free statistics

Archives Posts

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.

Archives Posts

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

Archives Posts

And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall on 5/1: With Mat Fraser, Julie Atlas Muz, and Hari Kondabolu

April 18th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

The last few weeks have been a blur of shows for me, Brad and Cyndi. All this performing is like training for a fight: you hit that bag hard for a month so you can bring it HARD when the bell rings for real.

All this is to say that it’s time once again to leave a pair of smoking rubber tracks on stage at Union Hall with the And I Am Not Lying LIVE show, cock-rocking the NPR crowd with the best comedy, storytelling and burlesque in NYC.

If that tiny bit of promo copy that I half-assed during a conference call was enough to make you want to get tickets already, you can do that here: And I Am Not Lying LIVE at Union Hall on May 1.

Here’s a poster, more on the performers after the jump:

And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall, 5.1.2012

Read the rest of this entry »

Archives Posts

A Crash Course In ‘And I Am Not Lying, Live’

April 5th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

If you’re coming here via Jason Zinoman’s piece “Telling Tales With a Tear and a Smile” in this morning’s New York Times, stick around.

If you’re reading this as a long-time follower of this blog, none of this material is going to be new to you. I’m re-flogging some older stuff, so maybe this is a good time to push away from the computer and go enjoy a nice spring day outside.

I want to shamelessly take full advantage of the mention to show off what the And I Am Not Lying show is all about here. Because frankly, not only am I proud of the work that we do and thrilled to see the storytelling world getting a little credit … I want to put asses in seats on the first Tuesday of every month at Union Hall.

Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman and I put on a monthly show featuring storytelling, comedy, burlesque and sideshow — and I want to share some of the stories that we’ve done there. We’ve only had a residency there since February, so we’re still building up some steam. But all of us do a TON of other shows around town, too.

Consider this a primer, dive deeper if you want. Today is functionally a Friday anyway, so go ahead and watch all of these at work.

Al Sharpton vs. Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band

These are two stories by Brad Lawrence:

Gift From A Chimp In Saint Louis

Sometimes Cyndi ties her burlesque acts to her stories, and the end result is bigger than either piece seperately. So here’s a story by Cyndi Freeman, with a pretty direct tie into the burlesque act immediately following:

Here’s the aforementioned burlesque act from our show, featuring Cyndi Freeman, Brad Lawrence and Apathy Angel:

We have comedy guests, storytellers, and sideshow performers, too – including a bullwhip/lasso expert and a sword swallower.

You can follow us here, on Twitter @andiamnotlying or on our Facebook page. And I hope we see you soon.

Archives Posts

Cool Guys, 1992

April 5th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Somewhere around the spring of 1991, my friend Frank Benson played the Cramps for me for the first time. He said “hey, check these guys out, I’m going to take a shower real quick.” By the time he came out of the bathroom, my head was full all kinds of sweet and rotten mutant fruits.

A year later, his mom took me and him and a date to see the Ramones at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA and nothing was ever the same again. My glasses got knocked off and ground back into sand during the first 5 minutes of the show, and I took a boot to the face by the second set. The next day, I was half-deaf and limping around the house, clutching the walls to feel my way to my bedroom and all I wanted to do was get up on a stage and be Joey Ramone.

A week after that I quit the rec league soccer team by throwing my shirt in the coach’s face. During a game.

Something didn’t add up, though. Me and Frank were scoring acid from drag queens at the Rocky Horror Picture Show and had a direct line to all the best music this new burning world had to offer. With all this newfound punk rock swagger and the confidence of finally being down with the coolest guys in school, we figured girls would finally start paying attention.

Cool Guys, 1992

As it turns out, it took a little while. We had no idea why.

Frank Benson has hit his stride by now, and I guess I’m okay, too.

Anyone who tells a teenager that “these are the best years of your life” is only telling half of the truth. In my experience, we got to taste the potential that the world had — but actually feeling it fall into place day by day and year by year is even better. Frank and I hang out now. We both live in Brooklyn, but we’re both busting ass on our own art careers.

We don’t see each other as often as people who live three miles away from each other might. But every time we do hang out, one of is getting the other one really excited about some cool new stuff. We’re still kicking each others’ doors wide open.

Archives Posts

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
Told!
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.

