paulschissler

Bumping Life's Funny Bone

Month: February, 2012

Sweet Serendipity

I had a deep craving for magically chocolate treat, so it was quite serendipitous when my friends suggested we go to Serendipity 3 for over-the-top delicious desserts.

Serendipity 3, located on 60th St. and 3rd Ave, boasts an eclectic atmosphere of odd trinkets and gaudy decorations– making me feel like I had just entered Cupid’s house– pink with an air of fancy fun. Definitely an awesome date spot. Serendipity 3 is famous for their “Guinness World Record Golden Opulence Sundae for $1,000.00.”

ONE GRAND FOR A FREAKING SUNDAE?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! STOP PUTTING GOLD FLAKES ON YOUR DESSERTS, LUNATICS. I would totally buy it if I had the money.

My three friends and I ordered the chicken nachos, Peanut Butter Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, and the Forbidden Broadway Sundae (don’t just us, there’s an $8 per person minimum).

All of it was sinful.

I wanted to curl up next to a fireplace and hum myself to sleep afterward.

Best. Dessert. Ever.

You would agree. Unless, that is, that you hate decadent hot fudge blanketing a hunk of chocolate chip chocolate cake, surrounded with vanilla ice-cream and topped with whipped cream sprinkled with flakes of chocolate. Or, if you can’t stand the thought of a glass goblet of peanut butter frozen hot chocolate sitting below a heaping mound of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

I'm using 4 straws at this point

The aftermath

 

 

My only disappointment is knowing that every dessert to follow will not live up to Serendipity’s chocolately deliciousness. Well played, Serendipity…. well played.

 

Advertisements

Helping an Italian man

I was walking home yesterday and a gentleman sitting in his SUV waved me over.

“Hello, I am looking for the G-F-K airport,” he said in a heavy Italian accent pointing to a fold up map.

“You mean the JFK airport?”

“Ah, yes, the JFK airport. You are from NYC, yes?” he said.

“Yea. But you’re going to want to head south.”

“Ah, very good,” he said and shook my hand.

“I’m not exactly sure how to get there, I moved here a month ago.”

“What do you do here? You are a businessman?” he asked.

“No, I’m a comedian.”

“Ah, a what do you mean?”

“You know, a comedian, I tell jokes. Coh-me-dee-ann”

He smiled, “Ah, a cameraman!”

“Yes, I’m a cameraman.”

“Very good, you have a guapo face. Very handsome,” he said.

“Um, thank you.”

“Yes, yes. I just come from Italy and I work for Armani. I have several suit coats in my trunk that I need to get off my hands for very little money. You would like to buy one?” he asked.

“No thanks.”

“Really?”

“I have to go. Bye.”

Review of The Chris Gethard Show

Chris Gethard on set of "The Chris Gethard Show"

What the h-e-double hockey sticks was that?

That’s the only way I can describe my experience as an audience member at “The Chris Gethard Show” a weekly show that airs every Wednesday night at 11:00PM on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (public access television). It’s random, it’s quirky, it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s absolutely hilarious.

Chris Gethard is well-known for his long time presence at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. He’s a master of improv, stand up, and comedy writing– “A Bad Idea I’m About to do“– his most recent book, about awkward situations from his life. Even when someone calls in to the show (anyone can call in to talk about anything) Chris is totally in control and reacts with ease. So effing cool.

One of the returning guests on Gethard’s panel, “The human fish,” is only one of the many inexplainable things incorporated in the show, like the random Greek-speaking guy that showed up in a black full-body spandex suit (like the “Green man” from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).

It was one of the funniest shows I’ve ever been to, and anyone can show up to be in the audience! Oh, and there’s a middle-aged woman in the background dancing with a hula hoop through the entirety of each episode. Yes, she was sweating 10 minutes into the show. Regardless, “The Chris Gethard Show” is inspiring for all of us who wish we could just create our own television show and do whatever the hell we want.

@PaulSchissler

Here’s a taste of Gethard’s show:

The Chris Gethard Show

Professional Job Applicant

I have a full time job.

I’m pretty good at it too.

I’m a self-proclaimed professional job applicant.

It’s like volunteer work but demoralizing.

The amount of job applications that I’ve sent out in the past two months alone could fill the Grand Canyon. Every time I hit that ‘send’ button to submit my CV/Résumé for a job, I did a little bit inside. Thousands of people apply for the same job, so applying online without having a contact at the business feels like playing a practical joke on yourself–except no one is laughing.

It’s mentally exhausting and emotionally draining–sending out résumé after résumé, application after application.

The way I’ve approached my job situation is that if I apply for enough positions, then statistically, I’ll land one eventually. Out of about 80-100 opportunities that I’ve pursued in the past two months, I’ve landed two part-time, unpaid internships and two interviews.

If my pillow soaks up anymore tears I’ll be sleeping on an ocean sponge.

Finally getting an internship or securing an interview is a big boost in my spirits, even if I don’t get the job, because it’s a return in the investment I made in my time applying, researching, emailing, writing, and calling. Whatever you do, do something. Don’t stop. Keep your head up and fake a positive attitude. Throw yourself to the encouragement and advice of family and friends, because you can’t do it on your own.

