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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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I’m Doing a **BUNCH** of Shows February 5th – 10th

February 1st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I just checked my calendar and realized that I’m doing a blur of shows next week, lined up like a long row of shots. The process is likely to be equal amounts of fun and exhausting, enough to leave me whimpering on the floor – just like a long row of shots. But if you’ve been reading this thing wondering when you can see me perform, consider yourself told.

There’s some really exciting stuff in here – an appearance with Michael Showalter, the monthly installment of And I Am Not Lying, and I’m the only white dude in a tribute to Richard Pryor at BAM. Check out these listings, and if you come to any of these, come up and say ‘hi’ afterwards!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM (doors at 7:30) – I’ll be appearing on Kerri Doherty’s “Geeking Out,” with headliner Michael Showalter
at Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY. I’ll be joined by my friend Juliet Hope Wayne and Carolyn Castiglia
Get tickets here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 9:30 PM (doors at 9) – will be the monthly installment of And I Am Not Lying with Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, burlesque by Magdalena Fox, comedy from Sasheer Zamata and sideshow by Abigoliah Schamaun.

The show will be at UNDER Saint Marks’ Theater, 94 Saint Marks’ Place (between 1st and A). Click here for tickets (then click the blue 6 in ‘February), and check out the fun poster below:

FEB_2013_FLYER_web

Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM – I’ll be telling a story in Caroline Creaghead‘s ‘Get It Out There’, a monthly comedy series at BAM, sponsored by IFC. This month’s show is a tribute to Richard Pryor.

Let me just bear down on this a little here: I am the only white dude in a Richard Pryor tribute show at BAM. This is a colossal honor, and a little intimidating as I’ll be sharing the stage with Jeffrey Joseph, Jermaine Fowler, and Hari Kondabolu – all incredibly gifted, hardworking and funny comics. Jeff and Hari both appeared at ‘And I Am Not Lying’ when we were at Union Hall, too.

The show is free, in the BAMCafe – doors at 8PM.

Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 8:00 PM – I’ll be telling a story in “Sharkbite Sideshow,” a bimonthly sideshow featuring some of the finest storytellers, burlesque performers, sideshow artists and pole dancers in New York City. The show will also feature performances from Cherry Brown, Ember Flame, Kryssy Kocktail, Lucille Ti Amore, Moxie Sazerac and fire dancing from Sasha the Fire Gypsy.

Get tickets for Sharkbite Sideshow here.

Sunday, February 10th at 5:00 PM - I’ll be telling two stories in Miz Stefani’s House, Live. This streams live, over the Web – so click this link at 5PM on Sunday if you happen to be ignoring the Super Bowl.

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Found Art Nostalgia: I Miss My Old Brain

November 26th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I found this painting that I made in college on the wall at some old friends’ house in Richmond, VA this weekend. I haven’t seen it in years.

I actually got into writing and storytelling through visual art – when I was majoring in painting, I was obsessed with comics, Southern folk art and outsider art, Congolese power figures and sacred Voodoo and Santeria art. In voodoo and Santeria (as I understood it at the time), practitioners go into a trance and become the spirits they’re communicating with, and create altars in the home that are both doorways to a particular orisha and a living representation of the orisha itself, made from found objects.

I got really into writing stories on my work, making comic book pages out of junk I’d find in the woods and getting into a sort of trance-like state in the studio I had in my barn and letting whatever voice was talking take control of my hands until the thing was done. Eventually the words took up more and more of the the work and I just started writing. Then, telling a story wasn’t necessarily a craft so much as a thing that came out of a state, like a ship sliding out of a rip in the universe.

I think this was done on an old road sign that I found deep in George Washington National Forest. I know I got that image from an old comic, and I definitely recall writing all of this in one go, with a Sharpie. No drafts, no revising, crossing out, no wondering what the audience would think or trying to be likable. Just moving forward.

