MonDATE: Bisexuals, and the Right to Privacy – Part One

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Him: Hello, are you Michael?

Me: Yes. You’re Sam?

Him: Yes. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Me: You too, Sam, I like your shirt.

Him: It’s Hollister.

Me: I like it anyway. Wanna take a walk?

Him: A walk? That sounds so weird and creepy, in the middle of the night.

Me: Is it? I just don’t really want to go drink right now. I’m trying to shed the winter layer.

Him: But isn’t a bar… Safer, somehow?

Me: We can stick to Colorado – it’s well lit. I’ll try to resist the urge to take you to a park and chop you into small pieces.

Him: That’s what I meant when I said weird and creepy!

Me: Let’s operate off the assumption neither of us is a murderous sociopath?

Him: You don’t seem like a sociopath to me.

Me: Thanks, man! I like your attitude!

(We walk for a while, chatting. I find out things about him. He’s in medical school. He’s into extreme sports, hiking, and surfing. He seems nice enough, and he’s no dummy. He’s read most of Kurt Vonnegut, so he gets points.)

Him: So, I guess you’re wondering why I’ve contacted you?

Me: I guess I am, now that you mention.

Him: I wanted to ask you a question. Do you mind if I ask a personal question?

Me: No, I guess not, as long as you don’t mind not getting a full answer, depending on the question.

Him: Haha, fair. Fair enough.

Me: What’s the question?

Him: Well, I have a few questions. Firstly, are you bi-sexual? I read your site for a long time and I always assumed you were gay, but now you’re married to a woman, and what’s the deal? Is she a lesbian? Does she need a green card, or whatever?

Me: Oh wow. I thought personal question meant something like ‘boxers or briefs?’

Him: No. You clearly wear briefs. I’ve seen your Instagram.

Me: Fair enough.

Him: Are you bisexual?

Me: Let me ask you a question. I’ll answer yours, but let me do the rudest thing and follow up a question with another question. Does it matter?

Him: What?

Me: Does it matter? The difference between me being Gay or Bi? Or even straight?

Him: What do you mean? Of course it matters. Of course .

Me: How so?

(There is a pause. He looks confused.)

Him: Do you realize, I’ve read you for years?

Me: No, I usually go into these meetings pretty blind. When I meet with people it’s much more likely they’ve lurked or stalked me, whereas I might only have a brief email and a fuzzy photo to go on.

Him: But how can you do this? You talked about Gay dating, alienation and minority rights for years. How do you just get to marry a woman and continue on like nothing happened?

Me: Because nothing happened. I got married. It was pretty important to me, in the scope of my life, but in the grand scheme of human events, it’s not even a blip on the radar. It’s just a marriage. Most people do it at least once.

Him: But why a woman? Are you Bisexual?

Me: Again, I don’t see how that matters. It’s clear that I’m definitely a member of the LGBTQ community. Right? And, consider this: you haven’t told me your sexuality, yet you seem to think it’s fine to pry about mine and my wife’s?

Him: I’m Bi.

Me: Okay, good. I’m Queer.

Him: What does that mean? In what sense?

Me: It means I am as Gay as Kurt Cobain.

Him: What about your wife?

Me: She’s whatever she is.

Him: Stop. This is frustrating.

Me: This is nobody’s business. One of the perks of marriage is people stop prying about who does what, when, with whom, and how.

Him: But I’m curious!

Me: Well, that’s flattering. Are you openly Bi?

Him: What?

Me: Do people know you’re Bisexual?

Him: Some people do.

Me: Your family?

Him: No. My brother knows, I think, but by and large, no.

Me: Your work friends?

Him: No. I don’t want them thinking I’m weird, or off.

Me: Your friends from school?

Him: No.

Me: So, pretty much, just the people you have sex with.

Him: You make it sound sad.

Me: No, you make it sound sad. You’re the one who made those choices.

Him: It’s just what happened. I’m a victim of circumstance.

Me: You’re what? 28? 27?

Him: I’m 30 this year.

Me: Okay, well, welcome to the club. I’m going to say something, and I hope you don’t get offended.

