Anthony Bourdain at the Landmark Theater in RVA last night.
Check out this KickStarter video from my family at the Richmond Comedy Coalition. If you have followed The Cheats Movement Blog than you know the RCC is very special to me and to the new wave of positivity happening in Greater Richmond. They have worked very hard since their debut in 2009 to present a platform of improv comedy that had almost completely faded away in RVA. In addition to the amazing shows they create, they teach classes for inspiring improver (like myself), host workshops, and partner with other positive movements in RVA to foster a new wave of community. Check out the video and please do what you can to help them move into their brand new home in the Arts District. Click HERE to check out the Kickstarter.
Last Saturday night, the Cheats Movement Blog joined a sold-out crowd at Baliceaux for the first ever RCC’s Battledecks. Battledecks is a comedic presentation using never seen before slides by daring and hilarious presenters; improv at its finest. I knew from the time the first slide was reveled, “Raving in your 30′s” it was going to be a great night. Congrats to the nine brave souls that took the stage (2 were selected randomly from the audience). The night was a massive success. Scott Beckett was the winner of Battledecks and also a new laser-etched iPad Mini. The night was hosted by the owner of BIG SECRET Jason Lefton with slide presentation assistance from his good friends at the Richmond Comedy Coalition. The slides along with comedic courage of each presenter made the night fantastic. I look forward to many more Battledecks at Balliceaux. CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE PHOTOS FROM LAST SATURDAY NIGHT
CLICK HERE for all the photos from Battledecks and make sure to follow: the Richmond Comedy Coalition, BIG SECRET, and the Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook.
Last night, my homegirl, Patience Salgado AKA Kindness Girl did an amazing job as the special guest for the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5. But Patience was not alone, she called on her good friend Jennifer Lemons-Driskell AKA The Checkout Girl to rock a ukulele sing along. It was a great time. Below are some of the photos. I’m so excited about the things The Cheats Movement Family has in store for 2013 and it was a real family affair last night. If you don’t know already the Richmond Comedy Coalition is in process of opening their new theater on Broad Street. Support them as best you can. Patience and The Cheats Movement Blog (along with so many others) are always working on projects to bridge the gap in this city. RVA, good things are happening. #WESEEIT
It has become very clear that the goal of The Cheats Movement Blog in 2013 is to do something bigger for the RVA community. What do I mean by, “bigger?” I mean the blog, myself, the entire Cheats Movement Family will deliberately take on the task of creating and presenting the type of Richmond community that we want see spread throughout this city. I think that has always been the underling goal of the blog, to present RVA as the positive, diverse, creative community that I see daily but is not reported in the RVA media. With the growth of the blog it has become clear, or should I say even more real, that this blog (with the help of a lot of amazing friends and supporters) can be a driving force to bring Richmond’s community together. If you were not there last month at Gallery 5 when Photosythesizers, JPS, and Glows in the Dark performed on the same stage, you missed the very best of what I’m talking about. The most diverse audenice in the city coming together to enjoy Cheats Movement Family, The Richmond Comedy Coalition and these bands, that may not have been billed together if it wasn’t for a platform like the one we created together.
It happened again last night at WRIR’s Party for the Rest of Us. Seeing such a diverse crowd, in a small room, grooving to the music of Ohbliv, and then turning it up with YFD and The New Juice Crew gives me a feeling that I can’t explain but I know I want to duplicate over and over again. Immediately following the showcase last night, as well as the Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5, and even follow the RVA HOT SAUCE show nearly 2 years ago, strangers come up to me wondering when are we going to do “that” again. How can we get that vibe again. I feel the same way.
HEAR IS THE POINT – I can’t do it – WE can’t do it without everyone playing their part. Step 1 – if you are not following the Cheats Movement Facebook Page – Click HERE and follow, share it with your friends. We need to spread what is happening in the city. Step 2 – If you see that The Cheats Movement Blog is hosting/supporting a event or cause – rest assured that it will be one that is worth attending or supporting. I am very clear that this blog is about positivity, creativity, diversity, and anything that lift up RVA. Feel comfortable knowing that while you may not feel every blog post, it all serves a goal. Step 3 – if you see something that this blog “should” be supporting, send me an email (CheatsMWC@gmail.com) and let me know. If it is positive and good for the RVA community, you have a friend in me.
I strongly believe that celebrating Richmond’s creative diversity will go a long way in healing some of the lasting bitterness of the past. It’s not the only answer but I can’t solve every problem with a blog post or event. I can take action to create a better city. We can together. I need you to be a part – will you help?
