In Case You Didn’t Know…

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I can be quite dumb at times. Firstly, apologies for the lack of blogaruu yesterday but I was busy being stupid, then getting drunk, and finally stupidly drunk, so the blogaruu was neglected. Whereas on Tuesday I figured out I have a 3 minute limit for being funny in one day, yesterday I figured out my smart limit is about the same length of time.

Back to dumb mode. You might think I was dumb yesterday for leaving my wallet at home when I headed off to be productive. However, just as I was about to walk the 25 minutes back to my house and get it, I copped on there was no money in it anyways, so I was better off not having the bulky thing weighing me down. Smart choice. Surely. 

After I falsely presumed that I knew where I was going, without ever having been there before, and could not find my destination, I decided to make the smart choice and ask for directions. Outside a coffee shop, I had two choices. Homeless bum dude, or a hot girl. I would’ve went homeless dude but the last one I interacted with swung a punch at me, so hot girl it was, tut.

Hubbula hubbula, do you know where this place is that I cannot find? “Oh my gaaaawd, where are you from? Russia?” Ha, no, that was English, I am from Ireland. “Maryland?” I R Land. “Oh my gawd, I R Land, that is so cool.” The usual spiel I get. So, she didn’t know where the building was, sorry. But she did invite me in for a coffee and maybe they would know inside. Sure thing, sounds good, my round… actually, I can’t. I remembered now that I had forgotten my wallet and had no money on me. Instead of telling her this when she asked why I couldn’t come in and have a coffee with her, I just blurted out – I have no money. I meant on me, not in life terms, although not too far off. She informs me that they’ll accept credit cards, I respond by telling her I don’t have one. Again, I meant on me. Not in the global sense.

Telling her this, and then trying to explain what I meant, while standing next to a homeless guy, just led to a nice bit of awkward silence. Awkward enough for her to remember she had to be somewhere else anyways. I did not mind too much, I was out to be productive, I had to find the place. Eventually, and with a bit of help from the homeless dude, ha, sound guy, I found the building I was looking for, the BAFTA building!

You might think I am quite dumb for not going to this place before. It has been on my list of 19 things to do, but I had emailed them, so kind of thought that was enough. Why did I not call down earlier?! In I go, get a load of information, possibility of help with a visa, contacts, names, numbers, the works. I am also advised to go to the Irish Film Board Office as well, which I then find out it is literally around the corner from where I live, as in a 2 minute walk from my house, why have I not been already?! I come out a bit pumped, but still wondering why I had not been there before, dumb old me. 

All the help I was given was from an Irish girl who worked there, the first Irish person I have met in L.A. No need to tune out my words with her, she’s actually Irish like myself. Worryingly, when she asked me my name again as I walked out, she thought I said Eric, then Mack. Not a good sign from an Irish person. As I walked home, with my iPod on, I decided to practice honing out my accent, beginning with my name. So, I began saying Mark, Mork, Moaark, Maaark, Mooork, More Ark, Mork, Mark, all the way home to the tune of the song I was listening to. When the song finished up, I could hear some foot-steps behind me. Turn around, a girl is about 2 yards behind me. Didn’t I see her just as I turned the corner onto this long straight street? Indeed I did, she has been behind me all along. Listening to me saying my name over and over.

We both stop at the light to wait and cross the road. I look at her, wondering if she heard me talking to myself the whole time. She looks back, I give her a how’s it going nod, and I see she did hear me the whole time. Seeing as she asks “Who’s Mork? You must really like him, or his name.” Yeah, Mork is actually me, I love myself. This gets a laugh from her, bit of small talk, walking along, chatter chatter chatter, and we come to another junction, where I am swinging a right. I have already told her that I am going out boozing later, heading to My House, and been told she is going there too. So, when she asks me to text her later, take her number, I don’t for two reasons. Well, I don’t put it in my phone, instead I pretend to memorize it. 

I have realized that it means absolutely nothing, when a girl gives you her number in L.A. As in nothing. She would’ve given it to the homeless dude if he had an accent. Whereas in Ireland, if a girl gives you her number, it probably means she wants to take advantage of you, ha. Here, however, it just means now instead of asking you to your face “Who are you and what do you?”, they can do it by text. And then be confused and disappointed with the reply “I am homeless and unemployed, call over if you like” text. So I have given up taking numbers unless I think it actually might be worth it. Hot girls can be seen at every corner and walking the streets of L.A everyday, there is not a shortage here. Pity they’re whures though. Still hot.

Second reason that I pretended to remember the number, was that she had already told me that she was going to the same club that night, without me prompting her. If she was there, happy days, if not, the club is fully equipped with an abundance of good looking girls. So before I headed there, went to the karaoke bar, beer bong on, free shots because I am Irish on, pitcher on. Headed to the club, and, lo and behold, I bumped into the girl. Who then introduced me to her boyfriend! See, funking stupid, delighted I didn’t take her number now, I knew I was being smart! Being honest, I can’t remember much after that, they bought me a round of whiskey shots for being Irish and off I went.

However, and this was the whole point of the post, to highlight the dumbness, I do remember this. Got a cab home, with Andy and Colin Todd, and dropped off at the top of my street. Usually this is fine, 30 second walk and I am home. Things have changed though. Here is why…

Strip Club

The strip club at the top of my street re-opening would do that, especially seeing as it is opened until the wee hours of the morning. So the cab drops me off, I see the flashing lights of the club, mosey on over. It is $20 to get in, bob hope I have that left on me at this stage of the night. Banter with the bouncer, for a change I convince him that he is actually Irish, and get let in for free.

Being a tad drunk, all I remember is walking into the club, around the club once for a lap, then leaving, not sure why to be honest, I think I realized I was twisted and should head home. I am getting a few flashbacks writing this alone, so maybe I did sit down somewhere for a while in there. I also just got a flashback of having banter with the guy who used to be in ‘N Sync. Not Justin Timberlake, or the fat guy, or the gay guy, the other main guy? I can’t really remember.

