Hey Industry, WTF?

So I’m sitting here at 2:30 in the morning, and I’m going over an email that my girlfriend is sending to potential representation, and I have to be honest: I’m just at my wits end with this shit.

Understand my background a little bit. I’ve been a semi-professional entertainer for about 12 years now, 5 of which being in the music business, and the last 7 in comedy, writing, and acting. In addition to these creative endeavors, I’ve also held positions as a District Manager, Regional Manager, and Director of Operations for several companies, both private and publicly traded, and have been part of building one of the most recognizable brands in the world. I’ve hired and fired hundreds of people, opened and closed dozens of businesses, have built countless power points, training materials, and facilitated presentations and meetings time and time again. 

I don’t say all of this to toot my own horn, only to give a frame of reference. 

Between Neda and I, we’ve met with a half dozen agents, managers, and producers in the last 2 years, and the level of business prowess, or lack-thereof is fucking ASTONISHING to me.

I haven’t met one person that gets to meetings on time, responds to emails or phone calls professionally, or even seems an ounce prepared for meetings if they do show up to them, and these are the so-called “gatekeepers” of the industry. 

Don’t challenge any of them on any of this by the way, because they have the managerial courage of a 16 year old shift manager at an Arby’s. If you challenge their work ethic, commitment, or even their knowledge of the current industry climate or trends, they’ll “ruin you before you get started.” 

Don’t worry though. All confident powerful business professionals react this way.

It’s a fucking joke. You’re a joke. 

Renting an office space in Hollywood, and calling yourself an agent or a manager, or a talent scout doesn’t make you a big swinging dick. If you were a big swinging dick, you wouldn’t have to prove it. You’d be standing next to your marquis clients on the red carpet, and wouldn’t need to tell everyone. There’s a reason everyone knows who Josh Lieberman is. There’s a reason they don’t know who you are. 

Now I’m sure to some people, this looks like a bitch-blog from a bitter comic who is having difficulty accepting where he is in the business. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, I’d like to be further along, but I also know that I haven’t worked as hard as I could, and certainly intend to work harder in the coming weeks and months. I’ll know, when my life is nearing it’s end that I “left it all on the field” in hopes of my life meaning something to the world; leaving something for the world; and being someone to the world. 

That’s all I want you to do, gatekeepers of dreams. I want you to leave it all on the field. I want that “hotshot” kid, who has more ambition than he knows what to do with, who makes more mistakes trying than taking the easy way. I want the gal who spends hours on the internet looking at clips, and reading tweets and blogs, and that still gets goosebumps when she truly discovers a new talent, doesn’t just cherry pick whoever the had the hot five minutes at Montreal this year. Even the old “battle-axe,” who’s been in this industry long enough to know who’s got it, and can tell me why I don’t. It’s ok that I don’t, because he’ll actually tell me tangible things like “you’re too fat, or too white, of too fat, or too faggoty.”

He’ll say things like that, because he’s old, and he doesn’t know any better.

And I’ll love it because it’s honest, and I’m 30 and I can handle it. It hasn’t slowed me down yet, and it won’t any time soon. 

Some might say “Josh, a blog like this is career suicide.” Might be true. But I believe that if you read this and get pissed off, it’s probably because you’re one of the lazy shitty people this blog refers to. The good ones know I’m not talking to them. 

They’re probably not reading this anyway. 

Posted on November 26, 2013 .

Is there still any debate over who the best Manning is?

Is there still any debate over who the best Manning is?

Posted on September 3, 2013 .

It takes real friends to know what to get your for your 30th bday.

It takes real friends to know what to get your for your 30th bday.

Posted on August 18, 2013 .

This is my ride or die bitch, and number one fan once 1921.

This is my ride or die bitch, and number one fan once 1921.

Posted on August 15, 2013 .

Congrats to the Miami Heat for winning best team! #espys

Congrats to the Miami Heat for winning best team! #espys

Posted on July 19, 2013 .

My Thoughts on Last Night's Anderson Silva Fight...

