Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tour Journal - Edinburgh
Day 16ish

Last Friday (a few days ago) I went to the Assembly Room to watch the Scotsman's Fringe First awards. I didn't really gather what they were about or how to get one, but I think it was pretty clear that they weren't given to comedy shows. Most of the winners were play related theater-y things. But there was free coffee and juice and biscuits, which I think is how the brits say cookies.

A friend David Calvitto won an award for his play.

Saturday was a rainy blur that I spent most of indoors, hiding from the relentless wet curtain.

On Sunday we were invited for brunch with a coupla New York pals, Stacy Meyer and her sweet boyfriend who cooked us all a 3 or 4 course breakfast, and my good buddy Mike I was there as well, a long time friend and the man who built my kick ass axe out of garbage remnants.

Stacy is doing a show here called "Funeralogues", a neat concept comedy show that "takes place at a funeral". She plays different characters and talks about death, funerals and her character's obsession with both. It was a really neat idea and was executed well. Mike I was in the show as the musician who plays piano / guitar at the funeral, and had some really funny moments. The show takes place in an old church or mosque or something so it looks really funeral-y, and there's even a real casket in the show. It's at C3 venue on the Royal Mile, around 7:20 PM every night, and is definitely worth seeing. She had a nice sized audience, too, so get your tickets in advance or you may be standing.

While we were hanging out at her place, I got a phone call from the BBC inviting me to perform on a radio show called "Broadcast House" - they were looking for a sassy American to stick up for America. So they basically threw a series of topics at me like "chocolate" and "washing machines" and I was supposed to say that America's were better. It wasn't too hard, most of the things they mentioned, we are better at. But chocolate was a stretch. They have some damn good chocolate here.

After the radio show, I was chatting with the desk clerk James, and Shappi Khorsandi, a british comedian who was also there, and James impressed Shappi and I with his kick ass card trick where he could basically toss a card very fast through the air so that it kind of hovered. It was pretty impressive.

We both tried too, but failed miserably.

Later in the afternoon, Ben, Mike, our pal Rupert and I went to see a show which got a 5 star rating! It was called "something y something, i can't remember what it was called now" but the highlight of the show for Ben, Mike and I was Jay Foreman, a guitarist who's mannerisms and songs on stage were totally endearing and terrific. He was like a slightly more twisted Beatle.

On Monday, a lot of performers decided to take the day off to relax and see some shows that they wouldn't see because their shows conflicted with them. One of these was Vicki Ferentino's Lady Bug Warrior. It was a great little show about Vicki's life. She was very crafty, she sewed all the funny, ridiculous costumes, and made the backdrop herself. Her asides and quips were funny, and the characters she did, while really sort of slight bastardizations of the "her" character, were insightful, and it worked well. I was inspired by her show and left feeling akin to Vicki.

After Vicki's show, I had to zip off to my own show, which was packed, standing room only as it has been every single night. It was a terrific show and I was very glad to have a new photographer pal, Alex Todd there, taking photos of me during the show. You can click the link below to see those and some other photos taken by Alex of the Fringe Festival.

Pictures taken by Alex Todd of me and others from Edinburgh Fringe Fest

To top off the evening, Mike Amato, Alex Todd and I scaled the tall hill to the Assembly Hall venue to attend a preview of a comedy film called "Peacock Season" which was made in Edinburgh last year about the Edinburgh Festival. It was a very funny and insightful full length feature film about an unwitting man who sort of accidentally falls into being a comedian and presenting his show at Edinburgh Fringe Fest. His wife (ventriloquist comedian Nina Conti) ends up cheating on him with a comedian played by the terrific Glenn Wool, his utter shit show somehow becomes nominated for the top comedy award and he lives it up, in spite of his misery. There are tons of cameos of comedians and people we know in it, and it was full of really funny and insightful points, especially if you're a comedian, if you're a performer, if you've ever been to the Fringe Festival, or if you've got one funny bone in your body.