Here’s the piece:

sarah_painting

The text reads:

“On that dark day when the Sun rises in the West and decides to set in the East, these gargantuan striped giants will appear suddenly from ??Elsewhere?? and set to the business of devouring the earth. Neither animal, vegetable, nor man-made machine, they are insatiable, and know no reason or moral code. They only know that they must perform the impossible: fill their ravenous GUTS.

The Fantastic Four and the entire Marvel Universe subscribe to the belief that GALACTUS is the eater of worlds, but I tell you with the straightest of all straight faces that GALACTUS is a mere DUST MITE compared to these black-and-white beasties.

We could, and probably will, head for the hills or lie screaming in storm cellars with paper sacks over our heads during that fateful time, but it will only make our moment of consumption more frenzied and embarrassing.

We may as well die picnicking as pleading to a recently discovered God. Mankind will finally realize what the insects knew all along: Nature knows no right or wrong.

Our constant struggle with good and evil set us apart from the animals, but on that day, we will finally be free from that boring struggle and I just hope that more people than just me have the sense to enjoy it.

This used to have two bicycle fenders painted to look like the creatures in question, glued to the top. They broke off pretty quickly, though. When I look at this, I feel a blast of nostalgia for a time when I could disappear into a barn for several hours, sure. But I also miss having that degree of concentration, and that practiced flow. It’s take me about 90 minutes to write this post, and half of it is simple transcription.

Mostly, I miss my old brain: the one that knew when to think and when to get out of the way and let the art fall out.

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And I Am Not Lying Live at The Black Cat on December 9th with Special Guest Go-Go Harder

November 15th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

**UPDATE** We have added comedian Paul Oddo to this show. Paul recently won the Boston Comedy Festival, and we’re stoked to have him!**

Man, Brad, Cyndi and I love doing shows in Washington, D.C. We get to see old friends, the Black Cat treats us incredibly well (you can tell it’s run by musicians) and the people seem to be pretty into it.

We’re coming back to the Black Cat in DC on Sunday, December 9th at 8PM. This time we’re going to be in the big upstairs room, too – which is pretty much an actual dream come true for me. Rather than sell out the small room downstairs and add a second show, we figured we’d do it all at once up there.

Here’s a poster I made for the thing, inspired by one I saw for “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”:

And I Am Not Lying at The Black Cat, 12.9.2012

As always, the show will feature storytelling by me (Jeff Simmermon), Brad Lawrence and Cyndi Freeman – who will also be doing a few burlesque acts. We’re really, really excited to have New York’s boylesque superstar Go-Go Harder join us onstage that night, too.

“What’s ‘boylesque?’” you may ask, followed by “Who the hell is ‘Go-Go Harder?’”

WELL. Among other things, he’s one of NYC’s first, foremost and finest male burlesque performers – and one of the subjects of this article on the boylesque phenomenon in the New York Times.

Here’s a quote from the piece that I loved:

… “Audiences go crazy for glittered nipples,” he told them. “The hipsters can’t handle it.”

This is not a night at Chippendales, and, according to Mr. Harder, that is a good thing. “Boylesque celebrates a large range of bodies with different sizes and shapes,” he said. “This idea of seeing nontraditional masculine men onstage is very new, and I feel boylesque is changing that for the better.”

We’ll also be joined by comedian Paul Oddo, who recently won the 2012 Boston Comedy Festival.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door – get ‘em here: Tickets for And I Am Not Lying at the Black Cat on December 9th. The room is going to be mixed seating and standing, with roughly a hundred chairs on the floor, and the rest standing room only. If you need a seat, you may want to plan to get there early.

If you want to check out a trailer and put it on your blog or something, you can do that here:

And, if you happen to be working for a media outlet and want to write about this, you can find our electronic press kit here: And I Am Not Lying EPK

Hope we see you at the show!

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Shots in the Dark: Manhattan in the Post-Sandy Blackout

November 13th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I went out biking and took a bunch of photos in Manhattan a few days after Hurricane Sandy hit. New Yorkers are pretty burnt by all the ongoing coverage, in addition to being shocked and devastated at all the wreckage and destruction. But it’s hard to tell if the rest of the country – or world – is seeing the same things we are.

