Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Stockinged Stalker

It has been 22 days since my last blog entry -- the longest I've gone without blogging since I began nearly two years ago. As the person with No. 1 ranked-blog on this site, I would have expected at least a few of you to notice my absence: "Hey, where's Adam? We haven't heard from him in a while. Is he OK? Did something terrible happen to him?," etc. In fact, I received but one -- ONE -- email inquiring as to my well-being, and that came from my childhood friend, Kasey Anderson. To Kasey I say, Thank you, Sweetie; I'm just fine. To the rest of you I say, Suck it.

For the record, I am fine. My day job got a little hairy there for a while, leading to some long, stressful days after which I couldn't bring myself to do anything other than stare at the television screen. That period has since passed, and I'm determined to get back into the swing of things. In truth, writing in this blog spurs my creativity. Not writing in it renders me a vegetable (and apparently one nobody gives a thought to). So off I go...

First of all, a word about the wonders of modern dentistry: Some of you may recall six months ago that I underwent a major root canal. This month I had to go back for my six-month check-up and cleaning. Of course, I had a new cavity, despite the fact that I am obsessive about caring for my teeth. (Incidentally, I am often mistaken for having good teeth, because they appear very white. Don't be fooled -- I had them bleached back in '98, and I strongly advise everyone on earth to do the same. Seriously -- whatever it costs these days, do it. It'll make you look younger and healthier and more kissable. In any case, my teeth suck. It's hereditary: A great-uncle of mine, for example, never lost his baby teeth, and so all his adult teeth rotted underneath. Hot.)

http://adamsank.com/images/AdamTeethSmall.jpg
Mama's got the magic of Clorox II.

Anyway, I learned some amazing things on these two most recent visits to the dentist. First of all, dentists don't use Novocain anymore. This is because, among other problems, it takes so damn long to take effect. I remember all too well being seven years old and sitting in Dr. Foti's waiting room in Berkeley Heights, NJ, reading about Patty Hearst's ordeal in a wrinkled copy of "People" magazine and waiting for the Novocain to kick in so I could return to Foti's chair and
get drilled.


Patty had white teeth, too.

No more! Now they use drugs like Lidocaine, which take effect instantly.

But even more amazingly, I didn't require anesthesia of any kind to get this cavity filled because... wait for it... THEY CAN FILL CAVITIES WITHOUT A DRILL NOW! In stead, the dentist put these funky plastic workmen's glasses over my eyes and went to town on my gnarly tooth with a tiny sandblaster in a process known as "air abrasion." The whole thing was over in minutes, and there was no pain -- just a lot of tooth dust blowing around.

Afterwards he said to me, "There. Wasn't that better than drilling?"

I was like, "Dude, I would have done it just for the glasses."

***

In my last blog I wrote about my being mentioned in an interview with Lily Tomlin in the June-July issue of "Out in Jersey." Shortly after it was published, I received the following email:

Adam; I saw your picture in the big article of Lily Tomlin in New Jersey's Gay magazine, Out in Jersey. The picture shows you wearing a pair of black thick and thin sheer nylon socks which I wear all the time. If you have any other pictures of yourself in those socks, PLEASE send them - I'll truly ENJOY them. If you need another few pairs (I have the ones with the small toe caps that are sheer right down to the toes) I'll be glad to send them to you. Your picture made my day indeed! Cheers, Phil (transman74[rest of email address deleted]

If you think that's completely disturbing on its own merits... well, you're right. But now consider that here's the photo the stocking-lover is referring to:

http://adamsank.com/images/LilyStocking.jpg
Sorry to disappoint you, Phil, but that's not me; that's Lily Tomlin. Perhaps the picture's placement in the larger photo layout could have provided a clue:

http://adamsank.com/images/LilySpread.jpg


For the record (and to provide Phil with a consolation thrill if he's reading this), I have worn nylons once -- when I played the role of Arnold in a University of Michigan Basement Arts production of "Torch Song Trilogy." Regrettably, I don't recall if they were "thick and thin."

***

Three Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hours have come and gone since my last blog. I didn't host the most recent one because I was off celebrating Gay Pride and my mother's 65th birthday (yes -- they fall on the same weekend; that's God's little joke), but I heard Wendy Ho did a terrific job filling in as M.C., as did all the comics who performed -- Michelle Buteau, Adam Lehman, Anne Neczypor and Shawn Hollenbach.

The two shows prior to that were also notable in the caliber of talent we had onstage. Steve Hofstetter, for one, was a marvel. And I say that not to kiss ass because he runs this site or might be able to help me in the business, but because he is simply a terrific comedian. No straight guy has ever commanded the crowd at Therapy like that, and very few performers of any stripe have come close. He deserves all his success.

http://adamsank.com/images/Hofstetter.jpg
Pop Goes the Hofstetter

Steve was not the only headliner that night, though, as Karith Foster also performed. The crowd at Therapy has come to expect only the best from Karith. She did not disappoint.

http://adamsank.com/images/Karith6-04.jpg
Fosterrific

As if that weren't enough fabulousness, Robin Fox made a surprise appearance (and a surprise set, which rocked!), along with her gorgeous daughter.

http://adamsank.com/images/RobinandDaughter.jpg
"It skips a generation," joked Mama Fox about her
daughter's beauty. The crowd loudly disagreed.

