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And I Am Not Lying – Live Storytelling and Burlesque in Philadelphia and Washington, DC

October 29th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I may be bugging out a little bit. I may be bugging out a lot, I don’t know. I’ve got absolutely no sort of benchmark for this tingle arcing from my brain to my gut along my skeleton. Maybe if your skull could have a couple fillings in it and then chew on a ball of tinfoil the size of your brain you’d feel this way all the time — it might feel like that.

All I know is that we’re bringing the And I Am Not Lying experience out to Philadelphia and Washington, DC next week and I’m both thrilled and terrified. What I’m terrified of, exactly, I have no idea. Maybe that nobody will come, or that EVERYBODY will come and my brain will restart onstage. It’s happened before.

But honestly, I don’t think it’s going to happen again. I’m so excited to be doing a mini-tour (or at least two out-of-town gigs) that it’s going to go fine as long as I only have two drinks ahead of time. Three drinks and my accent comes out so hard that grits fly out of my mouth while I immolate in a blinding white flame of AWESOME.

The show in Philadelphia is at L’etage on Sunday, November the 6th. Doors are at 7:30, show’s at 8. It’s $12 at the door.

Here’s a pretty cool trailer for the Philadelphia show:

I wrote about the DC show earlier this week. Follow the link in the previous sentence for more info, but essentially it’s:

At the Black Cat on Wednesday, November 2nd. Doors at 8, show at 9. Tickets are $12, available here.

If you’re new here, the show is this: storytelling by Brad Lawrence, Jeff Simmermon, Cyndi Freeman and in Philadelphia, the tiny legend that is ******. We’ll also have a few burlesque acts by Cyndi Freeman and Runaround Sue — and a comedy set by Philadelphia’s own Doogie Horner.

Brad, Cyndi, ****** and I all met through regular Moth appearances up here in New York. Brad’s won a few Grand Slams and appeared on the Moth Podcast. He’s got this bleak Midwestern absurdity to him and he tells stories with both feet on the gas pedal.

Cyndi’s a story coach with the Moth and fresh off her one-woman show, “Wonder Woman: A How-To Guide for Little Jewish Girls.” She’s got a lot of geeky feminist goofing and well-founded shock at the health care system — and she’s also doing burlesque as her alter ego Cherry Pitz.

Runaround Sue reminds me of a throwback to a Russ Meyer movie with a Pollyanna smile. Her burlesque will put a boot on your throat right there in the middle of a racetrack, but you’ll want to grin about it. You’ll smile and think up brand new cusswords to express your delight at the top of your lungs.

****** stories all wear a dingy satin boxer’s robe embroidered with the phrase “South Philly Hurricane.” She’s appeared on the Moth podcast as well as the Moth Radio Hour and she always wrecks it whenever she’s onstage up here. She makes her bad decisions and worse luck into stories that roll and loop like a Mexican roller-coaster: exhilarating, terrifying, and absolutely not subject to any kind of American safety standards.

Doogie Horner’s comedy is dry, wry, and cerebral. He appeared on America’s Got Talent, but don’t hold that against him – he’s actually really funny.

As for me: I’ve been in more Moth storyslams than I can remember, appeared on their podcast and also on This American Life. I had a small piece in a book called The Post-It Note Diaries that came out back in October, and I’m working (loosely) on a highly fictionalized memoir. It’s based on a bunch of stuff that’s true enough, anyway. As for my style – watch a few of my videos and then you tell me.

I just want this thing to be fun, for real. It’s easy to trigger your brain to squirt junk food chemicals by hunching in front of a computer screen and half-interacting with a bunch of strangers. But we’re all shooting for the real stuff, man – we want to get a lot of great people and excited strangers in a room together and then really go through some stuff: laugh, cry, get scared, yell and throw things. It makes your heart grow, for real. Hope you can make it.

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