I haven’t been to Staten Island or the Rockaways yet to help, so I can only document what I saw and felt. When I go there to help out, I’m not going to be waving a damn DSLR around, either.

It’s almost impossible to describe how eerie and dystopian Lower Manhattan felt in the days before the power came back on. This is a shot of Canal Street, between Broadway and Lafayette that I took on my phone:

Canal St. between Broadway and Lafayette

Shortly afterwards, a guy slowly coasted right down the yellow lines on his skateboard. The sound echoed off the shutters.

For those of you that don’t know this block, it’s one of the most constantly crowded streets in Chinatown. Any trucks, buses or cars entering or exiting the LIncoln Tunnel trundles down this block. I once sat in traffic for 90 minutes on this street, traveling one block every 10 minutes or so.

There are usually street vendors slinging hot dogs and chestnuts, African guys trying to sell you knockoff handbags, people selling plastic crap off of tables, guys trying to get you to trade in cash for gold, and then it’s just wall-to-wall tourists coming down to buy all the knockoffs and I (heart) NY shirts by the pound. One time I saw a guy waving a bubble gun around, shooting a stream of bubbles into traffic and shouting “IT’S BUBBLE TIME, DAMMIT!”

The only vehicles on the street the day I was riding around were ambulances, cop cars, and National Guard trucks. A few people scurried from one building to another, and others huddled in long lines to get bottled water dispensed by men in camouflage off of an armored truck.

It felt like a sci-fi disaster movie. Like “Escape From New York,” or “I Am Legend.”

I rode north on Fifth Avenue, past the Flatiron, and suddenly, everything changed. There was an invisible line at 30th Street, and once I crossed it, suddenly New Yorkers were walking around in the streets eating ice cream, talking about “it’s just so hard to date in this city” into their working cell phones. Like somebody had switched the channel in my brain from “I Am Legend” to “Sex and the City” with a less attractive cast.

And even though I had power and heat in my apartment in Brooklyn, and everything in my life is fine – just passing through the eerie disaster area for an hour and entering that bubble made me HATE those people up there, so much.

I ended up in Chinatown at dark. The power was coming on in the Village, but Chinatown was still black. I’ve never seen the city so black and dead, just a soup of darkness. Here are a few shots I took in Chinatown that night. The orange sky is reflected light from the rest of the city – and in several of these, I’m standing on a dark, narrow street and aiming towards an area with electricity:

BK_from_Chinatown
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Recap: And I Am Not Lying at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA

September 16th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

The Crack-Up

We did a show at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA last week – sponsored by WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. They even recorded me and pulled together a cool little plug on the radio for it – you can hear that here: And I Am Not Lying: Live, Raw Storytelling.

We were joined by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, a bunch of folks who play the typewriter musically a hell of a lot better than I did it when I was dabbling in the genre.

The show sold out, which was a hell of a kick – there’s nothing like busting your hump for a month and seeing it pay off.

I’m booking all our stuff out of town now and arranging all the press, too. It’s always a hurricane of phone calls, emails and text messages, last-minute changes and just … STUFF. I’ve never once had a show where there wasn’t a surprise, a change, a sudden boulder of bullshit falling at the last minute like a turd-studded iceberg of waste from a crack in a passing jetliner. At this point, I get a little nervous when it doesn’t happen.

And getting people in the door is my primary source of stress. I’m trying to get to where I don’t take empty seats personally, but it’s a long, slow journey.

We’re not at the point where we can count on a sold-out show, or really any kind of turnout at all. People don’t know the name of the show yet, and I ain’t exactly a draw on my name alone. This isn’t like music, where people bring friends to see a band based on the genre.

You can say “hey man, there’s a really sweet reggae band playing tonight, let’s check ‘em out,” and you’ll get some good walk-in. With comedy, you can say to your friends “hey, this venue that regularly books comedians is having some comedians perform tonight. Let’s go have some laughs,” and you might get some decent walk-ins.

