Tuesday, July 29, 2014

50 Shades of What?

Color me surprised! The runaway best seller "50 Shades of Grey" will soon be in theaters and they just released the trailer that lit up the Internet.

The book "50 Shades of Grey" was originally published in 2011 and was a world wide best seller. A world wide best seller, and I have not ever met a man that has read it. It was almost exclusively women that loved this book on the BDSM lifestyle.

For those of you that don't know, BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism. Those that are into it call it an "Alternate Lifestyle".

It's easier to tell your friends you're in an alternate lifestyle than describe to them what it actually means. If you are the least bit curious or looking to "spice up" your sex life you can find a list of BDSM terms on this Wikipedia page.

You will find some very interesting things on that list:

Figging: The practice of inserting a piece of ginger root into the anus or vagina.


Nose Torture: A traditionally Japanese form of BDSM often involving nose hooks.

Are you interested yet?

A big part of the BDSM community is the Master/Slave Dominant/Submissive lifestyle which is what the 50 Shades of Grey book is about. The people into that take it VERY seriously. In fact it's almost standard practice for the participants (both the dominant and submissive) to fill out a questionnaire and have a contract.

If you want some interesting reading here's a questionnaire (it's not family friendly) that I found out on the Internet. It includes questions like

Have you done, do you like?

Bondage - Suspension or Suspension Inverted
Bondage material - Chain, Leather, Rope, Saran Wrap, Scarves or Tape

I'm not going to get into the specifics, but if you'd like to have that "I had no clue" feeling, you should probably read the list.

So now that (if you're a man) you know (because the women already do) what "50 Shades of Grey" is about, I can get to what I'm really wondering about.

Women love this book. They read it cover to cover. They discuss it in groups. It's been all the rage since it came out. It's a ROMANCE novel! If you use this as a barometer, clearly, women LOVE the BDSM lifestyle.

Then why haven't I met one of them? I've been in plenty of relationships and been married more times than I like to mention (3) and NOT once has a woman asked me to stick a piece of Ginger Root in one of her orifices.

Why? Do I smell like vanilla?

It's not that I actually am interested in that kind of thing. Truthfully, I don't have the time. Plus, who is really having the fun? The guy holding onto the Ginger Root, or the person having it inserted into them?

It all just sound likes a lot of work to me.

I believe that many women would say that BDSM is sexy, just like they say they think men with a sense of humor are sexy. As many women as I've heard say that a sense of humor is sexy on a man; it's never helped me.

I'd like to think I have a good sense of humor. After all, I'm a professional. People pay me to be funny, but not once has a well placed joke gotten me into bed with a woman. It sense of humor didn't keep me out of divorce court either.

"50 Shades of Grey"? I think it's just 50 Shades of Lies ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Put A Ring On It

This past Saturday I announced on my Facebook page my engagement to my love Shannon. It was a long time coming and something that Shannon and I both have known was going happen.

To be truthful ... about 10 years ago I believed I would never be married again. I'd already been married 3 times. Most would consider me a 3 time loser. I prefer to think of myself as a serial monogamist. I've made the "till death do us part" promise 3 times. Each time the other person that made that very same promise decided not to keep it.

I worry about how bad 3 times looks. With my appearance, I'm sure people think that the women I was married to were getting beaten regularly and left me in fear for their life. Or that I am some sort of tyrant that wears a wife beater and expects to be waited on 24/7. That when my needs weren't met I viciously yell at whomever disappointed me. Or I was an alcoholic or drug user or even worse ... ( **gasp**) a registered Republican.

I can assure you that I am none of those things. I have a tendency to be quiet/withdrawn at times, I work way to much and I stress myself out. I will admit to being quirky. I say quirky because weird sounds worse.

Lucky for me, Shannon seems to like quirky.

My separation with wife number 3 was in September 1995. I dated a little bit in the beginning but actually went 7 years without going on a date. I didn't even have a friend with benefits.

By 2006 I had convinced myself that I would be living out the rest of my life by myself. I had made that decision on my own and was perfectly happy with it. There are a lot of benefits to living alone. Unfortunately most of them involve bad eating habits, poor housekeeping and bad hygiene.

Then came MySpace ...

I had gotten on MySpace because I was a comic and that's what comics did back then. I didn't get on it for a "hook up", even though that was all the rage back then. I just was looking to promote myself.

I was doing bad at it either. I was no Dane Cook but I was very happy with the progress I was making. I had over 4,000 friends and my blog was being read over a 1,000 times a day. It was a lot of fun.

Along with all that activity I actually had a few women that seemed to be interested in me. That was something that had never happened before. I even went out on a few dates; the no commitment kind!

Then I posted this picture which ultimately brought all that to a screeching halt.

That is me the day I took that bike home. Shannon had just started following me and saw that picture and left the following comment:

Where is my seat?

That started a conversation between us. One thing led to another and we started dating. Then Shannon moved from Denver to the town I lived in. From then on we have been a couple. We took our time getting to know each other and creating a really solid relationship.

I'm sure it hasn't been easy for Shannon. While I've never given her any doubt of my love for her I've gone through a couple low points since we met. She's never wavered in her commitment to me and our relationship.

She's truly the best woman I've ever known.

