Posts Tagged ‘stand-up comedy’

On Friday, my friend, Alan came to visit. We hung out, drank, and laughed our asses off.
We’ll be checking out a Comedy Show on August 29th at a Bar called Grace O’Malley’s in the West End.
If all goes well, I hope to be able to do a set there in September or October, which would be awesome. I really miss performing Stand-Up Comedy, and I’m glad that other Comedians told me about the place.

In other news, I had a pretty lazy Weekend, which is good because I have a busy Week ahead.
Here’s what’s happening:

Monday — Retraining an Attendant who’s returning to work for me. Also, meeting a potential new Attendant.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday — Traning another new Attendant all day.

Wednesday — I’m getting a new Ventilator, which requires five hours training apparently.

Thursday — I’m suppose to meet one of the Organizers of the Casino Sound & Light Festival to discuss Wheelchair Accessibility. We were originally supposed to meet on Monday, but it was supposed to rain, so I had to postpone. it.
As luck would have it, it rained on Sunday, and apparently will rain on Thursday now. I hope we can work something out, cause that Festival needs alot of improving with Wheelchair Accessibility.

Any free time in between will be spent trying to remain sane.

Wish me luck!

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I spent most of my day on Saturday shooting Video for Life In A Day.

Life In A Day was a Project done by Youtube. Basically, you filmed yourself on July 24th, 2010, showing what happened to you that day.

Some of the submitted Videos will be featured in a Documentary at The Sundance Film Festival. The Movie will be made by Ridley Scott, and Kevin Macdonald.

I first heard about it a few Weeks ago from a friend of mine who sent me the link on Facebook.
I read about it a few times, and thought about it alot.

One of my big goals in life is to be famous. Not just for my own personal gains, but I also believe that there’s a SEVERE shortage of Disabled people being used in Commercials, TV Shows, Movies, and/or Music Videos. I’d like to try and break down those walls, and be able to get myself, and others like me, on TV and the big screen.

Of course, there’s also the fame & fortune aspect for me as well. I’d like to be able to move away from here. I’d build a fully Wheelchair Accessible House for my Wife & I. We’d just sit back, relax, and feel good knowing that we overcame another barrier in life.

If I were to become famous, I’d also use my status to further educate people about Disabilities etc. I’d also want to do shows and/or Movies about us.

For example, I’d have a Disabled version of The Bachelor. The guy would be Disabled, and you’d have Women trying to woo him.
To some, it may sound far fetched, but I honestly never thought that a show like The Bachelor, or Survivor would exist, but it does, and they’re very popular.

I learned at a very young age, quite possibly on day #2 that anything’s possible if you want it bad enough.

Back to the Videos that I made.
The first Video that I shot was of me getting suctioned.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, that involves putting a small tube down my throat to suck out stuff in my lungs.

At first, I was nervous about filming it, mostly because it’s a personal, medical procedure for me. I wrestled with the idea for awhile. In the end, I decided to film it for a few reasons.

1. I wanted the World to know what I go through on a regular basis, and to hopefully show them it’s not THAT scary.

2. There’s other people out there that get suctioned too, and I wanted to show them that they shouldn’t feel weird or awkward about it. It’s a part of your life. Yes, it sucks, but if it keeps you healthy and alive, don’t feel uncomfortable about it.

3. I also made the Video in hopes of educating others. Alot of times when I do it in Public Bathrooms, people stare, and I know they want to ask about it, but they rarely do.

4. I also wanted to show people that despite having to do it hourly, I still manage to live a pretty normal life.

Other Videos I did were of me going out, having Coffee, and talking about being in a relationship when you’re Physically Disabled, getting a transfer into bed, and lying down with my Wife.

My personal favorite is the one where I’m having Coffee & talking.

All of the Videos can be seen at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ryanlythall

As for Life In A Day, all submitted Videos will start appearing on their Youtube page in August.

Their Website is located at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeinaday

Winning Videos will appear in a Movie at The Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.

I also plan on buying a Video Camera at some point. I have a pretty interesting life, and I want to share it with the World, and perhaps have someone do a Movie about my life.

Stay tuned.

A Look At Day 13 At Bluesfest 2010 & A Wrap-Up Of This Year’s Bluesfest

Posted: July 19, 2010 in canada, comedy, Daily Life, Daily Living, disability, ontario, ottawa, personal, writing
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Last night was the final night for Bluesfest 2010, and Weezer was a great choice for the final act.

