The Incredibly Stupid Story About My Tattoo

Posted Posted in comedy, Gothic, los angeles, Virginia Jones

The Lack Of Origin Story 

I survived a questionable adolescence and young adulthood without a tattoo, and I thought, well, maybe my thing is to be weird WITHOUT a tattoo.   My dumb hot goth boyfriend had BAD RELIGOIN tattooed on him at a party, which is now covered with a demon, and probably also with dirt because I think that guy’s dead now.

 I am of a somewhat perverse personality- if there’s something everyone else loves, I hate it.  I’ve never seen Titanic or worn acid wash jeans.  Once something is a cultural phenomenon, I’ve already moved on.

   When I left school, I found that every punk, every goth, every hip kid, every overpaid graphic designer, every coffeeshop-clogging creative was heavily inked.  How cool could it be?  I worried that a tattoo had to mean something deep and eternal.  I worried about getting something that would later be dumb.  My friend Bryan had a Stray Cats tattoo from the 80’s that I watched go out, and in, and back out of fashion.  So, I just didn’t worry about it.

Joker’s Comedy Club

   Then, one time I was doing comedy in Tri-Cities, Washington.  That’s right.  Three small towns: Kennewick, Richmond, and Yakima, gather their low-self-esteem populations together and call themselves the Tri-Cities in an attempt to matter.  The Thursday night show had a promo table with a local tattoo shop, and they were giving away a tattoo to the prettiest girl in attendance who didn’t have a tattoo.  This really brought my two worst personality traits into the foreground: I am cheap and I am vain.  The nice tattoo lady said I was cute, I should put in to win the contest.  I laughed and said OK.  I didn’t think she was right.

   I had a really good set, I blew my headliner off the stage.  He was murky and resentful.  I was drinking for free.  I checked in with the tattoo lady.  She said I was still the winner by a mile.  I was feeling small-town famous.

  I hung out longer than I usually do.  I started thinking about what kind of tattoo I wanted.  I decided on an octopus.  Like on the Kraken rum bottle, although that is a Kraken, which is not real.   We got ready to line up for a vote.  At 11th hour,  she showed up: Brianna.  Brianna was 24 and had blonde hair piled up on top of her head, and was somehow wearing a pink baseball hat perched on top of that.  She had dimples.  I knew I had lost, and lost badly.

  Brianna got a dynamic ribbon reading “ALWAYS RESILIENT” tattooed on her ribcage, which I am told is a very painful spot, and that was a comfort to me.  It was executed right in public, on a rickety massage table in a dark corner of a nightclub.  I started to think maybe I was glad I didn’t win.

  But then, I woke up surly and resentful that I didn’t have an octopus tattoo.  Complaining to my friend Richie, he told me: believe, there is nothing more expensive than a free tattoo.  You’re glad you didn’t get inked in the tri-shitties.  When I got home to Los Angeles, I got a birthday gift from my baby sister so I could get a tattoo at a fancy shop, from the lovely Amy Nicoletto @amynicolettotattoo, and I don’t think I could love it any more.  It looks good with dresses, it looks good with t-shirts, it’s just an accessory that I have all the time, and it doesn’t mean shit.

Wisdom Of The Ages

 Looking back, I realize that if I had gotten a tattoo in my 20’s it would have been for The Cure, and if I’d gotten one in my 30’s, it would have been for Nick Cave, and they’d still be great today.  This is an often-overlooked plus to being someone who maxed out their taste and personal growth at 17, and will always be the same asshole, and who is also cheap, and also vain.

Where Earthquakes Come From

Posted Posted in comedy, los angeles

Where Earthquakes Come From

Not the earthquake we were just in

I’ve been in a couple of LA earthquakes, and usually it feels like a big truck is driving past the building where I am. It rumbles and moves on. Then, my faraway friends and family start texting to see if I am still alive. I smile at their naive, not-earthquake-having ways.