We have no established genre. The best thing someone can say to sell us is “hey, this guy that was on This American Life three years ago is going to say a lot of SAT words and also a lot of cuss words, and it may be really funny but it may also be kind of depressing. Also, they might have some people do burlesque performances in addition to other storytellers who also have a lot of feelings they would like to share.”

You’re not going to hear Conan O’Brien say “We’ve got a very charming and thought-provoking storyteller on the show tonight” anytime soon. People that aren’t into The Moth or This American Life think that storytelling is either standup comedy or some dude in a bowtie and a seersucker suit at a folk festival talking about growing up on the farm.

So when I see a line stretching out through the door of the club, through the restaurant and out the front door, curving around the block and around the corner I just want to jump up on top of the bar and spike a football. I always try to walk along the whole line and just drink it all in.

All these people made tonight their date night, their going-out night, and they did it because they wanted to be THERE, with us, seeing something a little new and weird. I wanna kiss every last one of them, at least until they start fooling with their phones.

The first half of the show was a dream. I’ve been busting ass on actual joke-writing to build a standup set ever since a tragic crash-and-burn a month or so back. And to deploy those jokes on a roomful of cheering, happy people – it was like riding a gold-plated surfboard down a sunbeam. Everything was cruising like a dream during the first half, every performer killing and the Boston Typewriter Orchestra rocking it …

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WBUR Presents: And I Am Not Lying Live in Boston, Sept. 13th @ The Middle East

September 5th, 2012 by Cyndi Freeman

We are coming to Boston next week with the help of WBUR!
This is my hometown and it is great to be coming back with such an amazing line-up of folks. Arts critic Bill Marx has just interviewed me about the show and my many years performing in Bean-town, you can read that right here: http://artsfuse.org.

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And I Am Not Lying: Live in Philly on August 4th

June 29th, 2012 by D.Billy

It’s time once again to take the And I Am Not Lying show out of town – we’re going to be cock-rocking the NPR crowd at Underground Arts in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 4th at 8PM.

Tickets are $10, available here: And I Am Not Lying at Underground Arts

We’ll be featuring storytelling from:

Jeff Simmermon
Cyndi Freeman
Juliet Hope Wayne
(a great profile on her here!)

Comedy by Andy Ross

Burlesque from Cherry Pitz and Legs Malone

And sideshow acts from Jelly Boy the Clown.

Here’s a poster:

Get pumped, Philly! We sure are!

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Social Media Exhaustion

June 27th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I didn’t sleep enough last night, and I’ve been flicking around the Internet more than I care to admit right now. And my God, the Internet is such a nonstop envy machine. I’m not blaming anyone in particular here, but it sure manages to resonate against my personal insecurities pretty well.

everybody_facebook

If only there were a way to make a creative living without hunching in front of a computer all day…

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Wonder Woman Ties Up the Cheetah at And I Am Not Lying Live

June 13th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Well, I’m tickled to all hell right now. We’re bringing the And I Am Not Lying live show to the Black Cat in DC on Thursday, June 14th, and I’m told that we’ve sold out the 8PM show. We’re adding a late show that night, with doors at 10PM. You can see more info on the Black Cat’s site here and get advance tickets here: And I Am Not Lying at the Black Cat, 10 PM show.

This is a photo from a show that we did last year at L’Etage in Philadelphia, just to give you folks at home a taste:

Runaround Sue, Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman 3 (by Ryan Collerd)

This is Wonder Woman apprehending the Cheetah while Steve Trevor looks on with a stupefied, dreamlike amazement. I’ve never seen someone be more hesitant about their rescue in all my life. Cyndi Freeman/Cherry Pitz is Wonder Woman, Runaround Sue is the Cheetah, and Brad Lawrence is Steve Trevor. Photo is by the genuine, warm and spectacular Ryan Collerd.

As it turns out, we’ll be coming back to Philadelphia on August 4th, too. So keep watching the skies, people – we hope to see you really soon.

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