Monica Nevi

Comedian

Tag: Seattle

The Upper Left

In between your moments spent weeping tears from all the disaster happening around us you may have noticed that I have completely my Upper Left Tour and am back in Los Angeles for now. Well, I’m flattered you took the time to notice that. People have had a lot of questions and I figure I should give a little recap of the good, the bad and the funny that was The Upper Left Tour.

The Good:

-I saw and worked in a ton of places I hadn’t worked before, a lot of small towns and fancy venues I hadn’t done yet and now I know how/where to get weed in all of them. I never saw myself in Nampa, ID or Pedelton, OR. Never did I consider I may be excited to go to places in Washington like Spokane or Richland but life throws you some interesting pitches sometimes and I have a known ability to get the bat on a curve ball.

-I got to work with some amazing people. Always nice to go back to the Northwest and work with some of my favorite comics but I also had the chance to work with some hotties that I hadn’t met before and I love watching monsters work. I got to open for Michael Ian Black and that was amazing. Matt Braunger was such a sweet guy to work with. At Bumbershoot I got to hang and work with Judah Freidlander, Brody Stevens, Joel Kim Booster, Todd Barry and Debra DiGiovanni and they all slayed so hard and were such nice people. Loved it and learned so much.

-Speaking of Bumbershoot, I got to do two festivals and I had a wonderful time at both. Festivals from time to time can be hard to deliver on. This year was great. Bumbershoot was fun and I love being a part of something so historically Seattle. I also had the opportunity to do the 208 Festival in Boise, ID. And that felt like a really fun summer camp where everyone was so nice, SO funny and we were treated very well with awesome shows.

-The hotels. My favorite part. I have enough shampoo, conditioner, lotion and hand soap to last me and all my roommates until next tour. Hotel sleep is a different experience that scientist should learn how to bottle. I only left one very important item in the hotel one time. I also had the tremendous experience of having a hotel room where the shower was in the middle of the room and not in the bathroom (check instagram @monicanevi for the proof).

-80 for 80. What a fun experience that I am so excited to see how it turns out and share it with you. I feel very proud of me and my team for being able to pull off a silly idea I had in the winter and actually execute and film it with grant money by the summer. It was a wonderful experience with great, hilarious and interesting people. I learned so much from producing, writing and performing as well as the intricacies of the jobs that my crew has done perfectly. It’s more than I could ever have asked from for just starting with a silly text that said “hey I have an idea.”

The Bad (Or Questionable):

-Poor Jean (that’s my car). My hot ass red Ford Focus out here all summer driving around crushing gas mileage and not smelling that bad for essentially having someone live inside of her. However, we had 3 oil changes in 3 months and are about to need another one. She has been worked hard this summer and I appreciate all that she has done for us.

-My computer. Although I am fingering her gently now, she is definitely on the way out. If anyone has suggestions on how to get a new computer when you really, really can’t afford one… let me know.

-Tired and lonely. Potentially the name for my next tour. The travel is fun to be in other places and I feel so lucky I get to do comedy in all these different parts of the country but the getting there sucks. Long drives and yourself being the only person to talk to most of the time. It gets real crazy in there.

-Hotels. I know I said it was good before and I’m a fan of always keeping something positive in mind but I did have a few really lonely hotel nights where I had been driving long days, performed multiple shows and that is the perfect combination to result in slim jims and tears while laying on a hotel room floor. It only happened twice but still. Would have had a third had there not been a shower and jacuzzi tub right in the middle of my room, thank you Phoenix Inn.

What’s Next:

-Honestly, there is quite a bit more work coming up as far as travel goes. This time more in and out of LA but I have been offered enough work that is would be silly not to take it. So first off I’m back in Seattle for a cool corporate gig and because of that I put together an awesome Renton show in Renton at Delancey’s on 3rd FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29th. Other awesome Renton comics and myself headlining as I have not headlined a show in Renton in a couple years and this will be a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Get your tickets now! Here And/Or sign up for my e-mail list through this website to get a discount code.

-80 for 80 is currently in editing. This takes some time so be patient. It will be out this fall, so fear not. The date is flexible at this point as I want to make sure we have time to create exactly what we want to be able to present to you. However, there will be a big premiere event so keep your eyes out for that as well as sneak peaks and small clips in the mean time.

-Very exciting work going on with the HugLife Podcast, we have some huge announcements coming up in the next couple weeks that I couldn’t possibly be happier about. If you aren’t listening, please change that. It’s worth it, it’s fun and I am very proud of it. Check it out here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to shows and bought magnets and hugged me and sent tweets and messages and everything over the course of the tour. Literally, could not do it without you… need someone to be able to talk this nonsense at and I love you for that.

