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 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
Words by Cheats, Photos by Greg Garner (BlueGoo Studios)
WRIR threw one heck of a party last Friday night. The independent radio station packed out the Renaissance Ballroom for their 8th annual benefit, “Party for the Rest of Us.” This is easily becoming one of my favorite annual events because of its extremely diverse, and RVA based, line up of performers which included some of my favorite bands like: Wolf/Goat and Dead Fame. And it introduced me to ”my” surprise of the night, The Upper East Side Big Band (pictured above), who were flat out amazing.
Last year, I was able to cover the benefit for The Cheats Movement Blog and had a great time running around, taking photos, hanging with friends, and meeting bands. This year it was my honor to curate a Cheats Movement Presents Showcase for the Adams Room. I was asked by my main man Shannon Cleary (WRIR, Commonwealth of Notions) to present some of my favorite artist from RVA’s hip hop community and it was my honor to do so. Right away, I made three calls, Ohbliv, Artik Phreeze, and Black Liquid. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to pull it off but I knew I wanted to work with these hardworking artist and their teams. Ultimately, the showcase turned out even better than I could have imagined because we were able to expand the performers to include team YFD Clothing (Doe, Chris Haskins, Destiny Da Chef, and Flight Crew), and The New Juice Crew.
There is not much I can say about my brother Ohbliv. RVA’s Mad Genius did it again. He had the crowd stunned with his beats and was the perfect lead off to a unreal hour of hip hop.
RVA’s Mad Genius Ohbiv
If you are not familar with YFD Clothing, The Williams brothers, along with emcee Artik Phreeze, are really making an impact in both RVA fashion and music. Their music roster includes, Phreeze, who is really becoming a star in the RVA hip hop scene, Doe & Chris Haskins, who often perform together but both can carry a strong set indivdually, newcomers Flight Crew, Ms. Proper (who was under the weather last Friday but well worth seeing live), and Destiny Da Chef, who did her thang and killed her set on short notice.
Doe rockin “YFD” clothing
Artik Phreeze, Chris Haskins, Destiny Da Chef holding it down for YFD.
Once the crowd was turned up by YFD, then came the show-stoppers known as The New Juice Crew. Led by the one and only Black Liquid, The New Juice Crew took the stage and, as they say, “melted faces.” My good friend from the RCC Matt Newman said it best, “There is no middle ground with The New Juice Crew. No one ever leaves their show and says, ‘They really didn’t bring it tonight.” They bring it every night and I’m glad the WRIR crowd got to see if first hand. Special S/O to my man Bandolero for holding down the dj set all night, as well as performing with TNJC. My brother Corey Starks has a track, “Wurk Wit It” that stands out on the mixtape, “Know The Ledge” but hearing that track live proves it’s clearly a fan favorite. Also the song, “Trackaholic” really showcases all that is TNJC. It was great to see the team on that track.
Bandolero of TNJC, held it down by djing the set and performing.
After the Cheats Movement Showcase was complete, I was able to relax a bit and enjoy one of my favorite bands Dead Fame. I first saw Dead Fame perform live at the RVA Playlist Birthday Bash, last year. They are fantastic. And their live show comes with great music, balloons, and a crazy light show. I just love it.
I will close by mentioning the amazing performances from Wolf/Goat and “my’ surprise of the night The Upper East Side Big Band. Wolf/Goat is just cool to see play. Who doesn’t like a band with a banjo and violin? They have a great sound and perform well live. Their record, “In Watermelon Sugar,” was on of the best RVA records of last year. I truly believe they can go a long way.
Do yourself a favor - check out Wolf/Goat.
WRIR always seem to hit me with pleasant surprise every year. And this year’s surprise was major, “The Upper East Side Big Band.” The are amazing and just left me wondering, “Why haven’t I seen this before?” It’s huge, it’s modern, it’s jazz, it’s everything amazing. I can’t wait to see them again. I loved it.
I could not have asked for a better night to be a part of in RVA. The WRIR Party is truly one of the best Richmond events of the year. Thanks to Shannon and Lindsey for inviting me to be a part of the evening. #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!
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!
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.
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.
For the second year in a row, the Richmond Comedy Coalition has been named the Best Local Comedy Group by the readers of Style Weekly. They took back to the Gallery 5 stage last Friday night for another addition of their show, Richmond Famous. Friday’s featured guests were Casey and Marshe, the founders of Rumors Boutique. Their stories were great: recounts of the first time Casey and Marshe met each other, a story about international blind dating via Myspace ,and Casey’s desire to race people without warning – were all hilarious. The improv was equally solid. David (who was also voted one of the best beards in RVA from Style Weekly), Katie, Jason, Dustin, Steve, Aaron, Josh, and Patrick once again brought the house down with their all out style of live comedy. There was was beard licking, slam dancing, and someone got Pottered!
