Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Like a Young Forest Whitaker

While fooling around with the camera on my computer, I became aware of a horrifying fact that my mirror withheld from me for ages.

We can't change our bodies, but we can wear larger sunglasses.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Freaky Friday

With a Network gig, a character show, and a late-night sketch, Friday July 11th was cut out to be a busy night. Like Mr. T, I ate my vitamins, did my homework, and then I bent a parking meter to bone up for the challenges to come.

1:00PM MTV Taping

We all remember my glee in getting the chance to provide video commentary on Katy Perry's song, "I Kissed a Girl." In hindsight, I didn't make fun of the swimsuit enough. I know it's an homage to 1940s pinups, but there's a reason the high-waisted belt went out of style. She may not know it now, but the end of her 20s will be marked by the development of a pelvic bump, lovingly known by most 6th graders as The Pooch. "I grew a pooch, and I hide it! Hope my boyfriend won't find it!"

8:00PM The Sh** at M. Shanghai Bistro

George and the Pig

I had little time to head home, pick up a pantsuit and a wig and ride the train into Williamsburg. Jay Nog's show started out as a sweltering basement and finished as a cozy comedy club. The show had brick walls, candle-lit tables, inebriated audience participation and a dj. I performed as Dr. Erick Newberry, feminist motivational speaker. Did I motivate them? You'd better believe your charred bra I did.

Abbi Crutchfield as Dr. Erick Newberry, Feminist Motivational Speaker

12:00AM Liquid Courage at UCB

Bacivo Nuggets Rehearse Backstage

I left Williamsburg* at 11:00PM to rush over to assist The Bacivo Nuggets in one of their two extraordinary sketches. My part was as Andy Kleiman's co-worker, a complex character affectionately named, "Abbi". Playing someone by the same name has sparked a feeling in me that can best be described when He-Man's pet Cringer morphs into the fierce beast Battle Cat**. It's an ego booster that only a Tony Danza can understand.

*Alias: Billyburg Alias: Hipster-topia Alias: Where have all the black folks gone, oh-hoo?! Yippe-aye yippe-yay.

** I had to look these names up because I am not a nerd. You are a nerd. YOU ARE! (Sobs, running out of the room. Hip catches on corner of table. Stumbles backward. Then wails louder and leaves.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Planning for Disaster

I was engaged two months ago, and have made zero effort to find a dj, register at Target, or whatever it is that makes a wedding embarrassing for years to come.

Except for creating a tongue-in-cheek announcement on TheKnot.com and hiring a man to take Phony Engagement Photos, we have made little progress.

To read more about how we are dragging our feet, check out my article on a fantastic Brooklyn publication, HipSlopeMama.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

True Love Ways

Engagement photos are here!

Click here to see the whole set.

Off the Cuff

Dreams are coming true! I taped video commentary for MTV on Friday*. I didn't get any snapshots from inside the studio, but here's what I looked like that day.

Abbi Gives Self Thumbs Up

...only without the thumbs up and with a raised eyebrow that says, "I know what's cool, kids".

And here's what was happening in the 42nd St-Times Square subway immediately afterwards.

Subway Performers

I could appreciate the performance a lot more after watching a video of young Katy Perry cooing to adoring fans. There's Tom Cruise, and there is your high school speech and debate coach who had Intro to Acting with Tom Cruise.

I treated myself to cookies at Herald's Square and the same song I rated--"I Kissed a Girl"--began playing in Mrs. Fields.

Mrs. Fields

You can't get to a television, you say? Well here is a sample of musings about other music videos that are out right now:

Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)

-Good to see Beyonce's extensions strike out on their own.
-People of questionable race date each other in the music video world.
-Bleeding love is not as gross as it sounds. Unless it's a heavy flow day.

Lollipop (L'il Wayne)

-Ah, promotion of generic suckers. Picking up where doctors' offices left off.
-(He repeats, "Drop it like it's hot") Using lyrics from old songs makes it easier to focus on sampling melodies.
-(Footage of women lying down, covered in suckers) American Beauty thanks L'il Wayne for a reason to be relevant again

Still Will (50 Cent)

-(50 punches cell wall) I beat the paint off my walls too. It's called cheap New York housing materials.

