The Cadillac of Manliness
S.S. Cuffing Season (The Relationship)

Autumn is approaching and it’s about to start getting colder so you want someone to cuddle up to. You’re dusting off the OK Cupid profile hoping to find someone to wear matching Scooby Doo costumes with you by Halloween or you’re hitting up the club just to be embraced by a guy named Gino who only communicates via blue tooth.
Sweaters are being put on and cuffing season is officially back in full swing. There are a few things to know though going in so you’ll have a lasting relationship and not be the guy/girl who only gets hit up at 3 AM every other Friday.

- DON’T put her on a pedestal 
Remember the story “Everybody Poops”? Same thing applies for relationships. That girl you exchanged numbers with may be awesome but she’s still human. She’s had some questionable c*cks in her mouth. She’s smoked cigarettes with toddlers present. She’s made a sex tape with the roadie for Staind. Whatever. Just know everybody has a past and not everyone lives a picket fences lifestyle. That’s OK. Respect that history because it led to where you are today. And you know you hit that hobo with your car while drunk driving, you’re not perfect either.

DON’T gas yourself up
You’re not that special. You’re unique because you’re the only you. Be that. You’re probably not the richest. You’re probably not the biggest. You’re probably not the first. But your significant other chose to be with you for a reason. Be that reason, don’t worry about the other stuff.

DON’T look for anything you don’t want to know
Curiosity killed the cat and can kill the relationship. If your s/o is acting weird and you’re curious why then ask. That doesn’t help all the time though because people have this ability to do this thing called “lying”. Just know if you plan to snoop through texts you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We all have our trust issues, that’s why Drake is a thing.

You’re taking on a project
People aren’t robots. You can’t program them into the way you want. Relationships are two individuals coming together to try their best whilst also having mediocre sex once a week. It’s OK not to like all of the same things. Have you met a dude who likes EVERYTHING his girlfriend likes? They have a freezer full of human toes. Your project isn’t going to be perfect. Be happy with what you got. Some things will change, some things won’t. We’re all stubborn and set in our ways to some extent. Embrace it, try your best to deal with it, attempt to fix it, or get out.

Remember everything, read into nothing
Not everything your s/o says has value or meaning. Some stories and characters in their life are just that. Parts of history that has molded him/her to who they are now. Remember it so you’ll know that’s why they do some of the stuff they do. People who have been cheated on will be a little more insecure. People who spent long amounts of time being single will need space sometimes. Keep it in the back of your brain but don’t add more to it than there should be.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT BODY COUNT
Sex is great, right? You like experiencing it. You did it before you met your hucklebuck unless you were a boring ass person. Well, they did too. They probably did a lot of weird butt stuff while getting tied up to horses. We all have different experiences in our 20’s. Are they clean and regularly go to the clinic? Then that’s what matters. Don’t let the body count hurt your relationship unless you’re getting a burning sensation below. Plus, now you have a sweet foot chokehold move to add to your repertoire. 

NEVER fully listen to their friends
They are HER friends first. They are there to make her look good to keep her happy or themselves happy. They will give you good advice because they know her well but they’re also there to protect her so think of talking to friends like Miranda Rights - anything you say can and will be used in the court of love (turns and winks at the camera). 

Recognize if you’re in love or in love with the idea of a person
You know those movies where the nerdy guy pines after his dream cheerleader and finally gets her and realizes she’s a bad person? That happens in real life too! We all have an image built up in our head of an ideal mate and sometimes you get that but fail to recognize that the person isn’t good for you. Don’t stay in an unhealthy or abusive relationship simply because you think it’s what society has picked for you. That’s how you get a posthumous Lifetime movie made about you.

Well, hope you all enjoyed this read and your sitting-by-the-fireplace relationship is a little better now because of it. I expect wedding invites. I won’t come, but I like knowing I’m thought of.

Follow me on twitter - @martinMmorrow and check out these upcoming shows I’m performing in:
9/6, 9/13, & 9/20 (sketch) - Mutiny on the Short Bus @ 9 PM in Donny’s Skybox Theater at Second City
9/7 - Laugh Factory Chicago @ 8 PM
9/9 - Zanies Comedy Club @ 8:30 PM
9/12 - Shenannigans @ 7 PM
9/13 - Reggie’s @ 12 AM
9/19 - Improv Comedy Club in Schaumburg @ 8 PM
9/26-9/28 - Up Comedy Club opening for Carmen Lynch @ 8 & 10 PM
 

Upcoming Shows!!!