I do know that as I was walking back out the door, having banter with the bouncer, asking if they need a DJ, sorry, slurring if they needed a DJ, a girl working had followed me out, and tried to drag me back in for a dance. Not a slow dance on the dance floor though, or a dance where I could show off my “Timmy the Rabbit” dance. I was presuming she wanted me to give her money to “dance” for me. I told her no, had to go home, I live just over there, I am sure I’ll be back again (I was lying, I swear). Again “Oh my gawd, where are you from, that accent is so cool.” The bouncer answered enthusiastically on my behalf “Irish, this f**ker is I R ish!!!”… “Oh my gawd, you must come back again, we should hang out, thats so cool” I was feeling tremendously twisted at this stage, so told her I had to go home, now, ciao ciao. “Ok, but you better come back, what’s your number, I want to hang out.” So, seeing as I had wasted my 3 minutes of being smart on blagging my way in for free, I dumbly, yet funnily in my book, replied with the answer “4, sometimes it’s 7 though depends what jersey I get.”

Ha, that line is priceless, but it left the girl confused. At least the bouncer laughed. Then, once the girl went back inside, he asked me why I didn’t give her my number, she had just broken up with her boyfriend, plus did I not see what she looked like?!!! I could make out the outline of her in my twisted state, but the real reason I did not give her my real number, the real reason… I can be quite dumb at times.

Here’s the song I think I was listening to in the strip club, not fully sure though so it might have just being playing over in my head… I Want You So Hard by Eagles Of Death Metal

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Some Laugh!

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Everyone had me well pre-warned about my stand-up debut… My first time would be horrendous no matter what, just enjoy it sort of thing. Era shur that’s just like the first time I had… I won’t even bother, those jokes are too easy even for the likes of me.  In preparation for the debut, I took the route of not planning too much out, not to think about it too much, avoid over doing it and nerves. I had the gist of what I was going to go with, my dodgy opener about sex with a pig in Mexico on Spring Break, then a few stories, finish with my one joke, should be a good laugh, no nerves, I love making speeches, same thing really.

However, I must admit, nerves were brought to the surface the minute I turned the corner onto Melrose and saw the club, Improv. It was my first time seeing the place. Plus, there was a ton of people gathered outside the club, as if it was a queue for a concert or something. Maybe only 50-60 people really, but looked like a big queue at the time. Here’s what it looks like…

Improv Club

Seeing all this brought the nerves right up to the top of my stomach, and down to the bottom of my bowels. It was then I realized I had no clue what to expect. As I walked in the door of the comedy club, I copped on that not only had I never done stand-up before, this was my first time even being in a comedy club. Queue rumble of the bowels, ha.

As I was told to come along, 3-5 minute gig, management might be watching, might impress or you’ll be crap, don’t go over alloted time given etc., I presumed I was going on no matter what. Instead, I was given a piece of paper, put your name and number on that, and stick it in the jar. Ok. Hanging around the bar in front, waiting to see when I would be on, I saw everyone else was working on material, scribbling on pads, making adjustments, trying out lines on each other. I was just sitting there wondering if my sweat patches were going to be visible up on stage, some heat in here, phew, turn on that a/c. I realized that the nerves had started to get at me a bit, so I decided to settle them with a cup of coffee, and a can of Red Bull at the bar while the rest worked on their notes. Stupid idea. Queue worse rumbles of the bowels. Why didn’t I go with the water?!

As it turns out, the name and number were for a draw, to see who would be given the slots for the 3 minute windows, there were too many people here for everyone to go on. Great, I knew before looking at the list that there was bob hope I would be on it. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, banter amongst each other (which, for a group of comedians, or wannabe ones, was absolutely brutal, mostly annoying people who were trying too hard to make jokes). I still rushed to the list when it was put up on the wall, full of hope that they might take pity on me and let me in… nay, did not make the cut. Balls.

I think maybe 10 or 15 of us didn’t make the cut. I heard a lot of “Aw f**k this s**t man, I didn’t want to waste my time here anyways!”. I, on the other hand, did, a lot, so I decided to stick around to watch the acts at least. Being honest, initially, I didn’t mind too much not getting to go up. Everyone else seemed far better prepared, knew what they were doing, I would just watch and get tips. It wasn’t like I was after telling a load of people about doing it, had been pumped all day, and was hoping it would make good material for the blog or anything like that. I would just watch and take notes. Before it kicked off, I noticed all the photos on the wall of the different people who had performed at the club, everyone from Robin Williams to Jack Black, Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock, Bill Crosby to Jay Leno. An impressive list to say the least.

The club part was class, the brick wall and microphone to the right, tables and the likes to the left. I grabbed a seat near the door, conveniently next to the M.C/organizer guy, introducing myself like a good teacher’s pet. The first few acts fired me up. No offence to them, but they were fairly horrific. As in bruuuuuuutal, let the joke go. From the first few acts alone I learnt that, 9 times out of 10, really long jokes are a no-go, the audience just zones out unless it is sheer brilliance, and if a joke is going poorly to start with, 10 times out of 10 it will not get any better. I also learnt that if a joke gets a good laugh once, don’t ruin it by adding on an extra punch line, particularly when the second punch line is horrendous and makes the first seem like a fluke.

After watching all this, I was pumped now to go up. If nothing else, I could be no worse than the first few acts. I went up to the M.C, and asked what the hope was going on at the end if there was time? This got me on the maybe list, still 4 others ahead of me though on the maybe list alone. At least I had moved up a notch.

