So I was in Jersey this past weekend working at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club in Princeton. Princeton is about 20 minutes away from where I grew up so it was amazing to be home. I get nostalgic for Jersey a lot because there’s stuff you can get there that you just can’t get south of the Mason-Dixon — like an authentic bagel shop bagel w/ cream cheese and lox in the morning, a good thin greasy pizzeria pie… and Puerto Ricans. I really miss those things. Puerto Ricans most of all ;)
I was closing the shows this weekend, which was exciting and scary at the same time. I hesitate to say that I was headlining, because until I really get the hang of the closing spot, I’m not a headliner. I’m just up last. I never feel prepared to close, but I also know that there’s no other way to figure out the art and pacing of closing a show other than to do it. There were 4 shows this weekend and I’d say that 2.5 of them went really well. It definitely helped that I was close to home and had a bunch of friends come out!
Nothing makes you rethink your material like your former Sunday School teacher sitting in the front row ;) But I knew Mrs. Winfrey could handle it. She was like the “Scared Straight” version of a Sunday School teacher. Heart her forever.
If it’s possible to have two sets of parents who you absolutely, positively love to pieces, then this is my second set — Charles and Ada Martin a.k.a. Jersey Ma & Pop. Through every mistake and triumph I’ve made in my entire life they’ve been there to support me. From sliding me money when I was broke and building me a computer when I couldn’t afford to buy one, to cheering on all my successes and helping to put my setbacks into perspective, I couldn’t ask for two better people in my life. I mean, other than the fact that they’re diehard Jets fans, I’d be hard pressed to come up with one negative thing about them ;) And even then, they still root for the Green & White ;) If you’re a fan of the martial arts — karate in particular — you might be familiar with Pop. He was featured in the martial arts documentary Fighting Black Kings and he is a Shuseki Shihan in Seido Karate — which is the highest honor a student can achieve. He’s in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame and he’s like a rock star in pretty much every country in the world. So don’t mess with him… Or me… cause he’s still got it ;)
These are my girls from waaaay back in the day — Soni G., Mawiyah, Cynthia, Suzanne, Khalilah and Jehan. It was such a surprise to see them all out! Tee hee ;) Told you I’d put you on the blog, Cynda ;)
Saturday afternoon I drove up to Jersey City to have lunch with the HILARIOUS Gina Yashere. You may know her from Season 5 of Last Comic Standing or maybe because she’s one of THE biggest comedians in Europe. Girlfriend sells out theatres and stadiums and has a brand new DVD out. Go ahead… buy one!!! She’s great. Gina was in NYC working at Carolines and since she’s based in LA, I didn’t at all mind the 40-minute drive to meet up with her. We ate (way too much ;) at this great Cuban spot and had a great time talking about comedy and life in general. At just 5 years in comedy, I’m still considered a baby. So it’s always great to pick the brain of someone who’s been in the game a lot longer and has faced a lot of the obstacles I’m certain to encounter. Plus she’s just plain awesome! Heart her too ;)
So those are the main highlights of my weekend, save one more really cool thing… which if you’re reading the blog top to bottom, you’ve probably already read about ;) Take care y’all and thanks so much to all my people who came out to support me this weekend (including those I didn’t post photos of — Jay, EJ, Aileen, Matt, Alicia, Alec, Ms. Smith…). Y’all have no idea what a boost you gave me. Thanks bunches, –E