Weekend in Review: Rhode Island Food Bank “Sing Away Hunger”, Dinner with State Rep. Paul Heroux, and I’ll Call You Series Showcase

My days are always chock full of work and activities, the weekend is no exception. Thankfully I didn’t over book myself, so let me jump into the action. And if you don’t already follow me online, I always post these types of activities so you can come and join me.

Saturday

The Rhode island Food Bank was hosting a fundraiser which they’ve done for the past 10 years. It’s called “Sing Away Hunger” and it features a show with Bill Harley, Keith Munslow, and friends. I knew a few of the people involved like Kelly and Nicky from Empire Revue along with the rest of Superchief Trio members who were there, Pam and Johnny. I had never seen Bill Harley perform before but had heard great things of him from everyone involved.

First, I want to preference that this show was billed as Family Friendly. I don’t have children and typically shows I attend are at night, but when a cause needs you, as a superhero you are obligated to do you part. There were two shows 11am and 2pm. Saturday morning at 11am….yeah I think not. I got there just at 2pm since I had been working at home on other projects. Quickly popped my head into the Championship Melt truck to see if owner Drew would be around after the show to chat. He said he would be.

In the Lincoln School auditorium I met up with my buddy Nina and the show started shortly. The room was filled with families and kids. One little girl had a little mermaid dress on and a tiara. She wouldn’t stop dancing from beginning to end and she looked like she was having a blast. Nina told me that no one would be mad if I danced too but I was wearing fairly bright colors and felt like I would let the kids have the spot light. 😉 The little girls dad did dance with her and it was amusing to see middle-aged men wiggle to the delight of their daughters. A ton of kids had light up sneakers. I want light up sneakers. (I might have to make them.) I can’t believe there are certain things reserved for children and not adults. You’d think in today’s day and age, there would be less ageism in commercialism. Like music! Everything I heard at the show was so much fun and although kids can enjoy it, I know the adults appreciate it more. Children’s music can be enjoyed by kids and adults, especially when you have such talented musicians. It’s crazy to see how magnetized the kids are to Bill and Keith.

The songs consisted of many I had never heard before, I guess I need to listen to more Children’s Radio, and a few of Keith’s which I had known. Even if I didn’t know a song, they were all super easy to sing along to or you were instructed to do just that. The kids made so much noise singing on their own that me and Nina happily sang along too. Then for reasons that won’t be disclosed, Nina made me laugh during a quiet part between songs. I writhed and snorted in laughter. Snorting is my new thing apparently. I can’t control it, it’s super loud, and it happens when I’m laughing like I mean it. I believe it’s due to the fact that I’m pretty relaxed these days that my nasal muscles must be just letting loose on me. It’s so embarrassing although I’ve been told it’s “cute.” Barf. I rather my head explode from me holding my nose while laughing than snort in front of someone while I’m trying to look cool. Whoa the plight that in me. .. <sarcasm.

Everyone in the band was great and I hope they know how amazing they are to support the RI Food Bank. I want to play with that upright bass so badly!

After the show Nina and I looked through the merchandise table. There were so many books and CDs by Bill and Nina told me about how she grew up listening to Bill with her family on car rides. On the other hand, I was subjected to Eddie Arnold and Celine Dion as a child. I can imagine that if I did listen to music by Bill and Keith as a child that it would have made me an even bigger smart ass than I already am. But that’s SNOT the point.

10515276_10100507721474021_3144054866886059784_oI loved that I caught this moment of Keith signing a CD for a Keith, Jax, and Billsmall fan. Her face is priceless. I understand little girl, I understand. And shortly after, I got my opportunity to get a photo with these amazing performers. After all, we are all members of the white hair club, it seems.

Before leaving the Lincoln School, I got to talking with Drew at Championship Melt. We went to Emerson College together and both were in the 132 Beacon Street dorms which no longer exist. I always remember Drew’s smarmy attitude and affinity towards wrestling. He was always fun to have around because the things that came out of his mouth were always loud, abrupt, but always truthful and funny. He has been doing a wonderful job with his organization Beyond Wrestling.  I know it’s a comprehensive wrestling show but I have yet to attend one so I will write more about that once I do. I’m super excited to go to a show though because I only recently became interested in wrestling thanks to Actor Stephen Amell and his performance in SummerSlam. In addition to Beyond Wrestling, Drew owns and runs Championship Melt. I see this truck everywhere! If Providence is having something good and needs food trucks, you will probably see their bright yellow truck. Now, if you are a Jax fan, you know that I can’t eat dairy. Due to this, I am unable to review the sandwiches but I did have a conversation with Drew about the business. When he purchased it from the previous owner he took all the recipes into the kitchen with his mom and came out with the cream of the crop. I can’t imagine anyone’s mom would steer them wrong, especially when it came to GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES. Funny story, but grilled cheese sandwiches are how I found out I’m lactose intolerant. I used to get them from the office cafe with onions and tomato. I’d be hungry before I ate then I had the pangs of hunger after I ate. Turns out they weren’t pangs of hunger but rather that of lactose intolerance. I’m sure Drew’s are great but I will be sure to ask my friends when they get them to report back.