Him: Are you going to call me a Jerk?

Me: I don’t do that anymore, Jerk. Just kidding. No, just this: There’s no such thing as a victim of circumstance. Not really. I believe life is a series of choices. It’s in the art of choosing we discover what kind of man or woman we become. If you don’t like your circumstances you have a right to make a different choice. It might be more difficult to make a courageous choice. It might, in fact, be stupid to make a courageous choice. It might make your life more of a struggle to make an honest choice, or to have enough integrity to look your family in the eye and say, here’s what I am – here’s how I was born and here’s the way things are for me. I’m sorry you feel differently about how I should live my life, but then again, my life is the only thing that is arguably entirely mine – and I’m the one who has to live it.

Him: What’s that have to do with the way the world is?

Me: To say you’re a victim of circumstance is a bit misleading when you’re the one creating your own reality.

Him: That’s arrogant. That’s incredibly arrogant, and I knew you’d say something like that. I knew you’d come up with a way to make me being down low about my sexuality my fault. My sexuality doesn’t define who I am anymore than my liking baseball defines who I am. Why do I have to make a huge issue of who I’m sleeping with? Doesn’t my mother deserve a good birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving without me ruining everything by talking about sex with dudes? Why are people so obsessed with where I’m putting my penis? It’s nobody’s business.

Me: And yet, you’re so very obsessed with where I’m putting mine.

(There is a long pause. He starts to speak, then stops, then looks confused.)

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

Tuesdays With Woody: Episode 1

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Hello all. This is Tuesdays With Woody, Episode 1.

I wrote this and acted in it. Some other comedy jerks helped me and I’m eternally grateful.

If you like it, share with friends?

If you hate is, share with enemies?

Did I mention I’m grateful? I am.

Thanks folks.

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Kevin Allison, Adam Gardiner, Dale Cooper – Episode 3

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Dale Cooper: I don’t have a smart phone. I can’t {tweet back at my fans}.

Me: How do you run Grindr? I met you on Grindr.

Dale Cooper: I have an iPod touch. I don’t know my way around New York, but if I can find WiFi – I can route my way around. If I need to get fucked I can jump on Grindr. But I don’t have that constant…  internet pressure…  notification this and txt here and whatnot.

Kevin: Yeah. It changes your life.

Dale: It does and I’ve seen that. Going back to porn – I’ve been at a table full of performers and producers and we’ll be at a long table and there will be nine of us and everyone is on their smart phones…

Kevin: Yeah…

Dale: And they’re not txting each other they’re communicating with other people. I don’t know if they’re ‘checking in’ at the location or what…

Me: I had to start doing that with my improv students. I had to start saying, there’s no iPhone use. I’ll pick up my iPhone but just to check what time it is so we can go on break. I had to be very stern with a certain class I’m teaching right now because there’s a couple of ADHD students – they’re very talented, I like them a lot, but if I don’t  – I have to be like an old school teacher with them. “No grooming yourself! Stop combing your hair! Don’t talk when I’m talking! Now these are my notes…”

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Dale: Ruler smacking… That teacher-student kink thing?

(laughter)

Dale: Put on the dunce cap!

(laughter)

Me:  “Now clean the classroom! NO ONE’S BLOWING ME!!!”

(laughter)

Kevin: “I couldn’t help but notice no one’s BLOWING ME!!”

(laughter)

Dale: It’s gotten to the point with smart phones where I want to get a watch, just so I can check the time without giving the appearance that I’m on my phone. That’s kind of silly. Who gives a fuck? I mean, we’re all social creatures, so I guess we all give a fuck in some way or another.

Me: I suppose so! Kevin, I want to talk about storytelling. You kind of self-actualized a couple of years ago and you took yourself from a point of…  you were almost ready to give up comedy altogether.

Kevin: I actually DID. I did give up comedy – after The State broke up I had always been the black sheep, you know the middle child that was off in his own universe?