IT’S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! SMILE, DRINK, BE MERRY…IT’S A CELEBRATION!!!
I kicked off my holiday weekend in a big way. Here is an inside look at my Grind Date Friday: Dropped The Passion of (The) Sleaze video trailer. I’m so excited to be shooting, directing, and editing a video from start to finish. I could not be working with better brothers than The Honorable Sleaze and Brad Ohbliv. S/O Just Plain Sounds. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
After the trailer dropped, I headed out to The Shop to meet Sleaze and Ohbliv to finish the video. It’s not done yet but we got most of the work done. Watch out for the full video in June!
7:00 PM It was time to hit West Coast Kix in Carytown to see more Cheats Movement Fam, the very talented Hamilton Glass AKA HAM?. HAM? was kicking off his Last Friday Art Show. I’d been looking forward to the show for about a month and it was great to see RVA come out to support. I also met the lovely Shannon Santiago. Shannon is a photographer extraordinaire that collaborated with HAM? for the show. She also comes with a very funny bodyguard – S/O Cindy (JRT). S/O to the amazing Glass family – Taekia and Sanaa I see you. And my man Distant Dee!
8:30 PM Off to Gallery 5 to catch the Richmond Comedy Coalition (Voted Best Comedy Group in RVA for the 2nd year in a row). Richmond Famous is one of my favorite shows because the RCC takes great stories from some of RVA’s most interesting peeps and do improv motivated by the stories. Last night’s featured guest were the ladies from Rumors Boutique. I’ve always been a huge fan of Casey Longyear and Marshe Wyche since I heard their story years ago. I met them both before but I’ve haven’t been able to land a The Cheats Movement profile with them just yet… but I have not given up hope . The show was great – The RCC is always awesome. S/O to Dirty Richmond and Bree El – spoiler alert: the much missed (by me) Sunday Cypher will return! And word on the street…there will be a great comedy night coming up a Pie (on Lombardy). S/O to Kristen – Have fun in France.
11:00 PM Final stop of the night was at Belly Timber to meet up with Bar Codez and J. Bryant from Photosynthesizers. Photos had just played Friday Night Cheers earlier in the evening. I also caught up with the lovely Maat Free (2011 Vegi Iron Chief)…big plans in the works! All this and not to mention, I just spoke with Black Liquid and he said another great Face Melt Friday went down last night
RVA has some crazy energy right night now. And it’s all love. Go out and see it all – WE SEE IT! Enjoy your holiday weekend.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon
Well, I know that I’ve been stalling on the release of the first RVA HOT SAUCE videos and stalling even more on the plans for the next RVA HOT SAUCE. Full disclosure time – The task is a bit more challenging than I ever thought it would be – The first HOT SAUCE was such a great event for anyone that was there or watched online. Coming back for a squeal really gave me some hesitation BUT fear not - the wait is over – RVA HOT SAUCE will return in April 2012 and it will be bigger and better than every before. I’ve been in talks with my dudes Jason Moore (The Shop) and James Dangle (JPS) and we already have some really crazy ideas for something real special for RVA.
In regards to the short vids from the first HOT SAUCE — I’m currently working on 2 major projects right now — and I’m posting this as much to motivate me as to notify you. Project 1 is a Cheats Movement Zine Project – highlighting all the work of the blog’s first year through photos and interviews. Project 2 is the HOT SAUCE short vids. I will be working on both of these projects at the same time and hope to have something to show everyone very soon. If you have no idea what I’m talking about — check out the 1st trailer from RVA HOT SAUCE below.
I really couldn’t believe it – I’d never seen this before – there was a line wrapped around the front of Gallery 5 – people waiting to get into the building. I spoke to two young couples sitting in the front row — one drove in from Norfolk, the other from DC. This was their first improv show and they were incredibly excited to see Sherry and John in person. I must admit — I was unfamiliar with Young House Love – the daily adventures of Sherry and John Petersik, their baby girl, and their old house right here in RVA — but it’s clear that I was in the minority Friday night. One lady actually screamed like she was at a rock concert when John and Sherry walked from the back of the room to the side stage.
