Failing in Front of People You Actually Respect

Greetings! 

How is everyone?  Good, I hope? 

I’m going through some creative shit lately.  I’ve been writing new material.  It’s headier stuff, but I’ve been writing it out at my laptop, trying to get the language more precise.  From my videos, I’m sure you can tell that my material can be dense.  I’m making it denser.  I’ve been working on something tying together masturbation fantasies with racism, the way our fantasies and fetishization of black men is an expression of our deeper anxieties.  It’s an ambitious thesis so the material needs to be strong.  I’m working it out. 

I’ve done the set a few times, and its done well, but then something happened.  I was booked on a show with a comedian I really respect and I psyched myself out.  He’d never seen my standup before and I wanted it to be good, but I also wanted to run my new material.  I ran my new material.  It didn’t go well, the laughs weren’t coming, I was too stiff, I was looking at him the whole time, feeling that I wasn’t doing my best. 

It’s a decision you make as a comic, try new stuff at open mics and save your best shit for booked shows, or run you new shit at booked shows.  I tend to do my strong material at clubs, and for bar shows to let it ride, try out my new shit.  A booked spot I get more time, an open mic, you’re getting 3-5 minutes, you never get to run your set altogether. 

The good thing about bombing is that I came home and started writing, trying to fix it.  In that sense, I should try bombing more, because it makes me work harder. 

 

This week on the podcast I have Beowulf Jones!  (http://twitter.com/iambeowulfjones)  Beowulf is the LA producer for the RISK! Show.  RISK! is a live storytelling show and a podcast.  I’ve done the show three times so far.  If you want to hear those episodes you can check them out here: http://sovereignsyre.net/media I gathered all my podcast appearances there, so you can listen to them all if you’re really into me talking.  Beowulf and I talk about the storytelling scene in Los Angeles and about how to turn your life into a compelling story for the stage. 

 

This week in comedy Aditi Mittal had her one hour special released on Netflix.  It’s called Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say.  She’s an Indian comic and one of the first female stand ups in India.  It’s really good stuff.  I get tired of stand up specials because the material feels stale.  I’m really in love with the Netflix specials with comics from other countries.  They don’t promote them on the front page, but there are a lot of interesting voices out there.  Get into it.  She’s funny and unexpected. A solid special, dirty, relatable, fun. 

You can watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTLsFUk5fTk

 

I’m going to be running my full hour in San Diego for the Arte Pad (https://artepad.org) festival that Ash Hollywood is producing.  I’m not sure which days I’m going to be there yet, I might be at the Laugh Factory on one of the days.  I’ll keep y’all posted.  For my show dates: https://sovereignsyre.net/shows

 

I’ve been listenign to Qveen Herby lately.  She’s a singer from the YouTube machine, but she does an amazing cover of Desiigner.  You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZKpHH6IHC0

Another singer I’m really into right now is Yebba.  She’s super young but already full of a soulfulness that is absolutely haunting.  I just love her.  Check out this performance.  Get your life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXwE1G7_U9M

 

Interesting people to follow on Twitter:

Sparkle http://twitter.com/hersdayatoms

Denzell http://twitter.com/dzlfbk

Dr. Ben Carrington, a sociologist and previous guest on the podcast: http://twitter.com/benhcarrington

Leigh Cowart, for all your science porn needs: http://twitter.com/voraciousbrain

Reggie, ex soldier and anarchist type person: http://twitter.com/tesseraconteur

Black Feminisms, academic blog focused on Black Feminism: http://twitter.com/blackfeminisms

Spenser Wells, anthropologist and geneticist.  He was the explorer in residence for National Geographic and is responsible for filling up that DNA database that ancestry.com uses to tell you how African you are and how Native American you’re not.  He went around the world collecting everyone’s DNA.  He’s also been a guest on the show so check that episode out.  http://twitter.com/spwells

 

Some good reads this week:

Journal of African and Ethnics Studies: #sayhername a case study of intersectional social media activism.  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2017.1334934

People Lie But Search Data Tells The Truth: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-09/people-lie-but-search-data-tell-the-truth

Author of “Everybody Lies” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz goes in our search histories and what they reveal about the character of the country. 

 

Word of the week: 

Bombinate: to hum and buzz.  Have fun with that one!

 

That’s all for this week!

 

If you love the podcast, enjoy my Twitter, or aren’t able to make it out to my stand up shows to support, please consider becoming a patron.  If 1/12th of my followers on Twitter gave a dollar a month to my Patreon, I would have the funding to do every last thing I want to do. 

You can support here: https://patreon.com/sovereignsyre

If you can’t support financially at the moment you can still support by tweeting about the podcast and the patreon on your social media stuffs, getting your friends into the podcast. 

 

I love you guys.  Be excellent to each other. 

XOXO,

Sovvy. 

 

 

 

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