The End of The Road

I can’t imagine that I’ve been blogging for over a decade. Flobito.com (when I went for it and bought the domain) was supposed to be a showcase of my talents of a video editor while blogging about my Southern California exploits in detail.

Like how I evolved, so has the site. It was revamped into an author’s blog, coinciding with my book releases, and it pretty much stayed that way until this year.

With my site now streamlining back to being about the services I offer, there really wasn’t a place for a blog in the traditional sense. An though I’ve amassed a relatively small following with each post, I still feel odd letting that part of the site go.

In any event, thank you so much for checking out my home on the web over the past couple of years. The best is yet  to come

 

Greatly appreciated

 

 

F

Combating Burnout!

business men phonecall

 

It’s happened to the best of us. You love your job, and you may even love the people you work with, but for some reason or another, you’re just not feeling it. Tasks that would’ve been completed in the blink of an eye are seemingly taking forever to complete. Things that didn’t use to get you down are more or less ruining your day.

It’s called “Burnout” and it happens a lot more often than you think. Burnout affects not only our work lives but our lives off the clock as well. After all, if you’re in a bad mood during the day, it doesn’t magically go away when you make your way home.

So what’s a working professional to do? Well, it may seem counterintuitive but, in a lot of cases, the answer to combat burnout at work is to focus on life outside of the office.

 

Combat Tactic # 1: The Vacation

The vacation. It seems so simple, but it’s also often overlooked. It’s true, we are in fact taking less vacation than ever before. There’s almost an immediate benefit for taking a couple of days off to explore a new locale. Whether it’s a week on a sandy beach or a walking tour in an exotic city, vacations allow us to our challenges at work in perspective. The key here is to detach yourself from your job responsibilities as much as you feasibly can. In other words, “working vacations” aren’t nearly as effective.

 

Combat Tactic # 2: The Staycation

When a proper vacation isn’t possible for any reason, the next best thing is to have a staycation. Effective staycations follow the vacation format (focusing the mind off of professional responsibilities) but can be done in a more cost effective manner or on a smaller scale. Sometimes just being in a so-called “third space” (e.g. a location that’s neither home nor the office) can be just enough to recharge the batteries. Visiting a local attraction as if you were a tourist or spending an afternoon in a local library or coffee shop may just what the doctor ordered.

 

Combat Tactic #3: Meditation

Sometimes burnout comes at the most inopportune times. There may be a time where you aware you need some time off, but it is just not possible given the circumstances. Perhaps you are within two weeks from launching a very important product or you simply do not have the time off accrued. There is a third option that’s dedicated to improving your well-being: Meditation*. Taking a moment to allow yourself to be deep in thought is both a step in improving mindfulness as well helping to prioritize challenges that are on the horizon. Apps such as Breathe, or Headspace are helpful in learning new meditation techniques. Though a simple closing of the eyes, concerted breathing and taking a moment for yourself would suffice.

 

Combat Tactic #4: Conversation

For most of us, the question “How was your day?” acts as the green light to share the highlights of our workday. If you are going through a rough patch on the job, it may be a good idea to ask someone outside your usual network for their insight. Old acquaintances, mentors, and former employers can be especially helpful in offering a new perspective to your challenges at work. While this may not instantly “cure” signs of burnout, it is possible to come away from a conversation with an overall improved outlook.

 

Combat Tactic #5: Physical Exertion

Exercise is a tip that can pay instant dividends. If you’re stressed, going for a run or taking a cycling class can boost your mood, according to the ADAA. Above all, getting into a regular workout routine comes with a whole slew of health benefits as well. Whether it’s yoga, a round of golf, or hitting the weights, physical activity could end up being a beneficial burnout buster!

 

From Human to Human: Thinking Beyond B2B and B2C Marketing

What can I say, I love Uberflip!

It’s an application I used fairly heavily at my last position and I’ve come to love it’s functionality and it’s commitment to accurately recording metrics in the content experience space.

Heck, I even went to their conference last year!

