Friday, October 30, 2009

Are You My Mother?



I trudged through the rain last week to a commercial audition that required a really long wait. I just had to pretend to be some kid's mom. Thank goodness for the girl I was paired up with, because she was the highlight of my day. "My name is Taylor. I'm seven. Here's my resume. I am with hibbity-hobbity management. I used to be with morkity-skorkity management. Do you know hibbity-hobbity? Do you know morkity-skorkity? I acted since I was 1 year old. I have 21 cousins." I told her she had bad breath, and that kept her focused on the role. Or at least quiet.

She was actually a lot of fun to be around considering other snippets of conversation I heard.

Boy: Mom, Kevin--Mom. Kevin did song stealing and--
Mom: --piracy.
Boy: No, he did song stealing, and I just wanted to let you know that. Don't tell anyone okay? I just thought you should know.

9 year old to fellow actor: Dude (hand shake), what's up?!

Mom: Walk it off Ryan! Walk it off!
(What do you need to walk off at an audition?)

Man waiting to read for Dad role: I've been acting since I was twelve. I went to school with Yasmine Bleeth. I was hailing cabs and doing auditions by myself since I was a kid. What's with all these parents? Is there some law now that kids can't audition by themselves?

Girl (rehearsing): I love this place!
Mom: Louder.
Girl: I LOVE THIS PLACE!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sinbad to the Bone



Had a busy weekend that stretched to the following week!

Friday was The Living Room.

Saturday marked my first time performing at Gotham Comedy Club. This was for Jessica Kirson's New Talent show that I think is a bringer, but having taken a one-on-one session, I was given a guest pass to perform.

Sunday featured two open mic sets. The first was at 8:00PM for the last Sunday Soiree at Botanica Bar. I had run this show since the summer, taking the torch from Joe Dixon who got it from Ian Jensen. Josh Filipowski started the show 5 years ago, and due to renovation of the show room, was asked to shut it down.

I had a really fun set at Perch Cafe around 10:00PM that prompted a giggling audience member to tell me after the show, "Your comic timing was PERFECT!"

Monday brought new faces to Root Hill open mic, the one I run (it's in a brand new coffee shop that won't need renovation any time soon!) It was fun to see the regulars and meet some newcomers to comedy I had seen on the commercial auditioning scene. Oh, actors who want to dabble in stand-up...care to master paint restoration while you're at it?

Tuesday was a day of rest, as the Good Lord commanded. Unfortunately The Mentalist does not come on Tuesdays so I was stuck hanging out with friends.

Wednesday was the day I was waiting for, where I could dress and perform as one of my favorite childhood comedians, Sinbad at Schtick or Treat. At Matt Ruby and Mark Normand's Halloween tribute show, my performance was sub-par. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast, but I focused more on trying to get his wording right and less on embodying his energy and mannerisms. Also I got a "rapper wig" (see above) which didn't fit my head very well and kept sliding upwards.

So instead of looking like this:


I looked like this:

4th Annual Living Room Scare-avaganza


Friday it rained hard, and just a day after Luke's surgery meant he had to stay home, and I would run The Living Room Show solo. It was our 4th annual Halloween Scare-avaganza! The place was full, there was a prize for best costume, and even though no one dressed up, Angela Lansbury still won.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cold Chillin'



Luke had to have some minor outpatient surgery done last week. I refuse to admit that he is a victim of my Munchausen by Proxy. But doesn't seeing him in a hospital gown make you want to pay more attention to ME? He is my husband after all, and I had to pace the waiting room floor while he just lay there and had a nap. It was freezing in that waiting room by the way. And NObody offered me a blanket.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bodega Bets


I'll bet you can't chase these whole purple plums in heavy syrup...



...with a a glass of this artificially flavored Fox-endorsed grape mix.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig on Broadway

One Last Goodbye

Daniel Craig

Mom was in town a couple of weeks ago and got us tickets to see "A Steady Rain" on Broadway. I usually don't like waiting after a show to get someone's autograph because you have to stand shoulder-to-shouler with a bunch of other people who wear capes for fun and name their sandwiches.

