Posts Tagged ‘Winnipeg’

The majority of the audience are 40 plus.
Therefore, keep the jokes relateable to this age range. Talking about things such as Mortal Kombat, Pogs or Boardwalk Empire may not go over with this audience so well as when doing stand-up comedy in a bar with young people. Young people will understand the references because they were there as well. Also, keep the material clean as older people do not gratuitous dirty jokes. Which is okay, because my jokes are generally clean most of the time regarldess who I am performing for.

One good rating can make your show extremely successfu.
My review from CBC was medicore and it while it can still be argued that I could still have had a successful fringe without a great review, getting 5 stars from the Winnipeg Free Press, allowed me to relax and enjoy the festival more. People do not take a balance of the two scores and go based on the average, instead a great review will run wild and drum up business better than one could possibly believe. Other groups had to work much harder, handbilling and promoting their show than I had to simply because I got lucky. There is both skill and luck in being lucky as I am not going to say I didn’t deserve the good score but the score from CBC shows that not everyone thought as highly of my show.

While Fringe festival can be lucrative, it may not necessarily help your social calendar.
This one is pretty self explainatory. There is no arguing that my fringe festival was a success and yet, after it was all said and done no girls flirted with me because I was a star of the fringe-festival and I still felt as uncomfortable talking to people my own age as ever.

Not every show is going to be equally strong, but that doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up over it.

Do not rush yourself, it only makes it that much harder to get back on course if you start off badly because of rushed lines.

If you say your show is going to be 45 minutes if you go under 35 critics will not like it.

Waiting with excitement and anticipation for the doors of the downstairs bar, the Cavern, to open. I drove here ten minutes to 9. I hope my car does not get towed because I parked it illegally in the Safeway parking lot. However, I doubt it, because I have been parking there for the last three years and have never had any trouble. However, it is still illegal so anything could happen. This could be the week someone decides to be a real son of a bitch and tows my car or gives me a ticket. It’s hard finding parking anywhere else in the Osborne Village that is as close and as convenient as the Safeway parking lot. Most of the other patrons, have already finished their evening shop by this point anyways.

    At 9, there is a dash for the sign-up board. Some people put clever nicknames down, however, I never have thought of one and I have had plenty of time to think. 3 whole years. My name goes 9th on the list. There are that many other people who have been waiting at the door impatiently for comedy to start and there are even more people waiting behind me to sign their name on the board. After this, its time to shmooze and go up to the bar and order beer with the rest of the comedians. While, some comedians have enough people who think they are the bomb and are willing to shell out the 4.25 to buy them a beer, I do not. The bar have all the major labels that you can buy as a bottle, and before they had Milwaukee on tap for $4 dollars. However, I am not a fan of the beers that they currently have on tap as they changed the beers a few weeks ago.

  At this point, there is few audience members who have arrived. There are some regulars but not many. Not that this is a problem, -yet- as the audience usually arrives closer to 9:30. After checking my watch it’s 9:12 and only a small number have trickled in so far. I hope more people come because performing for other comedians is the worst. As a comedian we are always thinking analyzing, trying to figure out what’s funny or thinking about our own sets, or having conversations with friends. To top it all off most of my jokes the other comedians have heard before, it is very difficult to come up with a new five minutes, every week so most of the jokes are simply recycled jokes that we want to work on honing and perfecting.

  9:45. The host finally, goes up and starts to warm-up the audience. This is to different degrees of success. The first comedian goes on. Everyone always says the bullet is the hardest spot in comedy, but I disagree. I honestly, don’t have a problem going first. It’s not about the crowd not being warm and ready to laugh that is annoying about going first, but rather the fact that the whole crowd who is coming is usually not there yet as they continue to trickle in like a faulty faucet. However, it’s easier to go 1st than 20th. The comedians continue to chat in the “green room”. It’s fun hanging out with your buddies. The first set ends, and you congratulate the first comedian for being funny, even if you weren’t listening to the whole thing. A majority of the time, comedians don’t listen to every single joke the other comedians tell unless it’s one of your personal favourite comedians, or one of the favourites of the group.  Slowly more and more comedians go up and perform. One of the things going on in the back of your mind is “I hope I am not in the final 4.”

   Usually 22 comedians go up on stage for minutes each on Sundays, which equals approximately 3 hours. therefore, the people at the end have it the hardest. The crowd is exhausted and they have just been laughing for three hours straight. They are beginning to want to go home or socialize with their friends because asking them to be quiet this long is quite a straining thing to ask for. I mean I have seen comedians such as Paul Rabliauskas, Winnipeg’s fastest rising comedy star and the sweetheart of the local comedy scene,  Tyler Penner and others killing in this slot but its still alot to ask from both the comedian and the audience.  That is why it is much easier to do well earlier in the night or as part of a show with a set line-up. In addition, in my case, I begin to get tired by 11:30 so if I have not performed by then when I get to the stage I am not full of as much energy and not as dynamic.  

