Headlining

OBSRVTNS: June 20th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!  I'm off the ball.  I just got back from NYC where I did a bunch of shows and managed to get up at The Stand which is one of my favorite comedy clubs in New York.  Shit was fun.  Then I went down to North Carolina and got to visit the site of the Lost Colony, which as a history buff was an amazing experience.  Some place just have a powerful feeling when you're in them, they carry a kind of energy and you carry your own energy to them.

I landed in LA and had to immediately go to host Cobra Juice the variety show I do monthly out of the Steve Allen Theater.  The show went amazing and Kyle Kinane read my email for a bit.  If you're in the L.A. area you should definitely come check out the shows.  The next one is July 23rd.  Guy Branum is headlining and Louis Virtel is reading my fanmail.

I also headlined in the Belly Room at the comedy store.  It was my first time doing a 20 minute set and it went really well.  I was competing with a sports game on the television and Father's Day, so the place was empty, but I was able to really work out the set.  I was happy.

I was going to take a moment off and get to the other business that needs to be gotten to....Richard Avery is retiring and I'm finding a new home for my site.  The podcast is going to be recorded out of the Comedy Store in the future and it's going to be just me flying solo with my guests, but every bird has to leave the nest eventually.

Louis Virtel:

This week's guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is Louis Virtel.  Louis is a writer and pop culture commentator all over the web.  I met him when I was doing the live storytelling show RISK! this last Saturday.  He told an amazing story about a gay orgy and I just had to have him on.

XOXO

Sovvy.

At Light Fucking Speed

OBSRVTNS: June 13th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!  This week's update is coming to you a little late.  I'm traveling.   At light fucking speed I think.  I don't know where the time goes, but the days bleed into each other lately.  I'm just always moving, always fighting against some deadline.  I'm sure it will catch up to me eventually, but right now, weeee!  I miss my redlight therapy bed, that shit does something to my mood.  Makes it right.  I'm currently in NYC doing a bunch of comedy spots around town and getting interviewed for the SDR podcast.  Then I'm heading to Roanoke Island to visit the site of the Lost Colony and take something like a vacation for a few days, do something purely because I'm interested in it.

I've been thinking a lot about the future, this comedy stuff is getting serious.  A lot of changes going on internally and externally.  More later on all that.  In the meantime I have some shows coming up this week that you should come check out.

June 13, 8pm Lumos

June 17, 9pm Cobra Juice Variety Show, Steve Allen Theater/Trepany House

June 18, 8pm RISK!, Bootleg Theater

June 19, 8pm Candy, The Comedy Store, Belly Room

Tyler Knight!

One of my favorite people in the world is my guest this week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (subscribe on itunes!).  Author, marathon man, and adult perfomer Tyler Knight sat down with me to talk about the writing process, how he went from being a model, to a stock broker, to an adult performer to an ultramarathon runner who's memoir Burn My Shadow is coming out in October through Rare Bird Lit.  He is one of the best people I've ever met.  I will always be in love with him, and you will too.

 

It Goes To Netflix

OBSRVTNS: June 6th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

The month of May really blew right by me.  I still can't believe that we're already in June.  the second week of June!  Where does the time go?  It goes to Netflix.  That's where it goes.  It goes to fear, to paralysis, to worry about the future, to distraction, to compulsions.  I'm trying to learn to manage those things instead of trying to banish them for good only to become disappointed with myself when I slip.  I tend to use slips as an excuse to slide down into a rabbit hole of avoidant behavior.  Stuff like spending two hours a day at the gym or six hours binge watching Lady Dynamite.

I'm trying to take a social media break for a bit, to make it less of a tyrant in my life.  Limiting myself to an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.  I'm going to brush up on my guitar playing.  I used to be able to play the entire Lindsey Buckingham catalogue along with PJ Harvey, I want to get back to it.  Guitar brings me a lot of joy.  I also have stacks of unread books in the house I want to tackle.  And there are a lot of museums and poetry readings that I want to go to.

At the end of the week I'm going to be going to NYC to see Alice Smith in concert and do some stand up shows,  when I get back to L.A.  I'm hosting my monthly variety show Cobra Juice at the Steve Allen Theater.  A special guest is going to come and read my email at the show.  We've got a great lineup with Sara Schaefer headlining.  Come out.

NYC STANDUP:

6/11: New York Comedy Club, 5pm

6/12: The Grisly Pear, 8:30 pm

6/12: The Village Lantern, 10pm

6/13: Lumos, 8pm

LOS ANGELES:

6/17: Cobra Juice Variety Show, Steve Allen Theater/Trepany House, 9pm

6/19: Candy Comedy (headlining), The Belly Room of The Comedy Store, 8pm

Willie Hunter!
This week's guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is Willie Hunter (subscribe and rate on iTunes!).  A lot has happened since Willie Hunter was a guest on the show a year ago.  He's the co-creator of The Carmichael Show on NBC, a multi-cam sitcom that just got greenlighted for a third season!  We talk about social media and being a public and private person and the process of writing a tv show from pilot to air.  I love him.

XOXO,
Sovvy

Setting Concrete Goals

OBSRVTNS: May 30th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!  There are changes afoot on the backend my friends.  Life has been hectic.  I took a three week break from just about everything to ruminate on the future, take stock of the past and deal with the realities of the present.  Things are good, better than they've been in a long time and ironically that created some static in my brain.  I've been living out of a suitcase for the better part of the last decade.  Not because I'm homeless, but because I was living the life of a bohemian, traveling at the drop of a hat, moving across the country at a moments notice not once but twice.

It's an adjustment to start settling down and living one life, making choices, setting concrete goals.  Stand up is going great.  Writing is going great. Adult projects are going great.  I'm in the place that I want to be in all of those things.  Stand up is learning something new and fills me with all of that excitement.  In my writing I'm finally completing all of the projects I'd been thinking about and I'm finally putting all those classes and workshops and readings to use.  In adult I'm finally in a place where I can pick and choose the things that I want to do.  So it's only natural I might find myself wondering what to do with all the emotional energy I normally spend worrying about the future.  I think I'm going to invest it in being happy.

Jilann

This week my guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is singer/songwriter Jilann.  Jilann is an independent artist that has recently completed two albums with Mike Garson, David Bowie's primary pianist.  We talk about the struggles of being a working artist and how social media has changed the landscape for unique talents.  More than that, Jilann is a story of living a dream...she went from being a makeup artists with a secret passion for singing to a recording artist that splits her time between Los Angeles and Paris and she did it with the help of a crowdfunding project.  Good stuff.

XOXO
Sovvy

K-Hole Of The Self

OBSRVTNS: May 23rd, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!  It was a strange week, I kind of fell into a k-hole of the self.  It happens sometimes.  I can get so focused on the future and where things are going that I lose sight of the present.  Things fall away, other things fall apart.  I lost some momentum on the graphic novel script I've been working on.  I didn't do stand up for two weeks.  And when I did get back on stage I spent most of the set trying to back away from the audience.  But then I forced myself to keep going up and by the third day I'd gotten back on track, things were coming back together again.  It's about discipline, writing every day, doing stand up every night.  I think whatever your art is, it's about doing it when you don't feel it, learning how to work no matter how you feel.  I'm also learning that the creative stuff is actually a way to work through feelings of paralysis.

Sara Benincasa!

It's fitting that my guest on this week's OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (subscribe on itunes!) is writer and comedian Sara Benincasa.  Sara is the author of four books, to young adult fiction pieces, a memoir about her struggles with depression and anxiety and a collection of essays called Real Artists Have Dayjobs.  We get right into and discuss why creativity seems to be linked to a certain amount of neurosis.

Ups and Downs

OBSRVTNS: May 16th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts! I have my ups and downs.  I've still been coming down off my trip to NYC and how hectic it was.  It's a good feeling to be busy, but it always fills me with a kind of anxiety, the fear that something is slipping through the cracks.  I think I live in a kind of feedback loop.  If I'm happy and having fun I worry that I'm not attending to something, and if I'm stressed and anxious from attending to things than I worry that I'm not enjoying my life as much as I should.  It can be paralyzing at times.

I'm coproducing/cohosting a variety show out of the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles this Saturday the 20th called Cobra Juice.  The show starts at 9pm.  I've got Mark Hayes coming in to tell stories, Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall reading some of my strangest fanmail and Laurie Kilmartin headlining.  If you're in L.A. you should check it out.  I'm really proud of putting together this recurring show and I'm working to make it good and interesting.  There will of course be drag queens and music and fun fun fun!

I'm also going to be headlining the Belly Room at the Comedy Store on Father's Day, you should mark that down in your calendars.  June 19th, 2016, 8pm!

I'm writing a lot of jokes and working on my graphic novel script and spinning a million plates and trying to go to the gym and eat good food and get rest and drink water and take time to visit a museum or catch a movie.  You know, live my life and have stuff to talk about.  There's a lot going on right now, changes afoot that I will tell you all about later.

Open Mike Eagle!

This weeks guest on OBSERVATIONS podcast is Open Mike Eagle.  Mike is an art rapper out of Chicago that has made a name for himself as an independent artist and thoughtful wordsmith of the likes of Saul Williams.  A kind of poet and storyteller.  We talk about the current state of things and how to survive as a working artist in the current gig based economy.  Mike is incredibly charming, insightful and soft spoken.  A really compelling guy.

XOXO,
Sovvy

She Still Worries About Love

OBSRVTNS: May 10th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!  I'm writing this on Mother's Day. I'd planned to write you a poem instead.  I had this idea that I want to start writing a new poem every week for six months as an exercise, but then, my mom texted and asked if I wanted to hang for the day, and I was like, poetry can wait.  Holidays that celebrate parents or lovers are tricky and usually loaded for people.  I've always been close with my mother, we've had our battles but ultimately, we have always loved each other and been supportive.  It's been interesting see her grow older, getting nearer to retirement, and seeing how she has softened to life and also how so many of our struggles are universal.  She still worries about finding love.  She still has dreams that she wants to fulfill.  And she still always trying new things, going to new places.  She's been to South Africa, Scotland, Zimbabwe and Japan this year alone and she's been learning to play the guitar.  It's inspiring, and probably where I get my curiosity from.

This week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre I have artist COOP (@ARTofCOOP on twitter) on OBSERVATIONS.  We talk about how he went from being an illustrator for hire to designing concert posters and album covers.  Coop really broke big when his cigar chomping devil head character found its way onto Zippo lighters around the world at the height of Martini culture in the 90s.  Thank rockabilly!

XOXO,
Sovvy.

Girl/Boy

OBSRVTNS: May 2nd, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

April was one of the busiest months on record.  I worked nearly every day of the month and it has been a long time since I've felt that level of exhaustion.  This last week was the most intense.  I'm writing to you from New York.  I'm currently staying with Alia Janine in Bushwick and typing to you from a futon in her podcast studio.  I've been living out of a little roller bag for close to thirty days now in one way or another, whether it's taking clothing options to shoots or a week's worth of wardrobe across the country.

I did three different podcasts this week and a radio interview and about ten stand up shows.  That's not to mention all the lunches and brunches and coffee dates with the friends that I've made out here over the last five years of my life.  It's a lot of stuff to get in.  This year itself has been intense.  I've done 73 stand up sets since January 1st and about 20 scenes on top of finishing an epic length graphic novel.  Somewhere in there I also managed to live a life and keep my dog alive, so I think I'm doing good, but the first week of May I vowed to take off...though I've already booked two more stand up gigs and a shoot and am co-producing another installment of the Cobra Juice Variety Show at the Steve Allen Theater.

If I keep moving, I keep the anxiety at bay.

DANA VESPOLI:

This week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre, my guest is Dana Vespoli.  Dana is a feminist porn icon and a legendary performer.  She's been inducted into the AVN Hall Of Fame as well as garnering critical acclaim for her directing work in adult films.  She doesn't shy away from dark when it comes to documenting female desire.  She's also my best friend.  I don't talk about porn a lot on the podcast, I worry that I'll be too honest, too serious, and it will be counter productive to the work I've done.  I prefer to let my scenes speak for themselves, work for themselves.  But I thought if I was going to talk about it, I wanted to do it with someone that I deeply respect and who I know is always game for telling the truth.

XOXO
Sov

Keep up with my adventures on Instagram: Sovereign_Syre and snapchat: SovereignSyre.

Burn Out

OBSRVTNS: April 18th, 2016

BURN OUT

Greetings Syrenauts!  Well, it happened.  The thing that I was warned about by all my friends.  I experienced burn out.  In between writing a graphic novel, writing toward an hour of stand up material, going up on stage three to five times a week, podcasting, doing scenes and maintaining my clip store and camming...I burned the fuck out.  Last week was dark over here for the first time in the year since I started the podcast.  I just got overwhelmed and the next thing you know, I'd run out of updates and scheduling was a nightmare.  Never fear however.  We are back this week with Ian Karmel!!! Fuck. Yes.

I'm also done with the first draft of my graphic novel, I'm just organizing it and doing some slight revisions before handing it over to my writing coach to start the process of editing and real revising so that I can hand it off to the next set of hands that will try to sell it to a publisher.  That's been it's own struggle, deciding whether to produce it myself as a webcomic over time or try to shop it around.  It's low key stressful, but part of the new negotiation that writers have in the new gig based economy.  You can reach far more people and profit more if you produce work yourself, but at the same time, the credibility of a publishing house still carries with it all the social validation that most of us crave from our artistic peers.

I'm co-producing and co-hosting the Cobra Juice Variety show at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles April 23 and you should all come out to see that.  I've written a sketch for it that Baron Vaughn of Grace and Frankie is going to perform with me, so that's fun.

So much more going on.  I spent three days in NYC going through a podcast bootcamp and interesting things may very well be on the horizon for OBSERVATIONS, so be on the look out for that.

I'll be in NYC next week doing a bunch of standup.  I'll be sure and post the dates and times so those of you that reside on the East Coast can stop by if you like.

A lot of you are writing and asking if you can see my standup anywhere online.  The short answer is no.  Here is why: I'm a baby standup, I'm still developing my material and I want to wait until I'm good to have my stuff out there.  Secondly, once your jokes are out there, you can't really use them on stage anymore because all your fans have heard them before they've stepped foot in the club or theater.  So it's a weird thing. The best you can do is come see me in NYC or LA.

Or you can follow me on snapchat, username: SovereignSyre.  I've been working out my bits on there, so you can always wait for stuff there.

XOXO,

Sovvy.

April's Fool

OBSRVTNS: April 4th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

I trust everyone survived April Fools' Day.  I did and I didn't.  I've been working on a graphic novel for a few months now and I'm finally nearing the finish.  Like a few more chapters to go.  It's a weird thing to be this close to the finish of a such a large project...or well at least the first draft.  Then I'll have to polish it, storyboard some of it and illustrate a few pages before giving it over to an agent so they can try to sell it.  I thought it would be a moment of utter bliss, but I'm finding that instead I'm having panic attacks and am walking around on the verge of tears all the time.  I think it's just fear of failure, fear of completing something so personal and handing it over to the world.  I'm going to keep going though, that's been my new thing, just going after things no matter how scary they are.

I did a great set at the Ice House in Pasadena over the weekend and it went really well.  The audience asked me to keep going which made me feel ten feet tall.  More later.

Mike Lawrence:

My guest this week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is the amazing Mike Lawrence.  I first saw Mike Lawrence at the Sleep Away Camp show in DTLA.  I'd gone there to see Braunger and Mike was guesting on a spot from New York.  I loved the way he engaged with the audience and his semi-autistic but incredibly insightful observations and delivery.  I waited a long time for Mike to be back in Los Angeles and we had a great talk.

 

Body Image Issues

OBSRVTNS: March 28th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

I'm going into my third week back at the gym and I'm feeling a lot better and pushing myself harder.  I struggle with my body image a lot.  When I was in grade school I was always conscious of trying to be pretty because I was nerdy.  I felt the need to always also be beautiful, because as a girl, being brainy sort of nullified your value.  When I got into highschool I was a ballerina and the obsession became my weight, being thin enough, which I never really was.  It was a hard thing to love something like ballet, to have done it since I was a toddler, and to be told the only thing keeping you from living your dreams wasn't your talent, but your inability to lose twenty pounds.

After highschool the worry was about being curvy enough.  I entered puberty late and developed breasts after most of my friends.  I was obsessed with pushup bras and low cut tops, anything I could do to prove or assert my femininity.  Then I started to model and the obsessions with looks continued.  I've always accepted it as part of being a woman, this constant battle with your body, but I'm tired.  This has been the first time that I've been working out and lifting weights for myself, because I want to be stronger, because I want to have endurance, I want to have a relationship with my body, with myself.

My girl was helping me clean and organize my house and when she was done I couldn't find my scale anywhere.  I normally keep it in front of my refrigerator.  I took the hint.  You can't really live your life that way.  So I'm trying to do things the old fashioned way. work out and don't over indulge and don't starve and don't obsess over "good" or "safe" foods and "toxic" or "bad" foods.

I'm going to be performing a stand up set at The Ice House in Pasadena April 1st, so come on out!

I'm also now going to be co-hosting the Cobra Juice variety show at the Steve Allen Theater/Trepany House on April 23rd, so please be coming to that!

Brittani Nichols!

This week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre: Brittani Nichols is a writer, actress, and comedian here in Los Angeles.  She’s written for a lot of online mags, many with a feminist bent and she’s written a few pilots.  She’s currently got one cooking of for MTV Yo, Is This Racist? Brittani is also a recurring character on Transparent and just finished filming her first film, Suicide Kale.  So, a busy lady.  We sat down and talked about growing up poor versus privilege when you’re an artist and the differences between black student culture and white student culture in high school.

 

Meditating About Relationships

OBSRVTNS: March 21st, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

I've been procrastinating a lot lately. It happens, dips in productivity.  I've been working on the graphic novel so long, there's part of me that desperately needs a break, there's a part of me that desperately just wants it to get done.  I've had friends visiting from out of town, so it's been easy to distract myself.

I've been meditating a lot about relationships, about what it all means.  I've been dating a few people, but finding it hard to have enthusiasm for anyone.  I seem to attract a lot of "already have a girlfriend types."  They're nice enough to wait a few dates in to let me know that they're actually already in monogamous relationships with other people.  I don't mind it so much, getting my hopes up end then walking away.  And sometimes I don't walk away.  I'm not sure if that's the ethical or moral thing to do or not, or if I should even care about such things.

It makes me wonder though, why so many people choose to be unhappy, choose to stay in relationships in which they are bored.  Why they are more afraid of being alone than they are of becoming the kind of person that looks someone that loves them in the face and lie to them every day.  I think the latter is far more terrifying than the former...but that's why I've always been in relationships in which there was an open door policy.  I'm not saying it's right for everyone, but there certainly seem to be a lot of unsatisfied people out there.

Lately I've just been on Tinder, looking for someone to fuck when I need to.  I don't even read the bios.  Just swipe right if they're physically perfect.  When you know exactly what it is you're looking for, it's easy to make decisions, to cut through the bullshit.  It also makes for a lot of good material for standup.

Ed Salazar!

This on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (Subscribe on iTunes! Rate! Review) my guest is Ed Salazar.  I first met Ed in the green room at the Nerdmelt Showroom.  He was talking about a show he was trying to book for a charity event and I was immediately struck by his kindness and accessibility.  Ed is one of the hosts of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, the super popular Comedy Central show filmed here in Los Angeles.   After that first meeting we ran into each other a few more times, running in the same circles and just really loved his point of view on things.  It's clear he is a thoughtful person and in this interview we quickly go from talking about comedy to the nature of open relationships and his interest in sociology and psychology.  It turns out we're both fascinated by human motivation.

XOXO
Sovvy

Derailed A Bit

OBSRVTNS: March 14th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

I took the week off.  I actually got derailed a bit.  I got out of the habit of doing things.  I quit boxing a few months ago because it got cost prohibitive.  Or at least, I decided that I didn't want to be spending that much money on fitness if I wasn't going to become a professional boxer.  I also was having difficulty with my coach, he trains mainstream celebrities that can fork out serious cash for his time.  I was his scholarship kid, I was getting his services at a super low rate, but it was still a significant amount of money to me.  The problem was, I wasn't getting the kind of attention his other clients were, so it became awkward, like not enough money for him to be invested, but enough money that I felt he should be.  So I left.  And I left a little angry.  I thought that after training for for months, two hours a day, five days a week, that I should have been a fucking beast, but I was still soft and doughy, and still confused and uncoordinated.  Any time my coach turned his back, another coach at the gym would come up and try to correct my technique.  The third time someone helped me "get it right" in a few minutes after my coach had failed to help me "get it right" after weeks of yelling at me in the ring, I realized, maybe he wasn't being a very good coach to me.

So there I was no longer training everyday and being lazy about it.  It's not the fitness, but being on a regular schedule with training brings everything else together.  I have a strong body.  I'm tall and I'm heavy.  I'm 5' 8" and 138lbs, and it's a lot of muscle.  What I've come to learn is that my body need vigorous exercise.  I think of my body like armor, in order to get to the good stuff inside, you have to break through that armor.  If I'm not working my body to exhaustion, I very quickly get depressed, unmotivated, blocked as a writer, lazy as a stand up.  It all kind of goes to shit.  When I was a kid I played soccer and did ballet.  I went to a performing arts highschool where I took three hours of dance a day, five days a week.  I jogged five miles in the morning, and after school I was on the swim team.  I also graduated a year early by taking extra classes and working through summer and winter breaks.  It all has to go hand in hand.

So, I went back to the gym a few days ago.  I'm back on a program, and that should mean I'm back on track with all of my projects as well.  It's a hand in hand type thing.  I know all the studies say that if you're depressed or upset you should work out, but I'm finally realizing just how true that is.  You can't neglect the body and only work the mind.

Ryan Casatta!

Trans musician and advocate Ryan Casatta featured me in his debut video "Bedroom Eyes" which was picked up by Buzzfeed.  Go read the write up and watch the video!  Ryan has been a public advocate and accoladed musician since he was 15 years old, a true savant.  I was very honored to be asked to appear in his video as the jilted lover.

James Fritz!

This week's guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (Subscribe on iTunes!  Rate!  Review!) is James Fritz.  James is a Los Angeles stand up who came by way of Chicago by way of Kentucky. We talk about what it was like to grow up in a Southern Baptist family, the differences between the Chicago and Los Angeles comedy scene, then veer into what “bro humor” is and whether or not alt-comedy is still a thing. James produces a popular comedy show called Babe Island at the Big Foot Lodge here in L.A. and performs all over the city. I see him at open mics regularly and that makes me respect any comic that I see working at clubs that much more.

XO,
SOVVY

Poetry Manuscript

OBSRVTNS: March 7th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

Not much has been going on around these parts this week.  After spending a week in NYC running around to bar shows I spent the week unwinding.  I'm on a schedule with my graphic novel, but the more that writing becomes the focus of my work life, the more it becomes work.  The last few days haven't been very inspired, I feel like I'm working my muscles more than anything.  Whenever a piece of writing is finished though, it's hard to remember what parts came easily and which parts were a struggle.  I've grown more as a writer in the last few months than I have since I left school because for the first time since school I've been sitting my ass in a chair and simply doing the work.  It feels good to be back in the saddle.  There's no substitute for putting in the hours and moving through the hard stuff instead of around it.

I finally dusted off my poetry thesis and had a look at it with my writing coach.  The emotional intensity of that meeting was unexpected.  I hadn't realized how much I had bound up in those poems.  I wrote them from the time I was 16 until I was 21, and in that time frame I was documenting the end of an unrequited obsession, a sexual assault, and a descent into drug addiction.  It's all there in the poems, though none of the poems deal directly with the subjects.  I had forgotten.  It was the first time I'd read through the poems since I wrote them.  It was also humbling, though I was a gifted student, the latitude of life experience and just more experience as a writer allowed me to see the poems from a different point of view.  I'm finally over myself enough to see that some of them need a lot of work, some are immature, some are downright embarrassing, and some hold up.  I can feel both chagrin and pride when I read through them.  I'm going to spend the next few months revising them, perhaps writing some new material and then sending them off through the usual rounds of presses and contests.  That's kind of what writing is really, at least with poems.  Revise, send off, wait six months, revise, send off again and on and on.  Exciting stuff!

I've been doing a lot of stand up, trying to go up every night if I can.  It's become the way I unwind after a day spent sitting in front of computer working on my novel.  The process of writing an epic is solitary, insular, alienating at times.  Going out to stand up, I have to put my brain in a different place, focus it outward, to think of things to say, to share up there, it's an adrenaline rush, but it's also unifying, validating, and connects me to the community of people that I'm slowly joining.  It keeps me sane and overall lately I've been pretty happy.

JACKIE KASHIAN!

My guest this week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (please subscribe on iTunes, rate and review!) is Jackie Kashian.  Jackie started doing stand up back in 1986 and hasn't stopped since.  I've always been a little in love with Jackie, at least the Jackie that I've seen in her performances.  She embraces her specific infatuations and has an earnest delivery that greets you like a firm handshake.  I first met Jack backstage at the live RISK! storytelling show at the Nerdmelt Showroom back in November.  I'd never gone on stage to tell a story or do stand up before and ended up sitting next to Jackie in the green room, trying to absorb some of her confidence.  Jackie has her own podcast The Dork Forest that's been around forever and that I was a guest on, she interviews people that are obsessed about their obsessions...I talked about the Spanish conquest of Florida.