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After I Thought I Was Dying, I Immediately Wanted To See Naked People?

A title meant to draw you into a very confusing experience that I haven’t yet sorted out completely. It is possible other people that have experienced this can relate but I have a hunch it might not be the afterthoughts we agree on.

The Incident

A few weeks ago we were mid-recording of the HugLife Podcast, talking about happiness or toots or cute animals and hope. About 15 minutes in my legs started to go numb. Thinking it was just the way I was sitting I stood up and started trying to shake them out, which made Mike (my co-host) very uncomfortable. I did some stand up podcast for awhile and thinking they had gotten better I sat back down. Probably 10 minutes later in episode 117 (listen here) you will here me go “um, I think we need to take a break for a second.” Although the break really does take 1 second in the episode don’t be confused, it was actually 5 hours. Some real Hollywood trickery.

The reason I decided to take a break was because I had started feeling very faint and dizzy and Mike immediately noticed that my pupils were fully dilated. The only other time I had felt like this was when I was on some sort of drug. Which is pretty easy to talk yourself out of because you know it is an effect of whatever drug you have taken. This however came at a time where I had eaten earlier in the day, thought I was hydrated, hadn’t taken anything or drank any alcohol for days before that. Which scared me more than anything.

Since, I couldn’t pinpoint the cause, I just tried anything that might make me feel better. I laid down and put an ice-pack on my head and tried to relax. Nothing was making it better which is when I went to the bathroom and started throwing up. Even though there was no stomach pain I thought maybe I had gotten food poisoning from what I had eaten earlier in the day. The only thing that did was now make me shaky as well. I felt like my whole body was passing out in increments. The top of my head, then my face, then my arms and chest, down to my legs.

I began to not be able to feel my hands or face. This clicked a little bit for me as one other time I had to go the emergency room months after a car accident with an elk because I was having these symptoms. Maybe it was my neck again! Well they weren’t able to help me with that before but this needed to stop.

Cut to me on my hands and knees kind of rocking back and forth like a child that can’t sit still during story-time. That’s when I decided we should call 911. As I scoot myself to the living area, I could only think about my current lack of health insurance and how if it was possible to not actually go to the hospital that would be great, because America.

The Paramedics

Three gentleman, that could be more accurately described as dudes, arrived to the apartment. The kids next door were jacked about it! One fireman started asking me questions while the other ones just sort of looked at our stuff. I explained how I was feeling and they took my heart rate, which was obviously very high just based on my concern for the way I was feeling. He asked what we were doing before this started and when I said podcasting all three of them noticed the microphones and said “you are not still recording are you?” No sir, I was not really interested in having my death on audio.

He took the rest of my vitals which were all fine. So they said it didn’t seem to be an emergency and if I could just lay down and relax that would be good but that I should see a doctor when I could. The least helpful of the fire fighters was across the room looking at our white board that has my other roommate Mitch and I’s ‘to-do’ lists on it. Mitch had happened to write ‘stop jerking off so much’ on his side. The fire fighter chimed in “oh man, I am like really dyslexic and I read Mitch’s as yours and thought, well how much are you doing that?”

Not really wanting to deal with creepy questions at the time, I laughed and then promptly responded “I think I do that an appropriate amount… but… would that make me feel like this?” They laughed and there was a moment where I thought I was going to be okay.

The Afterthoughts

As I laid on the couch and tried to relax and let the Xanax set in, there was only one thought that came to my very frustrated and fatigued mind. That I wanted to go to a strip club.

In the weeks since then, full of doctors visits and new medication for a crippling anxiety disorder – as I did have multiple more episodes of what is seemingly terrible panic attacks, some in my sleep – I have been trying to figure out why this was my first thought. I have some theories but none can really hold all the way up.

The 4 Theories For Why Monica Wanted To Go To The Strip Club

  1. I was feeling so alone, panicked and broken I would gladly pay a lady to pretend to love me? My thoughts had not been that I wanted a naked person to sit on my lap but that I just wanted someone to rub my back or something. Just a solid alternative to having health insurance.
  2. I was feeling so alone, panicked and broken that I wanted to watch people who we view as those things, so I could find a little solace in the fact I am not the only one who is struggling? Maybe I was hoping it would be obvious they were doing worse than I was and I would be distracted by trying to save them with my amazing stripper advice.
  3. I was so deeply in need of some version of strength I wanted to be around strong women and that’s where I knew they were? Both from an emotional stand point and the impressive limber physical strength. Regardless of if you have ever been or not you know that it takes an Olympic level upper body, lower body and core strength to do some of that pole work. I’m damn sure our Olympic ‘deal with bullshit and do whatever it takes to keep pushing’ team would be led by strippers. Apparently, subliminally I wish our country was run by them.
  4. I wanted so badly to think about anything else and I was well aware that naked people are literally the most distracting thing to other humans, in the world. Maybe I would have forgotten about the muscle I pulled in my neck throwing up or the general feel of doom if there were boobs out? We’ll never know.

I am now on some sweet new medication that seems to be helping a bit. Whether it is just that nothing at all leads to me having debilitating panic attacks or that I let my stress level get way too high, the result has been a horrendous 3 weeks. I’m doing fine, I’ll make it. My shows have been great, in fact the only time I feel completely normal is when I am on stage, maybe another connection to the strippers. Thank you to everyone who has come out to shows!

I have heard that before you think you are going to die your life flashes before your eyes. Well I have almost died, or thought I was going to die, upwards of 4 times and I have only ever seen a stripper flash me before my eyes. This is to all the other beat up people that are frustrated with anything that’s going on, we’ll all collectively take a deep breath and remember that it has been worse.

I love you.

Monica

P.S. New meditation will be up this week! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Also, get your tickets now for the Night Before the Night Before, the show I am producing at Carco Theatre in Renton, Wa on Dec. 23rd. It will greatly decrease my stress level if you buy them now. (Here)

 

Well That’s Debatable – Virginia Vice

If you did not have the time or emotional strength to make it through the Vice Presidential debate between Governor Mike Pence and Senator Tim Kaine you should feel confident that no one blames you. Also, don’t worry I watched it for you and I think I have crafted a literary experience that will take through similar emotions in a shorter amount of time.

Come with me on a quick journey through the awkward and at times confusing experience that was the Vice Presidential Debate. In order to illustrate this I have written a short story which both you and I are involved in.

The Setting

Imagine we are friends. We’re young, extremely attractive and dragged to a dinner party in a neighborhood far above my parents living wages but they said we had to go along. We arrive at a nice house but there are few other people our age there. Immediately when we enter the house there is an palpable strain, as if everyone knows something very tense that we do not, like something had happened before. This is where our story begins.

The Beginning

We enter the house with my parents. The owner of the house, Elaine, greets us cheerfully and takes our coats. Although she comes off very friendly and beautiful there is a nervous aura to her actions. We turn to each other with a look that says ‘shit is about to go down.’ We enter the kitchen on our path to the main party area but instead of following my parents we tell them we are going to check out the food situation and we will meet them out there. Here is where we find our spirit guide in this journey, my drunk aunt that tells it exactly like it is.

We were right, some shit had gone down. DJ Cool Dad (Tim Kaine) and Papa (Mike Pence) are about to go head to head. The tension is so high because only a week ago, DJ Cool Dad slept with Papa’s wife and he won’t stop smiling about it. He arrived at the party on his high horse, feeling confident because his link to this woman has given him more power than he could have imagined. Everyone is attempting to navigating around the inevitable explosions. As the guests gather in the living room we are not sure what is going to happen but we have a moderate feeling it could be interesting.

The Battle

You and I finally enter living room area and find a seat where we can get a good look at DJ Cool Dad and Papa, as they have now sat at the same table. Elaine is in between them, seemingly ready to get a civil conversation started. We know that Elaine has not been the subject of any of their sexual escapades… yet.

As the conversation gets started it seems rehearsed and polished, as if they knew the other was going to be there. However, as the answers get longer, the sassy retorts get less and less subtle. A couple jokes about Papa’s boss’s former job on a reality show, fun at first but we are both ready for someone to dig deeper. This is the only thing that is supposed to keep our attention at this party and we have yet to be impressed.

The enjoyable part about Papa is although he is supposed to be on the receiving end of this beating he stayed very calm, actually setting the stage for DJ Cool Dad to come off as annoying and over-zealous. Now we are feeling irritated by the whole thing. Nothing too juicy is really surfacing, we heard a lot of this from my aunt in the kitchen over and over because she is drunk. The reality of the snide remarks and the facial expressions keep us interested. DJ Cool Dad has impeccable side eye and Papa’s calm demeanor let’s him stay unfazed even though the history of his situation has left him digging out of a hole. Maybe he is drunk? Maybe he doesn’t know all the information about what is going on? Or maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t actually care?