Tonight is the night! WRIR Party for the Rest of Us 8 at The Renaissance, 107 West Broad Street # 300, Richmond, Virginia. Doors open at 7 PM. Get there early – The Cheats Movement Blog is bringing some of the best RVA Hip Hop – we will be in one of the separate ballrooms – not the main state. Starting with the one and only Mad Genius Ohbliv at 9:15 PM. We then have the entire YFD Clothing camp featuring: Artik Phreeze, Ms. Proper, Chris Haskins and Doe, and Flight Crew, then closing out the hour is The New Juice Crew: Black Liq, BC Music 1st, Corey Starks, RT, Emphasys, Lord Slugg, and truly the man of the hour Bandolero, who will be holding down the djing all night. The rest of the night is going to be amazing as well. I’m a fan of both Wolf//Goat and Dead Fame. And Cheats Movement Family the Richmond Comedy Coalition will be holding it down in the same separate ballroom as us. This should be a great night. $10 suggested donation at the door. Cheats Movement Stickers will be on deck and free!
There it is…is that definitive enough. I always shy away from making such bold statement simply because when I do there is something out there that proves me wrong — some unturned rock in RVA that I’ve yet to find that makes me reevaluate such a declarative statements BUT, in this case, all I can say is: good luck proving me wrong. Tuesday Verses is the truth and has been for 11 years now. I was first made aware of Tuesday Verses a few years ago – Yes, I said years ago – when it was operating out of Tropical Soul on 2nd street. I went as far as trying to attend one night and remember showing up only to see a line spiraling around the building. At that point, I turned away thinking I would make it another time. Well, months, even years passed before I had the opportunity to meet Lorna “L-Boogie” Pinckney last year at the Happily Natural Day/Tuesday Verses Anniversary concert featuring Phonte. It was there that we first got a chance to talk and I told her I would love to bring the Cheats Movement camera through in 2013.
So what exactly happens at Tuesday Verses? Well, the thing is – you never know. Every week is different but you will ultimately see and combination of spoken word, talented singing (not your weekly karaoke talent – much better), live musicians, and if your lucky something special. Last week that something special was violist Eric Stanley who blessed the crowd with a few gems. In addition to JeRoyd Dyore Strother, Narrator, Nickey McMullen, the list could go on an on.
Eric Stanley was in the building last Tuesday night.
I would say equal to the Verses talent, what makes it the best open mic in RVA is the family atmosphere. Once you walk in – you are no longer a stranger. As someone that prides this blog as Cheats Movement family – I can tell you Tuesday Verses is a family atmosphere that is inviting and supporting. Lorna and her team gets a lot of credit for that – they set that warm mood from the jump.
Tuesday Verses vet Narrator blessed the crowd last Tuesday.
Tuesday Verses is every Tuesday at Addis Ethiopian restaurant 9 N. 17th St, Richmond, VA. Doors open at 8 PM – Open mic from 9 PM to midnight. Make sure you support Tuesday Verses on Facebook and of course The Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook. Without those followers on social media we may not have to opportunity to do what we do. It’s very important to like both our pages to keep this momentum going.
When you really think about it, there are only a few days in life that you know you will remember forever. For me, Saturday was that one of those magical days.
I woke up carrying a secret that only four people, my immediate family, knew: I was planning to propose to my amazing girlfriend Aria. And I was planning to propose to her in front of a live audience, including a lot of our family and friends during the Richmond Comedy Coalitions’ Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5.
The morning started with my nerves in knots. I woke up slightly anxious about the proposal but in absolute terror about the attendance of the Richmond Famous show. I was honestly worried that no one would show up that night at Gallery 5. I was worrying Aria sick by asking her, “Babe, what happens if no one comes,” I would ask her every 20 minutes.
ARIA: He was so worried that only 6 people would show up. I constantly assured him that people would show. He is insanely modest; he didn’t understand how much of an impact he had made in the community. I kept telling him that people would come out to support him and RCC.
That morning, I started sharing the secret. I called Aria’s mother and let her know my intentions and, of course, asked for her blessing. Her excitement gave me not only ease but confidence that I was proceeding in the right direction.
ARIA: Who knew I could be so gullible. All of a sudden he had an urgent need to go pull the trash can in from the driveway. It was 8:30 in the morning; most would have thought something was up. Little did I know, he was in full master plan mode.
