Teaching Life Lessons is What it’s All About

Kudos to everyone who packed the house in support of our 12 Ladies of Christmas Holiday Show at Chicago’s Two Hearted Queen, and thank you to the very funny and very talented performers who donated their time and energy to make it an awesome event!

As your host/producer who always appreciates the opportunity to impact the lives of youngsters – as well as anyone else who’s open to it – the best part of the night took place right before our raffle drawing, while teaching young Nathan the proper way to shake hands.

Like the ancient proverb says: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. So take heed and rid yourself of that dead fish handshake!

And don’t forget your daily workout. Peace – R

Rockin’ Chicago…First 50 Days

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:

  1. Signed with BMG Talent and auditioning for film & TV.
  2. Hosting a monthly comedy & talent showcase at Two Hearted Queen the 2nd Saturday of each month.
  3. Taught 51 Yoga classes and love my new home at Chicago’s #1 fitness community, Chicago Athletic Clubs. Come check-out any of our 9 locations around town and take my Yoga class sometime…we’re awesome!
  4. Found a new apartment in the lovely confines of Lincoln Park – 1 mile from the free Lincoln Park Zoo.
  5. Made a quick trip back East to visit family and friends and to watch my oldest nephew play baseball for my alma mater, The University of Pennsylvania.

Keep pursing your passion and Happy Halloween everyone…and don’t forget your daily workouts – they do wonders to fight those aging affects of good old Father Time! Peace – R

Flappers Show this Sunday & Hosting Open Mic at Tribal

flappersmainroomOne more day for free tickets to my show this Sunday, the All Men’s Dress to Impress at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank – starting at 9p in the Main Room. Click this link for free tickets: http://flc.cc/1VLYka8 (expires Thursday).

Once that expires, click this link for $5 tickets (expires 24hrs prior to show): http://flc.cc/1IHEKbn

Come eat, drink, laugh and join the fun as I get ready for the Burbank Comedy Festival.

tribalcafeopenmicI’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.

Any questions, email me at: info@richtola.com

Peace – R

Flappers on July 23rd & the Burbank Comedy Festival

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.

burbankcomedyfestival

With each performance a Stand-up comedian experiences an epiphany, i.e., a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something. 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.

Have an awesome week everyone and hope to see you Thursday at Flappers! Peace – R

Practice Makes Perfect…Otherwise Hit the Gym

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!

Rich Tola at Flappers Comedy Club
Rich Tola at Flappers Comedy Club – May ’15

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.

Hope to see you at my next Flappers show on Father’s Day, June 21st in the Main Room.  – R

Stand-up in the East Village NYC & next show in LA

eastvillecomedy clubHappy Cinco de Mayo everyone…hope you’re having an awesome day!

I’m looking forward to returning to NYC next week and will be performing at the EastVille Comedy Club on 85 E. 4th Street next Tuesday, May 12th starting at 6p.  My next LA show will be at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank on Saturday, May 23rd from 7:30-9p in the YooHoo Room.

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

Next Stand-Up at Flappers Comedy Club on April 24th

flappersStand-up comedy is the most condensed form of all comedy, and for the really good comics, it’s simply a conversation with the audience. A really funny one at that.

Over the past six weeks and on the heels of our 150th episode of Tola Talks, I’ve been studying this rather frightening art form – for most entertainers, that’s for sure – and honed my skills at writing stand-up as well as performing in front of a large crowd…twice at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, CA. On my first attempt I “didn’t bomb” as one friend so eloquently put it. On my second attempt I definitely heard some roaring laughter and felt the exhilarating rush comics feel when the room gets going. I can see how stand-up comedy can be frighteningly addicting. Albeit, very challenging, to say the least.

With concepts like attitude, topic, premise, act-out, mix, turn, set-up, and punch, not to mention there’s no one up on stage to help you do anything, stand-up is hard. Whatever that means. But it’s also super gratifying when you get it right, i.,e, make people laugh. Or as legend Whoopi Goldberg once said, make them laugh and think. Because good comedy is not just funny, it’s also insightful about something everyone can relate to. Or should be, if you want laughs.

They say the third time’s the charm, so come check me out next Friday, April 24th at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank – we’re in the YooHoo Room from 9:30-11p. Should be a blast! – R