For Flashback Friday I’m taking you back to December 9, 2009 and to the premiere of my Yoga-inspired film, Boulevard Zen. What a magical night that was, with super fond memories beginning with the drive over to The Silent Movie Theater with my very talented co-star and associate producer, Stephanie Drapeau. We sang our butts off to its catchy theme song, Life’s Boulevard, composed and performed by award-winning singer/songwriter, Erick Macek.
Here’s the music video with a panorama of my amazing journey in Hollywood. Enjoy – R
Great weather, tons of Yoga, a new talent agency and my own weekly showcase in the first 50 days. What more could I ask from America’s third largest city? I suppose a date with Katy Perry is the veritable cherry on top (no pun intended), but other than that, I’m rockin’ Chicago!
Hope you’re rockin’ your world wherever you are, and here’s a quick update since I arrived in the Windy City only 50 days ago:
It’s been two weeks since I moved to Chicago to pursue Stand-up comedy and to teach Yoga in the third most populous city in America (about 2.7 million residents). And what a city it is, with more than 50 million visitors last year alone, the “Windy City” has breathtaking historical architecture and world class culture including public art, theater and improvisational comedy, not to mention all the jazz, blues and house music. And don’t forget professional sports, which I should know since I’m currently living three blocks away from Wrigley Field…Go Cubbies!
And if you haven’t seen the sunrise over Lake Michigan, you should try it sometime. But wait, what about “I Love LA” and 9 years worth of plying my craft and producing 20+ hours of instructional Yoga videos throughout the streets of Hollywood? It’s all preparation for what comes next, and it’s all part of life’s wonderful journey. If you ask me I’ll always say never be afraid to take a chance on yourself, regardless of how scary it may be – or seem to be – to leave behind what you know best, i.e., your comfort zone.
The good news is Chicago’s not too foreign to me because I did spend two years here during my grad-school days at The Kellogg School at Northwestern University. Albeit, I spent most of my time in the comfy confines of Evanston, but of course I did venture down to bars in Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park and Rush Street for the occasional ruckus with my buddies – which you’ll know if you read my wild and witty memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood.
So never be afraid to LEAP…just make sure your move is well thought-out and even planned, although too much thinking and planning may lead to inaction (not a good thing). And if you make it to Chicago, give me a shout and come take my Yoga class.
Which, by the way, as of today I’m teaching at all 9 locations of Chicago’s premier fitness club, Chicago Athletic Clubs. In honor of National Yoga Month, I’ll be teaching a special class on Sunday, September 27th at the Lincoln Square location. Hope to see you there! Peace – R
I’ll also be hosting the Open Mic at Tribal Cafe in Echo Park every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month – starting this Monday, August 10th as well as August 24th. Calling all Stand-up comedians, Musicians, Singers & Rappers for a great time to strut your stuff. Sign-up at 7p – first come, first serve – so come early, bring your best 5 minutes and I’ll see you there.
Hey everyone, keep the momentum going and never lose sight of your goals…it works.
Also catch me in the Next Comic Standing competition at the HaHa Cafe Comedy Club in North Hollywood on Monday, August 3rd @ 8:30p. It’s a comedy contest amongst up and coming comics where you get to vote for your Top 3 that will go through to the finals.
Great show last week and I’m now getting ready for this Thursday’s show at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, 10p in the Main Room.
And here’s some more exciting news…I was accepted into the 2nd Annual Burbank Comedy Festival the week of August 16th – 22nd! Performance dates are 8/20 at 4p and 8/21 at 7:30p.
With each performance a Stand-up comedian experiences an epiphany, i.e., asudden,intuitiveperceptionoforinsightinto therealityoressentialmeaningofsomething. Pretty heavy stuff, I know, but each time I learn something different about myself and my material. And what’s great about performing is that there are no bad performances, just enlightening ones. Whether I bomb or kill-it, it’s a win-win all around.
Kinda like practicing Yoga…every time you hit the mat you evolve your mind, body and soul. At the very least you make progress with your practice, or as I like to call, move up another rung on the ladder of life. Because no matter what you’re trying to master, the overall journey is more important than the individual occurrences along the way.
Another show under my belt and another reason to go back to the drawing board. Because practice makes perfect, or at the very least, gives you the opportunity to evolve whatever you’re doing. If that’s not working, then hit the gym and get your workout in…that always helps!
This past weekend I performed again at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, CA and tried all new material that was funnier than my previous show – that’s a good thing! Because with stand-up comedy it’s all about delivering your jokes with as few words as possible and with as much attitude as possible, then refining them soon thereafter to get them to work. And for those jokes that are already working, i.e., everyone’s laughing hysterically, then don’t change a thing. So they say…whoever “they” is.
Either way the key is to keep improving your stand-up comedy act to one that flows seamlessly and effortlessly while you’re simply having a conversation with the audience. Something I’m progressing with, a task much easier said then done.
What’s funny, sexy and exhilarating, that makes you wanna get up and dance?
Pitch Perfect 2.
And if you’re not into musicals or sequels, it really doesn’t matter – go see this film. With an amazing cast led by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Katy Sagal, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins (who are great together), you’ll be laughing and be-bopping for at least 2 hours.
You already know I’m a big Anna Kendrick fan, but I wasn’t planning on seeing this film in the theaters until my soon-to-be 16 year-old niece said she loved it. And since I’m always intrigued when movie-goers of any age tell me they love a film…I went and loved it too. With so many great actors and so many great one-liners (no kidding, they’re great), this cool hipster musical touches the soul and makes you really wanna get up in the aisles and dance!
Kudos to Elizabeth Banks on her directorial debut. Excellent job Elizabeth, plus you’re charming, sexy, witty, ditzy and wonderful as the no-holds barred announcer, Gail. I liked Pitch Perfect 2 so much that if I were reviewing it on Tola Talks, I’d give it 2 thumbs (out of 3).
Like I said, go see this film and bring your teenagers, it’s PG-13. And for some really good live comedy this week-end, come check-out my Stand-up show this Saturday, May 23rd from 7:30-9p in the YooHoo Room at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank. CA. It’s gonna be a blast!
P.S. Don’t leave the movie theater until the credits have rolled or you’ll miss Christina Aguilera and the gang from The Voice.
Good stuff all around as I continue to write new Stand-up material and learn that just because you have a great Topic and a Premise, doesn’t mean you’ll have a great joke. Thus the need to keep re-working your material again and again, once you’ve tried it in public.
Like I did at my recent Flappers show on April 24th. It’s always a rush when you get when you get up on stage, plus you learn a lot about what jokes are working as well as get accustomed to both hot and cold audiences. Quite a journey, and one that gets better with each performance.
Keep believing you can & sit tall in the saddle. And don’t forget your daily workout! Peace – R