So I want to start this out by stating a few things: Firstly, I’m not a die hard Anderson Silva fan. I’m also not a hater. I’m not a Weidman fan or hater, and I’m not a UFC conspiracy theorist. I’m a fight fan, I love the sport, and I absolutely think that if the fix was in last night, the UFC was not a part of it. That being said, I do think it was raised a lot more questions than answers.

After arguing with Twitter all night about this fight, I wanted to break down the fight, and walk you through my line of thinking. Here’s the clip you should definitely review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14TwIXXVxoc

Now I get that clowning his opponent has often been part of Anderson’s strategy, I’ve seen EVERY one of his fights. He’s famous for it. What Anderson is not famous for, is getting rocked by a “probing” jab. This wasn’t a straight jab, or a “hook” as Rogan called it. This was a reaching attempt to make contact, which it did, but far from having enough power to rock anyone, let alone Anderson Silva. You can even see that the punch had such little power that Weidman’s wrist bends at the point of contact.

So why would the world’s greatest fighter take a dive? I’m not going to speculate, rather I’d tell you to listen to Anderson’s post fight remarks. He was exhausted of defending the title, appreciative of the money and support America has showed him, and was quick to point to Weidman as the new king of the Middleweight division, despite the UFC’s reputation for posting immediate super-fight rematches. He didn’t want a shot to get his belt back, and was vocal about having NO interest in that fight.

So why do I assume he took a dive? It’s pretty simple:

If you’re Anderson Silva, and you have ten fights remaining in your career, why would you want 50-75% of them eaten up by no name middleweights in defending a title? There’s no money in fighting in the Middleweight division. Think I’m wrong? Silva’s purse for the fight was 600k, with a 200k bonus if he won. Weidman made 24k for the fight, and a bonus of 24k for winning. His KO of the night 50k bonus actually surpassed his purse for the entire fight. Even with all of that, he still made 1/6 of what Silva made in this fight.

I saw Dana White on the JRE podcast shortly after Silva signed his deal. Dana said “this guy lives for big fights.” That’s not going to happen in the middleweight division. 

So why throw it? Why not stomp Weidman, and relinquish the title after? Well, there’s no money in it. 

Anderson comes from a poor part of Brazil. If you’ve seen “Like Water,” you know he has a large family, and his 10 million dollar net worth pales in comparison to the 20 million he’d be worth if he went all in and threw it. Everyone says that’s dumb, and that it can be tracked, but trust me: There are plenty of ways to filter your money through multiple channels and double your stake. For all I know, this has been planned since after the first Sonnen fight. He had shown he was human, and had weaknesses, so would America buy a Silva loss if he were to throw his next fight with a wrestler?

But how do you throw a fight on national TV? How do you take a dive in front of the world, and even fight expert Dana White at ringside, without it being obvious? It’s simple. The best way to get people to believe is to make them WANT to believe.

Anderson knows how much his tactics piss off the fans, Dana, his opponents, and the world. So if you’re going to throw a fight, or take a dive, wouldn’t you taunt your ass off before getting “caught” taunting to end the fight? People were so psyched to see him go down taunting, that they ignored the rest of it: the weak punch, the fact that his eyes were on Weidman the whole way down, and the fact that he made no efforts to defend himself once downed, and despite all of that, made no attempt to win the fight through the first 7 minutes.

Bottom line: Anderson takes a dive betting against himself, makes 10 million, (and 600k from the fight itself), and sets himself on track for some of the biggest fights in UFC history. He can pick and choose, and has no “title-holder” duties to fighting no-name opponents in defense of a belt he has already held for 7 years.

Of course, the fastest way for Dana to avoid “dive” chatter like mine is to force a rematch between Silva and Weidman, and deny any Anderson superfights. My guess is, Weidman loses the belt before Silva returns, Silva beats Weidman in the rematch, and then goes on to fight Jon Jones/GSP, etc. 