The next bundle of acts that followed were actually good. In particular, the big fat gay guy was funny (his own description), the black albino was brilliant (actually was an albino and black, weirdest thing I have seen in a few days), and a girl who wasn’t great at delivering jokes, but was class at singing songs in different voices. I also realized how easy going everyone was with racist humour (not full on, but black folk taking digs at white folk, white folk having digs at Jewish folk, one girl having digs at everyone because her parents were black, white and Jewish). If you can get black folk liking your jokes in the crowd, you are onto a winner, they go way over the top with the laughing, while white folk just chuckle. Not sure what the Jewish folk were up to.

This round of acts had me even more pumped to go on, it seemed like some buzz when the crowd were liking your stuff, playing off each other, banter on. I went back to the M.C, and pulled out a banker line… Any chance I can go up at the end, I think I have to go back to Ireland next week, might be my only chance… “Oh, you’re IR-ish, how cool, I’ll let you go up right at the very end, 3 minutes only, pick your song.” I had noticed everyone was getting a snippet of a song as they came on stage, like wrestlers do, so flicked through the song book to choose. First page, saw a song I had been listening to a remix of on the way to the club, done, sorted, pumped, I was going up!!!

When I finally heard my song being played, and my name being called out, I think there must have been about 10 people left in the audience. The majority of people who did their act, waited a few more acts then headed off so numbers dwindled as the show went on. Seeing as I was the last on, I got the bottom of the barrel. But I did not give a flying funk, I was absolutely pumped by the time I got onto the stage. The gig was only 3 minutes, with 2 minutes gone a light in front would flash, and when it was up, it would flash again. So I ploughed on with the opener as I was walking up, no time to waste. 

I won’t go through blow for blow each joke, I’ll give the outline. Firstly, the opener was barely understood, which was the best thing that happened. Queue banter with the crowd, them mocking me, me mocking them back, then I just mocked myself and got good laughs. Everything else I had planned went out the window. Instead I went off on a tangent about texting cabmen my address from the back of their cabs seeing as they couldn’t understand me, fighting homeless people, complete random stuff that the crowd had me thinking about up there, just stories from the blog really. I realized that by finishing my stories with a dumb American accent, just a word or two, I was getting laughs, it worked a treat. I saw the light flashing, so to finish off, I told big fat gay guy in the crowd that I had a joke for him. What does a gay horse eat? Heeeeeeyyyy – the only joke I use for everything, speeches, weddings, funerals – and it went down a treat. Wuu’s and laughs followed, I was pumped walking off to the music.

That is my impression of how the debut went, in my opinion at least. I most certainly have a biased opinion to think it went well. God only knows how everyone else saw it.I am sure big fat gay guy and black albino were not half as impressed. Although, one good sign that gave me an even bigger head after coming off the stage. The manager/M.C guy came up to me afterwards, and re-introduced himself. Telling me how Jim Carey was brutal the first time he went on years back, so he thought I had done well. Ah, come on, I bet you say that to all the guys, stop… please, tell me more, ha. “You should come back next week, I’ll give you a better time, oh… are you not going back to Ireland this week or something you said?” Balls. Ah, no, actually, that wont be until later next week, maybe even the week after, depends really. See you next week boss! Will I be paid? He laughs “Good one, see you next week”. Eh, I wasn’t joking.

All in all, I was pumped walking home, listening to the remix of my new comedy entrance song, wondering why I hadn’t gone along before, especially seeing as it was free to do, what was I thinking?!!! It was some laugh! Not to worry though, me thinking I was great was soon squashed when I went to the gym. Thinking I was now funny, and witty, with great one liners, plus filled to the brim with confidence, I decided to break the ice with a hot girl next to me at a machine. How’s the work out working out for you today? Ha, huh, ha, d’ya get it? “What’s that meant to mean? What?” and she walks away, over to tell two of her friends to stay away from the weirdo over there in the blue bicycle shorts. I was back down to earth with a bang! It seems 3 minutes is the most I can manage at being funny in one day. Hence, such an informative blog, I left the humour on the stage!

Song of the day, random but could only be this one, even though I couldn’t find the remix I have… Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee

Stand Up, Knocked Down

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With my stand-up debut looming tomorrow, I decided I would spend the entire day, gathering and putting together all my random notes and material, for my 5 minute act. It was going to be a productive day. Until I started to realize a few key aspects. First one, and I think this could be crucial to my success as a stand-up comedian, is that I am fairly brutal at telling jokes. As in horrific. This is what my usual two line joke turns into… I start off telling my great joke. Which is then greeted by silence, a lack of laughter. So, I presume that the person did not hear me the first time around, or wasn’t paying attention. So I tell it again. They actually did hear me first time, I am told, they just didn’t get it/didn’t think it is funny. I plough on, determined to get a laugh, so I explain out the joke, why it actually is funny, highlighting the important words, catch phrases and key aspects of the two line joke. And the whole thing ends with just me laughing at the joke, on my own. I personally think all my jokes are brilliant. Then again, every mother also thinks their baby is beautiful, no matter what.

Another stumbling block is the time frame. The above scenario usually lasts 5 minutes, so time wise it is spot on. However, I am looking for laughs, so I must make sure I move swiftly on and have enough material to cover myself if and when the first signs of bombing occurs. Thankfully, I now have a back-up plan – singing the Irish national anthem, should kill a few minutes at least, and how many people in the crowd will actually know Irish anyways. Actually, with my luck, it’ll be Irish night so they all will.

I decided to test out two potential opening lines on my roommates. At least I got a consistent response. First time around, I could see that they did not understand one word I had just wasted on them. Apparently my comedic accent descends into complete gibberish to the untrained ear. Secondly, after I re-told them the jokes, I could see them still actively listening, waiting for me to tell them the punch lines. The ones I had already delivered. Oh Jesus. So, to finish off the three stages of my joke telling process, I explained why they were actually funny, only to be told “Oh God, don’t use them, try something else”. Oh yeah, I have a cupboard full of great opening lines, let me just fish one out! Looks like I’ll be opening with my line about having sex with a pig on Spring Break in Mexico. That snippet reads far funnier than the joke actually sounds. Actually, that’s it, that is the whole joke. Oh Jesus.

