Here’s a video I made with writer and producer Nicole Ryan who is also my girlfriend, for the 2017 Phone It In Film Festival. The festival is run by the very funny comedian Zac Maas and features content shot entirely on phone cameras.
We managed to pull a win over an amazingly produced road warrior tribute. Kitties over post-apocalyptic murder scrambles, y’all.
TL;DR – Dando had a hot night. The Miami comedy scene is a charming wasteland. Denver’s Comedy Works club is a model that could help terraform bad comedy scenes into sustainable laughitats.
ComedyWorks New Faces Contest 21 – Round 1, Week 2 – Anthony Armstrong, Daniel Reskin, Patrick Richardson, and Christie Buchele
This week I advanced to the second round in the Comedy Works New Faces contest!
I only mention it (humblebarf) for perspective. Back in my comedy-hometown, Miami, the current controversy is comedians using stolen/internet jokes to win contests.
If that sounds unbelievable, congratulations on having a good comedy childhood. Sadly, this is a regular crime in smaller scenes and outsider contests. The less connected and valued the comedy scene, the less that place will care about originality, creativity, and variety – things that true comedy scenes hold both sacred and basic.
It’s like how we can’t move forward with fighting climate change because Republicans won’t concede it’s a thing. The same goes with any scene that doesn’t reward originality, and see it as a foundational aspect of modern stand-up.
Comedy contest in themselves are curious beasts. I’ve never enjoyed them but learned to see their value – exposure, getting used to pressure, and getting used to failure. I’ve done a swath of dubious contests often because those were the only gigs available. I learned to see which contests were purely money-making schemes. I learned to Google random great jokes from stuttering first-timers. I learned sometimes they win anyway.
I’m not trying to brown-nose the club, but to relay to you my relief that business doesn’t always corrupt art. Sometimes it’s a trellis to grow juicy joke-matos (to later be thrown). A club that cares about who is on stage before how many are buying drinks is one of the pillars for a solid scene. It’s not a novel concept, but considering there are no surviving comedy clubs in South Florida – population 6 million – even the obvious ideas are spread along the beach like seashells, easily appreciated and forgotten.
Recently I’ve been so enveloped in the new Casa de Haha, I forgot to post this milestone here last month. We love our round numbers, and must give them significance in our decade-based lives. A few thoughts.
My first dreams of stand-up comedy
10 years of stand-up comedy? Feels like only yesterday (for audiences)…
I made this picture in college after reluctantly trying a stand-up competition. I performed a few minutes of something resembling comedy, outside in the grass, in the dark, before the weekly Movie on the Lawn. I remember a joke about a rising Illinois Senator whose name sounded like a game on the Price is Right.
“It’s time to play OBAMAAAAA and win a brand new car!!!”
It was enough. I was in. I stopped the half-hearted grad school applications and got a job working lights and sound at SideSplitters, a Tampa comedy club. Over the next 10 years I’d have hustle times performing every night, my slow times performing a few times a month, work terrible road rooms, host a ton of shows, BINGO nights, and dove into acting, writing, podcasting, and production. Just embracing life as a creative (and waiter/cook).
I have too much to say about comedy, and it might never have anything to say about me. That’s part of it. I don’t have a hunger to be famous or “the best”, which probably works against me.That’s okay. I do have a fire in me to create things for people to enjoy.
I’m gonna! Thanks to all the comics and audiences for your lessons.
p.s. Now I don’t have to make a big post until 15 years!
10 years ago I was doing stand-up for the third time in this college contest. I made it to the finals so a lady dressed me in $200 of American Eagle clothing, and looks like I wanted to wear it all at once. No salt yet in my pepper. Almost my entire set is about donating blood. What is this kid thinking?