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Archive for the ‘Woody Allen’ Category

Stand UP!

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:26 PM
Monday, December 12, 2011

What’s a girl gotta do to get some laughs around here? Wait – don’t answer that. Allow me. A girl must – if she wants her laughs to be heard, specifically, by a non-paying audience of sketchy and possibly mentally unbalanced comics – a girl must stand in line for hours, put her name on a list or in a hat, and then NOT get picked to go up that night and do her 3 minute routine.

Let me back up.

A few weeks ago, my husband proposed that I try standup comedy. He knows I am a writer & performer, that I love to stand up in front of a crowd, that I love to make people laugh, and that I love to listen to comics perform, live or on TV.

I love my husband. So supportive! I had thought about it a while ago, but immediately negged the idea when i realized it would mean I would be out at night trolling for laughs while he would be stuck caring for our 3 kids (or else we’d have to pay a fortune in baby sitters and possibly therapists, down the line). But with his support… nay, his blessing… I decided to go for it.

I pulled some material from various blogs I’ve written and amped it up a little for live, in-person, public consumption. I practiced a few times in front of some friends to work out the material. Then I went to my first open mic!

…And didn’t get picked to go up.

Turns out, if you want to do 3 minutes of material for an open mic at The Improv or The Comedy Store, you have to arrive hours early, wait forever to see if your name gets put on the list, and brave gross overtures by drunk & stoned “comics” even with your husband by your side, and then – most likely – NOT get picked to go up.

Honestly, I have too much going on in my life to waste hours like that! Kids, work, husband… but something in me (that Leo that craves an audience??) wouldn’t give up.

And on my 4th try – yes my FOURTH – I got up.

It was at The Improv, on Melrose. Famous place, but at 5pm on a Tuesday, the only other audience besides the comics is… no one.

Turns out, that didn’t prevent me from being a bundle of raw nerve. Mostly, I was thrown off by the lights – I had completely not expected to be blinded by the stage lights & had rehearsed with the idea that I’d be able to see and connect with the audience.

Excuses, excuses.

Still… I was SHOCKED to learn, once I trembled my way offstage, that I had, in fact, NOT bombed! Aharon assured me that I didn’t even seem nervous at all (?????!!!!) – though he didn’t get some of my jokes, which I’m sure is because I was nervous & therefor my delivery & timing were a little off (couldn’t have been the joke, right? LOL).

You can be the judge… because Aharon video-taped it! So here it is, my first ever foray into Standup Comedy. Here’s to hoping I get another chance before too many other comic losers hit on me and/or I lose my momentum.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Is it a TUMOR???

posted by Sheva 2:14 PM
Monday, August 8, 2011

Okay, maybe it was just a pimple. This time. But still, for a second there… I wasn’t sure.

It doesn’t make sense. I’m (somewhat) enlightened. I study Kabbalah. I believe in mind over matter. (Haven’t quite gotten the hang of practicing it, but that’s a different story.) I go to my homeopathic doctor for treatment of 99% of my issues or my kids’ sicknesses… and it works. I’m young (at least in my head), I’m fit, I am smart…

So why, after two hours of experiencing an ache in my ear (not inside the canal, in the ear itself), an ache that I couldn’t properly look at because of the difficulty looking inside one’s own ear, did I allow the thought to float into my head that maybe I have a tumor?

Chas V’Shalom! (shout out to all my Israeli & Kabbalah friends)

Forget the fact that I know that tumors generally don’t pop up overnight and create a soreness all around the surface area of the skin. Not to mention, once the nanny arrived and I had her inspect the ear closely under the light, even my poor Spanish was enough to help me understand that what she described seeing was less “tumor-esque” and more “pimple-esque”.

That was my original thought – it must be a pimple. (Sorry to keep grossing you all out with that word & image, but it’s central to my storyline here.) But a few hours alone, (pre-nanny inspection), without an adult to confirm visually what I suspected, left an opening in my mind to let in the monster that is… HYPOCHONDRIA.

I used to be worse. As a child, I suffered from various illnesses, including migraines, IBS, TMJ, and yes, even fake headaches and braces.  And each time, I imagined something much, much worse was going on. Which was never the case.

Which makes me wonder…

Do we hypochondriacs think ourselves into a panic because, somewhere deep down, we believe in Reverse Intuition, which says, “That which we predict will therefore not occur”?

This type of thinking is does not exactly hold true for a deeply spiritual person, who believes our thoughts dictate the physical. And I do believe this… in theory. But… in practice…

I mean, look at Woody Allen. Typical hypochondriac – healthy as can be! And, obviously, worrying about the Worst Case Scenario has kept Woody in tip-top shape, so why should he change?

I certainly don’t want to “bring that type of energy into my life” (AKA the energy of a tumor – CHAS V’SHALOM!). But I also can’t seem to stop those sneaky little thoughts from popping into my head.

Plus I’ve always loved Woody Allen. I mean, did you see Midnight in Paris?


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Looks healthy to me!

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