Dying is easy, open mic comedy is hard!

(From Wikipedia: An open mic (or open mike) is a live show where audience members may perform at the microphone. Usually, the performers sign up in advance for a time slot with the host or master of ceremonies. These events are typically focused on performance arts like poetry and the spoken word, music, and comedy.)

Monday night, I gave up my open mic slot at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA to four older ladies who sang and played guitar. They had come in from out of town, how could I NOT give them my slot? The host said that was nice of me, the ladies were sweet and told me about another open mic location they did. Cool, another place for me to perform! Ooo, I am such a good person!

caseywickstrom-livevocalAt open mics, I do spoken word. I read from my stories, sometimes accompanied by music off my iPad. Open mics have a lot of musicians: Casey Wickstrom is one. He is most excellent. Check out his music on YouTube (like Blues Song #666)!!! Then buy it!!!!!! I got two of his albums!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over my many years at open micing, I have seen that the audience is polite to comedians, but comedians are lucky to get more than a couple of laughs. Except for last Monday, where a comedian WOWED the crowd! He started with a fart joke (when you hold it in, where does it go?). From there, the laughs got better and better. He was black and from Panama, and asked us if we’d peg him as hispanic. He dissed Walmart, always a good joke in my book, always! (I shoulda got his card so I can plug him here.) Off stage, he wore a hat like the kid in Adventure Time. He was a tall guy with a shaved head. The cap made him look, well, more like a kid. An incredibly big kid.

Over my open mic years, I too have gotten laughs. But my biggest hits have been the sad chapters with a funny punchline. That’s what I’ll be reading next week at Red Rock.

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Cinequest is over. Last movie bits.

littom-final-poster-web-readyFinal highlights. God, I love Cinequest.

Love In The Time Of Monsters: A delightful throwback to goofy cheap horror flicks of yesteryear, except in this case, the actors and actresses can act and get lotsa laughs. Killer zombies in bigfoot suits! One electrified zombie, funny how nobody thought of that before! A mutated moose! Tough sexy girls! A tuff old hermit! EEEEEVIL slimy squirrels with BIG NASTY MOUTHS! Dastardly ducks! Lots of laughs! This will wash that bitter, hating Paranormal Saw movie crap outta yer skull and replace it with fun, fun, FUN! Check their blog, uncleslavkosfuntimeblog.com, I’ll try to post there also and point here.

Cheatin’: I have followed Bill Plympton’s work for years and years. No dialogue, hand-drawn animation with Bill’s usual crazy surreal bendiness, and a smart story of love and heartbreak and revenge and crazy tech and a happy ending.

Slingshot: A documentary about Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway) and his water purification device called the Slingshot. Inspiring. Heartwarming. Hopeful. Smart. Why can’t America admire scientists as much as athletes?

Blood Punch: Twisted and bloody and supernatural and funny and a hoot and a half! The guy and girl main characters are touching, the other male lead is a psycho who’ll make you laugh as he is killed, killed, killed. A smart, well-structured script that takes you for a looping ride.

Dom Hemingway: Jude Law as a larger than life loser, his own worst enemy, always fun to watch and to root for (no matter how nutzoid he gets) who finally finds what he really wants from life. Funniest and most human slo-mo crash I’ve seen in ages (Michael Bay and Matrix crashes are just noise by comparison).