I saw four acts yesterday, so let’s discuss them first.

My first stop was Bjorn Berge in the Theatre. One of my friends suggested that I check him out, and I’m glad that I did.

Bjorn played solo Guitar, and was awesome. He was really funny, and played a mean Guitar. He even did a Cover of Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”, which was pretty rockin’ especially since it was in a small Theatre. This was a definite hidden gem for me.
I hope he returns next year.

After that, my Wife & I headed to the Cafeteria, so she could eat, and I could rest my arm.

We headed to the Claridge Stage to check out Ryan Shaw.
We were able to get a good spot in General Admission, which is extremely rare. We even made it onto the big Video screen a few times.
Being the Camera Whore that I am, I ate it up, and rocked the hell out every time the Camera pointed at me.

Ryan Shaw was great as per usual. He did some new stuff, his version of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”, which still blew my mind. I really wish that he’d release it as a Single, but no luck yet.

Either way, you people should google him. I’m not typically a fan of “happy/semi-religious” music, but he also knows how to rock out. I still consider him to be a hidden gem, simply because not that many people know about him yet.

We tried to meet him afterwards, but he wasn’t signing Autographs this year. I do know that he saw me rockin’ out in the second row though.

After the show, I headed to the Merchandising Tent. I wanted to buy a T-Shirt from this year’s Bluesfest, and I got one.

From there, it was time for Jimmy Cliff. That was a good show, but a little too crazy with the “love Earth” stuff.

Jamaican me crazy, man!

After he did “I Can See Clearly Now”, we bailed, and got ready for Weezer.

Weezer was great, and they did all their hits like “Hash Pipe”, “Buddy Holly”, and others.
It was a great way to end Bluesfest.

I decided to walk home from Bluesfest.
Normally, I do that anyways, but I was gonna take Para Transpo this time because I’m using a Nintendo Controller, which is much harder to use.

With it being the final night, I just had to attempt it.
Somehow, I made it though. It took twice as long to get home, and I was having a really hard time near the end, but I made it.
I’m a tough, stubborn S.O.B.

So ended another Bluesfest.

For me, I will remember Bluesfest 2010 for many, many years, possibly forever.
I admit that it’s largely due to the fact that I was in the Media so much, rubbing elbows with top Comedians, and having such a huge impact with Wheelchair Accessibility.

Oh, and the Music & Comedy Shows weren’t bad either.

With that said, here are my picks for top acts from this year’s Bluesfest:

Top Musical Performances:

10. Iron Maiden
9. Big Jeezus Truck
8. Hole
7. The Flaming Lips
6. Crowded House
5. Grupo Fantasma
4. Ryan Shaw
3. Rush
2. Weezer
1. Santana

Top 5 Comedy Acts:

5. “The Canadian Comedy Show” — Mark Forward, Deb Giovanni, Ryan Belleville
4. “The Relationship Show” — John Heffron, Maryellen Cooper, Finesse Mitchell, Jim Breuer
3. Lewis Black, with Kathleen Madigan opening.
2. Louis CK, I forget who opened for him.
1. “The X-Rated Comedy Show — Bobby Slayton, Tiffany Haddish, Ari Shiffir, Mike Wilmot

I think it was a great lineup this year, and Mother Nature co-operated.

In closing, I’d like to thank the following for helping me out this year:

— The Organizers for Bluesfest for listening to my ideas, and installing a Platform, and for the top notch treatment.

— The Ottawa Sun, 24 Newspaper, CTV Ottawa, and the Bluesfest Website for helping me get the message out about how important Wheelchair Accessibility is.

— Bluesfest fans for coming up to me to personally thank me, and encouraging me to keep up the good work. That meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Rest assure, that I’m just getting started.

I look forward to being a part of Bluesfest 2011.

As I mentioned yesterday, I only managed to see one show because of my Wheelchair problems.

My Wife & I checked out Lewis Black, which was great.
Kathleen Madigan opened up for him.
She did some solid jokes about Oprah, Sarah Palin, performing in the Mid East for the USO.

From there, it was time for Lewis Black. I’ve been wanting to see him for awhile now.
He was his usual pissed off self, but he was hilarious with his rants about the I-phone, holidays, and why the US is so messed up.
He also told a great story about Vince Gill, and Amy Grant.

After that, it was time for us to take a Cab home.
I refeuse to even attempt wheeling home using my Nintendo Controller.
I had a hard enough time just getting to the spot to get my Cab.
My left arm tends to cramp up, and gets tired pretty fast when I use the Nintendo Controller to drive my Wheelchair.

