Both photos: (c) 2014 Dan Dion
Top photo (l. to r.): Rick Overton, Laraine Newman, David Gborie, Sean Keane, Josh Androsky, Julie Brown, Bob Goldthwait, Tom Kenny, Caitlin Gill, Dan Spencer, Paco Romane, Mike Spiegelman, Kevin Pollak and Polyanna McIntosh.
Bottom photo: Seated: Julie Brown, Florence Henderson, Laraine Newman. Middle row: Kevin Pollak, Dan Spencer, Bobcat Goldthwait, Paco Romane, Sean Keane, David Gborie. Back row: Polyanna McIntosh, Bucky Sinister, Rick Overton, Caitlin Gill, Josh Androsky, Tom Kenney, Mike Spiegelman.
I performed in the stage reading of Shakes the Clown as Ho Ho the Clown, a role originally played by my comedy hero, Paul K of the Fake Gallery. Original cast members at the reading were Bobcat Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Tom Kenney, Florence Henderson, and Dan Spenser. Laraine Newman impersonated the late La Wanda Page, Ric Overton did Paul Dooley, and Kevin Pollak did Robin Williams. He sat next to me, and after saying “Whoa!,” turned to me, pointed to the script, and said, “It really says ‘Whoa!’ here.”
Yesterday afternoon was surreal. I sat on a stage with some of all-time favorite comedy people and entertained a packed house at one of the biggest comedy venues i’ve ever been asked to perform in, at one of the biggest comedy festivals in america. The people on the stage ranged from legends (Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom Kenny, Rick Overton, Laraine Newman, Kevin Pollak, Julie Brown, fucking FLO-HO herself Florence Henderson) to great friends (Caitlin Gill, Sean Keane, David Gborie) and even some new friends and faces as well. We did a staged reading of the cult hit Shakes the Clown, and, to be honest, I’m still in a bit of shock. It was amazing. It was one of the best moments of my life. I had a huge part, (Adam FUCKING Sandler’s part,) and I did my best. I did great, too. I got big laughs, I got to play around, and I had a goddamned blast the entire time. It was certainly the biggest moment of my short career, and I’ll never forget it. The craziest part to me about the entire thing, though, is that I wasn’t supposed to be there.
I was not supposed to be in SF Sketchfest this year. No, not because I forgot the deadline, or didn’t submit. I was denied. I submitted and I was rejected.
In a few days, I’ll be celebrating my 4 year comedy anniversary. Sure, I’ve taken a week, or even month, off here or there, usually for depression-related reasons, but I count it as 4 full years leading up to this point. I’ve worked harder at comedy than I’ve ever worked at anything before in my life, but I know in my heart I’m still doing, and this is a generous estimate, 2/3rds of what I’m capable of.
The only thing I know for sure about comedy is that I have no idea what I’m doing.
These four years have been full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Incredible friendships, unfathomable bitterness. I’ve conjured waves of rolling laughter so strong that I physically began to tremble, and I’ve heard silence so deafeningly loud that I wanted to tear my own hair our and shove it in my ears just to block the screaming void of nothing.
I’ve gotten to sit, stand, laugh, and drink with the men and women I respect more than any teacher I’ve ever had. I’ve been treated like one of them by some of the best people (famous or not) in this weird business, and I’ve been eye-fucked with disgust by some of the worst (even though they might be hilarious or on TV, once you find out a comic is a shitty person, it’s nearly impossible to laugh at them like you used to.)
As I got home from this wonderful festival (where, through friendships and love, i actually got to perform MORE than last year, when I actually GOT INTO THE DAMN THING,) i was still riding high from yesterday’s triumph at Cobb’s. I opened up the computer to find this message in it. No matter how far I’ve come, or think I’ve come, I’m still a baby in this industry. I still have so much to learn. I look forward to the uncertainty and adventure of the future. To hitting the road more, opening up my mind, and developing my voice.
That being said… fuck bringer shows.