The guys who made the film, for less (comedian Adam Hill quipped in his intro) than it cost to pay for the bracelets we were all given to get in to see the preview


The audience stands to cheer and congratulate the fellas on a job well done

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last Night's Late Adventures

I met a coupla peeps on the Royal Mile in my targeted flyering efforts (that is where I scan the crowd and use my instincts and nearly flawless sense of character judgment to pick people who I think would actually enjoy my show instead of just handing them out to families and grumps) and they invited me back to their hang to perform in a show at a Himalayan enclave with live music and tasty homemade food which was free for performers, such as me.

It was a very warm, fuzzy, friendly environment.

Everyone was really nice and chatty and I made some new friends.

The other acts were really talented and interesting people. And it's right across the street from my house. Bonus!

Last night was the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, so a few brave souls met at our flat and plied ourselves with alcohol and warm layers in preparation to scale the massive Arthur's Peak together.

The plan was to view some meteors (shooting stars) and then watch the sunrise at 5:40 am. Around 3 am, a dedicated handful of us ate a hearty meal of grilled cheese & tomato sandwiches, soup and tea and wine and beer and then started getting sleepy, so we decided it was then or never. Grabbing a few last minute supplies (bottle of wine, candle, lighter) we began our ascent. Mike "I" who designated himself as the tour guide kept a very fast pace that left most of us panting and asking him to slow down, as we all stumble-climbed the very steep northern facing staircase of rocks in the complete pitch black darkness.

Before long, we were at the crevasse and atop the mighty hill. There were a friendly, young german couple already there, hanging out in the dark, alone.

We pitched a little area and I laid down a straw mat I carried up so that I didn't have to lay directly on the dirt. Passing around a bottle of wine and lighting our little candle light source, we joked around, froze in the relentless cold wind and saw at least 4 shooting stars. I didn't make even a wish on one, I'm realizing now! Damn.

After about an hour, our friends Matt and Amy showed up with breakfast -- vodka and pineapple juice -- just in time to see the sun rise. We took photos and then made our merry way back down to more level ground.

I'm so glad I got to do this!

Ben, Mike and I contemplated a press scheme in which "3 Americans hike to the top of Arthur's Peak and go missing" but got lazy and just came home and went to sleep instead.

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Yes, I'm wearing a "garbage bag" in this photo. I got made fun of relentlessly for wearing a poncho but I had the last laugh as my friends froze their sassy asses off while the wind bounced off my plastic. At one point, they even tried to cuddle up to me for body heat! Ha! (<-- last laugh)

Our mission is complete!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This is going back in time a bit, but here are some photos from a great show I did in London called Offline. I met Mike a few years ago when he did his show at Brixton Jamm and every time I go back to London I do his show.

Jena was supposed to be in the show but she got booked to do a spot at The Comedy Store and so of course, she couldn't say no.

This poster makes my eyes look fat.

The shows are going well and I'm excited to see what happens tonight. Every night is a mystery, a challenge and a dream, all mixed into one. Whether it's a good or a bad dream depends on the night, the amount of alcohol involved and my attitude, which is as varied as the flavors of crisps in this country -- salt and bacon, chicken and chives, steak and tomatoes -- ok so maybe those aren't actual flavors but they're not far off.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Well, I'm not gonna really get into it -- just take a look for yourself.
Photographer Adam Levy was there to capture it all on film. The show was good last night, standing room only. The show tonight wasn't as packed but it was higher energy and the crowd was having more fun, I think, even with the technical difficulties. And there was a radio interviewer lady who said she wanted to interview me tomorrow when she was more sober. And I sold two pairs of "pants"! (That's what the brits call underwear / knickers / panties.)

In total tonight, I performed at 5 venues in 5 different shows. I performed on variety shows at The Voodoo Room which is a gorgeous venue, with ornate walls, ceilings and lovely velvet chairs, the Counting House which I like very much though it's really hot in there, my show at Jekyll & Hyde, and then afterwards I performed in The Cave or something, in some guy's show I met on the Royal Mile, and then finally I ended up on Todd Womack's show -- an old Good Morning America "Make Us Laugh All Night Long" competition alumni.