My First Earthquake

The only earthquake that left a real impression on me was one that happened a couple of years ago, at a comedy show in a dress shop that my friend Brandie booked me on. Handsome nerd actor James Urbaniak was attending with his girlfriend. During another comic’s set, I felt the room moving and watched pictures swing on the walls and thought: Wow, I’m gonna die in the same room as James Urbaniak. But nobody died, and we had great earthquake chitchat and went home. Once we have an earthquake it becomes THE small talk for the next 24 hours, outstripping weather, traffic, and who got onto a Harold team on their first try.

My Second Earthquake

The first big earthquake this week happened on the 4th of July, because God hates America, or at least, California.

I slept through it. I was awoken by many texts of friends asking did I feel it, and then talking about the biggest earthquake they had survived. I felt so left out. I wanted to feel the earthquake. It was like I hadn’t been invited to a cool event, just because I was sleeping in on a holiday. I couldn’t write a funny earthquake tweet, I couldn’t do anything.

At the fourth of July party, my friend Rick commented that he didn’t even know what to do during an earthquake, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t cuss and look for his pants. Everyone laughed. I felt so alone.

Got out of that party and went home. Couldn’t sleep, worried about not being in the cool earthquake club. At 3AM, my bed shook and I realized I was experiencing an aftershock. I was so happy, I stayed up until 5AM worried that I was going to die.

My Third Earthquake

The next night, I was eating dinner when the earthquake started. I walked outside to check on my car, walking 25 feet on tarmac that was shifting in the most unpleasant way. It was all the bad things about being on a boat, no drinks or swimsuits but nausea and choppy water. I asked the dog why he didn’t warn me. He indicated that he still wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. He may have missed that day of dog school. It lasted maybe 90 seconds but it felt like a whole episode of BBC’s Sherlock. My car was ok. Rick tweeted that he had been caught by the earthquake without pants on. I think that Rick taking off his pants might be where earthquakes come from, so please, Rick, if you’re reading- keep your pants on for the next little bit, OK?

Check out Virginia Jones- From Voyage LA

Posted Posted in comedy, los angeles, Virginia Jones
photo by Adrienne Harris

http://voyagela.com/interview/check-out-virginia-jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Virginia Jones.

Virginia, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I used to do drawing and writing and dance, and now I do comedy, and also all the other things. It was a relief to me to realize that these things are not in conflict-they’re all part of the same thing, being an artist. I am also fantastically up my own butt!

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a standup comedian and comedy writer type person. It started by accident, like it was a bucket list “I’ve always wanted to do comedy” and then that became my whole life.

I hope people come away from my act with some kind of new idea or a recognition of a thing they hadn’t named. Comedy should communicate something or else why bother- I’ve seen people onstage that can generate laughter, but it’s like a trick? People walk out of the room exactly the same as they walked in, except full of nachos. I am the kind of pretentious little shit that wants comedy to mean something.

I think my jokes are mostly about unexamined social inconsistencies, and also about animals.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think the problems of an artist today are the same as they ever were- trying to be you the best you can while the industry wants the same five people, over and over again. I think it’s a great time to be a female artist, moving from being ignored to actively reviled. That’s cool!

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a record called Gothic American. I’d love it if you picked it up on Itunes, or, failing that, listened on Spotify or Pandora or Snapchat or Instagram or scanned a sticker from a banana peel that took you to it on Youtube or something. Is that something you can do? I have a website with dates and funny stuff on it. I like it when people show up to stuff. I’m very funny, I promise. I have a twitter account, but I’m bad at it.

Contact Info:

My Star Hits Interview

Posted Posted in comedy, Gothic, music, Virginia Jones
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Growing up in Texas but *with* MTV, I quickly identified myself as a New Waver and found the lifeline for all aspirational cool kids at the time, Star Hits magazine.  It was heavily influenced by its UK parent, Smash Hits, and was chock full of awesome photographs of the most important people in my life, including Duran Duran and the Cure.  They called Morrissey Mozz and Madonna Madge and they had advertisements for punk clothes and rare records and everything I dreamed of.