As the argument gets heated and DJ Cool Dad gets more and more annoying we begin to get the feeling that although calm, Papa has been involved in some real questionable shit in his past. There are some very catty exchanges, they continually interrupt each other as they lay down the attacks on each other. It holds our attention because we are afraid of missing something epic but the meat of it all is stuff my drunk aunt has known for weeks. It’s getting annoying but there are a few moments where you, me and the other onlookers are like: ooooo-andy

The Aftermath

To end the whole argument we finally get to hear what we think might be a pointed question to the two men involved. We are excited at the potential to hear how they feel about a topic sans references to outside influences. Elaine leans in and asks about their faith and what that means for the whole situation they are in. Cheating? Supporting war? Lying? No let’s get involved in the decisions that women should or should not be able to make. Then DJ Cool Dad comes in with a mic droppers and says “hey Papa, why don’t you trust women?” OOOOOOOOO. You and I back out like: hands-up

The Summary

Honestly, reading that story was way more fun than what actually happened. They talked a lot about the terrible things each of their running mates had done, very little about their backgrounds and what they might bring to the table and gave us an insight into whatever their annoying tendencies might be. Nobody really did anything. Tim Kaine proved capable and qualified enough to be a sidekick and Mike Pence proved to be supportive enough of Trump’s crazy all while bringing a very balancing temperament.

The most interesting and intense part was the faith based talk about abortions. Tim Kaine said the very quotable “why don’t you trust women” and Mike Pence actually made sense when he said “if you are going to be pro-life you have to be pro-adoption.” Other than that nothing new really happened but you could get a fair idea of what we are getting attitude-wise from each Vice Presidential candidate.

At the end of our story we sneak off with the bottle of champagne my aunt passed out next to and becomes best friends while hiding our slight buzz from my parents. The general tension of the party has already subsided and we forgot why we were interested in the first place.

Moral of the story is Tim Kaine seems like a dad who is doing too much and Mike Pence seems like he would make all children call him Papa.

Wanna see me high on stage watch this:

Do Stuff, Trust Me

I would have loved to name this “How to Follow Your Dreams” and then have the body just say “Don’t” but that’s not really my style. So I am here to recap my fantastic PNW Summer Tour and impart to you the knowledge I gathered on tour, in LA and on the road by myself. Sure, I’ll tell you about some of the cool stuff that happened along the way but this is about me teaching you something that you don’t need to know.

Maybe you do need to know. Maybe you want to take a long trip by yourself? Share your trade with different parts of the country? Or just get the fuck away from people for a while? I can give you some unqualified advice on how to do and deal with those things.

Brief Recap

September 10th of last year was the first show on the Blanket Fort Comedy Tour, I had quit my day job, spent hours booking three months of shows all over the country and was ready to really be away from the only life I had known. The reason I don’t feel comfortable sitting here and telling you not to follow your dreams is because I’m a huge supporter of just doing it. I wear a lot of Nike and underneath this resting bitch face is a lot of optimism for my life and yours.

We did it. Left home with a giant bag packed ready to tell jokes to strangers anywhere they would pay us or let us sleep on their floor. Three months of seeing new cities, new people and eating. Well worth it, if you are thinking of traveling or road tripping I do recommend experiencing America and all its nooks and crannies. It changed my life, I know now that my retirement life will take place in Santa Claus, Indiana. You have to get out there and discover those things for yourself.

Moving to Los Angeles was just the next step for me. That’s confusing to some people and no, if I wasn’t moving keeping my career in mind I would not have chosen Los Angeles. Mostly, because I don’t really like people much and this is where they are. However, I had never lived anywhere outside of Renton or Seattle, Wa. So a move needed to happen regardless and this makes sense for my career. It gets overwhelming, I still travel a lot so I can refresh my memory of how to do more than 5 min of stand up and yes the disgusting climate is cause for concern. Other than that I really like it here, it’s fast paced, it pushes you and the worst thing that can happen is you go home. So what? If returning to Seattle is the worst case scenario, I have set myself up just fine.

Summer is a perfect time for more travel as Los Angeles becomes a desert planet over-populated by sweaty walking penises. Starting in July I drove from LA to Bellingham, Wa in one trip. I did it in 18 hours and only took one 30 min nap. That’s pretty good. It did get real questionable in there at times but you can be the judge if the fake television interview I did with myself or the purposeful yelling of wrong words to songs was weird or not. That specific drive was very motivating actually, in that I wanted to work hard enough to never have to do it again. #Planes.