You know they say that when Mel Brooks was writing on Your Show of Shows with Woody Alan, and  Neil Simon and Sid Ceasar – they would always laugh like hell at his sketches in the writer’s room and say, alright, well, we can’t use that! I was that guy in The State. Everyone loved my stuff – we could never put it on TV.

Me: Larry David had the same problem on SNL.

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Kevin: Oh. Yeah! So when the group broke up, I was like, what do I do with myself now? There’s a part of me that’s super polite and submissive and Midwestern and – a Catholic boy from Ohio.  And a part of me that’s raunchy and kinky and a madman and likes experimenting with drugs and all that… So finally after 12 years of starving trying to do [character based] comedy, I did give up. I went into publishing.

(pause)

Then I slowly realized, no. I have got to express myself somehow.

(pause)

There’s a part of me that needs to express myself not solely in terms of comedy… under no restrictions. I don’t have to be making people laugh every 8 seconds.

Me: No!

Kevin: So when I first got up onstage and told a true story Michael Black said, you’ve got to drop the act and start speaking from the heart as yourself. I said, it’s too risky. And he said, exactly. Risk is where the good stuff comes from.

Me: Right.

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Kevin: So I tried a story onstage the next week, and it was all about how I tried to prostitute myself (when I was 20), and it didn’t go very well. But the story went GREAT!!

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The Made Up Musical

mum screenshot the-magnet-thea_87_329_262Hey folks.

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for The Made Up Musical. Every week I do a show at The Magnet at 10pm.

We interview a ‘notable New Yorker’ for about 20 minutes.  Then we do a musical based on that information.

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This week’s New Yorker is Giulia Rozzi. She’s an incredible storyteller and comic. She’s also a hell of a feminist. Most recently her career has taken off, because of a show she does around the country called Stripped Stories.

“This themed night of hilarious sex stories has been playing monthly to sold-out audiences since it first began in January 2007. With guests spanning from award winning comedians to regular folks who have never set foot on a stage, Stripped Stories pleases both critics and audience members alike.  Each month Giulia and Margot enable audience members to laugh at their own sexual misadventures via the brave guests who bare their souls on stage. With rave reviews from Time Out NY, The Village Voice, Nerve.com and many others, Stripped Stories has become a must see comedy event. The show has been honored with an ECNY nomination for Best Variety Show and was selected to be part of the prestigious NY Comedy Festival. Each show features a comedian, a non-comedian, and a musical act revealing hysterically honest stories about their sex lives plus an interactive jaw-dropping game of “never-have-I-ever” and an audience interview.”

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Giulia is a friend of mine from way back. The show’s only 7 bucks. We’ll all hang out afterward and grab a beer with the audience.

Should be fun. 10 pm. Magnet. Every Friday. The Made Up Musical.

You should come.

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Kevin Allison, Adam Gardiner, Dale Cooper Episode 2

 

 

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Me: Did you ever go through a Vally of the Shadow of Death with RISK?

Kevin: I was terribly paranoid during the first few months. But then when I stopped [relying on the safe distance of my childhood stories] and started talking about my kinky stories.

Me: “When I was a kid I shit on a Frisbee!!!”

Kevin: Yeah, yeah.  But the first time I sort of sat down in front of the mic and told a story about something I was wrecked about right then, right now and when I pressed send I was terrified. I was like, what is the comedy community going to think of me? What might my parents eventually think of me?  What might anyone in the entertainment industry think of me?

(pause)

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Kevin: My show… is kind of a philosophical “Fuck You,” to that way of thinking.

Me: Absolutely. I felt that way about PIEFOLK. I had been doing comedy for more than 10 years. East Village Boys asked me to pose apron only. I thought, all these straight, white hetero-normative comics  are never going to let me live this down. Also, my Mom – she’s going to see this and go – I guess he’s not really a comedy person. I guess he’s just a porn star. Overcoming that shame. Overcoming the idea of ‘what will people think?’

(pause)

I always have to brush up that creeping voice inside me that says ‘No one will do your site and no one will take your seriously.’

Kevin: Oh, God, yeah…

Me: But then what I found is… Well, first of all prostitution, porn, all that stuff [that we talk about or traffic in, or tell stories about in our professions] – that’s in the Bible!