That’s why I was honored to be chosen to write an article for their blog just last week. I’ve included a snippet below but you can check out the article in it’s entirety here.

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From Human to Human: Thinking Beyond B2B and B2C Marketing

 

Conventional wisdom about B2B marketing presumed it was a separate category from B2C efforts. We are seeing more and more that just isn’t the case. Earlier this year I worked as a content strategist for a test and measurement equipment procurement company. I was tasked with positioning this B2B company as a leader in its respective industry. In marketing, terms like “thought leader” and “innovator” get tossed around a lot, but one of my goals was to leverage these brand personality traits to change our prospects’ perception regarding our current, stodgy image. READ ON

Outsourcin’

So I have a confession to make.

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From A2ua

About two years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would update this blog fairly regularly. Why? Because the Internet is paved with blogs that have started strong and died off. I’ve been logging my exploits online since 2001, but that has been really in three categories.

2001-2002 – Writing for online Livejournal groups.

2003-2006 – Writing about my fish out of water collegiate exploits while balancing the task of being a resident advisor.

2009-Present – Chasing my dreams in show business/creative project ‘encourager’ guy.

I told myself weekly would a good posting clip. That alone as been hard. And yes, the many meme posts I make aren’t necessarily difficult (even though, they get the most views, likes, and shares). So every Monday I would make a brand new post.

And by the way, it’s way cool to say “Check out Flobito.com. New content every Monday.”

So far things have been good. I almost never actually write these things on Monday however, opting to use the scheduling feature. Now that brings me to today’s topic:

If you’re like me scheduling in advance and outsourcing things you just don’t have the time for is the way of the future.

Yeah, I’m sure you’ve read the 4-hour work week, but I’m going beyond that. Not to brag, but I am officially a Comedian/MobileDJ/Writer/Master of Ceremonies/Comic Book Publisher/Content Strategist/Brand Manager/Podcaster/Middle Distance Runner/Blogger. There’s no way anyone can do so many things equally all of the time. Those that say they do are obviously lying to you. Some days they only way I can make progress on anything is to either outsource or to schedule (time-shift). Take my October for example.

 

  • Wrote some jokes for comedy (on my own)
  • Instead of signing up for a regular 5K, I did a “virtual” one so I could run on my terms (time shift)
  • I scheduled my October blogs and recorded my podcast in advance (schedule, time-shift)
  • Got my finished comic book back from the artist and then the printer (outsource)

That left more time for me to do the things I love. While some would argue that you’re stretching yourself thin, I say that it is fine as long as you take the time to quality check the results you’ve outsourced and/or time-shifted. This does take time, but not as much as spinning all of the plates by yourself….while juggling….chainsaws.

 

Just a thought. How has time-shifting and outsourcing worked for you?

 

Views from The Six #UFX2016

Hey everyone!

Flobo here and I just came back from my first ever trip to Canada! It’s funny to think I’ve never been to Canada before, judging how many people cross that border every day and (perhaps culturally) there’s a large Caribbean community that lives out there.

I went there to attend the inaugural Uberflip Experience. I actually use Uberflip at my #dayjob, so it was the perfect environment to learn more about a program (SaaS) I actually love and use! Here’s some pics from my time in the Great White North!

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Perhaps I should have ordered my coffee “U.S. Sized”

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Obligatory Airline Wing Shot.

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In a lot of ways, Toronto reminds me of New York City a bit. An “old city” jockeying with newer development. I kept referring to Toronto has an “Earth-2 NYC.”

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I’m sure that’s going to be a condo in a couple of years, so I took the pic now with the intent to compare.

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Breakfast time at a place called “Flo’s Cafe.” A greasy spoon with a name after my own heart. Sunrise in the city!

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The Uberflip Experience was fascinating. The whole shebang happened at Victoria University at the grounds of the University of Toronto.

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The reason I booked my ticket was the chance to meet/network with Uberflip’s Hana Abaza. That didn’t happen, but she did offer content insights that I can take home to the #dayjob

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The cafeteria area looked a lot like Hogwarts. You know, if Hogwarts had a dash of pink. #Oldschoolwindows

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You better follow those traffic rules or else!

