Greetings Earthlings

Greetings Syrenauts!

How have you all been?  I’ve admitted to myself that I’m a grown up and that the podcast and my standup are only going to become my career when I give them the same energy I would give a job I was doing for someone else.  My listeners ARE paying me now and I want to rise to the occasion, not just for them but for myself.  I’m buckling down and focusing my energy on raising the quality of the podcast, approaching my stand up strategically (going on tour, figuring out how to reach a wider audience, you know, investing in my future with a narrative of success). 

I’m not sure if it’s a me thing, or a woman thing, the impulse to prioritize anything but myself, to regard my dreams as unreachable, but I’m trying something new.  I’m doing something radical (for me), I’m believing in myself, investing my time and energy in my projects with the belief that such an investment will pay off. 

I’m feeling good!

I sat down and mapped out what I wanted to achieve and put my head in the fucking game.  How can I get more listeners?  What do successful podcasts do that I’m not?  If Twitter isn’t effective for marketing, what other things can I do that I haven’t been?  It might seem silly that I never did this before, but I think as a creative I’ve always believed in the “if you build it, they will come” mentality.  I had to get honest with myself, that approach is far too passive. 

So, I came up with a plan, a business plan if you will, a series of new actions I can take to expand my reach and up the quality of my output.  Not surprisingly, I’ve found my mood much better, my anxieties greatly lessened, and a sense of empowerment as I move forward.   

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This week’s interview on OBSERVATIONS is with stand up Allen Strickland Williams https://twitter.com/totallyallen ! We talk about comedy and social justice, satire, how far is too far, and if such a thing exists.  We talk about Kathy Griffin and her Trump Stunt. 

You can listen on SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/sovereignsyre  on iTunes, on Stitcher, on the Laughable app, and of course you can stream from the player on my site: http://sovereignsyre.net/observations

 

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I just came off of the West Coast leg of my tour with Alia Janine, Alia and Sovereign Do America.  The tour was a learning experience to be sure.  As much as I promoted on Twitter and Facebook and even going on the radio and other podcasts, it was hard to pull in crowds.  We ended in breaking even, which I’m still happy about.  I learned from other producers we met that we should have been reaching out earlier to local arts magazines and blogs, sending fliers to the venues, things I just hadn’t really thought about.  It was heartening though, because I learned there is more you can do than just putting a link on Twitter.  Like I said, I’m buckling down, and taking the business part of my business into my own hands.  We weren’t deterred.  We’re already planning the next leg of the tour, through the South West.  I’ll be posting more info as I go. 

 

I’m also going to be at the Arte Pad festival at the end of the month working out my hour! 

As always, I have stand up spots through the month.  You can find all my dates and ticketing info on my site: http://sovereignsyre.net/shows/

I’m going to start a new exercise, taping three new minutes of stand up each week in my living room.  I’m going to make these available to my patrons on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/sovereignsyre)a week before everyone else.  But I’m excited to see how strong it makes me as a stand up.

 

I’ve also gathered all of my podcast appearances and web series guest spots into one place on my site: http://sovereignsyre.net/media

 

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This week in art:  I’ve been working on a joke about masturbation that includes a reference to Jean-Baptiste Belley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Belley).  Belley was the first black deputy to take a seat at the Convention in Revolutionary France.  When his portrait was commissioned, there was some controversy over the depiction of his large generative organ.  Over time it’s been written about as an example of the image in the European mind of the black man as a savage, a stud horse full of animalistic sexual appetites.  I’ll post my bit in the future as I work it out. 

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The Stand Ups came out on Netflix this week and the Fortune Feimster segment is really great and worth a watch.  Also go back and watch the episode of Chelsey she references in her set.  I’ve also fallen in love with Chelsea Handler all over again.  Go watch the episode where she visits England. 

Jackie Kashian was on Conan and she killed it.  The last show of the tour at Nerdmelt was supposed to feature Marc Maron, but he had to cancel.  Jackie came in last minute and saved the day.  I love her. 

Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxGcQ52oQQw

 

Also, if you haven’t yet, you should go pick up a copy of Tyler Knight’s memoir about his life in porn.  It’s a top seller on Amazon and a true literary achievement. 