If John and Sherry were nervous – I could not tell at all. They did an amazing job telling personal stories and providing the RCC with plenty of improv ammunition. John even join the RCC team on stage for one of the funniest bits of the night, “knit cop.” After some hesitation, Sherry told the best (and most embarrassing) story of the night, “The carebear underwear” story. If you weren’t there, I’ll just say, “it was kind of a joke she had with herself.” I will also add, after the show Sherry and John met every fan waiting in line to meet them and were amazingly nice to everyone. And some inside scoop – Sherry is a hugger
The Richmond Comedy Coalition is the best improv troupe in the city. If you have never been to a RCC show — trust me — it’s worth the “cheap” price to attend.
RCC’s Patrick, Katie, and Blue
John “Knit Cop” in action
Last week at The Shop, the Richmond Comedy Coalition debuted The Lab; RVA’s first open mic improv show. This is a brand new opportunity for local improv crews to do their thing – in front of a live audience – FOR FREE. That’s right — this is a free show! Don’t have a improv crew? No problem – just volunteer for improv games as part of the open improv jam. It’s a great night of free comedy. The inagrual night featured two new acts; College for Bears & Faking it. The night also featured the RCC improv crew Karate Practice followed by a “open improv jam” Below are some photos from the successful night. CLICK HERE (or the phot0s below) to see all the photos from the debut of The LAB.
FAKING IT [Kristin Kirkley, Rachel Weatherly, Emilie Tweeddale & Townsend - not pictured] Side note: Faking it are four of the funniest girls I know — I was lucky enough to be in an RCC improv class with them last year — so proud of y0u!
College for Bears: Steve Howze & Josh Blubaugh. Both Steve and Josh are what I call duel threats — the are great at improv and also very funny stand-up comics. Laugh at Josh and Steve at Cafe Diem’s Open Mic Comedy Night.
Wednesday night I stopped by Steady Sounds to check out Midnight Suggestions. The featured comic was the hilarious James Adomian. He was amazing! He gave a set worthy of a big time comedy club. Also performing were – friends of the Cheats Movement – the very funny ManlyMan! It’s always a great time to see them perform, and James Paulk. If you have never been to a Midnight Suggestions, it’s truly a can’t miss show. Johnny Hugel and the team does a great job and it’s a very fun time. CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS OF THE SHOW - PICTURED BELOW ARE JAMES ADOMIAN AND MANLYMAN
On October 21, 2011, RVA HOT SAUCE was introduced to the city of Richmond. The Cheats Movement, Just Plain Sounds, and The Shop brought together some of the hottest talent in RVA for a night of entertainment, diversity, and fun. The RVA HOT SAUCE web series is scheduled to debut in December 2011.
Pictured are contestants in the RCC Must Die Costume Contest. Congrats to Conan for winning! Click HERE to see all the photos from RCC Must Die. Also, read a very valuable lesson in my sad but true story of: All Dressed Up With No Party!
As you know, I’m a huge supporter of the Richmond Comedy Coalition. RCC performs at least two shows a month and last Thursday they presented one of their strongest shows to date. I say that selfishly but I think I can back it up. On the selfish point, my intro improv class, Roman Love, taught by David Pijor (along with another advance class), performed a free show before the RCC house show. I must say, we did awesome! Great job Roman Love! Following Class Action, the pros took to the stage. Starting the night off was ManlyMan (pictured), a musical comedy duo, created and performed by Caitlin Carbone and Erin Adelman. They were fantastic! A mix between Flight of the Conchords and the famous SNL skit, The Culp Family. They really put on a hilarious performance. They were followed by the newest RCC house team, Karate Practice. You can really see KP coming together as a team. They get stronger every time out. The night ended with the elder RCC House team performing Laugh Track. Inspired by music from my classmate Kristen Kirkley’s ipod. The RCC house team is legit (and really funny). I must give a sad so long to Mandy Butler, who is moving away from RVA. If you missed her perform with the RCC, you missed improv talent at its best. Hopefully, she we perform again on return trips to RVA. All in all, a great night – I have a feeling that the talent of the RCC is just gong to keep getting stronger….So go check them out! Click Here to see all my pictures from a great night.
Thursday night I took pics of the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s 2 Year Anniversary Show: 2 Funny 2 Fail. Huge crowd on hand for the intro of the newest RCC house team: Karate Practice! The RCC was recently voted “Best Local Comedy Group” by Style Weekly – and they are AWESOME! Check out their shows - they perform at least 2 times a month. They also offer improv classes (that I have taken) and I can say first hand – are great. The RCC is flat out legit. Check out my new page by clicking here and click the link to their website in my blogroll.