Touch My Body (Mariah Carey)

-Movies before music videos are like pickles on a peanutbutter sandwich. Hate 'em or hate 'em.
-Ironically, the guy in the video never fantasizes about touching her body, just playing lazer tag with it.
-Mariah Carey: turning tanktops into dresses since 1992.

Leavin' (Jesse McCartney)

-How can he fly her on a G5 jet if he can't afford bed sheets? Actions speak louder than words, Jesse.

Tattoo (Jordin Sparks)

-Is it stalking when you're walking in front of your victim?
-Tattoos on the heart are both painful AND dangerous.

No Air (Jordin Sparks again)

-This is a song about morning hallitosis
-Getting "no air" affects your judgment. Makes you dress like the characters in Babysitter's Club
-Chris Brown practices drums the way I did. By sitting on them and farting.

For more behind-the-scenes coverage of such a gig, read Matt Ruby's Blog.

*FNMTV Music Video Blocks air
Monday - Friday at 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM ET/PT
Monday - Thursday at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET/PT

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wish You Were Here

This week, on the Dorothy Von Irony Show...

Abbi Interrupts Show to Take Own Picture

I opened with my signature bubbly cheer in muted tones of brown and beige. It was enough to garner the attention of a lanky, bearded man who stopped to watch the show. His large, weathered hands and surly stoicism made him a mystery to me, but I like to think of him as someone who would play "The Drifter" in a movie based on a John Steinbeck novel.

Fans Love Eliza

Eliza Faria-Santos made our heads explode with her musings on people with a Genius Complex. Then she shared her tale of qualifying for junior varsity Mensa status. She's a smart cookie who rips a heck of a new one for the arrogant man in your life.

Jen Dziura In the Stands

Show creator Jen Dziura kept her thoughts to herself, but still looked glamorous while doing it. What's her secret? The blood of young goats I believe.

RG Daniels Cracks Himself Up

RG Daniels gave us a sampling of some of his vintage jokes, the ones where the concepts and the punch lines accidentally meet. It was awkward, it was angsty, it was hilarious.

This show gets better and better, so you do NOT want to miss our next installment, Wednesday at 9:00PM. Chelsea Market. I'm talking to YOU, Google employees and Food Network crew.

In other news, I have two freelance writing opportunities on the horizon, an appearance on national television in which I analyze non-books, a late-night sketch at UCB, a stint hosting my favorite sketch show in the world, and tomorrow I'll be performing a character at a brand new show run by some way cool pals. I never knew taking time off from The Living Room would be such a fulfilling experience. Now I know what deadbeat dads feel like.

Dorothy Von Irony's Hour of Literary Comedy and Comic Literature
after Chelsea Mind Games
Chelsea Market
75 9th ave (btwn 15th/16th streets)
9:00PM, FREE

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Team USA

Earlier this week I was a warm-up host for the Team USA event at Rockefeller Center. Click on the link for an excellent photo re-cap by Matt Halfhill, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Nicekicks.com

Together with Walt Frazier

...wait, not that one. This one:

(Walt Frasier)

...I rallied the kids sitting in the bleachers that flanked the sides of the famous ice rink. It was covered with a court to make way for the festivities. There were dancers from movies like Stomp the Yard and Step Up 2 the Streets, Pro Drummers, a kid troupe that dances at Liberty games called Li'l Torches and trick baller extraordinaires.

One member of the Harlem Magic Masters dunked over the heads of FOUR KIDS. If you look closely, you can see me cowering in fear next to a body guard.

The event also featured the music-mixing of DJ Clark Kent and some emcee stylings of Dave Jeff of Phli Worldwide.

It threatened to rain during rehearsal, but by show-time we were treated to an afternoon in the sun. Tourists and other passersby gathered around the periphery before the show started, watching the Harlem Magic Masters shoot around (shooting around included 360-degree slam dunks and rolling a ball down their backs to ricochet off their butts at bullet speed). Flipz came out to rehearse with the B-Boy Ballers, professional dancers that reminded me of how far I am from making pop-and-lock a profession.

Remember that hip-hop movie preview where a guy skids all the way across a stage on his bare head? A guy named Cricket did that for us.

