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Washington D.C. may not be a city that embraces comedy with open arms, but you knew that already. That is why you found us. Here you can get information, interviews and insights on the best local stand-up, improv and sketch comedy this city has to offer... 4 Now. You can reach us at dccomedy4now(at)gmail.com. LET'S DO THIS, DC!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Rambling Plea

DC Comedy and Artist Community:

So, Jason Saenz left town for L.A. and then while on the way to L.A. decided to go to New York where he says he fell in love with Chinatown. Chinatown has a fledgling comedy community and Jason is sort of an overgrown gold fish in a small meditation pond; people are already referring to him by his own material, "Cum Dumpster"—of course it’s in Mandarin. Even in China they know you can call a hungry comic anything and they will bask in the attention like the lotus underneath sun.

Then there is Nick Turner, a comedic energy giant that has a departure date set for sometime...soon. From what I heard, his bags are packed and his conscience is wracked with guilt, which means he'll be looking to split very soon.

With Jason and Nick’s departure, so goes with them their enthusiasm for the DC comedy community and this website; which has left this blog barely pulsating.

I hope I'm not the only one with defibrillators because I really don't know how to use them, except for what I have seen on TV, especially in that movie, "The Abyss", with Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio--specifically when Harris slaps her around and calls her a "bitch" a couple of times before she is revived. I heard Harris allegedly said that it was the only time he ever felt like he wasn’t acting.

This is the exact treatment DCComedy4Now needs at this very moment. We need Ed Harris kneeling over top of our bare breasted porcelain like creamy soft angelic milky colored skin, barking and slapping the Bah Jesus out of us, and we need to continue to rewind back to the beginning of that part until we come back to life or until someone starts walking down the basement stairs. And we all know what the sound of footsteps atop of the basement stairs feels like…awkward panic, the most uncomfortable feeling on the planet.

So what does it all mean? It means either we zap DCComedy4Now back to life or this website may soon have to come to a close.

(Cue: Battle Hymn of the Republic)

However, I would like to keep it going. I've grown fond of it...I like the wallpaper for some reason.

(Nah fuck the Battle Hymn of the Republic, opt for loop of AC/DC’s Intro for “Those about to Rock”…just turn all this shit off I can’t concentrate.

Anyway, DCComedy4Now has earned a place in my itinerary when I log on; hotmail, Gmail, check my mob, search Wikipedia or YouTube for whatever. Then when I come out of that wormhole, sometimes in a rather damp state, I arrive here or lately...not, which has had an enormous effect. The dormant state of this website has truly been a catalyst for some change in my life.

[Hit the jump!]

I actually logged off the other day, when normally I would peruse dccomedy4now, and accomplished things I hadn’t thought about for months. I got a lot done. Recently I just paid my car insurance, turned off the oven, matched up some socks--the stuff I've done off the computer is only what I’ve read about on many a blog. Ran some errands, the smell of the post-office was like a heavy dose of ammonia nitrate, I think I scared some people in there with my spasmodic reactions while waiting in line. I looked like Bob Goldthwait trying to clear his nasal passages with his eyebrows.

Another revelation was that I realized I'm living with someone, this extremely bad ass chic who I thought I remembered as being heavily tatted up(they’re just birthmarks), and she was really kind enough to let me come out of my own electronical Abyss unaided and didn't hold my 9 month web induced "walk about" against me. Yet I will say the outside world hasn’t been an easily intuitive web program.

The weather is much warmer than I remembered or prefer and I am starting to recall that I'm not particularly fond of people in DC, especially my neighbor who didn't recognize by my beard nor my soiled and mildewed clothing that had by then fused to my skin. The people at the walk-in medical center who peeled off my old clothing were a bit snarky which I think was uncalled for considering the severity of the Wikiwarp I had been trapped inside of and its duration; and especially when a couple of the orderlies and nurses furtively acknowledged having had their own similar experience . Also, the phrase, "Welcome back to the land of the living", I can swear to you, is used by the same people who refer to others as "Boss" or "Chief".

What am I saying...what is my point...I want to go back. I belong on the computer, and in my own warped reality; I belong inside the computer. And I want DCComedy4Now.com to be a part of that experience. In between Jenna, watching old episodes of Different Strokes, and looking at pictures of accidents on the Autobahn; I need this website to be my Mos Eisley Cantina—I need to know where my freaks are.

In order for that to happen, hopefully I can get some help. And if no help is provided then hopefully you can provide some patience. After Nick leaves, I am Solo. If I can move away from Star Wars and transition unracially (neither a word nor necessary) to Dr. King, if I had a dream for this community in DC, it would be that, it would not be looked at as just a comedy scene—but an identifiable artist community. How would you identify it? Maybe with a laser pointer.

There needs to be an artist collective, a supportive community. We are all not just stand-up comics, improvisers, actors, but we are also writers, film makers, producers, managers and audience members. In some way we have all worn different hats at some point in pursuing whatever we have set out for ourselves to accomplish. Some of us do certain things better than others. The more I go along with my own endeavors I realize that being a part of the process is really what I want to continue to be a part of in some shape or form. No one can do anything alone.

