Headshot 2015

October 20th, 2015

Hello. If you’ve hired me for an event, and are looking for a headshot to print on a poster or to post online, this is my most recent headshot, and the one I personally like the most. You can click the “photos” above to see older shots.




Why do comedy?

August 6th, 2015
Not sure how to edit this post to make it easier to read, so here’s a link to a slightly better formatted version:¬†http://ymlp.com/zq8P8g.
Some of you might remember that I’ve been trying to come up with comedy goals for myself. I think the last one was to post a video (or something) every week. If you paid attention, you noticed that I started kind of strong, with three new videos in May, and then disappeared into the ether again.
I’ve always tried to have as my main goal, to just become the best comedian I can be. But lately I’ve been thinking more about things like: building an online audience, posting regular updates, booking more shows, and making more money. None of these are bad ideas, except when they interfere with that first goal. Anyway . . .
Every now and then I read a book that changes how I think.
This week I started reading “Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective,” by Kenneth Stanley and Joel Lehman. These two argue that the path to achieving huge ambitions cannot be planned out, with measurable goals along the way. This is because the progress towards big things almost always requires (what they call) a “search for novelty.”
This was a huge “Aha! Moment” for me, and I realized I’ve been doing this as a comedian for a while. People have told me repeatedly that I NEED to be doing this thing or that thing as a comedian. I NEED to be on Facebook. I NEED to be playing more clubs. I NEED to live in L.A. or NYC. I NEED to do more jokes and less crowd work. I NEED to grow an online following, but I also NEED to keep my best material off of Youtube. And instead of doing what I NEED to do, I’ve usually just tried to improve as a comedian, to have fun and get better, and to keep it interesting–“the search for novelty.”
But these goals that I’ve been making recently for myself, they’ve been in the hopes of getting a bigger, more “passionate” online “following.” And now I’m officially abandoning that.
Instead, I will hope to update my site when I’m ready to update it. And I hope to post a video when I have one I really want to share.
And instead of all those objectives and measurements and goals, this is a story that illustrates what I want to focus on . . .
A few years ago, my wife Geri and I took a cruise to Alaska. Each night we had dinner in the main cafeteria. But after a few days, we decided to have dinner in the slightly fancy dining room, where we would be randomly seated with other cruise people. One night we were sitting with a group of 7 or 8 people, and I remember there was a father and daughter at the table, and I thought they seemed like they had a cloud hanging over them. As we all told our stories about why we chose this cruise, the father explained that their wife/mother had passed away the year before. The Alaskan cruise had been her dream, so they were here to honor and remember her. After a little while, the conversation moved on to other things. I remember at some point that I was being really witty and making everyone laugh. Geri says that I’m always proud of myself in those moments, but that night it was more special. I remember that by the end of dinner, the father and daughter were smiling and laughing. Their cloud had lifted. That image has stuck with me for years.
From now on, that is all I want to do as a comedian. That thing, where people laugh a hearty laugh, and then they smile a genuine smile, and then their clouds lift.
So despite everything I’ve read in all the other books about “improving your online metrics,” from now on there will be no schedule for videos, postings, or newsletters.
If you’ve read this far, thanks. It really means something to me, or maybe it doesn’t, since I have no way of knowing whether you did. But it WOULD mean something to me. Thanks.

Here’s a new video, “Final Destination”

June 18th, 2015

Something is Better Than Nothing: My Video-Posting Plan

June 9th, 2015

So¬†it turns out that the goal of posting a new video every week is ambitious. That is, if the quality of the video is important to me, and it is. I record almost every set that I do, so I have tons¬†of video, but I’m still trying to decide what exactly my “posting plan” is.

OPTION 1: Post a new video of stand-up every week. I got this idea after reading a book, “Show Your Work,” by Austin Kleon, which has some really interesting ideas about sharing your artistic process, as opposed to just your finished product.

Pro: This¬†would be a kind of a behind-the-scenes look at how I work on my¬†comedy. I don’t know of any other comedians that do this, and I think it would be neat.

Con: There are two reasons no other comedians do this: 1) if people are thinking about hiring you, you’d rather let them watch polished videos than works-in-progress, and 2) comedians don’t want all their material out there in the world. The¬†idea¬†is that¬†comedy like a magic act–if everybody sees it, the mystery vanishes. But I think comedy is more like music–people want to see live performances of jokes they love just like they want to hear live music that they love.

OPTION¬†2:¬†Post something every week, even if it’s not stand-up, like a funny sketch or . . . who knows?

Pro: Posting something every week, especially on a schedule, supposedly encourages people to subscribe and follow you, gets more views, and might help bring more people to live shows.

Con: While it’s easy to post something on a frequent schedule, it’s impossible to guarantee that every post will be very funny or high quality. And doing something just to get views feels like a gimmick, it’s not authentic. Also, for me, live stand-up comedy is just much more exciting than Youtube. If I could be a Youtube star, and that would bring people to shows, great, but I think of Youtube as a tool, not an end goal.

OPTION¬†3: Keep doing what I’m doing now, but more often. Share a video¬†only when I have something that I really like.

Pro: My videos will be at a quality that I like, I won’t risk over-sharing, and potential customers will see more polished material.

Con: This is sort of what I’ve always done, just not all that frequently, and it feels a little boring. I kind of want to try something new.

OPTION¬†4: ??? (I’m sure I haven’t thought of all the possibilities.)

So, to sum it all up, if you visit this site, or my Youtube channel, you’ll hopefully be seeing more regular stuff. But what stuff exactly, and how frequently, I’m not sure yet.

If you’ve read this far, I would love to hear your input. Please comment below. (If you haven’t commented before, I have to approve it, because I get a lot of spam, but I’ll try to check frequently for new comments on this post.) Thanks!