one minute plays: a practical guide to tiny theatre

Hey look!  The good folks at Gi60 have just published One Minute Plays:  A Practical Guide to Tiny Theatre.

One Minute Plays demystifies the super-short-form play, demonstrating that this rich, accessible format offers great energy and variety not only to audiences but to everyone involved in its creation and performance. The one minute play offers a unique challenge to actors, directors and writers: how do you create a whole world, where actors have room to perform and where audiences have a true experience all in 60 seconds? This handbook includes:

  • An anthology of 200 one-minute plays selected from the annual Gone in 60 Seconds festival.
  • A toolbox of exercises, methodologies and techniques for educators, practitioners and workshop leaders at all levels.
  • Tips and advice on the demands of storytelling, inclusivity and creative challenges.
  • Detailed practical information about creating your own minute festival, including play selection, running order, staging and marketing.

I’m also thrilled that a few of my own Gi60 pieces have been included:  Ace and Me, King Kwik, Nothing, and Sleep Tight.

You can order a copy of this highly recommended book here.

You can also pick up a copy at the author’s party on Monday, May 1st at the Drama Bookshop in NYC.  Should be a great time, and they’ll be doing staged readings of several pieces, including Sleep Tight.

WVXU: cincinnati’s golden age of comedy

Nice, in-depth article about Plrknib and d.w. eye today at WVXU (in Cincinnati) written by John Kiesewetter, someone who was there at the time and remembers the comics intimately.  This leads into an interview coming up this Sunday night on WVXU with Kiese and fellow eye alum, Michael Flannery.

Mike Flannery came to the eye right when I was heading off to college and just tore the place up.  He went on to become hugely popular, winning Showtime’s funniest comic in Ohio twice, hosting the kids’ show Club 19, anchoring WCPO TV news, and basically becoming the most famous eye personality in Cinti.

Back in the mid-80’s I performed with him at least twice – once in ’85 at Aunt Maudie’s, and once in late ’87 at the Funnybone – where he shredded the place and I died a horrible death.

Flan remains very much on top of his game.  So, it was a real honor doing the VXU interview alongside him.  And…we may be doing some additional performing together in the near future.  Watch this space…

(You can hear the Plrknib interview this Sunday, March 19th at 7p on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati.)

a plrknib mini-tour

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So, we’ve got our first dates lined up for 2017!  All appearances include signings (and occasionally free copies!) of Plrknib.

Sunday, February 19 at 7p – I’ll be appearing at Scotty’s Comedy Cove in Springfield, NJ.  This is our first big Plrknib show of the year, and we’ll have free signed copies of the book!  Click here to make your reservations early!

Saturday, February 25 at 8p – I’m hosting the Comedy Night fundraiser at Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, NJ.  We’ll have signed copies of the book for sale at this event with all profits donated to the temple.  Click here for more information and to make reservations.

Both shows will be great and include a ton of brilliant comics from the NY/NJ area.  Come join us!

irresistibly absorbing

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(I got a little tired of re-posting the cover of the book; so here’s a picture of a dog.)

Yes, Plrknib now has something in common with toilet paper!

Hey – we got a super lovely review over at New Pop Lit!

Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to post references to a lot of reviews – because then I should be posting the bad ones, too, right?  (Not too many of those, yet, tho. Give it time!)  But this one is super-lovely, so…

Here’s a little excerpt…

….Like a comedian’s joke, Plrknib is the kind of narrative you fight against when you start reading it, but it pulls you along despite yourself. Like most of Bernstein’s writing, it’s irresistibly absorbing. Where is this book heading, you ask? What does “plrknib” mean? You’re skeptical, but you continue reading.

You can read the whole thing here.

And of course you can get the book here

a plrknib update!

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Well, it’s been an interesting month-and-a-half to say the least!  Support for Plrknib has been extremely positive.  Thanks so much to all of you who have been buying copies and leaving reviews.  It is much appreciated!

Plrknib has gotten some very lovely initial reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads. We’ve also been doing Goodreads Giveaways.  The latest one is for five signed copies of the paperback.  More information is here.

Plrknib now has two different Facebook pages.  One for the book itself here. And this one dedicated to d.w. eye, the club that’s referenced throughout the book. Please like both pages to get updates on the book and the comics!