Next

OBSRVTNS: February 15th, 2016

I still haven't adjusted to the fact that it's 2016.  I have to keep scratching things out on forms (my life involves filling out a lot of fucking forms) and I hate that because I'm a perfectionist with shit like that.  Not so much about things that matter, but about superficial aesthetic shit.  I'm nearly done with my graphic novel and I've been writing at a clip that is surprising even to myself.  I've become so lost in the story that I've kind of let go of a lot of other things in my life.  Lately, life is pretty much just about writing and doing stand up or storytelling shows, which is also about writing.  I feel like I'm in the middle of a creative purge that's been long overdue.

I'm changing my lifestyle and getting good results.

I'm moving out of an apartment I've always felt disconnected from and into a house that has more room, that I can hang my art on the walls of and make into a home.  It's been a long transition, I lived so long out of a suitcase, it took being in one place for a year and half to get used to the idea of staying somewhere and putting down roots.  But that's what I'm doing, rooting myself so that I can have more freedom.  It seems counter intuitive, but when you live your life riding wave after wave of chaos, it's hard to plan that trip around the world.  You only get one view, and it's dystopian.  So yeah, I'm kind of growing up I guess.

Relationship has been weird and kind of grown up.  My impulse is always to enmesh immediately and impulsively.  I've shown a lot of restraint over the past year, building an independent life for myself and enjoying being alone instead of being terrified by it and reactionary in dealing with it.  The next year is going to be interesting.  I have no idea where life is taking me, but I feel a sense of optimism about the future.

Desi Jediekin and Rachel Fisher!

I had my friends Desi Jediekin and Rachel Fisher on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre (subscribe and rate on iTunes!).  Desi and Rachel are writers that have a loyal twitter following.  They work dirty and feminist and funny.  They have their own podcast Eating Pie, where they take male stand ups and grill them about their sexual histories.  Our conversation veers from funny to super serious from Fuck Bois to institutionalized sexism.

XOXO,
Sovvy

Bout To Get Funny

OBSRVTNS: February 8th, 2016

Greetings Syrenauts!

A lot going on lately, a TV election and a Half Time show.  Honestly, I don't have a TV and it's kind of a weird trade-up.  I kind of never really know what's going on in the world, but I also don't ever have to care about The Bachelor.  If it wasn't for twitter I wouldn't even know we were changing presidents.  Up until I thought our country was run by Nicki Minaj, which is a three term position.

I've been writing my heart out, closing in on the end of the first draft of a graphic novel and also starting in on the beginning ofa screenplay.  I'm also featuring at the Candy Comedy show at The Comedy Store on Valentine's Day, and I'm doing ten minutes of new material...which is kind of the only way to get me to do anything.

I'm really happy to announce that my podcast OBSERVATIONS by Sovereign Syre has it's own channel/store/page on iTunes now.  Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW.  It really helps to get it on the charts and heard by as many people as possible.

MARK HAYES!

I love Mark Hayes and he's back on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre.  Mark is a comic and a writer from Cork, Ireland.  He's written a series of books about his adventures as an Irishman in Hollywood and writes a column for the Irish paper.  He also has a webseries, RanDumb, that's super amazingly funny.  Mark always has great stories to tell and he came back round to give us a fresh batch of adventures...he never disappoints.  Air BnB? Pimps? Prostitutes? What wouldn't a roommate like?

Love, Millenial Style

OBSRVTNS: February 1st, 2016

I'm writing to you from the weeds.  I've been closing in on the first draft of a graphic novel, that is epic in scale and proportions.  A doorstopper.  I feel barely human as I write this.  I'm lost in another world, somewhere in Florida in 1565 or so.  Being so close to finishing something that I've been meaning to get to for years has transformed my general mood by leaps and bounds.  There's nothing better for your own self esteem than finishing things that you start.  It's my only real resolution for 2016, to finish all the things that I've started.  I have about eight projects to go, but I'm getting there.

I booked a spot at The Comedy Store in L.A. again.  I'm going to be the special guest on the Candy Comedy Show in the Belly Room on Valentine's Day.  Buy tickets!! Come out!!!  It's going to be interesting because the theme is Heartbreak and I don't really have a lot of material about love and relationships or even sex, to be honest, so I'm going to have to pull together ten new minutes of material out of the air, but I like to throw new obstacles in my way...deadlines are the only way to get me really move at the clip I need too.

Meanwhile my search for the perfect combat boots continues...

I've also started pole classes.  I had to give up boxing.  My coach was on the other side of the universe and at the end of the day it wasn't cost effective.  What's more, I was engaging in a skill that could potentially damage my earnings (a black eye or a broken nose) instead of increase them.  I'm planning to start feature dancing this year, so I want to be able to bring something extra to the table.  It's more than that though.  I like to always keep moving, to always be challenging myself.

I'll stop moving when I'm dead I guess.

Gaby Dunn:

This weeks guest on OBSERVATIONS w/ Sovereign Syre (download, rate, and subscribe!!!) is Gaby Dunn.  Gaby Dunn is one half of the team over at Youtube's Just Between Us.  Gaby recently wrote an article revealing just how much YouTube stars really make.  It quickly went viral and started a major conversation about how to make money in a sharing economy or a gig based economy.  Given that income has become tenuous for pretty much every type of creative out there, I thought it would be timely to bring Gaby back to talk about the down and dirty truth about aspirational living and social media.  This was a really eye opening talk.