Friday, Jan. 25 - Sh!t Show at Shambles (2050 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622) at 8 PM

Friday, Jan. 25 - Chris Redd’s Redd Alert at The Playground Theater (3209 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60657) at 10 PM

Saturday, Jan. 26 - OPENING NIGHT of Second City presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking inside Donny’s Skybox Theater (1616 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60614) at 9 PM *sketch*

Saturday, Jan. 26 - Cutz on Cuts Loft Party at MultiKulti (1000 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642) at 11 PM

Monday, Jan. 28 - Hosting The Chaser at Comedy Sportz Theater (929 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657) at 10 PM

Wednesday, Jan. 30 - Hosting Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’ Toole’s (622 North Fairbanks Court, Chicago, IL 60611) at 9 PM

Thursday, January 31 - Comedy Central Showcase at Lincoln Lodge (4008 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618) at 9 PM

Thursday, January 31 - Your Comedy Show at Lilly’s ( 2515 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614) at 10 PM

Friday, February 1 - Lincoln Lodge at 9 PM

Friday, February 1 - Talk Hard at Comedy Sportz Theater *Mar’son and the FYF Crew* at 12 AM

Saturday, February 2 - Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Monday, February 4 - 100 Proof Comedy at Comedy Sportz Theater at 8 PM

Tuesday, February 5 - Hug City at Racine Plumbing (2642 N. Lincoln Ave.) at 9 PM

Friday, February 8 - Lincoln Lodge at 9 PM

Saturday, February 9 - Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Saturday, February 9 - Don’t Spit The Water! at The Playground Theater at 10 PM

Sunday, February 10 - REACH at Up Comedy Club at 9:30 PM *Mar’son & The FYF Crew* (230 W. North Ave. 3rd Floor Chicago, IL)

Monday, February 11 - 100 Proof Comedy DVD TAPING! at Comedy Sportz Theater at 8 PM

Friday, February 15 - The Lincoln Lodge Presents RORY SCOVEL - 8 PM & 10 PM 

Saturday, February 16Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Monday, February 18 - Charity Event at Comedy Sportz Theater (being auctioned) at 8 PM

Monday, February 18 - Hosting The Chaser at Comedy Sportz Theater at 10 PM

Tuesday, February 19 - Featuring for Drew Michael in Kenosha at 7 PM

Saturday, February 23Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Monday, February 25 - 100 Proof Comedy at Comedy Sportz Theater at 8 PM

Saturday, March 2Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Saturday, March 9Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Saturday, March 16Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

Monday, March 18 - Hosting The Chaser at Comedy Sportz Theater at 10 PM

Sunday, March 24 - Bevy at 10 PM

Tuesday, March 26 - Chicago Underground Comedy at The Beat Kitchen (2100 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618) at 9 PM 

Sunday, March 30 Second City Presents Urban Twist: Social NOTWorking at 9 PM

More shows TBA.

Stand-Up vs Improv

There’s a saying about music that “everyone can sing, just not everyone can sing well.” The same is true for comedy. Everyone can be or has been funny at some point in their life. You can be the funniest person to your friends or the funniest guy in the office or even have some funny tweets but that doesn’t always translate into being a comedian. 
For a lot of people they transition that will and want to be funny into taking improv classes or doing open mics. Some flourish and some sink. Humor is an inherent trait and the process of channeling it can be difficult if you don’t push yourself to tap into it. If you’re a well-to-do person who watches SNL and just think, “I can do that” then you’re going to struggle in the reality that there are a million other people with the same thought process and a lot of them are funnier, more talented, and have more drive.
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of outstandingly funny people from different avenues. With that I’ve met a lot of unfunny people who desperately want to be funny. Reality usually takes people in three different directions of either- “Yes I suck but I want to get better” or “Yes I suck and I should quit and focus on something else” or “No, I don’t suck everyone around me sucks for not getting my brilliance.” Comedy is an attention wanting process. You’re presenting yourself in a light of “look at me, laugh at my thoughts, and chuckle at this silly thing I can do.” For me personally I got “serious” about stand-up in 2009 and that was also when I started doing improv, both of which were in Birmingham. I would drive 2 hours to Birmingham from Auburn every Sunday to rehearse and then 2 hours back to go to class the next morning. I didn’t party. I didn’t drink. I worked 3 jobs, was a full time student, and did as much comedy as possible.