    So during the open mic you watch what other comedians do during their sets to get an idea what will work. You have your own set that you are planning on doing but you always leave some wiggle room. For example, if comedians who do crowd work are having a hard time because the crowd is being unresponsive or being too responsive and trying to talk to you to much you have to decide what you are going to do. It also gives you an indicator if low-brow humor is going to work, or whether the jokes need to be on a different topic. Not planning enough has worked badly for me in the past when I am underprepared but being over prepared and not able to adjust to what the audience throws at you is equally bad if not worse.

 The big moment has finally arrived. The host has pulled my name out of the jug while the previous comedian was on stage and tells me that I am are next. the comedian on stage begins there set while the anticipation of going up next continues to rise. Then he finishes his set and the crowd is rippling with applause. The host calls your name and the dj plays your song. Usually comedians have a song that they always go up to. How does a person get a particular song, I am not quite clear on the process. Usually it is something to do with their personality or their onstage persona for example the guy who is seen as a lady killer goes up to the song “I am not a whore”. I can’t tell you what the song I go up to because my brain is not focused on the music but with getting on the stage and reviewing what jokes I am going to tell. By the time I get on stage I am so nervous, therefore I try to project all my thoughts on the crowd by getting them laughing. Usually my first joke I tell involves the audience getting involved. As a result of my having Aspergers I am known as being extremely socially awkward particularly when talking to women. Therefore, my first joke usually involves hitting on a woman in the front row awkwardly to get the whole audience laughing, such as my new joke telling the girl that “I bet she’s like a transformer, because there is more to her than meets the eye and I bet all the little boys want to get their hands on her.” Once the crowd is laughing, a huge weight on your shoulders is eased off. Suddenly you feel more comfortable up there and have more confidence in the rest of your set that you have been working on. Then at the 4.5 minute mark the host flashes you with a light to tell you to tell one more joke or wrap up the one you are currently telling and end your set.

  Then if you did well, when you are walking back to your seat you feel like a rockstar with everyone congratulating you and telling you how awesome you did. In the past I did not believe them but after bombing on countless occasions I can now tell the difference between when the other comedians and audience members are being genuine and when I feel like they are being phony. How I can tell is based off of how I feel I did. If I feel that I deserve the praise or not. After this you can get a beer, sit back and enjoy the rest of the sets.  It’s considered extremely rude and unseemly to leave before everyone else has performed and the host tells everyone goodnight. Since they have all sat through your set it is only fair to sit through theirs. Some people may have gone for a smoke during your set and you may be annoyed about that but its not their fault they have a nicotine monkey on their back now is it? It’s not like they were thinking about ways of annoying you when they started smoking 10 years ago.

 Walking to your car after your set at approximately 12:30, you either feel on top of the world after having done a really great set or you feel really depressed and are overanalyzing everything that you did wrong or could have done differently.

When I was in Barcelona and Portugal everything was incredible, except for one thing. Most of the old city smelled like sewer, it was absolutely disgusting. Near the end of the trip I was relieved to be going home and escaping the constant stench. Winnipeg, was fine for awhile or I simply didn’t notice. It could have been the fact that most of the time I have been in the city I have spent my time indoors my library breathing stale air,  nonetheless, when I was walking towards the bus today there was clear stench in the air. It smelled of dog poo. Now I know what most of you are thinking when confronted with this possibility that the air here smells, so I will go ahead and answer the silent question. Yes I checked the bottom of my shoes in case I had stepped in dog poo and and no there was no poo on the  bottom of my shoes. Now it is possible that the smell was from my shoes and that even if I had  stepped in dog poo the phsyical poo came off of my shoes only leaving behind the smell or stepping near a pile of dog poo was enough to make my shoes stink. However, now that I type this, I am still wearing the same pair of shoes and I don’t smell the stench.  The other possibility is the fact that the environment outside my house really does smell like dog poo. Like all the stench wafted up into the air from all the nearby piles.

  If Portugal’s city has a smell than Winnipeg during our fall clearly has a smell as well. Therefore, we can hardly turn up our noses at them, instead we need to plug our nostrils with cottonballs and learn how to breathe out of our mouth. Maybe this stench can be a unifying factor between us, Canadians, and Europeans because we both have to learn how to deal with our stinky cities and we will come up with a scientific solution much quicker if we work together than if we work apart.