But it was exciting. Apparently it was around Hugh's birthday, and a fan had made him a giant Wolverine Doll. He politely accepted it and promptly handed it to a member of his entourage.
Hugh Jackman and Wolverine Doll from Fan
"Thanks for the lumpy tribute mate. That's supposed to be my face, is it? Yes, I did notice the aluminum claws! How clevah. Vigo could you take this and have it incinerated?"

There was a man in line with us before the show complaining about how much money he spent on front-row seats and how he shouldn't have to wait in line. As the play ended, we saw him notice Steven Spielberg not far from him, and as we filed out Steven passed through a red curtain along the stage. It looked like the man was headed there too. Not to sure if he got in. I am guessing not since he was outside in the crowd with all of us, trying to get a closer look by wheeling another fan past the guard rails. A security guard pointed his finger in his face and cussed him out, yielding my favorite shot:

Denied by Security!

Soon afterwards I saw the man in the wheel chair sitting with his friends. I don't think they knew each other.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Open Mic Smack Down

There is a mic across the street from the one I host on Monday nights in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I would like to take this time to address the producers of the Lyceum Mic.



It's good that Thanksgiving is around the corner, because I know right where to find a couple of TURKEYS. Lyceum open mic, your days are numbered. I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna buy a BLANKET and a PILLOW, and a BOTTLE and a DIAPER because when I get through with you, you'll be cryin' to your Mamas about how big, bad and mean the Root Hill Mic is. I don't know where you got the idea in your tiny, peanut brains that you could defeat the Root Hill, but my fists are gonna turn them into peanutbutter, and the only thinking you'll have to do is figuring out where to buy a cast big enough for all the carnage. Call your friends, call your family, call Radio Shack and tell them you're gonna have to return your sound equipment, because you have exactly one minute to pack up and leave town BEFORE THE ROOT HILL HURRICANE GETS DESTRUCTIVE ON YOUR SORRY, RINKY-DINK, ONE-MIC CIRCUS!!!

We had a great turnout at Root Hill last night, but everyone did their best impression of Jerry Seinfeld by popping in and popping out. Hats off to Charles Gould who made it his duty to stick around til the very last drop of comedy was squeezed.

For info on all open mics in the country, visit: badslava.com , the Best Open Mic list there is!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Your Sunday Options



You can find a place to perform stand-up comedy in New York City every day of the week. Even on the day of rest. For instance, I host a show on Sundays called Sunday Soiree. I produce on behalf of Josh Filipowski, while he takes a pseudo-sabbatical to teach English in Costa Rica. The back room of Botanica Bar is getting a face lift soon, comedians, so pop through on Sundays at 7:00PM because we will be on hiatus after October.

We had some audience members who said they were from Boston. I felt I should have made a baseball reference but I am clueless about baseball. "How about them Tigers?" I said with a shrug. This is the second time in the past few days I have dropped the ball on crowd work. Or I kept the ball going, but I didn't use it to alley oop and score one for the team. There, I know SOMEthing about baseball! Suffice it to say, when audience members have lobbed up a high one, "We're from Boston," "We're from Germany," "I have a boyfriend," I haven't exactly smacked it down. That just takes time I guess. Time or the abilities of a mentalist.

Brendan Fitzgibbons and I rode back to Park Slope together, but on the subway platform we talked shop with Brett Roberson. Appearing on the show were Moody McCarthy (pictured above), Joe Dixon, Tim Homayoon, Selena Coppock, Zach McGovern, Chris DeStefano, Bob Bell, Lance Weiss, Nacho Avg, and newcomers Andy Mel and Anat Aronowicz.

Afterwards I met up with Nick Cobb at the Perch open mic that goes on from 7:00PM til the cows come home. I guess I was the cow, because I went on last. It was fun. Brendan's a powerhouse and not only had he done Sunday Soiree and Perch but was moving on to Bar Four after that (Yannis Pappas has a Sunday show there now), and I caught him the following night at my open mic, before he jetted off to the Lyceum mic across the street. Maybe he's getting geared up to launch his new show at the end of the week, which I'll christen with my presence.

Gandhi, is that you?
Cafe Vivaldi
32 Jones St, 10014
Thursdays at 11:00PM

Guest Hosting If You Build It

Emo Couple

For all the people that ever ask whether Luke and I perform on stage together, the answer is YES! When someone asks us to. Otherwise we have our own separate stand-up acts and rarely write sketches starring each other anymore.

