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And I Am Not Lying LIVE will be Performing and Coaching at SXSW Interactive 2012

February 8th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon
SXSW Daytime Street Scene  - Credit: Brittany Ryan

SXSW Daytime Street Scene | Credit: Brittany Ryan

I’m pretty stoked to tell you this:

And I Am Not Lying is not only putting on a show but a whole tent of action and entertaining education at South by Southwest Interactive this year.

It’s coming together really, really fast and last-minute — not unlike most things at SXSW. Here’s what we do know:

We’re going to have a tent on Saturday, March 10th, from 11 AM to 6PM in Palm Park, right next to the convention center.

We’ll be offering an improv comedy workshop taught by musical improv comedy legend Eliza Skinner, of Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion and “Amy at the Club” fame.

We’ll also be offering a storytelling workshop taught by Cyndi Freeman and me (Jeff Simmermon). Cyndi’s an experienced storyteller here in NYC, and an instructor with The Moth’s MothSHOP outreach program, though she is not representing the Moth at this thing. As for me, I just do this a whole, whole lot — and teach story structure and writing in my day job at Time Warner Cable, too.

There’s also going to be a panel discussion about storytelling, from the burlesque backroom to the corporate boardroom with stage and radio in between. Panelists will include me, Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman as well as Seth Lind of TOLD! (one of the city’s best story shows), comedy improv troupe Thank You, Robot, and This American Life. Thaler Pekar, communications coach/organizational narrative expert will also join us on the panel.

We haven’t quite determined the precise timing and order of the workshops and panels. But I know this much – we’re taking a taco break from 2-4 while the Interactive keynotes happen.

And then, from 4-6 PM, we’re putting on a version of the And I Am Not Lying LIVE show featuring storytelling, comedy and sideshow from some of our spectacularly talented friends.

Just guess who three of the storytellers are. I dare you.If you guessed Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Jeff Simmermon, then good for you.

Here’s the really cool thing: we’re next to a tent that gives out free beer. As I understand it right now, this is what SXSW calls a “networking tent”, whereby badgeholders get a couple of free drinks. That’s always where the most magic happens for me at SXSW anyway.

So look: at some point, all the Powerpoints and pointy-headed talks about memes are gonna get old. When they do, we’re outside in the shade and ready to entertain you. Come over, grab a couple cold ones and hang out with us. The whole tent is a polished-up and prettified presentation based around trash-talking with a purpose in the first place — and we’ve worked hard to get good at it.

As a matter of fact, it’s pretty much what we live for. Come hang out with us and you can tell your boss that you went to a few work-appropriate panels if you want.

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And I Am Not Lying – Live: We’ve Got a Residency at Union Hall, First Tuesday of Each Month

January 22nd, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

We’ve been real sometimes-y about these And I Am Not Lying live shows over the past year – a show here and a show there, spattered around Brooklyn and lower Manhattan and DC and Philadelphia in a series of one-offs that are always exciting, but hardly consistent. Considering that the show’s based on a blog that is updated really infrequently, that kinda made sense.

Thanks to a lot of awesome help from Creaghead and Co., that’s about to change.

Starting February 7th, we’ll be cock-rocking the NPR crowd with the And I Am Not Lying live show at Union Hall on the first Tuesday of every month. Doors are at 8, show’s at 8:30 and tickets ain’t but ten tiny dollars for the finest comedy, storytelling, burlesque sideshow you’re going to get anywhere.

Be honest with yourself: stuff like this is part of the reason you moved here. It’s worth a headache at work on Wednesday.

You can buy tickets here if you’re into that already.

We pulled together this cool trailer about it, too. It may be NSFW, depending on your job:

I wanted to start this show for a very, very good reason. I’m doing this thing so that I don’t go completely numb, and I’m trying to bring as many people back to life as I can right along with us.

I spend a lot of time hunched over a glowing rectangle starting and mediating petty squabbles about nothing, breathing shallowly through my mouth and reading tweets about television. I’ve been doing it for years. When I’m not getting paid to do it I sit around my apartment in my underpants and do it for free, apparently.

Everyone does.

Sometimes I think we’re all using computers to row this numbing boat towards a black wall of depressing distraction. I want to do my part to get as many people into one room and feeling something great together for a little while. And maybe if we get together often enough and pool our collective energies into something funny and weird, we can live a little outside of our bottomless pockets filled with lotus petals.

The entire purpose of life is to get as excited as possible. I’m so, so excited to have a reason to hose the town down with excitement once a month. So it’s like a Mobius strip of recursive excitement for me.

