What an Awesome Day to be a Human!

Woooooooo! I’m so happy for today!

What an amazing day!

Got to help some kids bring their scripts to life – these kids are poets and geniuses and the rockstar artists of tomorrow – and I got to do it with a super talented ensemble of actors and improvers. Thanks to Tom Jenkins for the opportunity and to Jillian Dunn for connecting me!

Hung out with the wonderful Fernanda Perez and fan girled over the new “Saved By The Bell” reboot. (Fernandx is coming back on Saturday December 11!)

Went to Canter’s – and it was awesome! That Pastrami Reuben, y’all! 

Finally, Samantha Jane and I debuted the first ever live Dazed and Confused Poetry Club at Tao Comedy Studio! We had some fire booked poets and some surprise wordsmiths in the open mic. And Bobbie Oliver did some standup for us too! It was so good we’re going to do it again.

Its days Iike these were the universe validates your life choices and gives you the energy and direction to go deeper.

Thanks to all these beautiful human beings who gave me a great day. Also, my parents rock! Do what you love and good things will happen.

#improv #writer #theater #fernandx #dazedandconfusedpoetryclub #poetry

Standard

The Improv Life: My Thoughts on “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport

The Improv Life: My Thoughts on “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport

This book was inspired by Steve Martin’s famous quote that he uses as a ready-to-go answer for how to be successful in entertainment whenever he’s asked that question.

One of the book’s main arguments is that passion is overrated, and that chasing a career fueled by passion is extremely difficult and leads to burnout and bitterness when your dream gigs don’t arrive in the timeline you had in your head.

Instead, he urges you to collect “Career Capital” – a high level of skills and experience in a very niche sub field that you enjoy working in which allows you to leverage those skills for more opportunities to your liking.

The more “Career Capital” you can acquire, the more control you can acquire in what type of work you can do.

Finally, if you can center the work you do around a “Mission” (work that excites you, utilizes your skill, and keeps you growing through challenges) then you have it made.

It’s a good quick read, especially for anyone who may find themselves in a career slump and wants to get back to a place where they’re doing work they like.

However, one thing stood out.

It’s a little ironic that this book’s main argument inspired by the author’s interpretation of Steve Martin’s original quote – Be so good they can’t ignore you – is antithetical to the reason for Steve Martin’s success. His passion for comedy and performing and pushing himself as an artist beyond his limits is why he broke through and became successful.

That discovery eats away at me, and I’m trying to find a middle ground where the truth of Steve Martin’s original quote and Cal Newport’s twisted-but-practical interpretation can coexist and feed off each other.

This reminds me of when I heard Metallica’s main riff for “Search and Destroy” sampled for a trap song that I hated the instant I heard it. I got that some people would like it, but I knew the original song too well to accept this crap track.


This was a good book, but the twisted interpretation is going to bug me for a while.

#improv #calnewport #sogoodtheycantignoreyou #stevemartin #improvlife

Standard

11/05/21 Birthday Show at the Improv Collective

I had an amazing birthday show on Friday night at the Improv Collective!

I was blown away by the talent of everyone who performed and shared their work:

Anatalia Vallez is a fire poet who can make you laugh and cry in a flash of a few lines, and not everyone can do that.

Book Jesse Joseph for all your magic needs – dude knows what he’s doing! (I suggest bringing Joey Shope too as your magician’s assistant!)

I didn’t know how much I missed the two man improv clown machine that is Ka-Blahm-o! Love you Frankie!

And Jac Floyd, Matt Thomas, Josh Heimendinger, and Juanito Velasco are much better improvisers than I ever hope to be, and I’m super greatful to them for playing on West Coast Selfie with me.

I’m truly humbled by the people around me, and I’m very lucky to have a front row to their gifts and genius.

In general, book all these people!

Also, it was super cool to read a bunch of my poems out loud to a group of live people – I’m going to do more of that!