Forunately no smells can survive our terrible winters;  at least I am not going to be outside long enough to test to find out.


Picture from Accessed 19 September, 2012.

Local Winnipeg group Hot Thespian Action just won the ACTRA Golden Boy Award for Best Member Iniated Projects of the Year.   This group consisting of Jacquelin Loewen, Jane Testar, Shannon Guile, Garth Brooks (Merkeley) and Ryan Miller have been interesting audiences for nearly half a decade with their comedic antics. As well they have been part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and are always one of the best shows in the fringe Festival which they sell-out. According to a facebook status “I sent all my friends to see them … very funny”    Probably my favourite sketch from last year of their’s was my Gay best friend, my favourite this year was either back up singer idol or Gay or straight game show. Back up singer idol is a great take on all of the singing contests out there right now, there are so many and they are so ridiculous. I also thought Gay or straight was funny too, boy do I have the worst gay-dar. I was at a show an hour and half before the show started and they were already sold out at that point. The many skills they all have to draw on from physical antics, to writing skills to comedic timing is something to be marveled at.  Was it the funniest show I saw this year? I don’t know Crumbs are hilarious but what are they really Crumbs off of What because that would be the most incredible Cake ever!  performing every second tuesday of the month at the King’s head when they are not on the road being all-stars, as well DND was also up there. If you missed DND you can go to their website and view the whole festival worth of shows. Jacquelin was actually one of the TA’s for my stage combat class I took from the University of Winnipeg. Even though, I have horrible hand-eye-coordination I still enjoy a good roll on mats. All their hard-work pays off every time they go onto stages as they delight their audience. I hear they even have a television pilot in the works but for now we will keep that hush hush. Not only are they incredibly talented they are also some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Just ask anyone who knows them. In fact, I have a pin from their merchandising from their fringe show which I keep on my bedside table and look at every morning and night and try to aspire to the same excellence this group has been showing for years. I hope one day I too can sell out shows the way they have and everyone walk out equally delighted and inspired. Though my comedy chops are not nearly on the same level as theirs are and though I may never reach that pinnacle of success they are the perfect role models to look up to. That nice people actually can finish on top as long as you have the talent and you work hard enough on your craft.

Upper Arm Tattoo

Tattoos are bad-ass. Girls can be hot with tattoos with or without tattoos. I mean I like the pure and wholesome look, but I also like girls with tattoos. I am not so much into the whole piercing’s other than on the top of the nose and the ears and maybe the eyebrow. Not the booger peircing and I am not that into having too many peircings in the ears just a personal preference.

      The reason why I think tattoos are hot on ladies is it shows that these women can rebuke the system that they are free thinkers. It also shows their resolve because if you get a tattoo you are stuck with it for a really long time. I am into free-thinking chicks because as I mentioned in a previous post my mom is my best friend and that is a bit odd. I am a total mommy’s boy and not the most independent individual. Who can blame me I have a hard enough time fitting in without rebuking the whole system. Therefore, when I see an attractive girl with tattoos I can just admire their indepence streak and how they are so rebellious. I envision I need a rebellious girl who will push me to do new things break out of old cycles and be a more independent individual. Sort of like Elisha Cuthbert, in The Girl Next Door or whatever Cuthbert’s character’s name is in that film.

  Or is it that I just envision that a girl would have to be pretty rebellious to love me. Society and biology insists that they marry the best person possible with the least number of flaws clearly not the guy with a disability. Granted this makes sense as I definitely would not be the best breadwinner.

Tattooed girls are artists who see their body as simply another canvas which is a cool way to show their indepence. I hope it reveals something about them that I cannot usually get when staring at a girl because of my inability to read body language. Therefore, I hope girls with tattoos are as easy to read as a book. They easily make good conversation starters.  It also shows a certain toughness that a girl is willing to take being stabbed with needles for a long time in order to get it done which is hot like Joan Jett. Needles and pain are definitely not appealing to me and are simply another reason why I may not get a tattoo.

Joan Jett Carmen Electra rumored

If anyone has ever had a conversation with me in real life you will know that I suffer from the typical Asperger syndrome of not modulating my voice very well. At least every other week someone like Ryan Ash has to tell me to lower my voice because I am talking too loudly or ruining a conversation because I am standing in between the two participants therefore they cannot continue the conversation till I move.

This has not been a recent problem as you can imagine. In elementary school teachers were constantly telling me to use my indoor voice, when I was excitedly trying to get a point across or make one.

