So what did you do this weekend?
Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,What did you do this weekend? Umm....
Caught red-eye to New York at 10pm
Hard falling asleep on the plane when your battling for the middle divider with the person next to you and your head is bobbing back & forth like a bobble head while you attempt to sleep sitting up. Note: Those life preserver neck cushions they sell at their airports don't really make it much easier to fall asleep
Arrived at 6am
Couldn't find private place to pray fajr so I prayed @ Airport Terminal. For a few minutes I became "that guy" at the airport. "Hey is 'that guy' on our plane?" No, I'm not so stop freaking out.
Checked in hotel and caught up on sleep
Got knocked out!
Got call from Belal (my ride) and he offered to pick me up some NY Pizza
I've heard about NY Pizza but have never tried it. Actually, I've had pizza in LA called "NY Pizza" but that doesn't really count.
Arrive at Venue at went to dressing room
Not much to do in a dressing room since I'm already dressed
Walked to Green Room
Find everyone munching away. The green room is where all the food and snacks is. Plenty of sandwiches, chocolates, and performers.
Check out stage and seating
Found Zain Bhikha rehearsing (down to earth bro) and noticed how different it looks when entertainers are performing in casual clothes vs their stage clothes. Noticed venue and stage looked professional.
Figured it would be a good idea to blog this experience so I went back to dressing room to pick up camera and quickly recorded this:
Figured I didn't record enough so I press the recorded button and again:
Had Discussions with volunteer staff about Islam, Comedy, & Filmmaking in Green Room
1hr Before Showtime and I'm not sure what to talk about on stage
30min Before Showtime and I'm still not sure
15min Before Showtime and I notice that the audience is barely trickling in
Plenty of tickets were sold but many Muslims are on Muslim Standard Time. If you've ever been to a Middle Eastern wedding, you know what I'm talking about.
Show starts and I talk about Muslim Standard Time - Audience Laughs
Performed Standup for about 30 minutes - Great Crowd
Left Stage and went back to the Green Room
This time I brought one of the board games I recently invented and I played it with the volunteer staff. It was a lot of fun.
Show ends - Met and took pictures with audience
Belal, who is a talented director and runs Leechon Films, filmed hours of this backstage experience.
Venue closes - Everyone is in parking lot trying to arrange rides back to Hotel
At this point, I haven't slept well but Belal made a good pitch on not sleeping and driving to NJ to have the late-late dinner
Arrived at Hotel - Changed Clothes - Told Daud (Tour Manager) that we're leaving (so he doesn't think I disappeared in the middle of the night). Belal convinces him to come to (they didn't even know each other's name but hey..its a crazy night)
Now there is three people traveling to another state just to get a bite to eat. Yeah but there are plenty of places to eat in NY right? Yeah, but (a) I'm not from here so I can't tell where I can get a bite to eat and where I can get shot (b) I don't have car and Belal does (c) I'm going to be blogging this so it sounds like an adventure especially since we have to be back by 4am so we can catch our flight
Belal drives (like someone who just got finishing watching the fast and the furious) and nobody dares to close their eyes (except for the turns) I think I said the words "Watch out!" a few times
Arrived in Jersey. Ate. Left.
Belal drove again (like a police officer chasing bad guys but there are no bad guys)
Arrived at Hotel at 4:45. Pray Fajr. Take Shower. Leave 10 minutes later to Airport for next show (note: no sleep yet)
Arrive at airport - Can't check in online since the brown man is the new black man Prayed Fajr Jammat at Airport (nobody freaked out)
Slept like a baby from New York to Dallas on plane
Checked in at Hotel in Dallas and then went to next Venue
Workout in Hotel gym with Shahob from 786
Talk about social issues impacting the Ummah while lifting weights.
Took shower and left for venue - Went to green room to found 786 singing there
Not sure why it called the green room. There is just food there (plus a bunch of brothers singing)
Performed again and the audience was once again great. Had lots of fun on stage
Met audience - Took pics with audience - Went back to Hotel and slept at about midnight
Woke up 3:50 to catch shuttle back to airport. Arrived at 7:40am. Left for work.
Unlike most of my co-workers, I usually have an interesting experience during the weekend.
Ali: So how was your weekend?
Bob: Not bad. Took the dog for a walk and watched batman. What did you do?
Ali: Flew to NY, drove to NJ, and then flew to Dallas. Met some interesting people. Made some people laugh. Flew back this morning and drove to work. Other than that....nothing much.
Looking to get married?
Visit Baba Ali's Muslim Marriage site halfourdeen.com