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‘And I Am Not Lying’ Returns to the Black Cat in Washington DC, July 12th

July 5th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

**UPDATE – Dave Hill had to cancel because of some unforeseen circumstances. He is being replaced by the incomparable Paul Oddo.**

‘And I Am Not Lying’ is roaring back into town and cock-rocking the NPR crowd at The Black Cat on Friday, July 12th, at 9PM.

This show is going to leave a smoldering crater on 14th St NW, featuring a Game of Thrones-themed burlesque act from Corvette LeFace, Afro-Brazilian percussion from the 20-woman band Batala, comedy from Dave Hill, more burlesque from Cherry Pitz, and of course, storytelling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Jeff Simmermon (me.)

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door – available here. Seating will be limited, so you’ll want to get a ticket in advance and get there early if you want to sit down.

Here’s a poster I made for the thing, performer videos after the jump:

AndIAmNotLyingBlackCat_July12

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Two Shows in May: 5.1 at Under Saint Marks, 5.9 at UCB East

April 29th, 2013 by Cyndi Freeman

Man, the month slipped past FAST. We’ve got two big shows in New York this May, and I’m here to tell you about them:

NotLying_USM_5.1.2013

First, we’ve got the monthly installment of our residency at Under Saint Marks Theater on Wednesday, May 1st, 9PM. The theater is at 94 Saint Marks’ Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.

Featuring:

Storytelling by: Cyndi Freeman (The Moth, NY Fringe Award Winner), Brad Lawrence (The Moth, BTK), Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth)

Standup comedy by: Guilia Rozzi (Stripped Stories)

Sideshow by: Abigoliah Schamaun (Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bizaar)

Burlesque by: Brief Sweat, Cherry Pitz

You can get tickets here.

Then on May 9th, 11PM, we’re bringing the show to UCB East in a one-hour bouillon-cube of thrills, featuring

Storytelling by: Shannon Cason, Jeff Simmermon

Comedy by: Paul Oddo

Burlesque by: Nastie Canasta

… More special guests to be announced.

UCB East is located at 153 East 3rd Street at Avenue A. Tickets are only five tiny dollars, and you can click here for reservations.

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Your One-Stop Resource For Info on Bitches and Flamethrowers

April 5th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I just happened to take a look at the blog stats this morning, and found a pretty magnificent run of Google search queries that led the reader directly to this blog:

searchterms

What if these were all the same guy, Googling each question in sequential order?

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New Video: Fighting the Big Black Bird With Some Help

April 3rd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be able to share this video of this story. I told it at The Moth’s “Love Hurts” show on February 13th of this year.

I’ve been working it over and over for a few years – it’s a significant revision of a piece about the depression that comes after cancer surgery, and also all of the stupid shit that people say to you when they hear you’ve had cancer. Just a hint: Yoga can’t actually cure cancer, but getting high and watching ‘Pootie Tang’ will help you to feel better.

I put a lot of jokes into it that I’ve written over the last year, and it feels right. This is also the first time I’ve been able to adequately communicate in public just how much my fiance means to me without using any cliches, and why I can’t imagine living life without her.

Think what you want of Lance Armstrong – the doping scandals, the lying, the bullying, whatever. I didn’t follow cycling or that story that closely, so I’m shielded by a thick cushion of ignorance on that one. But the thing that helped me the most through this whole process of having testicular cancer was being able to talk about it openly, on stage and in the street.

People get a little weird about it now, but they used to get a LOT more weird about it, and it was something that wasn’t discussed at all. We used to say that people were testicular cancer victims, and now they’re cancer survivors. It’s a major cultural shift, and it’s come through the hard work of the LiveStrong foundation.

It’s OK to feel however you want to feel about the man, but let’s please recognize that the foundation has done – and continues to do – really, really important work. I benefited from it directly and indirectly, and a lot of other people have, too.

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And I Am Not Lying, Live on April 3rd

March 31st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

It’s time all over again for another installment of And I Am Not Lying at Under Saint Marks’ Theater – this month, we’re featuring a VERY special burlesque tribute to John Turturro’s Jesus Quintana from “The Big Lebowski!”

Here’s a fun flyer, info and ticket links below the jump:

And I Am Not Lying, April 3rd
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Doin’ It All For A Baby That Can’t Love Me Back

March 29th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

gavin
(I see a lot of traffic coming in to read this post – in the event that some of you are interested in seeing the performing that I’m talking about, you can see that this Wednesday in NYC, just click the link.)

Five of my friends have had babies in the last two weeks. The birth of a baby is supposed to be a happy thing, but it can also be a funeral for a friendship.

It’s great that everyone I know is immediately, rapturously in love with their child, and I wouldn’t wish anything else for them. I see the joy and happiness that my sister and her husband feel now that my nephew is here, and I genuinely want everyone I care about to feel that, too. But it’s not like I stopped needing someone to hang out with, talk to, commiserate with about the crushing grind that is art and performance in NYC, get super baked on pot cookies and watch sci-fi flicks together.

I’m not suggesting that the emotional needs of a 36 year old man should never come ahead of a baby’s, either. If any of my friends kept hanging out like everything was exactly the same, that would be even worse. I’d hate to find out that a close friend was so into our friendship that he was willing to become a deadbeat dad just to keep our train on the tracks.

I think a lot more kids are accidents than people let on. After a certain age, people just go to a different doctor when they find out they’re pregnant than they did in their twenties. I think so, anyway. But after my run-in with testicular cancer a few years back, I’m not going to be surprising anybody.

So while I grieve for my lost – or suddenly, drastically changed – friendships, I’m also jealous. Not like, snatch-a-baby jealous, but with the option of sudden, natural conception behind me, it makes me a lot more conscious of my choices. And I don’t feel like my life is in a place where I could drop everything and support a new life.

