Revenge (The Good Kind)

As faithful readers know, while I’ve been here in Indiana I’ve been getting back into stand-up. I did two open mics at a comedy club in Ft Wayne that went really well and I was pretty happy with the audience response.

Did you ever meet someone before and get that gut feeling of Wow, this guy hates me without any reason? That’s what happened when I went to this club and started dealing with the Guy in Charge. From the get-go this guy treated me pretty rudely, but I kept on my Nice Guy Face. I am aware that in comedy there is a totem pole, and guys who come in doing open mic are at the lowest spot. I don’t have a problem with that; I’ve always been more than willing to pay my dues. I just couldn’t figure out why this guy loathed me so much.

I had gone back for the second time to perform open mic. There are usually only 3 open mic slots of 5 minutes each, but one guy didn’t show up. So it was me and this other guy who was also there for his second time. The Guy in Charge took us aside before the show and told the other comic “You can have 6 minutes since there’s only two of you tonight. How do you want me to introduce you? Do you have any special music?” Really falling all over the guy. Then the Guy in Charge turned to me and just said, “You’re on first.”

I wanted to ask if I could have an extra minute, too, or at least ask why only the other guy got more time since it’s the second time for both of us but this is his club and I don’t want to rock the boat. Just go along with it, pay my dues, and kill the crowd in five minutes.

The Guy in Charge is also the host of the show and he got up there and bombed. Big time. I felt bad…not necessarily because I was empathizing with him but because he wasn’t really warming up the crowd. But it went well, surprisingly well, and I had fun.

And that’s the last time they’ve had me there. I’ve called a few times to see about getting a slot again and the Guy in Charge has refused to take or return my calls. It’s just kind of got me wondering because it was without provocation. Since the first time he met me he’s been like that with me and I guess it’s just one of those things I’ll never understand.

I once read that “Success is the best revenge” and I can definitely see that. So that’s my plan. How cool would it be to get to the point in my career where they are asking me to come and perform instead of the other way around; where it’s not the case that I need them? I’ve made it up in my mind to find out just how cool that would be. Not so I can be mean back to him or do the whole “ha ha ha ha the tables have turned” speech to him…but just to know that I could. That’d be fun.

Snickerz: Another Review by Me

Tonight I returned to Snickerz Comedy Bar in Ft Wayne for the second time to perform stand-up at their open mic. Surprisingly (at least to me) in the few hours before the show I was more nervous this time around than I was last month. I had originally planned on bringing back a couple of the jokes I used last time that went over really well and mix them in with some newer stuff I wanted to try out.

I only had a five minute block and as I ran through my set at home I was way over five minutes, so I decided to cut the bits that worked really well last time and fly with all-new never-before-tested material. Another thing that had me a little nervous was the material I went with tonight was all one long joke. As opposed to telling a series of unrelated jokes like set-up/punchline, set-up/punchline over and over tonight’s material was one big bit and if it wasn’t going well in the beginning, I’d have a nice uphill climb for the remainder of my time. Sure, I could always bail out and use the jokes from last time around that I had in reserve, but I wanted to test out the new material as a whole set and see how it flew.

It was another big crowd, about 400 people, and I was the first up. Again. The emcee had a bit of a time warming up the crowd, and when he decided to hand it off to me, things weren’t exactly cooking. I ran up on stage determined to see what kind of damage I could do.

And it went as smoothly as if I’d done it a million times before. I don’t know if I could have planned it any better. The crowd was with me the whole time, laughing at all of the right places, and my payoff joke rocked them like I’d hoped it would. It was such a great feeling to be up there with stuff I was pretty sure was funny when I wrote it and to feel the laughter coming back at me to confirm maybe I was onto something. I even finished a little early (or maybe they gave me a little extra time…all I know is they weren’t flashing the You Only Have A Minute Left light at me) so I managed to dovetail the end of my new set into a joke from the last time that went over well and again tonight it went gangbusters.

The only complaint I have is how fast the time goes. It felt like I was barely up there and I was done. It’s a nice tidal wave of a rush that you wish would last just a little bit longer and I guess that’s what keeps me coming back for more.

So, combined with my set from the last time around, I now have a good solid 8 or 9 minutes of material that has gotten a pretty good response and I feel comfy with.

