So I’m in California this week for the finals of the NBC Diversity contest. And just like last time, I thought you’d be interested in every minute detail of my trip… Obviously that’s a lie. But if you make it to the bottom of this blog, lemme know. I appreciate you and you’re a good friend ;) Sorry in advance for the epic.

SUNDAY

Ran into Sheryl Underwood at LAX. I met her about a year ago when she was in DC with another comedian friend of mine. She took us out for drinks and was super nice. She asked if I was living in LA now and I told her what I was doing out here. She gave me some great words of encouragement and some advice as well. Then she asked if I was ok and needed anything…ร‚ย  cash, etc. while I was in town. Of course I thanked her and told her no, even though I am broker than a joke, but I just thought it was super nice of her to offer.ร‚ย  Who DOES that?

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Sunday nite I went to the Lakers game with Dawan. I”ve always wanted to see the Lakers play at home. And I got 100-level seats! They were playing the Bucks and it ended up being a pretty lopsided game but I was happy to be there ;) We were in the seats that were actually just chairs, you know so you can move around and no one can really put their feet on the back of your chair. I felt so famous ;) There were these two jerks sitting above us in the next section who didn’t stop shouting the whole time, but it felt good to sit in judgment of them — AH, the commoners in the cheap seats — they can’t help themselves ;) Tee hee ;)

MONDAY

I had a meeting at Universal Studios. While I was looking thru my paperwork trying to find the suite where my meeting was Howie Mandel came over to help. He was very nice and we talked about my being a comic. He and his friends were very helpful and he wished me luck. When I was leaving — out of habit and courtesy — I extended my hand to shake his. And in that moment I remembered — Duh. This is Howie Mandel. He met my outstretched hand with a fist. I won because paper covers rock. And in the end we just gave each other a pound. How could I have forgotten that about him. A lot of people think that the “not touching” thing is weird, but I say, hey, everybody’s got their something.

Monday nite was the showcase, which was tons of fun. I had a pretty good set. No complaints… The other comics on the show were Billy D. Washington, Meena Dimian, Hassan Minhaj, Ali Siddiq, Rob Stapleton, Yamaneika Saunders, Bobby Miyamoto, and Reese Walters. Up for grabs is a network holding deal and a spot on the NACA Stand-Up for Diversity college tour. A bunch of other comics, as well as managers, agents and industry others came out. It was a great event in a swanky nightclub, and hosted by my old friend Bill Bellamy! I’m 0-1 at competitions he hosts. We’ll see what happens this time. ;) Here are a few photos from the evening.

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Me and the HILARIOUS Billy D. Washington. If you’re not familiar with Billy, apologize to and then forgive yourself and then look him up. He is just too………. ;) My favorite two take-away lines from his act that nite…ร‚ย  “I just found out my great-great grandfather was a runaway slave… because my great-great grandmother was a bitch.” and Nicorette sounds like a really small Black person.” I heart him. You should too.

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This is me with fellow comics Na’im Lynn and Roy Wood, Jr. Neither of them was on the show They just came out to show support. And of course Na’im wouldn’t miss an opportunity to remind me that I’m pretty funny… “for a chick.”

After we left the showcase a bunch of us headed over to an after-hours karaoke spot — which means I’m like 2-2 on karaoke during trips to LA ;) I ran into two friends from college there. Random. The thing I didn’t like about this karaoke nite is that the people there were serious singers. No, I mean with choreography and everything. They probably all have pending record deals… which makes it quite intimidating for someone who can’t really carry a tune but just came out toร‚ย  sing and have a good time. Damn Hollywood.

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This is Na’im, Roy and my boy Micah singing “Regulate” by Warren G. A good choice. No real hard vocals there and we’re in LA so everybody sang along. I soooooo wanted to sing “Superstition” or “Proud Mary” — those are two of my favorite karaoke songs — but I didn’t have the nerve. :(

We’ll find out who won the contest later in the week I believe. I will keep y’all posted.

TUESDAY

We pretty much had nothing but meetings all day yesterday. Meetings and lots of driving. Which in LA, means lots of TRAFFIC. I rented a car and had a morning meeting in Santa Monica. I didn’t have a GPS so I took the route that Randmcnally.com told me to take — the 405 at 9 am.

Damn. Damn. Damn. It was totally the traffic that you see criminals and cops get caught in in the movies. I was expecting some high speed chases, maybe some vehicles flipping over and bursting into flames… But what I got was a parking lot and Ryan Sechrest “On the Air”.

My last meeting for the day was in Beverly Hills which was super cool. I saw tons of stuff I’ve only seen in movies, like the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Spago.

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A couple of us were gonna run in there and get an order of filet mignon to go, but we changed our minds and ate Cheez-its in the car instead.

Tuesday nite I did a spot at the Improv which was cool. Then I headed back to the hotel and passed out. I’m headed to Indianapolis this afternoon for more fun at Morty’s Comedy Joint. If any of you are based or know someone based in Indy, send them out to the shows this weekend. It’ll be a blast, I promise!

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