The Gorgeous Mosaic Wrap-Up

Gorgeous Mosaic FlierWe had fantastic crowds* at The Peoples Improv Theater and my husband turned in excellent performances in his solo show THE GORGEOUS MOSAIC.

I have a decent video of it to share with his manager and agent. The feedback from audience members tells me that this show’s got a lot of heart along with the humor. What to do with it next is the big question. Keep it at the PIT for a regular showing? Tape it and produce a CD/DVD of it? Take it to an Off-Broadway theater? How much should we re-tool it? Is there too much standup and not enough storytelling or was it just the right blend? So many questions that I hope won’t spoil the whole thing for us.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who made it out and I hope we’ll re-stage it again soon.

*Fantastic except for the dumb drunk chick in a sparkly hat sitting in the front row talking, cheering, & texting. Why anyone who is craving attention insists on sitting in the front row of a performance is beyond me. They must know that any attention they will get will be negative right? Ugh.

Advertisements

My Husband is Awesome!

JOTW Time OutThis week has been a very good one for my awesome, funny, talented husband. His new comedy album THE FUN PART debuted on SiriusXM’s comedy channel and is available for streaming or purchase on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

Then, last night he presented his new solo show THE GORGEOUS MOSAIC at the People’s Improv Theater about his 23 years of living in NYC. In this hour show, he talks about awful apartments to the bizarre urban dwellers and hopes to remind us why we came to the concrete jungle and, more importantly, why we stay. It’s really funny but I find it very inspiring and sweet, too.

The New York Times, Time Out New York and Village Voice all selected the solo show as something worth watching in NYC this weekend. Time Out also ran this great joke (pictured right) of Christian’s from his comedy special THE FUN PART.

Finally, check out this Q&A with Christian and The Comic’s Comic. And below are screen grabs from his special and Netflix. Good stuff all around and I’m immensely proud of how prolific he’s been!

FunPartBanner  Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 1.17.43 PM CF The Wilbur

The Fun Part!

Okay, kids, it’s legit! Today is the birthday of my fabulously smart, talented and funny husband’s third comedy special. THE FUN PART by Christian Finnegan was filmed at The Wilbur in his home town of Boston and is now available!

Netflix (video with subtitles):
http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/Christian_Finnegan_The_Fun_Part/70298204?trkid=13462100

Amazon (audio only):
http://amzn.com/B00JGCBMXM

iTunes (audio only):
https://itun.es/i6658XC

Please retweet/share and give The Fun Part a five star rating on Netflix! And iTunes! And Amazon!

If you’re in the NYC area, come out to celebrate with us this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at The Peoples Improv Theater. He’s performing a mixture of standup and storytelling called THE GORGEOUS MOSAIC. It’s a one hour look back at his 23 years of living in New York City, from a rat-infested apartment to an overly-intimate Asian delivery guy. Half love letter, half cry for help.

THU, APR 17 – SAT, APR 19 @ 9:30PM
The People’s Improv Theater
123 E. 24th St.
New York, NY 10010
http://www.thepit-nyc.com | 212.563.7488

$12 online, $15 door. General admission. Full bar. No drink minimums. A limited number of tickets are available for only $10 w/the code PITFINNEGAN.

After the show, we’ll hang out and hug and laugh and stuff.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Thank you to my fellow storyteller and writer Julie Threlkeld for asking me to take part in this Writing Round Robin Blog Tour Thingy™. To read Julie’s response to the Writing Round Robin Blog Tour Thingy™ and to check out her other work, click here. So, here we go…

What am I working on?
Good question! If bingeing on seasons one through three of Game of Thrones so that I’m caught up and the Internet can no longer ruin it for me is “work”, then that’s what I’m working on. During my downtime (a/k/a “As the HBO Go App’s Wheel Turns”), I’m tinkering on a few things.

1) I adapted my memoir about me and My Jailed Deaf Dad into a solo show which I produced and performed a few months ago. I am giving it a tune up based on those shows. I’m re-thinking the ending mostly and trimming off the fat in other parts. Maybe I’ll enter it into a festival or keep taking it to colleges if they’ll have me.

2) I’ve got a new solo show idea in mind about my love for David Lee Roth and how he became my spiritual advisor when I was a vulnerable teenager. I’m calling it “The Book of David” or “The Gospel of David” and the show will be like attending church service but with Diamond Dave as my lord and savior. I think it could be funny, charming and, believe it or not, insightful. We’ll see. I plan to enter it into the next SoloCom or another festival for new works.

