Gina Brillon’s Blog
Let’s handle the task at hand….. My brain has this terrible way of getting the best of me, I want it to go some where and it makes the bold decision to go anywhere but where I need it to go, so this may be the most irrelevant or the most brilliant blog ever….who knows.
Right now I’m coming off a career high. I have been touring with the Stand up NBC comedy tour. I spent 11 days touring in TX at various colleges and had such an incredible time. I met some amazing kids out there and performed with some of my NBC alums. What I really took away from this whole experience was how much we impact the lives of these kids. It’s incredible; they are always so thankful about everything and surprised when I want to meet them. On a side note I just ordered food off of grub hub, lets hope it all goes well. Speaking of grub, this is a Gina Brillon personal update; I have developed a Gluten allergy! Oh my tortured Latina soul! And the students have been so accommodating! Taking me to restaurants with Gluten free menu’s and providing gluten free greenroom snackage!
I’ve spent this last week in meetings in Los Angeles. Amazing things are happening and I couldn’t be more excited! I am fully prepared to take over the world… well sort of. Until next time kids and grown folk alike remember, enjoy your weirdness, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes craziness.
Juste Pour Rire
Once you get past the nerves and excitement of being one of the chosen few to make it to the Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival; it’s like a summer camp for comedians, or the best sleep over ever.
This was my first year at Just For Laughs and I’m hopeful not my last. My very first day; there was a meet and greet for the New Faces aka the freshmen class. We were all so excited; talking about not only what we thought our shows would be and our expectations for what’s to come from our shows but also in awe of being involved in the same festival as performers we look up to. Sleep was not an option; between shows and late night networking at the Hyatt aka “The Hub” we all knew that sleep would have to wait until the flight home.
Some really cool highlights besides seeing NBC Diversity head Ms. Kendra Carter and hanging out with her; I also got to see some amazing shows with comics I love like Trevor Noah, Paul Virzi, Big Jay Oakerson and more. My shows went great and I got to meet Eddie Izzard; he is one of my comedy idols and I totally dorked out, but it was worth it.
I have some meetings and projects happening from my Montreal Debut. I’m looking forward to keeping you updated, until next time bloggerverse stay cool!
I was in the middle of packing when I got a phone call from Ava, one of the critical parts of what has been awesomely labeled Team Gina; a team comprised of the lovely people at LEG and Innovative; kind of like the A-Team but way cooler. Anywho Ava asks me if I would mind coming back to LA in a week. Immediately my mind starts going “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL EVERYBODY AT HOME!?!??!?!” I calmly ask Ava why and she tells me it’s to be on Chelsea Lately!!! I Freak out!! And of course agree!
For the sake of time lets fast forward…..
I’ve just landed in LA and I have about an hour to stop at my hotel iron my clothes and head to the studio. I make it to my horror movie-esq bootleg hotel. I iron my clothes and head out only to get stuck on the 405 and show up 20mins late to make up but no one seems to care. I make it to make up and the producer sits with me and goes over the topics. He finds out I speak Spanish so when chewy gets into make up he makes sure to let him know and chewy and I enjoy some Latino banter. I am so nervous the whole time I don’t eat a thing, anxiety is so good for my diet.
More fast forwarding….
The show goes rather smoothly especially for my first time. I don’t really get to meet Chelsea until I step on the stage and it’s only for two seconds when she asks how to say my name. From what I can tell she has really long days but handles them like a pro which was pretty cool to watch. I go to a small viewing party with some of my acting buddies to watch myself on Chelsea. It was cool and I didn’t look fat THANK GOD! So I leave the next day. When I get back I start making movies I set up a photoshoot for Facebook and my website etc. It’s during this photoshoot I get an other call from Ava, not odd since we talk on a daily basis, and she asks if I am free on Wednesday the 19th to be on THE VIEW!!! I freak out once again but I’m in 4inch heels so it’s so much more dramatic. I was set to film Comedy Corner, a segment usually done my Joy Behar but since Joy was out Sherri Shepherd would be doing it. The day of the taping I head in, and go right to Make up, as soon as my make up is done the make up artist pages Whoopi Goldberg over the loud speaker. I tell her I am a HUGE fan of Whoopi’s and that I have seen both sister act 1 & 2 roughly 947 times! Then Whoopi walks in I am frozen in Fear both physically and verbally and the Make up artist says to Whoopi ” Whoopi, this is Gina she’s a big fan and has seen Sister act, what was it? 946 times?” I say “947″ Whoopi says TO ME “Really what about part two?” and I said “oh yes, that one too” we continue to talk and she tells me to just go out there and have fun. I head to my dressing room right next to Neyo’s dressing room and across from Kevin Hart’s dressing room (Swoons and nearly passes out) Later on While getting my hair done Whoopi agrees to take a picture with me!!! I do the segment and it goes AMAZING!!! And I get ANOTHER picture with Whoopi this time with her and Sherri!!!! I am officially the happiest girl in the world!!