Sometimes storytelling shows can get a little sweater-vesty, comedy shows can be too bitter and detached, and burlesque too much, all in a go. This way we can cross-pollinate the best of the best and no matter what, if you’re not into what you’re seeing you can see something else really soon.

I want this thing to be a rock show without instruments, to just cram an entire aircraft carrier’s worth of fun into the basement of Union Hall. So far, we’ve been doing pretty okay on that front, I think.

D.Billy and I collaborated on this cool poster (I think it’s cool, anyway) to announce the residency:

And I Am Not Lying Live - Residency Poster, 2012

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Never Let Your IQ Get In the Way Of A Good Time: And I Am Not Lying is Live At Union Hall on December 10th

November 30th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Man. I can’t believe it’s showtime again already. But me, Brad Lawrence and Cyndi Freeman are bringing our live show back to Union Hall in Brooklyn on December 10th at 8PM. And it don’t cost but ten bucks, people.

People keep asking me, “so, what’s this show about? What’s your hook?” And man, I have no idea. I used to think it was a live version of this blog. But now this blog is turning to a blog version of the live show. All I can say is that it reflects a huge lesson I learned sometime in college:

Never let your IQ get in the way of a good time.

Basically, we’re cock-rocking the NPR crowd with burlesque, storytelling, comedy and sideshow acts. Sound fun? It better. If that’s not high-quality Saturday night entertainment for you, I don’t want to know what is.

I’d strongly recommend getting advance tickets, which you can do right here: And I Am Not Lying Live at Union Hall on 12/10/2011 — $10

If you’re really into the Facebook thing, you can click here to see the invite and RSVP. That doesn’t actually help anything, but it massages my starving ego.

Here’s a poster, lineup published for Google SEO trickery after the jump:

And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall, 12.10.2011

The show features …

Storytelling from

Jeff Simmermon (storyteller featured on The Moth Podcast and This American Life)
Cyndi Freeman (Wonder Woman: A How-To Guide for Little Jewish Girls)
Brad Lawrence (The Moth GrandSLAM champ)

Comedy by
Michael Che

Burlesque by

Fem Appeal,
RunAround Sue & Cyndi Freeman

and a VERY special appearance by
Mat Fraser & Julie Atlas Muz

Hope you can make it out.

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Followup to DC, Philadelphia Shows: The Meat Rots Fast Off A Big, Fat Kill

November 8th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Man, am I beat. In case you hadn’t noticed, we had two shows outside New York City last week. I’ve been consumed with them for months, and we’ve all been super excited. And that excitement pretty much paid off, too.

The bus ride down to Washington from New York was pretty uneventful. The cab ride to Eric and Sarah’s (our hosts for the evening) was another story. That was when I found out that we’d sold out the Black Cat.

It’s really, really difficult to articulate what that felt like. Everything got brighter, sharper. Sounds had more clarity, and all the hairs in my nostrils stuck out straight. I think my metabolism tripled. We all had a belt of bourbon before going down to the club, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that it burned up before it got all the way through the esophagus.

I’d been getting a cold, and my body did this incredibly strange thing. First, it fast-forwarded through the generative stage of the cold, stuff running out of my head like a child had salted a slug’s nest in my brain.

Then when we got to the club and literally had to walk through a small crowd of total strangers to see this sign on the door, everything just stopped completely:


The cold dried up. My body paused it completely, put the whole thing on layaway.
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And I Am Not Lying: Storytelling, Comedy and Burlesque at L’etage in Philadelphia

November 5th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

So it’s the night before our And I Am Not Lying – Live show in Philadelphia, and I’m antsy. We’re bringing this storytelling, comedy and burlesque gig to L’etage tomorrow night and I’m really hoping that folks turn out.

Here’s a little flyer:


Here are the details:

  • Show’s at L’etage, (6th St and Bainbridge St.)
  • Doors at 7:30, show starts at 8PM prompt.
  • It’s $12 at the door.

You’ll see:

Brad, Cyndi, ****** and I all met as regulars at story slams with The Moth in New York. Brad and ****** have won their share of Grand Slams, and Brad, ****** and I have all appeared on the Moth’s podcast. I was on This American Life a while back, and was featured on The Moth’s Radio Hour recently, too. Cyndi’s an accomplished storyteller fresh off her show “Wonder Woman: A How-To Guide for Little Jewish Girls.”

And just last week, we added Philadelphia comedian Doogie Horner to the bill, too.