When Eddie Murphy was on "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton, it was refreshing to hear his honesty about how many people it has taken to help him create his body of work. He continually mentioned the lasting relationships he has held onto over the years.

The goals are always lofty when it comes to this subject in DC but it would nice to keep this website afloat with the singleness of purpose of being a useful tool of networking and creativity in an artistically capricious environment.So if you have any ideas or contributions continue to send them our way.


Justin Cousson said...

There's a lot of good stuff in that there post; I don't think we've met, but its good to know someone's doing something about the lack of content instead of going, "man, this site's dying."

We need to make our material as accessible as possible, and keep communicating. So many people who read this site are moving night in and night out doing comedy in all sorts of places and gaining all kinds of experience; if we're a community, we need to share more of these experiences with each other.

Maybe we need more blogs, more guest posts over here (since those will be all we have in lieu of Nick and Jason), more debates, more discussions. Maybe we need to just throw questions out here instead of strictly reporting DCC4N news and get a forum going that isn't about spamming someone for kicks.

Tyler Richardson put on a show at the State Theatre on Saturday and I didn't hear a thing about it here, even though it had some of the area's hardest working comedians and a ton of killer sets, I'm sure.

When there's a big show going on, it needs to be promoted, and after it happens, there needs to be proof. We need to have people taping our sets, taking pictures of our gigs. I did a few short videos of Top Shelf at Solly's, but wouldn't it be great if that show, the showcase of this site, were viewable in its entirety online? The comics are supposed to be bringing their best stuff, so they really should have their sets available, not only for their own promotion, but also to bring more attention to the shows in the area. When we promote ourselves, we're promoting the scene.

I'd like to keep seeing profiles of local talent up here; always with videos if that's possible. Just about everyone I've met in the scene has been really supportive and has a lot of constructive feedback for just about everybody.

How about some talk about the area open mics? Maybe its time we started promoting those more feverishly. I think the Humans' fliers are pretty great - if we're going to get people off the streets, an easel outside with 'comedy 2-nite' isn't going to help. As a campus boy, we've always had a lot of success with sidewalk chalking the hell out of anywhere people walk with info.

We're comedians. We're not above that.

It's time for new strategies, or just to go for the obvious.

How's that for rambling?

Justin Cousson said...

P.S. Oh god, I will never write a comment that long. Ever, ever, ever again.

Consider yourself an inspiration; the long-winded revolution is upon us.

Mikael J said...

You're alright kid, sounds like you're one part smart and one part mad, which is good. But you're right, it would be proper and beneficial to celebrate shows like you mentioned on Saturday night, pre and post. I want this to be a positive forum with honest, constructive feedback that serves the artist and the community. If that sounds mushy, then I guess it is, don't like it, not my problem.

Steven said...

Yes, as much as I love hearing the "old timers" bitch about newbies coming in to their clique, it's time for a rejuvenation. Perhaps DCC4N could partner up with Third Eye Comedy?

Mikael J said...

I'd be happy to set up a link to your site, if one is not already provided. I'm still getting acquainted with this...

mabergnes said...

Hi, Dedicated Audience Memeber here-- I really hope we can do whatever it takes not just to keep this blog going, but all the wonderful work that Nick Turner has accomplished by continuing on with such awesome events as Solly's Top Shelf. I am feverishly working on some pitches for the Washington City Paper and the Post and any other publications that I can think of, to get some attention for all of you talented and passionate artists. When I go to Chief Ikes or Solly's, I am blown-away by the caliber of the comedy I get to enjoy and saddened by the paltry audience attendance... THERE IS TOO MUCH TALENT IN DC TO BE GETTING THESE SMALL CROWDS! YOU ALL DESERVE SO MUCH MORE! If the crowds came, I have no doubt in my mind that they would eat you guys up! I know that you never fail to provide me with quality comedy entertainment and I really want to do whatever I can to make it possible for more Washingtonians to experience the incredible talent of you local comics. I am so sad that Nick will be leaving DC, though I know that is the trajectory of all you comic-artists and I wish all of you all the luck in the world and I sincerely hope that the world will one day know your names and benefit from your artistic vision- by laughing their asses off at you. Thank you all for all that you've given me. You have made me laugh for months and months and I hope that I will be able to continue laughing at your jokes and cheering you on. DC Comedy 4 Ever!!!


mabergnes said...

please let me know if there is anything that i can do, as a "lay person"/non-comic... you guys deserve an audience so much-- I wish I was 50 people!


Mikael J said...

Thank-you Monica. Any instinct you have to help, follow it.

Mike Blejer said...

Unfortunately when I tried to post things that were an honest expression of my views about comedy I got shit all over. Doesn't exactly bode well for a supportive artist community. I haven't checked out the site in a little under a month and probably won't with much frequency. Until there is a space where people can express a range of views without getting flamed by asshole trolls, it'll be hard to get people to put themselves out there.

Nick Turner said...

yeah those people were assholes but we put a filter on the comments and now no mean-only comments from anonymous are published. DC is safe again. now it's about EVERYONE'S opinions.