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Discount Rainbow Lady Liberty at Columbus Circle

July 25th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Productivity experts (whatever that even means) will tell you that it’s important to get up from the computer sometimes and take a break, let your brain reset a little. I usually eat my lunch at my desk, hunched over and chewing through Daily Show reruns and then around 3PM feel my brain start to separate from the walls of my skull as I daydream about being a lumberjack or hopping freight trains through an America that doesn’t exist anymore.

I went out and ate my lunch in Central Park today, and brother am I glad I did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have seen discount rainbow Lady Liberty here riding a tiny pink bike around and trying to fist-bump tourists:


Here he is again, riding toward a bunch of adolescent girls, who screamed and scattered like pigeons when they saw him:


This city never gets old.

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And I Am Not Lying Live at R Bar on June 5th

May 31st, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Man, this really snuck up on me. We’re bringing the And I Am Not Lying – LIVE show to R Bar on Bowery in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5th.

You can get advance tickets here. Show’s at 8PM, $10, same as ever. Here’s a fun flyer:

And I Am Not Lying at R Bar 6.5.2012

Like the flyer says, we’re featuring:

Comedy by Greg Barris
Burlesque by Cherry Pitz, Peter Aguero, Amelia Bareparts

Storytelling by Jeff Simmermon, Cyndi Freeman, Brad Lawrence, Peter Aguero

Hope you can make it.

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More Naked Ladies and Comedy! Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tuesday May 15th @ R Bar 8pm

May 13th, 2012 by Cyndi Freeman

I took a year off from producing my monthly Burlesque show and I missed it! Storytelling is certainly one of my favorite things but I also really love performing naked (or in g-string and tassels)

If You were at the last And I Am Not Lying Live, my story was about that and also about the difference between exploitation and fun in sexy art-forms. This month my Hosty Totsy show makes fun of that same struggle.

Hotsy Totsy is an ongoing burlesque soap opera. Each epsisode takes place during the “monthly fundraiser at The Home For Wayward Girls and Fallen Women” and in each show there is some back stage drama that plays out between the burlesque acts. This month gangster Nickles Lugo (Played by Nelson Lugo) attempts to take over the Home and to turn it into a money making venture (AKA a strip-club and brothel.) The girls fight back wanting to keep things playful and sweet the way we like it!

When asked to describe my burlesque show HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE, I tell people it is like the Muppet show if you substituted puppets with naked girls. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under Burlesque, Comedy, Cyndi Freeman, Manhattan, New York City, Uncategorized having Comments Off

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Storytelling Validated in the Times: A Guide to Shows and Open Mics in New York City

April 4th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Street View from 768 Delancey

The New York Times gave me a tiny shout-out this evening in a piece about the storytelling scene in New York City. I am referred to as “imposing,” which is confusing, but I’ll take it as a compliment. I strongly encourage that you run right out and read the whole thing. Cyndi Freeman gets a mention in there, too, as well as a bunch of other folks that I am honored to consider peers. The mighty Adam Wade gets some serious ink, too.

Here’s an excerpt that I think is the core of the piece, referring to my friend Ophira Eisenberg:

She explores the taboo, but without the persistent relief provided by consistent punch lines. In doing that, she shows how a story can use humor but not be shackled to it, how it can be emotional without pandering, and how difficult ideas can be articulated entertainingly.
What she demonstrates is that storytelling can give a certain kind of comedy a chance to grow.

Storytelling has grown a lot beyond regular Moth slams. The Moth was the Big Bang that coalesced into the sun for this whole thing, but now a bunch of other planets are cooling and growing their own life forms. The following is a list of storytelling shows that I’d recommend checking out in the city. I’ve been in most of these, and am friends with folks that run all of them.

A lot of these shows don’t have a lot in the way of a Web presence. I hate linking to Facebook pages, but that’s the world we live in — crafting stories and running shows takes a lot of energy, and so does running a website. At this point in my life I’d rather have “writer/performer” etched on my tombstone than “blogger”. Anyway, here they go:

Liar Show
Real Characters
BTK Band
Nights of Our Lives
The Story Collider
Ask Me
How I Learned
The Soundtrack Series
Adam Wade has a BUNCH:

I can also see how Moth story slams would be intimidating to people that are new to this. They’re huge, with lines around the block and they sell out pretty much every time. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll even get picked. And if you do get picked, you’re pretty much screwed out of a decent score unless you get picked fifth through tenth. By the fifth storyteller the booze kicks in, scores start to loosen up and judges figure out what the hell they’re even doing.