Archives Posts

And I Am Not Lying – Live at Union Hall on Tuesday, April 3rd

March 29th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon
And I Am Not Lying Live 4.3.2012

In all of this SXSW and engagement excitement, I almost forgot to mention:

It’s time once again to cock-rock the NPR crowd with New York’s first, only, and best comedy storytelling burlesque sideshow at Union Hall on Tuesday, April 3rd.

Show’s at 8, tickets are $10, available here: And I Am Not Lying LIVE at Union Hall

AS always, here’s a fun trailer for the thing:

We’re a “Critic’s Pick” in Time Out NY this week, which is pretty exciting! I don’t know if that’s an endorsement or just a button somebody clicked, but we’ll take it.

This month’s show features:

Comedy by
Andy Ross (Real Characters, The Onion)

Burlesque by
Dangrr Doll (Gotham Burlesque, D20 Burlesque)

Belly Dance by
Madame X (a complete mystery)

As well as storytelling by

Brad Lawrence
Cyndi Freeman
Jeff Simmermon (me)

Hope you guys can join us!

Archives Posts

For As Long As We Want And At Our Own Pace: I Got Engaged

March 29th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I got engaged a little over a month ago – February 1st, to be exact. It was Maggie’s birthday.

We specifically didn’t mention it online for a while. It’s nice to think that something can be real without the Internet validating it — and without having to turn it into a story for instant mass consumption.

But still, I wanted to share this with you guys. It’s actually really hard to write about. Every time I try to write down what it means the words look so small and dumb, and there’s so much wonderful stuff that gets left out. That’s because there’s so much wonderful stuff here, in this experience, and in this particular woman, that I don’t think I could write it all down if I tried every day for the rest of my life.

Maggie and the Ring

Read the rest of this entry »

Archives Posts

The Next Two Weeks Are A Year’s Worth of Shows: And I Am Not Lying Live in Brooklyn and Austin, TX.

March 5th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

The act of telling personal stories about one’s own life takes a certain amount of a certain type of nerve — mostly the “who the hell do you think you are” variety. Seriously: why should anyone give a whoop about my feelings about my feelings?

That feeling gets even weirder when I’m using the Internet as a megaphone to get people to my shows. “Who the fuck do you think you are telling everyone to come see whoever the hell it is you think you are” is pretty much the refrain that runs through my head every time I bathe my face in the cool glow of one rectangle or another.

But screw all that, we’ve been busting our asses to pull together a HELL of a week of shows this week in Brooklyn and Austin, TX for SXSW and I want to pull ‘em all together in one place, then crop-dust the whole Internet with ‘em all damn week.

First: We’re cock-rocking the NPR crowd with And I Am Not Lying – Live, NYC’s only comedy storytelling burlesque sideshow on Tuesday, March 6th at Union Hall in Brooklyn. You’ll see stories by me, Brad Lawrence, and Cyndi Freeman as well as magic by Albert Cadabra, burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Little Brooklyn and comedy by Wil Sylvince.

We strongly recommend advance tickets (only $10), which you can get here: And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall, Brooklyn

More info/flyer here, cool trailer here and embedded below:


Read the rest of this entry »

Archives Posts

Cyndi Freeman’s “Side Effects” at Story Collider

February 27th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Cyndi Freeman is a storyteller and burlesque performer here in New York, and she’s the person that got me into seeing burlesque shows. I didn’t really get it at first (beyond the obvious) but when I saw her side of it, I was sold.

Our friends Ben Lillie and Erin Barker run a spectacular science-themed storytelling show. podcast and online magazine called The Story Collider. A few weeks ago, they ran a version of Cyndi’s transformation into brassy burlesque performer after a breast cancer scare on their site.

The thing is, not only can you hear the story from the podcast, you can also see a great comic inspired by Cyndi’s story, drawn by Tammy Stellanova.

Here’s the audio of Cyndi’s story: The Story Collider: Side Effects

You can see the full version of the comic here, with a few samples below: Cyndi Freeman & Tammy Stellanova’s “Side Effects”

I would be remiss in my role as a relentless show pimp if I didn’t mention that Cyndi’s performing at And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall next Tuesday, March 6th and at SXSW on Saturday, March 10th in Palm Park from 11AM- 6PM.

Check out the sample comic pages below … one here, one after the jump.


Read the rest of this entry »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »