Category Archives: story telling

Word Waterfalls, 49 1/2 Shades of Steve BLUE-stein and The Mom

by Karen A. Brown @StardustBlu @IndieStardust @StardustBluCEO

stevevegas2

Karen A. Brown: Hello again Steve Bluestein.  Lovely to have you back so soon.  So please tell us, how did you manage write an entire new book in 6 weeks?

Steve Bluestein: I take performance enhancing drugs.  You don’t think Lance Armstrong is the only one who pedals fast.

KAB:  Where are these stories coming from?

SB:  My mind is like a computer. It sees things in terms of comedy viability. When something happens in my life I say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if…?” And I’m off. My stories are all true…What makes them funny is my take on them. My side comments. My observations.

49-1-2 shadesKAB: What happens to you when you sit down to write? It must be a waterfall.

SB: It’s interesting. It’s like a waterfall, you’re right. But after two hours the waterfall shuts down like it’s clean up time at Disneyland. I can tell you when it’s been two hours by how my mind is working.  I think I have a tad ADHD… Oh look pretty colors.

KAB: Why 49 1/2 Shades… Why not 39 1/2 or 79 1/2?

"As my book 49 1-2 shades of Blue-stein suggests... I believe in angels and today in Century City there was one right in front of me." SB
“As my book 49 1-2 shades of Blue-stein suggests… I believe in angels and today in Century City there was one right in front of me.” SB

SB: I didn’t want to get sued. I was going to call the book 50 shades of Blue-stein but thought I would get sued. So I called it 49 1/2 Shades.

KAB: Steve, can you give us your take on Christmas? The shopping? The advertising? The parties?

SB:  I hate Christmas, the crowds and commerciality of it all. I had my shopping done in October when I didn’t have to fight sixteen housewives on Starbucks caffeine for a parking space. My gifts were wrapped before Thanksgiving and my cards were done the day after Thanksgiving. And now while you’re all running around looking for an X-Box I’m watching re-runs of I’M DICKENS HE’S FENSTER.


KAB: I saw that you had a recent visit with your mother. How is she doing in Florida?

SB: Well, the joke I told my friends was… It was a wonderful trip. She has Dementia and forgot she hated me.

KAB: Is it ok if I share the clip you took during your visit?

SB:  Ya, sure.

KAB:  Great! Ok, everyone, meet Steve’s mom! This may explain a few things.

KAB:  Now that we all have used a half box of tissues in laughter. Thank you by the way, Steve and Mom and friend Dori Fram for asking the question in the first place.  Now Steve, please share a little with us about the animals in your house.. Dogs, Cats…? Fish? Penguins?

49-1-2 shades
Click to order Steve’s latest Book!

SB:  I’ve had a zoo of animals… all rescues. Maggie the Springer Spaniel for 14 years, Followed by Katy the Dalmatian, followed by Tori Spelling the terrier, followed by Sully the Golden Retriever and finally Louie the Bichon Frise… oh and Kitty Carlisle the worst cat in America… Meanest cat ever!

KAB: Steve you’re a good guy, lovely of you to rescue all of them, especially the mean Kitty Carlisle. So, may I ask what are your plans for 2014?
SB: I would like to have a good bowel movement.

KAB: Wouldn’t we all, Steve… Wouldn’t we all. *hoping you are speaking figuratively.*  

I would love to see you writing for a new comedy show. Anything we should know about?

SB: TV is a young man’s game. I will not be writing TV again in the near future. Not because I don’t want to but because the industry doesn’t hire older writers.

KAB: I think they are making a mistake demographically speaking. There are a lot of old people watching TV. Do you have another book in the works yet?

SB:  I’m thinking of doing a photography book… I have over 4000 photos that need a home.

KAB: That’s an exciting prospect, Steve. Your photographs are wonderful! Thank you again for visiting me here! Steve’s new book will make you laugh, cry and reflect.

Follow Steve @stevebluestein on Twitter!

The photo below is one of the shots Steve says will be in his new book of photographs.

steve vegas

Bill Murray on Gilda Radner: from Live from New York: an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live

Bill Murray on Gilda Radner

“Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.

So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”

We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.

And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.

It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”

– from Live from New York: an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live “Live From New York” by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller

Order the whole book here on Amazon! 

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Interview with Dylan Brody on his new CD “Writ Large” by Karen A. Brown

A warm and hilarious storyteller, Dylan Brody has his way with words. He calls himself a “Purveyor of Fine Words and Phrases” He certainly is!  Dylan is adorable neurotic perfection with lovingly supportive generosity. He is able to visually frame any situation so we can be right there with him. “Writ Large” is a must!  