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You know you’re at a conference when you even give the Fitbit a workout!

The Da Vinci Code: Ten Years Later

 

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Originally posted over at Creators.co

 

As someone who read Inferno, I’m interested to see the movie version. I realized however that this week is the ten year anniversary of the first film in the Robert Langdon series, The Da Vinci Code. When it was released back in 2006, it was a nothing short of a global phenomenon. This was due to the massive controversy surrounding the source material: A novel that had its fair share of critics.

 

The book’s plot centered on a centuries-long cover up involving an alleged descendants of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, the Catholic Church itself wasn’t too jazzed about novel when it was released and the world was waiting to see how the film was going to handle such a delicate subject.

 

What we got was a straight up adventure film that contained car chases, puzzles, and a race against time. It was an excellent entry into the oft-forgotten genre but not nearly as iconoclastic as people made it out to be.

 

What was most interesting about The Da Vinci Code film (at least in my opinion) was the marketing surrounding its release. There was one of the first instances of a major motion picture offering a ‘Web Quest’ where folks had to solve puzzles online to win a prize. There was also an array of alternate web addresses led to different aspects of the movie. The (now defunct) URL SoDarkTheConOfMan.com was one I could think of off the top of my head. It really made the idea of solving a case of that magnitude fun. This sort of thing gets seen as old school or passé now but back then, it was pretty ingenious.

This week, I think I’m going to fire up the ol’ DVD player and check out Robert Langdon’s most epic adventure. What about you? Sound off in the comments below.

The 3 Times Things Got Weird In Riverdale #Creators

 

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But Jughead is my homeboy, though

 

Did I ever tell you I’m the biggest Archie comics fan? It’s true. I recently posted an article over at Creators.co about the times were Archie’s hometown of Riverdale went a little bit to the left. Take a moment and check it out!

What I Learned from #McDonalds and #Wrassleroos

Hey everybody!

You know, I feel people have been trying to describe my generation its motivations forever. While I consider myself Generation Y (The last analog generation while carrying the torch for the first digital one), I’ve been repeatedly told that I am a “millennial.” While I’m still not sure what that means, I have been reading up on the subject and usually boils down to these three things: Rejection of extravagance, reluctance to commit to “grown up” things, and a revisionist approach to the American Dream due to a commitment to an entrepreneurial endeavors. Say what you want about the first two (and yes, I am aware of the #RichKidsOfInstagram and #TheGreenTeam, I can say that I’m all about the third.

I am an entrepreneur.

Sure, I’m at the point that expenses are outweighing revenues, (It happens to companies many times my size) but I’m committed to making that work for me. A couple of months ago, I went into detail into the many jobs that I have, demonstrating that I’m fully entrenched in the “gig economy.”

But quite frankly, all of those jobs were killing me.

Forget the whole loss of productivity, I had my hand in so many projects operating so many “different parts of the brain” that the whole thing became exhausting. Spinning wheel metaphor aside, I always felt like I was behind the ball. Enter McDonalds:

High-tech burger Ops
High-tech burger Ops

Ah yes. As a poor kid and an even poorer college student, it was safe to say that McDonalds saved my life on a number of instances. It was a beacon of light that destroyed the shadow of hunger. There’s something comforting in realizing that no matter how hard things were financially, if you had $3 in your pocket you wouldn’t go  hungry. Mickey D’s was an American Institution, so much so you could at one point get two apple pies for a buck!

But Millennials had to go and ruin it.

