I’m a Lucky Dude to Work with These Amazing Latinx Artists

Join Us Tonight at 8pm at the Ruby Theater at the Complex for Noche Buena: The Pachanga 3-Year Anniversary Sketch Show

Alright, y’all, it’s taken me a long time to become the person I am right now, and there’s still more things I have to learn and experience to grow even more.

I think growth comes from two places:

1. The experiences you seek out to challenge yourself and fill your gaps of knowledge and experience. And hell, sometimes those experiences seek you.

2. The people you encounter on the journey whose own unexpected humanity unlocks parts of yourself you did not know you had.

Well I’ve been lucky to have met a lot of amazing people on the journey, and I’ve been even luckier to have shared life changing experiences with these beautiful souls I could have never dreamed up in a thousand lifetimes.

When you combine these two things – challenging experiences + amazing people – there is no doubt you’re going to be changed for the better.

I’m real lucky to have met the wonderful members of the Latinx Comedy Pachanga. We’ve had a lot of adventures together, and they’ve helped me grow in ways I never imagined.

I’m just a lucky dude to work with this awesome crew of Latinx comedy and overall human beings.

Well we got a big show tonight at the Ruby Theater at the Complex at 8pm – Noche Buena: The Pachanga 3-Year Anniversary Sketch Show.

We built this show from scratch and proud of the work we’ve done! So join us tonight! I would love to see you there! Ticket link in bio.

#latinxcomedypachanga #nochebuena #latinxcomedy #LA #thingstodoinla #people #growth #journey #experience #gente #community

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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

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The Improv Life: Everything’s Changed, Nothing’s Changed

The Improv Life: Everything’s Changed, Nothing’s Changed

We used to do shows in Downtown Santa Ana when I first started.

Those shows were special to me because performing in my home town was validation that I was on the right path.

I would ask my work if I could get off early in order to make it on time.

I’d then go to Starbucks, get some coffee, and get in the zone.

Nothing else mattered. My entire week was building up to this moment. We’d then do the show, win, lose, or draw, and then it was over. But I just wanted to be back on stage. The cycle would start over as I waited to be booked.

There would be jams, practices, dinners, whatevs. We did improv wherever they would have us. LA was close, but the cultural distance made it seem a galaxy away.

We were hunter gatherers learning how to kill our food in the parking lots, cafe patios, and random community college spaces of Orange County.

We were our own teachers because that’s just how it was. An exciting time, a time of growth and exploration, a time that would impact us forever.

But doing a show, man. That’s what it’s about. And that’s still what’s it about. Doing a show is the end-all and be-all of this art form for many of us. I know that’s a controversial statement for some, but there’s a different feeling to doing improv in a living room with your team as compared to doing a live show with your friends in front of a packed theater.

The audience, man, we need them. The energy they give us affects how we perform, and this exchange of energy is what makes performing live one of the best experiences on Earth – you’ll get the highest high performing at your peak in front of an engaged audience hanging on to everything you do.

All these years, so much has changed, but the core things remain the same, and that’s why I stay in this amazing game.

#improv #performer #show #theater #dtsa #validation #artist

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The Improv Life: It All Comes Down to Communication and Connection

The Improv Life: It All Comes Down to Communication and Connection

I took a series of personality test years ago courtesy of my university’s career center. Taking personality tests became a norm for me while at Cal.

The Myers Briggs was used extensively by a professor of mine to help students gain insights into their personalities, flaws, and opportunities for growth. I took his class 3 times.

This other test I took was specifically to assess which careers I would be best fit for.

Honestly, I looked at the results and didn’t process them. I had Brazil on my mind as I was leaving for a life changing study abroad experience.

But I knew better than to just throw them away. I put the test results in a folder and decided I’d look at it later.

Later became years later. I was thinking about my life path, and if I had made the right choices. I dug up the folder, pulled out the test, and poured over the findings.

What they said was this: I was best equipped to work in something with communication and connection which could involve writing, leadership, and other stuff in those areas.

When I read it, I was a writing tutor, leading an improv group, part of others, doing weekly shows in Orange County and LA, writing blogs and poems.

Honestly, it was like looking at a photograph of myself wedged in the corner of a mirror with the photograph looking back at me: this was who I was then, who I am now, and probably who I’ll always be.

Ironically, it was that same Brazil trip where I decided that no matter what I did with my life, I was going to live as a writer. I wanted to live as a writer – because looking back – writing (and all its forms, which include improv and performing) was a way of communicating and connecting with people – a 2-in-1 activity that would express my heart and fulfill my soul, giving my life a purpose that would transcend any job, place, or relationship.

That’s a hell of a promise I made to myself, and looking at these test results all these years later only confirmed that I made the right choice.

#improv #personality #personalitytest #communication #connection #writer #brazil #choice #destiny #heart #soul #purpose #promise #fate #theater

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The Improv Life: Why Bits are Important to Friendship

The Improv Life: Why Bits are Important to Friendship

I had this job once where no one did bits. I’m not kidding. I would throw a great line just waiting to be riffed on, and the potential bit would die on the vine.

Or some body would unknowingly deliver a great premise just asking to be tossed around a circle and have every possible joke made about it. But it would just become nothing.

Hanging out with comedians and writers had spoiled me. Everything was a bit, a run of jokes to see who could come up with the funniest line. I mean not everything was a bit, but the possibility to see the humor in every situation and riff on it was always on the table.

Nor did they understand the concept of bits. I tried teaching them, but they never understood. It’s not that you need your co-workers to be good at bits; it’s that bits make life fun. They inject humor into any situation that otherwise would’ve been boring and absent of meaning.

Not that every situation must be a bit. And living in a constant state of bitiness can be exhausting. You’re always on (or feel like you have to) and you feel like you can’t be your honest self for a moment.

But not doing bits at all. Damn. That’s a hard one. What they don’t tell you is that a bit is a shortcut to friendship. If you can do bits with someone, you can also be honest and real with them when you need to be.

Friendship isn’t always about making each other laugh. It’s also supporting each other during the different movements in the opera that is life. Sometimes you need someone to laugh with; other times you need someone to hug you while your world falls apart. And if you can do bits with someone, you know you can shed tears with them too. That’s why bits are important – it’s a way to find real friends.

Shout out to all the friends I made throughout the years because they were good at bits.

#bits #improv #comedy #friendship #community #relationships 

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