Blake Kiltoff

This here is my website where I put my schedule for standup shows, maybe some blog posts or something, and a portfolio of my finest works and merchandise as I strive to whore myself.

Rejected Romance Novels

Sometimes I have great ideas for romance novels and I send off a title and a short treatment to a few publishers, but I never hear back…

If any of these strike your fancy, feel free to take them and run with them.

Dough Boy Goes Off-Roadin’

He was just a stud muffin lookin' for some mud stuffin'

Pirates of the Peen-Trance

With his trusty crew alongside him, Captain ‘Peg Leg’ (who has both feet) joins a trio of island girls in their quest to tame the White Whale.

A Bezos Affair

A trillionaire learns the true value of love: half.

Circus Fuck Fest of whores

A gang of plucky high-schoolers investigate the spooky sounds coming from the old, abandoned circus.

Cannibal Cannabis Canine Bust

Detective Pierce and his K9 companion Roscoe investigate a drug dealer’s compound, only to discover horrors buried in the basement and new passions buried in their hearts.

Sad Clown

They (dummies) say laughter is the best medicine, yet sometimes comedy feels like hospice work. My jokes ricochet off the recalcitrant audience's skulls: they sit with silent faces, arms crossed, their body language daring me to make them laugh. I feel like Patch Adams dealing with a particularly grumpy cancer kid who is about to logout. 

Sometimes comedy can heal, and sometimes it has the opposite effect, particularly on the performer. One of my comedian friends is in the hospital this week. He's in his 40s, which is its own curse: middle-age has already sealed his fate. We all know he is hilarious, but how much is his declining health due to the lifestyle and occupational hazards of a professional comedian?

Many comedians balance their wit against their health. Drug use and abuse, alcoholism, sleeplessness, poor company, unsafe sex, greasy food, lack of exercise, indolence, laziness, extravagance, personality disorders... all of these abound in the comedy club, particularly in the amateur circuit. Like any addiction, though, comedy eventually takes over and pushes away other compulsive behaviors. Or at least, that's what I'm gambling on.

This whole post is preachy and I don't really have a point. I'm trying to learn how to blog, which seems to be like writing essays without worrying about having a theme sentence or conclusion.

Comedy Notes: Keep It Personal

We had a difficult crowd on Thursday night at the club, a small gathering of twenty Thursday night revelers cloistered together for the promise of "Seattle's Best Local Comics" (the billing would be accurate if you remove the word 'Best'). Small audiences are tricky. I did well for the first five minutes of my set, doing crowd work and material about my dating life. However, once I started talking about Christianity and Jesus, I lost their enthusiasm; by the end of my set, they barely laughed at some of my best stuff. 

At first, I told myself that I lost them because that material is new and I still need to work on it. However, Dave (the owner of Laughs) said something that struck a chord: "You are more interesting than anything you talk about... the audience is interested in you. Where the fuck is the Corona tap?"

I doubt Dave even watched my set and I always suspect he is talking to me in the midst of a delirium dream. This time, however, his advice hit home. As I mulled over my performance, comparing that night with other nights when I've used the newer material successfully, I realized that the biggest difference was how I packaged the jokes.

On nights when I start talking about Jesus or Christianity as part of my overall life (e.g., bringing it up when talking about my divorce or my reluctance to date Christians), the same material lands better. Thursday night, I simply switched topics, and by way of transitioning, I asked the audience, 'Any other Christians here tonight?' Without asking this in the context of my previous monologue about dating, this question and the following bit comes across as both more insincere, more aggressive, and less interesting simply because it is not connected to me as a person. It's just me switching from talking about myself to talking about another Topic - and you can't expect an audience to care about what you have to say after they've just met you.

Dave's point, whether he watched my set or not, was valid and proven by my past experiences. If I consider the stage a lab and the various times I tryout a new bit as experiments, then on Thursday night, I proved fairly conclusively that the same material hits a lot harder if I am able to connect it to my personality and the narrative I am building while developing my relationship with the audience.

Open mics are a great place to try out a few new jokes, but if I have more than 5 minutes to work on a crowd, I need to focus on finding ways to deliver jokes in the context of myself. Jokes told in a vacuum get lost in the void.

Introduction

This is a good place to start if you have no clue what a standup comedian is or what I am all about. If you have seen me perform (cool! thanks for checking out my site!) or you already get the idea, you can skip this post. I figure I should set out expectations somewhere, so this post is more like a disclaimer than anything else.

I only write about things that make me laugh, and I hope I can make you laugh here, but mainly I want to get people to come see me in shows. So forgive me if these aren't the best blog posts ever, I'm not really writing to become a great writer, I'm writing to build a fanbase.

Some marketing websites told me not to write that. "Readers don't want to know that you're trying to build a fanbase, it turns them off." Oh well. I'm kind of sick of everyone acting disingenuously, including myself: I know I'll do it again (likely when talking to a woman), but at least here and now I can be totally honest... to whit, I am writing a blog on my website to try and keep people interested in my sense of humor, because that way people might actually come to a show when I advertise it. 

That's it. I can only promise to post content I think is funny, and to try and post routinely... but I'm just starting out so I'm not going to commit to a publication schedule. Signup for updates to have my shit sent to your email. 

By the way, if you have any constructive feedback on my site, feel free to hit me up on the "Contact" tab. If you have criticisms (e.g., if you don't like the profanity), please go fuck yourself.