Retrospective: Jeff Simmermon


"I feel like storytelling shows get real sweater vesty, like if you have too many people, like, talking about their difficult childhoods at a time, my ass starts to hurt pretty fast--my mind's ass starts to hurt. Then, burlesque shows--you get too many of those folks in the same room and it gets skanky after about an hour. And then comedy shows can get too mean. I want to take all that and mix it all up." --Jeff Simmermon

Jeff Simmermon is a live performer whose hallmarks are originality, daring and heart. In this conversation, Jeff shares about:

  • what he learned from having a ska metal band as a teenager
  • the performers who inspired him
  • creating since toddlerhood
  • love in his 30s, and
  • what no one told him about hosting a live show.

You can read one of my favorite posts by Jeff here:

One Year After: When the Curtain Calls for You

JEFF SIMMERMON is a writer and storyteller who regularly appears at shows around New York. He has written for Vice Magazine, appeared onstage at The Moth's GrandSlam, on the Moth's podcast, and on This American Life. He produces, hosts and performs in And I Am Not Lying, a comedy storytelling burlesque sideshow that has appeared around NYC, at SXSW 2012 and most recently at the Black Cat in Washington, DC. The show is based on a blog packed full of stories, art, and other weirdness at And even though he's been writing for years, he never gets any better at doing these bios.


Click the link at the top to listen, or listen in iTunes.

Retrospective: Comedian and Host Andy Ross


"I'm not very good at envisioning things for myself because I'm always . . . I'm always writing the fantasy in my head a little too perfectly. You know, I'm always winning the lottery in my head when it comes to careers, and having opportunities present themselves and people discover me. And that's not the way it works. You have to build. You have to create your own opportunities. And, ten years ago I wouldn't have understood that, really, and it's not until the last three years or two years that I've realized that the hard work of creating your own opportunities is satisfying in and of itself." --Andy Ross

Andy Ross (aka The World's Greatest Wedding Dancer) is the creator and host of Real Characters, a showcase of New York's best storytellers, writers and comedians whose recent guests include Rachel Dratch, Kate McKinnon and Paul Simms

In this episode, hear host and comedian Andy Ross on:

  • confidence: creative and personal
  • following his path and being far from home
  • the evolution of a live show
  • the difference between curating and creating
  • and what's inspiring him now.

You can find Real Characters at McNally Jackson bookstore in Soho on the 3rd Wednesday of every month or watch videos from previous shows on its website. Also, be SURE to check out some of Andy's videos here.


Listen: Use the player at the top to listen to this week's episode, or subscribe in iTunes. If you're enjoying Retrospective, please rate and review it in iTunes.