3) This summer, I’m taking a class on TV writing. I’ve got in mind a sitcom pilot but need to get some book learnin’ under my belt. I’ve never considered myself a writer and, even after banging out a memoir, still don’t. It’s not the thing that makes my motor hum the way producing and performing do. But without a script, I’ve got nothing to produce. Hence the class. It’s mostly for fun but I never thought I’d get a book deal from telling stories for fun in Ochi’s Lounge, so who knows?

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Since my work is all autobiographical –blogging, solo shows, memoir– it is uniquely mine  by default. While our stories are universal, they come from our own experiences and points of view. I’d say my POV uses sarcasm and humor to counter some of the more brutal or sad stuff. Lately, thankfully, not much has been sad…just bizarre when it comes to living in NYC, having a comedian husband and a deaf dad in a Texas prison.

Why do I write what I do?
I was given a treasure trove of material to write with the family and life experience I got. I’d be a fool not to! Also, as a hearing kid in a deaf family, I was often serving as an interpreter and told what to say and how to say it. Having a mom who hated her private business being fodder for Deaf community gossip emphasized this even more. She gave me frequent warnings of not to tell anyone –even family– about stuff. Writing about my life with no boundaries or strict rules or fear is very liberating. The truth sets you free, yada, yada, yada. I’ve considered writing fiction but it’s a bit of an enigma to me. The endless possibilities overwhelm rather than excite me. And the fiction that I’ve thought about writing is all based on true events, so…yeah.

How does my writing process work?
By deadlines. Without deadlines I do not write. Once I have a deadline, I generally meet it. I took a playwriting class last summer during which I banged out my solo show. Since the show was based on my memoir, I wasn’t writing from scratch and it should be a cinch, right? But I had no deadline looming over me to say I need this script by X date. By signing up for the class, I was able to accomplish that goal. During the thick of writing my first draft of my memoir, I spent a lot of time cleaning house. Scrubbing, washing, dusting, organizing are all ways I free my mind to wander. There’s a lot of talking to myself, acting out, crying, yelling, laughing. Saying things out loud are important, especially if done in front of an audience. So I sign up for a lot of open mike type storytelling shows and work on my pieces that way as well.

So that’s it for me. Thanks, Julie, for tagging me! Next up on the are these terrific people:

DAVID DICKERSON is a writer, humorist, video blogger, teacher, editor, storyteller, and radio performer. I vividly remember the first time I met him in Ochi’s Lounge, the space I ran in the basement of Comix. That’s how instantaneously charming, smart as a whip and nicer than most he is. David’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Story Quarterly, The Gettysburg Review, and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. In 2009, he released his greeting card memoir, House of Cards, which is currently in development as a sitcom with USA. He is now working on his next book, a road trip/travel narrative tentatively titled Tomorrow Might Suck Less.

JENNIFER TRESS is vibrant, intelligent, has the best laugh and is one fiercely driven lady.  She’s the author of the memoir You’re Not Pretty EnoughThough the book is a collection of funny, heartfelt stories, the title story refers to something her ex-husband said to her as the reason he was having an affair (which is why, ahem, he’s her ex-husband). She is also a speaker and the founder of the Project by the same name, which is aimed at building higher self-esteem by providing a forum and discussions around beauty norms and their impact on the individual.

JENN DODD and I had the same high school drama teacher back in Texas exactly 10 years apart and now we both live in Queens. She writes more sketches and characters than anyone I know. Her solo show No Show: A One Woman Show won the Best of Studio Award at the “Out of the Loop” Fringe Festival last month and Jenn has been a finalist in the Andy Kaufmann Awards. She is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School, in the cast of the off-Broadway hit The Gong Show LIVE in which she plays multiple original characters, and is a member of The Final Edition Radio Hour. You can see her live every month at the The People’s Improv Theatre where she hosts the monthly character showcase Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blow Out.

Solo Shows & Storytelling

The first time I saw the Oscar-winning movie Midnight Express was the summer I turned seven years old. The Academy Award-winning film was based on the memoir by a young American named Billy Hayes who was arrested in Turkey in 1970 during an attempt to smuggle hashish out of the country by taping it all over his body. His sentence of four years was, for various reasons, converted to a minimum of thirty years to life. For trying to smuggle pot. Crazy.

Life in a Turkish prison is pretty horrific as you can imagine, and Mr. Hayes’ story left an indelible mark on my young, impressionable mind.  The movie is rated R for violence, a gay-lite prison sex scene (hubba, hubba), tons of nudity (including full frontal male, hubba, hubba, hubba), and a prison visit masturbation scene (hubb…oh…wait…this is heart-wrenching).

