Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great night at open mike!

I got sent home early to work today (nothing I did, it was just slow at Dave & Buster's) and I passed by the local cafe that has open mikes on Thursdays. As I passed I though about how I haven;t had a chance to perform in a while, but I also though about how much work I have to do (my costume contest at Wicked Faire, my "Redemption" video project, my Captain Marvel Culture work, etc) but I also though about hoiw I do need to get out more often, meet new people, get more people to know me, and how I did not know when the next time I would get to perform would be.

So as soon as I got home I pulled out my old Alvarez guitar (my newer one has a broken string that needs replacing) and made sure it was in tune (it was) and grabbed my harmonica and headed out.

I got there just as they were standing up to leave. I asked if I was too late, and the owner of the cafe, Jose, said now, to come on up, and he re-plugged in the microphone. Everybody sat down as I began to play.

I was on FIRE! The guitar was clanging, the harmonica was in tune, and my voice sounded out loud and clear (it helped that the venue was small and everyone was paying attention). The audience laughed at my jokes, bopped to the music and gave all the right responses.

Then, after playing "Bound for Brooklyn, telling a story about an ex-girlfriend that led into "too Crazy for Me," then doing my "M&M Song," I asked how many more songs I had, and they said a couple more. So I slowed it down.

I did the Blasters/Dave Alvin's "Little Honey." it is a song about a man who's girl is going out, possibly to see an old boyfriend, possibly not coming back. It has personal significance to me, and when that song was done, I continued into an instrumental on the harmonica.

I discovered, after not playing for months, how I can really tell an emotional story with the harmonica. I felt my emotions of the situation coming out through the notes and the rhythms. The emotions change, as I resolve from an angry boyfriend into one who has decided to move on, and that launches me into the Blasters/Dave Alvin's "So Long, Baby, Goodbye." That's when I opened my eyes.

I had completely lost the audience. Here I had thought that they were hanging on my every note, were hi[p enough to follow me on my emotional journey, and that they would be transfixed by my sincerity, but one person had walked out and the others were just kind of sitting there dumb.

So as soon as I got through "SLBGB," I launched into one verse of "Johnny B. Goode for the Lower East Side." That got them back.

I was invited to do one more song (it turned out that the guy who left just had to answer his cell phone). So I first warned them about, and then played, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins in the Style of Arlo Guthrie." I tore the house down.

To be more precise, it was what I have come to expect from a crowd that size (about 8 people). One guy got every single reference and was in tears all the way through. About 3 other people got most of the references and died every time they came up. The rest did not quite understand it, but enjoyed the good naturedness and sheer bizarreness of it. And they were a little slow picking up on the "Bilbo" call-backs.

If I don't have work on Thursday night next week I will go again, otherwise, well, ti was fun. I do hope to go again. I need to get out more often and make new friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Redemption of Captain Zorikh Production Blog!

I have started a new blog, strictly for chronicling the progress of my "Redemption of Captain Zorikh" video project. You can follow it at

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Autdition today

I just got home after pulling the closing shift at work. Now I have just a couple of hours to sleep before the audition I am running for my next video project, "The Redemption of Captain Zorikh." Details to follow!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Workout Begins!

I am hereby officially launching my push for the "Redemption of Captain Zorikh" video project. I went to the gym today.

I actually have gone to the gym four times in the past two weeks. Not much, I admit, but I gotta start somewhere. First I tried a 30-minute, upper-body circuit workout I found in an old Muscle & Fitness magazine. After doing that twice I realized a few thing things: 1) My pecs need more work, 2) My shoulders need to be handled carefully, and 3) this workout is for folks who go to the gym regularly and once or twice a month only have thirty minutes where they would usually spend a little more time. To build strength and muscle one needs to concentrate on body parts. On Monday I did back and triceratops, today I did chest and bicycles. I will try to go tomorrow or Monday and do shoulders, legs, and trapezoids. I do abs each time.

I also have a home workout routine I do that involves lifting furniture and super-sets with my barbell and dumbbells. I also am going to start running up and down the stairs like I did a year ago.

Over the past few months my low income and active work had conspired to lose me about 15 lbs. If I entered a grappling tournament now I would be fighting guys that come up to my sternum, I'm so light. So I have lost some mass, and people are noticing. My face is thinner, and so is my waist. But I have less body fat and greater definition than I had when I was 197 lbs., working out 4-5 times a week and eating a lot of high-calorie foods.