At the end of this month I’ll be in touch with Snickerz again to see about booking for January and will keep you posted. Right now, I feel good and that’s a nice place to be. Anyone wanna come over and cuddle?


It’s that time again to bore my friends and loved ones with a capsulated look at 2006. Enjoy. I’ll wake you when it’s over.

A Timeline by Ed Placencia

As the year began I was living in New York City. I was a regular performer at the National Comedy Theatre (which I will heretofore refer to as NCT) and the ink on my divorce papers still hadn’t dried. My first year as The Single Guy. Let’s do this.
January 1 I ring in the new year by performing at a special New Year’s show at the NCT. We had a blast and it was a great time.
January 12 My digital camera breaks. No one has seen a picture of me since.
January 31 At the NCT banquet in a weird moment of ironic foreshadowing I was awarded “Most likely to be available for 208 shows/year.”

February 19 A reporter from The Daily News does a story on the National Comedy Theatre. A lot of pictures are taken and the cast is saddened when the article comes out and they use a picture with none of us in it.
February 28 In a stunt of unparalleled proportions, JT and I went to pick up some used carpet to put in the green room of the NCT. Because we don’t have a vehicle, we carry this huge roll of carpeting. From the corner of 3rd & 11th to the theater at 36th & 9th we maneuvered through the busy streets of Manhattan and didn’t bump into anything. And we only stopped to rest once. How manly are we?

March 8 My good friends John and Lisa come up to visit from Pennsylvania. We checked out a Mountain Dew snowboarding ramp in the middle of Times Square and interview a ukulele expert at a music store for Lisa’s radio show, The Kids Cookie Break. So, it was a usual day for me.

April 2 Worked on the set of a new FOX show, The Wedding Album. It was slated to come out this year, but haven’t heard anything on it since.
April 10-13 For four days straight I work from 6:30pm to 5am as an extra on the set of August Rush, starring Robin Williams, Keri Russell, and Jonathan Rhys Myers. We spent four nights in the middle of Central Park pretending it wasn’t freezing cold as we watched a performance by a symphony. Right now it is slated to release in February 2007. If it’s anything like my last work as an extra, be sure to have your freeze frame remotes ready so you can see me.
April 22 My sister Jaime comes up for a visit and we see and do everything in Manhattan in a span of 7 hours. We are, in a word, amazing. And tired.
April 27 Fellow NCT comedian Virginia and I witness someone trying to base jump off of the Empire State Building. A crowd gathers. The jumper is arrested. Everyone seems slightly depressed they didn’t get to see someone splat.
April 30 Worked on the set of Without A Trace playing an FBI employee. The episode airs the following month and I was nowhere to be seen. So far, no proof of the fact I’ve ever done any extra work exists.

May 4 Realizing a lifelong dream, I get to attend a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. Even though the guests are Rosie Perez and Danika Patrick I still manage to somehow enjoy the experience.
May 13 My final show at the NCT for 2006. I have 81 performances with them under my belt, and all of them were a blast. The rest of the gang is still there putting on great shows so if you’re in Manhattan, be sure to stop by and see a show.
May 14 Left NYC for Pennsylvania, where I will hang out for a week before my departure for Indiana. My buddy Ethan volunteers to drive me to PA and while there I stay with him and his wife Aubrey, and also with Jon & Lisa. I get a chance to connect with all of my dear friends from the radio station I worked at in Lancaster, WJTL. Good people. Good, good people.
May 21 Dad arrives in Pennsylvania with his truck and we load up the small amount of junk I have and head for Indiana.

June 2 Almost a year after doing extra work on The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, it is released in theaters. None of my scenes make the final cut. I am not disappointed as there’s always the DVD deleted scenes. And I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day. And the check cleared.
June 4 Fifteen years after its first conception, my brother Ray and I begin production on the long-awaited sequel to Terocus. We film four episodes and post them all on YouTube. The internet community is collectively confused.

July 15 I film an entry for a contest NBC is having to make a promo for the TV show The Office with Ray, Piper, Dad, and cousin Rich. Even though we don’t win, we have fun filming it and putting it on YouTube to further confuse the internet people.
July 16 The Placencia family reunion. Or, The Largest Gathering Of Minorities In Indiana Since The Last Placencia Family Reunion.