If I’m right, Silva’s next five fights look something like this:

Silva vs. Weidman 2 - Non-Title Fight (probably in 2014)
Silva vs. Rampage/Rashad - High selling superfight
Silva vs. Gustafson/Uriah Hall/Teixiera - to show he’s still the man by squashing top contender for light heavy title.
Silva vs. Jon Jones - for Light Heavy Title
Silva vs. GSP - Probably both fighter’s last major fight

The gates for these fights, and the PPV revenues for Jones/Silva will make the UFC (and Silva) more money than 10 more middleweight fights. 

I might be wrong, but the next 36 months will be interesting.

Posted on July 7, 2013 .

Do you even know what a WaWa is? Apparently #noho is the new #delco

Do you even know what a WaWa is? Apparently #noho is the new #delco

Posted on July 6, 2013 .

Thanks for the YouTube love guys! If you like this clip, share it with your friends!

Thanks for the YouTube love guys! If you like this clip, share it with your friends!

Posted on June 27, 2013 .

One of these things is not like the other…

One of these things is not like the other…

Posted on June 26, 2013 .

We get it, you're gay, you play, and you're not going away.

So it’s been about a week since Jason Collins came out as sort of the “Gay Athlete” pioneer, and I’ve got to admit, I was extremely surprised that the first athlete to do it was black. It was also a huge surprise that the first athlete to come out publicly came out of the NBA and not the NFL, simply because there’s been so much talk about players coming out in the NFL as of late.

I was watching a broadcast today where Matt Birk, Harvard Graduate and Super Bowl Champion/Pro Bowl Center was discussing the topic of gay athletes in the NFL locker room, and made it sound like this would be something that would go over just fine. I think the thing that bothers me the most about how the NFL is choosing to tackle this topic is clearly evasive. Make no mistake about it, this issue is far more about race or class than sexuality.

The NFL is trying to paint a picture of tolerance in the league. This is a hotbed topic on every NFL or sports talk show, and they’ve shown us several players that are staunch advocates of openly gay players in the league. Let’s take a look at these players a little bit more closely.

Probably at the forefront of this movement is Chris Kluwe, former Vikings punter and open supporter of gay marriage. Chris is also a player from Southern California with a UCLA education. The aforementioned Matt Birk is a Harvard Graduate from St. Paul Minnesota. Other gay rights activists in the football world include Brendan Ayanbadejo (a UCLA grad himself from Santa Cruz), and Scott Fujita (a native of Camarillo, CA and Cal graduate). Three of these players are white, and ALL of them come from very liberal parts of the US.

The obvious question here is that if these veteran players are a “cross section” of the NFL, with various levels of experience playing multiple positions and for many clubs, why has a gay player not come forward yet?

The answer, to me, is just as obvious: These players are NOT the voice of the real NFL.

I played two sports in my youth, football and hockey. In South Philadelphia, there were some huge racial differences in those locker rooms, football being predominately black, and hockey being predominately white.

This DNA of the locker rooms were very different. My hockey locker room was often more playful, and for lack of a better term “more gay.” Guys were quicker to make gay innuendos, and flirt with each other in a humorous way. When I got to high school, which for me was about 50/50 black and white, I noticed that this type of humor was met with tons of abrasion and sometimes met violently by black athletes and students in our school. Now that I think about it, most of my black friends, fellow comedians, and even employees I’ve worked with have displayed a strong level of homophobia anytime the topic is brought up in a safe setting.

Though we see NFL analysts and commentators speaking positively on the subject of sexual preference in the Media, the short of it is that these players are not a representation of the current NFL. Most of the leagues rosters are made up of black players from large schools, primarily from southern schools with loose academic requirements.

Now I wish that I could say that everyone is equal in this, but that’s just not been my experience. Homophobia just runs far more rampant in black people than in white..particularly in the south. I don’t know why, but it’s just a fact.

The comedian brain in me can find several humorous rationalizations. Maybe there was a mostly naked boat ride a few hundred years ago where too many black dude’s dicks were involuntarily smashed against each other for way too long, the idea of naked men together just takes them back to a dark place. That’s one theory.

Don’t let this article twist you up. I have no solution prepared. I just really wish that the NFL would be honest in how they deal with this, but they won’t, because it requires a lot of bravery and will lead to a lot of press.