(laughter)

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Kevin: Old testament!

Me: People have been bored of that for thousands of years!!

(laughter)

Them: Right right.

Dale: Sorry to interrupt. Speaking of RISK. That’s any internet exposure.  People now with Facebook, Twitter, etc. – you’re in a constant state of managing risk. What photos [will I allow] to get out there? You have to constantly police your online identity because it has repercussions.

Kevin: That’s a great point. I feel like we’re on the avant guard – the people who are saying – you’re being so self conscious about what you’re choosing to put out there into the world, and you know what? We’re choosing to put it ALL out there.

Me: Not all of it.  There are certain things.

Kevin: Yeah yeah yeah.

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Me: I never show penis or sack on my site. I never want my grandmother  – my mom and dad regularly read my site and I don’t want them to see my nut sack.

Dale: They’ve seen it before.

Me: They have. But it’s been 30-someodd years since they’ve seen it. And they don’t want to see it again.

Dale: That’s understandable.

Dale: (to Kevin) I was going to ask you because you brought up kink and whatnot. Does kink play – dom and sub – come into play in your everyday life as a performer? Does doing kink make your more true to yourself? Is it also just playacting?

Kevin: I have not been in enough serious ‘scenes’ with super serious kinksters where I have felt like I’ve taken the role play seriously enough to feel like I went into subspace, or to feel like there was a part of my psychology that I went into – It happened, once where I had an out of body experience where I sort of found myself being submissive in a way that I never thought I would enjoy. I was basically bowing at someone’s feet and worshiping him like an emperor.  Smelling his shoes. Getting whipped. All that sort of stuff… [It put me] in touch with a part of my psychology that I didn’t know was there.

(pause)

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Kevin:  It was very early on into my getting into kink. I shared it immediately on the podcast.

Me: That was a touching story. The way that you tell it now is sort of matter of fact, but when I listened to it on the RISK podcast I was running in McCarren park and I literally had to stop so I could cry.

Dale: Wow.

Kevin: Yeah. It took me back to being a little boy, basically. It was very emotional.

(pause)

Kevin: Since then I’ve been asking when can I meet a kinkster who takes things seriously enough, and is into the psychological side of things enough that I can go back into that mysterious realm? It’s difficult to say. You can’t really force that type of thing. It’s kind of an adventure.

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A Special Man

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Her: Hey. I read that.

Me: What?

Her: That book. Are you reading Bossypants?

Me: Oh! Yes. I love it. I think Tina Fey is inspiring.

Her: Yes. It certainly seems like she’s carved out her own path. So what are you doing here, at a bar, in the middle of the afternoon?

Me: Ha. Good question. I was just thinking the same thing…

Her: Ah. But that’s not an answer.

Me: I’m waiting for a date.

Her: Oh. Very nice.

Me: That remains to be seen.

Her: Oh? First date?

Me: Yeah. First date. I’ve never met him.

Her: Is it a blind date?

Me: Sort of? I don’t think people do that anymore. I met him online.

Her: That sounds so exciting. The prospect of meeting a stranger online in real life. That’s not something someone from my generation does very easily. It seems scary.

Me: It’s not. You chat with the guys for a while before you meet up. Just to be sure they’re not a crystal meth addict or anything.

(pause)

Her: What do you do for a living? I’m sorry. That’s a cliche question. I’m not from New York, and when I come here I often wonder how people survive.

Me: Uh… I teach improv classes mostly, and do comedy gigs.

Her: Oh! I love improv! I just LOVE it. It’s magical.

Me: Really? Most people just tolerate it.

Her: No, it’s truly a wonderful thing. So glorious to see people working together, and agreeing. The spontaneity. There’s a real connection between the audience and the actors.

Me: That’s true.

Her: I really love it. I was very fond of a man who did improv – a long time ago…

Me: Did he? Was he good?

(pause)

Her: He was great. I like to think I’m kind of responsible. I took him to his first ever show at the Groundlings. He jumped up on stage with them and started playing.

