I just got home from the 7th Annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival in Asheville, NC. Such a good time! I had a show at the University of Georgia the day before I was headed to the fest, so I pitstopped in Atlanta, met up with my girlfriends Angela and Courtney and we made a road trip out of it. To say it was an eventful 48 hours would be the understatement of the decade. More on that in a later post. Angela’s been to Asheville a ton of times, and my love for this adorable town has been well documented in this video, but it was Courtney’s first visit. We wanted to give her the full AVL experience so we encouraged her to Google photos of the Biltmore Estate as we drove by it… because ain’t nobody got $65 to walk around somebody else’s big-ass house. Good times. As soon as we checked in, we freshened up and headed out to Angi’s favorite local restaurant, Cúrate. The food was AMAZING. We ate all the tapas. Poor server was taking our order real skeptically, like ‘there’s no way y’all are gonna finish all that.’
Saturday was my day to pick the restaurant. So of course we went to 12 Bones. Yum. With that good barbecue, cheddar jalapeno grits and corn pudding in our bellies, we were ready to head out on the town for some shopping and sightseeing. Asheville has such a cool vibe. Musicians and street performers on every corner, great vintage and souvenir shops. I found this Obama magnet in a local bookstore called Malaprop’s. It looks more like Herman Cain. Or Sherman Hemsley. Or Lou Rawls.
Went down to super-cute Asheville, NC a few weeks ago with my buddy Jason Weems. OMG, I. LOVE. ASHEVILLE!!! I was working at this great new theatre space down there called The Altamont Theatre, and had the opportunity to check out some of the sites. Didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see, but I’ve got a college show booked there for the spring, so I’m looking forward to more sightseeing then! Did a short Me In Your City video blog about. Wanna watch it? Here it go:
So I just got home from a road trip which covered several events and cities, not the least of which was my visit to Raleigh, NC to open for Bill Maher at the tapings for his latest HBO special. The photo above is me in Raleigh on my way from the hotel to the Progress Energy Center — the venue for the shows. Yaaaaay!
The venue was gorgeous and seated about 2,300.
By far the largest venue I’ve ever performed in, it was imposing while it was empty. You can’t even see the wings to the left and right. When it was full it was one of the best feelings in the world. When I walked out on stage I actually closed my eyes for a few seconds and imagined all the people were there to see me… Some day I hope. The HBO folks were nice enough to make me a recording of one of the shows. They edited it multi-camera as if it were my special too. It looks awesome. Clips to come for sure.
These ladies were the models underneath the burkas in the fashion show at the end of the special.
And this is me with the man.
We chatted maybe once or twice but being the huge fan that I am, it was certainly enough. I know how I can be before just before I get up at a regular show. I can only imagine the adrenaline, excitement, and even nerves that must be stirring when you’re taping a live HBO special. He was very nice. I’ve been going through a really tough time these past few months. And when I got home last nite I rushed to download these photos because I needed to remind myself why I sacrifice to do what I do. It’s almost like each of them is saying, “Hey, EJ don’t be discouraged. Look at all the wonderful opportunities you’ve been blessed with. And look what’s possible if you continue to work hard.”