Another TED event takes place locally today, this time on Xavier's campus. TEDxXavierUniversity brings leaders in innovation from across the city and country to speak on the theme "Touching the hearts and minds of others through innovation, service, and leadership." Speakers include emcee Michelle Beckham-Corbin (President and Chief Digital Marketing Strategist of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC), Todd Henry (founder and CEO of Accidental Creative), Rashmi Assudani PhD. (Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at XU's Williams College of Business) and other CEOs, directors of non-profits and cutting edge entrepreneurs. The free event runs 1-5 p.m. today at the Cintas Center Schiff Banquet Hall. Guests should have already reserved their spot in advance.
Comedian John Heffron makes a tour stop at Funny Bone on the Levee starting tonight. Heffron was the winner of Last Comic Standing's second season and has performed on tons of late night shows and Comedy Central specials and at comedy festivals. A relatively "clean" comic, Heffron avoids politics and controversy in his acts, focusing on the naturally funny aspects of everyday life. Tonight's performance begins at 8 p.m. Find details here.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards were Sunday and I didn’t watch that low-budge mess, but here are the winners if you care. America’s girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence, nabbed an SAGy (?) for her role in Silver Linings Playbook (I know I’m late on this, but that movie is just great. Go see it.) After a non-wardrobe malfunction, JLaw accepted by citing the first job that got her the ubiquitous SAG card: an MTV My Super Sweet 16 promo.
Adrian Grenier (Vincent Chase to most but forever the Drive Me Crazy dude to me) tweeted big news for Entourage fans this week: the movie spinoff has been greenlit! Mind you, Entourage may follow in its sister Sex and the City’s footsteps by glossing over anything cool about the series and pooping out a 2-hour douchey bromance, but fans will certainly still flock to theaters to check it out.
Adapting TV shows
for the big screen
is nothing new — just look at Star Trek.
In Entourage’s case, a successful show on HBO for eight seasons, a movie will
provide one last chance for fans to see Vince and his buddies...and one last
chance to squeeze any last profitability from the series. But what about
adapting shows that weren’t necessarily successful on TV in the long term? Party
Down was an excellent Starz comedy from 2009-2010. Adam Scott, Lizzy
Caplan, Ken Marino and a bunch of other hilarious familiar faces from TV comedy
portrayed a crew of kooky caterers, each episode following them to a different catered event. It got a lot of late-in-show life love from Netflix viewers (because who
watches Starz?!) but was cancelled after two seasons. Ever since, there have
been hopes and rumors of a film version from fans and cast members
alike. While the crossover is still unconfirmed, here’s an awesome faux
trailer, made from clips from the series, with a horror twist:
And because everyone loves Mrs. Doubtfire, check out a creepily realistic look at what the family film would look like if it had taken a dark turn.
If you’re like most theater kids or women between the ages of 10 and 110, then you can quote Mean Girls and Les Mis like a champ and you will love this.
Tonight is a night
that myself and Lizbeans everywhere have been dreading for some time — the
series finale of 30 Rock. You can
read my full eulogy here, but I have to say while I’m happy the show is going
out while it’s still good (Tina Fey and Alec Bladwin both snagged
aforementioned SAG awards for their performances in the show), I’m really going
to miss my weekly dose of Ms. Bossypants.
From the beginning, 30 Rock has been
a writer’s comedy and I will cherish every quote that has been ingrained in my
brain over the past seven seasons (ex. "Live every week like it's Shark Week." - Tracy Jordan). On this momentous evening, I leave you with these
life lessons from Liz Lemon.
My feelings are best described by this Claire Danes supercut:
Channel your inner Marie Antoinette while supporting Transitions Global during tonight’s ELLiPSiS…The Masquerade. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best mystery disguise while enjoying music, art, cocktails, eats and a fashion show. Tickets are $35, $100 for VIP early admission, champagne, hors d'oeuvres and prime catwalk seating. Proceeds benefit Transitions Global, a non-profit organization that helps rehabilitate rescued sex traffic workers and reintegrates them back into society as strong, independent women. Learn more about this important charity here. Tonight’s masquerade at The Bell Event Center opens to the public at 7 p.m.