The next challenge was waiting. I needed to keep my emotions in check and not tip off Aria that I was a little more “worked up” than normal. I was helped by some very quality Starz on Demand, I played, “Beat Rhymes and Life,” the documentary movie featuring A Tribe Called Quest. Aria watched most of it with me and just being with her on the couch further cemented, for me, that I was 100% doing the right thing.
Then the phone rang. It was David, from the RCC, letting me know that we would not be alone tonight, if fact the presales were on their way to 100 and he anticipated a sold out show. It’s a strange emotion to feel relieved and excited at the same time – I was honestly relieved that the night was going to be populated – if not historic.
ARIA: While I had no idea he was planning a proposal, during those few hours on the couch watching the Tribe documentary and then Fade to Black I kept thinking of how amazing it felt to be so connected to him.
So when I was telling my mother “the plan”, I could see the utter panic on her face about the “surprise” element of the proposal. It gave her more than “hesitation.” I have always relied on my mother’s advice and Aria’s personality often reminds me of what, I think, my mom was like before she raised me and my siblings. My mother looked at me and immediately said, “Marc, you can’t do that to a women, you have to give her some time to digest what is happening and you don’t want to do that in front of a lot of people.” I thought about it and agreed with her. So I retooled the plan and adjusted to propose in Church Hill right before our planned dinner at Proper Pie.
Fast forward a bit to the car ride to Church Hill, I can’t remember if we even talked. ARIA: He was a bit quiet in the car, but I just assumed he was nervous about the show. I just let him be with his thoughts. The ring was in my pocket and I convinced her we had to go to take a few photos of the city for the blog. I really didn’t think that anyone would be at my planned proposal spot, a wonderful view of the city near Richmond Hill, but as we were pulling up, I saw a few people at the spot. As we got closer, it turned out to be a small wedding. A good sign indeed but I was not thinking about that – I was thinking, “Yo! Where am I going to propose?” ARIA: After seeing the wedding at that particular spot, I was thinking cool, maybe we can just go to dinner, I was starving. Luckily I just continued to go with the flow. I made a quick audible to the park with the statue and the great view of the Lucky Strike building. I asked her to take a few photos and then I pulled out the ring. I waited for what felt like a year before she was able to answer; she was too busy being shocked and smiling. ARIA: I honestly have not been more surprised in my entire life. For a split second, I didn’t want to yell out yes, thinking maybe there were just earrings in the box and I’d be embarrassed. Then I quickly realized of course it was a ring and he was proposing; I was so shocked. I didn’t even realize I hadn’t said yes. Once she said, “Yes,” and I can’t really tell you exactly how I felt. It’s not overconfidence when you’re on the same page with the person you love – you just know it’s going to be cool. I knew we were on the same page and asking was bit of a formality to me.
ARIA: I was ecstatic; I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I wanted to tell everyone we encountered that I just got engaged! I loved the man, I loved the ring. It was amazing!
Once the proposal was done, I had to convince Aria to put her, “poker face,” on because no one knew about the proposal but our families and a very special friend, who may or may not, be back in town from Washington D.C. in time for the show.
Just because the “actual” proposal was done, it strangely didn’t make me feel relief about proposing on stage. I – once again – had the ring in my pocket and it hadn’t really registered that she’s just said yes. Once Gallery 5 started filling up with our friends, I started to get distracted – speaking with friends and running around – that took my mind a bit off the show. Aria left her phone at my house in the West End so she drove back to get it – I’m sure the car ride helped her collect her emotions. When she came back the show, she was almost calm.
I got word that the show was sold out around the same time our “special guests” arrived at Gallery 5. I blocked out most emotions immediately before the show and took solace in RCC cast members telling me, “I got your back,” it was awesome.
The moment I pulled out the ring, my world was a flash. I am so grateful for the people quick enough to break out their phones and, of course, my good friends with cameras because I got so many great photos of my on 1 knee. I honestly don’t even remember doing it. ARIA: I think I was just as nervous as he was, I knew it was coming and I had to sit in my seat for about an hour waiting for it to happen. As he went through the story and then pulled out the ring box, I didn’t have to feign excitement or surprise. I was still so excited and probably still a little stunned. Looking back, I am so thankful that I made it up to the stage without falling. As I stood there as he proposed again, it was still amazing. I just focused on him. Plus I got to see my ring again, and this time I got to keep it!