If only I could bring situations, and daily encounters with people, up onto the stage with me, at least they provide some humour. Earlier this morning, while making some coffee, I realized I had ran out of sugar. Luckily for me, my ridiculously hot neighbour, the Neighbour girl, was walking by my window with her laundry. Superb, I’ll ask her for some sugar, she’ll invite me over, sparks will fly and Bob’s your uncle. Out I rush, hi, sorry, excuse me, can I ask you for a favour? Going well so far, I hadn’t mentioned s**t or rubbish yet, unlike the last time I tried my luck. At this point, I should perhaps mention that I am a weird old ape when it comes to eating healthy, so I in fact don’t use sugar, but the healthier, more womanly sugar substitute known as Splenda. This was to be my downfall… Any chance I could borrow some sugar from you please? I’ll pay you straight back, I swear, haha, I’m so witty… “Yeah, sure, no problem, just come over to my hous…” Actually, I meant Splenda if you have that, I don’t actually use sugar, do you have Splenda? “Splenda? Haha, no, sorry, try the two guys in there” and nods towards where two gay guys live. The job. The haha was not with me either, it was more down and at me, with a shake of her head, and a look of “What kind of woman are you?” I’ll be the one laughing in the long run with my no calorie sweetener! And yes, the answer to your look is that I do have womanly attributes.

Needing to get out of the house after that, and away from my little hub of stagnant comedy, I hit the gym. Started off well in there. In the bathroom beforehand, seeing as all the stalls were taken, I knocked on one of the cubicle doors to see if someone was actually in there. I was greeted by the reply of “Occ-u-pied” not by one, but two guy’s voices, lovely. At least I figured out why I like to DJ/Genius in there too even though I don’t get paid. 5% of the reason would be that I actually like playing the music to an audience, of some sort. 95% of it though, is down to the fact I love compliments! Who doesn’t? Even if I get heckled off the stage tomorrow, I’ll take it as a compliment that they at least understood my accent well enough to decide that the jokes were horrific.

So, when a girl (makes a pleasant change) came up to me in the gym today saying that she loved the music I played the other day, what was the name of the Spanish song I played (I didn’t play any Spanish song but we’ll ignore that minor detail), and I was way better than the DJ playing right now, my head swelled up nicely enough for me to want to go back this week and play a few more gems I am after finding. I had not even realized there was a DJ playing at the time, bland enough if I do say so myself. However, he did have a mountain of equipment set up in front of him, as opposed to my all-in-one equipment of my laptop, so he did look the part. Dodgy remixes over bland any day of the week though!

Enough of that side-tracking so I can tell you how I think I am better than DJ Bland, I presume he is getting paid to play gigs elsewhere. It was on the way home where the fun happened. As I am coming up to the major intersection between my house and the gym, I saw my buddy, the homeless dude who makes more money than I do, with his back to me, shouting and ranting at the traffic. Seeing as we were now buddies, I presumed he would find it funny if I played the old school boy trick of tapping his right shoulder, while standing behind him to his left. He would turn and look to his right, only to have been fooled by me! Silly him! No, silly me.

I tap his right shoulder, and stand to his left. How he knows, I don’t know, but he instinctively swings to his left and clocks me in the right ear. I was not expecting this to say the least, so stumble back a bit, reeling from the shock. Full on belt too, painful enough. Although, the sheer embarrassment far outweighed any pain. When he realizes he is not being attacked, he stops the ranting and shouting he had continued on from the cars. He starts to apologize(ish), thought he was being attacked. I start to apologize for scaring him, meant to be a joke, nice right hook you have, sort of thing. I blame the blow to the head for my next action, as when he rattles his tin bucket at me, I end up giving him the only bit of money I had on me, trying to buy his forgiveness? Either way, it was a $5 note I could’ve done with, thats $6 he owes me now! Not sure if I’ll get it back though, here was his reply when I broached the subject…

 

Homeless Buddy

Hopefully the audience tomorrow won’t give me the same response during my debut! Stand-up on!!!

Here’s a song to get me pumped for it before I go on!!! Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis

Run Money, Run Visa, Run!!!

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For the past few months, my money and visa have been enjoying a lengthy marathon race with each other, seeing who would win and run out first. For a while, the visa was miles ahead, racing into an unhealthy lead. Wanting to get them back on level pegging for the sake of a fair race, a quick injection of a Spring break trip to Meeheeko evened things up. This time around, however, my money has kicked up a gear and gone into Usain Bolt mode. This is due to the bloated, cramped, irritable condition I find myself in at this time of the month – rent paying time. I am not sure how the money can be caught at this stage, it is looking like it has potentially left my visa behind, the sprint is on! Worst of all is knowing that no matter what, my visa will not give up and is destined to finish the race at some stage too. It is a win-win situation. Well, for the money and the visa, not for me.

Enough of the running analogies and horrendous metaphors, I have ran out of patience with them myself, ha. This weekend I had set myself the realistic goal of making all my rent money, in order to keep the dream alive. This would be achieved by working my two jobs, one of which doesn’t pay me money, and left me getting in a fight with a washing machine as a result. The second job, as a master salesman, had earned me the tidy little sum of $25 in a total of 3 days work the weekend before. This weekend, however, it would be different. I was going to whoop that homeless guy in the wage per hour scale this time around.