Actor and comedian Kevin Pollack performs at the Levee Funny Bone
tonight through Saturday in support of us upcoming book, How I Slept My Way to the
Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs. Pollack, who got his big movie break in the
Ron Howard/George Lucas adventure, Willow,
is best known for roles in A Few Good Men
and The Usual Suspects as well
as his spot-on impressions. Tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m.
He does a mean Christopher Walken.
If you missed this summer’s Fringe Festival or couldn’t make it to every show (it’s a difficult task!), Know Theater is presenting four encore Fringe performances through Saturday. Tonight’s Fall Fringe offerings include OCCUPY This: Tales of an Accidental Activist and Kevin J. Thornton: UNFRINGED. Solo performance OCCUPY This (7 p.m.) tells the story of a man who went to Occupy protests just to carry humorous signs but ended up believing in the cause. Thornton’s unscripted show (8:30 p.m.) blends comedic storytelling with original music to create a uniquely engaging performance every time. Find tickets and more information here.
Comedian Rajiv Satyal was born and bred in Cincinnati — Fairfield to be exact. He’s gone from being an intern on Capitol Hill to brand manager at Procter & Gamble to full-time comedian living in Los Angeles. Satyal has worked with Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim (the tool man) Allen, Kevin Nealon and Russell Peters. Heard of the University of Cincinnati’s Bearcast? He named the school’s radio station-turned-media group. He runs a consulting business called StandPoint Agency and is a regular at all the L.A. comedy clubs, but he got his start at Montgomery’s Go Bananas. Satyal’s unique way of viewing the world continually draws in more fans. He refers to himself as the funny Indian, but he’s really just a funny — and nice — dude from Ohio. Satyal performs his first one-man show No Man’s Land Saturday to a sold-out audience at the Aronoff Center, and he squeezed CityBeat into his schedule for a quick rundown of all things Rajiv.
CityBeat: Since you’re from Cincinnati I have to ask, what high school did you go to?
Rajiv Satyal: Totally fine, a very Cincinnati question, but I went to Fairfield High School and I got an undergrad at the University of Cincinnati in materials engineering.
CB: I read that you worked on Capitol Hill, what did you do there?
RS: I was at the University of Cincinnati at the time and I went out to Capitol Hill to be an intern for a representative, Steve Chabot. So I just worked in the office and it was for fun, I got to live in DC and explore that town and did whatever tasks around the office, but it was mostly getting the feel of Washington.
CB: Do you have a funny family or what sparked your interest in comedy?
RS: Actually I have two brothers and, well, two parents, and everybody has a sense of humor. It was a super fun household to grow up in. We were all pretty positively reinforced, we weren’t really a tough crowd, like, we definitely encouraged each other to say funny things and we laughed a lot. I know a lot of comedians’ families would be like, you know, “boo” or whatever when they told a joke and were a tough crowd, but we were a really good crowd for each other and just kind of encouraged each other to be funny. My brothers and I never really fought a lot growing up, which is so strange, but we all got a long and we had a good time.
(Check out Rajiv’s dad going Bollywood last Monday on The Bob & Tom Show here.)
CB: Does Cincinnati or growing up here inspire any of your stand-ups?
RS: Oh, definitely. I feel like growing up in Ohio, it made me kind of more of an everyman being able to relate to people in the heartland of the country and people who grew up on the coast. I think people on the coast have their own sensibility, but it’s hard to know what works inland. A lot of comedians are like hurricanes; they knock it out on the coast, but when they come inland they die. I feel like being from the Midwest gives me an advantage.
CB: What inspired you to pursue comedy seriously?
RS: When I turned 30 I really flipped out, I was like, ‘Man, I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and I need to do something different.’ So I left Procter & Gamble and moved to Los Angeles, I was a brand manager at P&G Water for only about 3 months and then I jumped shipped and went into it [comedy] full-time. I guess I felt like I really enjoyed speaking in front of people and I love being funny and those two things lend themselves well to being a famous comic, ya know.
