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INSIDE MUSIC: Could I Make It
In Standup Comedy?

By Rosemary Conte

originally published: 11/27/2018

INSIDE MUSIC: Could I Make It In Standup Comedy?Looking through a box of memorabilia, I came across this 1990s piece I wrote as a columnist for the Monmouth County Arts Council’s monthly publication.  It sure was a different world. Looking back, even the comedy was kinder.  Imagine. When I wrote this I thought it was edgy!  Here’s the reprint: 

“Kids and music!   The little boy next door told his father he wanted to be a musician when he grows up.  His father told him that he couldn’t have it both ways.   

“Musicians get no respect.   Neither do oboes.  What little kid ever wanted to grow up to be an oboe player? And it’s really mean when fellow musicians define a minor second as two oboists playing in unison. People can be so unkind.   Someone who never heard a symphony once asked, “What’s the difference between a bassoon and an onion?”   I couldn’t believe the insensitivity of his reply:  ‘Well,  nobody cries when you chop up an bassoon.’ Yuk, yuk!   Listen...before you tell that joke about the chicken who crossed the road to get away from the bassoon recital...just bite your tongue and consider music sensitivity training. 

“Understand that inequality will always exist in our culture...even within the nerd sub-culture  which is comprised of many serious musicians.   Some disrespectful people define nerd as  ‘one who owns his own bass clarinet’.   I’ll betcha that nerd is on the low end of the financial ladder.   It really ticks me off that Microsoft’s Bill Gates is worth billions and he can’t even carry a tune!  When will musician nerds gain parity with computer nerds?   

“You know,  I’ve always felt sorry for viola players because of that “identity problem”.   People seem to confuse the viola with the violin.   An old instrument maker explained the optical illusion this way to me:     ‘The violins and violas are really the same size, but the violinists’ heads are bigger.’  



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“If you think the viola has it tough, the string bass player has it even worse, especially in the world of commercial music.  First, the upright bass was replaced by the electric bass.  Nowadays, though, even the electric bass is becoming obsolete on the bandstand and when a room goes dark, it takes zero number of bass players to change a light bulb, because the piano player can do it with his left hand!

“Left hand...right hand -- (tsk, tsk)  singers are so special that we can play our instruments without using our hands at all.   To be a good singer, one must be very bright and have an extraordinary imagination.  Those who say that you can put a twinkle in a soprano’s eye by shining a flashlight in her ear are just envious!

INSIDE MUSIC: Could I Make It In Standup Comedy?“Divas are divas because they are exceptional gifts from God.  And they command such power and respect that to change a light bulb they need only to hold on to it while the world revolves around them.  

 “But it’s time...it’s time musicians are valued for more than just their ability to entertain.  Recently,  I heard an encouraging rumor.  It seems that conductors’ hearts are coveted for transplants because they’ve had so little use.   

“Unlike conductors who stand in one place while they perform, bagpipers walk when they play.  Some say it’s to get away from the sound.  That’s disrespectful of tradition and ethnic sounds!  Accordionists also walk when they play.  They call it strolling.   A few years ago we heard that the accordion was making a comeback.  It never caught on in some parts where folks think zydeco is a skin disease.  You really have to admire those whose faith never waivers -- like my friend The Optimist.   He’s an accordion player with a pager.

“Granted, there is little work out there for trombonists, but ridicule is unwarranted.  Thankfully, though, they get to save some money on the purchase of their gig calendars.  While the pianists have to buy those thick and expensive daily calendars, trombonists only require the “Year-At-A-Glance” type.   

“What’s really sad is the prejudice that exists even within the music community.  The other day some hot-shot composer asked me, ‘What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?’  The answer was, a drummer!   I hated his sarcasm.  He told me that his drummer friend had just taken an I.Q. test.  I asked what he got on it and he said drool.  At that point, I had to stop talking because a drummer was knocking at my door.   I could tell it was drummer knocking because the knock was getting faster.   In all fairness though, it’s good the light bulb joke genre won’t have drummers to kick around anymore.   You can’t ask how many drummers it takes to change a light bulb, because they have machines to do that now.”

End of routine.  If I update my material, do you think I could make it?