Owners don’t draft players that will make great politicians, they draft and sign players to win games. Those players are rated on their athleticism, not their intellect, or ability to tolerate modern ideals of life choices. NFL teams and owners won’t cop to that, because despite the honesty that would display, the short answer is that they don’t care about cohesive locker rooms that welcome gay players with open arms, they care about winning games, selling jerseys, and filling stadiums. Gay players don’t do that, GOOD players do.

Too many of the good players don’t want gay players around, and the NFL and it’s ownership group will continue to shove the Birk’s and Kluwe’s out into the press to speak on the subject to keep up appearances. Meanwhile those players have all been cut, or forced to retire.

Bringing up this subject will only force the league to take more responsibility for the character make up of their players, which they have their hands full with already. It might also force the NCAA to look at the basic academic requirements of their athletes harder, and take more responsibility in understanding that these men aren’t simply playing a game, but in many cases are relied upon in their communities as heroes and role models, and maybe there’s no room for ignorance in that.

I’d rather see guys like Mike Wallace rewarded for their honest “gay-bashing” remarks on twitter than told to keep quiet. It might actually START a real conversation about the TRUE hurdles that gay athletes face.

The bottom line is that the NFL is terrified how the public will react to their heroes being gay, because quite frankly, they aren’t ready for it. Fans love to speculate about who it is, but they never fathom that it’s the player they love, who’s fathead is hanging up in their kid’s rooms. What if it’s Tom Brady? Or Aaron Rodgers? Or Peyton Manning?

You’re right, my odds would probably be on Eli in that matchup too.

Posted on May 9, 2013 .

Jew-shing.

So I’m sure I’ll get called a faggot several thousand times for what’s in this post and that’s fine, but I’m bored in my Vegas hotel room, haven’t blogged in a while, and thought I would get some thoughts down.

I watched the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” this week, and was really inspired by it. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in 2012, but since about September I have hit a plateau, so I thought I would give a juice fast a shot.

I’m onto the second day already, and I feel pretty good. The hunger hasn’t really been too much to deal with. I think I timed the start well considering I’m battling the flu, so I couldn’t feel more like shit, and I’m not really hungry anyway, and I’m sure the high vitamin and juice intake is good.

The surprising thing about this first 36 hours is that I never realized how much my day often revolves around food. I always knew I loved food and loved to eat, but coming back to my hotel room tonight at 6pm without dinner plans really threw me for a loop. It was like “if I’m not going out to eat, what is there to do?”

I never really thought of myself as a food addict, but today was the first day I think I realized how much a part of my every day centered around “scoring,” which in this case would be eating.

I actually feel that the mental part of this will be harder than the physical part. My goal is to go thirty days straight, so I’ll do my best to share the journey with any of you guys that care to read!

Posted on January 19, 2013 .

Awake.

Feeling like shit today, been sick to my stomach after having a bad breakfast, just sitting in my hotel catching up on some writing, and chatting with some friends at the same time.

I happened to catch a glimpse of something that recently happened to an acquaintance of mine, and wanted to vomit.

I don’t want to go into specifics, but basically someone I know that couldn’t have been more happy several months ago has had their whole world turned upside down. This isn’t the only instance I’ve seen lately, and it’s getting harder to look at.

People are so fucking evil to each other. We’re so weak. We want instant gratification. We want our own perfect worlds, and most of us will stop at nothing to get it. We will step on people, break their hearts, lie to them, deceive them, all for our own selfish needs.

We aren’t brave enough to stick it out. It feels like so many people have no principles, no backbone, no decency when it comes to being selfish or giving into easy temptation.

I don’t know why I’m writing this, because surely it falls on deaf ears, but I’m just sick of looking at everyone I know and seeing how afraid they are to trust people or to be vulnerable. It effects my current relationship as well in many ways, and I often fear that both of us may not have the bravery to stick it out and do what we know is right. We’re still human too.

You can’t wake up one day and have that courage. It’s a discipline. I work on it every day. I think about how much she means to me, and despite our issues, what I’d do to keep her in my life. There’s no guarantee she will do as much, but we have to be brave enough to stand up and be the person we want to be despite the likelihood of it being returned.