Let me (facetiously) explain. People of my age had a growing consciousness about their food. They needed to know where things came from, if the food was sustainable and how it was going to impact our collective health. Soon, it was “uncool” to go to McDonalds.The symbol of the Golden Arches itself became a symbol of poor health. Being seen with a bag with a yellow M on it was the mark of shame that only people who “didn’t care” would be caught dead with and…

…where was I? Oh yeah…

McDonald’s tried to counteract this by appealing to everybody. Hey, people like chicken wings? Mighty Wings it is! People like Starbucks? Bring on the McCafe! The menu was bloated and with it came longer wait times. Customer appreciation plummeted and sales were in the toilet. After a protracted debate with franchise operators, McDonald’s pared down the menu and brought a new emphasis on improving the quality of their food. The new outlook wasn’t perfect, but the company had to focus on what was important to them, or what “brought them to the dance.” Nobody wanted complex espresso drinks and chicken wings from a burger joint. They wanted classic Grimace.

"You know that's right!" -G
“You know that’s right!” -G

Here’s a different but similar example, take Wrassleroos:

thkk

Wrassleroos is a company that makes professional-wrestling themed underwear. Seriously. Check out their website. I’ll wait.

Unlike a great American hamburger, the concept behind Wrassleroos was niche to begin. While I want to believe everyone is a wrestling fan, I fear that’s not quite accurate. The line started simple enough, featuring underwear with references to some of the biggest stars of the sport. There was soon a desire to create multiple designs for more and more individual wrestlers and soon, the offerings had increased so much it was putting a strain on the manufacturing process. This situation is more closely tied to the woes of scalability, but the end result was the same: Too many offerings. Not enough focus.

Wrassleroos, like McDonald’s, took a hard look at their menu decided to focus on the products that was most beneficial to them. I guess my point through off of this is to say if I consider myself a walking business, that I had to do the same.

Some pruning never hurt anybody.

There’s advantages to every job and responsibility I do. Though you want to give everything 100 percent, that’s just not possible. I had to lay out all of my jobs and decide which was the one that 1) kept the lights on 2) kept me fulfilled and 3) able to expand upon (there’s that scalability thing again). Simply put, after doing that it was easy to see some jobs not making the cut.

I’ll probably have to brown bag lunch a couple more times a week, but the idea is that with the room to focus on the two or three things/businesses I feel will have the most value, the quality of work will sure to improve.

 

And when it does, I’ll be eating a Quarter Pounder with nothing on but my Simply Ravishing Wrassleroos on.

2015 In Review #Moviepilot #SDCC #Standup

From Coredinations.com
From Coredinations.com

2015 has come and gone. It was the roughest, toughest, most exhausting, difficult, beautiful, amazing, glorious year ever. I was looking through my photos for the year and I realized I’ve been through a lot. Though I battled unemployment for a long spell during the summer, a lot of great things happened that have been simply amazing.

 

I got the chance to achieve my dream of running a panel at both Stan Lee’s Comikaze and San Diego Comic Con

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I got the chance to meet my favorite comic book artist, Shawn Martinbrough

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I finally got my comic book SILVERSTREEK off the ground and also had the opportunity to have a full fledged comic book signing thanks to Villainous Lair Comics.

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On the comedy front, not only did I get to perform in my own showcase in December called “All That You Deserve”

Who's that sexy guy second from the right?
Who’s that sexy guy second from the right?

I’ve brought jokes to San Diego Comic Con, wore a dress for a Breast Cancer awareness comedy show called Dress 4 Breats, and performed in my hometown of NYC at The Stand

Got to do standup for the first time in NYC
Got to do standup for the first time in NYC

As a digital brand manager, I finished up my work with FOX and brought the cultural event BritWeek to the forefront in the Los Angeles Area. Currently, I’m working with a test and measurement equipment rental company in SoCal.

With the help of Moviepilot, I had the chance to have some pretty cool experiences. For example I was included in the press junket for The Transporter Refueled.

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Check out the VIDEO I was featured in!

And even though my last novel came out December 2014, the official marketing push was definitely  all up in 2015:

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And storytelling, comedy and hustling all came to a head with the advent of “Ringside Comedy,” a monthly comedy show the features heavy hitter in stand up and a couple of first timers who know how to have a good time. #DeathToBringer shows, so we reinvented the Pro-Am!

Tickets please!
Tickets please!