Lo and behold, I made some money. Over 4 times what I made the whole weekend before, but alas still 8 times less than I need for rent, re de de. Still though, I was pumped with the fact of making some money, have to celebrate the smallest of victories these days. I might celebrate by splashing out on the shiny silver jacket I saw the other day, which is the dodgiest thing I have seen in a long time and could only be worn here in L.A, even though it is too warm for a jacket here. Kind of looks like this. Kind of…

 

Silver Jacket

 

Not sure why but I am drawn to it and don’t think I will get it out of my system until I buy it, bring it home, rip off the tags, try it on, and finally see that is horrendous but too late to return. Kind of like that girl who you can’t decide if she is funky looking in a hot way, or in an off way, and then, after it’s too late, realize it is an off way but the tags areripped off  already, so to speak. Not that I have ever done that, obviously.

I will also ignore the fact that I left my house for work at 5.30 in the morning (some laugh after 2 hours sleep) and didn’t get home until 10 that night. So, overall, the homeless guy is still on better money an hour than me. And he doesn’t have to do a 6 hour round trip journey for his job either. He is lucky enough to work, relax and sleep all in the exact same spot. Lucky him.

Unfortunately there were no Nazis to sell to this week, just some guy who tried to sell me a gun, repeatedly, because I was Irish and he knew all about the I.R.A. Ok. I wasn’t going to argue with him, me being the one without a gun and all. Eventually he left, confused by my efforts at making a joke out of it “I have my own nun at home already, you know what us priests are like”. Horrendous I know, but at least he left me alone after it. Another highlight was haggling, for what seemed an eternity, with a group of 6 Indian ladies over a sale. Well, roughly 25 minutes, with them seemingly not possessing English, and me with a non-existent grasp on the Indian language. Even though I lost out on maybe 2 other sales while haggling with them, in the end we came to an agreement. Which turned out to be exactly what I was offering all along, good waste of 24 minutes. Well worth the $6 commission though, well worth it.

After my tough day of work yesterday, today was a day to do bob all. Turned out to be a well spent day after all though. Watched Seven Ages of Rock on VH1 Classic, 5 out of 7 anyways so far. It is savage, if you like music, and want to become highly educated in the evolution of rock and good music, watch it! It will give you new appreciation for bands or artists you know of and might recognize a song of theirs, but you might not be too sure of why they are so well known. If you have 7 hours to spare, 7 Ages on!!! Youtube all the way!

Song of the day… Daniel by Bat For Lashes

Time Of The Month… Again?!!!

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Finally, I can empathize with women. Once a month, every month, I too feel your pain, we have it tough sisters! Roughly, around this time of the month, give or take a few days, I start to get headaches, feelings of anxiety, restless nights, sweaty palms, irritable, mood swings, the whole nine yards that girls go through. My diagnosis, however, is not related to the painters calling around, so to speak. My problem is linked more to the landlord, and when it is that he will call around. The symptoms I suffer from, are brought on by the impending and looming matter of rent, and payment there of.

These headaches have being getting even worse lately. This is directly related to me living the life of a pauper, a life which, I must admit, I am finding hard to cope with. Previous floundering of my money on luxury items, such as Red Bull and the Coffee Bean, has been seriously curtailed, cutting off my steady supply of caffeine. My head has been throbbing lately. Last night I got in a full blown fist fight, with a washing machine, for swallowing 5 of my precious quarters so that I could not dry my clothes. I put up a good (-ish) fight, but the machine easily won in the end, leaving me drained and close to tears. Great fun sleeping in damp sheets and on a damp pillow! Especially when it is that time of the month again!

Perhaps the worst part of all this, is that instead of trying to lessen my headaches, anxiety, cramps, bloating feeling etc brought on from rent, or lack of, by doing something productive, I still insist on doing jobs such as DJ’ing – a job that I do not, and will not, get paid for. Yesterday, I decided not to try and earn money, not to try and focus on my writing and the sitcom, not to do something that will help me on the acting side of things, but to go up to the gym and DJ. My payment being compliments only, majority of which would be from dudes, what kind of funking ape am I?!!! Why bother?

Firstly, I should clarify and reiterate the whole me being a DJ situation. Some people have taken this the wrong way (you’re not a DJ, don’t insult me, I am a DJ, you need to use vinyl to be a DJ) or have gotten the impression that I take credit for the remixes I play. I don’t. At all. When people ask me what song was that I played, did you mix it all together just now, I say no, it was X, Y or Z. I just played X’s song then mixed it with Y’s song followed by Z’s. Having never DJ’ed before though, I feel like I should do more than just stand up there and mix the two songs, so I fiddle around on my laptop and intensely look at it, giving the impression I am hard at work. I am not getting paid good money to just stand up there and do nothing. Oh right, forgot about the not getting paid part.

So, I will use another angle, or name if you like. I am not a DJ, as in I do not scratch, do not itch, do not make records bleed.  I merely pick, in my opinion, savage songs, which will make you dance, clap along, or sing… but I am not a DJ. I do not remix live, or MC, or mix songs while standing with one foot over my head. I merely mix songs with my software that, most of the time (but a few horrific other times it has been blatant), people do not notice the end of one song, and the start of the next… but I am not a DJ. You could say, it is like that application for iTunes, where you pick one great song, and a playlist is then made of other similar great songs, the difference being that I mix the songs together. So, if you like, I will instead use the name of that application for iTunes for what I do… choose and mix great songs. From now on, instead of saying I am a DJ, if I must, and you insist, I will just say that I am a human Genius. If you insist. 

As far as my Genius set went, it was fairly uneventful. Fairly. Except the time I went to the bathroom, playing a long song to give me time, standing in the bathroom bopping along to the song, then mid song, and mid stream, hearing the song cut out (laptop crashed). Having to change horses mid stream is never easy but I had to suck it up for the sake of being a Genius, and rush back out to see what was going on. Then, a few songs later, as all dumb Geniuses do I presume, I unknowingly hit the spacebar, paused the whole thing, and took long enough to figure out what was going on. I blamed my laptop crashing for that one too.

