November 6, 2017 (Monday)

A Long Shot podcast fan (#LoShoPoFa) named Hart was kind enough to come to the show last night with the Sunday Service, and had offered me a place to stay a while back. I crashed at his place, then today we went on a walk around part of Vancouver, out along the water to English Bay within sight of the Pacific Ocean. We walked through Granville Island, which is a hub of shops and stores (and retail establishments), with an upscale indoor market and a Theatersports. The kind of place that exists in any cosmopolitan, metropolitan city worth its salt at this point. Great coffee. We wandered through a marina, lots of people working on their boats, then reached a point where right across the water from us was West Van, and then, slightly beyond that, the North Shore Mountains. The highest peak in the range is less than 6000 feet, but they are very rugged and beautiful and right outside the city, so you can see them from everywhere. Hart told me that you can get on mass transit, head out to the mountains, and be at some recreational ski areas within 45 minutes. It was also, unusually according to Hart, a clear brisk cool sunny day. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and I could kind of see why it is consistently named one of the top five cities to live in (in which to live?) in North America. As with Portland it helps to have somebody who lives there to give you the dope. Also, it totally makes sense somebody would use it as a stand-in for the part of New York where I went to high school. They’re practically identical.

A boat is basically a building that lives on the water.

A boat is basically a building that lives on the water.

A building is just a mountain that lives on land next to a boat.

I am a very old and popular story that may be true...  (photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

I am a very old and popular story that may be true...

(photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

(Photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

(Photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

Then that night I headlined a standup show at the Fox Cabaret (the or no the?). Also on the show were two very funny Vancouver comics, Sophie Buddle (@sophiebuddle) and Abdul Aziz (@abdulazizcomedy) It was really fun, but also let’s just say I am not nearly as much of a draw as The Sunday Service. But a couple of #LoShoPoFa came out, and it was great to meet them.  I got to do almost an hour, and some of it worked, and some of it didn’t, and some of it needs work, but that’s why I’m doing this.

The cats at either end are there because the Fox Cabaret used to be a porn theater.  (Photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

The cats at either end are there because the Fox Cabaret used to be a porn theater.

(Photo courtesy of Phil Arsenault)

November 5, 2017 (Sunday)

I drove up to the Canadian border, and I accidentally ended up in the “Nexus” lane, which is basically Frequent Flyer club for border crossers. I am not a frequent flyer. So I was questioned intensely- why was I in that lane? (NB: “Siri told me to” is not a valid excuse). I only lied to the border guard twice, and was admitted to Canada.

This is from Granville Island, but it's in Vancouver, so even though it didn't happen til Monday I'm posting it Sunday.

This is from Granville Island, but it's in Vancouver, so even though it didn't happen til Monday I'm posting it Sunday.

 

I got to perform with an improv group in Vancouver, British Columbia (that means they’re Canadian, so they like hockey and they’re always sorry about shit). They’ve been performing their show for 11 years, and they do it at a very cool space called the Fox Cabaret.  I’m never at my most comfortable when meeting new people (I suppose I could have stopped at “never at my most comfortable,”) but they could not have been more friendly and welcoming. Caitlin (sp?), Ryan, Kevin, and Martin were a lot of fun, and the show was a joy. We “warmed up” before the show (not my bag, man! We’ve never “warmed up” before an ASSSSCAT show, and for The SWARM we huddle up right before we go on and all say in unison “Nooooo Doubt!”, only because I saw a documentary once about No Doubt and that’s what they would do before shows and I thought it was hilarious) with a very intimate, physical warmup that involved deep, meaningful eye contact and cheek-touching and stuff with everybody in the group, then did a first half of short form stuff and a second half of longform stuff. It was a lot of fun, and Kevin’s obscene swarm of bees is something I’ll never forget.

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            In between, Evany Rosen (who also performed with us and was very funny) read from her hilarious book, What I Think Happened. You can get a copy here. Or here. Or here.

 

      The house was packed, and people seemed to enjoy it (even the guy who sat in the front row, and immediately plunked his feet up on the stage as if he were a bored small-town sheriff). I feel like people only ever do that at improv shows (Word keeps autocorrecting “improv”  to “improve”- a message from the Universe?). If you’re at a show, don’t put your feet on the stage. My old friend John Cameron Telfer used to do a thing where he would come out and go right up to somebody who had their feet on the stage, and he would look at them in a curious and friendly manner, and say cheerfully, “Hi! Are you in show business?” And when the person invariably said no, Telfer would scream, “THEN GET YOUR FUCKING FEET OFF THE STAGE!”  And it was hilarious. Every time.