The rest of the night was easily one of the best nights of my life with Just Plain Sounds, Glows in the Dark, and Photosynthesizers. I smiled, hugged, dance, loved and just had the best night. ARIA: It was a great night. We essentially had our engagement party right there. It was so amazing to have been able to share the experience with so many of our friends and family. It was great to get so many well wishes from people I didn’t even know. Everyone was so happy for us and there was just a lot of love and positivity in the air. I loved both of my proposals and I couldn’t have planned it better myself. I am so blessed to have such an amazing and thoughtful fiancé. He aight!
All I can say is, “Thank you RVA,” I love this place some much – but, to me, when I think of, “RVA” I think of more than geography, I think of family and home. I love my Cheats Movement Family and it was such a unreal experience to share this night with you.
My family was in the front row with those “special guest”
Glows in the Dark killed it – I can’t thank them enough.
The RCC was amazing Saturday night! Please check out one of their shows.
Well in 2012 the world did not end and though we are a bit over the fiscal cliff, it looks like we may survive total doom.That’s great news because Saturday night is sure to be one of the best nights in Richmond (so far). Join me, The Richmond Comedy Coalition and the entire Cheats Movement Family for “Richmond Famous” at Gallery 5.
I’m very excited and honored to be a part of the show, the RCC is amazing and well worth the $5 dollar (advance ticket) on their own BUT we are not stopping with just improv comedy, we are showcasing some of RVA’s best bands: Photosynthesizers, who I’ve called on this blog, “The best live band in RVA,” is playing live following the show. Also, Glows in the Dark, one of the most talented and diverse sounds in RVA, will bring their dope style to the night, Wolf//Goat made one of the best records to hit RVA scene in 2012 and is looking to skyrocket in 2013, and the brothers from Just Plain Sounds had an amazing 2012 with records from The Honorable Sleaze, Just Plain Ant, Drano, Damaged Andy, and don’t forget that MF DOOM inspired Mixtape, Weekends in Latveria (James Dangle went hard on that). Also, a good ol’ Cheats Movement cyphers (You know how it goes down). So if you’re a emcee…come out for the show. I hope to see all of Richmond at Gallery 5 Saturday night. I hope YOU (reading this) will join us. It’s going to be a really fun, positive and diverse night – a night that truly represents what this blog and RVA is all about.
The show is Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Gallery 5 (200 W. Marshall Street, Richmond, VA). Doors open at 7 PM – show starts at 8 PM. Music starts around 10 PM. Advance tickets are just $5 ($10 at the door) so get them early. RSVP BY CLICKING HERE!
Check out the Richmond Famous Poster for January 5th. This will be a really fun night – please come out and support. It’s the Richmond Comedy Coalition – Cheats Movement – Photosynthesizers – Glows in the Dark – Wolf//Goat – and Just Plain Sounds. What more can you ask for…
Poster by David Pijor
The entire HOT SAUCE VIBE will be in Gallery 5 on January 5th – come out and support RVA! (Photo by Marc Schmidt)
I’m so happy to get the ball rolling on this EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT – Friends please save the date: Saturday, January 5, 2013. It is sure to go down as one of the best nights of early 2013. My friends at the Richmond Comedy Coalition has asked me to be their guest for their Richmond Famous improv show. If you’re not familiar with Richmond Famous, the RCC selects someone in RVA that’s doing good things and making a name in the community and they have that guest tell stories about their life, the RCC then does live improv based off the stories told. It’s such a fun show and such an honor to be asked to be their guest (joining a great group of host like: Brian McDaniel, NO BS BRASS, Young House Love, and Ryan Nobles). I’m very excited about it. However, I did not stop there – since RCC is truly family to me – I feel I have to bring something very speical to the table on January 5th. They have supported The Cheats Movement Blog since the beginning and have been some of my best friends over the last two years. So we are bringing the entire HOT SAUCE VIBE to the show with live performances from 4 amazing Richmond bands: Photosynthesizers, Glows in the Dark, Wolf//Goat, and Just Plain Sounds. There will also be a Hardywood Beer takeover which means Hardywood will be selling their locally brewed beers at Gallery 5 that night. I really hope that every friend of the blog and of these great bands comes out and supports this night. Again here are the details.
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Gallery 5 (200 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA)
Richmond Comedy Coalition Richmond Famous: RVA HOT SAUCE EDITION featuring Cheats of the Cheats Movement Blog
Following the live improv – Live performances by: Photosynthesizers, Glows in the Dark, Wolf//Goat and Just Plain Sounds
Doors will open around 8 PM
WE SEE IT!