Finished off in a good way, some girls were singing Mr Sandman up to me from the stairs below (my final song) and I left the gym happy. Until the whole – why are you bothering, why don’t you use the time to write, what’s wrong with you, good work today trying to get some rent money together for yourself, even the washing machine thinks you’re an ape robbing your money, oh Jesus, here comes the hot flushes and headaches again – all kicked in. I decided the only/cheapest/free way to get rid of the headaches, was to go to the gym that night and work them out of me.

Again I felt like an ape going to the gym twice in one day, but still couldn’t figure out why. Until I bounded in the door, past the front desk, how’s it going receptionist, my iPod is on so can’t hear what you’re saying, yeah, I’m good? Bound up the stairs, start making a move for a bench, and see the place is dead. Receptionist has half followed me up the stairs “Merrick, we closed at 10 tonight, its 5 past now, you have to leave, sorry.” Oh, right, I knew that all along, I was testing you, shur don’t you know I’m a Genius! At least I knew for definite on the way home this time, why I felt like an ape for going twice to the gym that day.

Here’s part of that great song I had people jiving and singing to the other day… Mr Sandman (Squeak E Clean Remix) by The Chordettes.

Jaysus, Some Heat!

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Temperature wise, the extreme heat wave here in L.A seems to be over. However, I will not lie, between you, me, and the garden path, I am going through a bit of a dry spell myself. It has been a few days, ha. Some heat. Which has been made all the worse by the carry on the last few days.

On Wednesday, after contemplating going to My House (US Weekly were having a big event though and my buddy on the door was off for the night, so nay go there), then perhaps Disco Dodgeball (exactly what you think it might be, however in the end my knee ruled me out), I ended up going for a random third option and went to a house club in Hollywood. Which was cool enough, and seemed like a normal club. No celebs in there, girls weren’t asking you who you were, they were more interested in where the accent was from, back to basics!

So I am outside in the smoking room with a guy I play soccer with. We are speaking at the top of our voices, throwing our accents around like a girl with tassive mits might do, seeing what we could reel in. And it worked a treat, “Where are you from, really, I R Land, oh my God, no way, you’re a priest, that’s so cool!” The night was going well, two girls could not get enough of me telling them they were horrific looking, they were far from it being honest, and when I told one she needed to shave her shoulders, it tipped her over the edge. “Oh my Gawd, you’re so funny, you have to come back to our place after this, the three of us have to party together!” Who, just the two of ye, and me? “Yeah, are you not allowed being a priest?!!” Oh sweet Lord, play it cool, was I jumping the gun presuming this, no, surely not, surely, finally, was this going to be the Holy Grail of a threesome, the two girls were offering me to come back to their place, and the night was still young, let me check my watch, not yet one o’clock. 

Balls. I remembered at this point that I was due to do a radio interview for a Cork station at 1.10 my time here, 9.10 back in Cork. I was outside in the smoking room, but it was still loud, music pumping, it was going to be tough to hear the call or for them to hear me. So, I told the girls I would be back in two minutes, I just have to go outside to take a call. Oh, and I can’t wait to come party with both of ye later, sounds savage. Back in two minutes, hang on here, I’ll be right back, down move. I scuttle back into the club, force my way all the way through, tell the bouncer I’ll be just outside for two minutes, and I’ll be back in. All of this was a bit of effort seeing as the club was full to the brim. Anyways, I am outside by 1.10, waiting for the call. Waiting. No call. Wait some more. No call. It is about 1.20, and I am standing outside a club on Hollywood Boulevard with my phone in my hand, no one ringing me, feeling like a complete ape.

I get proactive, and like a fool, I ring them, freaking to myself about my credit. Oh sorry Mark, big news here, Roy Keane has just been appointed manager of Ipswich, I was just about to call you, we’re having Eamonn Dunphy on first, then you, sound good? I was being bumped an hour. The job. I hang up, back to the bouncer, I was just inside, you didn’t give me a stamp, I was, seriously, you just saw me leaving, cool, am I good, finally. Back through the crowd of people on the dance floor, back outside to the smoking room, back out to my buddy and the gir… where did those two girls go? “Where did you go mate, you just f**ked off after they asked you back to their place later, the girls left, not sure where they are gone to now, they thought they scared you off being a priest!” No funking way. No way. Seriously? No way. You’re lying. Seriously? For funk’s sake, I’m some ape. How did the radio thing go? It didn’t!!! Did they just leave… nooo, Keanoooo, nooooo!!!

Back inside to the club, do one (two) quick laps of the club to see if I can find the girls, no joy, straight to the bar, line up the shots, never good when highly annoyed. The night has dipped unexpectedly but they weren’t the only two girls in the club, it can still be saved. If I wasn’t an ape. Trying to do a bit of dancing (good old shots) with an Aussie girl, getting into a rhythm, bodies swaying, legs interlinked, knees twisting, oh sweet Jesus my knee. A combination of her and the crowd off the dance floor hit off my knee, it buckles, she steps back away from me, I fall down on one knee, kneeling in pain for what seems like an age but probably only about a minute on the dance floor, good God what a horrendous night. Few more drinks with the soccer buddy, one final lap of the club for the girls with the lights on to make sure, no joy, obviously, cab home, just as I get out the phone rings, all I can think of while doing it is about the missed opportunities, done and dusted, and I am home, alone, reeking, horrendous night.

The next night, I had another acting class to audit, for free, I think that may have been the last one at that school. I have actually been to this class before, it is the nutter class where everyone cries, a lot (In The Shower. Singing. In French. Crying. Go!) As with all classes, the teacher introduces himself (re-introduces, he half recognizes me but I played dumb, not too hard for me) and tells me to enjoy the class, observe, and if you see something you like or want to try out the exercises, join in with it, its all up to you.