At B’Nai Brith overnight camp the other campers were so worried that I would be terrible at sneaking around that one of them offered to tuck me into bed every night as long as I don’t sneak out with them. Therefore, even, though, I missed out on any kind of teen summer romance at camp I always got a goodnight’s sleep. Maybe this is where my habit of needing twenty-hours of sleep per day came from. I was a terrible sneak because I would always talk way too loudly when trying to whisper. It practically became a joke in itself. Also I have terrible hand-eye-coordination so there was always the possibility that my fumbling around, falling down or stubbing my toe and swearing would also give the others away. Essentially, I am lucky that I was born, when I was born instead of at a time where sneaking around could be the difference between being alive and free, and dead.  I know these are all frothy cappuccino problems in a definitely not foamy world, but these are still my capuccino problems.

In a related thing, one of my teacher’s Mr. X when he was yelling would often say “i’m not yelling, what do you think this is yelling” it was quite strange any former high school graduate cohort can vouch for how odd and hilarious this was.

As I mentioned earlier in my posts that having Aspergers I do not make many friends, nevermind lady friends. In this blog I am going to talk about my best friend.

My best friend is my mom. We are constantly hanging out, reading books  or watching television series such as Sopranos or the Wire together. I never got into Mad Men. She is always the first person I tell everything to and the person who comforts me when I am really moopy. She also gives the best hugs. Really you should give it a try, she’s a really good hugger so if you see her out and about you should just give her a hug. My mom once tried to limit the number of times I can hug her in a day, ha that lasted a week.

My mom and dad have not had the easiest life trying to raise an Autistic child who just refuses to be normal always trying to balance my perspective by poo pooing my dreams and telling me to focus on things i really can do, while at the same time being very supportive.  My mom has often read my books since elementary school till my masters to discuss them with me and help me with my essays even when I don’t want her help. She was also a willing ear when I was doing my biology classes in university.

  Dont get me wrong she is not the perfect friend by any stretch or means.  She can be super naggy about some things like insisting that I shave every day (eww puke) or how I can’t wear shorts and runners (why not? I think I like cool in this combination). Also insisting that I am organized and know the bus schedule and don’t miss the last bus of the night. Always urging me to be responsible and catch an earlier bus. 

Ultimately, however I have to forgive her this nagging because she only has my best interests at heart when she does it. 

Here are some other things I like about hanging out with my mother:

When I hangout with my mom I never have to worry about being less attractive than the friend I am with.

My mom always picks up the bill when we go out, how many friends can you say that about?

She never shops around for better plans, but never has a problem when I cancel at the last minute because something better comes up. 



image from

Many groups of disabled people such as deaf people do not think of themselves as disabled. They think of themselves as “otherly” able. They form their own languages and have strong communities.

People with Aspergers tend to not think of themselves as “otherly abled”. For example, Spiderman and Superman can both do the same job but in different ways. Therefore, are differently abled, people with Aspergers do not have qualities that make up for their shortcomings; instead they are more like Rudy from the football movie about Notre Dame football, Rudy.

No matter what we work really hard but we are not as big or fast as the others playing the game. We have our own strengths such as being the hardest working people and we see the world from the perspective from the underdog which gives us advantages in certain areas but unlike the deaf community if you asked anyone of us if we would rather be normal we would jump if given the opportunity. Part of the problem why we do not establish the same strength of community is that we fit in different places of the spectrum for example, some people lead normal lives despite receiving a diagnosis of Aspergers, get jobs get married and have normal lives. Other people need more assistance. I am on the higher end of the spectrum and the only place my disability has a large impact on my life is with women. I still have not had my first relationship I have come close a few times but no success. I have had my first make-out session with a bride who was about to take the dive and get married the next day. She was also dressed as a hot pirate as was the rest of her bridal party. After the girl kissed me, however, none of them wanted anything to do with me and the experience, alas came to an end. While the deaf community on the other hand are united because they have their own language and are more separate from the rest of society.

Most articles about Aspergers in the newspaper are about how they do not have imaginations and lack a sense of humor. Therefore, when I say that I am the sexiest person with a blog out there, you can take it as a fact. This lack of imagination is one reason why people with Aspergers struggle with irony because they cannot imagine that something is true which is not. I am a stand-up comedian but how funny I am is up to debate, after all I did only make it to the semi-finals where I lost to Ben Walker, in my fourth year of the Rumors Funniest comedian with a Day job contest. This series of blogs, however, is to prove to the contrary that some people with Aspergers can understand humor and that there is more to us than you read about in the newspapers or in most books that are out on the market right now. Ultimately having Aspergers sucks but if I did not have Aspergers than I would not have this opportunity to prove how wrong you all are about our lack of imagination, sarcasm and sense of humor. We are in fact much more capable and less capable than others give us credit for. In case, you needed another example of our imagination I still think I am going to make a living as a travelling comedian. Maybe my problem is the opposite that instead of not having an imagination I live in my imagination and have no grasp on reality. At least that’s what my mom tells me every single day.

