Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Game Day!

I'll be at the Ontario Improv tonight for the first time. Gary Cannon and I have been corresponding via e-mail for a number of months now, but tonight will be the first time we meet IRL. He's been great with the e-mail correspondence, and as I've mentioned on a number of occasions, that's not to be taken for granted. Many e-mails fall into black holes. So even though it's taken months to get on this stage, it's been a pleasant process. I almost feel like Gary and I have met already.

Can you _feel_ the love?

This is going to be a nice couple of weeks... tonight at Ontario Improv, next Tuesday at Hollywood Improv, next Wednesday at Martini Blues, and the following Tuesday at Brea Improv.

It's feast or famine, eh?

That's life.

Time for a feast!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

About Me (myspace.com profile)

[Here's a snapshot of my profile on myspace (before removing some details).]

Here Tiz...

I woke up a couple of years ago, once again realizing that life's too short to be stuck in a cubicle. If cubicles are your thing, no offense. I just don't want to look back at my life and wonder, "What if?". Like, "What if I'd actually ventured out of my cubicle long enough to fulfill one of my dreams?".

My bad pattern has been to pursue a dream only long enough to _almost_ grab the brass ring...
+ USC Linebacker (1978-80: hundreds of practices, one game, knee injury, skip last year of eligibility, done)
+ Cartoonist (1984: submit strips, receive rejections, done)
+ Stand-Up Comic (1986-91: hundreds of shows, move to LA, stop having fun, overwhelmed, done)
+ Actor (1996: community theatre, one play, done)
+ Singer/Songwriter (1999-2002: lots of coffeehouses, dead end, done)

Now I'm in the stretch drive, the mantra is "have fun", and it's "brass ring or bust"...
+ Comedian/Author/Actor (2003-Present: campaigning at the Hollywood Improv, writing my first book, taking improv/acting classes to prepare for auditions)

I'm a comedian. Always have been. Always will be. The fact that I quit doing it on stage for 12 years is a technicality. I'm on the Rodney Dangerfield Plan. He also quit doing stand-up for 12 years, and resumed his showbiz career in his 40's. It's never too late. Wait, I take it back. It's too late once you're six-feet-under. Until then, Fight On!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Focus On Getting Better

Around and around we go. One day, I'm thinking about what it will take to get to the proverbial "next level", and the answer is "marketing". The next day, the answer is "talent". As with most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Making progress requires a combination of things. For now, however, I need to get back to focusing on improving my performance. In fact, for the past few weeks, I have already gotten back to making that the number one priority. I'm still sending out some e-mails, and thinking a little bit about marketing, but am making sure to work mostly on improving my voice, pacing, etc. The little digital recorder I picked up not long ago has come in very handy. I've been able to go through things with a fine-toothed comb. Not just the live performances. Also on the in-car rehearsals while commuting. Fundamentals. Just like the old days playing football. When in doubt, get back to fundamentals. Record the practices, and then go back and forth over every detail.

Just over the horizon is my first non-open-mic performance at the Hollywood Improv. And whether or not anything results from that is such a crap shoot. It depends on who's in the room, and whether or not they like me and my act. The constant reminder is that I have no control over those things. All I can hope to have any level of control over is myself. And that's even questionable. On any given day, who know what level of control I'll have over myself?

In any case, September 6th (the date has been moved from September 20th) is going to be fun... assuming it happens. The gig still hasn't shown up on the Improv calendar, so I'm prepared for it not happening. We'll see. I have to plan for it happening, obviously. It's just that, well, this is showbiz. You never know what's going to happen. All I do know is that I'd rather be doing this than not doing it. And the more I'm back into it, the more I know that this is what I'm meant to be doing. There were years of denial. Or fear? Whatever it was that stopped me for all of those years doesn't matter. I'm in it again, and here to stay. Whether or not I get my first TV spot this year, next year, or the year after that... it's going to happen. I have no choice anymore. Well, okay... I always have a choice. But the point is, the more I look back at all of the years I stopped doing this, the more determined I am to stay the course this time. I'm 45 years old. It's not like I've got a lot of chances left. This feels like the stretch drive. Even though I've heard stories of people who've started new careers in their 60's or 70's, I think it's best if I don't take another break this time. I'd like to be working at something I love to do in the coming years, and that's not going to happen if I anchor myself to a cubicle again. I still have to be responsible, and do what I'm getting paid to do in that cubicle. But it's the stuff I'm doing outside of the cubicle that's keeping me from going completely nuts. Partially nuts is okay. Somebody might even be willing to pay me for being partially nuts. Completely nuts isn't very marketable. Not even in Hollywood. And that's a moot point anyway. The path that was leading me to being completely nuts had nothing to do with Hollywood. It had to do with a cubicle, and no hope for the future. Damn, it feels good to dream again. I have to remind myself, whenever I'm working on that "next level" stuff, that the journey is what it's all about. Getting to the "next level" is an ongoing effort. Every time I get to the "next level", I'll be shooting for another "next level" above that. So, grasshopper, remember to enjoy the journey. And remember to be a good dad. Because if I'm not a good dad, nothing else matters. I'm not trading my family in for anything. They're coming along for the ride. Balance, grasshopper.

[Ramble mode off.]

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Flyer for My First Booking at the Hollywood Improv (Date Changed)

Disclaimer: I didn't go to an Ivy League school, but some of the comics did... so it's still technically an Ivy League show. As for me, I went to the University of Southern California (USC)... which does have a lot of ivy-covered buildings. There, I feel better now.