As for today, the last day of Bluesfest, I have a full slate.

My Wife & I are gonna check out Bjorn Berge at 4 PM in the Theatre.

At 6, we’re gonna see Ryan Shaw at the Claridge Stage. I saw him last year, and he honestly blew me away. He was a top “hidden gem” for me. I’m gonna try to meet him this time.

At 8, I’ll check out Jimmy Cliff on the Claridge Stage.

At 9:30, we’ll wrap things up with seeing Weezer at the MBNA Stage. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

That’ll be it for Bluesfest 2010.

Tomorrow, I’ll be giving a final recap of this year’s Bluesfest.
Discuss who I saw, my top picks, and just general thoughts on the past 13 days.

My Wife & I checked out the Pop Life Art Exhibit at the National Gallery yesterday.
Some parts of it are pretty odd, and the Music is a little loud for an Art Exhibit, but all in all, I suggest you people check it out.

After that, we headed down to Piccolo Grande to have a Gelato.

So last night, I wanted to see MonkeyJunk, but they were just wrapping up as we got there. I only got to hear half a song, but they sounded pretty good. Hopefully, they will perform at a Wheelchair Accessible Venue in Ottawa soon.

So after that, it was time for The Canadian Comedy Show, hosted by Mark Forward. The show also featured Ryan Belleville, Debra Giovanni, and Pete Zedlacher.
The show was pretty good for the most part. The Host seemed kinda annoyed, and perhaps lost due to people leaving, and not laughing at him enough.

Sadly, after Bluesfest is over, it will be awhile before I get to see Live Comedy again. For those who aren’t aware, I’m a big fan of Stand-Up Comedy, and even perform it sometimes.

Up until about a year and a bit, I performed regularly at Yuk Yuk’s. They moved to a location that isn’t Wheelchair Accessible. Since then, there’s no longer any Wheelchair Accessible Comedy Venues in Ottawa.

Needless to say, I’ve been seeing as many Comedy shows at Bluesfest as humanly possible. I find it funny/sad that a temporary Tent can be made Wheelchair Accessible, but an actual Venue doesn’t want to bother to even try to be Wheelchair Accessible.

I’ve approached both of the main Clubs here in Ottawa, and either they don’t care & flat out refuse to even try to put a Ramp, or they shut me up when I tried talking to the Media about it.

Either way, it’s a horrible situation, mostly due to Owners not really giving a crap about Comedians or Club goers.

I’m done my little rant.
Sorry

So, after the Comedy Show, I went to see Great Big Sea, or tried to.

My Wheelchair stopped working on the way in.
My Wife spent at least ten minutes trying to fix it, and it worked for the rest of the night.

Great Big Sea was great as per usual.

I want to point something out.
While my Wife was trying to fix my Chair. Security & Volunteers kept wanting to help me get in to the show.
We both refused several times.
For some messed up reason, they refused to listen to her.
Now, noticed that I said her?

None of the “rent-a-cops” asked me directly. They chose to ask my Wife instead.
My Wife told them many times that I was the one refusing help, not her.
If I can drive, I will FREAKIN drive in there myself somehow.

Furthermore, people have to learn to talk to Disabled people. While it’s true that SOME of them can’t speak, don’t automatically assume that we can’t.
It absolutely drives me nuts & boggles my mind, especially since i was publicly interviewed three times in the past week.
Plus, I’m pretty sure it was obvious that my Wife & I were chatting as they approached us each time.

Anyways, my Chair stopped working shortly after we got home.
I’m now using my old Nintendo Controller, which is really hard to use.

So, today/tonight, the only show that I’ll be able to get to is Lewis Black.

As for tomorrow, I have a ride to & from Bluesfest.
I’m definitely going to see Ryan Shaw, & then Weezer later on that night.
As for the few hours in between, that’ll be tough since I can’t drive as much as usual.

Either way, I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

Nothing really new to report, so with that in mind, I’m going to discuss who I’ll be seeing.
Keep in mind, these are the acts that I want to see.

The Big Acts: Iron Maiden, Weezer, Santana, Great Big Sea, Hole, Crowded House, RUSH, Gipsy Kings, Jimmy Cliff, Matthew Good, The Flaming Lips,

The cool thing about Bluesfest is walking around and discovering Bands that I’ve never heard of. I refer to those as hidden gems.

