Logan Heftel singing Beth’s Song (that’s moi!)

I have mixed feeling about Obama. Hope, betrayal, suspicion, respect, love, fear – all of it. Watching him maneuver through the Syrian situation brings them all up. I’m remembering voting for him. Of course I wanted to vote for a President I had simple enthusiasm for. That’s what we all want when we vote. The feeling of pulling that lever – ok punching a tiny piece of paper – and thinking Yes! But I voted for him nevertheless. And when he won I wrote an email to Logan Heftel, who was going to be on UnCabaret that Sunday. And in it I said: Isn’t it nice to breathe again.

And then at UnCabaret Logan sang this song he wrote, inspired by my email to him. And he called it Beth’s Song. And I have no mixed feelings about it. Love it! It gives me chills, and not just because it’s mine mine mine!

It’s coming up on a year later and I’m realizing that sometimes the feeling of relief lets you know that your mixed feelings were not as mixed as you thought they were.

Logan will be on UnCabaret this Sunday playing with our dear mutual friend Taylor Negron. Also on the show will be the all very wonderful… Rebecca Corry, Julie Goldman, David Arquette, Andrew Goldenhersh, Suzanne Whang!

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An essay I wrote for an book called No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood was excerpted in TIME.

Ironically, when Henriette Mantel asked me to write it, I was in the midst of my massive, major, tumultuous life shift. I had absolutely NO time. So I wrote the piece in 5 minute chunks, between moving, and crying, and letting go, and getting willing, and grabbing on and producing 4 episodes of UnCab for Amazon. I almost didn’t hand in. But I finally I did press send. And it turns out I had enough time to end up in Time!

In the book the pice is called “Not’s Landing” but I guess that was too punny for Time. They went back and forth and in the end titled the piece….

I Just Don’t Want A Child: 

Deciding not to have a kid is like saying one big no and a million little yeses

I love the subtitle which is the heart of the piece. Apparently being #childfree is something that people have VERY STRONG emotions and opinions about. And I heard from a lot of them. I was just telling my story. Maybe it will resonate with you too. Feel free to tweet or e me. @bethlapides beth@bethbethlapides.com

Here’s hoping you have a more time than you think you have! And especially enough time to decide whether or not to have children!

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I don’t know exactly what it is about Kripalu that makes The Comedian’s Way Intensive there so life changing. I’d love to take all credit – and in fact many students in the LA classes have said their lives have radically changed from working with me. But there is something stunning about the quality and even quantity of personal breakthroughs that happens at Kripalu. When the class is once a week it’s a slower, more subtle process. At Kripalu the class is 5 hours a day. Intensive. Fun, but intensive.

I always think of my time at Kripalu as Eat, Pray, Poop! Literally and figuratively. There’s an inordinate amount of roughage in the delicious food, but also, it’s a very good place to get whatever is bottled up inside you out.

At Kripalu the work itself can feel less like a comedy writing and performance class (lots of info on the Comedian’s Way itself here) and more like play, more like therapy, more like camp, more like yoga.

Plus, there is Kripalu itself, the big quietude of a former monestary, it really sounds different than any place else I’ve ever been. And there is space for thinking. Plus the nearby lakes and mountains, the Tanglewood music drifting up, the pulse of the drum in the yoga-dance classes floating through the window, the musky smell of summer yoga, the minimizing of cell phone usage, the general disconnect from routine, from errands, from to do lists, from the usual friends, from traffic from trains of thought.

And with all that space and beauty around, it is easier to dive into the pain. The conversion of pain into laughter is the essence of comedy and I wrote about that  here.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about the workshop beth@bethlapides.com.

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At LA’s UnCabaret, 25 Years Of Letting It All Hang Out

I like to think of the UnCabaret anniversary as the Unniversary! And it seems impossible that we have been going for 25 years. NPR’s All Things Considered did a considerable piece on the show’s roots.

From the NPR website….

“A lot of the stand-up comedy that gets done in Los Angeles is really just comics auditioning for parts in TV or movies.

Not at UnCabaret: For 25 years, it’s been a place to hear unvarnished, rough-edged ideas being tried out — mostly for the first and possibly only time.

Michael Patrick King, co-creator of the sitcom 2 Broke Girls, has worked out some issues there. So has comic, actor and Twitter titan Patton Oswalt, who took the stage to tell a tale about a date that changed his life. The confession “I took her to see a movie in a graveyard” was just part of the setup.

Judd Apatow, Julia Sweeney, Sandra Bernhard, Roseanne Barr and many others have taken turns behind the mic at UnCabaret, a singular place that’s the brainchild of a woman named Beth Lapides, who started out as a boundary-pushing performance artist.

“And I had sort of a spiritual awakening, where I thought, ‘I could do exactly what I do, but make it funny,’ ” Lapides says. “And being funny is a higher calling. It’s a higher purpose.”


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no kidding coverHappy Mother’s Day! Whether you biologically birthed them, adopted them, surrogated them, fostered them, step-mothered them, psuedo mothered them – whether they are people, or ideas, or projects, we are all mothers. We are all mothers to our mother the earth. That’s part of the Big Change. But on a more worldly plane…

I have an essay called “Not’s Landing” in a new book: “No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Motherhood”. Here it is on Amazon.

It’s a cool collection edited by Henriette Mantel, with a forward by Jennifer Coolidge and includes essays by my friends and awesome writers Margaret Cho and Merrill Markoe – among others. Enjoy mine here and check out the book for the others!

“Lately, because I gave up the booze, I’m really getting how much energy it takes to not do something. And how much of not doing things I’ve done and sometimes not done. Not eating. Not smoking. Not sexing. Not becoming my mother. Not not becoming my  mother. Not obsessing. Not being afraid. Not writing. Not having a real job. Not giving in to time. And, most pertinently here, not having kids.

Not having kids is saying one big no. No to the same thing over and over and over. So that you can say yes to everything else. Having kids is saying one big yes so that you can say a million little nos in the hopes that you might end up with a child who is alive and has a good conscience and boundaries and plan for living without being too afraid.

Continue reading “NO KIDDING” »

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