If more people stood their ground and handed out love and positive vibes because they WANT to; because it is who they ARE, this world would be a truly better place.

Those of us doing it would do so strongly enough to inspire the weaker ones to confront their fears and stand up for themselves and truly learn to love who they are, whether it is returned or not.

Stop keeping score in this life and stand for something.

Posted on November 7, 2012 .

Still.

So I go into these quiet modes sometimes as a comedian, and I feel I’ve only shared why with some of you. I’m hoping in accomplishing two things with this blog post: two entertain you, as well as relate to you on a different level.

Comedians are often accused of always being on. I definitely know I have, and in many cases in my youth it cost me some friendships, relationships, you name it. Truth is, not everything is funny to me.

This isn’t some post intended to be a dart thrown at what is or isn’t in good taste comedically, so un-ruffle those feathers. Rather some insight into the other side of what it’s like to be a comedian.

As comedians, we spend a lot of our time looking at all of the things in the world or our lives trying to see the funny in all if it, particularly when it is otherwise painful or horrible, or something that’s being taken too serious, or something uncomfortable. You get it. But the other side of that equation is that we end up spending more time looking at the world or ourselves or the lives we lead than most people, and it isn’t all funny.

When you look at something you are trying to understand long enough, whether you get it or not, you eventually become exhausted by the effort. You’re looking at your friends or family, or current events, or funny day to day situations and trying to see the funny. I usually can.

I also see everything else. I see the sadness in people. I see their complete lack of consideration for other people in the world. I see their relentless pursuit for something better completely allowing them to overlook what they already have. I see them angry at the hand life has dealt them, no matter how it compares at ours.

I see the people I care about watching their dreams pass them by. I see them settling for things in life because they too are exhausted with looking at it, with looking in the mirror. I see them losing hope. I see them refusing to stand up and change things for themselves.

I see myself. I see a 29 year old guy who has done a lot, yet often feels like he’s done nothing. Someone who can be the center of attention in a roomful of people and still feel like nobody gets him. I see somebody I’m equally proud to be and am sick of looking at. I see the things I hate in the world in myself sometimes.

I see you. A reader than can relate to some of this, or maybe none of it. Who identifies with me, or who crucifies me depending on your view and your perspective. We constantly judge those around us for what they feel, and whether or not they should feel it, whether or not it’s valid or compatible to us and our struggles.

I think I need to learn how to shut up and just feel things, and appreciate that human quality in us that allows it enough to do it when it sucks. I think I could be much better at listening to my own words and applying them to myself.

I think a lot of things. You guys usually get to hear or read funny ones, but there are some tough ones too that we don’t always share.

I want to be a better person. A better human being. I want to care more about other people. I’m going to work at it. I want to get to know the parts of you that most people don’t take the time to.

I, like most people, am an instant gratification guy. In most of my dealings with people, I take what I like about them, and leave the rest.

I’ve been feeling that way about a lot of the people in my life these last couple of years. That they take only what they want from me and discard the rest, and the thing I’m most disappointed in is that I’m guilty of it too.

I think learning to do that is truly the only way to find peace within ourselves, and appreciate the good in people enough to overlook the bad.

Maybe then it will all be funny.

Posted on November 2, 2012 .

Dear fans & haters, new and old...

So yesterday was the release date of my new album, Social Hand Grenades. So far the reviews have been positive, so for those of you that have bought it and reviewed it, thank you very much!

Last night we peaked around 87 which made me feel pretty good…for about a second. I wanted to take a minute to give you guys an idea of what exactly I’m trying to do here:

Out of the top 200 artists on the iTunes charts over the last 24 hours, I was the only artist on that list that HASN’T been on TV yet, and isn’t being released on a large comedy label.