Drummers rocked out on plastic buckets which drew even more people. The media started to set up, and the buses full of kids from Philly and DC lined the streets.

When they entered and were seated, the show was on. They were treated to all the talent I mentioned before along with improvisations by Maddie the Liberty mascot, free thundersticks to beat, and a game of HORSE which earned an entire side of bleachers (mine) a FREE PAIR OF NIKES.

Kevin Frazier came out to interview the coaches of Team USA, and then it was go time. By the time Team USA came out, I couldn't hold the kids back. They were clamoring to get to the court and take pictures of the players. For the first time in my life, I wished I were in the NBA. There was nothing but love and sheer joy in that arena for an entire ten minutes. Then everyone remembered the blazing heat and went back to their seats.

I had one staff member recognize me from a show I did a year ago, and several other chaperones took pics with me (presumably to supplement their life savings, as my image will be very valuable in 12 years). It was a memorable day, and one for the resume.

Photo credit

New Show Takes Off

I had a blast hosting Dorothy Von Irony's Hour of Literary Comedy and Comic Literature (DVI) last night at Chelsea Market.

I opened with stand-up about the new makeup I wore that evening. Seeing as how I let myself be suckered into ordering lots of E.L.F. products, I thought I would use them for the show. It's a shame there are no pictures to have captured the full effect, but it turned out something like this:

It was a good way to kick off the show, because everyone loves a clown. I read a piece to get the crowd in the groove of listening to comedy readings, and then Raquel D'Apice delighted us with an unusual transcription: a one-sided conversation with her negligent boyfriend. He wasn't ignoring her so much as having an allergy attack.

Jen Dziura dazzled the crowd with a letter to prospective boyfriends.

Inspired, I wrote a letter to my own fiance, sitting four rows back, reminding him not to embarrass me in public. A charming red-headed fellow was a good sport when I read an impromptu letter to him, and when I asked if he had a hidden talent, his sister pushed him towards the stage to juggle. The show was running short, so I told him to throw down. I also juggle.

I only juggle small, round things, and when shoes were all that were offered, he beat me in the time it takes to throw a brick in the air and watch it fall to the floor. I never got his name, but I'm sure it was Bill or Billy or Mack or Buddy.

We were buying time for our hard-working guest Ed Murray, who was running from his own show to do our show only to follow-up with another spot at Rififi. In addition to having a red-headed male juggler to off-set the female angst, we added the freestyle skills of Soce, the Elemental Wizard.

He rapped Wacky Mad-Libs style, asking for an occupation (plumber), a person to save (taxidermist), a villain (evil nurse), a magical tool (toast), and a setting (New York public library).

Ed came in right as Soce wrapped up and instead of reading, offered us his take on controversial topics like abortion and government mind control.

All in all a fantastic night. All for FREE! I love New York.

Dorothy Von Irony's Hour of Literary Comedy and Comic Literature
at Chelsea Mind Games
Chelsea Market
75 9th ave (btwn 15th/16th streets)
9:00PM, FREE

Photo Credits
Mary Anne Ventrice on Flickr
Carpe Icthus on Flickr
Aemiessence Fine Arts

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Angry Panda Wakes Up Next to Turd

Angry Panda Wakes Up Next to Turd

May was an amazing month. I got a new job, I got engaged, and I went on a fun mini-vacation to Atlanta, GA with my family.

World of Coke

Some highlights include the Atlanta Zoo.

Home of the miniature Silver back gorilla...

Me and My Pet Gorilla

The miniature Rhinocerous...(watch out, they prick!)

Pricking finger on Tiny Rhinocerous Horn

And the giant, plastic lizard...

Making Eyes at Reptile Boyfriend
"I love you. Do you love me?"

At the Georgia Aquarium I trained a beluga whale to balance on my finger...(Someone can't get enough of playing with picture proportions)

Tickling Beluga

I commanded the ocean and the Mer-people that live at the bottom.

Abbi Commands Ocean

STARS, FISH, they're just like US! STARS!

They avoid the paparazzi

Celebrity Fish

They audition (Waiting room for the role of "Slimy the Worm" on Sesame Street)

Sand Eels

They die alone
Dead Jellyfish

That's all for now. See you next time on Meerkat Manor!

Next Time on Meerkat Manor