Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMMM.... yeeeah.

   Hey, come on. We've all been there.We have all had points in our lives where we begin to "feel ourselves". When we get those sudden unexplainable surges of confidence and clarity.  Where we feel as if we have it all figured out, and we have found our way in this seemingly chaotic universe. Some people experience this state of mind because a huge setback or crisis has occurred. For others, this moment is brought on by a major landmark in life. Marriage, childbirth etc. However, my moment of supreme clarity and confidence came from a strain of weed known as Durbin Poison.

 After the first hit, and subsequent painful coughing fit, everything made perfect sense. Much like Luke hearing Obi Wan's voice on Hoth, a proclamation echoed throughout my brain.
"Forget the outcome of your efforts. Just focus on the output."

  Hey! that makes perfect sense!" I thought while sitting alone and staring at the wall.

  Actually, I may have said it out loud in my moment of THC infused jubilation. I then went about making a blow hard esc blog entry about how I was gonna post often. Even if for no other reason then my own creative satisfaction.

   The only problem is, I forgot to keep doing that. Here's the thing about inspiration. It's fleeting. Life and adult responsibility have a way of dulling creative excitement. 

   Cut to - Months later without one damn entry! Well I shall make a SECOND proclamation! (Que the trumpets. )

From this day forth, I shall submit entries more often. No, seriously. For real this time. I will make no promises about entertainment quality. I will however promise consistancy. Well maybe promise is a strong word. How's about this, I'll work on it. Good enough? Well its gonna have to be Dammit!

Until next time. Which should be realtivly soon. Oh, and sorry for yelling back there.

- G

Friday, October 25, 2013

I aint scared of you Mutha F@$kas!!

        It's the mid 90's. I am up with friends watching "Russell Smmons' Def Comedy Jam. The show is a landmark in the world of Black comedy. It is responsible for launching the careers of legends such as Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, DL Hughley, just to name a few. On this particular episode a man takes the stage wearing overalls with a graffiti- like design airbrushed across from them.   Now, I don't care what year it is, in any era, this outfit would be the object of redicule. However, the man wearing it takes the stage with nothing but absolute confidence. He takes his time getting to the mic and is not fazed by the large group in front of him. A group of people that is known for being harsh, unforgiving  judges of talent. A black comedy audience. The man takes a beat, looks out into the audience and proclaims: "I ain't scared of you muthafuckas!" The crowd loses it, and from that moment on, he has them eating out of his hand.
       
       The man on the mike is none other than the legendary late comedian, Bernie Mac.
Back then I didn't have plans to become a comedian but I remember being struck by his courage. He wasn't posturing. He wasn't playing a fearless comedian. He was a fearless comedian. I remember wondering "How could somebody be so sure of themselves when doing what is arguably the most frightening thing a human being could attempt?"

       Cut to, about four years ago. I'm at the Belly Room at the Legendary Comedy Store in Hollywood. The host of the show notifies me that I am going to take the stage next. It is my first time attempting stand up.  I am gripped with a fear like I have never felt before in my life. Nothing else comes close to it. My fear seems to have hit a primal level. As if someone released a hungry tiger in the room and sealed off all the exits. We're talking fight or flight time. My heart is trying its best to break free form my chest, my mouth is bone dry, and I actually have to remind myself to breathe. Although I am no fan of cardio, I am seriously considering breaking into a full sprint,  going out the door, down the stairs, and onto Sunset Blvd at full speed. But for some reason, I don't. I feel like i'm about to pass out, but my feet remain planted on the ground. My name is called, I take the stage, and complete my 5 minute set. I only wish I could remember it.


     Cut to, last night. It's a Thursday at "Flappers Comedy Club" in Claremont Ca. Same scenario. The host of the show notifies me that i'm about to go up next. Only this time there no terror. No fear. Just focus and a slight nervous excitement. Kind of like the feeling you have when sitting in a roller coster that is clicking up its first hill. Or better yet, it's a muted fear. It's still there slightly, but it doesn't concern me. Like when you seriously hurt yourself but take a strong pain killer. The feeling is still there, you just don't give a shit about it. The host of the show does me a solid. He gives me something to riff on to get the audience on my side. He makes a reference to the fact that I remind him of Carl Winslow from "Family Matters". I take the mike and jump right on that. In mock frustration, I say that I have been dealing with that all my life, and call him a low budget Mark Anthony. The crowd responds and instinctually I grab a stool onstage and take a seat, which is something I rarely do. (Which is also  ironic because I often find myself sitting on my ass any other time of day, but I digress) My set then becomes more of a conversation than an audience. I talk to the crowd rather than at them. I try new stuff that I thought of only hours before the show. When the energy starts to wain, I throw in jokes that I know will get a big response. The point is, during the set I realize that I have absolutely no fear. After almost four years of constant performing, I finally get what Mr. Mac meant when he made his proclimation to the Def Jam crowd. I am not trying to get the folks in the audience to "like me" as much as I am trying to communicate with them. To transfer the emotions I feel to them, so that we can share a moment. I leave the stage and take the time to let the realization truly sink in. It is an amazing feeling.