And as the cherry on this comedy cake, Rob Driemeyer, who just keeps getting better and better, left 'em choking on their cosmos.

http://adamsank.com/images/Driemeyer6-04.jpg
Driemeyer, in his ubiquitous black shirt.

http://adamsank.com/images/Group6-04.jpg
All told, a Very Special Electro Shock.

Damn it -- I've been working on this blog for two hours. I'm not nearly done, but it's 11 p.m. and I have to start getting ready for bed. This one will have to be continued... that is, if anyone cares to read it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Stripped of All Dignity

So I didn't pass my second audition at the Strip. Shock. I knew the crowd would be dismal, because I would never get two great audiences two weeks in a row at the same club. Because God hates me.

But honestly, I was proud of my set. I watched two nationally known comics get up before me and get scattered laughs at best; and they got to do crowd work. Starla became increasingly hostile toward these non-laughers as the night wore on. She was like, "Thanks for that large round of silence. How 'bout I try that with you now?" (Silence)

I was one of the last comics of the night, so add the fact that this shitty crowd was also exhausted and paying their checks as I got up. Still, they laughed throughout my set. I think only I only had one line that tanked. So I walked off feeling like I had done the best I could do.

Greg brought me into his office immediately afterward. He asked me where I'd performed up 'til now, what my experience level was, etc. Here's the part where I wanted to kick myself later. I got all nervous and tongue-tied and said all kinds of stupid-assed things.

Example:

Greg: So have you ever performed at "Standup New York?"

Adam: Uh, yeah. Well, I mean, I did "Lavender Lounge" there a bunch of times when I was first starting out. But, well, I mean, that's a bringer show.

WHAT THE FUCK? All I had to say was, "Yes, I've performed there." But in a manner only Josh Homer could admire, I spoke about my credits as if I had Wonder Woman's golden lasso around my neck. By the time I realized that Greg was simply on the fence about me and needed to be persuaded that I was ready for pro spots, it was too late.

I backpedaled furiously: "Uh, well, I also did six pro spots opening for Hal Sparks at Carolines! And... and... I was on Vh-1's 'Best Week Ever' twice! And... and... I once met Charo!"

It was too late. I reeked of wanna-be desperation, and Greg could smell it. "Well, listen, man," he said. "I have more comics right now than I know what to do with. I'm really trying not to pass anyone right now. But why don't you come back in the fall."

Oh well. I must say, Starla was very nice. She shook my hand and told me she thought I'd be very successful someday.

In all honesty, I feel pretty good about the whole experience, my flubbing of the conversation with Greg notwithstanding. It would have been one thing had I simply taken a dump onstage. But given that I had a B+ set in front of a D- crowd, I can't beat myself up too bad about it. Plus, I got to hang with perennial virgin and fellow Soapboxer Alan Schwartz, who's a helluva nice guy.

The night before had gone really well for me at Therapy as well, despite a smaller-than-usual crowd. (Queens don't like to go out in the rain.) I've been writing a ton of new material lately, aided in large part by my friend Ben Roussel, who's staying with me while he looks for a job and apartment in NYC. Ben's not a comic -- at least not yet -- but he's REALLY funny. In return for staying at my apartment indefinitely, he comes up with one new joke a day. And they're more than just jokes -- they're bits. So far, every one of them has killed, both at Therapy and at the Lantern, where I've done a couple spots lately. I'm terrified that Ben's going to start doing standup himself and rob me of this precious resource. If he does, he'll probably pass Greg at the Strip his first time out and become famous within a year. Because God hates me.

Anyway, here are some photos from Sunday night:


Thanks to my new joke-writer, I'm having a great intro set.
Even if Mike Trainor is too much of a dick to publicly say so.


Cabaret crooner Andy Suvalsky rocks the house.


Mike Trainor's face comes dangerously close to exploding.


Susan Alexander proclaims it "Bring a Minority
to Therapy Night." It really was, in terms of the crowd.


Brad Loekle gets down with his gay self.



Once again, those who leave early miss the group photo.


Two of our appreciative minority audience members. Immediately
following the show, I spilled the guy on the right's cosmo all over him.
Do I know how to keep them coming back, or what?!


COME SEE ME HOST THE ELECTRO SHOCK THERAPY COMEDY HOUR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE TONY AWARDS THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 11 AT 11 P.M. (one hour later than normal!), WHEN MY SPECIAL GUESTS WILL BE SOAPBOX FOUNDER STEVE HOFSTETTER, TEXAS ROSE KARITH FOSTER AND HILARIOUS HOMO ROB DRIEMEYER!