(https://www.amazon.com/Burn-My-Shadow-Selective-X-Rated/dp/1942600690)

 

Amazing photographer Allan Amato photographed me for his new coffee table book Seraph.  Order it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1193179890/seraph

 

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Finally!  I have a Patreon.  I’m still tinkering around here and there, but there are new rewards, new tiers, a new break down of costs and an accounting of where that support is going.  Please consider pledging!  If 1/12th of my Twitter followers pledged $1.00 a month I would be at the financial goal needed to manifest all of my projects and get them back out to you!!!

If you’re not in the position to pledge a really helpful thing you can do is post on your social media about the Patreon or about the podcast so that it reaches more people.

https://www.patreon.com/sovereignsyre

 

I’m also adding a new feature to the podcast.  I want your questions!  Ask for life advice, my opinion on politics or social issues.  Anything you like.  I’ll talk about them in the podcast in a new segment I’m adding.  After I was on Not So Nice Advice with Chuck Nice he strongly encouraged me to consider adding such a component to the show. 

If you want to listen to those episodes you can find them listed on my site: http://sovereignsyre.net/media

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Well, that’s all for this week! 

 

XO,

Sovvy

 

 

 

 

I Wish I Was More Interesting

I wish I was more interesting.  What can I say, my life has slid into the kind of monotony that it does when you decide to lie fallow for a minute.  I needed a break, the travel, the working, the writing, the stand up, all of it was stressing me out.  I needed to do it, the hard push, to shake myself up to get myself out of the mud.  Now that I'm comfortably doing stand up and am editing one novel and a third of the way into the next I feel like I can let my life settle into a bit of a routine. 

It is hard to get stage time out here in LA though.  It makes moving to NYC or London very tempting.  I'd love to be able to work on an hour of time for two years straight.  Holy shit.  I'd get so shiny.  Alas, not yet.  I want to finish these books and put them in the hands of agents and editors before I make a move somewhere, but I know that it will be the next step.  I'm gonna try to make it London if I can.  A year there would do me just fine I think.  I'd really like to get really good.

I'm relaxed.  I'm confident.  The novel is good.  The graphic novel is good.  The stand up is good.  I'm not working on it as hard as I could be, but it's good. 

Cobra Juice had one of the best shows ever Friday night.  Margaret Cho, Tamer Kattan, Open Mike Eagle.  I mean it was magical.  We had a full house, people were standing in the aisles.  It was really good stuff.  It made me feel like I'd arrived or something.  I'm really lucky to have had Kyle Shire ask me to be a part of that show, it's really something special.  I have high hopes for it, I'd love to get it on Comedy Central or SeeSo or something.  I think we have the most diverse lineups out there and Kyle and I have amazing chemistry. 

Plus everyone laughs at my jokes about blowbangs and rape and the decline of Western Civilization.  It just feels like my people and Kyle and I did that. 

November 11th for Cobra Juice we have Jackie Kashian, Theo Von, Allan Strickland Williams, Nick Thune, and Regan and Watkins! Mark your calendars!!

This week on the podcast I have Ela Darling.  Ela is the president of APAC, (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee).  In this special episode we talk about Prop 60 on the upcoming California ballot.  She explains why this initiative threatens to shut down the porn industry and puts performers in danger through stalking and harassment. 

OBSERVATIONS_e84 Ela Darling.

XOXO,

Sov

I'm Not Gonna Lie

I'm not gonna lie, this last week I did a lot of sitting on my ass and vibrating with my own fear of success shit.  Other people call it bingewatching on Netflix.  The main thing I've learned is that it takes approximately three hours for me to find fictional characters more interesting than the world around me and about five hours to be more invested in their future than my own.  There is some good to it.  I was watching American Horror Story and it was good to get out of the world of the two books I'm working on and just fucking enjoy some TV.  It is some of the best acting on TV right now, even if the writing is fairly uneven and often predictable. 

