Friday, June 20, 2008

Nicole Maxali

This is my homegirl Nicole Maxali, and she's an up and coming comedienne.

She hasn't been going hard at the comedy thing for a little more than a year, but last week was like the equivalent of her strapping on a jet pack and playing with the stars...


Here's her blog, recounting the events that transpired: since I've opened for Dave...everyone's got some of the same basic questions. Which I'll take the time to answer here...

Q1: Can I see it on YouTube?
A: NO! You can't see my set or Dave's set or me meeting Dave on YouTube...Because A) the obvious reason that Punchline wouldn't even allow cameras inside, let alone allow people to tape inside. And B) Even if I had it recorded...I still don't think i'd post it...just too priceless an experience.

Q2: How did you meet him?
A: Read back to my entry in December...that's the basic history of how I met him.

Q3: How did you get to open for him?
So on Tuesday his friend (DH for short, which will stand for "Dave's Homie") said "Hi" to me and said I should talk to Dave after the show. So I did, and we talked after his set & as Dave and DH skated me and my buddy Mike Baker to our cars...I mentioned to Dave that I never got to open for him back in December. He turned and said, " many minutes you want?"

Q4: What was it like talking to Dave? Is he nice? Is he a drug addict?
A: Man, some of you need to stop watching the News & listening to the media! NO, Dave is NOT a drug addict. Or depressed Or anything like what you hear on TMZ. Dave is the most down to earth, respectful, intelligent comic I know. HE gave me a chance & freakin' skated me to my nice is that? I mean he could've just shook my hand on Tuesday & said..."stick with it kid". But no, he talked to me at length about stand-up (giving me some really needed advice), he took a risk on me & was cool enough to invite me to open for him. So if any of that screams "depressed druggie douchbag"...then you need to get your head checked. Cuz believe me, I've met plenty of those kinds of comics and Dave is NOT one of them.

Q5: Ok, well how did your set go? Did you rock it?
So after meeting him on Tuesday night, I could NOT sleep. So my mind stayed awake for 24 hours! So when it came time to opening for Chappelle, I was less nervous and more exhausted then anything….Ironically, making it easier to free my mind while I was on stage…thus making it easier to rock the mic!

But here's some background...So I call Punchline & ask them to confirm that I'm opening tonight. A girl calls me back and says "You have a guest spot & you have comps". That's when it finally hit was Officially Official...I was soooo juiced after that…I wasn't until then, because of what happened last December.

So of course I got up on stage that night and rocked a good 6 minutes & 30 seconds. Because as I've been taught by a wise comic: It's better to rock a stronger/shorter set then go over your timeslot (Thanks Allan!).
I did everything right…I paced myself, connected with the audience, brought the energy up, waited for the laughter, & remembered all my jokes. And the most applause I got was when I improvised to my mom: "Sorry mom you had to find out tonight that I lost my job, But hey I'm opening for Dave Chappelle!" The crowd fucking erupted at that point! That surprised me…But it was an indication that I had a good fuckin crowd… And even the drunk Frat boys at the bar were telling me they liked my stuff. But the best part about this whole experience, was that I found the fun in it again! And I heard some great advice that I needed to get my mind set back in the game.

"I took a risk with Nicole, not having seen her set before...But she did good."
- Dave Chappelle 6/11/08 @ The SF Punchline

And I know what some of you Haters are thinking..."it's cuz your cute that you got to open for him"...and my response to ya'll who think i'm riding by on my "looks" is:

Well, while it might have been my "cuteness" that got my foot in the door with Mr. Chappelle. It was...
1) It was my PASSION (for Comedy & Performing) that kept me going to open mics and working on my material/delivery/timing/set.
2) It was my DEDICATION that brought me up time and time after I bombed, dealt with retarded/sexist a-holes in the scene or haters that told me "Your not funny".
3) It was my COURAGE that drove me to get on stage and open myself to an audience of strangers, drunkards and hecklers. And to not let Dave's "Celebrity" to distract me from going up to him and introducing myself as a comic.
4) It was my FUNNY that made the entire audience of 200 people (including Dave Chappelle & DH) errupt with laughter...not my "looks"!
5) AND lastly, It was my MANIFESTATION / HUSTLING skills that made me believe that something like this was even year ago, when I first started, I told myself that one day i'd open of Dave Chappelle! And that one day was EXACTLY one year you can go on and hate. But I'm still the one that opened for DAVE CHAPPELLE, not you!

And today, as I was driving to felt a LOT like this video:

I also want to thank EVERYONE that either came out to support, sent me messages of support or just sent some positive energy my way last night! It all helped...I have so much Love & Gratitude for ya'll!

I'm hella proud of the lil' lady!

-Mike Baker the Bike Maker

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