phone. Now that's roughing it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Generaly our writing process has involved one of us writing a skit and then durring rehearsal the other cast members may make some suggestions and the skit evoves. Occasionaly the person writing the skit may have gotten the idea from someone else in the troupe or from a bunch of sitting around yacking, many hours in the van going to LA and SF means much yacking. Last night we all got together and had a big brainstorming session. This was GREAT! I wish we'd done it sooner. So many great new ideas. I definately want to do more of this kind of writing. Now we will all divide up the skits and start doing rough drafts but we'll use e-mail and message boards to help each other flesh it all out. We've got some good stuff coming. We're so busy it's hard to say when we'll get a chance to stage another original show, but soon. Soon my little eskimos.
Damn Right, KLJ! The only underpaid employees who should get star profiles are the members of ICBINC!
I Can't Believe It's....nearly time for Burning Man! Thanks to "Keef" for encouraging me to go this year. Between Nate's (of Cheap Thrills, for you midtowners) camp, my friends (& Amy's roommates) Jacob & Stephanie's Love Shack, Allen & Co.'s pryotechnic wizardy, and Em's friends at the Love Posse and Blue Light District, this year promises to be one long performance-cum-ecstatic celebration....oh, yeah! and lots of gay sex in me & Keith's tent! Woo-hoo!

On a sadder note, Em's bombshell really caught me off guard last night--I literally didn't know what to say, which is rare for me. I fully understand her dilemma, though. I also really love my day job; hard as it is to believe, I actually have a lot of responsibility there, and as we saw in LA last time, balancing that with my commitment to the troupe can sometimes be very difficult, indeed. I only hope that Em decides it's something she can accomodate, because I'm going to miss here sorely--I agree that we should keep a spot open for her and that it should be right next to ME! I love you, Em Yay--hope you're reading this.

The future's so exciting, though--I know everyone's all kinds of stoked about the new skits, and on drawing on Becca & Xeno's talents, as well! And the Velvet Hammer awaits...y'know, chicks just can't resist a guy with a STEEL DRUM. Remember....Yes means Yes!

Sunday, August 17, 2003

I worked for corporate America and I wore a namebadge. I've always hated name badges. I hate when some cleanly scrubbed guy or girl says, with fully good intentions, "Hi Keith! How ya doing?" I give someone my name out of friendship, trust, it's a signifigant thing to me. I don't want it plastered on my chest for any jerk off to come pluck it off and use it. The worst is when they're unhappy and they use it. "You listen to me...(reading name tag) Keith!" I used my middle name when I was working which took some of the sting out of it. I've always wondered if this is what David Byrne was singing about in the Talking Heads' song "Give Me Back My Name".
So I've become obsessed with name tags. Durring my days with The Company there was a big revolutionary trend going on in corporate America. Starbucks opted to call their employees partners. Petco had associates. They all wanted this co-op type feel, like they were worker owned. At my job I changed my name tag to read Comrad. Nobody noticed.
I've noticed now that the trend has turned to celebrity. Jamba Juice has "Stars" making their smoothy. And the "Stars" each get a "Star Profile" that hangs in the store. The Old Spaghetti Factory, Rite Aid and even Taco Bell are following this trend. How Freaking humiliating for these employees. "High I'm a star. Would you like a free boost?" "Um, excuse me, the restrooms will be closed for a minute while I clean them. I'm a star."
Okay. I'm done.
So many shows! It's gonna be strange to not have a show next weekend. Of course I'll be heading off to Burning Man on Fridays so I'll have plenty of distraction. Miles is heading up with me and I expect to have a grand time. The Marsh Comedy Festival was fun. We had a lite audience on Friday but Saturday saw a nice packed house. We performed with Lee Levine out of LA, who is a FUNNY FUNNY man. He realy stole the show. Lee is a good friend of Sacramentan Jeff Cosgrave, a comedian buddy of mine from my Laughs Unlimited days.
We were very well recieved. Thanks to Tom Smith at The Mock Cafe for putting this gig together and for including us.
Next up we are putting together a demo concert film type thing and we are going to do monthly Cabaret shows in LA with The Velvet Hammer. I'm pretty stoked on that. We're going to be associated with one of LA's hottest acts and I couldn't ask for a better career boost then that.
Anyone interested in being in the audience when we shoot the demo should get a hold of us now or sign up for our mailing list.
This Tuesday we're going to have a round table writers meeting featuring the whole cast. This is an unusual approach for us but I think it will yield some very funny stuff.
I'll try writing from Burning Man, but that may or may not happen.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Last nights show was CRAZY FUN! Miles was killer, and the ponk skit went well, I think we all rocked 9 kinds of ass! And then we all got in a big bar brawl, got drunk, knocked out some people, chairs were flying, feet were getting stepped on, it was ruthless, and then we all went home. All this for only $5!
Michael Yager's open mic was really great. Keith has told me so many horror stories about amateur comedy that I was bracing myself for awfulness. The vast majority of people had some funny schticks going on, though. The quality was up there and the place was packed. It's too bad that Michael's moving so soon. I hope someone continues the tradition.
KLJ was right about Cheese. That guy was good. A compelling mixture of funny and creepy that I really dug. It's funny, I didn't laugh at his first joke at the time, but it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. One of those grenade jokes. I was also disturbingly charmed by the guy who looked like he was in high school but did a little viagra-jingle dance and pointed right at me and winked. I think I actually giggled. Jeez.
So yes, we'll have to go back. And Miles - I'm thinking Rock You Like a Hurricane has a great chorus, but a very slow start. How about that "Living after midnight, rockin' to the door, loving 'til the morning, then I'm gone! I'm gone!" song... if those are the right lyrics. It has that cool "Rollin' rollin'" part. I also think you could do a nod to the fact that Xeno's uncle was in Steppenwolf with a little Magic Carpet Ride or Born to Be Wild. Lastly, I think a Sex Pistols cover would be aces. Rock on, my brother!

