"Surprisingly Affectionate is one of the most uniquely funny, endearing, and honest comedy specials that's been released in recent memory. It's more than a comedy special. It's an emotional ride!"
- Tróshan Chisal (WSJ)
In November of 2017, I was out in Seattle competing in the 38th Annual Seattle International Competition. My friend Dana was about to tie her battle with cancer at the age of 28. The competition lasts a month and Dana passed away back in Wisconsin at the end of my first week in Seattle.
It was near mid December when I got back to Madison, nearly three weeks after Dana passed. I had not dealt with it. I ended up writing two songs sort of as therapy. I knew I didn't really want to do standup for a while but I did want to convey a message, an emotion. I ended up doing a run of three or four "1 man" shows where I just told stories and sang a few songs. I liked it because it got me out of my comfort level in regards to performing and it wasn't stand-up. It was something that connected more on a deep level.
It was then that I was approached by my friends Allie and Carlos from MOD Media. They stated their interest in possibly doing a project with me. I pitched them this idea of a stand up comedy special/unplugged storytellers type show. Fortunately for me, they really liked the idea. We scouted a venue, set up the show, the cameras, the audio, all right there at The Venue on Winnebago. We recorded two shows that night. Carlos walked backstage after the first show and said, "Dude, I think we got it on the first show." I nodded. It's hard to tell sometimes as a performer how it went in the moment.
After that night came the real task of putting together and editing a comedy special. Carlos and I sat for hours editing and making this idea come alive on screen. The result of that work and cooperation is my comedy show, Surprisingly Affectionate. A comedy special that asks the question, "Is this void even on?"
Special thank you to Allison Lenz and Carlos Guzman. This would have never happened without the two of you. Thank you for helping me bring this idea into the physical realm.