Thank you to Robert Souders and Bridget Marie for making this happen, and to Chris Beal for doing tech.

I want to thank everyone who came out and supported – I appreciate you for that!

If you’re in LA today, come check out birthday show no.2 at Tao Comedy Studio at 7:30 pm. It’s going to be fun!

Do what you love as much as you can.

#improv #improvcollective #ocimprov #kablahmo #magic #poetry #clown

Standard

The Improv Life: You Will Use Everything You Know

The Improv Life: You Will Use Everything You Know

Steve Martin’s standup memoir “Born Standing Up” is must-read for all comedians.

He describes things only other comedians would understand, like doing a show in front of a packed house but being thrown off your game because of the one audience member in the front row that you can make eye contact with.

Honestly, I discover something’s new every time I read it.

One of its most enduring lessons, however, comes from a time when Steve Martin was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for the umpteenth time.

During a commercial break, Johnny leans in close to Steve and tells him, “You will use everything you know.”

In that moment, Steve knew exactly what Johnny meant. And when I first heard it, I knew immediately as well.

You will mine every single experience for comedy. Or everything you’ve ever read, watched, or listened to, you will use it for something. All information, insight, gossip, revelation, newspaper headlines, magazines articles, and whatever is yours to use for bits.

And I’ve been using that strategy all month long in my one-improv-blog-a-day project. Coming up with a blog post every day was hard, so I literally pulled from every corner of my comedy experience, and I loved it!

I now have 30 essays on the improv experience, ranging from mediations on the journey, comedy history, and at least one how-to piece. I hoped people found value in what I wrote, and at the very least, some of these posts set up a bedrock of improv comedy insight for me to explore further.

Honestly, writing every day is a great habit to clarify your thinking and get ultra specific in what you want to say. And the more you write, the more insight is revealed to you, and all that knowledge stacks up on top of each other, leading to some major discovery down the line – and its the major discoveries that make this art form amazing. I encourage you all to write every day. Thank you for reading these past 30 days.

Fernando

#improv #sketch #comedy #stevemartin #johnnycarson #writer #usewhatyouknow #blog #bornstandingup #insight #knowledge #discovery #revelation

Standard

The Improv Life: How Improv Saved Me

The Improv Life: How Improv Saved Me

Why haven’t I quit? I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll just slowly devolve into a bitter hack who laments his lost youth on a wasted dream as he smokes cheap cigarettes and store brand label whiskey in the patio of some forgotten LA dive bar where no one knows your name.

Who am I kidding. I love this too much to walk away. I did an improv show once at the Improv Collective for like five people, and it was one of the best improv shows I ever done.

I still remember it. Not that it felt particularly special when I was doing it, but looking back, man, that was a special show.

I got to bust out a Val Kilmer impression, y’all! Val freaking Kilmer! My Batman by an accident of birth! And it was stupid and dumb yet sublime at the same time. If your improv can fill the Venn Diagram of those three, then you got something good!

I did an Oscar Winning Moment where I played an alcoholic father who wasn’t getting enough shifts at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). And my scene partners, Sam and Teresa, made me look like a million bucks.

This one dude laughed so hard at the moment, he was still laughing like 5 minutes later. That one dude’s laugh was enough praise that I’ve held onto it for years now. Sometimes I’ll pull out the memory out of the box I keep in my place of good feelings and remember that I was on my A-game for one night.

I mean, I didn’t know it was going to be a special night. I was at a weird place in life where I couldn’t appreciate what was in front of me because I was just fucking lost. Improv got me through those lost days where it felt like my best days were behind me, not realizing that these were some of the days I would cherish forever.

Life happens fast, y’all. Do what you want to do now because one day you’ll look back at now and realize this was a magical time.

One more to go. See you tomorrow,

Fernando

#improv #ocimprov #improvcollective #memory #goodtimes #heart #saved #life #lost #bryanadams #found #magic

Standard