August 3 I am legally a Hoosier again when I get my driver’s license. After finally making it through the DMV line, a week later my money clip is stolen and I have to go through all of it again.

September 30 The county fair comes to town and all of Indiana’s finest are in attendance. Mullets and poofy hairsprayed bangs abound. I get together with my friend Amy to hang out at the local coffee shop as they walk by and poke fun. Without recognizing him, I inadvertently end up making fun of my uncle.

October 14 I killed a bird with a ladder.
October 17 The Break-Up is released on DVD. Although the packaging boasts “17 extra minutes!” I still have not made the film. Nor did I make the deleted scenes. Even my deleted scenes were deleted. But still, at least I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day.

November 1 Awarded “Boxer of the Month” for the month of October at the Dekalb County Boxing Club. I celebrate by not going down for the rest of the month.
November 9 Itching to get back into comedy, I perform stand-up in front of a crowd of about 350 people at Snickerz in Ft Wayne and it goes well and the crowd goes wild.

I’m working with Dad and still doing production for WJTL. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories recently and I’ll be back at Snickerz doing stand-up on December 21.It’s been a fun fun year and am eager to see what 2007 has in store.

To keep updated on what I’m doing, I keep a pretty consistent blog online. It’s the easiest way to see what I’m up to and going through. You can also visit that link to get all of the details on the highlights I mentioned above.

Goals for 2007:
*Return to NYC to perform again at NCT.
*Visit London.
*Kiss a girl.

It’s my prediction that the first two goals will be the easiest to accomplish.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you to find out how you’re doing.

Keep in touch!


The Ed-Pire Strikes Back

As promised/warned/threatened (depending on your point of view) I mentioned I would be trying to book another open mic night at Snickerz comedy Bar in Fort Wayne. I received confirmation today that my next appearance will be Thursday, December 21 at 7:00pm. A nice chance for you to have a few laughs before the roller coaster nightmare of the holidays really kicks in.

Last time was almost a full house, so reservations are highly recommended. The number to call is (260) 486-0216. Admission is $8 and there’s a 2-item minimum per person.

Ok, I vowed to let you know the details of my next appearance doing stand-up and I feel like I’ve held up my end of the deal. Now get out there and have a great Thanksgiving!


Snickerz: A Review by Me

As you may have heard, Thursday night I did some open mic stand-up comedy at Snickerz Comedy Bar here in Ft Wayne. It was a packed house; there were about 350-400 people in the audience and I had a blast. I asked my good friend and co-writer Doney to help me review some of the jokes I was considering a few days beforehand and that was a huge help to have that input from someone I trusted and respected.

I was given five minutes and was first up to bat. Opening act. Yikes. In the five minutes I basically did 4 different premises. The first one went all right. It was a bit on a political ad Morgan Freeman did. The second one, about someone claiming separating kids by gender was racial discrimination, did OK and then took a big nosedive toward the end. For some reason I changed the ending of the joke on the spot and it was kind of like a football player bobbling the ball, trying to keep control, and eventually dropping it. I could feel everyone in the room being nervous for me and that in itself was cool. I felt like a Jedi.

I paused briefly and took a page from what I learned at the National Comedy Theatre in New York: Be cocky. Not an arrogant cocky but just an air of confidence. Freakin‘ own it. If you get up there and the audience can sense you’re nervous or unsure of yourself, you’re dead. But if you get up there and act cocky like you know what you’re doing, let them know they can relax because you have everything under control, then it’s a different ballgame. And I decided to get cocky. I came up with a joke about 45 minutes earlier at my apartment that I thought was pretty funny and decided to scrap my previously planned Joke #3 and go with my gut, grow a pair, and get cocky.

I delivered the joke like I knew it was funny. I knew it was going to be the best joke they ever heard. Even though I didn’t. I hoped it was. I thought it was. But I had never told it to anyone, never ran it past anyone; I just had a feeling.

I am glad to report it killed. The contrast from the reaction to Joke #2 (uncomfortable silence) to Joke #3 (a room of 350 people suddenly bursting out into a huge laughter that made me pause for a short bit until it died down) was the coolest thing in the world.

Joke #4 was able to stay on that same level as #3 and I was glad to end my set on a very high note. Afterward some people told me they wished I had been able to go on longer and that’s just how you want it. Leave ’em wanting more. So that was very cool indeed.

