Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recycling Center: 8-Track Edition

Well, The 8-Track premiered last night, and for such an ambitious show (sketch and stand up merging "seamlessly" with live musical performances, with both a guest host and musicians) it was remarkably bump-free. And I'm sure it can only get better as we learn what works, what doesn't, and how to best put it all together.

Anyway, for those of you who didn't make it to the show, here was my contribution:

The African Adoption Sketch

A HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS enters, with a VILLAGE ELDER. She holds a T-Moble Sidekick, which she glances at, frequently, during the scene that follows. Three ORPHAN CHILDREN are lined up hopefully, awaiting them. The third is a REGULAR DUDE, wearing a backwards baseball cap.

We are so honored to have you visit our village. We were big fans of the movie where I think you played a cat burglar vigilante who also was a surfer.

You’re so sweet! I actually had a lot of input into the skintight bodysuit I wore in that.

It’s important to keep… (struggling for the right phrase) cre-a-tive control.

I’m surprised you saw it.

Oh, we do not have a movie theater. Or electricity. No, some Americans on Safari discarded a half-eaten Burger King Whopper, and the wrapper had a promotional tie-in photo… It fed our village for a week. Of course, many were not used to consuming so much meat, and vomited more than they ate. The smell drew hyenas, led by the Devil Hyena, whom we believe to be the death spirit Pazuzu. He fed on the elderly and infirm for six days and nights. It was known as the coming of the Blood Whopper. But those who survived tell me it was flame-broiled and delicious.

(She has been texting, and has heard nothing) Great. Can we just do this thing?

Certainly. (He gestures to the children.) These are our parentless children. We wish we could support them, but ever since the corpses of our dead poisoned the water suppl…

The actress runs forward squealing and hugs one of the children…

Oh look at this one! It’s so adorable! Look at its little potbelly!

His belly is distended from starvation. You see, the build-up of gas…

She springs back from the child.

Gassy. No thanks. (Points to next child.) What about this one?

That is little Abebe. Never have I seen a child so full of love.

Abebe hugs the actress’s legs.

Shall you be my new mother? I will bring you kisses every morning.

She extricates herself from Abebe’s arms.

A bit too full of love. Mommy has to catch up on her rest after an all-night nose candy binge, know what I mean? (The Elder’s face is blank). Dust? Flake? Merge? Mojo? The White Horse? Bolivian Marching Powder? (He’s still not getting it) No? You probably have some crazy African name for it. Got any orphans that are a little less “clingy?”

Yo, over here!

ELDER This is… uh… Barry.

(sticks hand out for fist bump) Barry Lunt, what’s up. I sincerely hope you choose me to be your adopted African son.

He’s got a Mets cap. And that wristwatch is from Sharper Image.

Mr. Barry wandered out of the desert one week ago. We felt bound by hospitality to feed him.

He took my cassava.

I’m bigger than you. I need more food. That’s science.

I don’t know. You just don’t seem that Ethiopian.

I immigrated.

From where?

Hackensack. Look, you gonna adopt me, or not? (looks at watch) I have it on good authority that Angelina Jolie’s gonna be in a village fifteen kilometers south of here around noon. If you don’t want me, I need to hop in my Taurus and get down there.

Mr. Barry, if you own a fuel-efficient Ford Taurus, then perhaps you would like to step aside, so that other, truly impoverished orphans can have the chance to…

Hey, you don’t know me. You don’t know my life. Growing up, when all the other kids had Playstation 2’s, I had a Nintendo 64. You know how that feels? What if I wanna play God of War?

The God of War? Pazuzu?!

And now you’re gonna stand in the way of my lifelong dream of being adopted by a beautiful Hollywood starlet? Maybe you need to do some thinking about what poverty really means. Poverty of being sympathetic towards me!

Look, I’d really like to adopt you. I would. Mainly because I’m afraid I’ll catch a disease from those other orphans.

No doubt.

But I’m worried if I come back with you, my friends think I don’t care about starving Africans.

Tell them I’m South African.

I don’t know…

We’re all just one big beautiful rainbow. Check it. (singing) WE ARE THE WORLD. WE ARE THE CHILDREN. WE ARE THE ONES WHO MAKE A BRIGHTER DAY, SO LETS START (hums “giving” because he doesn’t know the words). THERE’S A CHOICE JAMAICAIN WHO’S… SOMETHING… ALL OUR PIES. (hums some more, then breaks into different song) WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE WE GOT FUN AND GAMES, IN THE JUNGLE, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (back to We Are the World) IT TRULY IS A BETTER DAY SO ADOPT ME!

Your song makes a strong case.

Also, if you want to get all Woody Allen/ Soon Yi on me, I’m almost 18, and I totally wouldn’t mind. These guys won’t be legal for years.