But even a patient woman has her limits, and she made those known to me last November. I was on my annual Northwest and Canada tour and had this phone conversation.

Shannon: Don't get me a Christmas present.

Me: It's too late, I've already gotten you one.

Shannon: Then take it back.

Me: I'm not going to do that.

Shannon: I don't want a present, I want a ring.

Me: Ring? What kind of ring?

Shannon: You know what kind of ring I'm talking about.

Me: No, I don't.
(Note: of course I did)

Shannon: A wedding ring.

Me: A wedding ring?

Shannon: A wedding ring, I want to get married.

Me: Well, I don't know.

Shannon: What?

Me: Well you're going to have to ask me again and be a lot nicer about it if you want me to say yes.

I think both of us had known for a long time that we were eventually going to be married. We had even talked about it but up to that point I was still a little afraid. I had finally found a great girl and didn't want to screw things up.

Up until that point I was happy to keep things as they were for fear that any change would bring with it some sort of problem between us. The last thing I ever wanted was anything to jeopardize what we had.

It was that conversation that helped me turn the corner. This is going to sound silly, but up until that moment I still had a fear of bringing up marriage. That conversation helped me pass my last bit of fear.

And now that we've made it official, I can't wait ...

Vilmos has been a standup comedian since 1992.
He created GreenRoomRadio.net a web site with Podcasts by comedians.
He is the host of The Green Room which is the longest running Podcast on standup comedy.
He also hosts The Mentorist v2 and The Spew.
His web site is Vilmos.com.
Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/vilmosthecomic or Twitter @vilmosthecomic.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cleaning Up

On the Green Room Radio blog I wrote an article on the importance of relationships in comedy. If you'd like, you can read it right here.

In the article, I make the point that there are certain relationships in comedy that are extremely important. Up to this point in my comedy career I really haven't followed my own advice, but that's about to change

I started out in a different time, and I didn't live in a place known for it's comedy roots ...

I remember sitting in the parking lot of what was then Jeff Valdez's Comedy Corner in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was in my 1989 Chevy Astro Van on a Sunday afternoon, in the fall of 1991. The Comedy Corner was a 50 minute drive from where I lived in Florence, Colorado.

I had found out every Sunday at 6:00p the Comedy Corner had a workshop for people who wanted to do standup comedy. It had taken me several weeks to get up the courage to go, and I had gotten there at around 4:15 PM. I knew that "getting up the courage" would not be enough for me to be able to just drive up, get out of the van and walk straight in.

As it turned out, that Sunday they had cancelled the workshop, so I sat in the van until 7:00 PM, when they officially opened the doors to the club for the regular Sunday night show. I meandered in about 7:30 PM and asked about the workshop. I was told it had been cancelled, but there would be another one next week.

I drove home disappointed and relieved, which ironically is a combination of feelings I would experience many more time over the course of my comedy career. The next Sunday I went again, early; the same as the week before and began my journey into standup comedy.

There were not any open mics in Colorado Spring, just the Comedy Corner. So I spent nearly 2 years doing guest sets there and at the 3 clubs in Denver before I started doing opening work. You'll notice I said "guest sets". That's because I worked nearly exclusively at comedy clubs. It was rare for me to do a show that was not in a comedy club. I hadn't done an open mic outside a comedy club until I had been working for years. I also rarely did an open mic at a club.

I didn't get to many open mics back then because I was able to work and I worked a lot. In the first couple years I worked nearly 40 weeks a year when I was doing opening work. It was ALL comedy clubs. Back then a week at a comedy club was 7 to 8 shows. When I wanted to work on material I just added a bit to the middle of my set and I drilled in on that one for the entire comedy week.

So a rough idea went into the act the first show of the week. By the end of the week that rough idea came out a finely polished piece of comedy. I didn't need to go to open mics ... or so I thought.

It wasn't that I felt I was too good for them. It was mostly a matter of logistics. When I came off the road I was a minimum of 50 miles from the closest comedy club and 100 from the rest. Even though these were the same places I drove to every week when I was an open mic'er; they were too far away. Back then I needed the stage time and that was my way getting it. I didn't really feel the need to find stage time when I was home because I was working so much. More importantly, back then there were visitations with my children and there was NO WAY I was going to miss time with them.

What that left me with was very little experience with the open mics. That puts me at a real disadvantage now. If I am going to make the kind of wholesale changes I'd like to in my act; I am going to have to get used to them and learn how to work in them.

I've already taken my first steps. Last Friday I did the open mic at Mason City Limits and (with the exception of my closer) did nothing but new materials in a different style. Two days ago, I did an open mic in Rock Island, Illinois.

Not only is the stage time important; it's also extremely important for me to get to know the local comedians. I'm hoping to make some friends and become a real part a comedy community.

The truth is, I feel like I'm starting over. It's exciting and nerve-wracking. Just like the first time I did it ...

Vilmos has been a standup comedian since 1992.
He created GreenRoomRadio.net a web site with Podcasts by comedians.
He is the host of The Green Room which is the longest running Podcast on standup comedy.
He also hosts The Mentorist v2 and The Spew.
His web site is Vilmos.com.
Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/vilmosthecomic or Twitter @vilmosthecomic.