Category Archives: Comedy
I used to do competitive debate in college. It was a great way to constantly learn about new things and keep your mind sharp.
One of my favorite rounds of all time was a show-debate we (Portland State) did against several schools from Seattle, in which I was able to unleash a lifetime of frustration with our northern neighbors. I was able to do that because the topic was: when forced to choose, Washington is better than Oregon. At that point, being a lifelong Oregonian, I had a lot to say on the subject, including how the whole damned state of Washington is infested with volcanoes and serial killers. And then there’s the Seattle drivers on top of that.
The result was one of my favorite speeches of all time. It hit a lot of major points, both economic and cultural. Maybe it wasn’t the most solid academic work I’ve ever done, but it was damned funny, and the all-Washingtonian panel of judges awarded us unanimous victory in the round, which, for my purposes anyhow, establishes firmly that Oregon is in point of fact, better, than Washington.
Daniel Waters, the screenwriter for the brilliant 80s satire, Heathers, once said, “My goal when writing my screenplay—as should be the goal of every screenwriter—was to make the greatest movie NEVER made.”
I feel the same way about music. I’m far more interested in doing things that I find interesting than in being commercial or even culturally relevant. That’s why with my solo music project, Godcrotch, I’m trying to do something different every time I play out, and generally the more bizarre or unexpected, the better. Things like an all-ukulele set of metal covers or a one-man blues act or a one-man hip hop act. I have nothing against commercial bands or music, but right now, I’m mostly doing this to amuse myself, so why not go all the way with it?
As a perfect example of that, for a recent gig at Tom Grainey’s Basement in Boise, I got my friend Mike Lee, The Religious Antagonist, to join for me a live-looped atheist gangsta rap we put together just before the show.
I can’t say whether anyone else will like it or not—the guy who sang a song about Jesus right before I played certainly didn’t—but it tickles me pink. Especially the line: “Ain’t no virgins for you up in heaven, just some underage ‘tang down at 7/11.”
Whether I’ll play it again or record it, who knows. But someone did catch it on video, so at least that moment will live on.
In addition to my authorly pursuits, I perform from time to time. And since the publishing world is changing to focus as much on promotion as it does on well, publishing, I’ve been trying to get out and perform as much as possible so I’m in good practice for when I go on the road for Secrets and Lies and The Madness of Method later this year.
Amongst my outings are busking and doing open mic nights with my ukulele, appearing at a live storytelling event in Boise called Story Story Night and a bit of standup comedy.
I feel comedy is especially helpful because it trains you to deal with stressful situations—when people don’t laugh—as well as to think on your feet. Most importantly though, it’s all about keeping the audience’s interest. If you’re not funny, their attention wanes and you feel it instantly. But if you can keep them on the line through engaging presentation, then it’s that much easier to do so with different, even non-comedic material.
This is some video of a recent comedy performance I did in Boise.
Ace reporter, produced playwright and internationally recognized rock’n roll supastah. That’s pretty much how I describe myself. Though others have referred to me as a frenetic enthusiast of all things communicable, who infuses chutzpah into all he endeavors despite ardent detractors. Either one is equally accurate and absurd, so it’s your choice really.
Primarily I’m a dreamer who occasionally gets around to creating as well. Anything from films and stories, to songs, podcasts, fiascos and no shortage of bruised feelings.
Though you can see a lot of my work through my day job as a reporter, critic and videographer for Boise Weekly, it’s my hope that this website will be a vehicle for all the rest of my creations that aren’t the sort of news that’s fit to print.