It’s annoying when people think of other people with disabilities as disabled people but it is equally annoying when people with disabilities and others think there is nothing wrong with disabled people and that they are just as good as everyone else. Yes we can accomplish the same things as “able-bodied” individuals but it is much harder to do so, do not delude yourself.

Aspergers on conversation

People with Aspergers tend to carry on a conversation way to long. The assumption is that if they say just the right thing that they can fix any situation. Some situations are unsalveable, what you are really doing is taking a small tear in the relationship and making it enormous. Some situations, people need to learn to shut up and simply move on.

People with Aspergers are some of the nicest people. They know what its like to have people mean to them. I have heard it all, from what are you a moron or a retard, I am more concerned about what I haven’t heard like  “so do you like wanna make out or what?”

People with Aspergers apparently don’t know that they should ask questions my problem is that I ask too many questions. For example, I was talking to a fellow performer who was going on the road and I asked him what time his flight was at. This seems like a good general question a way to get conversation rolling and he asked “what are you going to come and pick me up?” No, I just wanted to know what you are doing out so late if the plane was early the next morning. People, however, aren’t supposed to take any interest in affairs that don’t concern them. So much for being friendly huh? 

Although, people with Aspergers are not the only awkward people. For example, I asked someone if they knew what night they were for a contest. They simply replied, “Yes”. When someone asks you that, a person should read between the lines and realize what they are asking is “do you know what night you are for the contest?”

If someone with aspergers is overly friendly that does not necessarily mean that they are flirting just that they don’t know the appropriate level. Get over yourself!! However, people with Aspergers also have a hard time presenting their emotions subtely therefore they make actually be flirting with you and you’ll never realize it until you have missed the opportunity to date a great guy. Lots of people reading this may think why are you always presenting people with Asperger  as male the reason is the majority are male and females with Aspergers are not nearly as pronounced.

People with Aspergers also don’t realize the transition between being friends at work and real friends. I mean I got along with a girl so I asked her to hangout, next thing I know it I get accused of stalking her. Also the phone conversation is the most awkward thing ever, because even if they give you their phone number, they never actually think you’ll call.

People with Aspergers can’t read body language or tonal language as quickly as other people therefore, if I stare too long it means that you are either really weird looking, attractive or I have no clue what the heck you are actually saying. Also if people don’t expect you to stare at their chest then why are there words near the pectoral area make up your mind whether it is acceptable to look or not.  I mean I don’t want to stare and your lovely breasts, however, the image really attracts attention. If women really didn’t want the attention why not move the image down so that it is lower on the stomache instead?


For the longest time I was not a fan of blogs thinking that they had nothing to say to me. For the most part I thought that they were either extremely political or a venue for parents to talk about their children and the funny things they did. Parenting blogs may interest someone who is a parent, however, they did not say anything to me as I am a single male who has no interest in having children in the immediate future. I also thought that blogs were useful if you are into fashion which is not me. Therefore, I had very little interest in reading other people’s blogs and certainly had no interest in having my own blog*. Having said that the reason why I am blogging is that people with Aspergers have been shown as people with job issues by Rudy Simone portrayed from a children’s perspective in Freaks Geeks and Aspergers, or seen in a more scientific way. My blog is dedicated to examining the mundane things from a person who has Aspergers perspective. People toss around the word special or unique too frequently, but having Aspergers means your 1 in 1000 being a comedian with Aspergers is 1 in a million.  When I toss around the word special I don’t do it with any particular sentimental attachment, boring people find girlfriends get good jobs settle down and live happy lifestyles. Being special means constantly being on the edge of depression and struggling in the simplest of social situations. Like the blog of a martian would be worth reading, so is this one because it is a very different perspective which is so seperate but yet somehow still relateable. That creates enough separation between the reader that they can laugh and yet relatable enough to admit that they have had some of the same thoughts.

* Since starting blogging I have changed my opinion on blogs as I have read many interesting blogs that I have thoroughly enjoyed such as MyheartisinSanFransico, as well as a blog by my friend Kurt Berger, bergerlippa, and Lorraine James’s Diss. I know I have left out many other great blogs which I have thoroughly enjoyed when I read them, “like I heart Change” however, it would take forever to list them all.

Adam Schwartz