Obviously, it was highly inappropriate for me to watch it. Yet I did…alone…dozens of times thanks to a summer spent at my deaf grandparents who had cable TV. This should serve as a testament to powerful storytelling that a seven-year-old kid would watch a long, quietly intense drama about a Turkish prison experience.

midnightexpressLast week, I went to see Mr. Hayes in his solo show “Riding the Midnight Express”. It’s just him and a stool and a bottle of Poland Spring followed by a Q&A and book signing. He was generous of his time and gave us his all even though it was a light crowd on a Wednesday afternoon during  a snowstorm.

He told the same story he wrote in his memoir — the memoir that Oliver Stone turned into a movie that won an Oscar. After winning, I’m sure plenty would think, “Hang up the hat, dude. You did it!”. Now, 40+ years later, Mr. Hayes is touring the world with a solo show.

This is encouraging to me as someone who is worried that I’ve squeezed all the juice from the lemons life gave me.

My memoir is almost two years old and even older to NYC alt comedy and storytelling audiences. Now, here I am on a train to Rochester to give a speech at RIT/NTID and am in the early stages of producing a solo show of me telling the same old story. Really? YUP!

So the timing of seeing Mr. Hayes could not have been more perfect. There are billions of people in the world and all but several thousand of them have never heard of me, my book, my storytelling, nothing. Add to that, that I actually have a *message* of hope and societal change to share, why would I stop now?

I’m reminded of Mike Birbiglia, too. I saw him tell him tell his Sleepwalk with Me story many times as a long stand up comedy bit about ten years ago, give or take. It progressed to long form storytelling on This American Life and, most recently, a feature film.

Like Mike, I have other stories to share and hope to not be telling the same story in 40 years, but even if I am? Fantastic. What a privilege it is to have people come out, spend their hard earned money and precious time to see me. Thank you, each and every one of you, who have given me that honor.