XOXO,
Sovvy

Oddfellows

OBSRVTNS: January 26th, 2016

It was AVN week in Las Vegas, but I wasn't there for AVN, I was there to do standup at Oddfellows in Downtown.  It was a good show, I killed it in a strange confluence of all the right and wrong things.  I still haven't figured the appropriate Bloody Mary to coffee ratio when adrenaline is mixed in to the whole thing.  I got to the venue and found out I had twice as much time as I had material for...I mean I always have more material, but I tend to be meticulous and rehearse a lot.  I was thrown but it turned out for the best, I went into a few different stream of consciousness rants that somehow, the audience was receptive too.  It was a good crowd, they were willing to be taken to some weird places.  I even had a few people come up afterwards to say they were surprised, but happily, that the material took an unexpected cerebral turn.  It was good stuff.

I got see Anna B. Volk and Christian Madsen in from Brazil, two occasional trade reporters that have been on the ride along with me throughout my career.  It was interesting to sit outside the AVN convention and remark at how much has changed within the industry in the last four years.  As much as there is new stuff happening, it does feel that a certain element has kind of left the building so to speak.  I think when I came into the industry, there was a palpable feeling that within it, there was almost a kind of movement, a set of people working to make things that weren't just about titillation but about disrupting a narrative.  I think there were those of us in that moment that felt a kind of political alignment.   To borrow from my friend Desi Jed....My pussy was WOKE af.  It does feel like that contingent has dispersed though, and it makes me a little sad.

But change is constant and I'm interested to see where the industry is headed from here as it navigates new obstacles and adapts to the changing relationship the culture has to sex.  I guess AVN feels like an artifact now, a symbol of the way we used to consume our porn and our pornstars, the way we used to business, the relationships that used to exist between performers, companies and fans.  I don't have any predictions about the future.  I don't think the AVNs are going anywhere, just like the Oscars aren't going anywhere, though increasingly the awards seem less and less relevant in a world where Sean Baker is making Tangerine on an iPhone with no name talent and captivating audiences everywhere and cam girls are making the kinds of income that used to by the exclusive demesne of contract girls and superstars.

I would have attended the actual awards, but I was booked to be in a music video back her in L.A. for Ryan Casatta, a folk rock up and comer who's doing all the things and working on a dream.  He wrote a song Bedroom Eyes that called for a "gorgeous girl" who gets jilted by a playboy.  I think I was a natural for the part.  Duh.  Ryan has won a ton of awards and a spot on the warped tour when he was like 18 years old and stuff.  The video was directed by Melanie Vesey and I was so impressed with her visual sense.  She took a great portrait of me in between takes that I loved and hated because I don't look perfect in it, but I look like me, so there you go.

Arden Leigh!

This week on OBSERVATIONS w/Sovereign Syre (DOWNLOAD, subscribe, rate!) is part two of my interview with Seduction Coach Arden Leigh.  In part one of the interview Arden told us about her rise from 22 year old virgin to top Pro Domme in the most profitable House in Manhattan, to scandal and being outed as a sex worker in a full page story in the New York Post.  In this half of the interview, Arden talks about going from despair, to writing (and publishing) her first book at 25, and becoming a sex and seduction coach...and how that doesn't come with a perfect track record in her own love life.  I love her.  I love you guys.

 

XOXO,

Sovvy.

 

 

Hardcore Comedy

OBSRVTNS: January 19th, 2016

HARDCORE COMEDY:

It was a rough week, full of ups and downs.  It's awards season in porn, and it's usually the time of year that I reflect on my porn career, regardless of what's going on I can always remember what was going on my life at the time of each AVN convention I've attended.

The first convention was in January of 2012.  I was a burgeoning starlet, the face of a new company called Girl Candy.  I'd been performing in arthouse lesbian movies for a few months and had recently made the permanent move to Los Angeles with my long time paramour and photographer Joshua Darling.  I was overwhelmed by all the glamour around me, the ballgowns, the huge rooms, the drinking and drugs, the orgies, the abandon and spectacle of it all.  I felt like a well-scrubbed rube in my six dollar discount store dress, but I sent selfies of me in front of billboard sized photos of myself to my friends back home.  The last time most of them had heard from me I was holed up in my childhood bedroom trying to kick a crippling drug habit.  Some had followed me on social media when I moved out to NYC, became an art model, then transitioned into the porn equivalent of an indie-darling adult performer.  I had some heat behind me as they say. Ill never forget watching the awards in the blue tinged light of the theater with the white haired southern owner of my company.  He turned to me with a thick southern drawl as a girl accepted an award for best cocksucker of 2011 and said "I feel like I'm in a God damned David Lynch movie."  He spent the rest of the convention buying me Red Bull and vodka cocktails and sneaking me cigarettes because "I quit."

This year I won't even be attending the convention, instead I'll be doing a stand up comedy show at Odd Fellows (January 21st 8 pm Odd Fellows in Las Vegas.  Get tickets here: Hardcore Comedy)...things have come a long way...one of the things I like most about life is that you never really know what's going to happen next.