A Class Act
Fresh out of acting class and ready to show the world my new found acting prowess! Quick someone call Spielberg and let him know I’m available! I’m happy to report that class was a success! As I last reported I was heading to LA to begin my Lesly Kahn acting class, well class is done and I feel like a new artist. NBC gave me the gift of these wonderful acting classes and it was quite a learning experience. I learned not only about the art of acting but how NOT to act; a huge rule that I guess escapes a lot of people.
The class has changed my views and reactions to so many different things, from how I audition, to my stand up and even in my everyday interactions with people. We also became quite the little acting family with all the rehearsing and class time together which was great and made me feel like I was back in high school!! (I’m a former Musical theater/drama nerd and proud!!) All of the work we did was so wonderful and intense and I can’t wait to share it with all of you lovely people
There are a lot of things brewing, website work, upcoming headlining dates. YouTube sketches and short films etc. so many things that I can’t wait to put out but everything in due time. Lord knows I need the time to prepare and time is not something I have a lot of, but hey stressed but blessed, can’t complain about all of this wonderful craziness.
Although I’m sad to leave my Lesly Kahn acting family behind I can’t wait to move on to the next chapter in my journey because so far it has been mind-blowingly amazing!
Last night I slept in my rental car….
Last night I slept in my rental car….
So now that I have your attention let me tell you what has been going on, Oh don’t get me wrong I did in fact sleep in my rental car, however that is actually the tail end of an awesome update story so please consider it a triumph of sorts and to be honest it’s not the first time I slept in a car (insert nervous laugh).
Being on the west coast has definitely been a change of pace, that pace often being much, much slower this time around things seemed to move so much faster. From the moment I stepped off the airplane my phone was buzzing with to do’s, meetings, shows and so much more. I spent the weekend working at the Irvine Improv with Aries Spears and I had a great time. I have spent most of my time driving between LA and Fontana where I’m staying despite the sometimes 2hr commute it actually hasn’t been that bad and thank GOD for podcasts!! I actually listen to them during the commute and educate myself while I sit parked on various California highways. I am also blessed to have wonderful friends out there that have helped me with everything from Cars to a place to stay, which brings me to my next story, sleeping in my rental car. So one night after a day of meetings in LA a girlfriend of mine from Fontanta gave me the keys to her friends place and said “you can stay there since it’s closer to LA and my friend is out of town” her friend, Ironically enough, was in NY. I was thrilled with the idea of driving less and agreed to stay at her friends place but there was this little voice whispering to me… “Don’t do it” a voice that I ignored. After a very long day of meetings and shows I arrive at my destination eyes burning from lack of sleep and just exhausted from the day. I finally find the building in question and make my way to the apartment I am meant to stay at something in my gut still telling me that this is somehow not going to work out. I get to the door, there is a metal gate before you get to the apartment door I breathe a sigh of relief and try the key, it goes well first door open, success! Now for the actual apartment door, first lock down second more critical lock to go. It’s not working, that little voice telling me…”I told you so”. I still refuse to listen to the voice and spend a good amount of time trying the lock, with no success. It’s 3am now and I am even more tired I go back to my rental and in my head go over the list of people it’s too late to contact and the people I would stay with but don’t want to plus I was far too tired to drive. My next step, hotels, which by the way judge you very harshly when you ask if they charge by the hour; Once I realized that a hotel was going to cost more than it was worth I decided that sleeping in my car was probably the best option. The plan was to sleep a good four to six hours then go to LA fitness get a workout in and then shower, change and get on with my day. Sleeping in the car was something I had done for countless open call comedy auditions in NYC so it wasn’t a foreign concept to me. So, I curled up in the back seat put on a podcast and prayed that no cops would pass by and think I was a vagrant who broke into someone’s car to sleep in it. Lucky for me my plan worked like a charm and a few hours and a workout later I was in the LA Fitness locker room reflecting on my night smiling to myself saying “I’ve finally arrived”.
I Heart NACA
Hey yous guys! I am currently writing this blog from thousands of feet in the sky on my flight back to LA from Nashville Tenn. where this year’s NACA conferences were held. Normally by this time on any flight I take I would be completely knocked out all comfy and cozy in my window seat but I am so amped from NACA I can’t sleep! This was my first time doing NACA and what a learning experience! For those of you who have no idea what NACA is let me break it down for you; NACA stands for “National Association For Campus Activities” and the NACA conferences are a gathering of students looking to book various entertainment for their schools. The NACA conferences give performers like myself a chance to book college work which builds not only capital but fan base (I sound like such a grown up). The setup is similar to a lot of conventions each person/group gets a booth and people come by and you give them your pitch (and some free stuff which always helps, candy works wonders!) in hopes that (If you are one of the lucky ones who gets to showcase) they will come see you perform or do whatever it is you do.
