Monthly Archives: April 2009

Vlog #11 – Too Hot For Facebook

How To Disappear Completely

I’m not here. That’s not me.

That’s what Facebook would have you believe. The mega-social-networking site that encourages to people to build their lives around its services has banned me. Me! Keith Ecker! The Keith Ecker! And for what? What crime, what infraction, what atrocity did I commit?

I DON’T KNOW!

They won’t tell me. They lord it over me like some kind of secret. I can hear them now. Talking about me. Behind my back. Gossping. Pointing. Laughing.

“Look at him squirm!” they cackle.

I have ceased to exist. I am a nameless faceless being that roams the streets. I have no friends. There is little record of my existence at all. I am a ghost. And I am calling you all via this blog from beyond the grave.

NEVER FORGET!

Just remember things can change for you as well. You’re not so bad off now, but one day you might become the targer of Facebook’s ire. I remember when I ruled the world. 450 friends. 450!!! My kingdom for a profile page. My kingdom!

This may be the last you ever hear from me. I detect that Facebook is only beginning by destroying my online persona. Next, they’re coming for flesh. I can hear them. They call my name. Taunting. “Keith. Keith. Keith.” My time here is limited. Please remember me. Please….please…

Collaboration

I have mood swings. I’m not crazy. I don’t get violent or cry uncontrollably. I have socially acceptable mood swings. Mood swings you wouldn’t be afraid to be seen with in public.

One thing that triggers these swings from happy to sad to anxious to calm is how much I have on my plate. The busier I am, the more anxious I am, the happier I am. The less busy I am, the more depressed I get. Am I a workaholic? Quite possibly. But most people just call that drive, a go-getter…the guy who’s “got the goods.”

This leads me to why I’ve been feeling a little down lately. My sketch show is about to close. It has been a wonderful experience. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team. I think we really put together an amazing show. However, coming off of it, I don’t have any projects immediately lined up. My improv group, Road Eagle, has become my former improv group, as too much time has passed for me to rejoin the team. I still can do stand-up, but that’s not the same thing as collaborating with others to produce a singular piece. I want to write a play, but that’s not putting me out there on the stage and helping me be active in the scene. I can audition both as a writer or actor for various things, which is what I’ve been looking into. I don’t have much interest in acting mind you, so I wouldn’t really take on anything that didn’t have a writing component necessarily. I’m also planning on doing more videos by myself and with others, including Crank. And then in the fall, hopefully The Alliance will have another sketch revue to do.

Now that I look at it, I suppose it’s not so bad. Even if all I do over the next several months is stand-up and videos until the next sketch revue, at least I’m getting out there. I just wish I still had a group to work with regularly. If anyone wants to collaborate or knows someone who is looking for a writer/performer, let me know.

You’re All Invited To My Funeral

This letter shall be read at my funeral. Someone who’s good at noting things, please take note.

“Dearest beloved. we are gathered here today to celebrate me. That’s right. Keith Ecker. I’m dead. Suprise!

Well you probably already knew that. That’s why you are here. I just that that’d be funny. You know, lighten the mood. Because I’m sure you’re all pretty sad to lose a guy like me. Yup, pretty sad indeed. I’m sure most of you would agree I brought a ray of sunshine into every dark day or I really brightened up a room or you’ve never met someone else like me. And I’m only guessing here, but I bet quite a few of the men wish they had my body. Well I’m done with it; consider it yours!

That was another lame attempt at humor. Sorry. I’ll just allow you to grieve. Preferably openly. As in gratuitously. Let’s get down to brass tacks shall we?

First, I’d like to thank everyone for coming. I’m sure some of you had to travel quite a ways away. Hopefully someone took an international flight. Those are expensive, and that really shows how much you care about me. In fact, you can have my television. It never worked too well, but it’s something, especially considering all my other earthly possessions were pawned off per my request. I also hope all the money made by selling my possessions is in my coffin, also per my request. I wanted a green burial, and I heard money is very good for enriching the soil. Well, I may have heard that at least.

Next, I want to give some personalized parting words to some of my nearest and dearest friends, who I’m sure are all in attendance today.

1. The woman that works the nightshift at Taco Loco

Juanita or Roberta or whatever your name may actually be, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for always being there when I needed you the most. Where else could I get a savory, calorie-laden meal at 3 a.m. after a night of whiskey and bad decisions? No matter what I came in smelling like, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, you’d serve me with a smile as if to say, “I’d rather be at home sleeping with my husband and spending time with my children.”