Yeah, if I'm gonna continue this steel drum schtick, I've gotta learn another song, I think.... hey, if I knew just two, that would double my repertoire of "funny" songs (the Velvets thing is funny, I guess, but it doesn't have a lot of name recognition, y'know?) Currently, I'm considering "Rock You Like a Hurricane," "Breakin' the Law," "Anarchy in the UK," and "the Immigrant Song," but I'm open to suggestions--any ideas about cheese-factor songs I can "steelify," ICBINCers?
Oh, and just to remind everyone, the steel drum is, in fact, a VERY serious instrument when used in my band, even if most of the originals we're working on now don't include it--but at future gigs (which we're already looking for--*hint, hint,* Amber and Xeno) you can look forward to SERIOUS steel drum covers of OMD and King Crimson.... Gee, those two go together like apples and cheese, don't ya think?

Miles (the birthday boy)

Thursday, August 14, 2003

We performed tonight at Michael Yager's open Mic comedy show. We were the headliners. The acts were almost all realy good. There's too much angy toward women stuff. Sorry you don't get laid dude, but that probably says more about you than it does about 50% of the population. Other than the misogony thuogh this was probably the best open mic I've been to in years. There was a comedian named Cheese who was realy great. I look foward to seeing more of his comedy. Miles opened the show with his Steel Drum routine which is becoming a big run away smash hit. Then we closed the show with Pony. It's usualy not a good idea to do this kind of skit in a bar. We had planned to do D'Harlen which involve music and is paced a bit faster but Xeno and his guitar were not available. None the less the skit went well. The first three rows LOVED it. I can't wait to do the comedy festival tommorow. Woo Hoo!
I also talked with The Velvet Hammer s'more and it looks like I'm gonna be doing two shows a month with them. TWO SHOWS A MONTH. That means twice a month I'm in LA. Now that's exciting. THAT'S DARN EXCITING!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The audience in LA this time was small, but as Becca mentioned THEY WERE INTO IT! And the audience consisted of other comedians, a documentary filmmaker, a hot shot photographer, all people who will make a great base for building a regular LA audience. And they were enthusiastic as hell. We were having folks pushing their e-mail addresses on us and offering to work with us. I feel like the hype is flowing.
Pomona, well, it fell through the cracks. The show didn't get promoted, AT ALL and the club owner was very apologetic. We decided to just open the doors, not charge a cover and engage in some silliness. Xenophilia played music and discussed conspiracies, Miles did some stand up and then played some AC/DC on the steel drum. You aint heard Back In Black until you've heard done on the Steel Drum baby. Oh Yeah. The club owner, Marissa, wants to try again. She says this time wants to work together more instead of through a middle man (my brother) and get the club packed. She realy likes what she's seen of us.
The biggest news is that Michelle, the grand dame of The Velvet Hammer Burlesque show is into doing some caberet action with us. WOOO HOO!
So we'll probably be back there in October doing that. YIPPEE!
Well, I bought my Burning Man ticket today. Drop me a line if you're gonna be there and we can hook up. Peace.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Wow! Los Angeles! Xeno and I left for home a day later than everyone else, so I am just now getting to blog here. This trip was much more relaxing than our last one. Everybody spent more time by the pool, at the beach, napping, eating at the 101 (our favorite cafe) over and over. As the vegans in our traveling group, Keith and I kept spontaneously high-fiving while looking at the menu. No huevos rancheros! Even more exciting, for the first time all summer, I actually have tan lines!
Friday's show was one of the funniest I've ever seen. Everybody's timing was great and the belly dancers were so sexy - well, the women anyway. (Miles doesn't have as much of a belly.) And the M Bar was gorgeous... heavy velvet drapes, mirrors and low red light. Ambience that would not be ignored. Pretty swank for this troupe. The audience loved it and the bartending staff even broke into applause during the first Barry skit! (I guess they'd forgiven Bryna for smashing those wine glasses by then...)
Saturday Xeno, Amber and I went out to Venice Beach for a little roller skating and people watching and sweet and sour cashews at Mao's. Then we headed out to the Pomona Arts Colony. The streets were filled with punk rock kids waiting for a Virus show down the street. I am happy to report that Hot Topic is doing a brisk business in Pomona.
Next week, it's back to San Francisco and the Marsh Theatre! Look at us big-city kids!