On my way home I was feeling a little lonely and exhausted and hungry so I made the most pathetic purchase of my life -- a fucking chip wich. In America, a chip wich is one of those yummy ice cream sandwiches between two cookies. But here, it's a pita bread stuffed with french fries. I. am. disgusting. But god damn, it was good.

OK, sure, some days are better than others, and today is starting out ok. I woke up to the sun shining through my oversized window overlooking the mountains and birds chirping and I sit in a lovely coffee getting place with THE fabulous Ben Lerman. But really, sometimes this business gets to a person, and there's no going around that.

Yesterday started out really lovely. I took a bike ride alone to the top of the mountain and took a few photos. A peace really fills ya up when you look down on a scene like this and there's not one person around you in either direction for who knows how far. It's nice to be alone sometimes. It's like this scene was waiting just for me to look at it!

Thanks, Mama Nature and the people who built stuff, too

I went to see Ben's show last night which was great. It's at 91 Montgomery St. at Cafe Renroc (it's "corner" backwards) and it's FREE, at 7:30 PM. Go SEE it. It's FREE but it shouldn't be.

On my way to my show, I stumbled upon YET MORE PROOF that the brits are just fucking innately hilarious!! It's like they have a really fun person who writes all their street signs. I love him or her.

I performed last night to a just about packed house. There were no seats and people were standing in the back. I suppose that more people could have fit in standing, but that wouldn't have been fun for them. The show went better than opening night, which I didn't think was bad, necessarily, just sort of still fresh and raw. I think I'm sort of developing it as we go which I don't think is ideal, especially not when reviewers are lurking around, looking for things to pull apart, but I am still confident that it's a quality show.

After my show, a group of adorable and fun people accosted me, bought me beer, took Ben and my photo and were really sweet and encouraging! I love them. They are my new friends. Ben and I rode our bikes over to see a show called "Le Petit Mort" (I don't think I'm spelling that right) at Counting House. I liked it very much -- it was a simple but nice show that consisted of a pretty girl singing sexy cabaret numbers and discussing the background history of orgasms, sex and ya know, dirty stuff like that.

She sings!

The accompanist plays!

After her show we went to Gilded Balloon and met up with some old friends and met some new friends and drank and stuff, wandering in around 3 am.

It was a good day and a good night, and today has been fine, too. But I'm kind of home sick, I have to admit. And though the shows are really great and it all feels okay, I know that there are thousands of others out there like me, and I'm one person in a sea of people, many of whom are richer, prettier, better connected, etc. It gets to a person now and again if ya stop to think about it. I try not to, but this business I've chosen is seriously the hardest and at times most unrewarding career on the planet. However, when it's good, it's unbelievable.

Friday, August 7, 2009


...makes The List's TOP 5 FREE FRINGE shows to see!

But if anyone wants my opinion, here are my top 5
free fringe recommendations, thus far:

Jessica Delfino (of course)
Ben Lerman
Mike Amato
Carolyn Castiglia
I reserve the right to update this spot next week once I've seen some shows.

See ya tonite! 9:55 PM, Jekyll & Hyde, 112 Hanover St. Edinburgh, Scotland!

Thursday, August 6, 2009



Every day waking up in this apartment is so terrific. My two roomies, Ben and Mike, in addition to being swell fellas and hilarious bastards, make for truly enjoyable morning interactions. That's important -- not all friends are good for morning interaction, TRUST ME.

Just about every morning Ben gets up and cooks "pudding" which is actually oatmeal, and puts fruit cake chunks in it. I think he thought he was buying raisins, but instead he bought little hard green and orange chunks that make me want to barf up his nice gesture. Along with some nice orange slices or a hard boiled egg and tea, we've got ourselves a healthy way to start this bee-yotch RIGHT. I also take a multi-vitamin every day (they pronounce it v(lowercase i)t-a-min) because I gotta keep this machine well oiled. It makes me not feel so guilty about all the "chips" (fries) I've been eating.

