Tea laughs it up and weirds out here every Friday.
This column (and my life) focuses a lot on Funny Weird, but today I thought I’d talk about another interest of mine, Funny Ha Ha. People tend to know I’ve written about subjects considered unique or unusual like Real Life Superheroes, paranormal investigators, doomsday prognosticators, conspiracy theorists, etc. But as a freelance writer, I’ve written about a lot of things that wouldn’t be considered to be fringe. Topics I’ve written at least a couple articles on include local music, burlesque, roller derby, food/drink, theater, comic book artists, authors, and interviews with a wide range of Milwaukeeans for the Shepherd Express and other publications.
And I’ve always had a fun time writing about comedy. Really, how can you go wrong? You sit around and laugh, then write it up.
I’ve written a few articles on the local comedy scene here in Milwaukee, including a round-up of local open mics and an article on Milwaukee Comedy Festival back when they were on year 2 or 3 (they just did their 14th year!) In more recent years I wrote on the Milwaukee comedy scene in general in 2015 and did an “Off the Cuff” interview with Matthew Filipowicz of Laughing Liberally earlier this year. Fun stuff.
Anyway, one of my favorite publications to freelance for is Scandinavian Traveler. I was contacted by them years ago when Risto Pakarinen editor (and author of a new novel, Someday Jennifer— congrats, Risto!) read my book Heroes in the Night and asked if I would be interested in penning an article on Real Life Superheroes.
Since then I’ve written a few articles for Scandinavian Traveler, including one on Chicago chocolatier Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat (a very delicious assignment), the Mars One program, and some checklists I compiled while I was on vacation in San Francisco.
Risto gave me an extremely delightful assignment for the July issue of Scandinavian Traveler, asking if I’d write about the improv school at the legendary Second City Chicago for their “10 Trips with a Purpose” cover story. I took a trip down to Chicago and participated in an improv class. I also interviewed artistic director Mark Hovde about the comedy biz and Second City’s amazing legacy as the starting point for comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Meyers, and so many other comedians that went on to Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, and other comedy careers onstage and in writing rooms.
Here’s a PDF version of the magazine (my article is page 71-74): https://scandinaviantraveler.com/sites/default/files/st1907.pdf
ClownWatch 2019: 08/01/2019: IndieWire reports that the Alamo Drafthouse will have a “clowns only” screenings at 17 theaters on September 5 of It: Chapter 2.
“encouraged to come dressed as a clown – the wig, the makeup, the oversized pants and suspenders, the blood-curdling makeup — and sit through this coulrophobia-inducing fright fest with a theater full of fellow clowns.”
Great googly moogly, what could go wrong?
The Week in Links
The Apocalypse Blog Book Club’s late summer selection is Feed by Mira Grant. Next selection will be made early October. The groups meets in person in Milwaukee and has online discussion world wide. Join the club here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2019 is happening Sept.13-15. See a speaker line-up and get tickets here: https://milwaukeeparacon.com/2019/07/26/milwaukee-paranormal-conference-2019/
The Milwaukee Krampusnacht 2019 event page is live!: https://www.facebook.com/events/520974881979502/
I had three published pieces this month, one on Milwaukee singer Jeannine Rivers, another on the local comedy scene, and the Monster of the Month column. I got a couple more in the bag for next month already for Riverwest Currents, Milwaukee Record, and M, and there will maybe be one or two more.
9. “The Jazz Singer,” April 2015, M magazine. (page 86 )
10. “Ha ha ha! Milwaukee’s Underground Comedy Gets Last Laugh With Do-it-Yourself Approach,” April 9-15, Shepherd Express.
11. “Monster of the Month: Pepie, the Lake Monster of Lake Pepin,” April 10, Forces of Geek.
Total 2015 word count: 11,128
My New Year’s resolution was to keep better track of what I’m doing. I’ll be listing what I get published each month and at the end of 2015 I’ll be able to see how many articles and a rough word count of what I did over the year.
I spent a lot of January working behind the scenes. I read over proofs for my upcoming book Monster Hunters (out June 2015, Chicago Review Press) and spent a lot of time working on the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (June 6, 2015), and working on promo material for Ballyhoo (a comic I wrote and David Beyer Jr. illustrated).
I did have three articles published this month.
1. “Testing and Taxing Your Brain,” M: Milwaukee’s Lifestyle Magazine, January 2015. Article about local trivia nights, built on trivia questions with answer key at bottom of the article. The link will take you to their digital edition, the article is on page 96.
2. “the Soil & the Sun @ Turner Hall Ballroom,” Shepherd Express, Jan. 29. Concert review.
3. “Neighborhood Spotlight: Boen Richardson: The Right Side of the Tracks,” Riverwest Currents, February 2015. I’m including it here, despite Feb. cover date because it is out on the street (but not online yet).
Total 2015 word count: 2,070 words.