I’m really, obsessively focused on writing and performing now. It takes up almost every waking hour, and it pretty much has to until further notice. It’s crushing and exhausting, but sometimes it works out.

For example, I was honored to be the only white guy in a tribute to Richard Pryor at BAM last month. I grew up listening to Richard Pryor records in my room, mimicking his cadence and timing and trying to learn how he could conjure so many characters in a story. Not imitating them, but just becoming them. I’m a storyteller, Pryor was too. And I’ve got a story about a guy who pretty much is the living embodiment of his “Mudbone” character. It was a perfect lock, and such a thrill to be there.

The room was packed, standing room only, maybe 300 people or so. I went on second, after a guy who just crushed it. He’s brash and sharp, grew up incredibly poor in Washington, D.C., and the crowd loved him. Then I went on, and things changed.

They weren’t trying to hear anything from a huge white dude that looks like most people’s boss, dressed in a cowboy shirt. Especially not if the story was a complex story about a friendship with a schizophrenic black man. A large Caribbean woman sat right in front of me, frowning a hole in my skull with arms crossed in front of her like two giant pythons guarding a gateway to laughter on the far, opposite side of an echoing room. I saw dates look at one another and mutually decide to wrap it up early and claim they had an early meeting the next day.

Some people laughed here and there, but I knew in 30 seconds that it was going to be a fight. Comics can go to backup material, but when you’re telling a story and it’s going bad, you’ve got to land that burning airline no matter what happens.

Phones were coming out and lighting up all over the place, and I could hear the audience start to chatter. I swear I heard someone say, “it’s cool, we can talk over this guy.” I zeroed in on a friend’s face and just started talking to her, just to get through it.

And then, also in the front row, I saw this:

A haggard, middle-aged woman pulled a sharpie out of her pocket, and drew a mustache onto her face with a very practiced motion. Then she reached into her coat and took her shirt off completely, unfurling her boobs like faded, trusty flags she’d flown a million times before.
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“And I Am Not Lying” at UNDER Saint Marks’, March 2013

March 3rd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

**UPDATE**

Ed Gavagan’s story from tonight’s show is being taped by ‘This American Life.’ We really want to get a good crowd out for him, so if you were on the fence about this one, PLEASE consider coming out to support him! We’ve also created a discount code to sweeten the deal. For $6 tickets, enter discount code “BIGFOOT” there (click the blue “6″ on the calendar that appears, then enter the code.)
**/END UPDATE**

This week is a blur already. I am moving backwards in time, simultaneously experiencing Sunday night forwards and in my own memory from a week in the future. That’s what you do when you’re moving ahead fast – remember things while you live them.

I’m prepping for our shows at SXSW and won’t be at our monthly gig at UNDER Saint Marks’ Theater this week, but it would be horribly irresponsible of me not to tell you about it – it’s going to be awesome.

Naturally, the show is on Wednesday, March 6th, 9PM at UNDER Saint Marks’ Theater, 94 St. Marks’ Place, NYC. If you’re a faithful fan and want tickets right this second, click here (then click the blue “6″ on the calendar that appears.)

This show features:

Storytelling by

Brad Lawrence
Cyndi Freeman
John Flynn
Ed Gavagan

AND

Burlesque by

Nastie Canasta
Cherry Pitz

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‘And I Am Not Lying’ Does Two Shows During SXSW 2013 at The New Movement Theater

March 2nd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

“And I Am Not Lying” is doing two shows at SXSW Interactive 2013: one on March 10th and another on March 11th, both at The New Movement Theater. The one on March 10th is for SXSW badgeholders (Platinum, Gold, Film, Interactive) and the one on the 11th is open to the general public.

If you’re a badgeholder and want to add this to your schedule, click here.

To buy tickets to the show open to the public on March 11th, click here.

Here’s a cool poster, more info after the jump:

NotLying-SXSW-2013

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Found on the NYC Subway: Level-Headed Relationship Advice from A Little Girl

January 9th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I found this adorable piece of pragmatic relationship advice from a child on the floor of my subway stop this morning:

child_advice
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Christmas 2012: Four Generations of Family, A Mummified Banana and the Promise of a Dry Diaper

January 2nd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

My family all loves each other, and gets along pretty well. Which means that my holidays are usually pretty great, but rarely make for much in the way of great material. Four generations of people that love and respect each other kind of puts me at a disadvantage for a career in the arts. I try to work around it, though.

What follows isn’t really a story with conflict and an arc and surprises and stuff. But this chapter in my family’s history is so magnificent that it needs to be recorded somewhere. So I’m annotating a series of photos that sum it all up.

In-law jokes were for hacks back in the ’60s. Everyone knows that. But one of the things that nobody ever tells you about getting married is that if you get lucky and pick it right, you actually get to join a whole new awesome family in addition to your own. And if yours sucks a little, you kind of get another shot.

I started the holidays with Maggie’s family in suburban Maryland – here we are, opening some gifts early. My soon-to-be father-in-law gave me the entire run of Battlestar Galactica, which I’ve actually never seen – pretty solid!

brennans

For those of you that don’t know, my aunt and uncle own and operate a Christmas store in Smithfield, Virginia. It’s open year-round, and it’s not one of those chintzy chain stores you see at your more pathetic shopping malls. Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Elaine have an entire wardrobe of Christmas-themed clothing, and wear this stuff all the time, like it’s completely normal. They also usually have a little glitter or fake snow from a shedding ornament stuck to their sweater, glasses or something the way that other people might wear cat hair.

Here are a few shots of the shop:

At Christmas:

xmas_store

christmas_store

At Halloween:

Christmas Store, Halloween
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