Thanks to my friend, Gordon Fitzgerald, I have new headshots for the lobby and website of the National Comedy Theatre in San Diego. Love the update, but I have really small eyes.
As you know, I’m currently producing a sketch comedy show for local television called The Real Rejects of Orange County. Here’s a valuable lesson I learned about the editing process. If you want to have your video edited cheap, do it yourself. If you want to have it done fast, pay someone to do it.
I’m currently in the process of learning Premiere Pro. I’ve dabbled with it for a few year, but this is the first time I am learning it with the intent of producing something professional. Editing requires patience, endurance and the ability to fight the urge to end a project before it is done, only because you’ve seen the same thing a hundred time.
Well folks, being a writer and comedian does not pay all the bills. A new opportunity has been placed before me. It utilizes the skills that I learned long ago at the credit union. It requires me to learn two data applications: XOJO and Filemaker Pro.
I tried the demo to both and my thoughts are XOJO is Visual Basic and Filemaker Pro is Access. So the learning curve for both programs is good. I’m documenting my journey learning both software packages.
I am learning XOJO first. Why? Because it is harder to learn and less expensive to implement. This is my first taste of XOJO.
If my life is not busy enough, I just gave birth to a new podcast called “FIVE Things That Changed Your Life.” I serve as the podcast’s producer and occasional voice in the background. My friend, Loren Kling, serves as the host and he talks to people about the FIVE Things That Changed Their Lives. It is currently available on iTunes and Google Play. We should be on Stitcher any day now.
The first episode is available now and features Film Expert and TV Host, Chris Gore.
As noted in the last post, I’m producing a comedy sketch show. My writing partner and I are looking for someone who wants to sharpen his/her (preferably her) comedy writing skills and experience the fun of collaborative comedy writing.
Unfortunately I have no budget for this show. We’re shooting this like independent filmmakers. While there is no pay, writers will get valuable experience, see something you wrote produced and possible IMDB credits.
I’m looking for someone who lives in the OC, can attend weekly writers meetings and devote a few hours each week to write. There’s also potential to be on camera as well. Here’s the formal job listing:
SKETCH COMEDY WRITER NEEDED!
Comedy writers needed for a new low budget Orange County-based sketch comedy television show. There is no pay. It is a great opportunity for a budding candidate to gain writing experience in a collaborative writing environment. Candidates must be available to attend weekly writers meeting for the next 8 weeks in Orange County and devote a few hours writing outside of the meeting.
The show is a 30-minute sketch comedy show broadcasting throughout Southern California. It is also low budget and shot using guerilla filmmaking techniques. Writers from all backgrounds welcome to apply. We are looking especially for female writers and writers who speak both English and Spanish. To apply, follow the link below and complete the form. Then send your resume and script samples or links to comedy videos you wrote.
You’ve got to jump on opportunities whenever you can and I’ve been presented with a big opportunity. While I can’t go into the details, I’m excited to be able to produce a new sketch comedy television show. That’s right a 30-minute sketch comedy show.
The call is going to go out soon for writers. In June, I’ll be looking for actors. Are you a comedy writer and live in Orange County? Consider submitting a packet. Here’s a link with information.
In 2015, I was privileged to act as producer for a staged game show called “The Best 3 Questions Ever.” The idea came from my producing partner, Loren Kling. The premise is can you create a game show based on the popular card game, “Cards Against Humanity.” Not having the rights to the game and thinking that no upcoming celebrity will play the game, the idea evolved into this fun game.
The concept is simple. Can three comedians figure out how a complete stranger will answer the 3 Best Questions Ever?
The game show is played on the lived stage. We performed at The Virgil in Los Angeles, Stages in Fullerton and the fanaticSalon in Culver City.
Before the show, we selected two audience members and I asked them to answer 10 simple questions, like “what did your mother do for a living?”
At the start of the show Loren and I would banter a little and then we introduce our three comedians. Next the first audience volunteer enters and Loren interviews them for about 5 minutes. After the interview, we ask the comedians and the audience to secretly write down on a piece of paper what they think the volunteer’s answer is. As an added bonus, we asked the audience to tweet us what they think the answer is and I included it in the responses.
While I’m preparing the responses, Loren asks our comedians how they would answer the question. Then I reveal the answers on a whiteboard and the comedians and audiences guesses the right answer. if any of the comedians get it right, they get a 5-second plug. We repeat the game for the next guest.
The game appeared to be successful for our actual audiences. Our main problem was finding an audience. We had some fantastic venues that allowed us to test the show, but it just never took off. For Loren and I, it was our first shot at producing the show and we took the knowledge from this experience and applying it to our new podcast, The Five Most Important Things.
Well, I’ve finally dipped my toe in the pool of podcasting. For this one, I will not be behind the mic. I’m serving as co-producer and writer. Loren Kling will serve as host. I also didn’t want to be part of a normal interview podcast and after throwing out a million ideas, my co-producer, Loren Kling, came up with this little gem.
Last Wednesday, we recorded our first episode of 5 Things That Changed Your Life with Casey Ruggieri of Young Storytellers in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE SHOW: Each episode our host, Loren Kling, sits down with a special guest and asks them to share 5 stories, events, or experiences that had an impact on their lives… A person who helped them decide the path to take. A place that completely transformed the way they think. Or perhaps it is a thing, like a family trip or a TV show from their childhood that made them the person they are today.
We’re taping a dozen episodes now and then will start releasing them in the Spring. More details to come as we get closer to the date.
If you have had a unique life experience and would like to talk about your “5 Important Things,” let me know.
My daughter is a big fan of YouTube. So much so, she wants her own YouTube Show. Together we created “The Family Show.” I hate editing videos, so episodes come out real slow. After relentless pestering and an idea I had after watching the first Democratic debate, I wrote my daughter a sketch announcing her candidacy for President of the United States. This is the video and then a little discussion to follow.
The goal here was to write something funny and something that could be performed by an 8-year-old.
After watching the first Democratic Presidential Debate, I was inspired to write a speech for my daughter. Normally shy, when I approached her about the idea, the kid got excited.
Now the speech writing. Keep it simple, she’s only eight. Simple opener and closer and three points.
Point 1 – the wall to keep out spiders. This is an obvious play on the Trump wall at the border. I told the joke to my daughter and with her understanding of spiders and ladybugs, she responded, “That is actually true.”
Point 2 – The cat joke. The kid helped with the premise and I wrote the punchline. She still doesn’t get the fact that there are literally cats everywhere.
Point 3 – The idea was hers. My part was the sad reaction at the end and the sound effect.
Now the hard part — filming the darn thing.
Step 1 – Print large cue cards.
Step 2 – Practice.
Step 3 – Film it.
Filming was hard because I wanted to do it in one take. That didn’t work. There’s a level of exhaustion and attention that can’t last beyond 3 minutes. Two takes for us. The plush cat gag was her idea and not worth the fight to cut. I’m proud the first joke worked. The cat joke not so much. The sound effect was perfect for the third joke.
I wanted perfection so bad, but we were running out of time and patience, we got what we got. She’s my daughter. I love her. And there will always be more videos.
I saw this piece on SNL last week with guest host, Elizabeth Banks. Kyle Mooney is brilliant as Brace Chandling, aspiring comedian. What makes this piece brilliant is the performance. Mooney’s character goes through some drastic emotional changes throughout the desk piece and Mooney pulls it off brilliantly.
It does what I say great comedian must accomplish. Pull the audience in emotionally and screw with them. Then finally give them a clever ending. Watch this now and let me know if you agree.