Sunday, November 7, 2004

Hi. My name is Jessica Delfino. I'd like to tell you something.
by Jessica Delfino

Well, everyone, if you're anything like me, you're less than two years away from 30 and you've stood by helplessly as plan after plan fell through your fingertips clunkily before shattering into a million bits and pieces at your foottips.

Not that I'm complaining. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason, you know? And sometimes plans get ruined for reasons. And sometimes they don't get ruined at all, but blossom into picnics and large, unexpected gifts.

I have been working for about three years in New York City as a performer and I have experienced some very intense ups and downs, as any performer in NYC surely has. But I feel like I worked extra hard. I went out almost every night (and still do) to get on stage. I'd aim for three spots a night, back when I was more depressed, but now if I do one that's satisfying enough. My peers at the comedy clubs were mostly all catty and self-righteous, judgmental and brutal in child-like ways. My own boyfriend, also a stand up comic, even would snub me. He would refuse to be seen with me at clubs!!! For a LONG time! (Until some of his idols told him they thought I was funny.)

For the first two years of doing stand-up, I mostly flailed around, telling lame jokes that weren't necessarily funny, but were at least different-ish. And sometimes, even funny. Usually sort of accidentally. About a year ago, I started playing my guitar in my act and it was like someone turned on a light switch as far as how it felt and how audiences responded. Suddenly, all the same dark jokes I was telling before that would make people cringe and treat me like I had hepatitis all of a sudden worked. Was it the music behind it? I don't know. What is the point of this all? Well, I'll tell you.

I now know what I want to do, which before, I kind of didn't. I thought maybe I wanted to just be on stage, or maybe I just wanted to swear loudly in the middle of a room into a microphone, or embarrass my parents - who knows? Now, I think I've got it. I've been giving this a lot of thought and - I realize that I am in a pretty happy state mostly, right now, and why is that? It's because I have become finacially unburdened. My boss just got a new building and he is going to let me stay there while construction is going on (the building is getting gutted) and then he is going to kick me out next year when he moves in. But it won't matter that I won't have a place to live when he kicks me out, because by then I plan to be a millionaire. So, no rent for the next few months, at least. What a load off my shoulders! I feel totally free to be able to create, because I don't have one of the huge, simple stupid stresses of the world fettering me anymore, for the time being, anyway.

I realize that money isn't the key to hapiness as so many people think it is, and it so obviously appears to solve problems, but it's the lack of the necessity of money that is the key to hapiness. Money just buys more problems.

I do plan to be a millionaire within the next few years, I'll explain more about that another time, but I only want 4 million. Why? Because I believe that I can live off the interest of that money and live comfortably for the rest of my life. I won't be buying Porsches and Jetskis, but I don't need them. I will send my sisters to college and plant some trees, stuff like that.

I just read this and it seems kind of lame, but I guess if you take anything away from this, let it be that I am happy right now. I've had a lot of readers complain that I complain too much and feel too sorry for myself, so this should make those readers feel pleased.

I sent this e-mail out a few days ago to all the press people I know. If you are a press person or if you know a press person and you want to help me in the simplest but potentially effective way that a person could help someone, please copy it and forward it to someone you know who works in the press, at a record label, at a venue, at a place that plans parties or events, or somewhere else. No matter what state or country you live in. Operation Delfino kicks it up a notch has now officially begun. Another easy way you could help would be to simply come to a show. If you enjoy it, you win, if you don't, you and your friends can make fun of me. So, either way, you win.

I realize that I have to take advantage of this time while I am unbothered financially, and I'm asking for your help.

Last night, this lady said, "You were great! You will be famous someday!" I said, "I better be, I've got a lot of debt." I wasn't lying.



As it said in the subject line, my name is Jessica Delfino, and I'd like to tell you something. (about me.) I am a filthy stand-up comedian and I also sing dirty folk rock; mostly somewhat vulgar songs that are, as Backstage put it, "hilariously ribald" - as The Onion put it, "a cross between Redd Foxx and Jewel" - and some girl also called one of my songs, "The most troubling song she'd ever heard." (Lullabye)

I have had a long and troubling life, starting with birth, and the easiest way for me to deal with the delicacies of constant dilemma and heartbreak is to write songs and jokes that are dark and perverse, glittering with a silver lining, if you will, even if that silver lining is not real silver, but maybe fake silver, or maybe even lead. It's still shiny, right?