Last week I was in NYC doing a stand up show at Headquarters.  I ended up doing a few open mics and connecting with Katy McVay, a stand up I really dig.  I got to experience different rooms and I have to say I never felt more welcome than in NYC.  I wouldn't recommend playing a strip club though, especially if you don't have a lot of material about sex.  The thing is that although I am an adult performer and I tend to use Sovereign Syre for all of my artistic pursuits, I don't really market myself as a porn star and I don't have any interest in writing about it whether in a novel or for a stand up routine.  It's going to be interesting trying to navigate that as I move forward in all my endeavors.

I've been enjoying doing stand up though, if nothing else because it gives me a break from writing the graphic novel.  Which is going to be done with it's first draft at the end of the month.  It seems like a lot of work, but I find that work breeds more work.  The more productive I become in one area, the more productive I become in others.  I've also started trying to read two to three books per week to get through my backlog.  It's become easy.

ARDEN LEIGH:

This week's guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is Arden Leigh.  Arden is a seduction coach, which is interesting enough, but she has an incredible backstory that she shares with me in this two part interview that takes her from naive virgin, to head dominatrix, to public scandal in the NY Post, to published author and self made business woman.  You won't want to miss her story.  What an incredible woman.

XOXO,

Sovvy

Words Of Advice For Yung People

OBSRVTNS: January 11th, 2016

WORDS OF ADVICE FOR YUNG PEOPLE

I’ve started to record small intros to the interviews on my podcast (OBSERVATIONS w/Sovereign Syre). Last week I started by listing off some words of advice about living a life free of underminers and joysuckers, even when the one undermining your efforts and sucking the joy from your life is you.

BE POLITICALLY SELF-PRESERVING AND GET FREE:

Listen, we’re all carrying the crosses to our own crucifixion, the problem is, people aren’t crucified anymore, and chances are whatever it is you’re toiling under is just as much of a fantastic relic of the past. You’re tilting and windmills, so stop. Whatever it is that’s keeping you from being free, get out from under it. Maybe you’re afraid of what other people will think of you (stop, people are usually too preoccupied with their own battles to worry over yours), or maybe you think you’re just not good enough to get what you want (stop that too, there’s no one standing in the ether with a scorecard determining who deserves what). Marcus Aurelius said you can’t judge as good or bad something that happens to good and bad alike…so failure? So what? We’ve all had failure. Rejection? So what? We’ve all been rejected. What am I’m getting at is this: no one is going to be more disappointed if you don’t get what you want than you. So stop worrying about what God or your father or your friends think.

BE DECISIVE AND DO SOMETHING:

Whatever problems I have about doing something are solved by doing something. Nothing is going to change until you take action in life. Start eating better today. Start working out today. Make that dentist appointment now. Send out that resume tonight. Start looking for work in that new city you’ve been thinking of moving to, tonight. Start that great American novel today. Go to that open mic and try your stand up tonight. Hamlet was a tragedy, you feel me?

PRACTICE DISCERNMENT AND NEVER LIE:

Be discerning. It’s one of the seven spiritual gifts God gave us in the Bible. I’m not saying I believe in the Bible, but I think there’s something to be said for thinking of it in this way. Discernment means trusting yourself, relying on your judgement and applying reason to your thinking. Edward Burnays, who invented the phrase “public relations” because Americans didn’t like the word “propaganda” after the Nazis said; it’s not what you can make people think, but how you can make them feel. It’s not about appealing to people’s reason when trying to sell them something they don’t need, it’s about appealing to their irrational emotions.   Never lie…to yourself, practice radical honesty about your motivations. Also: try not to lie to other people too much. When you lie you are forced to live in the past, when you tell the truth you move toward the future.

EVERYONE IN THEIR OWN TIME AND THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS:

Stop trying to fix, change or enlighten other people, especially about their bad habits, relationships and toxic attachments. You can’t save anyone but yourself. That’s the beauty and tragedy of this life, we are ultimately alone in our experiences and understanding, we have to come to our epiphanies on our own. You can’t change other people and other people can’t change for you. Sorrynotsorry. It’s the way that it is. Understanding this, it should make it easy to live a life with no exceptions to your personal rules and boundaries. If you get free, get self-preserving, get decisive, do something, practice discernment and never lie to yourself, than you have created a code of behavior for yourself and established healthy boundaries for what you’ll accept from other people. Don’t deviate from that. Hold everyone to the same standards; treat everyone the same and the detritus with fall away. You may lose some people you were really attached too, but you’ll lose a lot of bullshit too.

XOXO
SOVVY

NICK YOUSSEF:

This week on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre my guest is Nick Youssef. Nick is a paid regular at the comedy store and also one of the most stylish men in comedy. We talk about the history of the Comedy Store in Los Angeles and why it has become such an iconic place in the world of comedy. This is one of my favorite interviews on OBSERVATIONS.

APPEARANCES:

Also this week, January 14th at 8pm in NYC I'll be doing a stand up set at Headquarters NYC.  Come and laugh and I'll sign stuff after if you want.  Tickets can be purchased here: #hardcorecomedyshow.