Of course, being the tortured artist I am, I have spent the majority of the couple of days replaying the joke that bombed instead of the ones that went well. I once heard a comedian (I forget who) say they might get 100 emails and 99 of them will be emails like “You’re so funny, you’re so awesome, great job” and 1 email will be “You suck.” Even though that’s only 1 of 100, the negative email is the one that will be remembered. And that’s true for me. Weird, huh?

I bought one of those portable audio recorders to record my set so I could use it to review and tweak my performance. After the night I got in the car and was extremely annoyed to find it didn’t record anything. Not a thing. Of course, it worked perfectly before the show and even afterward, but not during. I spent my drive home recording an incredibly insane message, yelling at the recorder. I was going to post it on my page for your enjoyment, but the feature to post audio has been removed. If you’d like to hear an audio clip of excerpts from that rant drop me a line and I’ll email it to ya.

Of the few hundred people that were in attendance that night I figure about 35 of them were buddies of mine who came out, which was very cool indeed. Mom and Jeff brought like 10 of their friends, including expert photographer Michael Schnee. Dad and Patsy brought a few friends as well. Cousins Glen and Suzie were there, and Uncle Rick, Aunt Mary, and Aunt Emma. From the boxing club Jeremy, Dave, Jerry, Walker, and Kyle showed up. Even a couple of ladies from the local bank were there to cheer me on (come on, you can’t get much more small-town than that, but dammit it was great to have them there). Rob and LeeAnne were there which was very cool indeed. I know LeeAnne mostly from MySpace and I think last night was only like the 2nd time we actually hung out (including the 4th of July when I ate a burger near her) so it was very encouraging to see them there. My brother Ray was able to leave an event in Auburn early in time to make it. That meant a lot as well, because he’s the person who makes me laugh the most. It was nice to return the favor.

I called Snickerz the next day to book a time at the next available open mic. It’s such a rush; the coolest high in the world. That was my largest audience to date and I had so much fun. I’ll keep you posted and again, while I wait for the audio clip feature to come back, let me know if you want me to email you my angry rant at my audio recorder (which, for some reason, I chose to do entirely in an English accent).

Cut Me, Mick

I’ve found the difference between improv and stand-up is kind of like the difference between soccer and boxing. In soccer, like improv, you have a team backing you up. If you get the ball and feel yourself start to bobble there’s usually a teammate there to back you up and you can pass it off to them and hopefully they’ll be able to do something with it. In boxing, like stand-up, it’s just you out there on your own and if you get the crap beat out of you then you get the crap beat out of you. You can train all you want but you never really know if you’re ready to fight until you step into the ring.

On Thursday November 9 I’ll be stepping into the figurative ring again. It’s open mic night at Snickerz Comedy Bar in Ft Wayne and I have secured one of only 3 slots. I’m stoked to get back up there.

I like the way they do things at Snickerz. I’m actually surprised more clubs don’t do it this way. At every other club I’ve been to, open mic night is open mic night. Come one, come all, step in line and take your turn at trying to get people to laugh for your 3-5 minutes. Unfortunately because it’s amateur night most of the time the only other people in attendance at open mic night is the mass of other comics wanting to get up on stage. And sometimes that mass is only 10 people. Needless to say, it’s usually a pretty rough crowd.

Here in Ft Wayne they take a different approach. Instead of bringing on any and everyone who shows up, they only let three people go. Those 3 people serve as opening comics for the main comics/headliners, who also appear that night. Because it’s not strictly an open mic night, you tend to get a close-to-full house of people ready to laugh as an audience. So not too shabby.

I was trying to get an October slot at Snickerz and when I called in late September they told me to call back in October. Since the first of the month I’ve been playing phone tag back and forth and today got a message informing me the next available slot is November 9. I’ll take it. No complaints.

I’d like to get back there as often as possible while I’m around to get some solid material to bring with me when I return to NYC (yes, I do plan on returning to the Big Apple) so I can hit the comedy clubs running (as well as return to improv at the beloved National Comedy Theatre).

So, if you’re in the Ft Wayne area on the 9th of November, stop by. I’m sure I’ll post something else as the date nears so keep your eyes peeled for more self-promoting blogs and bulletins.

That’s just the way I roll.