CB: So basically just turning 30 did it for you?
RS: Yeah, I felt like life’s too short and, you know, why do something you don’t want to do? Why not go for it. I guess I thought when I turned 30 I felt like, “Man, I don’t want to turn 40 and watch TV and go, ‘Man I could have done that.’” I think given all the privileges, if I don’t try it…I’m born in the United States, I’m American, I have all these opportunities, it’s the land of opportunity, you got to self-actualize, man, go for it.
CB: How has your comedy evolved from where you first started to now?
RS: I would say that just getting deeper. As comedians do it longer and longer you start to go from jokes to more of a point of view. You start to realize what makes you funny. You have these weird beliefs and you stand out a little bit. You don’t really have to do jokes anymore, you just tell people what you think and they think it’s funny because they are like, ‘Wow, that’s a weird way to look at it.’ Being able to make people laugh at the way you look at the world, I think that’s kind of cool.
CB: Do you have any stories about opening up for or working with various comedians?
RS: I actually opened up Dave Chappelle’s very first show when he came back from Africa in 2005, so that was really cool. I had opened up for him at the University of Cincinnati in 2000 before I even started doing stand-up — I started doing stand-up in 2002. So people in the student senate and student government and programming board at UC were like, ‘Hey, you’re a funny guy, you’ve done a little bit of stand-up, would you want to do?’ So I opened for Dave Chappelle at UC and got booed off the stage in front of all these people. Then five years later I opened Dave Chappelle’s first show when he comes back from Africa and I did really well, I killed and it was really redeeming.
CB: Did he remember you from 2000?
RS: Yeah, he did actually, that’s what’s crazy about it — that he remembered that. It’s funny. He was really encouraging and complimentary. I talked to him for two hours by myself that night in 2005, after we were done, just he and I were in the room and for two hours we were just talking about politics and religion and the world…I know that he was happy that I stuck with it and everything.
CB: Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t worked with?
RS: I would like to work with Bill Burr. He is not an extremely well-known person, but he is a genius and he is from Boston. I think it would be awesome to work with Louis C. K., of course, he is like the biggest guy in comedy right now. I mean, I don’t know, I think Jerry Seinfeld would be pretty awesome. I love Ricky Gervais, I’m a big fan of Ricky Gervais, a guy from England. Chris Rock, I love Chris Rock. I actually met Chris Rock when he performed at Ohio State and I told him someday I am going to open for him and he goes, ‘That would be something man, you never know.’ So I have to make good of my promise. I told him one day I was going to open for him, so I better do.
CB: What kind of topics or themes can audiences expect from No Man’s Land?
RS: It’s mostly about dating and relationships. The central questions of the show are: Why am I single and how would you define manhood in modern society? So I’m a single, 38-year-old man out there trying to figure out the evolution of manhood and what does it mean now, how does the definition of manhood change and I try to define it. It’s not a show about men versus women, it’s a show about men versus guys.
CB: What do you miss most about living in Cincinnati?
RS: Well my family, obviously, my family and my friends. I have a really good friend who lives in Seattle, but he is thinking about moving back here and the only reason is his family; it’s not for the weather, it’s not for a better job and it’s not for anything else other than the fact that his family is here. I think family is a big thing.
CB: I feel like if I moved away I would miss three-ways too much.
RS: I do miss Cincinnati food. I love LaRosa’s, I love Graeters’, I love Skyline and I do love Cincinnati food. You know, there is something about the Midwest. The people are super nice and, you know, just walking down the street you can say hi and the person will say hi back or the person will initiate or whatever — that doesn’t really happen in L.A. as much, at all, and people are not as nearly as friendly as they are here.
CB: What advice do you have for people who are trying to break into the business?
RS: I think they should just start. They need to start…The Internet is such an opportunity to reach the people you want to reach. I think it’s possible more than ever to go down to the local comedy club and enter the open mic night and start. Get to know the people and get up and do it. Write material, start a group up that supports each other. It is difficult, but you know there is a way in. Comedy is more accessible than ever.
Get a glimpse of some of Satyal’s funny stuff here.