Frankly, these things should be a little intimidating to first-time performers. Anyone who just thinks “what the hell, I’ll just jump on stage for the first time in front of 400 people and be awesome like I always am, every day of my life” is missing a critical component to their personality and is likely going to embarrass everyone in the room except themselves. I’ve seen this happen. A lot.

You should get on stage and do it anyway, but a little fear is a good thing. It means you’re taking it seriously.

None of the following open mics were around when I started going to the Moth. If they had been, I’d have definitely tried my stories out at these first. I’m not saying that there’s a right or wrong way to do any of this stuff. Any door you find is one you can walk through.

But if you happen to want to workshop a story yourself or test it out in a lower-stakes environment — hell, sometimes the crowd is barely even paying attention — you could do a lot worse than to check these out. In order to win a fight you’ve got to spend a lot of time doing pushups and hitting the bag to get ready for five intense minutes. It’s the same principle here.

The following places are where I go to practice:

Phoning it In – Lukas Kaiser runs this open mic Monday-Thursday in somebody else’s apartment in Tribeca. It’s a warm room, supportive, and sometimes a woman walks straight through with a baby in a stroller and disappears in the back.

Kambri Crews’ “What’s Your Story” held monthly at Luca Lounge. You pretty much have to find this on Facebook or go to Luca Lounge and check it out first.

I Like You, Maude

Oh, Hey Guys at UCB East

Like anything else, there’s an etiquette. If you’re brand new to any of this, I’d recommend showing up and checking a show out first, then introducing yourself afterwards. Get to know folks, connect online. Pretty soon the whole thing will blossom and you’ll be tired of all the emails, updates, and Facebook events. And eventually, your brain will hurt from all of it and you’ll have nightmares abut your own show.

Congratulations: you’ve arrived.

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New iPhone App for Animated GIFs: Cinemagram

February 14th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I’m just STUPID for new photo apps for my iPhone – and Cinemagram is the latest one. It lets you take small animated GIFs with your iPhone. All you do is shoot a snippet of video, select a portion of the screen to animate, and then BOOM: animated photos.

I bought it yesterday, then was disappointed to see that you couldn’tsave the GIFs to your own phone, or keep the pictures private. I was going to delete it today, but then saw that the dev team stayed up all night fixing those things. Not bad!

Here’s one I took on my morning commute:

Morning commute

Filed under Beauty, General Awesomeness, Manhattan, New York City having Comments Off

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My show HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE is back, starting this week!

December 25th, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

My show HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE is finally back and I could not be happier. I have been running around doing all sorts of things this year, like my solo show and loads of story telling. But what I missed most was dancing naked on stage (or at least semi-nude, there are laws about such things). I also missed the world that Hotsy Totsy is part of. If you could imagine the Muppet show, but instead of puppets you have funny hot naked girls, you are almost there…Hotsy Totsy takes place at “The Home For Wayward Girls and Fallen Women”

It’s an all-girls hotel that has gone through many owners. It was originally incorporated by a religious order called “The Righteous Order Of Frustrated Spinsters With Too Many Cats” and envisioned as a reformatory residence for girls gone bad. Levitra 20 mg tablets I discovered at I have strong erection with Levitra (Vardenafil).

See, the spinsters believed that if you took a girl away from her nefarious environment and surrounded her with cats, she would no longer crave illicit temptation as there would be so many warm friendly pussies to snuggle up with.

I will hosting this week’s show & the cast is:  Jenny C’est Quoi, Gal Friday, Calamity Chang, Go Go Harder and more!

Hotsy Totsy is is part of the Burlesque Blitz: A week of burlesque at the Horse Trade Theater Company in NYC. We will be performing at The Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Ave (Between 2nd & 3rd Ave) NYC – Dec. 28th – 8pm – for tickets and info go to -

And we have a new sponsor: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, who will be supplying awesome swag and drink specials!