This album is something I poured 4 years of writing into, and worked with an audio engineer out of Minneapolis named Tom Colvin who did a great job on the mix to give you guys a quality album vs. my last release. We did this thing in a small comedy club (where I got my start in comedy) that held about 50 people over two nights in September of this year. I’m incredibly proud of what the album is doing so far, and that’s a big part in thanks to the few loyal fans I’ve had over the years, and the AMAZING one of a kind push and support I’ve gotten from the NLO Army and Patrick Melton over the past couple of years.

Those of you that know me know that I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, and never sacrificed the integrity of what I want to do comedically for any easy breaks in the business.

Whether you like me or hate me, you have to appreciate that approach, and supporting this album presents an opportunity for us to show that people really want comedy that pushes our boundaries, and our comforts, and CAN be successful independently, in it’s rawest form. 

I’d love your help in making this thing viral, and showing that Louis CK and Bill Burr aren’t the only funny gingers out there. Whether sharing with friends on facebook, twitter, or good old fashioned word of mouth, I greatly appreciate your efforts in helping me live this dream.

Thanks for reading guys, and I hope to see you all at a show soon in the next year!

Posted on October 17, 2012 .

On my mind...

So I have some interesting things on my brain today, and I want to jot them down and maybe get a dialogue going, so leave some comments under this on Facebook, twitter, or tumblr.

I watched a documentary last night called “surviving progress,” and it really got me thinking: I think there may be some interesting ideas about things in this world when you consider the perspective that this planet is trying to defend itself against our total extraction of our resources.

Is it possible that our ecosystem has some how has triggered mutations in us to limit our inability to regulate our population? A lot of people think there are secret societies with plans to eradicate the populous, but did you ever stop to think that nature is already doing it?

Maybe cancer/disease is natures way of trying to kill us off at a faster rate? Perhaps that’s why they keep mutating and getting more deadly and effecting more people?

Perhaps homosexuality is genetic, and its becoming a more common gene pattern simply because nature is trying to limit our reproductive rate? That could be why it effects all species, but humans the most?

Some interesting thoughts I had watching this last night. What do you guys think?

Posted on October 3, 2012 .

Rebirth...Sort of.

So I haven’t really been blogging since the myspace days (minus a few months of a beardblog last year), so I’m giving it a go. I feel very out of touch with the world these days, whether it be fans, friends, family, or whatever. Hopefully I can use this forum to keep in touch with people and share what’s going on in my life, or just share my thoughts on things from time to time, and at the very least entertain you guys along the way. 

….It was either this or a podcast, and rather than try to state that I’m old fashioned, or better in written form, I’ll simply confess that this is way cheaper to produce and far less effort.

I’ll be posting here regularly about random stuff from time to time. Right now, the main focus of launching a blog is sort of a “re-branding” surrounding my new album “Social Hand Grenades” that releases digitally on October 16, 2012. 

This album has been 4 years in the making, and has really been a giant pain in my asshole. We’ve tried recording this thing three times since January 2011, and it has been one thing after another. We’re finally done, thanks to a great crowd in Minneapolis and the quick work of producer Tom Colvin. 

Why buy it? I dunno man, I could go into so much detail about why to buy it for various reasons, but I’ll try to keep it simple: Buy it so I can keep going. 

This album has taken 4 years to write, 4 years for me to be motivated to produce it, and 4 years for me to still hate the material and keep re-writing jokes each time I listen to it. That will probably be the case with everything I do, so I must stop at some point and get it out there. I watched Michael Rappaport’s documentary on A Tribe Called Quest, and remembered the part where the label had to literally rip “Low End Theory” from Q-tip’s hands, or else it would have never been good enough for him to release. Perfectionist to a fault sometimes.

My goal is very modest right now. I hope after 4 years of writing and growth as a comedian and as a person, you like what we’ve put out there enough for us to sell a few thousand copies or so. Ideally, I’d like to use that money to keep making cool stuff for you guys. 

I’ve written a TV pilot, as well as some movie ideas, and every penny I make from my art is only going to get re-invested in me getting to share more stuff with you, whether that be things I write, perform, or produce. 

Thank you in advance for any of your support! If you like it, buy it, tell friends to buy it, and review it on iTunes or Amazon and let me know what you guys think!

Posted on October 3, 2012 .