Hidden Gems From Past Years Returning: Ryan Shaw, David Maxwell, Grupo Fantasma, Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton, Steve Poltz, Big Jeezus Truck, JW Jones, Amanda Rheaume, Drew Nelson, The Mighty Popo

I’m sure that I’ll discover more hidden gems this year too.

For the first ever, Bluesfest will be having LIVE Comedy.

Comedians I’ll Be Checking Out: Louis CK, Lewis Black, and perhaps a few more.

So there’s my lineup for who I’m seeing.
The fun starts tonight, July 6th through the 18th, with July 12th being a day off for all acts.

To those going, have fun down there.
Most of all, rock on!

Despite the title, this isn’t a post about my sex life.

I know it’s been awhile since my last post.
I have alot to say, so let’s get to it.

So last Saturday, it was crappy outside, so I stayed home.
Later that day, I spent the Evening with my Wife.

Luckily, the next day was beautiful, so we took full advantage of it.

We started off by heading Downtown to check out a Cafe that my Wife heard about.
The place is called Xpresso, and it’s right behind the Metro Grocery Store on Rideau Street.
It’s a pretty nice place, but the pictures on their Website make it look bigger than it is.
The Bathroom is Wheelchair Accessible, they also sell my favorite Beer, and their Espresso’s pretty good.
They also have TVs everywhere.
On Thursdays, they have live Music, so I plan on checking that out at least once this Summer.
If you’re in Ottawa, I suggest you check it out.

If you go, tell them Ryan sent you. They’ll have no idea who the hell you’re talking about, but it might be funny.

So after that, we went Shopping.
Now, as most Married Men know, Shopping with your Wife or sig other is never as quick or easy as we envision.

By the time we were done, it was time for me to go home for a bit.
About thirty minutes later, we headed back out, and walked down by the River.
We just walked around, took pictures of the scenery, and then headed home.
It was nice & romantic.

Monday was my big appointment for my new Wheelchair.
This is the day that I’d get to take a loaner Chair home to try it out.
Before I did that, I got transferred from my old Chair to a bed, so they could transfer my seat to the other Chair.
From there, I got put back into the new Chair, and all set up so I could try out the new Joystick.

At first, I had a hard time driving it because it was too fast, and it kept tipping backwards. I also kept running into things.
After a few minor adjustments, I tried it again, and it went much better.

Later that day, I went to the park to try it out in a wide opened space.
Everything kept getting easier, plus I’m typically a quick learner.

Originally, I was just gonna try it until Thursday, but I was unable to get to my Appointment.
As of now, I’m not sure when I’ll be returning it.
I wish I could try it out for the whole Summer while the paperwork’s being processed, but I doubt it.

On Wednesday, I co-taught a Workshop about Stand-Up Comedy.
This was for people with various Mental Disorders, which made things interesting.

We started off with six people.

One person decided to draw instead of taking notes.
One person became agitated/uncomfortable and decided to leave.
Another person kept coming & going, but eventually stayed.
We ended up having 5 people left by the time it ended.

All in all, it was an interesting experience.
I hope to do it again eventually.

I got home around 1:35 pm.
Little did I know, my day was about to become more interesting.

At 1:41 pm, as I was heading back out to get an Espresso, an Earthquake happened, and it was big, at least for this Area.
My Wife called to see if I was ok, and luckily, everything was ok. Nothing fell or broke.
Her Office Building was being evacuated.

From there, I headed out to try to find her.
I just had this sense that she needed me, and I wanted to be there for her.
Sadly, I couldn’t find her though.
I guess I’ll never make the cover of a cheesy Romance Novel.

There were TONS of people standing around outside because every Office Building Downtown got evacuated.
After awhile, I gave up looking for her & tried to get an Espresso, but most places were closed due to the Quake.
I came across Tim Horton’s, and managed to get a Coffee.

I headed home, & my Wife called soon after that.
She bought me an Espresso, which was damn good.
So at that point, I had half a Cup of Coffee, plus an Espresso.
Since I got up at 8, I needed them both.

We were supposed to go to the Jazz Festival that night, but it rained.
Instead, we ended up having a nice quiet Evening together.

Thursday was a Holiday for French people, so I was able to spend part of the day with my Wife.
We had Espresso, and really delicious Chocolates.

As of now, no real plans this Weekend besides seeing my Mom before she leaves for a Month.

Sorry that this post was so long, but I hope you enjoyed reading it.