After the show Nina and I went out for drinks. We both had dinner plans. Mine a bit IMAG00357more random than normal. I was scheduled to have dinner with MA State Representative Paul Heroux.  I guess I was continuing my day of fundraising because I had won the “Dinner with Paul” at an On Common Ground, Inc. silent auction at the Farm to Table dinner. I had not formally met Paul prior so when I told my mom I was going to be going over to a strangers house because he was cooking me dinner, she was very worried. Fortunately, Paul was a wonderful host and Mura his pup was the life of the party and a complete lush. Dinner was dairy free and delicious, he served rice, carrots, and spicy teriyaki chicken. We pretty much ate it all while talking about the neighborhood, On Common Ground, and life. Paul is an expert on the middle east and does many interviews (like for the CNN of Russia) from his home office. I can see why so many people like him as a State Rep, plus his fully stocked liquor cabinet was a delightful addition to dinner.

Of course that wasn’t the end to my evening. I tried to go to karaoke but it was packed so I stopped at Doherty’s to visit Kassie. She was there having her after work drink at the bar. I stayed for a drink and chatted. While I was there I turned around to look at everyone in the room and a stunning beauty caught my eye. Alessandra Grima was sitting at a table with a friend. She is a comedian, model, and actress who I knew about Alessandra Grimafrom another comedian’s blog. (Marie’s blog post about Alessandra) I had started following Alessandra after reading the blog and so when I saw her, I had to say hello.
Fortunately, she’s just as nice as she is pretty and was happy to meet me. I’m constantly trying to grow the female comedian network so the more funny ladies I meet the better. We chatted for a minute and I left her to her friend. When Kassie left me for a moment I ran back to snap an instagram of us. I love that I can literally go anywhere and meet wonderful and talented people. Hopefully in the future Alessandra and I will be able to talk fashion or even perform together. That would be swell!

I called it quits after awhile and went home to bed. Sunday I had plenty more “homework” to do and more fun in the evenings.

Sunday

I do a bunch of things for On Common Ground, Inc. A local non-profit. I don’t always have time to work on them during the work week due to my busy schedule, so being able to sit down and focus a few hours Sunday was great. Especially since I slept in until 10am. (As someone who gets up at 4:30am every morning during the week, sleeping in can be hard sometimes.) I had a clear schedule and stayed in until it was time to head to the Comedy Connection.

Typically on Sunday’s there is the Sunday Showcase. Tonight there was a showcase but it was a bit more special. I had originally had the date on my calendar thanks to Brad Rohrer who I know from Providence Improv Guild.  He was going to perform stand up along with his podcast buddy Chuck. They both did really well and it was a lot of fun. But in addition to them was the screening of the web series I’ll Call You. Brian Beaudoin was the host for the showcase but he’s also one of the actors in the web series. It was nice to get to see some of the actors do stand up prior to watching the series. The series itself was about 6 episodes all 5 minutes long and here are my points on this series:

  • It’s very well produced, from the lighting, composition, editing, everything was top-notch
  • The editing was great and I say this because although the writing typically directs the edits, I found with this show that human expression and reactions were shown longer than typical before a cut. This allowed viewers to feel the awkwardness or shame or humiliation or whatever feeling had just occurred on the actors face, really driving it home.
  • Comedy is splattered all over this thing. Whether it was Brian’s physical comedy and playing up the stoner friend character or the random pajama therapy sessions the main character had with his “guru.”  I was always laughing out loud.
  • Labels are so bleh.
  • This show had a serious feminism feeling about it. The men are so down on themselves and there’s a scene with Melissa sex/body shaming Jon which I found to be surprising (not something you see often) but probably more important than you think. Everyone is equal in all relationships. If you let someone else be more important than another, then you are not supporting equality or respecting yourself. So if Melissa thought being in control of Jon’s sexual actions would make their relationship better, especially on their wedding night, he is so much better without her and I hope he discovers that in the next season.
  • The subtle depth of the show and characters is great especially because sometimes short form series like this cut out a lot.
  • Great theme song.
Check out my T-shirt!

Check out my T-shirt!

I had a great time with Fallon and Brian at the show. Afterwards I was able to chat with Anton and his lovely wife Nicole. But as everything, all good things must come to an end and I had head home for bed and my 4:30am wake up.

I leave you with my Monday morning view from work. Happy Monday and short work week.

Stay weird everyone!

❤ Jax

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