I caught up with Dylan Brody as he was on the phone doing an interview with “Comedy Above the Pub”. But I was lucky enough to get him next.

KAB
Tell me how you feel about words Dylan.
DB
Hah! I love words. I love the way they fit together into images and I love the way in which those images can convey ideas more complex than those literally expressed. This is the nature of poetry and I try to allow poetry to be part of all my word use, whether it is in the creation of a joke, a story or an e-mail message.
KAB
What type of situation do you enjoy sharing with an audience most?
DB
The type in which I stand on stage talking and they sit and listen and/or laugh.
KAB
Ha! (And he said that with a straight face.) Dylan, how long did it take to write and record “Writ Large”? Was it a compilation of many years or a short focused intention?
DB
There’s one piece (Alpha Male) that has been part of my repertoire for some time . . .
. . . I had wanted to get that piece on to one of my CDs for a long time, but for reasons of thematic balance it hadn’t fit anywhere before. Apart from that, everything on this CD was written and developed over the course of the past year. Almost. I just remembered that the track “Size Matters” is actually a joke from my old stand-up days. A fan and friend of mine requested that I put it on the CD, so I did. Also, the structured improv stuff is stuff I’ve done for a long time, but it really is improvised, so it’s always brand new.
KAB
Is there anything specific you would like to share with your listeners?
DB
I want my listeners to know that it is hugely important to me to know that people enjoy what I do. The more silence I allow in my performances, the scarier it is and all encouragement is appreciated.
KAB
So we will always be sure to make lots of noise in the audience.
DB
I don’t think you understand what I mean . . . (sigh).
KAB
I do!!! I really do! But just in case I don’t, tell me.
DB
When I moved from doing four-laughs-per-minute to . . . oh. Never mind.
KAB
No please share! ( Wasn’t going to let this one pass us by. ) There is a certain rhythm when you are on stage.
DB
When I was doing a laugh every fifteen seconds, the laughter became a constant source of reassurance. With the story-telling, a certain amount of silence is appropriate. I build images. I take people on weird, dark little journeys sometimes. I’m not actually hoping for or playing for a laugh, but so many years as a comic habituated me to the sound. So the silence is wonderful, appropriate, focused, rich but also a little bit terrifying. I have to remind myself internally that . . .
. . . as long as it’s listening silence and not coughs and shuffles, I’m doing okay.
KAB
Just watching the Starbucks clip I was glued. You are doing more than ok..
DB
Aw, thanks. That piece is one of my funniest. It’s how I start my set when I’m doing a regular stand up club these days.
KAB
Has anyone ever done this type of comedy before? More storytelling.. less one liners?
It’s a great clip! I loved it!
DB
Oh, yeah! If it were 1946 or 1958 I would just be considered a comic, really. Mark Twain did this sort of performance. Lord Buckley did long-form stuff. Bill Cosby did long stories.
KAB
Bill Cosby! A favorite! It has certainly been many years though. Thank you for bringing it back!
DB
The idea that you need a laugh every 15 seconds became the norm only in the 1980s/1990s with the proliferation of cable channels, TV comedy showcase programs and the “tight six” that everyone needed in hopes of stepping from stand-up into sit coms.
You are most, most welcome. Thank you for accepting it.
KAB
Thank you Dylan! Wonderful interview. I look forward to many replays of “Writ Large”.

Recommendations: 

My Fine Friend Dylan Brody has his newest CD coming out today! Dylan also happens be a regular Special Guest in my Songwriters Showcase and will be performing tonight (Tues. April 2nd) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Dylan will be celebrating his newest CD and will have a bunch with him. Music starts at 7PM. Dylan will Writ Large Later! Oh – and please “Like” Dylan, he is a genuinely wise and funny and thoughtful man who tells the parables of our time. 🙂 – David Harvey
I cannot recommend this CD highly enough (and not just because I was at the recording). Dylan Brody is an incredible storyteller who will caress your brain while messing with your head in the best of ways. WRIT LARGE is wit large. GO GET IT. Amy Engelhardt
Click on this photo to purchase ” Writ Large”

Follow Dylan on Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/TheDylanBrody

Follow Dylan on Twitter > https://twitter.com/dylanbrody

More at > http://www.dylanbrody.com 

Dylan Brody will be at The Coffee Gallery Backstage tonight in LA (April 2nd, 2013. The show starts at 7:30pm.