So, with that information, I invite you if you've never seen or heard me perform before, to come to one of my following shows. I was called "the comedic discovery of June" by Comedy Central, and I also just won the Carnival Cruise Challenge (out of 75 competitors) - the prize being a paid eight day cruise where I get to perform! Imagine! Me! All perverse, Redd Fox-y, and ribald, performing on a cruise SHIP! Funny! Interesting also, as one Mr. Jeff Singer, who books an "alternative" comedy show in NYC refused to book me, citing me as "too alternative".

But, that is a bridge burning for another time, friends! On with the show information! Let's get this fire cooking with hairspray!

You might be confused as to why I'm just so boldly sending this email out to you. I'll tell you why - because I'm a guerilla performer on a guerilla mission. My main goal is to make 4 million dollars by the time I'm 32, squeeze out a fat baby or so, and write a book a year until my fingers fall off, living completely off my 4 million's interest and some of the actual dollars, too, so I can spend my days inventing strange, odd inventions, writing songs and making lots of art. The comedy clubs in NYC are the best way to get seen, but many comedy clubs won't book me because they think I'm too main stream, or not mainstream enough - I'm too alternative or too dirty, or not alternative enough - so I have to rely on odd performance spaces, 'alternative' performance spaces such as the Bowery Poetry Club or Dixon Place or The Sidewalk. They are great spaces to perform in, but don't have the clout that Caroline's or the Comedy Cellar might get.

I don't have an agent, I don't have a manager, I don't have a publicist, I don't have a trusted friend in the industry, and none of my relatives own real estate or are friends with any celebrity athletes or businessmen. I'm alone in this city, and I'm doing the best I can to not be broke and starve to death. So far, it's been an uphill battle but there are little pots of magic here and there, like getting invited to audition for the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival without even sending in a tape, though I don't perform at any of the comedy clubs, or getting invited to audition for a FUSE VJ position, though I don't have an agent or rep. Or, having Wil Wheaton link his blog to mine and call my blog "one of the funniest blogs I've ever read" though I don't know Wil Wheaton and have never met him (however, I did make out with his poster on several occasions as a budding pre-teen.)

So, what I am hoping is that if you haven't ever seen me perform, you'll come and see me, and if you like my stuff, you'll help my guerilla cause by listing interesting sounding shows that I send to you, by telling friends to come see me if you think they'd like me, by asking me some questions that I can answer in a way that comes across as effortless and hilarious on my part, and et cetera. If you hate me, feel free to write about that, too. I'm not afraid of the mean things that might come out of your mouth. I bet I can be meaner. You can't hurt me. I was abused as a child. But then, weren't we all?

Jessica Delfino
(free mp3 at site!)


TONITE!!! at the Sidewalk (6th St. & Ave A)
Dan Fishback's birthday show
7:30 Jessica Delfino
8 Rachel Schukert
8:30 Double Deuce (Toby Goodshank and sister!!!)
9:30 Jason Rabinowitz
10:30 Dan Fishback
FREE and they have good food, too.

Village Lantern (Bleecker and Sullivan)
Sat, November 6th - 9 PM to 10:30 PM
This is a sketch and stand-up show that is being put together by Diane O'Debra, one half of the smart, twisted comedic duo the O'Debra Twins. They are so funny and cute! And Diane is terrific. I'll be performing on this show. I think it's $5.

30 Mott St.
Saturday, November 13th
This show is so strange - it's run totally by asians. It's a super professional show and it is a little on the corny side, but a tight ship, they run! I will be performing. I think it's $5. It's always packed, and takes place in a cozy basement space.

Saturday, November 13th at Collective Unconscious in Tribeca 10 PM
($5 I think?)
Starring the O'Debra's, Liz Maher (hilarious and smart), Christine (bizarre character comedian - really brilliant and bright), and me. Johanna Buccola was supposed to perform on the show too, but she moved back to Washington because she hates NYC now.

Wed. November 17th, UCB Theater
Hosted by Roger Hailes
I'll be performing on this show.

So, that's it for now for November. Thanks for your help/time/pity/feelings of confusion.


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