During NACA, various showcases are ongoing throughout the entire convention so there is always something to do and always a chance to talk to students and try to get them to come to your show and the more work you put in getting the word out about your event the more people/potential clients you get so you best believe the NBC stand up for diversity crew took advantage of every opportunity; talking to students everywhere and anywhere. The great thing about NACA shows are held on and off of the convention center site so you can visit other venues in the surrounding areas and walk in like NACA royalty with your badge that says you are part of the convention, fancy huh?
It was like working 24hrs but worth it because in the end the night of the showcase we had an estimated 2,000 people and even though at the top of the show the left side of our stage and screen set up took a slow motion domino effect nose dive and nearly crushed front row, the show was a hit! Our booth was completely mobbed after the show with students wanting to book the Stand up for diversity (S.U.F.D) tour package. I cannot wait to see what fun shows lay ahead for the SUFD crew and I really hope to be a part of NACA 2014 although there is no time like the first time, now that I have a better idea of how it works I think doing it again would be a whole other amazing experience. Until next time you lovely people. Brillon OUT!
The Journey begins!!!
The Journey begins!!!
This week marks the beginning of my LA-NBC-Pilot season Journey!! I can’t wait to get things started. I leave for LA on January 24th and things are already being set in place. I have a few shows planned already and I’m looking forward to it, I will be working with some amazing performers like Pablo Francisco and Bobcat Goldthwait.
I’m really amped and receiving a lot of love and support from fans, friends and fellow comics. I have a game plan and that plan is (drum roll please)…..to be AWESOME! Okay seriously though I plan on hitting the ground running. I mean really being prepared to work my Puerto Rican tail off (great now everyone will think Latinos have tails) there will be pictures, videos, blogs, vlogs and so much more! You will get to experience the whole process as I go through it.
It’s great to be able to document this great experience for you and everyone else who is watching my progress. There will be a lot to share with you, meetings, the NACA conference, Auditions and of course comedy shows. It all begins with my arrival in LA on Thursday January 24th!
I feel like Dorthy when she set out on the yellow brick road! Except the Latina version, so I’d be Dorthia and I’d have a Chihuahua dog named pepito and the yellow brick road would be made of plantains.
See you all very soon!
This one’s for you Grandma
Greetings blog readers!!!
Feast your eyeballs on the MOST EPIC BLOG EVER!!!! Okay well that could just be gallons of cough syrup talking, been fighting a cold and talking all sorts of over the counter cough meds that might just be making me goofier than usual; oh well…..
I guess I should start by introducing myself……
My name is Gina Brillon I’m a Latina Stand-up comic born and Raised in the Bronx New York and I am also the 2012 winner of Stand up for diversity!!! (Cue celebration music, confetti and balloons) To really have you grasp the awesomeness of that I should first let you know that I am the first woman to win, that’s right…GIRL POWER!!! And second I need to give you a back story on the history of Ms. Gina Brillon (um…that’s me)
Once upon a time in the boogie down Bronx….
There lived a little Puerto Rican girl who loved to make people laugh, so that’s what she did. Little Gina Brillon (see what I did there, talking in third person) would do anything for a laugh, her best audience….her grandmother Vivian Castillo. Gina would spend hours practicing her “bits” on her grandmother and since Gina was one of the few people who could make her grandmother laugh her parents allowed it. By the time Gina was in Junior high she was known as the funny girl in all her classes but it wasn’t until her high school years that she developed a love for the stage when she joined the drama club and musical theater. Still her favorite audience member was Vivian. It was the night before Thanksgiving 1996 at the age of sixteen that Gina’s life would change, that night Vivian became very sick and passed away. Gina made a promise to herself and God that she would never stop making people laugh and that if she ever received anything for making people laugh it would be dedicated to her grandmother. The next year at 17yrs old Gina hit the stage at Stand up NY Comedy Club doing stand-up comedy for the first time and she hasn’t stopped since.
That should give you an idea of exactly why the wonderful opportunity that NBC has given me means so much. There’s of course more to the story being not only a female comic but and ethnic female comic at that and having to fight for respect and stage time but those stories I will save for the time is right. For now I guess the most important thing to me is that all you readers of this understand how much I love what I do and why I love it. I cannot wait to share my journey with you guys, buckle up cause we are in for a crazy ride this year
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Congrats Mike Lane! 2013 UCB/NBC Advanced Improv/Sketch Scholarship Recipient
NBC and The UCB Theatre partnered for their 3rd annual Diversity Scholarship. The 2013/2014 Scholar is selected by both UCB and NBC executives based on their performance. This scholarship is intended for students with advanced skills in improvisation and sketch.
Mike Lane is a proud member of the sketch group BOAT Comedy and member of the UCB sketch team Dinner. And a big congrats to the other scholarship finalists: Veronica Osorio, Laura Wilcox, Christine Lin, Phil Jackson and Charla Lauriston!
2013 The PIT/NBC Scholarship
Congrats Jesenia and Kevin Yee! This marks the 6th year of the NBC & The Peoples Improv Theater scholarship. This scholarship is for beginning students with strong performance skills and the desire to study the craft of improvisation. NBC will sponsor one student for a one-year program.