We’ve added a Press Section over at the Plrknib site, where you can see some of the recent coverage that the book has been getting.  You can expect to see more in the coming weeks.

Plrknib has also been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s indie site Booklife for the past week.

Also, since the book is about stand-up, some folks have asked if I’m still performing – and if so, where.  Yes, there are a bunch of dates coming up in 2017, and we’ll be posting those here.  And chances are good that we’ll be giving away signed copies of the book at some of these performances…

 

dick and liza featured in new pop lit

NPL Cover 2 Hi

As mentioned yesterday, my piece “Dick and Liza” – about a secret tryst between Richard Nixon and Liza Minelli circa 1972 – appears in the first print edition of New Pop Lit.  (And editor Karl Wenclas and the good folks at NPL nominated it for a Pushcart Prize!)

Hard copies of New Pop Lit are now officially on sale.  It features other Pushcart nominated writers, and an extremely cool cover by Alyssa Klash.

You can order your copy here.

miserable holiday stories – more easter eggs

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Time for a Miserable Holiday Stories update!  Here are some random answers to questions that no one was really asking.

  • MHS is now up on Nook and Smashwords.
  • The Nook and Smashwords versions have different Easter egg stories than the one on Amazon.  (And Amazon’s had two so far.)  So, floating out there on the internet – I’m not saying “on the webs” –  doesn’t that sound awful? – there are four different Easter egg stories.
  • Honestly, they’re not even really all “stories”.  Well, a couple of them are pretty much stories.  But a couple of them are just extended bits.  All run a half-page or so.  So, quantity-wise they’re all pretty equal.  They’re all pretty equal quality-wise, too, actually.  So no harm, no foul.
  • All of the pieces are, at least, winter-themed, if not holiday-themed.  Because I know that’s really important.
  • The names of the pieces are:  “Too Much Snow”, “Norelco Electric Shaver”, “Santas on the Subway”, and “Blizzard”.
  • One of them is a particular favorite.  But they’re all pretty good, in my opinion.  I feel no shame in offering up any of them, and my goal was to make them all fairly equal in worth.

One question that some people have actually asked:

  • Yes, I did the cover myself.
  • The cover at the top, btw, was planned to be the cover for quite a long time, until about a day before we published – at which point it was pointed out that this would look way too small in the thumbnails that Amazon so often uses.  Hence, the current cover with the really big fonts.

Hmm.  What else?

  • Got some nice reviews on Amazon.  Hey!
  • (Feel free to add your own!)
  • The book remains vaguely readable, despite the fact that the holidays are over.  In other words, many of the stories will most likely still depress you, 24/7/365.  But having a pumpkin latte nearby may add to the overall misery quotient.)

Oh, and

 

miserable holiday stories – the easter egg story

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About the Easter Egg story.

So, it occurred to me when I was assembling Miserable Holiday Stories as an ebook that it might be fun to include an extra story in there, like a hidden extra track on an album.  So, if you were one of the people that downloaded the book in the first 24 hours, the Easter Egg story was called “Too Much Snow.”  (It was only a page long.)  But within that first 24 hours, I was feeling uncomfortable about some of the language in that story and I decided to swap it out for a different story, which is what I did.  Since the new piece was also only one page, I simply swapped it out and it didn’t change the formatting of the book or the table of contents or anything, really.

And then it occurred to me that – since this is currently an ebook-only format – I can do this as often as I want.  So, no matter when you download the book, you’ll always get the 10 listed stories.  But say, over the course of a year, 10 people could have 10 slightly different versions with 10 different Easter Egg stories, making each periodic “run” of the book a kind of limited collector’s edition!

I have no idea if this is actually innovative or not.  But I don’t know that I’ve heard of anybody else doing it…

Since there’s currently no print version, I have no idea how this impacts the idea of a “first edition” or not.  It’s all just virtual editions.  At the moment, I’ve only swapped out the story once.  But I like the idea in theory, and could imagine doing it again soon, depending on how people respond.  And then maybe in ten years, if this thing goes anywhere, I can publish a book that’s just all the Easter Eggs.

And then maybe that book would have one Easter Egg story.