Saturday, August 09, 2003

I'm in Los Feliz at my buddy Brett's little tiny apartment. Six of us are staying here durring this little Southern CA tour. Oddly enough Brett is not staying here. He rented a room for Emily and himself. They've become quite the hot item. It's love, oh so romantic. Xeno and Becca got a room and Amy Anne and Jeremy got a room too. Bryna and I are the only couple that isn't getting any privacy in LA. We're having a good time with the troupe but having a room to ourselves would be cool, because, um, we could watch HBO. Yeah. Love that HBO.
Brett lives in Los Feliz which is the greatest neighborhood. The people here are SO friendly. When we're out flyering we get asked about the show and people tell us about their art and I love it. Lots of great record stores, book stores, coffee shops, centraly located. If I ever move to LA this is where I want to live.
I was thinking today this Blog would be more interesting if we had more drama in the troupe. us all getting along and being pals isn't as exciting for you the reader. Too bad I didn't have a blog back when we first started the troupe. Someday soon I'll have to drop some notes about the fighting that when on in the early days of ICBINC before certain folks parted ways with us, or more accurately with me. I'm such a dictator, it figures someone would have to fight with my Nazi ass. More later.
I'm showing Ben how to Blog.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Oh, by the way, I know quite a while back I mentioned that Miles, Ben and Xeno auditioned the troupe for participation in the SF Sketchfest. I never told you what the outh come was. Well, there's been no decisions made. The organizers of the Sketchfest will be at the March Comedy Festival that we're featured in next weekend and so that's too be a kind of second audition.
We'll let you know as soon as wee know something so cross your fingers, say a prayer, kill a goat, do whatever it is you do.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I"M SO SICK OF HAVING A DAY JOB! I have little room to complain. My day job is working with adults with developmentaly disabilities, which is rewarding, the schedule is super flexible and compared to every other job I've ever had it totally rocks, but I want so badly to be concentrating on writing and performing comedy full time. CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Well SF went well. We were competing with a version of Hedwig and The Angry Inch STARRING TOM WAITS (oh my GOD!) as well as a stage production of Dr. Strangelove, and plenty of other stuff. None the less we had a decent crowd and the show went great, and I MEAN GREAT! The thing that sucks about this BLOG is that there are things I'd love to write in here, new jokes and such, but in the off chance that anyones reading it, I don't want to blow the gag. I mean, you may be coming out to see us soon eh? So, I won't tell you about he hillarious new opener that Miles delivered last night. BWA HA H AHA HAHA! It's so funny.
Some San Francisco pals took us out for drinks afterwards and a grand time was had by all. Tonight is my last Trash Film Orgy, then we do LA, then we put together a Best of Show to make a demo out of and we tape it in the Crest Basement. Woo Hoo. See you soon.

Friday, August 01, 2003

So, on the day of our first ever show I was getting ready to get on the freeway when I saw a man on foot chasing a car toward the on ramp. I realized nobody was in the car. The car went up the on ramp and crossed over, it was now going the wrong way up the off ramp. The man was almost to the car when it went over the edge and nose dived about 15 feet to it's death.
I figured being in the right place to witness such a thing just hours before the comedy troupes debut must be a good omen. We sold out our show and we've been going nonstop since.
So, here we are. Show day, and another odd happening on the freeway.
I'm driving along and this fella's going 60mph in the fast lane. I'd like to go a bit faster, so, after it becomes clear he's not budging, I pass him on the right. As a pass I hear a god awfull noise, unlike any horn I've ever heard. The fella then gets behind me. I get back in the fast lane and so does he, now going the same speed I'm going, and tailgating. I don't like to play games on the freeway so I get over into the middle lane again planning to slow and let him pass. He follows. I get over to the right most lane and again he follows. I then exit on K st. So does he. I take K to Alhambra, go right, then right again on N st, going under the freeway and left onto 29th Street. He's still with me. I hop onto the Freeway and so does he. Okay, now I know he's following me. Nobody is gonna just conincidentaly take the same little zig zag as me through midtown just to hop back on the freeway. I look at him in the rearview. He's scary looking in that he shows no emotion at all. He doesn't look upset. He's just some stock broker looking guy in a nice car with a tie and sunglasses.
I get in the right lanes that go to 50 or continue on 80. He does but I only halfway get into the far right lane and when I realize he'll be stuck by the truck coming up fast behind me, I get back in the left lane and then I shoot over to the far left putting me back on 99, he's now stuck and there's a nice chasm between us. I look to my right and he's staring at me. I don't smile or wave, I just take in his face and wonder if I know him. I've been feeling paranoid all day since this happened.
So, is it a good omen? Or are we all gonna die?
I guess we'll find out tonight.