Tag Archives: "keith ecker"

Keith Ecker at Printers Row Lit Fest

I am incredibly excited, honored and humbled to be so deeply participatory in this year’s amazing Printers Row Lit Fest. If you don’t know what this is, then you probably don’t read books. The Printers Row Lit Fest is one of the largest literary events in the country. The outdoor festival, produced by the Tribune Company, honors the written word with two full days of panel discussions, performances and, what else, books! See below to find out when I will be speaking/performing. I hope if you are in Chicago that you can check me out.

  • Sat. June 9 @ 10 a.m. – Keith will be moderating a panel of Chicago’s live lit heavy hitters for a conversation called Listen Up!: How Chicago’s Live Lit Scene Is Changing the Literary Landscape. Panelists include Ian Belknap (Write Club), Dana Norris (Story Club), Robbie Q. Telfer (The Encyclopedia Show) and Scott Whitehair (This Much Is True, StoryLab Chicago and Do Not Submit).
  • Sat. June 9 @ 3:30 p.m. – Keith will be speaking on a panel as part of a StoryStudio moderated discussion called Just Get Me Started Writing Workshop. He’ll be representing creative non-fiction and live lit.
  • Sat. June 9 @ 6 p.m. – Keith and Alyson will be showcasing a mini Essay Fiesta as part of the festival’s Lit After Dark event. Special guests include Scott Whitehair and the always entertaining Jen Bosworth.
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Get Your Learn On: PR and Comedy Writing Classes

I’m teaching a handful of classes in February through Dabble.co. My last classes in January were so successful that I’ve added a MEDIA RELATIONS class and  a JOKE WRITING LAB. These classes have received amazing feedback from students, plus they are only $20. You can’t go wrong with that. Tell your friends or sign up yourself.

press releasePR 101: Press Release Writing Basics teaches students how to format, write and distribute a press release.

PR 201: Media Relations Basics teaches students how to follow up with a press release, prepare to be interviewed and, in general, interact with the media.

Smiley Face
Comedy Writing 101: The Basics of Joke Writing teaches students the nuts and bolts of putting together a zinger. You’ll receive a comprehensive overview of comedic genres as well as an in-depth list of tools and tips to help you craft your own jokes.

Comedy Writing 201: The Joke Writing Lab provides students with a workshop environment to test and refine material in a supportive. This highly interactive class focuses on instructor-facilitated peer critique.

The Hungry Eyes Blog

In order to better separate my personal content from my business content, I have launched a blog specifically for Hungry Eyes Marketing. I’ll be updating it regularly with writing and marketing advice. It will serve as the agency’s main online presence until our Sept. 1 launch.

If you want to find out what’s going on in the life of Keith Ecker, keep reading this blog. And if you want to find out more about my reading series Essay Fiesta, read that blog.

BLOG!

Steamworks Set

Hey everybody! Come listen to my Steamworks Set! Listen now!

It’s at the 40 minute mark. You can also listen to the rest of the podcast too, you impatient twits.

Oh, and here’s me doing my thing:

Oh God! I'm telling jokes in a towel!

Oh God! I'm telling jokes in a towel!

5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I’m not normal. I don’t know what normal is. And the cliche says that nobody is “normal.” But I’m really not normal. In fact, I’m pretty fucking bizarre, which is why I have a terrible, terrible time meeting men. Sigh.

Anywho! There are some things that definitely separate me from the pack of humanity. Below are 5 of these things.

1. I love cutting coupons!

Oh joy!

Oh joy!

Ever since I was a little, limp-wristed homo in training, I have been calmed by the soothing act of slicing scissors across dotted lines to reap incremental savings off of products such as bath tissue, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Bacon Bits. Every Sunday I would run outside to snatch up the paper, throw the departments on the ground and tear into the Sunday Savings. With my mom standing in the kitchen either doing the dishes or washing her hair in the sink (for some reason she viewed the kitchen sink as a catchall for cleanliness), I would crack open the insert and clip all the products I saw regularly in the kitchen. If there was an item that was questionable, I’d yell out to my mom, “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!” (mind you her head was often under a gushing faucet). When she finally gave me the attention I deserved, I’d ask her, “Do we use Colgate toothpaste or AIM?”, to which she would roll her eyes and say, “Just clip them out and put them in a pile I’ll sort through them later!” At the end, I always felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Did I mention I had very few friends?

2. I love Ziggy!

Hahahahahahaha! Duct tape! Genious!

Hahahahahahaha! Duct tape! Genious!

Another remnant from my past, growing up I was obsessed with Ziggy, the fat, short bald man who starred in his own comic strip about how the world hates him. True, in later years he started talking about love and rainbows. But classic Ziggy was all about getting shit on. And I ate it up. I had dozens of Ziggy dolls, including a gigantic plush Ziggy that I slept with everynight. My sheets were Ziggy sheets, and my favorite book was a Ziggy anthology that I read so many times it became tattered. Looking back on it, I see all this as the early signs of my gayness. I mean, here I am, an 8-year-old boy sleeping with a middle-aged troll of a man. Twenty years later, the same thing still happens on occasion.

3. I love fast food Web sites!

There's more grease in this picture than on the faces of a dozen high schoolers.

There's more grease in this picture than on the faces of a dozen high schoolers.