Your food may have been subpar. And yes, it usually would lead to the shits. But like heartworms, you bore yourself into my heart. And the only pill I could shove down my throat was your cheesy, greacy mole enchiladas. I wish I could have a plate of those right now. Well, if there’s a heaven and I made it there, just imagine me eating them. Eating a huge plate of them. While getting a blowjob from Alexander the Great.

Oh, and and the name Taco Loco is what I want everyone to call a vagina from now on. It’s a request from the dead. You must honor it. See Dead v. Living, 1976, Supreme Court of the United States.

2. The man who works the nightshift at Dunkin Donuts (on Lawrence)

It took me a while to figure out what nationality you are. I’m not trying to make this a race issue. It just was always a bit confusing. Your co-worker, the big girl with the bad skin and equally blemished attitude, is a Latina. So at first I assumed you were as well. But after getting to know you as well as any 3 a.m. purchaser of fried pastries can know his chef, I figured out you were Indian. It’s really neither here nor there, but I did wonder that meant you were also vegetarian. And if so, how ironic it is that you can’t enjoy the delicious food items, e.g., turkey flatbread, sausage biscuit, et al., your store serves to me when I’m cracked out on god knows what at an hour where the streets belong to cab drivers and hookers.

You look like a bird to me. Your nose is like a beak and your face is all sunken in like a bird’s, a regal bird’s, like an eagle! You never were the friendliest person. The only time your blank, corpse-like expression changed was when I’d take 10 minutes to order the same two donuts I always do, and you’d roll your eyes in disgust, a sense of disgust that I could tell really meant, “This guy. I love this guy. There he goes again!”

So in conclusion, thanks for keeping my Munchkin addiction between you and me. Oh, and Jesus. Maybe.

3. The lady at the Middle Eastern Bakery, who I think wears a wig.

Hi! How are you? Once again, forgive me for not knowing your name. I supposed I could have asked, but I probably wouldn’t have understood through that thick accent of yours. I enjoy that accent. I just regret that I was terrible at interpreting people with accents. I bet you up here we all speak one language. Like Esperanto. I wish I could report back, but you know, you can’t dry off a thunder storm. I think that’s a saying. If not, make it so. Death request!

Anywho, you’re a very nice lady. You remind me of my mom a bit. Cause you like kind of like her. Except I think you are wearing a wig. And it’s okay if you are. I’m not judging. It may be due to illness or female baldness or just personal choice. I just thought I’d point it out cauase it’s something I’ve just always thought about. If this is putting you on the spot right now in front of all my other friends and loved ones, I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.

Your store was such an oasis of nutrition in a wasteland of crap that is my neighborhood (see above). I’d buy trail mix and chicken pockets and hummus all the time from you. And you were so pleased to have me as a customer. Probably because your shop was always on the brink of going under. At least that’s what I assumed. Why else would you be so happy to see me? Successful companies act indifferent toward their patrons cause they don’t want to make it look like they give a shit, like they’re desperate. Take a note from the big boys like Wal-Mart and start breeding contempt in your employees for your customers. That is unless you truly are on the verge of going out of business. Which, as I may have said, I assume you are.

Hopefully you managed to bring the pastries I requested to be served at my funeral. The ones with the pistachios. Those were so good. I hope everyone else is enjoying them too. But not too much. I’m the main event here. I mean, who do you have to thank for serving you those delicious middle eastern pastries? I rest my case.

Well that wraps up all those I’d like to thank. If I left anyone out, I’m deeply sorry. I just have too many friends, fans, worshippers and loved ones to really deliver a personalized message to all. But just so feeling aren’t too hurt, I have decided to write some brief “shout-outs” to those who at one time or another basked in the glory that was me. BTW, these were inspired by Twitter, which I’m assuming by now is the cornerstone of the U.S. economy.

1. Crank – I’m sorry I bled all over your bathroomin college, neglected to clean it up and then told you I gave a squirrel an abortion in there.

2. Rachel – I always assumed that you lied about going to grad school, and you secretly moved to Hyde Park to start a bum fighting federation. I am still waiting to be proven wrong.

3. Emily – If anyone has said ill of me throughout this proceeding, I want you to avenge me through art. I’m thinking something called a “Hate Collage,” which I don’t have time to explain right now.

4. Lauralee – Per my request, I hope you did a wonderful rendition of Christopher Cross’ “Sailing.” I also hope you followed through with the other part of my request where you sing the song dressed as a pirate and sing in a pirate voice. If you did not do this, please redo it.

