Just for Rehersal Pt. 1

Dress Rehersal and Sound Check: 5:30

Not much time. I start cursing myself. I’ve forgotten all of my trademark ties. My wife helps me pick out a few colored shirts to go with my suit. I leave all my wardrobe choices to my wife, or anyone who will give me free SWAG. I quickly shower, shave, dress myself and head for the lobby. 4:30 pick up. On the way down, on the elevator, I run into Kevin Hart, star of Soul Plane! Cool!

We have free transportation everywhere which is great because if it were left up to me, I’d be late for every gig, not to mention the higher insurance rates!

I spot Sean Cullen and his wife on their way into the hotel. We used to gig together when he was with Corky, and the Juice Pigs. The last time I saw him, he was starring in The Producers. I tell him he looks good. He tells me I look good. We both agree that we are good looking men and he wisks his wife off to safety.

Sean Meo, Tom Papa, Greg Fitzsimmons and myself are quickly carted off to the St. Denis Theatre, where our gala shows will take place. We’re already 15 to 20 minutes late.

Greg is on his cel phone the whole way, taking care of family business. Both his kids and his wife spent the day at the doctors office being deloused. This is the third time his kids have picked up lice at school. Greg tries to comfort me by telling me that it’s not as bad as tape worm. Apparently the little buggers are nocturnal and the only way you can see them is at night with a flash light up their rectum after they’ve gone to sleep. (The kids, not the tape worm.)

My head feels itchy.

Festival Week Part 1 SWAG FEST

swagbag1.jpg

Yesterday, my wife and I arrived in Montreal 2:30 and pretty much hit the ground running. We took VIA Rail, 1st class from Toronto to Montreal, hoping to alleviate as much stress as possible and let someone else do the driving.

This time, I’ve decided to take a different approach. My previous two times at the festival were stressful for me and I was bound and determined to just have a good time. I just want to let go and let God. Let the universe guide me and not the other way around.

We both hopped into a cab and the driver took us to the wrong hotel. So far, so good. My plan is working.

I started working on my 11 minute set at the Improv in Cleveland three months ago. I was wondering, how am I going to come up with 11 killer minutes of material? Ten weeks later, I’m wondering, how am I going to cut 8 minutes from my 19 minute set? Not a bad problem to have when you think about it.

When we checked into the Hyatt Regency, the first person I ran into was Richard Lanoie, from The Serious Comedy Site. Richard is a huge comedy fan and his whole site is dedicated to comedy. You check out his site at theseriouscomedysite.com

I remember meeting him at The Nest a year or two ago and I gave him a DVD. He told me he was a big fan and gave me a free t-shirt. Alright! SWAG!

Next, I ran into my manager, Tony Camacho who handed me my schedule and swag bag which contained an umbrella, walking wind up false teeth, a map of Montreal, an artist directory to help my failing short term memory and another t-shirt. Sweet! More SWAG! I’ve been here a matter of minutes and my wardrobe has already increased.

Cuba Trip Advisory

My wife and I have always wanted to go on a photo expedition. You know? Like the photographers from National Geographic, Time, or Newsweek Magazine? (Minus the Daniel Pearl part, of course.)

We chose Cuba because we heard that it was safe. One of the locals told us that Cuba has 3 million people. 1 million citizens, 2 million police. Very safe!

We also heard that Fidel Castro is very sick, and we were afraid that the place would completely change after he dies. You know, McDonalds on every corner, Starbucks, Check cashing places…

Of course, if the old man did croak while we were there, what a wonderful opportunity to snap some shots of a nation in mourning. Real Pulitzer Prize winning stuff.

My wife visited the the trip advisor on line and found out lots of things to worry about that would keep us from having fun. Things like, don’t eat the local food, or drink the local tap water. We decided to bring these low fat snacks to munch on late at night if we became hungry, and a large bottle of Purel hand sanitiser.

My wife was so anal about getting sick that she policed everything I ate. “Don’t eat the local vegetables, they could have been washed in tap water.” “Take those ice cubes out of your glass! You’ll get Hepatitis!” She was like Kate Blanchette in Babel.

Every night we went to bed starving, thinking, “I wish Fidel would hurry up and croak so we can get a half decent hamburger or a good cup of coffee around here. Thank God my wife brought a whole bag of those delicious low fat chocolates.

Then on the last day of the trip, after all that worrying, my wife was the one who got sick. The funny thing is, I don’t think it had anything to do with Cuba. I think it was the low fat chocolates. They probably contained Olestra!