I’m pretty stoked to meet him – the guy is really funny! In addition to performing on America’s Got Talent (I know), he’s a graphic designer by day — and actually designed the cover to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Philadelphia Magazine called him the “Most Hilarious Guy in Philly,” and they may be right:

Hope you can make it.

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Brad Lawrence: “The Last Pool Party”

November 1st, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Brad Lawrence is an excellent storyteller, and hosts the Moth pretty much every chance he gets. He’s also got a podcast called “The Standard Issues” where he broadcasts storytellers that appear in he and Cyndi’s live show of the same name. And, since this is relentless show-promo week, I am obliged to mention that he’s performing at And I Am Not Lying, Live in Philadelphia next Sunday, November 6th — and at the Black Cat in Washington, DC tomorrow night!

He told this story about the first and last pool party he’ll ever attend at Union Hall on October 5th, 2011.

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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.
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Runaround Sue, Live Burlesque at Union Hall and Everywhere Else

October 25th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I’d be lying if I said I knew Runaround Sue very well. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t a huge fan. She’s a burlesque performer here in New York and all over the place, including Richmond, VA and a lot of other states and countries. She’s a mystery lady, a sweet enigma that sometimes lives with Cyndi and Brad and sometimes coalesces in the back of used bookstores in Manhattan.

That’s where I keep running into her.

When she performed at our show at Union Hall in Brooklyn, she brought a terrifying heat. She grunted and yelped and when she beat the floor with her breakaway dress and the kind of bra that can NEVER come off fast enough, she did it with an intensity that you just kinda recognize after a while. It’s one part Cramps and one part playground and one hundred percent the spirit of ROCK.

She’s going to be performing with us in Philadelphia and Washington, DC in the very beginning of November. Which is, sweet JESUS, next week!

To learn more about the DC show, go here.
To buy tickets to the DC show, visit this link: And I Am Not Lying: A Night of Storytelling, Comedy, and Burlesque

And to get a taste of what kind of an act Runaround Sue has, watch the video below. Tassels and their contents do fly freely here, so it may not be safe for work:

Wasn’t that just wonderful? My family’s minister reads this blog. He’s pretty great that way, to be honest, and I’m glad to consider him a friend. I’m also glad that maybe Sue and I made him sweat a little much.

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I Hope the Walls Stay Dry: And I Am Not Lying Live at The Black Cat in Washington, DC.

October 24th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

On Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011, I am going to be performing along with my troupe of storytellers and burlesque performers at the Black Cat in Washington, DC.

It’s going to be me (Jeff Simmermon) as a storyteller, along with And I Am Not Lying members Cyndi Freeman and Brad Lawrence, along with additional burlesque by Runaround Sue and Cyndi Freeman as Cherry Pitz. Tickets are $12, show starts at 8PM.

You can get those tickets here: And I Am Not Lying: A Night of Storytelling, Comedy, and Burlesque

This is a cool trailer that our generous, warm and talented friend Tracy Rowland cut together for us. If you happen to write a blog or want to shout it out loud on any sort of social platform that you fancy, do please go right ahead:

And I honestly cannot believe that I just standing here in my office, typing this like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

We used to sneak off to the Black Cat in high school and college all the time, to pretty much see everybody. It was the beacon on the hill, the magnet in the big city that produced Bad Brains, Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses and God knows how many other bands — many of which contained my friends that I secretly admired but never told because I was so jealous — and sucked me right up there. I hung out there all the time in the years that I lived in DC, and now I’m thrilled and terrified to be a tiny part of the continuum that made me.

Imagine if you ate at incredible potlucks for your entire life, full of incredible, nourishing delicious everything you could possibly imagine and then found all these new things you didn’t ever know existed but blew your mind apart all the same.

When it comes your turn to put a dish on the table, you just really hope it doesn’t make people barf on the walls, is all I’m saying.

I am nervous enough to barf on the walls right now. I started this blog in Washington, DC as well, and it’s going to be a pretty weird homecoming.

I made this fun little flyer to promote the show, too. Just go right ahead and post that on your social platforms as well:

And I Am Not Lying at the Black Cat

I sure hope you folks can make it.

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And I Am Not Lying Live Hurricane Makeup Show at Union Hall

September 28th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I think that Hurricane Irene’s only real casualty in New York City was the And I Am Not Lying show. I was willing to wade to Union Hall and stand on top of the bar if I had to, but with the MTA shut down, not many folks would have made it. And plus, the place was closed.

But we’re roaring back with a rescheduled show next week on wednesday, October 5th. Here’s an updated poster, show info after the jump …

And I Am Not Lying, Union Hall 10.5.2011

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