5. Zach – I want you to sleep outside my cemetary plot with a shotgun, not to ward off vagrants or body snatchers. But to ward off the devil, who surely will want to take my soul. If he challenges you to some kind of competition with my soul as the prize, I recommend a rap off because you were always pretty good at that and even if you lost, it’d be a fun time and a good story.

6. Charlie – If there are any hot guys in attendance, I want you to make them stand by my open casket with their shirts off and pose for a picture. I then want this picture to be your Christmas card for the rest of your life. Death request!

Thank you.

Keith

Butterflies In My Tummy

I have a stand-up show tonight. It’s part of a big gay stand-up showcase here in Chicago. I always get really bad butterflies before I go on. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s what the body does to get focused. The adrenaline rush, the hyperactivity. It helps you be a better performer out on the stage. I still don’t like it. Because it can consume me. I hope it gets easier as I get more experience performing.

Also, I signed up for beach volleyball today. So if you want to see me live with my shirt off, come out to Montrose Beach in late May to August every Friday evening to see me get my ass kicked on the sand.

Train Whores Are Joy Spreaders

Craigslist is not a good place to meet guys. Whether you’re looking for a date or a hot hook up, you’re probably just going to find a bunch of flakes and fatties. However, Craigslist is a great place to spread your love to the world. Let me explain.

Is not making people happy a good thing? And doesn’t sex make people happy? If you gave the best blowjob in the world, you would have quite a power on your hand, a power that could spread joy to whomever you meet (given they are a male). Now you couldn’t go around giving just anyone a blowjob. There has to be an order, a map, some semblence of reason to your blowjob journey. Enter Craigslist.

Lately there have been a number of ads with men advertising their blowjob journeys. Basically these men are either on a wallk, a bike ride or just riding the train and want to get a number of guys to sign on for sex along their route. It ends up being like a progressive dinner, execept instead of casserole, it’s butt fucking.

I commend these men. What better way to spread joy to the world but to travel from door to door like some kind of magical fairy and give the gift that only keeps giving for 30-60 minutes?

So here’s to you blowjob train/biker dude. Here’s to you.

Life As A Documentary

Am I the only person that is constantly overwhelmed with life? Everyday I teeter between unmotivated and intimidated because of just how much shit I have to think about. My job, my comedy and my personal life is a juggling act that I precariously master on a day-to-day basis. I’m not saying nobody else has the same kind of responsibilities as I. In fact, I’d say most people have more, especially those we call parents. But I’m a lazy person at heart. And so any amount of work is too much work for me. And I also love complaining, so being overwhelmed is, in essence, a past time.

Still, I constantly wonder if I’m doing the right things. Rather than living in the moment, I remove myself from my own life and watch it as if it is a story unfolding, always questioning what’s going to happen next and hoping that my prediction is either correct or completely wrong, depending on whatever the prediction might be. I think that’s why I watch so many documentaries. I view my own life as a documentary, and I’m the subject. And right now I’m in the part of the piece where the artist is making some gains, but hasn’t hit it big yet. Where he’s still working his strange day job and performing in theaters where the public bathroom also serves as the back stage. Where drugs, alcohol and sex are all vices and habits that both make me who I am while setting up the potential to destroy myself and throw me off the path of my dream. Where I’m lonely a lot, but am unable to actually have a relationship with a man because I’m already married to my passion.

It’s an interesting part in every documentary. We don’t like watching a biopic where the subject is already successful. We like to watch it when he or she is struggling to become successful. It is this struggle, the ascendence, that engages us. Because that person is us. They were born somewhere unremarkable, their parents did unremarkable things, yet somehow they transcended this. And all the while they didn’t realize they were transcending. Which bothers me. Because I’m so self aware, so analytical and introspective that I can’t help but to be aware.

Fame is not a goal of mine. Not a direct goal at least. The validation and appreciation of my art is. And fame is a symptom of this. It is being embraced and understood by many people. If doing Gayrilla Warfare were the peak of my creative career, I suppose I’d be happy. Because it is already much more than I ever expected for myself. But to have futher appeal, to continue to create and share, that would be spectacular.

So I continue to motivate myself despite my lack of motivation. Because something in me forces myself to continue. Even when I’m tapped dry, even when my creative juices cease to flow and I’m lonely and poor and eating donuts at 3 am, I still wake up the next day and juggle.