I always wanted to be interviewed by Star Hits, and realized that if I was going to be interviewed in that style, I would need to do it myself.  So, here it is.

I meet Virginia Jones in a coffeeshop near her Silverlake abode.  The coffeeshop also sells perfumes that are named for alternative rock hits but cost one gazillion dollars.  She is sitting on the patio, dressed head to toe in black, and drinking a Dirty Ginger, a soy milk latte with spicy ginger syrup in it.  She smiles slyly and says it’s her fourth. I greet her, take off my suit jacket, brush the shaggy blond hair out of my eyes, and set up to record our chat. She says she’s sorry but she only has half an hour before she has to go do comedy in the basement of a wine shop.

Who was your first crush?

Ohhh, this is weird but it was definitely Boy George.

Oh wow!

Yeah, I just thought he was spectacular.  I still do. When I was a twelve year old, I had a poster of Culture Club on my wall that I would kiss every night before bed.  When I took it down, George’s lips were clear with greasy little-kid Chapstick kisses.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The first single was Celebration by Kool and the Gang.  This was about ten years after it came out, but I heard it in one of my mom’s Jazzercise classes and I had to have it.

And the first LP?

Chipmunk Punk, obviously.

Obvi.

Which had no punk songs, but some new wave songs and some Billy Joel.  The weirdest inclusion was My Sharona, which was written about a 15 year old girl and has some semi-explicit reference to thighs, but the chipmunks DGAF.

What is your most treasured possession?

When I was living in Portland, I did a show on Christmas Day at the same karaoke bar where I did my first open mic.  This is probably ten years ago. It went, as I remember, horribly, but my friend Bri Pruett, who was KJing there at the time, gave me a card that permitted me to go next to sing karaoke.  That potential, the idea that I could be next, even in a bar that will one day close in a town in which I do not live, makes it one of my most prized possessions. Also, that Bri gave it to me.  I’ll never cash it in. I’m perpetually next!

Do you get presents from your fans?

Yes, isn’t it weird that people give you images of yourself?  But I have some awesome fan art, including a Barbie doll of me, an embroidery of my album cover, and a pen and ink rendition of me and my many interests. They are displayed proudly in my home. When I was in Portland, I used to be given a lot of weed, which I saved in a tin and forgot in my apartment when I moved.

How often do you wash your hair?

I like to wait at LEAST three days between washes.  If I can stretch to four, even better. My hair is long, so every time I wash it it gets tangled and dry and is basically a hot mess.  If you ever see me wearing a hat, you know it’s day four! Sorry.

If you were an animal, what would you be?  

I mean, I love the idea of a three toed sloth, but that’s not really my lifestyle.  I’m more like a squirrel, out there hustlin’, always starting projects and forgetting about them, and of course, looking adorable.

Oh, certainly.

Thank YOU.  

Ok, the last question, and this is a deep one:  Where do all the lost pens in the world go?

You know, I’m glad you asked me that, because it’s something I have thought a lot about.  The size and shape of pens mean that they take up space on the horizontal, but also they can slip through any hole or crevice, and we live on this earth full of holes, and which is always rotating, so if you think of the world as a big Pachinko game, and pens as the ball bearings, pens wind up:

(Flabbergasted) In the center of the earth?

Yes, precisely.  And that’s what magma is made of.  Melted pens. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

I effused my thanks to her as she killed her last inch of coffee and took off, yelling thanks and that she looked forward to the interview.  I had to take a second to catch my breath, and, folding up her paper coffee cup into my pocket to take with me, (don’t judge me!) went home to write.

Let’s Get In The Hot Tub!

Posted Posted in comedy, los angeles, Virginia Jones
It’s my third Hot Tub comedy show Monday, and I get to share the stage with awesome East Coasters like Katie Hartman and Emma Willman, as well as my SF buddy Krista Fatka and very funny Austinite MK Paulsen! Pete Holmes will also be there.
Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunholer have been hosting their favorite comedy acts for 14 years! This show is awesome and you should come see it. That’s all. Virgil at 8, doors at 7.