I had the opportunity to perform one of my taxi stories at a Moth Grand Slam a while back, and this week I'm really thrilled to have the performance featured on the Moth Radio Hour. It's a piece about how sometimes New York City is real purty and magic, and how driving a taxi there is glorious and horrible at the same time.
Nick Markovich (The People's Improv Theater) travels to a Burger King in Lee's Summit, Missouri on a quest to discover the meaning of life. Sam sleeps through his alarm. PLUS: an important incident on the banks of a koi pond.
Eli Reiter (Long Story Long) takes a life-changing trip to New Jersey. Sam invites you over for rose wine on a weeknight. PLUS: Suburban strings.
Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Paris Review) boldly explores new frontiers in American popular music. Sam exercises poor impulse control. PLUS: Rock n' poultry.
Dave Arroyo (San Juan Star, Forces of Geek) fondly recalls the MySpace era and its profound effect on his dating life. Sam helps a theater company make a radio play. PLUS: the riddle of the ancient redwoods eludes an intrepid explorer.
Jeff Rose (The New York Story Exchange) tells us about the lessons he learned from a dog he owned in Austin, Texas. Sam attends a downtown dinner party and discovers he's wearing the wrong kind of hat. PLUS: raw, unedited audio of the sound of bourbon being sipped from a glass!
After a fairly absurd delay (what's ten months between friends?), I've finally completed an all-new episode of Dingmantics, featuring the narrative stylings of Mark Pagan. Mark tells a lovely story about his grandmother, and you'll also hear a clip from Baggage, my solo show of bellhop stories. Please enjoy and share if you're so inclined.
Baggage, my solo storytelling show about working as a bellhop in New York City, will have its second performance next week at QED in Astoria. I did the piece for the first time as part of the PIT's annual SOLOCOM festival back in November, but this time there's a little something new: a show poster featuring the artistic stylings of Jacob Brown.
Jacob's a marvelous improviser and sketch comedian who left New York last year for the sunnier climes of Los Angeles, but his original artwork has been one of the best-kept secrets of the local comedy scene for years. I wrote to him with a fairly vague notion of what I thought might look good on a poster for my show, and within a couple weeks he produced the image you see above, about which there is much to love. In particular, I think we can agree, the moon, who is very concerned about my well-being.
I hope you'll come check out the show next week - tickets are available here for just $10!
I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation on an audio theater production. Over the course of two weekends, I worked with director Tommy Butler, musician Michael Ferrara, and actors Ben Camp and Jenna Horton to create the story of Duncan and Zephyr, two Philadelphians who are trying to figure out what they mean to one another.
Team Sunshine makes collectively devised plays from scratch (their recent The Sincerity Project is one of the most audacious productions I've ever seen), and while I have some experience working that way as an actor, this was my first opportunity to function explicitly as a sound designer and audio producer in a theatrical environment. I'm very excited by the piece we generated, and hope you enjoy it! Headphones recommended.
I'm very pleased to have one of my taxi stories featured on this week's episode of the RISK! podcast. The episode is a live recording of RISK!'s performance at the 2014 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which I wrote about here. My piece appears alongside great stories from Cassidy Santaguida, Katie Heim, and Vicki Tollemache.
I'm pretty thrilled to have Robin Gelfenbien on my show tomorrow night. As you already know if you're subscribed to The Daze of Dingman, Robin was the first storytelling performer I saw on stage in New York. She was candid, clever, and cheerfully self-deprecating in the way that the best storytellers are - there were jokes, but only insofar as they underscored the main theme of her piece.
It was eye-opening, and among other things, it provided me some initial encouragement in freeing myself from simply reading my stories aloud from the page. Robin was one of the first performers I saw demonstrate a deft blend of stand-up comedy and narrative oratory - it's a powerful hybrid I've been working to emulate each time I get up.
Since that first evening I saw Robin's work, I've had the privilege of appearing on her Yum's the Word show a few times (alongside Joy Behar, among others), so I'm very pleased to be able to return the favor on tomorrow night's Dingmantics Live. If you're a storyteller, please come out and drop your name in the hat for the open mic portion of the evening. The theme is Old School. Performers whose names are selected will receive an 8-minute slot, plus a recording of your piece!
Hope to see you there.
A short while after my arrival at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Ben and I were shoveling avocado and black bean-infused queso into our faces at Kerbey Lane, where I don't think I've ever eaten prior to 12:30am. Later, sprawled on an air mattress in Ben's living room, I thought to myself, "That's Austin for you, man; full to bursting within 30 minutes of getting off the plane."
The last month or so has been fairly tumultuous for me personally, and I can't imagine a finer remedy than a week in Austin for the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, a yearly convocation of improv, sketch, stand-up, and storytelling performers in the town that proudly refers to itself as "the blueberry in the tomato soup." Ben and I wrote a brand-new Audience of Two show, which played alongside several other sketch groups at the Hideout Theater, after which I hustled over to the Paramount Theater to tell a story on Kevin Allison's RISK! show.
I also got to see the latest and greatest work of perennial favorites Your Terrific Neighbors, as well as the cripplingly-hilarious stylings of De La Thwazz, whose work is tough to explain unless you've seen it. Fortunately for all of us, they've seen fit to capture an excerpt on vidja.
Whew! Finally completed the migration to WALT.FM (from an old Tumblr page which previously served as my online boudoir).
I am pleased to welcome you to my new digs - please poke around and enjoy the various bits of audio fiddle-faddle. If you're interested, why not sign up for the WALT newsletter? Click the link in the sidebar to keep abreast of upcoming shows and newly-released audio sweetness. I promise to email you only when I have something awesome to share.
A man and a woman climbed into my cab and uttered words I never thought I’d hear: “Could you take us to Avenue Z?”
Very excited to have my Sandra from Avenue Z story featured on Nerve today. Click through for a harrowing tale of South Brooklyn’s ghoulish mysteries…
Marshall Crook travels alone to a remote cabin in Maine with nothing but his typewriter and a hefty stash of booze in an attempt to find himself. Your host stages a hostile invasion of his own office. An avian verb surfaces in an unexpected location.
Adam Wade (The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgement) tells the story of his childhood friend Debbie, who helped him keep a closely-guarded secret.
Adam is an 18-time winner of the Moth Story Slam and a 2-time winner of the Moth Grand Slam. He’s been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgement, All Things Considered, the New York Times, and Time Out New York. Currently, he’s blogging about the meals his sweet Italian landlady cooks him at Sundays With Marie.
International corporate scandal. OK Cupid love poems. An elegy for Philip Seymour Hoffman. A marvelous story from Moth-winning storyteller Kate Greathead. And the whinging-oh, the whinging-of the trees.
Kate Greathead is a writer and a storyteller. A four-time Moth Story Slam champion, her work has appeared or is forthcoming on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour, The Hairpin, and her college newspaper. She lives in Brooklyn.
Jim O’Grady (This American Life, Studio 360) tells a story about making an unexpected connection with his family history at a high school track meet.
Micaela Blei (The Moth, Story Collider) performed this lovely piece about seeking beauty in Calabria, Italy at last week’s Dingmantics Live.
Thanks to everyone who came out to our first run of live shows—we’ll be back with more in February! In the meantime, look forward to lots more great stories on the podcast.
Matt Mercier (The Moth, RISK!) had no shortage of weird experiences during his stint as the manager of the Route 66 Youth Hostel in Albuquerque. The strangest of all, however, occurred the night a Japanese film crew checked in to Room 8.
Don’t forget to join us this Thursday, December 5th, for the next installment of Dingmantics Live, where Matt told this story. Tix just $5!