The dude sticks his hand in Abebe’s face.

DUDE Face! (To Actress) Now let’s get you home so you can start breast-feeding me.

The actress giggles, and they turn to leave.

(To Elder) I think I finally understand the American word “douche.”

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The 8-Track PREMIERES TONIGHT - Monday, May 21!

The new show I'm writing for is premiering NOW! (Well, not now, unless you're reading this at 8 pm on Monday the 21st ... but it's premiering today, Monday the 21st at 8 pm. Did I mention Monday the 21st at 8 pm? I did?) The first show's (loose) theme is "Mother's Day." Here are the details:

The 8-Track: A Seamless Blend of Music and Comedy

Mondays at 8pm
(No show Memorial Day.)

"The Green Room"
45 Bleecker Street
(Previously of "The Culture Project")
North side of Bleecker Street,
between Lafayette & Mott Streets.
New York, NY 10012

Closest subway:
6 to Bleecker

$12.00 - available at the door or in advance at www.telecharge.com

For now, BYOB -- Discounts at "Astor Wines".

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The 8-Track: A Seamless Blend of Music and Comedy

Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan of Freestyle Love Supreme and Off-Book Productions arranges the hottest comedic writers, actors and musicians in New York City's newest weekly hotbed of downtown comedy and music. The 8-Track creates a brand new sketch comedy show every week directed by AJ Morales (Wicked Wicked HammerKatz) and combines it with a guest host, musicians, standup comedy, films and a house band- integrating words and music seamlessly!

Sketch Direction:
AJ Morales

Musical Direction:
Damian Cremisio

Current Performers:
Amber Petty
Birch Harms
Lauren Bahlman
Matt Sadewitz
Steve Stout
Rachel Bloom
Robbie Sublett

Join the official mailing list by dropping a line to the8track@gmail.com, and get a once-monthly email of all the upcoming lineups!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Recycling Center: Fist City Edition

In case you missed it, here's the essay I read on Fist City last night. Of course, the best option is still to subscribe to the podcast, and listen to my mellifluous voice as I read it to you--because, really, who has the time in this busy modern world to read something for yourself? I come in at about the 45 minute mark of the show (actually the 1:45 mark on the podcast, since Fist City shares its 2-hour slot with The Rev Clempson Show). Not that you shouldn't listen to the rest of the show, as it contains much Elliott Kalan and Brock Mahan hilarity, with a guest appearance by Eric "War of the Worlds" Zuckerman.

But for those of you who read blogs, yet fear podcasts (a small minority, to be sure), here's what I read:


Thanks, Brock and Elliott—I’m here to discuss what is probably the most significant literary find of the last two hundred years, and, since you’ve assured me that this radio show is broadcast directly into the homes of all the Nobel Prize committee members, at least insomuch as they all probably have Internet connections, I’ve decided to unveil it here.

I have discovered a lost folio of Shakespeare, what I like to call the Director’s Cut With Alternate Endings Folio, or the “Caesar Stabbed First” Folio. It contains several surprising variations on his well-known plays, apparently the result of extensive focus testing with Globe Theatre audiences; budgetary constraints; and the ever-present danger of execution at the hand of Lord Wessex, as played by Colin Firth.

Many of the alternate versions are quite shocking. For instance, in this version of Hamlet, after everyone has apparently died, it is revealed that all the events of the play had merely been a charade set up by Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, in an attempt to cheer him up and get him to act less, quote, “Danish.” Then Rosencrantz comes in and gives Hamlet a shirt, which reads, “I wast drugged and left for dead in Elsinore, and all I received in return wast this inferior tunic,” with a logo on the back, reading “The Goodnight Sweet Prince Tour, 1502.” Similar tunics were available from Globe Theatre hot dog vendors, who, incidentally, sold real canines cooked over a spit. Apparently, this ending was insisted on by Shakespeare’s producer who, after seeing the lousy receipts for Titus Andronicus, decided that family audiences wouldn’t pay to see bloodbaths.

Or consider the original ending to The Tempest, in which the title character (The Tempest) returns to seek revenge against Ariel by throwing a series of CGI cows at her (CGI meaning, of course, Cow Gaffer Invented -- the chief carpenter apparently rigged up some pretty convincing paper mache cows). Or an early King Lear, all about a dirty old man who spends the play leering at his three daughters, a concept that was only abandoned when Christopher Marlowe told Shakespeare that he found it, “a little thin.”

Additionally, the folio contains some revealing commentary, apparently from a scholar contemporary to Shakespeare. For instance, one tidbit about “the problem plays” – so named because they have the problem of not being as good as the rest of his plays – it turns out that they’re a little uneven because they were originally just one big play, composed over a poppy-fueled long weekend, the original title being, Measure Measures All That Troilus Well for Cressida before Winter’s End, and the Tale of the Well Merchant, Timon of Athens, of Venice. It was an 18-hour mess.