In Rob O'Reilly and Barry Rothbart's absence, Luke and I guest hosted "If You Build It," at Karma Lounge on Saturday. We took the stage and riffed on surgery, broken iPhones, Obama and our relationship. This was followed by fantastic sets by Jared Logan, Del, Lance Weiss, Jay Bois and Phil Murphy.

In addition to Dens the bartender and Jay's fabulous wife, we had one audience member named Missy who was very vocal about her German boyfriend's anatomy and was a hearty laugher. Several more people drifted in and out depending on the set. Despite the basement setting and astonishingly low turnout, everyone had a lot of fun playing around on stage.

I joked that the show was called, "If You Build It" because it's just like the movie Field of Dreams. Nothing exciting happens until it's almost over.

Need more Crutchfield-Thayer-Crutchfield brand entertainment? You can also catch us opening the Living Room Show simultaneously every 2nd and 4th Friday. Next show is THIS FRI OCT 23, for the Annual Halloween Scare-avaganza! Prize for best costume!

By the way, the photo above came from here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And The Crowd Goes Mild



Had an interesting set last night at River Bar. Really my set was par for the course; it was the crowd that threw everyone for a loop. There was a table mere inches from the stage, half of whose members turned their backs to the performers. I got to the show a little late, so I hadn't heard if they had been insulted or if they were just quiet from the jump. On my turn, when I caught someone's eye, I casually asked, "Where you from?"

--Germany.

The comedians let out a collective, "Aha". We came to find out that they did not understand most of what was being said. Even so, one member of the group obstinately faced the other direction with her beer. Even though everyone got her to perk up and laugh at least once, she refused to face the stage and enjoy the show properly. Even the producer and host J-L Cauvin's spot-on Obama wasn't moving them.

Most of the comics shrugged their shoulders and did their thing. Sandy Marks opted to do an impression of each audience member after each of his jokes.



Rory Scovel (pictured above) made use of the giant screens showing the Phillies - Dodgers game and did the voices of all the players as the camera zoomed in on them. It turned out to be a bit that was just what the room needed.

Always Be Funny, Thursdays at 8:30PM
River Bar and Grill
500 W 43rd St, 10036

It's the Big Head Kitten Show

With your host....Big Head Kitten! (Applause)



Hey, how ya doin' tonight. Ever notice how cubby holes are perfectly designed for cats, and yet humans are always jamming unnecessary papers into them? (Laughter)

I'm like, hey, gimme that. Ooh, this is delicious. Is this 20lb-weight? Don't think I don't see you stapler. We're gonna have a show down. (Laughter)

Next week on Big Head Kitten:



We're checking out which luggage is best to shed on, to spray on and just to lay on. Then spray on.

(Applause)

Hard Times for Ted Turner


Luke was posing for me so I could sneak a shot of the man in the background at the door. Click on the photo to enlarge. If you had seen this guy in person, with his white moustache and everything, the fact that he looks like a pla-dillionaire standing in a subway train would be much funnier.



Photo credit:
mediaite.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Board Game Flashback: Knight Rider



Hold on to your cheeseburgers, because this game is non-stop action! Not just a TV show anymore, Parker Brothers (the clever fools who brought you Sorry!) have created Knight Rider, the board game.



Aside from featuring KIT on the front, the game is nothing like the show. It's more like Magnum P.I., in that nothing cool happens unless you PRETEND it's happening. The board is made up of intersecting roads that look like the slides from Chutes and Ladders. Each road is connected by circles that you cover with red paper dots. Each dot is red on one side and has a five or six-figured number (money or points?) on the other side. When you land on a circle, you collect these dots and add them up at the end.

If, by some unlucky roll of the dice, you find yourself on the same dot as another player, you must have a Chicken Challenge! Two players hold cards with a bird's eye view of a vehicle. When layed front-to-front, you see whether the cars are driving away from or towards each other, which results in either you winning, the player winning, or a head-on collision. Total destruction! Now that's the Hoff I know and love.