The other day I went in for an interview. I felt great, my spirits were high, and I was looking forward to who I would be meeting. In walks another candidate. Then another. And another, until there’s eight of us. Welcome to a group interview. The office was young and hip, everyone was really cool, and things went smoothly. My months of preparation were paying off and I felt I made a great impression.

So, why did I still feel defeated? Didn’t I want the job? Wasn’t I happy about my performance?

Of course I was pleased. I need a job. But, I think the mental effect of applying for oodles of jobs brought me to a point of feeling hungry for the search. What if something else comes along? The desperation of needing a job was replaced with the desperation for waiting for something better, because I know what I’m worth and I want to wait for great.

The job system is screwed up because everyone is applying for and accepting jobs that they don’t really want, but decide to settle on. Accepting a job that you don’t want prohibits someone who does want the job.

Starting yesterday, I only applied for jobs that I (me, Paul) wanted to pursue.

Side note: Are there any rich benefactors out there looking for a tax right off?

My First NYC Open Mic

Crickets.

Silence.

Chuckle.

Cough.

More uncomfortable silence.

That’s how I perceived my first experience doing stand up in New York City at an open mic night. My friends said I was funny, and I felt fairly good about my routine, but open mic crowds are a stiff bunch because it’s comprised of fellow comedians. Everyone is jaded to everyone else’s material, no matter how funny, and they’re focused on their own monologue.

But, I did it, and it’s only up hill from here!

Learning how to take the first step towards the stage is the biggest part (at least for me) to becoming a comedian. You have to go for it. That’s how it’s been since my first time in Nashville, and all the way through my shows in college at Auburn University. Doing stand up in a new city, a new culture, and New York City at that, was another big step that I had to say–

Paul, just go for it.”

I’ll keep doing standup and continue to grow, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it makes me feel. The only way I can grow as an individual is to take a step out of my comfort zone and towards my goal– the stage.

All of my personal experiences and long discussions with professional comedians, producers, and teachers has given me the unique perspective to help others take the step into comedy and the best way for them to go in the right direction. I share all of what I’ve learned and my own personal experiences for others to learn from, in my eBook “How to be a Comedian.”

Beware of Crazy People

The breeding ground of crazy people

Monday: Witnessed a homeless guy digging in his crotch down to his elbow, unashamedly exposing himself.

Not only is that image seared in my mind, but I can’t stop wondering what exactly he was doing. The only rational explanations I can think of are the following choices:

A. Scratching (crabs? rash? STD?)

B. Grabbing poop

C. Masturbating

D. Adjusting (himself? underwear?)

Wednesday: My friend told me she walked by a lady fully drop her drawers, squat, and pee on the side of a building. In public, as if hundreds of people weren’t walking by.

There are literally loads of other places to relieve yourself:

1. Any bathroom, anywhere (public library, Starbucks, etc.)

2. Central Park

3. Secluded alley

4. Under a blanket

I guess when you’re homeless you start to lose touch with your dignity and decide that it’s acceptable to attend to yourself in public view. I get it, but I certainly don’t condone it. I mean, doing stuff like digging in your crotch and peeing on a building is not the best marketing strategy for getting people’s pocket change. At least, not from me.

I’m beginning to feel that this city breeds craziness– too many people in too little square footage, and outrageously expensive. Living here seems to push people to their limit until they either:

A. Snap (become homeless, kill people, or both)

B. Break past their limit and reach their goals

Working with Campus Clipper has definitely been a productive way to stay off the streets (or at least prolong the inevitable), and save some cash by cutting coupons.

This City Never Sleeps… but I Do.

It’s true. New York City is constantly awake with people hustling and bustling, and working and partying. I know this because I can hear it outside the window when I’m trying to sleep.

Trying to “make it” in this city, in whatever it is that you want to make it in is incredibly exhausting. If you sit still for a minute then you’re losing opportunities, and if you’re losing opportunities then you’re losing money, which–as we all know– is what you need most in NYC.

I’ve been in this body for 21 years, so I know myself pretty well by now. And I know that if I’m going to be the best “me” I can be, then I need a solid night of sleep. College conditioned me to run 5-6 hours a night, and during exams–much less, but this is the real world. I’m a “real person” now (I use quotations heavily here) contributing as a functioning member of society.

I dream about sleep while I’m sleeping. If I could buy more sleep, I would empty my bank account.

Living in New York City has been making me resist the desire to sleep, though, because if I want to survive here then I need to network, job search, contact, work, eat, wash, and repeat.

I can do it though. Little progress is still progress.

My work at Campus Clipper has been great to get me out of bed and look forward to something. Now I’m working towards and eBook, writing blogs, setting up podcasts, and using my creative energy towards something productive and beneficial. The more I embrace the hours of the day– working, writing, exploring— the more fuel I have to pursue comedy and entertainment.

Sleep is a good friend of mine, but I’m still it’s master.