In it's own way, when you're really living in a project, everything is seen through the filter of that project. I'm always writing my book even when I'm not, so as I watch an episode I'm studying it, how does this narrative thread work, why does this one fail, etc.  That kind of thing.  So even distractions aren't really distractions.  Today I sat down and again was writing in earnest, even more focused because I knew what not to do.  I get mired down in knowing exactly why my characters are doing something, feeling that if it's not very clear why Louis would suddenly feel this way or that way about Marc-Aurelien, well, it all goes to shit.  The truth is, it's not that important.  I just need to write the scene and let the characters have some fucking serendipity.  It's not like most of us know the reason we do half the shit we do.

For me writing becomes very much about restraint.  Holding back the muse like she's a rabid dog on a chain, when what I should do is let her run.  I'll find her eventually and build a strong fence once I know the full extent of the territory. 

Is that enough mixed metaphors for everyone?  Cool.  The good news is, as I edit the script for the graphic novel, I become more confident in my choices as a writer.  Things are good.  Not so used to that.  It means that things can get boring or a little scary.  I haven't done stand up in a week.  I just lost the passion for it.  But I'm forcing myself back out there.  I just have to get in the habit again. 

I tend to sit in the house all day working on one thing.  I forget the importance of getting outside.  The longer I linger inside during the day, the more of a task it seems to go out, and out is where the action is.  At least, there aren't any comedy shows or open mics that take place at my house.  Everything in LA is a drive and man, sometimes you just want to watch the next season of American Horror Story because Evan Peters is so god damned good at his job.

This week's guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is stand up comic Sarah Hylander.  We talk about auditioning for Saturday Night Live and living on Doug Benson's couch.  She's fucking funny.  Does great characters too. 

XOXO,

Sovvy

I'm Not Sure How To Sustain The Enthusiasm

I'm not sure how to sustain the enthusiasm.  I feel less excited about comedy lately, it's something that wanes quickly when I stop going up.  I started editing my graphic novel script and I was surprised at how good it actually is.  I'm not saying that as a brag, I mean it in relation to how bad I was convinced it was.  When you spend eight months writing something, you kind of forget what you were writing in month one.  I'm looking forward to working on it, it's going to be a lot easier than I thought.  I've never completed such a long piece of work before and I learned a lot along the way.  I tend to over write, I like to layer like Nabokov, but having some distance from it has made it easier to see what can be pared away.  I think it's a really good story and I'm excited to see exactly what shape it takes. 

I've also been burning through the novel I'm working on.  I think about it all day, I dream about the characters.  I feel like a mother giving birth.  It's hard to sustain the enthusiasm for other things...which makes standup more difficult.   I write on stage and I write about things that are going on in my life, but the only thing going on in my life is sitting in front of a laptop writing stories about the lives of imagined people hundreds of years ago. 

I think I'm going to have to go on another one of those quests where I try to go up 100 times before December 20th (the first time I did stand up).  I guess that's what life is, being consistent even when you don't feel it.  Forcing myself to go up and tell jokes even when I don't feel inspired.  I've been working on a bit about rape culture, Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right and pc culture.  I think it's good stuff, but I get scared sometimes up there.  The language is strong, though so is the point I'm trying to make.  Wish me luck!

This week on OBSERVATIONSwith Sovereign Syre, (please subscribe, rate and review, it helps) I have Jonathan Larroquette on of the two hosts of the wildly popular Uhh Yeah Dude podcast.  We talk about everything from turning a podcast into a phenomenon to growing up with a famous parent and trying to find yourself.  He has a gold tooth that I'm super jealous of.  I'm getting my own made. 

I have a new clip up over on the media page.  It's Dave Foley helping me read some of my email at last month's Cobra Juice show.  This month's Cobra Juice is October 21st.  We have Open Mike Eagle and a secret special guest.  She's a comedy icon.  You'll regret not going to this show.  Go get tickets!

XOXO,

Sovvy

I Hate To Be Redundant, But It Is What It Is.

I just got back from visiting NYC.  I was staying with a fellow comic, Alia Janine.  She has a sweet place in Bushwick that has a podcast recording studio in it.  Since I started writing my novel, I find that it's all that I want to do.  This was the first time I was in NYC where I didn't really go out at all unless I was doing a set.  I sat up till three and four in the morning sometimes in her office working on the book.  I've become a bit obsessed with it.  I think about it all the time, imagining different scenarios, watching people interact with each other and imagining how the characters would react in the same situation.  Sometimes it give me ideas, some times it drives me crazy. 