I also like to go for nice bike rides on the new fluorescent day glo orange bike I bought. It's sort of a piece of junk, but it gets me from point a to point b relatively smoothly. I bought it off a nice junk shop fella who tries to kiss me and get me to have tea every time I walk by. It was 35 pounds which was kind of a lot, but I'm sooooo glad to have a bike here. It makes my life so much easier. I'm about 2 miles away from my venue, and I am also getting a nice work out every day. Ben and a few of my other friends have bikes too, so we take little bike excursions and ride around the city together.

You can even ride your bike to the top of the hill, the mound, or Arthur's Seat, which ever you prefer to call it. It's a rough work out and left me super winded, but it feels really good coming down and it's simply gorrrr-geous at the top.

More proof that the brits are innately naturally hysterical:

Tonight I was lucky enough to go to the opening press party at Guilded Balloon, one of the big fancy venues here at Edinburgh. So far, I've been to the Assembly, Hullaballoo and Udderbelly parties, and though those were all lots of fun as well with free drinks, free food and great shows, the Guilded Balloon was really the best, and I'd be lying if I said otherwise. The food was the best with tons of plates of vegetarian treats being ushered around by friendly folks dressed like grooms, the drinks were the best with lots of glasses of nice red wine and trays of mojitos with fresh mint, and the show was the best with great comedians, aerialists, musicians and even the chippendales!

My new pal Felicity Ward who I met in London after Reggie's show one night was in the Guilded Balloon preview show, and she nailed it! A feminist leaning Aussie with a guitar and a smart mouth, she's my kind of gal.

The comedians were almost all good, but the aerialists really had me in awe. I love gymnasts. It's what I would have been in another life.

Ooooh! Aaaaah!

Those people appear to be pretty comfortable hanging and spinning on objects that are suspended from rods that were just tossed up there a few days ago by brutes who are probably making minimum wage.

The other thing that had me in awe was the amount of free alcohol in buckets the ushers supplied to the audience. Every time I turned my head someone was shoving a Heinekin or a glass of wine in my face, and my face was opening up and accepting it with delight. I was going to stick around and catch Janeane Garofalo's show, but it was running late and I had to zip off to the opening night of my show!

Here I am in a lovely, classy little number, stopping just long enough to have my picture snapped.

I got to the venue early and sat on the stairs, going over my show and getting mentally prepared, when I felt a heavy splat on my script and purse. I looked closer to see two serious piles of bird shit. I couldn't believe it! I'd been shat on just moments before I was supposed to go on stage! A comedian friend standing near by commented on what good luck it was to get shit on by a bird, but I don't buy it. It's obviously bad luck, because a BIRD just SHIT on you. Of all the places the shit could have landed, it landed on ME. That is BAD LUCK. However, I should be happy, because one inch over and it would have landed on my pretty black dress, or on my FACE, and then I would have had to stop being a vegetarian and teach that beast a lesson.

I was really happy with the way my first night went. I had an audience, which was comforting! There was one guy who was heckling me through out the show but I gave him the what for and made him my bitch. At one point, the audience even applauded my return heckles. Ha! Take that, buster brown!

A friend in the audience shared some feedback from the show which gave me some ideas and I hope the shows will just get better and better.

I was feeling a little sad after my show for some reason. I think it was because I couldn't find my friends or the venue that Mike's show was at, and some things my friend had said in his feedback session had left me feeling a little reflective. I was riding around trying to find Mike's show, asking people for directions, and as usual, no one had any freaking idea where anything was or how to get anywhere. I swear. I have no idea how british people ever get anywhere at all. No one seems to know where anything is. As I was asking the 9th or 10th person where the Edinburgh Football Club is (that's where Mike's show is), I fell like a log off my bike. It was unbelievable. I just tumbled right off of it and onto the ground. And no one helped me up! There were 7 or 8 guys standing there and not one offered me a hand. Finally, a guy came over and was like, "Are you alright?" And I was like, "I'd be a hell of a lot better if instead of standing there with your thumb up your ass you helped me up." I didn't really say that, I sprung to my feet like a ballerina who was just tricking them all, and said, "Ya! I'm great! I'm fine!" I then promptly went around the corner, holding back tears, and inspected my wounds, which were pretty minor for how hard I'd fallen on that crazy hard Scotch concrete. I was not feeling too friendly and was sort of humiliated, so when a beggar came over asking me for change, he only got about three words into his pitch when he got a look at the expression on my face and said, "I'll just be on me way."

