Stand-up comedy about being bald

Here’s me doing stand-up at McVeigh’s Irish Pub on Nov. 11, 2010. Watch below or click here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wSXCbROz-fg. There was a very small audience and it was all other comedians, so it was a tough room. Hence the silence. Also, of course, I’m not very funny. But I didn’t let that stop me. Because I’ve decided to inflict my stand-up comedy on the public more often. So a couple of weeks ago I booked a gig to force myself to write some stuff. Then last week I was watching clips of comedian John Pinette and noticed that his entire act is about him being overweight. I was inspired. Unfortunately, although my lazy butt is getting me there, I’m not quite fat enough yet to do a whole act about being fat. I am, however, bald enough to do a whole act about being bald.

I recycle a school project into eco stand-up comedy

Here’s my eco stand-up comedy act from Sept. 17, 2010. Watch below or click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDGCSJZ9Ejc. Some background: Last summer, my friend Victoria was bored. So I got her interested in eco pursuits. Then I suggested she might enjoy taking a stand-up comedy class. Then I suggested she produce her own show so she could have a place to perform. She actually listened to me and started a comedy night The Eco Laundry Room. Though I’m the only one actually there who actually does eco-comedy. And this video may show you why. For my 1st appearance at this venue, I dug out and re-presented an old school project by young me (a.k.a. Little Josh). Wow, that’s professional. Also, you’ll note that the video is of low quality. What happened was, I saw that someone was filming it, so I didn’t set up my tripod and camcorder. But as a back-up, I had my friend film it with my digital camera. But the microphone area was in shadow. And it turns out the camcorder footage from that person was so grainy that you can’t even make out my face or my drawings. And my friend’s hand was not only moving around, but she decided to film vertically, to get my whole body in. But of course, you can’t just flip footage like you can a photo. So a friend who dabbles in editing helped me cobble together this video, so that you can at least get an idea of what was going on. Perhaps it will lead to my own eco-comedy show on Discovery Channel, so you’ll be able to see me in crisp, well-lit, properly-oriented HD. Unlikely, though.

I’m a Top 10 finalist for ad industry’s most creative Canadian

 Okay, so Marketing Magazine is having their 2nd Annual Great Canadian Creative Faceoff. And after reviewing all of their submissions, the judging committee has chosen yours truly as one of the Top 10 finalists. It’s a contest to find the most creative person who works in the ad industry, based on their activities when not at work. A cursory perusal of this blog will show you that I engage in a number of creative activities when I’m not at work. Whether I’m any good at them is a whole other matter, to be discussed at another time, preferably over tequila. But right now, we’re talking about this contest. Here’s how it’s officially described:

This is a search for the cream of Canada’s creative crop, from across all sectors of our industry-agency, marketer, media, PR. Based on all the nominations received, the top 10 will be selected by Marketing’s writers and editors, then posted and profiled on creativefaceoff.ca. From there we turn it over to the audience. We’ll be asking you to vote for your favourite. Based on the voting results, the list will be narrowed to 5 semi-finalists. Then, we’ll ask for a vote again. A second round of voting will take the Top 5 to Top 3, and the final voting will determine the winner of the 2010 Great Canadian Faceoff, revealed at the 2010 Media Innovation Awards on November 18.
Blah, blah, blah. The point is, go to www.creativefaceoff.ca and vote for me. Under my picture you can click on the link to vote via Twitter. But also, if you scroll down past the faces (which you have to do if you have a teeny laptop like moi), that’s where you can select my name to give a non-Twitter vote as well. I hate asking people to go to websites to vote for me. But, well, I guess it’s just the curse of being so fabulous that I get shortlisted for so many things. Also, since only half of Toronto actually went out and voted for Mayor, here’s the other half’s chance to redeem themselves and vote for something. Just don’t vote for Rob Ford in this contest, for god’s sake. It’s going to start going to his head.