Yappy Hour Script

(Wo)Man’s Best Friend

by

Christian Finnegan & Kambri Crews

Originally performed by Christian, Kambri and Paquita in front of a live audience on “Yappy Hour” at UCB Theater on 11/1/10. And, yes, Paquita performed this exactly as scripted. Remarkable little girl.

~~~~~~

INT. ROOM
SFX: Sexy music

Kambri is laying on a bearskin rug, wearing a nightgown,
pouring herself a glass of wine. She spritzes perfume on
herself.Paquita Yappy Hour
There is a knock at the door.

KAMBRI
Come in!
Pause.
KAMBRI (CONT’D)
I’ve been waiting for you.
Come to me, Paquita. Come to me now!

Paquita comes running in and leaps into Kambri’s arms.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Oh, I’ve waited so long. Kiss me,
you fool!

Kambri and Paquita kiss passionately.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
No no stop! No need to rush. I want
to savor every moment of this. Have
some wine.

Paquita drinks from Kambri’s wine glass.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
And can I offer you some…cheese?

Paquita perks up.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
I knew you’d like that. But I’m
going to make you earn it, baby.
Let me take a look at you!

Kambri gets Paquita to “go around” and “roll over” a few
times, periodically feeding her cheese.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
The way you move, it’s so sexy.
It’s like your some kind
of…animal! Not like my husband,
that pathetic little worm!
But he’s out of town on business,
which means we have the whole night
to ourselves. Isn’t that wonderful,
darling? High five!

Kambri and Paquita high five.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Enough with all these games. I want
you. But I need to know you want me
too! I need you to speak! Speak!
Paquita barks.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Oh, I can’t take all of this sexual
tension. Take me! Ravage me! Let’s
make our own gravy!!

Paquita starts humping Kambri’s arm. Kambri begins writhing
in sexual extasy.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Yes! Yes! Give it to me, my little
chorizo!

CHRISTIAN (O.S.)
Honey, I’m home!

Christian enters, wearing his jacket and carrying a
briefcase.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Great news! I was able to close the
Mortensen deal, so I took an
earlier flight…

Christian stops, in shock. Paquita and Kambri continue their revelry, unaware.

Paquita Yappy Hour 3

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
What…the…FUCK IS GOING ON
HERE??

Kambri snaps out of it and clutches Paquita to her chest.

KAMBRI
Christian? What are you doing home?
I…um…
CHRISTIAN
What is the meaning of this? My wife?
And my…BEST…FRIEND?

KAMBRI
Nothing! I mean, Paquita just came
by to…I mean…

CHRISTIAN
I knew something was going on!
After all I’ve done for you, this
is how you thank me? By two-timing
me with this little bitch?

KAMBRI
She’s twice the man you’ll ever be!
Yeah, that’s right–Paquita is my
lover. And she does things to me
you could never dream of? Don’t
you, Paquita honey?

Kambri and Paquita kiss.

CHRISTIAN
Stop it! Stop it! I can’t take this
anymore!

KAMBRI
Yeah, well what are you gonna do
about it? Ha ha ha! What a loser!
Right, Paquita?

Kambri cackles while she and Paquita high five and kiss.

CHRISTIAN
I can’t take it…can’t take it…

Christian slowly pulls out a gun (his hand). Kambri notices
and is mortified.

KAMBRIPaquita Yappy Hour 2
Christian…? Where did you get
that? What are you doing?

CHRISTIAN
I’m a loser, huh?

KAMBRI
Christian, don’t! DON’T!

CHRISTIAN
If I can’t have you, no one will!
Die, you canine-loving whore!!!

Christian points his finger at Kambri and “shoots” her
repeatedly.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
BANG! BANG! BANG!

KAMBRI
NO!!!

Kambri writhes as if being shot.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
(With her dying breath,)
Unh…unh…Good dog, Paquita.
Good…dog.
Kambri dies.

Pause.

CHRISTIAN
And you. You happy now, Paquita?
Was it worth it? Ruining my life,
just for a little bit of cheese?

Christian dangles a baggy of cheese. Paquita runs over.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Look at you! Even now, it’s all you
can think about! You were supposed
to be my best friend! Well fine,
eat up.

Christian tosses her a morsel of cheese.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Consider it your last meal…bitch.
Christian pulls out his “gun”, stoops down and…

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
BANG!

Paquita plays dead. Christian keeps his gun on her for a few seconds, then looks away. Paquita gets up.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Oh, still alive, are you? BANG!
BANG!

Paquita again plays dead. Again, she eventually gets up.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
WHY WON’T YOU DIE?? BANG! BANG!
BANG!

Paquita dies in Kambri’s arms.

THE END

FREE! Christian Finnegan Workshops a New One Hour Stand Up About NYC

Comedian and Queens resident Christian Finnegan will present free workshop performances of New York City-related stories and stand up comedy called THE NYC PROJECT.

Finnegan, a resident of New York City since the age of 18, will tell jokes, stories and other “only in New York” material during a one-hour show titled THE NYC PROJECT. Why only New York material? “Over the years I’ve written lots of jokes about this glorious mess of a town, and it’s some of my favorite to perform,“ Finnegan said. “Unfortunately, bits about Duane Reade salespeople and Astor Place skateboarders don’t travel well, so they rarely get told. They tantalize me like an overpriced artisanal pickle in a Brooklyn shop window.”

Christian’s stand up albums, “Two for Flinching” and “Au Contraire!”, are available on iTunes and at Amazon. Visit www.christianfinnegan.com for more.2868336266_924010a2dc_o

SUN, JUL 14 – SAT, JUL 20 @ 7PM (SHARP!)
The Creek and the Cave
10-93 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101

FREE! General admission. No minimums & no RSVP required.

Pimping My Ride

Christian has lots of amazing things happening and it’s been a while since I’ve pimped his stuff. This is especially negligent of me since he has been so generous about hawking my memoir while on the road.

So, about my handsome, talented, kind, smart and funny (duh!) husband:

1) He’s filming a new one hour stand up special, tentatively titled DOUBLE SHIFT AT THE ASBESTOS FACTORY on April 4th at the Wilbur Theater in Boston, MA. There are two shows at 7PM and 9:30PM. Both are free and open to the public, so if you’re in the area GET TICKETS.

2) He started his own podcast called “Audio Spackle” to honor his love of music of all kinds. His savant-like powers of recalling music trivia are what won him a car on a game show and help our team of two win a ton of trivia nights against groups of five and bigger. He’s my ringer. If you like music, you’ll probably dig his Audio Spackle Twitter feed, too.

3) He’s headlining in NOLA for the first time this weekend March 22nd & 23rd (GET TICKETS) and will be at Austin’s Moontower Comedy Festival April 24th – 27th. I’ll be traveling with him to Austin and swinging through Huntsville to visit Dad in the clink. That’s sure to be a fun trip. He’s always traveling somewhere, so if you want to stay informed of if/when he’s in your town, sign up to his mailing list. He’s not a spammer, promise.

Sunset after Winery Tours4) He’s co-hosting a new travel show with Custom Nation sponsored by Smart Car. This is the reason I was able to tour San Francisco and jog across the Golden Gate Bridge while he was working. They’ve already uploaded a bunch of videos for Austin, so if you’re in the area & looking for something to do check out Christian’s adventures. New York, San Francisco and one more city TBD should all be posted soon. Till then, enjoy Austin! Oh, hey, just in time for his trip their for Moontower…how about that!