blog: After Chappelle's Show, Neil Brennan's one-man show 3 MICS

So I heard part of a segment on the Leonard Lopate Show last week, an NPR show I’ve been listening to for decades on which Leonard Lopate interviews all kinds of smart people. This segment was different from any other because Lopate was laughing so hard that he could hardly choke out the questions for his guest, Neal Brennan. I managed to lock it in that Neal Brennan was the co-creator of Chappelle's Show, a hilarious show. And I promptly forgot about it.

And then on my Sunday afternoon stomp around Lower Manhattan when I had my big epiphany, what appeared before my eyes but the theatre where Neal Brennan’s one man show 3 MICS is playing until April 16. (The Lynn Redgrave Theatre at 45 Bleecker Street near Lafayette Street in Noho with tickets for as little as $21).  

Taking this as some kind of sign, I pried myself away from the rewrite and went to a sold out performance last night. I loved it.

Brennan is magnificently funny, real and sometimes very vulnerable as he moves among three different microphones. At one mic he does one-liners, at the middle one ‘emotional stuff’ and at the third one, stand-up comedy. He covers a lot of ground: family, depression, his experience with anti-depressants, student loans, his girlfriend experiences, his violent alcoholic father, 12 step programs, self-esteem, racism, the problem with having famous friends and a whole lot more.

As an artist, I found it incredibly inspiring, encouraging and moving and wish that every artist in New York City and beyond could get to see this before it closes.

No pictures were allowed during the performance so I snapped this one just before the show. It’s possible that Brennan will take 3 MICS on the road so maybe people in other parts of the country/world will get a chance to see it. I hope so.

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 210 (When the multiple adrenaline surges finally wear off...)

I don't know what happened.  It finally hit me this morning.  Here I was all glowy, all OVER not making the final cut.

Maybe the multiple adrenaline surges finally wore off?  First there was seeing:  Episodic Lab!!  blazing in my inbox a full week early.  (without the italics and exclamation points...)  Then, the nicest-ever rejection letter.  And then the tidal wave of love from you.

I'm not generally depressive but woke up this morning in a black mood.  Very Soprano theme song.  Everything was gone.  Fortunately, you sent me links to watch and read, links about how to cope with rejection, about how to deal with an 'upper limit problem' and an Oprah video on surrrender (suggested by Louise Edington) which made me burst into tears and gave me the answer.  I have to let go AGAIN.  (Looking at You, Suzy Soro)  I have to surrender. 

So I hauled out the vacuum cleaner and threw myself into cleaning the house.  At first I was all (mournful) Skeeter Davis: "Don't theyyy know, it's the END of the world..."

This eventually shifted to chanting to a God I don't always believe exists:  "Please show me the way to use my talents."  which changed to:  "Could you just show me how to be happy!"  I felt willing.  I felt truly and totally surrendered.  What am I supposed to do?

Of course nothing happened.  And I didn't even take pleasure in doing a bang-up job of cleaning.  (Not to compare, but Oprah got a call from Spielberg offering her the part in The Color Purple the instant she surrendered.)   

Glum, with heavy feet, I pretended that I wasn't occasionally refreshing the mail on my phone and finished the job (except the bathrooms).  I decided that today is the day: it was almost 90º and I was going swimming.  I NEVER go swimming even though I love to swim.  Last summer I never even went ONCE.

So I put on a bathing suit and my cut-offs, got in the old Volvo and drove to the swimming hole.  I had a delicious swim against the current in a fast-moving river which did exactly NOTHING to change my mood.  I drove home, made a lettuce and tomato sandwich with a ton of Hellman's mayonnaise (protein) and trudged to my studio to write the blog of death. 

Almost immediately, on starting to write, the black mood lifted.  Oh and by the way, look what I found on the way to the studio. 

And look what I found on the way back to the house for a cup of tea.

You may not know that most of my childhood was spent on all-fours, eyes trained on the lawn, looking for 4-leaf clovers.  In decades of looking, I never found two in a day and never even imagined a 5-leaf clover.  Maybe things are looking up.