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Benefit Concert For Dina's Dwellings In New Brunswick On Friday
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Join the cast of The Vagina Monologues and some special guests for Ladies’ Night, a benefit concert of fun and empowering songs celebrating and uplifting women. Co-directed by Mariella Klinger and Dave Seamon and produced by coLAB Arts, the concert takes place at First Reformed Church of New Brunswick for Dina's Dwellings on December 14 at 7:30pm.  It features a wide selection of pop songs and musical theatre selections from your favorite Broadway musicals will be performed along with a preview of an original musical by Dave Seamon and Molly Horan entitled A Universe Without Him. 
Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.
Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center featuring three musical guest artists throughout the month of January. The series launches on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:00pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Michael Davis and the New Wonders.
Billy Joel to Celebrate 70th Birthday at MSG
(NEW YORK, NY) -- The Madison Square Garden Company announced that the 64th consecutive show by legendary musician and MSG franchise, Billy Joel, on Thursday, May 9, 2019 takes place on his 70th birthday! The  show will be Joel’s 110th all-time performance at The Garden.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Presents Motor City Live: A Motown Christmas
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has extended Motor City Live: A Tribute to Motown through the month of December with a special Motor City Live: A Motown Christmas. Along with your favorite Motown classics, you’ll hear some Motor City versions of your favorite Holiday songs sprinkled in like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from The Temptations, Aretha Franklin’s “Winter Wonderland,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from the Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson’s “Jingle Bells” and much more.


An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.
"How Could You Not Love Them?" The Buckinghams and Herman's Hermits LIVE! at BergenPAC
Although it’s a chilly Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 evening in Englewood, NJ, music lovers are lined up outside the Bergen Performing Arts Center waiting to hear classic songs of the ’60s as performed by two quintessential groups of the era — The Buckinghams and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone!
If It Ain't Baroque... Bach's Brandenburg Concertos With Symphony in C
You know the old joke: If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it? Well, put away those tools, dear reader. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos ARE Baroque, so no fixing necessary. This Saturday, December 1, Symphony in C is performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 through 6 at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. Officially presented in 1721, these collective works are considered to be some of the finest orchestral compositions of the Baroque era (generally 1600 to 1750). These six concertos are among the most recorded, performed and beloved works by Bach. – And that’s J.S. Bach, for those of you keeping score at home. There are a LOT of Bachs.

Upcoming Events

Benefit Concert For Dina's Dwellings In New Brunswick On Friday

Benefit Concert For Dina's Dwellings In New Brunswick On Friday

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Join the cast of The Vagina Monologues and some special guests for Ladies’ Night, a benefit concert of fun and empowering songs celebrating and uplifting women. Co-directed by Mariella Klinger and Dave Seamon and produced by coLAB Arts, the concert takes place at First Reformed Church of New Brunswick for Dina's Dwellings on December 14 at 7:30pm.  It features a wide selection of pop songs and musical theatre selections from your favorite Broadway musicals will be performed along with a preview of an original musical by Dave Seamon and Molly Horan entitled A Universe Without Him. 


Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"

Audible and NJPAC Present "Jazz in the Key of Ellison"

(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Audible have announced the first three national performance dates of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” celebrating the musical world of the esteemed African-American novelist, critic and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings.


Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders

Centenary Stage Presents Michael Davis and the New Wonders

(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center featuring three musical guest artists throughout the month of January. The series launches on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:00pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with Michael Davis and the New Wonders.


Billy Joel to Celebrate 70th Birthday at MSG

Billy Joel to Celebrate 70th Birthday at MSG

(NEW YORK, NY) -- The Madison Square Garden Company announced that the 64th consecutive show by legendary musician and MSG franchise, Billy Joel, on Thursday, May 9, 2019 takes place on his 70th birthday! The  show will be Joel’s 110th all-time performance at The Garden.








Event calendar
Thursday, Dec 13, 2018


MUSIC

PROJECT/OBJECT @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

JERRY BLAVAT @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 12:00pm

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:30pm

BRIAN FALLON @ Crossroads (Garwood), Garwood - 8:00pm

The Irish Tenors Holiday Celebration @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm

BREAKING BENJAMIN @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 7:00pm







THEATRE

Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm


FILM

On the Map @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


MISC

Holiday Open Mic Night! @ Black Box Performing Arts Center, Teaneck - 7:30pm

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