Setting up the dots was hands-down the most tedious part of the game, a boring task of Mall Madness proportions. The Chicken Challenge was the best part, and if you could get around arguing over who would be the playing piece that looked like KIT or who had the card with KIT on it, then it was a good 40 minutes of taking turns and counting. Just like going to the DMV.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Board Game Flashback: Sorry!



This game really brought out the crab in me. In fact, when I think back to the times I played it with my family, I can distinctly remember games ending in me storming out of the room, and my mom or sister saying, "Aww, don't be such a spoiled sport!" The game is DESIGNED to make people mad! And it encourages kids to sarcastically say, "Sorry!" When a grade-schooler discovers sarcasm it marks the end of innocence. "Sorry you have to start over again at the beginning when you were so close to winning. Sorry you're such a LOSER!"

I don't remember how it's played, I just know that it involved the pieces from Clue (before they got upgraded), and the vibrant colors of UNO, and all the inclusive fun of a game of Keep-Away. I think instructions included 5 different languages explaining "give youngest player a verbal noogie until he/she storms off."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yeeps


Having curly hair means you regret every picture ever taken of you in the past. I guess I am in denial about how ridiculous this coiffe can get sometimes. And what am I wearing?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Science!



This is a picture of my husband Luke holding a compact for me while I put makeup on before a show. It was taken by Harris Bloom outside of Conker Hill Bar. I am often holding four things at once, so Luke was nice enough to provide an extra set of hands. I think I was squeezing a pair of boots between my legs, planning to put them on next.

The show was quite a doozy. By no fault of the comedians, the audience was unpredictably insolent. There was a pizza box kicked back and forth across the floor during my opening.

Crowd: We're playing soccer!
Me: That's not how you play soccer.

I learned beforehand that most of the people attending Happy Hour worked at the advertising firm "Ogilvy".

Me: Who's here from Ogilvy?
Crowd: WOO!
Me: I love your delicious, chocolatey drink.

They were so loud and unruly, I began most of my jokes without finishing them. After I settled them down they became ghostly quiet and refused to laugh at anyone. Then a man at the bar, close to the stage decided it was okay to laugh but also added, "Science!" after every punchline he enjoyed.

Harris: Yeah, science...I don't understand what that means.
Man: "Science!" From the 1980s.
Harris: Oh, Weird Science? The movie?
Man: No...
Me (from the audience): She Blinded Me With Science, the song?
Man: No...the sportscaster on the local news channel who would always yell, "Science!"

Riiiight. Doug Adler and Harris Bloom put on a great show and invite great acts, so do check it out. Just don't bring pizza. And for the love of the 1980s, keep the demons in your head.

Comedy at Conker Hill
640 10th Ave (45/46 streets)
Tuesdays at 8:00PM, FREE

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Following Ted Alexandro


I performed at Chris Polanco's new show, "And Then What Happened?" at Under St. Mark's Theater last night. The house was full, the opening improv team was hilarious, and the lineup was great.

I followed Ted Alexandro, who had a great set. If you've ever seen him, you know that in small rooms he keeps his energy low. His voice is calm, his act-outs are minimal, and the focus of the humor is on the words he's saying (he crafts a really great joke). I was amped up to perform, but by Ted, four comics in, I was fading. I yawned a lot. I've been low on sleep the whole week.

"Sorry I'm so tired guys. (Glance at wrist to check the time) I just realized I'm checking a watch that's really bracelets."

I can't say I had the best set of my life, but I was glad to be there, and the crowd was warm. Even when I started badgering them.

Me to audience member, "Remember when you said on your way in that if anyone bothered you, you were going to charge the stage?"
Guy: Me?
Me: Yeah, you.
Guy: I said that?
Me: Yeah, before the show. But you're sitting two rows back, so if you were going to charge the stage, you'd have to get past BMW man. (I point to the man in front of him who earlier admitted he owned a BMW).
Guy: Oh. Are you gonna make fun of me?
Me: No.



Photo credit:
nycomedy.wordpress.com and Chris Polanco

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Luke's New Show: Society Comedy

Luke is running a great new comedy show on Monday nights at Society Coffee House in Harlem.