      I mention this because in my opinion, when fear ends, the real fun begins. When you aren't terrified by a potential response, you can drop your "social mask" and be who you naturally are. And that, I found out, more than clever jokes or snappy delivery, is what the audience pays to see.

- Much love
GG

Monday, October 21, 2013

Steppin Up

    Hey my peeps. Been quite a while since I sat down to write one of these. Wish I could chalk it up to some worthy and noble reason. Like I was too busy teaching Cambodian orphans how to read Shakespeare. But alas, no such luck. In the past I have hesitated for one simple, specific reason. Good ol fashioned laziness.

     I don't know about you guys but whenever I sit down to attempt to do anything even remotely constructive, I find the most interesting videos on youtube. (One procrastination session let me to a riveting documentary about the harsh lives of Atlanta strippers). Another attempt to avoid working led me to discover that the movie "Blade" was on TNT and  it was virtually uncut. Who's not gonna drop what they're doing to watch a pre-prison Wesley Snipes whup up on some vampire ass?

    But I can't let my appreciation for Mr Snipes and strippers with excessive tattoos keep me from being productive any longer. A friend recently introduced me to a phrase called a "Look in the mirror moment." To me it means that if you're not getting the desired results in whatever you are attempting, dont' blame anyone else, look at yourself with 100% honesty and work the shit out.

   I did just that, and it led me to realize that my lack of discipline was just one piece of the puzzle. It was also a matter of pride. I wasn't getting the desired results form this blog and it discouraged me. It caused me to slow down with the posts. But slowing down on the posts is what was keeping me from getting the desired results. See what a vicious, Twilight Zone like cycle my laziness has got me caught up in?!

     Well I say NO MORE!! I will post on a regular basis no matter what! If I have one reader or 100,000. This is a way to unravel my thoughts, emotions, and tighen up my writing game. As long as I am able to accomplish those three goals, I will consider this blog to be a success. Love, adoration and sexual favors from thousands of blogger groupies will just be icing on the cake.

    So from this day forth, I vow to all my current and future readers that you will hear from me on a regular basis. Unless TNT is playing a "Lethal Weapon" marathon. Then all bets are off.

- GG

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reality Check

           Its a windy Saturday night. My buddy DB and I are at a bar near my place in the Valley. Decent sized spot. Could fit two hundred people in easily. Nowhere near that many folks in here tonight though. The place a has nondescript design. Which I find comforting, but has been a bit of a challenge for the owner. Every other night of the week, in the attempt to attract diverse crowds, the bar takes on a different theme. Problem is, they haven't yet set the themed nights in stone. You could come one evening expecting to groove to songs played by a hip hop station, open the door, and get hit with a screaming tidal wave of rage. Followed by blank stares from people with pale, pierced faces. Surprise! It's Heavy Metal night. This night, the dice roll in our favor. We come in and hear Hip Hop. Meaning the owner fired up Pandora on the bar's sound system, set it to the FloRida channel, and went home. There's maybe ten people in here. Counting the three bartenders. Still, everybody's conversing and having a good time. The emptiness of the place is actually adding an intimate, almost familial vibe. Like we're in a dusty, low budget version of Cheers.

        That's when I happen to notice the bartender giving "the eye" to my boy DB. Lets call her Cindy. She is a slender, short haired Brunette with a tattoo of a rose covering the majority of her back. She is also wearing a black tank top. To make sure we all know that she has a tattoo of a rose covering the majority of her back. She looks you in the eye when she talks to you, and is quick with a wink and a smile. A pro. Right now her attention is on DB. I get his back. You know, the wing-man thing. They hit it off. Seems genuine. She leaves the conversation, sashay's across the bar and announces that everyone should pony up two bucks for a shot all around. We pay. She pours. We all raise our glasses, take a shot of well - level whiskey, and celebrate a shared moment of microwave joy. All is right, and I don't have a care in the world.