Filed under Burlesque, Comedy, Cyndi Freeman, Manhattan, New York City, Uncategorized having Comments Off

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“Give It To Me” at the Fulton Street Subway

December 9th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I got off at the wrong subway stop last night on the way back from telling a story about Rick James at Luca Lounge. But as it turns out, it was so the right stop. These guys were just blowing out some serious funk underground, after midnight, for the entire world. The whole experience felt exactly like the mental image I had of New York in the decades before I moved here. And naturally, I requested that they play some Rick James.

Brother, did they ever deliver:

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”: All This Offense is Offensive

October 20th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

My friend Brandon Bloch is a videographer here in Brooklyn. We kinda know each other two different ways. In one way, we know each other because he made a really awesome video promoting D.Billy’s artwork a while back. And we also know each other because as it turns out, his wife is a good friend of mine and a consultant that I work with very closely at my day job. Small world.

Brandon and his wife and me and my girlfriend hang out together and do couple stuff together. One of these days, we’re going to get D.Billy and his lady involved and have the biggest, brunchiest, triple-couple bouge-a-thon that Brooklyn has ever seen.

I was having lunch with Brandon and his wife the other day, and he told me what he’d been working on. “It’s pretty fun, man,” he said. “It’s a video piece that we’re going to call ‘Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street.’”

I was a little surprised. He didn’t really strike me as that kind of a dude, to be honest. “Just watch it,” he said. I did, and now I totally get it.

Now, I present to you: “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street,” by Steven Greenstreet and Brandon Bloch:

Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street from Steven Greenstreet on Vimeo.

Not exactly what it sounded like when you read the title, was it? That’s kind of the point. As Brandon told me, “We noticed that all the coverage coming out of the Occupy Wall Street movement was either of freaks or young, unusually good-looking people. So we decided to both be honest about our motivations and make fun of media’s tendency to seek out pretty people, and we ended up with an inspiring, moving story. We just kept the title because we knew it would get some attention and hey, look — the kind of person that searches for and watches a video called ‘Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street’ is probably the kind of person that actually needs to hear this message pretty badly.”

He’s right. If they’d called it “A Sober and Respectful Look at the Underrepresented Womyn’s Voices at Occupy Wall Street”, would anyone have watched it?

Unsurprisingly, the Internet had decided to lose its collective mind over this. The response is both shocking, and not surprising at all. There is a particular type of person that is happiest when they are riled up and offended about something. This sort of person is found both on the right and the left of the political spectrum, and they just LOVE to write a blog post about their manufactured outrage.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Rogue Copy Editor Corrects the C Train

October 20th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

My grammar isn’t always perfect, but I do okay. When something’s misspelled or written incorrectly, it feels like a string out of tune. Or like hearing bagpipes – in tune or not.

It seems like copy-editors are getting laid off left, right, and center – as though nobody cares anymore. Sure, typos happen when you’re writing and posting fast. And everyone knows what you meant to say. But it’s like giving a big presentation with your fly all the way down. Sure, people know that you meant to put pants on. And your wang is probably still covered. But it still makes a distinct impression.

It looks like a rogue copyeditor took the red Sharpie to this Uniqlo ad on the C train. They just couldn’t take it anymore.

Edited Uniqlo ad

Good for them. It works better now, doesn’t it?

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Reverend Al Sharpton Vs. Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band at The Moth

October 5th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I just got some video footage from a Moth show that I did back in September that I’m extraordinarily excited to share with you. I’ve mentioned my stint in Royal Quiet Deluxe, chicken band, on here before, but as a refresher: I used to live in Richmond, Virginia and play the typewriter as a percussion instrument while a few chickens improvised keyboard pieces in toy pianos. For real. It was extraordinarily difficult to build a fan base, and I can say with great certainty that the Reverend Al Sharpton was not a fan AT ALL.

It’ll make more sense in the video, I swear.

I have told this story in various incarnations over the years, but I happen to feel that this performance at the Moth at Southpaw in Brooklyn on Labor Day this year really nailed it. Hope you enjoy it:

If you’re interested, you can actually hear two tracks that we recorded at practice here:

Royal Quiet Deluxe, April 1998

Exotic Newcastle Disease, by Royal Quiet Deluxe

If you happen to see this today, and want to see more like it live in person, I’m putting on a show with my awesome and talented friends tonight at Union Hall in Brooklyn. There will be stories like this, burlesque striptease and a sword-swallower. For real.

Click here for show info and a cool poster: And I Am Not Lying Live at Union Hall

You can get advance tickets here.

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