The first show had Ryan Hamilton, Vince Averill, Dave Lester and Abbi Crutchfield (I know her...). The following Monday featured Wil Sylvince, Moody McCarthy, Liz Miele and Lance Weiss! Pretty amazing talent, delicious drinks and a fantastic menu. YES, this does conflict with the open mic I run, but the good news is if you can't make it up to Luke's show, head down to see me in Park Slope. Now the Crutchfield-Thayer-Crutchfields are more accessible than ever before!

Jodi and Vince Averill


Dave Lester and Ryan Hamilton


Society Comedy
2104 Frederick Douglas Blvd
New York, NY 10026
Mondays at 8:00PM, FREE!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

That's What I Said

I had fun at Rob Nolfe's music jam yesterday at Telephone Bar. I was the opening comic for a string of very talented guitarists. A string! What a comedian.

Mid ad-lib, I made my own tongue twister. I am miming holding a kitten and then letting it run away, but I let it "run away" from waist-high. I tried to remark, "I let my ficticious kitten fall from a great height." But I couldn't say "ficticious kitten." Neither can you. Try it. Try it three times fast. Oh shut up.

So after several attempts that came out as chicken, kitchen, and fit-chicken kitchen, I gave up and used synonyms. A couple of other musicians called back to it later.

This on the heels of me making fun of a toy that had the EXACT same problem...!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Board Game Flashback: Mall Madness


This game used to be so much fun. The object was to make purchases at each store and exit the mall first. You had to use credit cards. Just like real life! It took twenty minutes to set it up, because you had to build the mall yourself. Just like real life!

The girl on the cover of the box reminded me of Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias but younger, and so she became my new, imaginary best friend.

The mall's design was two floors decorated like 1990s Miami, with enough pastels to rival the set of The Golden Girls. All the stores had corny names like "Tinker's Toys".


The front of the box says, "IT TALKS". The center of the board had an unattractively orange battery-powered computer. You stuck your credit card in one of two slots on the console, and a voice would let you know if you could buy from there or not, among other instructions. My game had a guy's voice who would either say, "Cha-ching!" or "Ooh, long line. Try again later!" The latter came in a really condescending tone. Since it was random, you never knew if he'd accept or reject you. If I ever find the actor that recorded those slogans I am going to punch him in the face.

Then there was the nice lady who alerted you to pick up the miniature Sale / Clearance signs and plop them down on top of different stores.

"BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! Attention shoppers, there is a sale at the...sunglasses store...and the...furniture shop...and a clearance at the...chicken store!"

Whenever she said "Chicken store," we all knew she meant kitchen. But the warbled recording would crack me up every time.

Apparently fake money came with this game, but I never used it. I just encouraged my friends to buy with a credit card so we could hear the sassy voice in the orange box and then insult him if he didn't tell us what we wanted to hear. This game teaches you that credit cards are just an endless supply of money that is easier to carry. And that shopping more than your friends makes you a winner.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dog the Bounty Hunter: Polanski Episode


You been runnin' a long time Bra'.


Yeah Bra'. My Dog sniffed you out. You're in the dog house now. You ain't gonna hound nobody no more.


I'm gonna need you to turn yourself in.


What you mean turn myself in? I am highly regarded director.


PUT THE ICE DOWN! PUT THE ICE DOWN! PUT IT DOWN NOW!!


Leland, take it easy. You won't need pepper spray for this job.


Okay, I put iced tea on table to calm nerves of angry cave man. What is this circus?


There's a bounty on your head my man. You have to change your ways. Face the music. When you cut the legs off a piano, the music doesn't sound the same.


What means your metaphor?


You've been Roman around too long.


You with puns. You always stand with hands on hips.


No I don't.


Yes you do. You are doing it again.


No I'm not.


I have had hard life. I am not permission to enter United States for concert of my friend R. Kelly. Do you know agony of not having Nathan's hot dog on Coney Island Boardwalk? (Sob!)


I most certainly do. Come here. Give me a hug. Get in the SUV, and we'll give you a cigarette and say a prayer for you.


(sniff) Thank you. I hope to receiving pardon from your fat, American God.


No chance of that my brother. But glad to have you on the show. Sigh...It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.


Doggone right!

For old time's sake, here's my post on when Dog let the N-word fly free like an American Flag.