Jason Specland: Consultant, Comedian

Making it up as I go along. Always.

Category: Awesome Things my Friends are Doing

Awesome Things my Friends are Doing: The Vo Vo Voting Song

I haven’t done an “Awesome Things my Friends are Doing” post in a while. It’s not because my friends aren’t doing awesome things. They not only do them, but they do them at quite astonishing frequency. I’ve just been lazy in relating the awesomeness to you. For that, I apologize.

But, I hope to make all that up to you now, by posting this: The Vo Vo Voting Song, by my musical improv teacher and mentor (and host of Marvel’s “The Watcher,” and inexhaustible source of awesomeness) Lorraine Cink and my East Side Orphan Riot teammate (and PITch host, and musical writer, and similarly physics-defying source of awesome) Ryan Dunkin.

I think it’s fun to watch their lips as they pronounce those runs of “vo” sounds.

To the New Parents: You’ll Be Okay

In the past four days, three good friends of mine have had their first children. One from work, one from the PIT, and one who I was in a show with so long ago that she has long since made the transition from “theater friend” to “friend.”

So, to put the unsolicited advice I feel compelled as an experienced parent to give all in one place, I’m posting it here:

“Relax. You will be fine.”

Right now, you’re listening to a thousand different voices telling you exactly what you should and shouldn’t do. You’re getting glossy pamphlets from the hospital. Visits from friends. Advice from your parents and in-laws who were expertly trained on you. Books that have titles like, “What to Expect…” which could be substantively replaced by a single page reading, “The Unexpected.”

On top of that, there’s a whole cottage industry out there of parent panic. Am I feeding him right? Is she eating enough? Too much? If I have trouble breast feeding, am I failure? Should I soothe him when he cries, or let him cry it out? Am I swaddling her properly? Are her toys enriching enough? When should he start talking? Walking? If she doesn’t reach these milestones at these times, does this mean she won’t get into an Ivy League school?

“Relax. You will be fine.”

Kids are amazingly resilient. They can thrive in any environment, as long as there’s love and affection. Although none of you know each other, I know all of you and I already know that these kids have love and affection in spades. Kids need to be talked to. Kids need to be played with. Kids need to be loved. All of you guys have hearts so overflowing with love that the very idea of you not meeting these most important needs is ludicrous.

While everyone wants to tell you that everything is dangerous, kids today are incredibly safe. Statistically, they’re safer now than they have ever been. Just the same, they will bump their heads on coffee tables. They will fall down and scrape their knees. There will be boo-boos and Band-Aids. (Pro tip: The ones with Dora on them have greater healing powers.) There will be coughs, sniffles (dear GOD so many coughs and sniffles) and the occasional fever. But, in the end, they will be fine.

So the next time you’re crying over which model of stroller to get (trust me, you will), or panicking about the precise moment to introduce solid food, or waking up in the middle of the night just to make sure your baby is still breathing (no really, you will totally do this), please remember:

“Relax. You will be fine.”

I can’t speak to the parenting experience beyond the age of 5. I can, however, tell you all for certain that when you come home, and your kid jumps up and runs into your arms shouting, “Daddy! I’m so happy to see you!” that it’s pretty much a thousand times more amazing than any feeling you’ve yet experienced.

Good luck, try to get some sleep, and relax. I promise, you will be fine.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sit in a corner for a while and repeat to myself, “He’ll probably stop wetting the bed before he goes to college.”

Awesome Things My Friends (and Wife) are Doing: Icky House Club Show

Over the past year, I’ve made a lot of new friends. However, many of these new friends don’t know how incredibly awesome and talented my wife is. Sure, they hear second-hand accounts from me, but nothing beats seeing the awesomeness live. That’s why all of you (and I do mean all of you) should go see The Icky House Club this Saturday night!

(A video of the Icky House Club performing appears below. If you’re seeing this somewhere where that video doesn’t appear, just follow the links to the original source. You won’t regret it. Well, maybe you will if your significant other sees how sexy the members of this band are and abandons you immediately to become a groupie.)

Live 104 Presents
the Icky House Club Live!
9PM Saturday, Feb. 19th.
Cin-M-Art Space43 (43 Murray Street between West Broadway & Church Street)
21+ only

Awesome Things my Friends (and Mentors) are Doing: Sandy Kenyon Reviews the World

Everyone at the PIT already knows about this. But for my non-PIT friends, if you’ve ever rode in a New York City taxi and didn’t bother to hit the “turn off this damn video” button, this is for you:

This project is being done by Scott Eckert, a teacher, mentor, and friend of mine from the PIT. Also, if you ever have an opportunity to see him perform improv, that is an opportunity of which you should avail yourself.