Thursday, January 12, 2012

Famous in Canada (I think)

June 7, 2011.  Niagara Falls, New York.  A figure in a yellow hat and a white running jacket crosses a bridge into Ontario, Canada.  A sign.  News of a video shoot.  An invitation to participate.  The man in the yellow hat turns it down.  His regrets begin immediately.  The man in the yellow hat makes a u-turn. 

A black man and an accordion player lean against a fence.  The black man begins to sing.  The music begins to play.  Some teenagers begin to hop around.  Bollywood is in the air.  Bollywood is in the man in the yellow hat's genetics.  The man in the yellow hat's limbs begin to move.  There are cameras everywhere. 

Twenty-three days before T: An MBTA Musical and over 5 months from the release of Cambridge Street, the man in the yellow hat makes his mark in Canada in a flash mob tourism video. 

The man can't wait to see himself when the video's done. 

Fast forward.  The 2011 IIFA Awards in Toronto.  Opening.  A video comes into view, projected on a screen and shot from a handheld camera.  In the video, a black man and an accordion player lean against the fence at Niagara Falls.  A familiar song begins.  The black man begins to sing.  Interspersed with some dancing fools on a beach and some celebrities, there is a group of teenagers and moms at Niagara Falls.  And a man in a yellow hat!  See him?

Some of those pixels are my flesh and blood.  I swear. 

$5 to anybody who can send me a clear screenshot of me in the flash mob.  I think the 3 minute mark is your best bet.  I'm somewhere in the back there.  

Aren't I?

Catch up, America.  I'm famous in Canada.  At least, my pixels are.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ninth Omen: Like New

Well, I checked my book sales today.  Moderate?  Let's say so.  Discouraging?  Sure.  (But the reviews!  Oh those reviews!)  I was momentarily convinced that my book is just another debut novel being well-received by readers but not selling at the rate I would like.  And then I went to and noticed this.

A "Very Good" copy of my book is available from a retailer in Florida for a mere $41.15 plus $4 shipping.  That's a whopping four times the retail price!  Used!  Very Good!  A "Like New" copy will cost you 84 cents more. 

How did my book get to Florida?  I don't know.  Maybe one of my "like"-rs went there on Spring break and needed to make a quick buck, so they sold it to "any_book" at a nice profit.  Maybe I should be offended by that.  

On the other hand, who cares!  My book is precious cargo!  And here I thought it just wasn't selling. 

Ladies, and gentlemen, this is nothing less than an omen.  The ladder climb continues.  Watch out world.

I'm used, but I feel like new.

1. My Zeitgeist Stage check
2. I Burned My Face
3. A Book
4. I'm on National Television!
5. I'm an inspiration to the young!
6. Prophecy!
7.The T Pays Off
9. I'm An Antique
10. ??
11. ??
12. ??
13. probably a giant check

Friday, January 6, 2012


Let's reflect for a moment on fate.  Not Fate, but fate--the kind that could be universal, but that we suspect may actually just be our way of convincing ourselves that we matter to someone other than ourselves.  I hope that makes sense.

In any case, fate (or Fate) is usually a subtle monster.  It nudges.  It speaks in intuition.  It whispers in our ear when it's feeling cliche.  Fate* is not direct.  Until it is. 

I've just received the following email from the Second City Training Center.

"The TC has determined the date for your Level 3 admission audition at the end of this term.  You will be auditioning on Friday, February 24th from 4:00- 6:00pm in the Skybox TheatreThere is no alternative audition date."

Well, then.  I guess I better be available on February 24 from 4 to 6 pm.  Or else give up on my comedy career.  Is this bureaucratic simplicity (an oxymoron, thank you), scheduling me with no regard to my own needs or commitments, or is it just fate being direct with me?  Either way, it's rare that any human being is so eager to make plans with me, much less a major theatre.  I guess I know what destiny holds for me on February 24 from 4 to 6 pm. 

Now, it also just so happens that said audition is 2 days before my birthday.  Coincidence?  Or . . .

I don't know.  I just don't know.  

* Did I capitalize that because it's Fate and not fate, or because it's at the beginning of a sentence?  You decide.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I'm back from Costa Rica, so I guess it's time to face the music.  Folks, I . . .well, let's be blunt.  My e-psychic is shit.  I mean that in the nicest possible way.*

This year, I'm going to make my own predictions about my career, and I'm going to be a little more modest than the damn lofty expectations and consequential disappointment that e-psychic set me up for in 2011.  In layman's terms:  I'm only predicting one major life accomplishment per month for 2012.  That's it!  Here goes.

January  Cambridge Street comes out as an e-book.  Its sales jump from 50 to 50,000,000,000,000.

February  Cambridge Street becomes available in some local bookstores in Boston and Chicago.  Its sales jump from 50,000,000,000,000 to 50,000,000,000,011.

March  Zompocalypso goes into production thanks to the generous support of some local and international backers. 

April  Easter. 

May  I finish the first draft of Off Track.  A few copies leak on the internet, and the presales hit 50,000,000,000,012, thus making it my new bestseller before it even comes out. 

June  Just under a year after its debut and carrying the prestigious honor of "Best Musical of 2011" and "Best Director of a Musical" from, T: An MBTA Musical returns and re-takes Boston by storm.  I get "f"amous again, along with my co-conspirators and a dozen of Boston's most hilarious singer / actor / dancers. 

July  My one year anniversary in Chicago arrives.  I am not yet living on the street, but I sleep under the bean one night for my own amusement. 

August  Melissa Carubia and I write a new musical called August and Everything After.  Nice title, that.

September  I graduate from the Second City Conservatory a changed man.  I am immediately cast on the Second City mainstage and appear in the revue Hello, Chicago, Get Your Guns and Dolls.  Immediately.

October  For the first time in 150 years, I survive October without performing as a zombie, ghost, or demented hillbilly.  However, Zompocalpyso comes out in theaters, and I hear people quoting our lovable characters everywhere I go.  There's no escape. 

November  August and Everything After, now titled Under the Table and Dreaming because August and Everything After was taken, debuts in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Antonio, and Des Moines.  It goes especially well in Des Moines. 

December  The apocalypse comes at the hands of alien invaders.  Though they rend out my eyeballs with their incisors (which are on their knees), they mistake my new book, Off Track, for scripture, and I become intergalactically famous.

Yes, sir.  Now those are some realistic expectations.  Here's to 2012, a pretty darn decent year-to-come!

* No, I don't.