 

It’s funny. While these things were happening, I never noticed these things were happening, you know? Almost on a daily basis I battle “failure,” or at least the feelings thereof. I guess I never took the time to look back down the hill to see how far I’ve come. I could only imagine the hills you all have climbed in your lives.

Walking That #GumRoad

Hello everyone!

Before my comic Silverstreek was available on Comixology, it appeared on a site called Gumroad. The site allows you to upload digital goods (or facilitate sales of physical goods) on their website. Using their clean interface, customers can easily access and purchase your content.

It worked well for me.

So when Gumroad e-mailed creators about joining their “Small Product Lab,” I jumped at the chance. Small Product Lab is a challenge for creators to make a new product on Gumroad in ten days or less. The arrangement helps Gumroad spike their number of offerings, but a real community grows between creators as they embark on their ten day journey. It allows you to focus on things you’re good at, and not let the things you’re not good at weigh you down.

So with only ten days, I quickly realized that creating another comic was out of the question. Enter, “How To Be A Better MC”

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I hadn’t realized it at the time, but I’ve done a lot in the live event space. I’ve ran panel discussions at Comic-Conventions, I’ve ring announced for professional wrestling and I’m making my way as a professional comedian. I don’t have all the answers, but I felt as if I can share the answers I do have with others. You know, to help other “Masters of Ceremonies.”

What happened was I condensed the “basic” knowledge of the craft into a 25 minute audio recording and uploaded it to Gumroad (and by extension, the world wide web). Like many of my projects, I don’t expect to make a dime. However, the creative “beast” that lives within all of us that pushes us to make things seems oddly satisfied. Oddly satisfied because the project wasn’t even on my radar until I had started.

Do me a favor, and check it out if you have a moment. After you do, let me know what you think.

 

-F

(San Diego) Comic Con 2015 Was The #BestConEver

Two weeks removed from San Diego Comic Con 2015, and I’m still riding high. My third Comic-Con (and like seventh con overall) was far and away my favorite. This year, I used the event more as a professional development ‘conference’ than an appreciation of all things geek. Trust me, I got my nerd out moments in, but when I focused on bettering my craft, all of the other giveaways and exclusives were just icing on the cake.

I got down to San Diego on Wednesday night and immediately had feelings of FOMO (That’s, “Fear of Missing Out”). Some of my buddies got there earlier for Preview Night and got some pretty cool exclusives. I was a bit jealous myself, but I knew #Sdcc was a marathon not a sprint.

 

Thursday

Not only did I have time to walk the convention floor, I got the majority of my shopping out of the way. I even had time to meet an old friend from my childhood.

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Cause we homies see?

I also let a friend from back home know I was in town for the Con. I got the side mission quest of finding rare Funko Pop Vinyl dolls. It’s amazing how much of a following those things have. I accept the mission, and it ended up being the perfect thing to do during periods of downtime.

Plus, I got the chance to perform my stand up act LIVE in San Diego during the event! The Mission Brewery was home to the Red Guerilla Comic Comedy Con, and I set the show off as the first act of the night.

Aww yeah
Aww yeah

 

Friday

Those of you that know I’m also a comedian, probably know of my dream to host a late night talk/variety show. Ever so often, I try to see these shows live, to see how the pros do it. Though I’ve seen Leno and Craig Ferguson do it, Conan O’ Brien was in town doing his show for the convention. I mean, what a way to kill two birds with one stone. I didn’t think I would actually get in, because of the sheer number of people that are in town that weekend, but not only did I get in, I got to see the action from the second row! Plus, the panels from Hall H were guests on the show, so I didn’t have to camp out all night to see the Game of Thrones or Walking Dead cast.

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Saturday

Three years ago, I wanted to up my creative game. I wanted to create more things for people to enjoy. I stumbled into Doug Neff’s panel/seminar about going from fan to creator. The panel (and subsequent book) was called “Epic Win,” and it has since changed my life. I recommend it to any one trying to make their creative works happen:

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The “professional development” angle really came in handy when I opted to have a thirty minute private session with Mr. Neff. Sometimes just putting your idea into words can really put things into perspective. The session was an out of pocket expense sure, but I feel as if it will pay off in the end.

