Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Video of my biggest comedy show yet!

This past summer i began dabbling in standup comedy.

PaxRyan at the Arciliuto Theater, Rome
i've performed 4times at Rome's Comedy Club, did 10minutes of (R rated) material to open for a fantastic (and R rated) rock band called Inbred Knucklehead, and then in November i set up a gig in Rome for me and my cousin, Anthony Papandrea, who has been doing comedy for a few years now.

We performed for a nearly full house two nights in a row at, il Teatro Arciliuto, the nicest small theater in Rome!

Warning, the tone is different than most of what you'll see on this blog and though i think i could get away with a PG-13 (not quite R) rating, there is definitely adult content. i didn't cuss at all, but there are sex jokes.

This is the only professional video i have of myself performing. It's the opening act performance for L.O.L., the one man show by New York comic, Anthony Papandrea! Anthony says that comedians perform on stage with a maturity equal to their age as measured from when they started doing comedy.
So here i am as a 1year old!

Anthony Papandrea at The Arciliuto Theater, Rome, italy
Check out the highlights of Anthony's show here, it's pretty hilarious.

A huge thank you to Gaby Ford, Molly Zimmelman and Rita Neveckaite for all of the help preparing for, promoting and doing the show, you ladies were fantastic and both Anthony and i love ya for it! And thank you to Barry Walton and BTV Productions for putting the video together!

Monday, January 9, 2012

PaxRyan's international readership

As of January, 2012, PaxRyan's Blog's readership has come from more than 25 countries!

 47% The United States of America (Where i am from.)

24% Italy (Where i live, since 2004.)

7% Russia

5% Britain

3% Romania

3% India

1-2% Australia, Israel, Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland

Multiple hits but less than 1%: Egypt, Malaysia, Uraguay, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Thailand,  
                                                    Bangladesh, Sweden, Canada, Slovenia, Ireland, Moldova (among

(At this point 1% = 12hits.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To every thing there is a season.

My grandfather passed away last week. We were close and i loved him very much. But i do not feel that i have suffered at all as a result of his death. i do and will surely always miss him in some way. Of course we would all prefer if he (and all of our loved ones) could keep on living and continue showing up to our parties, talking with us on the phone, being there for us physically and emotionally. We would prefer that he hadn't smoked the cigarettes that gave him the emphysema that surely shortened his life, we would prefer that angry words had never been spoken, we would prefer that we got to spend more time with him. And so it is tempting to be sad, for these and so many other things we wish were different.

But i have learned to instead remember to be thankful.

When Grampy was leaving his Army deployment to Korea, the plane he was supposed to return to the States on crashed and all or most of the passengers were killed. i'm sure thankful he wasn't on that plane, he never would have met my grandmother and made my father who made me.

When i was a baby my grandparents were in a highway car accident with a tractor trailer truck that spun their car and left them with the truck coming towards them head on. i'm sure thankful he and my grandmother weren't killed back then, depriving me of all the fun and memories that i do have now.

Grampy won't be there when i am 40, but i am sure thankful that as a 30year old adult i got to have Christmas dinner with my grandfather!

i definitely used angry words at times in my grandfather's presence, but i'm sure glad i told him i loved him. A bunch of times. And he told me. Even the day before he died. And he told my parents he loved them and and my grandmother too, and all of us told him that we loved him too. We are so lucky to have had that opportunity and i am thankful we were all that thoughtful on that and other occasions, several of which we probably don't even remember.

And i am thankful that it happened while i was in Florida, where he lived, so that i could be at the funeral and enjoy the rare opportunity to see all of my father's family and spend time together with them.

For his funeral, my grandmother had to choose a Bible passage to be read and put in the program. "Everybody chooses the the 23rd Psalm," she said, but she wanted to look at other options. (And i'm sure glad she did - that psalm puts the focus of divinity apparently outside of ourselves, and that does not ring true to my own beliefs at all.)

Instead she chose Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and i think it is a much better choice:

"1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

(Pete Seeger later used an adaptation of these words to make a rock and roll song that i love, most famously performed by The Byrds, check out a great youtube video of it here.)

These words, with what i have learned studying spirituality, do ring as powerfully true to me. Maybe not at first glance though - i would like to think that there is not a time to kill, a time for hate, a time for war, etc. Just like i'd like for my Grampy to not have died. But, teachers from Hindu rishis and Buddhist lamas to Mike Dooley and Neale Donald Walsch have all taught me that things are happening exactly as they are supposed to - and the proof is, that is how the are happening.

There is no use, i am learning, in being sad or in wishing things aren't as they are. It is better, healthier, and more powerful instead to accept things as they are and to find something to be thankful for. We do not always understand WHY things are meant to happen as they do, but these teachers tell me, and i am learning to believe, that everything is always happening for good reason.

Thank you, Gram, for finding a Bible passage that helped me internalize and accept this idea further still:-)

Photos by the author.

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