It started the tour of the Pacific Northwest. A tour that stemmed from an annual family vacation in late July but grew just based on the awesome comedy communities in that area of the country. It turned into a very long, exciting, fun, exhausting and learning experience. Here are my most exciting moments of the tour and my tips for how to stay sane in a situation like that.

The Good-Do Stuff!

  • People Came – The most fun part of working in the Northwest was having all the people who I spent 5 years convincing I was funny come out to shows when I was home. I got to close out some of my favorite rooms, got to work with some of my favorite comics and got to meet new amazing comics that I never even dreamed I would work with. Do stuff because people.
  • My little baby Secret Show- While home in Seattle I got to do the Seattle Super Secret StandUp Show that we created and it was so fun to see that she is still doing so well (thank you). Then to hear that the September show was a fucking rock star with so many Bumbershoot drop-ins and well supported! Love that. Do stuff because you will never be proud of what you haven’t created.
  • Nick Swardson- The highlight of my career to this point was getting to feature for Nick Swardson for a week. I have worked with some pretty cool people but Nick’s credentials in my mind put him at the top. He was one of my favorite comics since I was 12, I have quoted his specials systematically in conversation since then. Then to not only get to work with him but watch him spill out genius, hilarious, NEW material for 8 hours. Not to mention he was an awesome dude and we got along great. Amazing shows too, loved every minute of it, it was a die happy type of experience. Do stuff because that’s what your heroes do.
  • Greg Proops- I was also given the opportunity to work with Greg Proops and have my tiny mind blown by someone who really has figured out how to be a person. One of the nicest and definitely smartest comedy stars I have worked with, we smoked pot and talked about Abraham Lincoln for an hour. I have never met someone who was so comfortable, confident and smart while still being so genuine. Fantastic dresser as well. Do stuff because you might meet Greg Proops and he will teach you something.
  • Talking farts with grandma- My favorite part of my summer trip, because I don’t know if I have ever consistently laughed that hard for that long. Picture this: me, my cousin, my uncle and my grandmother on this lovely balcony right on Lake Chelan in Washington, underneath a beautiful night sky. Gorgeous. Sharing the funniest stories we could each think of about someone accidentally farting when it was quiet. Do stuff because you may remember it forever.

Just the Tips- Trust Me

Here is a list of suggestions if you ever find yourself on a 2 month long road trip alone.

  • Sex Strategy- Save sex for people you will never see again or wait until the end of the trip when you have to leave. These trips are and will continue to be way better when you are single. Unless you are doing the adventure together with someone you love and then I can’t help you because I don’t know what that is like. Trust me, it’s better off solo.
  • Sleeping Bag- You never know. Will you be sleeping outside? Probably not. I have entered into a horrible secret grudge match with Motel 6 and similar lodging companies. I like to put pubes on the towels myself, thank you. I keep the sleeping bag (and tent) in the car for these purposes: camping if necessary, car sleeping if necessary but most of all gross sleeping scenarios (they will happen). Could be a hotel, a couch in a house with too many animals or that big shelf we walk on, the floor. Trust me, better bag than sorry.
  • Almonds- The perfect snack. I try to keep my healthy lifestyle, Sports and Exercise Science degree bullshit to myself but eating on the road is one of the most interesting and difficult parts of long trips. Almonds are delicious, high in protein to keep you satiated between stops. Trust me, because snacks.
  • Don’t Drink- But smoke pot. Drinking is actually ok but people are going to be so excited to see you or meet you (no matter who you are, people just get excited) which can lead to lots of drinking. That’s fine but if you do it all the time, the trip becomes painful, you miss out on fun stuff and it kills your immune system. Getting sick on a trip is THE WORST. So pot. People will think you are cool. Trust me, you look cool.
  • Time- Be aware of the length of time you will be able to handle. Being in other people’s space, the actual traveling can be very exhausting. A couple of weeks may be the best idea. A month would be fun or if you are insane like me do multiple months, I dare you. Starting slower and then ramping up to a longer trip is a solid idea. Or you can succumb to you agoraphobia, fear the world, just stay home and never be happy. Trust me, moderation.

In closing, I am extremely happy with my choices over the last year. I feel liberated just by making the choices. Hasn’t even mattered what the outcomes are or will be. Can I do more? Oh yeah but if you don’t acknowledge the good things what is the point of doing them. I suppose if you take anything from this suggestion wrapped in an update, it’s to do stuff.

Suggestions for stuff to do: Listen to the HugLife Podcast (or shop on Amazon through the banner on  that page), like my fan page, add yourself to the e-mail list that I will use less than once a month, stop reading this so you can tell a friend about it. You do you, girl.

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