Tomorrow is Friday, that's party day. Hopefully no bird shits or no bike falls will be had.


Do not miss this historic event where Jessica Delfino performs her one-woman variety
show that is NOT ALL ABOUT her VAGINA!!!

I WANNA BE FAMOUS is a show that involves stories, comedy, music, anecdotes, jokes
and a tale that begins with Madonna on MTV in the 80s and ends with me on stage,
doing what I love. I WANNA BE FAMOUS discusses why so many people want to be famous?
What they will do to get fame? Part sociological science report, part entertainment adventure, this show
will help you understand a few things about me, the world around you, and the foibles of fame.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I've been "on the road" now for 20 days -- nearly a month it's been, since I left my comfy Lower East Side digs to travel to foreign international cities and take them by storm.

And what a storm it's been.

It rains nearly every day here in the UK -- most London mornings begin with a light pissing of rain and the sun is out by the time I wake up, around noon. JK. Or am I?

In Scotland, a creepy, dark, overcast cornflower blue takes over the top half of the world and I'm left to wonder -- will it rain? Shall it? Until it either does, with enthusiasm, or the sun bursts out and says, "Ha! Tricked you again, ya stupid American!"

Yesterday was my second day in Edinburgh, my first full day, technically. I arrived from the train to meet my flat wranglers who held a sign with my name written on it which made me feel totally famous. They then carried my suitcases for me, even though I insisted I could do it myself, and then we took a ride in a beautiful little Audi with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car.

Upon arriving at the flat, my mouth dropped open. This is by far one of the most luxurious places I've stayed in while on tour, or really ever.

Here are a few pixxies -- though they really don't do it justice how amazing this place is.

This place is literally littered with skylights, if litter went on the ceiling instead of the floor.The ladder is metaphorical, going up towards heaven, but leading to nowhere.

This is the view out every window in the house. Arthur's Seat is a small mountain-ette that got it's name from a giant who would go sit on it to think, so it's sort of toilet-esque, but much prettier.

Boring but lovely, our kitchen area is vast and there is one Italian and one Jew in the household, both delightfully miserable in their own ways, so needless to say, this area will be getting a lot of use, and is already a popular household hot spot.

It's still quiet here in Edinburgh, as the festival doesn't technically begin until the 5th or 6th of August. But once it does, the city will swell and overflow with folks from all over the world, here to either find something or lose something, mostly.

Edinbrurgh is a really gorgeous city with all kinds of lovely sights to look at. Well, here are two, now!

The Assembly Rooms is an old churchy, magnificent looking building, high on top of a hill (and a large staircase, shown here) where they have shows.

The castle is their version of the Empire State Building.

This is an example of whyI so very much love the UK. This is a news item that was on the front page of the London Evening Standard website, a main stream public news source. Take that, America, ya bunch of uptight old Puritanical doo doo faces who won't let me sing my sassy-yet-revered songs on TV!

By the way, which do y'all prefer -- morning or nighttime, yourselves? (That's a reference to the above item, must click on above link to understand!)

My show starts THIS THURSDAY. All the information is to the right. Many of the shows in the festival are 5 - 15 pounds a ticket or more. That is at least one good reason to come and see my awesome FREE show.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


This review on drownedinsound.com of my performance at Latitude Festival is bitter-sweet, as it side-by-side, disses a famous American comedian who I respect and admire, yet it says some really flattering, nice things about me. I just took out the whole opening part about the other comedian, because a) I find the comedian to be great -- seen comedian about 4 times now in NYC and loved every set and b) I think they are a little harsher than they need to be. But to set it up, they kinda talk shit on said comedian for about 6 sentences (nothing too harsh, though, really) and then go into this part:

At least there was one US comedienne who knew how to keep a tent full of grubby individuals entertained: Jessica Delfino’s sickly-sweet psycho-bitch persona was a treat, and she even managed the rare feat of singing comedy songs that were actually funny. Expect to hear a lot more from her.