And that’s not even getting into the lost plays that I found in this folio. Like Love’s Labor Won – that’s basically just wall-to-wall hardcore sex. 13th Night, where Malvolio returns wearing a rugby mask to slaughter the other characters while they’re vacationing at Camp Loch Ness, and the sequel to As You Like It, called Whatever You Want which was the first choose your own adventure play.

Oddly, I found this folio while cleaning out my garage, in a box labeled “Stuff That Didn’t Come from England,” and the paper it’s printed on has a watermark reading “Ben Franklin Bond” which would seem to date it post-Shakespeare’s lifetime by a significant margin, but I’m certain this find is genuine—so certain that I’m willing to split half of my aforementioned Nobel Prize monies with any expert that agrees with me… wink wink Harold Bloom. Anyway, the folio’s for sale, so if you’re interested, call up the studio. I’d prefer to sell to a museum, of course, but I’ll listen to anyone with cash money. Oh, yeah, no fatties.

Brock? Elliot?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Information About the 8-TRACK, Starting May 21st!

I promised more details about the new show I'm doing when I had them. And do I ever have them. Flyer and press release below...
"The 8-Track" A Seamless Blend of Music and Comedy

Mondays at 8pm. First show May 21st.
No show Memorial Day.

Location: The Green Room 45 Bleecker Street (Previously of "The Culture Project") North side of Bleecker St., between Lafayette & Mott, New York, NY

Closest subway: 6 to Bleecker

Tickets: $12.00 - available at the door or in advance.

For now, BYOB -- Discounts at "Astor Wines".

Next/First Show: MAY 21st, 8pm
The Mother's Day Show

Hosted by:
Carolyn Castiglia

Accompanied by:

Featuring Musical Guests:
Erin and her Cello
Cock Lorge
Soce the Elemental Wizard

Standup Comedy by:
Rick Younger

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The 8-Track: A Seamless Blend of Music and Comedy

Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan of Freestyle Love Supreme and Off-Book Productions arrange the hottest comedic writers, actors and musicians in New York City's newest hotbed of downtown comedy and music. The 8-Track creates a brand new sketch comedy show every week directed by AJ Morales ( Wicked Wicked HammerKatz) and combines it with a guest host, musicians, standup comedy, films and a house band- integrating words and music seamlessly!


Credits and Bios:

Sketch Direction:
AJ Morales
Dan McCoy
Rob Bates
Matt Koff
Laura Buchholz
Josh Drimmer
Musical Direction:
Damian Cremisio

Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan (Creator and Producer), can be seen in the improv comedy hip-hop group Freestyle Love Supreme which has been performed at The Aspen Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival and regularly at The Ars Nova Theater, NYC. He currently produces and performs Shockwave: THE MIXTAPE at Ars Nova Theater and The BEATdown: A Comedy Rap Battle at Mo Pitkins every 4th Saturday. He has trained with Chicago's Joe Bill, Miles Stroth, Mick Napier, NYC's Upright Citizen's Brigade and The People's Improv Theater. Sullivan has production managed Saturday Night Rewritten at Juvie Hall and co-created Character Dogville with Manhattan Comedy Collective. Additionally, he is co-founder of long-form improv troupe TOAST! at UMass Amherst and alumni/director of short-form improv troupe Mission:IMPROVable.

AJ Morales (Director) is Emerging Comics of New York Best Director of 2005, and the proud founder of Wicked Wicked HammerKatz (T.O.N.Y . 'Critics Pick'). Hailing originally from Arizona, he began his sketch comedy career with the legendary Arizona State University group Farce Side, where he performed and wrote for their widely attended weekly show and received 5 Audience Choice awards for his writing. Over the past 8 years, he has directed over 35 theatrical productions and has studied improv under The Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater.

Off-Book Productions
The entity known as Off-Book Productions is currently a birthing brainchild of Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan, the creator of The 8-Track. It was created to help define and promote a loose networking of performers of stage and studio, individuals and companies, and the hard work that gets them there. Created to help collaborate and network musicians and actors, this show is their first official project. Company/Project Affiliations: Beatboxer Entertainment, Goldishack Recordings, Freestyle Love Supreme, The BEATdown, The MIXTAPE, Manhattan Comedy Collective and Character Dogville and JagCo. Productions.

I'm on Fist City Tonight!

I'll be making an appearance on popular Internets radios series Fist City tonight, reading a guest essay as part of Fist City's literary month, A.K.A. "Reading is Fistimental." I will be dropping a bombshell relating to some lost works of Shakespeare. Want more details? Listen to East Village Radio tonight at nine. Or subscribe to the podcast.