New York is always a strange trip for me.  I have the weird kind of nostalgia where I can remember every fight, every desperate moment that I spent on various street corners, in random store fronts.  I spend a lot of time thinking about the trajectory of my life, how I've ended up where I am now.  I'm grateful every day that I made it out, that I made it through all the hardships that I've encountered on my way through life.  I truly was the last person that thought I'd get out of the Hell I'd built for myself when I left home.  I never would have thought that any of the things I do every day would even be possible. 

I hate to be redundant, but it is what it is.  Every day I have to stop and wonder at how far I've come.  I'm always aware it could go away at any minute.  I try to keep moving.  My friend Daniel says that's my best attribute, that I'm always moving forward.  My mom thinks it's my worst, that I never stop to appreciate what I've done. 

I'll figure it out someday. 

This weeks guest on OBSERVATIONS with Sovereign Syre is Civil Justus.  He's a recording artist, director and activist.  He's also if Barbie came out with a "Woke Bae" Ken doll.  He's a sort of pinup for male feminism that's genuine. 

Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes

September 24th is Cobra Juice at the Steve Allen Theater.  Ticketing and more info is available over on my shows page.

XOXO

Sovvy

Making Sushi Out Of Puffer Fish

I think I've written close to fifty pages this week.  The writing has been coming so fast and strong.  It's a blessing, but it also keeps me from being human sometimes.  Yesterday I spent six hours in front of my laptop.  I get edgy and anxious.  I sweat.  I don't eat.  It's like being on meth.  Not sure what that is, or if it was always there.  It feels good though, committing to things.  I talked about writing this novel for ten years.  Since I committed to changing, to taking risks and actually trying, in the matter of ten months I wrote a three hundred page novel and am headlong into another one.  Maybe that's what the anxiety comes from after a long day of writing, it means I've spent a long day of doing something the terrifies me, finishing!  The cycle is pretty standard, right?  Once you finish something, then you have to show it to people, and then they feel things about it, but it doesn't feel like they feel things about it, it feels like the way they feel about thing you made is the way they feel about you.  It's a pretty tough bargain.  I'm asking a lot of myself if I'm asking to write the greatest novel of all time every time I turn the laptop on. 

I was having a crisis about stand up too.  I did two sets in a row that I thought were horrible.  Every one that I talked to about it assured me that no, I was great, but it demoralized me a little bit.  I thought maybe I wasn't that serious about comedy or as good as I thought I was.  Then I did a storytelling show at the last minute with/for Andy Dick.  It was at a clubhouse in a loft apartment building.  A lot of working professionals and professional girlfriends wearing juicy sweatpants and implants, carrying louis vuitton bags.  I told the story about the time I had to take a shit in the street.  It's a funny story at the end of my act and I adapted it last minute to adapt to the format of the show.  It went okay.    Then at the open mic I go to every Tuesday I tried my first material about the fact that I was in porn.  I'm not sure if it was me being self conscious or if it was the audience, but it was hard and awkward.  I've been doing this mic every week for a year and no one knew that I've been in porn movies.   Audience reaction was hard to gauge, but they were all also comics, so audience reaction is always hard to gauge.  So by the end of all that I was feeling pretty over comedy.  Maybe I'd had it for minute and now I was moving on to writing. 

But then I was watching a documentary about whales and I wrote a great joke about rape culture.  So back on.  I also have some choice stuff about cool girls and making sushi out of pufferfish. 

I also recorded my first episodes of OBSERVATIONS out of The Comedy Store.  They went amazing.  I'm going to try to have the first one up by Wednesday!  I interviewed writer and activist Conner Habib.  We got into some deep personal shit.  I also broadcast the podcast on periscope.  We'll see how people like it.

This week I'm performing standup in NYC the 10th and 11th.  Mosey on over to the shows page for details. 

I also have a role in a new web series called Sportz Night on youtube.  I play a foul mouthed lady sportscaster.  Go peep it on my media page.