Read the whole entire detailed, extended review (it's really long) of the Edinburgh Fringe Fest, including a review of Jeffrey Lewis HERE.

I'm on the train to Edinburgh and there's WIFI on the train -- how fancy! I'm flying through the countryside and still able to check my Facebook account. Yessss! More to come later.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Last night in London + the return of comments!

Every so often one bad apple ruins it for the whole fruit bowl and I have to dismantle my comments. But I can't take them down forever, I feel disconnected, and that is a feeling that is akin to rocks in my socks, or some other rhyming concern.

So, write something funny, insightful, positive, and interesting -- I know you've got it in you.

This is my last night in London and I'm up way too late. My sleep schedule has been off ever since I got here. I usually stay up very late, I'm a late-y late night owl thanks to my family who were also late night people, often up into the wee hours, watching movies or stand up comedy and drinking tea and playing rummy and painting. (<-- acknowledgment of run-on sentence)

I'm sleeping at a friend's house named Tom Webb who has become a bosom buddy here in London. A gracious host and friend, I'm very lucky and glad to have met him. Again, my UK friends have been extremely watchful and caring of me and I'm kinda homesick and disoriented and lost half the time and can't figure out how to use simple things I took for granted at home, like my UK phone or public transportation, and it's nice to have good people who care nearby.

Jena is gone now, and it's sad. We were looking after each other -- whether we were running like scared puppies down rape alley together, or trying to calm irate cabbies, we had each other's backs. She's in Florence now, filming a feature film, and that is amazingly exciting. And on Monday, I'll be meeting up with Ben Lerman and Mike Amato, two good pals and two of the finest comedians I could ever wish to board for 3 weeks with.

Tom and his buddy on the tube, while some stranger girl stands in the background

I really miss my home and my bed, my friends and my cat, my zen garden and my firm mattress, my strange glass window bubble art and my odd wrought iron patio gate, my robin's egg blue walls and my often broken and food-odored elevator, my little wooden desk and my sweeping view of the lower east side. I always wanted to tour and travel and be in different cities and countries and here I am, doing it. It's amazing that I've made a living off writing songs, many about vaginas, and other things that scare people.

It's really late and I shouldn't even be awake, but I can't bring myself to just close my eyes and pass out.

Tomorrow I will be in another country and I'm looking forward to all the adventures that will take place there.

I have to take a train 5 hours tomorrow...uhhhghghhh...I forgot to pack my essential oils that I can sniff whenever I smell something offensive on public transportation. Speaking of smelling something offensive, a woman's perfume on the train was so noxious today that I actually had to get up and move to the far end of the car. I don't understand how she could have even sat next to herself. Ladies -- you don't have to do that to yourself or others. I think Rose scented witch hazel or oil is the most beautiful smell ever. And it isn't tested on furry critters, which is nice. I don't mean to be all bleeding lefty but seriously, have you ever SEEN those animal testing videos? Holy what-the-fuck. I don't understand how anyone could willingly, knowingly use anything by anyone who tortures a creature the way those animals are tortured.

Speaking of tortured animals, tonight I did an all gay man show called Duckie in Battersea. It was awesome. The gays love me. And I love the gays. Besides me, there were two whirling twirling ladies called The Bees Knees who were adorable and terrific. They reminded me of the O'Debra Twins from back in the day.

They came out onto the stage dressed as sailor girls and danced around for a bit, and then they ducked behind these tall babushka decorated tubes, and seconds later, magically popped out in different outfits and continued dancing. I still don't know how they did that quick change. It was impressive.


OK, I'm going to try to get one hour's sleep before I have to go. It's been fun hanging out in London. I might even miss it a little bit.