Me: Wow. Really? Were they weirded out?

Her: No. You’d think they would be, but they weren’t. He was so good at it, even before he took any classes. He was such a natural.

(long pause)

Her: I was married to Phil Hartman.

(long pause)

Her: I was his first wife. He married a few times.

Me: Oh. Okay. Sorry. I thought…

Her: You thought I was the woman who shot him.

Me: For a second, yeah.

Her: No. I’m not. But I know her.

Me: I… That must be horrible. She must be very disturbed.

Her: She was very disturbed, and I can’t say that I’ll ever forgive her. But I’ve gotten to the point where I feel sorry for her. She was a very self-absorbed, very selfish woman. She was like poison for him, but he was so drawn to her.

Me: It can be hard being with funny people. Being their partners.

Her: I’ve heard that, but that was never the case with Phil. He was so loving, and such a wonderful man. He loved making people laugh. It was his reason for living.

Me: I get that.  I do get that for sure.

Her: I know you do. I love improv. I love people that can just do that. It’s a gift. You have a gift.

Me: I’m trying to think of something self-deprecating to say, but who am I to argue with Phil Hartman’s wife?

Her: Exactly. Except I’m someone else’s wife now.

Me: That’s good. So you’re happy?

Her: I am.

Me: Good. Hey –

Her: What?

Me: Did it hit you hard? When he was killed?

Her: Yes. Yes it did. He was my best friend, for a long time. Even after our divorce he and I were very close.

Me: I’m so sorry. He’s one of my idols. He was a great man.

Her: That’s a good way to put it. Can I tell you a secret?

Me: Okay.

Her: The night that he died, I had a dream. I hadn’t thought about him for such a long time. But in my dream I was getting ready to go somewhere, and I was late. And I was annoyed. And my husband was nowhere to be found. And suddenly Phil appeared in my bathroom, where I was putting on my makeup. And I was shocked. And flustered. And he was the last person I wanted to see. But then he put his hand on my shoulder, and all I felt was calm, and warm. I felt loved. And he said, “So many people love you. I love you. And this is all gonna be okay.”

Me: Wow.

Her: I had this dream almost exactly the time he was shot. Very near to that time.

Me: Wow.

Her: I feel like it was him visiting me, one last time. I feel like he wanted me to know that he loved me. And I do. I know he loved me.

Me: That’s amazing.

Her: I feel like a shot. Should we get a shot? What do you drink?

Me: Bourbon. But I don’t –

Her: Can we have two bourbons? I have to leave to make dinner with my husband, but can we?

Me: Yeah. We can.

(pause)

Me: Hey. Thanks.

Her: What?

Me: Thanks for being open. That felt really good. Thank you.

Her: Thank you.

Me: For what?

Her: For being funny. Thank you.

Me: I wasn’t being funny.

Her: I know. But thanks for being a funny person.

Me: You haven’t seen me perform. What if I’m not funny?

Her: I know – but what if you are?

Me: That’s even more scary.

Her: Exactly. That’s even more scary. But that’s a whole other conversation.

RISK podcast

I got to tell a story at the RISK storytelling show a few weeks ago.

It was fun, and full of awesome, interesting people – including handsome, hilarious comic Sheng Wang.

I was worried about how my story would go, because it involved running around naked with my brother in a rain storm, and giving myself an enema in the front yard after taunting the neighbors. But the audience loved it – it killed!

RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. The award-winning live show happens monthly in New York and Los Angeles.

Notorious Rice Queen Kevin Allison

It’s featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Lili Taylor, Rachel Dratch, Andy Borowitz and more, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The weekly podcast gets hundreds of thousands of downloads each month. Slate.com called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”

I’m on this week’s podcast with one of my heroes – comedy goddess Kerri Kenny-Silver.  She is hilarious and if you don’t know of her, you’re an asshole.

You can download my episode of the podcast here.

Just to warn you, I do talk about giving myself an enema in public, and shooting a turd out of my butt like a poop cannon. You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.

Enjoy the RISK podcast.

Jerks.