Then the highlight of the weekend came to the forefront. I got to realize a dream of mine of being on a panel at Comic Con! The panel, entitled “Not So Strange Bedfellows: The relationship between comics and professional wrestling. Yes, you read that right. This year I came as an actual comic creator, so I had a lot to say: ;-P

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Sunday

After scoring some more Funko pop dolls for my buddy, I waited on line to see comic artist Shawn Martinbrough. Funny thing is, we have a ton of mutual friends on Facebook, but this was the first time actually getting to talk to the man that taught me how to appreciate artwork as much as the written word on the page.

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I waited a long time for that autograph, but it’s not for sale! Haha

I also got to run into my friends/co-creators over at Moviepilot! They treated me as if I was family and they were a sight for sore eyes!

After a long weekend being out in the sun and eating junk food, I (knowingly) came back home a bit under the weather. However, I can tell you that it was worth it. Suffer now and enjoy it all later, am I right?

 

-F

A Tough Act To Follow

Hey y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a stand up comedy post. This mostly has to do with me thinking that blogging about something I’ve only been doing for (at the time of this writing) seven months is all kinds of pretentious. But here’s a story I think you’ll dig. It’s about a recent show at The Comedy Store:

April 2, 2015

The Comedy Store in Los Angeles is one of the most famous comedy clubs in the world. Long story short, it’s hallowed ground for comedians. They (we?) hang around the grounds like construction workers at the Home Depot telling  and sharing war stories, having drinks and hoping a big name celebrity drops out and leaves a spot open.

One day I was performing on The Main Stage of The Comedy Store. It was a “bringer” show, (that is, though I was performing I was responsible for “bringing” audience members to the clubs to enjoy said show). Still, I love performing in the Main Room. Though the crowds for my particular shows aren’t sellouts, I like to pretend I’m some big time comic when I hit that Formica stage. I was ready to go on stage to do my thing when the producer grabs the mic…

“Ladies and gentlemen. Please welcome a really funny guy, Marc Maron!”

Yeah, this guy
Yeah, this guy

In a perfect sitcom moment I start heading to the stage. I then stop. My first reaction was “Who?” But then my brain slapped me silly: “Bro, this guy is famous!”

Like very famous. Like has his own TV show and podcast famous. My heart skipped a beat and I headed back to the green room area and listened.

What I heard was a laugh. Then another. Then more after that. Before long I was hearing the “stop, stop you’re killing me. My sides hurt” kinds of laugh that can in no way be fake. Maron was killing it!

And all of a sudden, I wondered if my jokes were good enough. Panic set in, as I tried coming up with brand new material on the spot (it’s a knee-jerk reaction, but like most reactions of this type it is totally ill-advised). My jokes felt like homemade toys and what I was hearing was a HASBRO commercial!

“Mom, I need that punchline with the kung-fu grip.”

After about 10-15 minutes or so, Maron slid off stage. Back to our regularly scheduled program. My name was called and I slinked on stage.

“Hey everybody,” I said, grabbing the mic off the stand. “Put me after Maron, why not? But no fear, am I right?”

And with that, I went into my set. Was it perfect? No, I flubbed a line but the show ended up being one of the better ones. Very rarely do I have a show that garners a lot of laughs AND I’m happy with my performance, but given the circumstances I was pretty stoked.

 

It’s funny how that works. The temptation was there to try a desperate hail Mary to try to “outfunny” the pro who was on the stage before me. But you know what? Staying  the course (and doing the stuff you’re familiar with) ultimately ended up being the right decision. Not sure if there’s a lesson in there, but it was a wild night.

Until next time,

 

-F

#Comikaze Fallout

Hey everybody, Flobo here!

But the time you’re reading this, the 2014 edition of Stan Lee’s Comikaze would be in the books! One of the greatest perks about being a working professional is that you usually get discounted tickets to such events, but this year’s Comikaze held a special place in my heart for me:

POW!
POW!

