Buy tickets here!
1. A run-in with a drunken fellow comic wielding a broken beer bottle and yelling “dyke!”
2. A producer telling me that I wasn’t “well established” enough to not share a bill with white people who use the n word.
3. A request from a junior producer at a daytime talk show for me to submit a video where I looked “closer to normal”
Before I realized “oh maybe I’m not a mainstream comic.”
Perhaps it shouldn’t have taken all three but I’m not exactly a quick learner, plus, as they say, adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal is (see #1).
So when my brilliant, great-hearted comic friend D’lo said he wanted to show up at the cattle call auditions for America’s Got Talent and asked if I wanted to go too, I surprised both him and myself and said “sure.” I figured it would be a good time (D’lo and I are like comic brothers separated at birth), it would generate some more material and it would keep him from bugging me about going to yoga with him.
Never underestimate a butch lesbian’s drive to avoid non consensual yoga.
We got together the night before and angsted over our material.
We also tried to figure out what two big humongous queers should wear to a mainstream talent audition. The website said ‘dress to impress” but of course, the question is always “dress to impress whom?”
After all, my mother would be impressed if I wore an eyelet skirt, pink camisole, and white patent leather shoes.
But it would probably scare everyone else.
So the next morning we showed up at 7.58 am, in 19 degree weather.I was wearing my red baseball cat (for comfort) and my dead girlfriend’s hoodie (for luck).
I was also wearing a about 3/4 of a tampon up my nose (for health).
I’d been dealing with a nosebleed for the previous four hours and didn’t want to cause some NY Post headline like “America’s Got Biohazards.”
We proceeded to stand in line with every unknown singer in all of New York and what looked to be the entire population of the state of New Jersey. D’lo was freezing but I was okay mostly because I had completely dissociated (again adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal is).
Also, I’m fat.
Also, I grew up in Wisconsin.
Yup, I didn’t even notice the cold.
After a not too long and not at all chaotic wait (shout out to the security guards who had to be super frozen themselves, unless they were dissociating too) we were admitted to the audition site. And because the folks behind America’s Got Talent probably don’t want to be America’s Most Sued, we filled out a several thousand page long waiver.
I didn’t mind not having more paperwork, but I also get a little sad that my cat never wants to be a part of my comedy.
Once we got into the holding area, we were
accosted greeted by An Extremely Bossy British Lady as well as all manner of folks who appeared to be trying out for America’s Got Attention Deficit Disorder. A guy juggling while he sang opera and played the drums and figured his income taxes, that kind of thing.
I looked at D’lo. “Damn, all we do is tell jokes”
Then me and D’lo ate the sandwiches that his Most Kind, Generous & Beautiful Girlfriend Anjali made for us.
And watched the Bossy British Lady Boss People Around
And then waited some more. And then did 90 seconds of what we hoped was our funniest, most charming material to an audience of exactly five.
After the initial audition (where we performed for folks who gave us good feedback about our material instead of merely responding to us a Biggole Queers) me and D’lo were escorted to another audition holding room. It was filled with tap dancers wearing gas masks, enthusiastically high-fiving each other and saying “we killed it!”
They scared me a little.
I tried to chat with a couple of ballet people covered in paint which I initially thought was just really really heavy makeup. “They’re not ballerinas” explained D’lo, who is a theater guy and knows stuff like this, “they’re performance artists”
“Oh,” I said, as if knew about stuff like this,”performance artists.” And turned my attention to a couple of cute kids from New Jersey who were wearing mustaches and matching monogrammed chef shirts.
They did not insist on being called performance artists.
And we waited. And waited.
Then we waited some more. All this was unfortunately without the distraction of the Very Bossy British Lady.
And then we did 90 seconds of what we hoped was our funniest, most charming material to an audience of about a dozen people who mostly greeted us by frowning very earnestly at their laptop screens.
But they laughed a little, and asked about the nun thing and didn’t suggest I should come again when I looked more normal.
And me and D’lo, we went back to our Big Queer Lives. I resumed traumatizing people with unsolicited information about my two dead partners and the Haiti earthquake. And I worked on my set lists for upcoming shows: an afternoon gig for hospice employees, a morning workshop for queer college students on using humor to deal with stress and an LGBT storytelling show that takes place on the A Train.
The long awaited CD, Why Is the Fat One Always Angry, is done and we’re offering it , for a limited time only, for pay what you can. Pay three cents, awesome. Pay three bucks, awesome. Pay three million bucks that’s great too. And if you don’t have any cash and want the CD, just download it already.