        They kick us all out and DB asks to crash at my place. I suggest we watch Taken 2 under the influence of a certain substance that can purchased at a dispensary, and the second half of the evening is officially under way. During the very short drive from the bar to the house, I see that the wind is starting to kick up. Violently. Trees rock back and fourth. The sound of the wind slicing through them and slamming into the car is deafening. The wind's force causes the car to sway. This has become one of those times where the Big Guy upstairs seems to be saying "Hey buddy. Juuust reminding ya who's in charge."

        Every now and then, DB and I share a nervous glance, disguised as a carefree smile. We respond in the only way that one can in a situation like this. We both repeatedly yell out the word "DAMN!" with great emphasis. We make it to the house, get out of the car, clutch our coats and dash to the front door.

      Once inside, DB goes into my room to put the movie on. I however, have succumbed to a condition known as the "alcohol munchies" and head to the kitchen for a snack. Three steps toward the fridge I hear the wind kick up even more violently than before. Garbage cans topple, cats are probably getting tossed around.  I turn to the kitchen window for the a glimpse of the carnage, and at that moment, I see absolutely nothing. I am standing in pitch black darkness. The sound of the computer powering down in my room lets me know that the electricity is off.  I can hear DB laughing in disbelief. I'm not. I had forgotten how dark, darkness could get. Even on a regular evening with all the lights off, you still sense that the power is flowing. Now the house has taken on a stillness. The house seems to be dead. The darkness is so thick it almost takes on a form of it's own. To honestly not be able to see your own hands in front of you is an unsettling feeling. I hope that all I need to do is go to the side of the house and flip the breaker switch. But a deep part of my mind quietly repeatedly whispers " What if this is serious?" " "Am I prepared to not have electricity for a long period of time?"

         And the answer is of course, " Hell No!!" " Not at all!" If the power doesn't come back on soon, DB and I will be two large negros shivering in the dark. I've got three raggedy ass candles. And two of them have broken wicks. While churning every possible disaster scenario in my head, (including North Korean and Alien invasions) I make my way to the door leading to the side of the house. It is at that precise moment that the lights kick back on and normalcy is restored. DB laughs again and goes back to getting the movie going as if nothing happened at all. I, on the other hand am not so jovial. I can't shake the thought that if something major did go down just now, it would have caught me completely by surprise. We rely on the creature comforts that electricity brings. We expect it to be around forever, and most likely it will. But if not, I should have my shit together. I should be stocked up, locked and loaded. Ready to get my Snake Plissken on in case someone comes driving up the street in a Cadillac with chandeliers on it and tries to make trouble. (yeah I just threw added a couple "Escape from New York references. Gotta keep the classics alive). I should have food, toilet paper, medical equipment, all the stuff that would insure survival if the proverbial shit hits the fan. And I will get all that stuff. But first I'm going to heat up some popcorn in the microwave,  tun up the heater, have DB start the DVD player, and watch Liam Neeson kick some Albanian kidnapper ass. I got time to prepare for the end of the world next week. Right?


- GG




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FREE SHOW, FREE SHOW, DID MENTION FREE SHOW?

COME ON DOWN AND WATCH ME PERFORM AT A FREE TAPED STAND UP SHOW THIS SUNDAY!!!

 The Pig N Whistle - 6714 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028.

SHOWTIME/SHOOT: BEGINS: 8:00pm
Head to the Pig N Whistle and get some free laughs!!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Only Rule

         Comedy is a mysterious, fascinating, and magical thing. The only genre where reality and logic can be completely thrown out of the window. Every other genre has hard and fast rules that if broken, will take you out of the story. Comedy has somehow been able to find a loophole to this policy. As a result, there is only one absolutely unbreakable rule. It has to be funny.

        I came across this YouTube post from the movie "The Other Guys" that describes this point perfectly. There is no reason for this series of jokes to be in the film. They don't advance the plot or reveal anything about the characters. But they are some of my favorite parts of the movie. Why? Because they're funny as shit.

Click the link and see what I mean.

-GG

http://youtu.be/T9U6JsBHpJg

Monday, January 14, 2013

Creepy lil Short

      Hey gang. I have been meaning to write about an experice I  had during New Years, but life, as they say, keeps getting in the way. In the meantime, check out this cool little short I came across that was the inspiration for the upcoming Guillermo Del Toro produced horror flick, "Mama".
      I love how horror can take a concept that is usually connected with safety and security, then completely flip it on it's head. A mother's love is supposed to be the purest example of unconditional affection from another human being that we can experience. So when that notion is flipped, and a mother is a symbol of fear, dread and menace, than you have something creepy and disturbing. The short is only about 3 mins long, which proves how flexible a genre can be. Follow the link and check it out!!!!



 http://youtu.be/WRqS6pBC42w


- GG