I moderated the “Weekend Warriors: Achieving Your Dreams On Your Own Time” panel.

The “Weekend Warriors” panel was a discussion about being able to work their creative passions while having to deal with “real life” such as paying the bills or raising children. While I’ve considered myself a “warrior” for years, this was really the first time I attempted articulating the struggles any creative person goes through.

Moderating was a trip. It combined all the things I love to do (comedy, share experiences, teach others, and “working the mic”) into a nice package. The turnout exceeded my expectations and the people who did stop by seemed genuinely interested in what the panelists had to say.

If given the chance, I would love the opportunity to moderate future panels (no matter the subject matter). Maybe it’s that pipe dream I have of doing my own talk show that rattles in my brain, but being the valve that mixes information with entertainment with the crowd is nothing short of a rush.

Well after that, how did I celebrate? Well, I followed my lady to one of her favorite pizza joints, Two Boots!

It's not Brooklyn, but having pizza by the slice in Downtown Los Angeles at night felt like at times. Maybe it's a movie set?
It’s not Brooklyn, but having pizza by the slice in Downtown Los Angeles at night felt like at times. Maybe it’s a movie set?

I actually tried a slice of Vegan Pizza (Called the “V for Vegan”), and I was more surprised it didn’t suck!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll bring the “Yakking then Pizza Snacking” panel to the next convention.

 

-F

All The World’s A Stage

What’s going on, everyone!

By the time you’re reading this, I would have been about a week removed from my west coast debut stand up comedy appearance at the World Famous Comedy Store! It was a crazy road to get there, that’s for sure.

I was part of a showcase called “Whores On Sunday.” That alone would probably get your attention, right? It was the “final” of a comedy course I had been taking over the summer. Though I had microphone experience, I had to relearn not being afraid of it when performing all over again. The six Wednesdays of prep for the show was intense. I tried to bring new material into class every week in order to “feel it out” or to see how I would like sharing it with others. Students in my class was supportive, and I rarely felt “silly” for throwing up a joke that didn’t work.

Writing jokes is a lot like writing material for the page. It’s essentially storytelling: There has to be a beginning, middle and end. When you think you have it down pat, one read through makes you realize you were way off. However, if you are firing on all cylinders, you feel it. And feel it I did.

Though the stage area was cool, the holding area for the talent was hovering over 90 degrees. Between being nervous of forgetting my material on stage, the heat, and not wanting to sweat through my dress shirt, I was a bit of a wreck. I paced back and forth, reciting my material. I purposefully had about seven minutes of stuff prepared for my three minute showcase (just in case I forgot something.) There were about sixteen (!) of my friends in the audience, and I didn’t want to disappoint.

I watched some of my classmates from the backstage area. Though I was listening, my mind was still on making sure I didn’t bomb my first time out. But something happened. When they called my name, I shot out of the backstage area like a bullet. My mind thought of that scene in “Man On Fire” when Denzel Washington’s character is training Dakota Fanning’s character how to be a better swimmer.

Set me free! Also loves how Denzel says “Trained or Untrained?” Haha, classic!

So anyway, I powerwalk from the backstage area and through a small aisle of table and chairs, a canyon of comedy. I walked on the stage’s red carpet, shook the hand of my comedy instructor and emcee for the night, and grabbed the mic. The spotlights were on me, which made seeing the audience pretty difficult. So I let it rip into the darkness in front of me.

Man, What. A. Rush.

Courtesy: Michael Hsueh
Courtesy: Michael Hsueh

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and I don’t think it was because so many of my friends were in attendance. Something clicked, and that fantasy of being that legendary comic doing a sold out show in the garden seemed that much closer to grasp. I’m trying to tell myself it was “just one show,” it was “beginner’s luck,” and “everyone eventually bombs” but it’s hard not to be proud of myself.

As a writer, they say the best work is the one that’s performed. Today, I had the chance to do. No editors, no thinking by committee, just little ‘ol me and that’s beautiful…

Not sure where I go from here, but I was on a high for days.

–Flobo