I drew a beaver in a bathtub for a soap company

As you know if you’ve seen me picking up litter or I’ve asked you to stop idling your car, I’m out to clean up this world. So when I was approached by Andy, the owner of The Soap Works, to draw a cartoon for his in-store displays, it was a match made in eco-heaven. After all, his soaps are natural, biodegradable and don’t even have packaging – they’re just bars of soap with the logo stamped on! The only thing more eco would be to not bathe at all. And from my experiences with roommates, I know that’s not a good thing. Andy had a clear vision that he wanted a beaver with a bathing cap in a bathtub. I threw in a moose whose antlers are being used as a bathrobe hook. Because that’s how I roll. Look for it soon at a health food store near you, and let the drawing’s whimsical charms seduce you away from buying toxic soaps in plastic containers. To order a personalized cartoon of your very own, email me at: joshrachlis (AT) gmail.com

Unbelievably professional review of my film "Terry Cloth"

Just when I thought nothing on the Internet could surprise me anymore (and believe me, I’ve seen some surprising things), this arrives in my in-box today. It’s a review of my short film Terry Cloth by Steven & Jonny of the YouTube show “At The Youvies.” To see it, click here or watch below. It seems the review was posted at the end of March, but the makers just left a comment on YouTube today letting me know of their review. Even though I didn’t have anything to do with this review, it blew my mind so much that I thought it deserved its own blog post. Watching the review, I felt like I was hallucinating or dreaming, because I couldn’t believe all the care these people had put into reviewing a celebrity-free short film they must have randomly come across on YouTube. They clearly invested a huge amount of time and effort doing things like watching various videos on my site so they could comment on my development as a filmmaker, comparing the different characters I played in the film, evaluating the performance of my ex-girlfriend as if she was an established film actor, carefully writing 2 different viewpoints on my film, shooting the review, editing the review, inserting clips from my film… And it was all done with the same care and polish you’d see in an actual episode of television’s At The Movies with Siskel & Ebert or whomever is on that show now. And for what? When I watched the review today, it had 58 views since it was posted 6 months ago. And their Twitter page has 2 followers. One of whom is Steven himself. Hopefully their work pays off and gives them whatever level of success and recognition they seek. If for nothing else than the fact that they pronounced my last name correctly.


 And for those of you who, unlike Steven & Jonny, have not seen Terry Cloth, you can see it by clicking here or watching below.

 

Commissioned to draw a "going away" cartoon

Those of you who spend all your time trolling Craiglist will know I have an ad peddling my cartooning. For those of you who spend their time more productively, here’s what it says:

Cartoon illustrations for cards/invites/books/articles and more! (Downtown Toronto)

Want to make a cute personalized card for a loved one? A neat invite for a party? A sign for your business? Need some illustrations for a book or brochure or presentation you’ve written? I’m a cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Ottawa Citizen, in newsletters for James Ready Beer, and in countless posters, brochures, T-shirts and daily planners. Check out my latest work at http://joshrachlis.blogspot.com/search/label/illustration and see a wider range of my illustration work at http://picasaweb.google.ca/josh.rachlis/Illustrations#. Contact me today and let’s make your project cartoon-iriffic! šŸ™‚

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Nice Craiglist ad, Josh. But you’re a Copywriter like on the show Mad Men, so I’d expect your ad to be brilliant. What I want to know is, does the whole cartooning process actually work?” Well, my skeptical, Don Draper-watching friend,  here’s an example: This past Friday,  a gentleman responded to my ad with this email: “I’m looking to do a quick last minute cartoon/illustration gift for some friends that are moving to Vancouver. It’s a completely last minute idea on my part and would like to present it for dinner tomorrow (Saturday) night at dinner. Is it possible you could turn something around that fast?” Little did he know, he was dealing with Josh Rachlis. Early Saturday afternoon, he emailed me photos of the people to put in the cartoon, a description of what everyone should be doing and a list of little inside jokes (such as a 3-jeweled ring, a multi-olived martini and a couple of timid black cats). I drew a pencil sketch, emailed it to him for his approval, then finished it in ink, and he picked it up mid-afternoon. I followed up with him and he emailed back that it was “a big hit.” When’s the last time a generic drugstore greeting card was a big hit? Just sayin’. See the cartoon by clicking here or check it out above.