Sounds good, I’ll just observe to start with. Again, everyone is scattered all over the room, doing different warming up techniques and exercises. All of which seem to involve crying and punching your arms out saying “Huuuuhhhhh”. Freaks me out, but not as much as the first time. Until one girl, facing me but a few feet away, suddenly opens her eyes and punches the air with a “Huuuuhhh” while staring at me, then bursts into tears. Oh Jesus, did I do something, no, I forgot, thats just their thing to do, nutters.

There I am, in a room full of people crying, huhhing away, when I hear a familiar cry and wail, it’s the girl who sang the last time. She is wailing for dear life, sobbing like mad, freaking out, it is like she is possessed. She calms down a bit, and starts panting, and moaning, as if she is having an orgasm. Then the crying starts again, the teacher is telling her to calm down, be happy (more tears), be excited (even more tears), be sad (orgasm time). She is not the best looking girl in the class, or even outside the class, but she is sitting behind me, so all I hear is her moaning, and panting, slowly, deeply, and the heat kicks in again, ha! Eventually she tails off into a song, which sounds like a French version of Baa Baa Black Sheep.

I decide to observe other people. Bad idea. An Asian girl is after rolling around the room and ended up on the floor in front of me, doing the “exploration exercise” with “extreme heat” on top. So she starts to feel the imaginary heat beat down on her, rolling around the floor in front of me, and starts to whip off her top. Slowly pulling it over her head, eyes closed the whole time, wriggling on the floor, doing the splits, oh sweet Lord for your own sake stop, off comes the top, she’s now in her bikini top and jeans, wriggling on the floor, slightly tugging at her jeans as if they are too warm for her to wear. I was told to observe, so felt it would’ve been rude not to look.

Next minute I hear the panting from behind me again, Baa Baa Black Sheep must’ve ended. So as I am observing a hot girl wriggle around the floor in front of me, stripping down, doing the splits and all sorts of maneuvers, all I can hear from behind me is a girl panting, moaning, building up a head of steam in French. Oh sweet Jesus, this is to much, teacher, TEACHER, what did you mean by “Join in if I see something I’d like to try”?!!!!

Just as I am taking off my shoes and socks about to join in, the teacher rudely stops the warm up, and tells us it it time for this week’s scenes. Give me just 5 more minutes to warm up! No? My mind has drifted for the rest of the class, but I must admit, this acting malarky is growing on me more and more.

The nights here can get quite chilly, so they can, do the walk home cools me off. At least I got a 10 minute reprieve. Just as I reach my entrance, I notice a lot of commotion at the top of my street. There are four television trucks getting ready outside the club that had been shut since I moved in, I did notice that there were a few hot girls making their way towards the place earlier. Might as well go check it out, I’ll ask a bouncer for the inside scoop. What’s going on here, grand re-opening? There was a big fire, I did not know that. What actually is the name of the place? The Body Shop? What kind of club is it? Pardon? A strip club? Right next to my house? Good work.

Always good to have a place like that next door, purely because the security guys now outside will make this safe neighborhood, even safer, obviously. Actually, before I forget, I think I must go up there right now, for good reason too. I was told it used to be an Irish bar, so must see if that is true or false. And I must ask them if they might perhaps need a DJ, I am willing to work there for free as well. I’ll come straight home once I find those two things out. Straight home.

Two songs, one in honour of the girl in the acting class, could well actually be her “singing” at the end (if you’re too impatient fast forward to the last minute if you don’t know it)… French Kiss by Lil Louis

And one with a great title…My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille by Beirut

The Art Chose Me!

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The heat in L.A for the past few days has been fun-funking-real, it has been ridiculously warm, record temperatures. I had an acting class on Tuesday night, so I chose that that would be my most productive part of the day. However, I also chose not to use my brain much more that day as I seemed to forget about previous errors. Even though I knew it was roasting outside, and knew from the week before that it would be roasting in the acting studio, plus the fact that I should really have learnt from my previous mistake, I still somehow wore a light blue t-shirt to the class. Coincidence, maybe. Stupidity, definitely.

Luckily for me and my dodgy knee, the class is close by, walking distance from my house. Half way there, it started to kick in how hot it still was, even though it was almost 7. This kicked off the whole why did I wear this t-shirt, I am feeling the heat this soon, great colour to show it off. I contemplated going home to change quickly, opted not to, late as it was with my dodgy knee holding me back, I better hurry. And hurry I did, as fast as I could. Trying so fast, and being so focused, to get to the class on time, I almost ran/hobbled right into a dog and the owner outside the acting studio entrance, straight up the stairs, into class, hadn’t started yet, on time, wuu huu.

Sat down at the back, most of the other seats were taking, squeezed in between two girls. Got ready in my seat, and started to feel the flushes of heat coming on from the dead air in the studio, it was like a sauna. Then noticed I was already roasting from rushing there. I then noticed that there was some smell of s**t, who the funk was that off, the heat in the room was making it even worse too. The two girls either side of me seemed to notice as well. The teacher coughs to indicate time to start the class and first scene. We’re all looking at each other, shrugging shoulders, do you smell that? Yeah, me too, what the funk, who or what is making that smell… why are they both looking at me? Sniff sniff, it does seem strong from where I’m sitting, that’s weird. Good God this heat is too much, the smell is over bearing, why did I wear a light blue t-shirt again, and where is the smell coming from?!! Why have both girls tried to move their seats away a bit, let me check, oh that’s it, good work, there’s a big pile of dog s**t on the sole of my right runner. 

The class has started, everyone has hushed to watch the first scene to be critiqued, I can’t leave now and wash it off, I can only sit there in the heat, sweating buckets, stinking the place out with my runner, and watch. It is a 4 hour class, and I know from the last class that the only break is half way, sorry girls, I apologize in advance.