Since then I’ve kept up with doing both stand-up and improv and a question I always get  asked is which one is better and the response I always give is that they’re both very different. Stand-up is a solo performance. It is you and a microphone telling thought out material or things that come to you in the moment. Improv is a group minded thing. A bunch of people working together with the best of their ability to think stuff from the top of their head. 
The key difference is dependability. When I’m doing stand-up I know I can trust myself to do something funny and make something funny. If it doesn’t work it is all on me. With improv if something doesn’t work, there is a reason it doesn’t work and it could be an idea that was stepped on or negated or just one person who is a weak link in the group because the truth is not all improvists are strong.
I’d rather watch a stand-up fail than an improv team fail. If a stand-up fails on stage (unless he’s delusional) he knows where he lost the audience and he can try to win them back or say “good night” and bring up the host. If improv does badly YOU HAVE TO STILL WATCH THEM TRY. The scene could get swiped and then you look at that person on the side of the stage with 1 of 2 faces: Face A: “Aw man, that wasn’t good.” or Face B: “Aw man, I can’t wait to get in again and try to make that work.” I don’t fault multiple attempts at putting in effort to make something funny but sometimes you have to wave the white flag and know when to be a good prop for the rest of the scenes.

In August I got into a discussion with a girl about which is more profitable to do, stand-up or improv. I explained that improv performers have the quicker pay-off but stand-ups have a higher success rate.
If you think about the city of Chicago, you have several improv venues such as Second City, iO, The Annoyance, Comedy Sportz Theatre, etc etc… Out of those you have at least 5,000 people coming from all over the world taking classes. 10% are people who need a confidence booster and probably won’t do anything past a couple of classes. 30% enjoy comedy and are just looking for something to do in the meantime. Another 30% are musical theatre majors who have been told their entire life during their musical theatre classes that they’re musical theatre funny and all of their scenes will be the exact same thing, they’ll play the exact same characters, and will potentially be the most annoying person in these classes. There’s another 25% who feel they can make something out of it and will try their best and there’s a final 5% that make something out of it be it a career in improv or teaching or making it big in television and movies- success is all dependent upon how you see it and how far you want to go. The reality should set in that not everybody who signs up for these classes or does all of the improv jams or performs at every improv show is going to be the next big thing in improv. There is a very small percentage of people who get paid to do improv.
Stand-up is again similar but different. There are multiple venues and bars and coffee shops with a microphone and stand. The biggest fall-off is in between doing open mics and doing shows. I’ve seen a lot of people who do open mics disappear but typically those who are in the showcase circuit or who are doing clubs stick with it in some fashion and get paid whatever amount. Taking from an open mic, let’s say there are 50 people signed up. Out of that 50, 10 of them are already somewhat established in their city or region and are trying out new jokes or just need a stage. 15 of them are growing and are the comics to watch for when that first 10 move to a different city or begin to travel or do whatever their specific goals are (goals are relative). The remaining 25 will either meander around open mics, quit within a year, or find what works for them. The group that finds what works for them typically become that 15 and the cycle continues. The difference between here and improv is you have maybe 400 people doing stand-up in the city vs that 5,000 in classes and performing their show “Wacky Title with a Political Figure Involved Honey Boo Boo”.

Out of all of this, the truth is that cream rises. There’s a quote from Red Skelton, “if you’ve got talent they can put you behind a brick wall and you’ll break through.”
A lot of people in improv and stand-up have the talent and will definitely flourish, and a lot more will be stuck counting bricks.

Upcoming Shows!

ETC Presents Vulcan’s Underpants
When: Saturday, May 26th 8:00 PM
Where:Theatre Downtown (upstairs of 5th Ave. Antiques) 2410 5th Ave. S Birmingham, AL
Why: My last show in Birmingham before heading up to Chicago to start my work with Second City Bench Co.! It’s fast paced improv in the style of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ If you’ve ever been a friend, enemy, or seen me perform while in the Magic City then this is the show I want you to be at.
Advance tickets available at www.etcbham.com

Laugh and a Half
When: Thursday, May 31st 9:00 PM
Where: Snuggery Pub 15 West Division St. Chicago, IL
Why: One of the best new stand-up showcases in Chicago I’ve been told. Why would you be a jerk and not be apart of seeing that?

Southern Discomfort
When: Saturday, June 2nd 11:00 PM
Where: MPaact Theatre 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL
Why: It’s my one man show where I talk about growing up in Birmingham, coming back to Birmingham, the fear of stereotypes, and my love of interracial dating and the parents that hate me for it. It will hopefully be enlightening to a point and also funny.
Tickets available at http://mpaact.tix.com/schedule.asp?actcode=76716

A Night of Effen Comedy 13
When: Thursday, June 7 8:00 PM
Where: Zodiac Cafe & Lounge 113 N. Main Street Crown Point, IN
Why: It’s the show to round out the year of this show being around and I’m headlining! With Nathyn Gibson and Odinaka “OD” Ezeokoli we’re probably going to get stinky on stage.

Comedy Booze Cruise
When: Friday, June 8 10:00 PM
Where: On a boat in Knoxville, TN
Why: Because it’s a boat. Where everyone gets drunk. And you watch comedy. Plus the Manute Bols of Comedy are takin’ over!

Come out to ‘em!
- @martinMmorrow