Only on the rarest occassions do I actually eat fast food. I live in Chicago. I can get amazing cuisine blocks away from my apartment. Why would I want to trudge through slush and snow just to chow down on a burger that resembles a piece of painted styrophoam. And the shits. Don’t get me started! But I have a strange obsession with fast food Web sites. I love visiting them, seeing what is new on the menu and reading up on nutritional information. I want to see what the rest of America is eating, even if I myself frown upon the so-called “Happy Meal.” My favorite thing to do is to see what the absolute least healthy item on the menu is. Hardee’s is the best for that. That restaurant notoriously serves up hamburgers that contain three times the daily alottment for fat and calories. Maybe it’s because I don’t have cable anymore, and the sites give me my food porn fix. Or maybe I’m a closeted fast food lover secretly getting my fix on the net, like so many married men who delete their cache files so their wives won’t find their “special stash.”

4. I hate when people whisper the word “Popcorn.”

You better not be saying popcorn, so help me God!!!

You better not be saying popcorn, so help me God!!!

One day in elementary school a young girl in my class was trying to slyly get a boys attention from across the room. She had a bag of popcorn, but for some reason didn’t want to say in a normal, audible tone the word “popcorn.” So instead this 4th grade harpee decides to stage whisper the word “popcorn.” Meanwhile I was caught between the two, sitting a couple desks beside her. As she repeatedly tried to explain that she wanted to give him popcorn by stage whispering the word “popcorn,” I became increasingly full of rage. It got to a point where I wanted to take my pencil and either jab it in her eye or jab it in mine, if only to make a scene to interrupt the ping pong match of popcorn whispers. Ever since then, I can’t bare to hear the word “popcorn” whispered. I can’t quite explain why it irritates me so much. Try it yourself. “Popcorn.” “Popcorn.” Isn’t that irritating as all fuck?

5. I fear technology!

Back off or so help me God!

Keep that satanic chunk of metal out of my face!

Funny thing. I write about technology for a living. And I’m using my beloved Mac right now (Mac’s are one of the good one’s, fyi). But overall, technology scares me. I have never purchased a DVD player. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was a junior in college. I’d probably fear the Internet if it didn’t solidfy my trust with its promises of pornography. I think it is the unnecessary complexity that technology puts on our lives that makes me suspicious. I’d much rather play a board game or interact with real human beings than fiddle with a Wii over some gigabyte cockatils with my robot friends. Because that’s what the future is going to look like. Gigabyte cocktails. Robot friends. That’s why I’m planning on building an underground world for all of us technophobes. We’ll live down there and talk about an uprising, only to be crushed by digging robots with drills for hands called DrillBots. Then we’ll all be slaughtered by SlaughterTrons and eulogized by EuloBorgs.

The Well Is Dry

Comedy pays in laughs. There’s nothing better than hearing an audience erupt in laughter. It let’s you know you’re helping to spread a little bit of joy in this cesspool of a world we live in. This murky, overflowing toilet of a world that we all wallow in. Oh God, get it off! Get it off! Get it off!

But laughter doesn’t pay rent. I know this because I once tried to pay my landlord in laughs. She just frowned and then told me to “cut the crap.” If laughter is the best medicine and health insurance is so expensive, than laughs should have some monetary value, right? I mean, I’d rather chuckle a little bit than take two walnut-sized sepositories. Well, actually, on second thought…

The point is comedy doens’t pay my bills. I’m a freelance writer by day. Check out my site at www.keithecker.com. I specialize in writing about law and technology, but if anyone out there has ANY writing needs, hit me up. Please.

Because you see, with the economy slowing faster than a fat man in a marathon who passes a cake store, I’m left with little to do except waste time. And I love wasting time. And how do I waste time (besides rubbing it until it blisters)? I make comedy things.

Me thinking of funny things. As you can see, it hurts to think.

Me thinking of funny things. As you can see, it hurts to think.

My current project, besides the vlogs, sketch group, improv group and two-man stand-up show, is a sitcom. That’s right. I’m making a sitcom! In my living room! Using toys! It’s an idea I’ve had for a while, and it’s finally coming to fruition.

I just finished recording the theme song. You can hear it below. The audio quality is fair since I did it using my Mac’s internal mic. So it’s a little bit like I’m underwater. But you can still hear it and appreciate it. And for those that don’t know, I play guitar. If that turns you on, then my work here is done.

Oh, and the show’s name is “Lovers’ Lane.” Lyrics and music below:

Rainy day got you down/Want to go and just leave town/Whoa oh oh/Look like you need a friend

Come hang out with the gang/Living on Lovers’ Lane/Whoa oh oh/You’ll have a good time then

Hey! We’re okay! Things are good!/Sun is shining like it should

Hey! We’re okay! Things are good!/The sun is shining like it should here on Lovers’ Lane!

Beards!

Girls have the clothing market cornered. They get the luxury of having an endless variety of articles and styles to choose from. Skirts, blouses, shirts, shblouses. The list goes on and on and on.

But what do men have? Besides penises. And bigger hands. And higher paying jobs. Why we have beards! (unless you are a woman of Eastern European origin, in which case you too may very well have a beard).

As men, our facial hair is our paint. And our face is our palette. And our brush is an extremely sharp, thin piece of metal that will cut you like an inmate with a chip on his shoulder if you’re not too careful.

Let’s take a look at some of the various beards the world has been graced with.

clooneybeard

crazybeard

lizabeard

I’ve now decided to get into this whole beard racket. I used to just be like most guys and shave about once a week. For two days I’d have a baby face, for three days I’d have sexy stubble and then for two more days I’d start looking a little rugged. Well, I’ve always wanted to be a real-life Tom of Finland character, so here we go. What do you think?

beardy