Thankfully, the first dude up in front of the camera takes everybody’s mind off everything else one could possibly think of, and just think “What the funk is going on?” Its the annoying guy from last week, the Antonio Banderas/Jesus from the big Lebowski dude. He is on stage so to speak, warming up for the scene apparently, doing weird yoga movements and flailing arm movements, wearing his boxers and a shower cap. The teacher gives him an action, and he just stares at the crowd (us). We look back to see him in the action. But he just keeps on staring, intensely, as if its a will of nerves. The teacher gives him another “Go, action!”. Still nothing. Eventually the camera man stands up, waves at him, go buddy, you’re up, come on to funk! He snaps out of it, takes the shower cap off, puts back on his clothes, and says he is good to go now. I am fairly sure everyone is thinking… Why were you stripped down wearing just your boxers and a shower cap if it was not part of the scene?!!!!

Lights, camera, action, go… and then I see the weirdest performance I think I will ever see. Jesus starts doing a scene that involves him putting on make-up, lipstick, tights, and speaking Spanish. I presume everyone else is also thinking now.. he must be playing a Spanish transvestite. Apparently not. When the scene is over, the teacher more or less asks him, what the funk was that? A Spanish transvestite? No, don’t insult me, Jesus replies. Ok, explain so. This is where it gets a bit Tropic Thunder… he was actually speaking English, and is playing a role of a woman who is pretending to be another woman. So, he is a guy pretending to be a woman, who is in fact pretending to be another woman. No-one can still understand what is going on, so the teacher asks a simple question… Why did you choose this role?!

“Hummmmmm, I did not choose this role, the role chose me. I do not choose to be an actor, I am merely an instrument for this art. The art chose me” To be honest, I was impressed with his waffling, bulls**t answer, how could you not admire such crap. In fairness, he could talk a good game. However, all he did the week before was critique other people and be ridiculously annoying. This week, later in the class he is the exact same, humming at people, interrupting the teacher whenever good points are being made… I did not pay good money to listen to your hummms!!! Oh yeah, I didn’t actually pay for this class, wuu huu! When Jesus did the scene again, one more go to do it better this time, he was just as bad as the first go, if not worse. Which led me to believe my theory is still right, bad actors are apes. They must think I am some muppet, ha.

Next scene was highly boring. A German guy and an Australian girl did some random scene, which bored me senseless. And also seemed to bore the girl next to me. Who was quite hot. So, when the scene finished up, and to make sure she didn’t doze off, I sparked off some small talk. That was fairly brutal, I was almost asleep listening to his monotone voice, you know… “That is my bruder, what are you trying to say?” Balls, I knew she had a German look off her. Oh, I mean, your bruder wasn’t bad, it was just this heat, and the monotone, and… that smell of s**t is not actually me by the way, there was this dog outside, and… She doesn’t care, she thinks I am an ape, ha. What do I really think of your bruder’s work? I stepped in it outside!

Luckily, it was time for a break. When I came back from outside and sat at my seat, I noticed that the two girls either side of me had moved places, I wonder why, girls, I cleaned my runner during the break!!! In their place, Jesus, still wearing make-up from the scene he did, but thankfully, fully clothed. I thought the fresh air at the break might have helped the heat problem I was having, but nay, the buckets of sweat were still streaming out of me, it was like a sauna!!!

The teacher re-started the class asking questions, telling stories of relevance to the previous etc. He needed a scene example, to compare an example he gave, could anyone think of one? I had the perfect one in my head, from an episode of the Office I watched earlier that day. So when I piped up, the teacher hushed people down to let me speak. And the camera man/light man swung a light he was working on in my direction, for the laugh, he is a funny fellow. And I felt the eyes of the class descend. And the heat kick in. And remaining whiffs of the smell off my runner seemed to get worse at that moment. And while I told my example, I realized while speaking it out loud, that no, it was not really the example he was looking for, at all. 

I might as well have had a fountain spurting water out of the top of my head at this moment. All of the above combined, had me dripping in sweat, lovely I know (I wasn’t the only one affected or anything, but it was bad). I’ll just finish up this scene example that actually isn’t what he was looking for at all, and we can all get back to the scenes. Until the teacher interrupts me, and asks if I am okay, am I sick? I’m great, not sick, it’s very hot though, woah, any air conditioning? “The Irish guy from last week, right?” Yes indeed, very hot isn’t it? “You re hungover man, that’s whats wrong with you, you Irish! Was it whiskey or Guinness, which one man? You are covered in the cold sweats, you need a drink, someone get him a Jameson!” Oh Jesus, I haven’t had a drink in days, this is not a hangover, I just can’t handle this heat, but seeing as you gave me an excuse, I will use it… Yeah, I am sooooo hungover, woah, too much whiskey with me leprechaun last night, holy begorra, us Irish huh, top o the morning, I’ll be fine, back to the scenes, toor a loor, everyone stop looking at me.

Got away with it, I think. After class I could see people no longer looked at me dripping in sweat like I was a weirdo. They now gave me a smile, and a knowing look, he’s okay, he’s Irish, that’s just drink sweating out of him. I was a bit dizzy by the end of the class, lost a lot of fluids after 4 hours in the sauna. Some sound, normal Swiss guy came up to me asking about the scene from The Office and started going on about stand-up. I had just signed up for my stand-up debut next week, so I was interested in the talk. He was going to see Sarah Silverman over the weekend, I should come along and get some pointers from her! Sounds good man, what day are you going? Not sure yet, ok text me shur, here’s my number, cool I’ll take yours too!! Can’t wait, text me so and let me know what day and the time. Where’s it on? Oh, I’m not sure where that is, I can meet you somewhere beforehand. Cool man, sounds good! Its a dat… balls. Its a man date. Oh Jesus. No, not that Jesus, he didn’t get the invite.

Here are two songs that I will hopefully cleverly mix tomorrow for my DJ set, re de de, it shall be good if it comes off, horrendous if I fail…

Lollipop by The Chordettes

Lolli Lolli (Morsy Mix) by Three 6 Mafia (I actually like this chorus for some reason)