AARON GRANT BEFORE HIS FIRST MURDER
I was a sixteen-year-old violinist whose only friend was an overgrown merit-badge-hungry eight-year-old. Together we shared a summer full of dead counselors, horny bunkmates and one jamboree-loving psycho killer.
Well I mean, we did onstage, last Thursday, during SLASHER! The Improv Comedy Horror Show at Kingdom presented by my crew, The Richmond Comedy Coalition. First of all, we were so stoked to be playing Kingdom for the first time; some of us were born and raised in RVA and remember Kingdom (formerly Alley Katz) as an institution for live music shows. Doubly exciting, it was a firstie for them too; hosting improv comedy. Personally, I think they liked it. I mean, what we do is pretty rad. Just think of it this way- you’re watching grown adults walk a high-wire onstage at all times, where everything they say and do is totally spontaneous, meaning you’re equally as likely to watch someone stride into comedic genius as you are to watch them fall, fall, fall…and that’s pretty thrilling, admit it.
KATIE AND EIGHT YEAR OLD BLU
Basically in SLASHER what we do is this: take one suggestion from the audience (in this case “jamboree”) and use it to inspire 45 minutes of comedy that follows all the rules of a classic horror movie, we’re just making it all up as we go along. That one word suggestion becomes a jump-off point for everything: the killer, the victims, and all the events that surround them. How else could we have ended up with our Jason Voorheesian killer whose backstory included self-hating backwoods parents, insistent on changing the image “Deliverance” had created for them? Or the hapless counselor, desperate only for the young girls to stop leaving their stink trails wherever they go.
ARRON SLASHING DAVID
Mocking horror flicks is a Halloween tradition we’ve done every year for the past 3 years, and is definitely one I look forward to as a scary movie nerd. But this time we added some new elements in the way of a live soundtrack provided by our good friend Kevin Lamb of the Legless Ascent, and live special effects from a dude running around the stage dressed like Leather Man from American Horror Story. Creepy.
POOR PATRICK WAS THE MOST BLOODY VICTIM
It was gory, it was bloody, and it was STILL funny enough to be a comedy show. But here’s the catch about what we do: you kinda just have to be there. Seriously! I’m serious, you’re reading this blog and saying to yourself “Well that sounds nice.” And it’s more than that, it’s pretty much the funniest thing you can see live. There’s magic is in the fact that you’re watching something that you’ll only be able to watch once.
JOEY BECAME A DEAD BANJO
Wanna check us out? We’ve got regular shows at Gallery5, find out about what’s coming up on www.rvacomedy.com. Can’t wait to see you there!
THE RCC CREW GETTING READY FOR SLASHER
Katie Holcomb has been improvising since 2000, and is the current Artistic Director of the RCC. She loves what she does an unbearable amount.
Clearly one of the best RCC shows that I have ever seen. Last Saturday, Richmond’s own NO BS Brass took the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s Richmond Famous stage at Gallery 5. But this was not your average show – NO BS played some of their amazing tunes to inspire some of the most hilarious improv that I have seen in a long time. The night even ended with an imprompu dance party sparked by NO BS covering Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I have video but I’m not sure how it came out just yet – too busy dancing. For now, check out these photos of the show. And check out NO BS this Friday night at the Camel.
This week has been great for RVA comedy. It started on Wednesday with Midnight Suggestion featuring my friend The Checkout Girl, Jeff (Jeph) Kelly and Kenny Wingle. The show was already going well and then it got even better when they announced that Sara Schaefer had just showed up and was going to tell a few jokes. I’d never met Sara before but growing up here in RVA, I had heard of her success working in NYC and of course, being the Head Blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She took the mic and told some really funny, detailed, and explicit jokes. Not only was I pointed out for having a camera – I was also the only black person in the room (of about 14 people) – so Sara’s bit about ending racism went over great with this guy . I loved every minute of it. So much in fact, that she won a fan for her tour Stop at Gallery 5 Thursday night. My good friends from the RCC Katie Holcomb and David Pijor AKA Middle Management opened for Scott Moran and Sara at Gallery 5. They were great! The show had great energy because earlier in the day it was made public that Sara and her comedy partner Nikki Glaser would host a new late night show on MTV! I’m so happy for Sara!
The great comedy continues tonight as the Richmond Comedy Coalition is presenting their 3 year anniversary show at Gallery 5. Trust me…they are not the best comedy group in RVA for nothing. Make sure you check it out.
Sara Schaefer crashed Midnight Suggestion at Steady Sounds.
Jeff Kelly, The Check Out Girl, Kenny Wingle, and Sara at Midnight Suggestion.