Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.
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Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Kyle Jarrow

August 09, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Kyle Jarrow

Next up–I’m posting these in the order I received them–we have the hardest working man in showbiz: Mr. Kyle Jarrow. I remember the precise moment I met Kyle. It was back in my old life in New York, when I used to perform experiments in laughter generation at comedy clubs. My shtick involved A) looking like a dork and B) singing songs with dirty words in them. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get laughs with this combination of attributes.

I was playing a show in this weird room in the lobby of the Gershwin Hotel. My soon-to-be girlfriend (and later-to-be ex-girlfriend) Becky Yamamoto also played the same show. After the show, I connected with this soon-to-be girlfriend with that “hey, you’re funny, I’m funny, let’s hang out” thing that only works when you do not bomb. Kyle had also come to see Becky perform that night – they worked together at PS 122, an experimental theater in New York. The first thing Kyle said to me was, “I’m in a band … maybe you could open for us some time.”

As an intro, “maybe we could open for you some time” might have been a little stronger. But I often say things off the top of my head that are accidentally incredibly insulting, so I let it slide. The next night I went out with Becky, and as we moved into what Paul Reiser calls Couplehood, I got to know Kyle. And his band, the Fabulous Entourage. Which, I must admit after all these years he was right … I was way more of a supporting act to their full-stage explosion.

When I say Kyle is the hardest working man in showbiz, I really mean it. This guy does not stop. He’s written several plays that are in almost constant production around the U.S., he’s in two bands with gigantic followings, and he somehow manages to squeeze Awkward into his off-time. Before we ever started Awkward, I was a huge fan: if Kyle had a production, I would be first in line to see it. I’ve seen the Fabulous Entourage play several times, not out of obligation, but because they are kick-ass musicians who put on an amazing show. I haven’t been lucky enough to see Super Mirage perform yet, but when they do their West Coast tour, I’m there.

I’ve gotten to be closer friends with Kyle since we started Awkward, and he’s one of those guys who I just never, ever question. I have infinite amounts of respect for his work and for him as a person. He’s dependable, positive, crazy intelligent, and immensely talented. I’m proud to call him my business partner and friend, and I hope he won’t forget me when he achieves his lifelong goal of supplanting Joe Eszterhas as Hollywood’s go-to guy for screenplays that center around beaver shots.

Learn more about Kyle and his ever-growing list of projects at http://www.landoftrust.com. Learn more about his band Super Mirage — and buy their brand new record at http://www.supermirage.com.

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I’m one of the co-founders of Awkward Press, along with Clay McLeod Chapman and Jeffrey Dinsmore. Although the truth is, Jeff does the lion’s share of the work and Clay and I offer advice and help as we can. I usually end up feeling pretty guilty that I didn’t help out more, and tell myself I’ll help out more the next time around. But let’s face it, Jeffrey Dinsmore is the brains, heart and soul of this operation. I might be most accurately described as its right index finger. [Ed.'s note: Lies! Kyle is the true genius behind Awkward Press. Writers, if you ever need to sue anyone, SUE KYLE.] (more…)

Kyle in the News

January 18, 2010 By: Category: Press

Kyle Jarrow discusses important play business with some other gentleman who also has something to do with the play.

Awkward’s very own Kyle Jarrow was featured yesterday in a big article in the LA Times! He has created a new musical called Whisper House with Duncan Sheik that will be opening in San Diego soon. Duncan Sheik is the composer of the gazillion-Tony-award winning musical Spring Awakening. Also, according to Wikipedia, he broke a Billboard record when his song “Barely Breathing” stayed in the top 100 for 55 weeks. That makes sense, because if you could program a music-creating machine to perfectly distill America’s tastes into a 3 minute pop song, it would sound exactly like “Barely Breathing.”

Anyway, good job Duncan Sheik, but this isn’t really about you. According to Kyle, this is what the play is about:

I first started writing this in the heat of the Iraq war — that fear is something that guides a lot of life, that there is all this stuff telling us to be afraid,” said Jarrow, whose playwriting credits include “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant” and “Armless.” “How do you process fear and not let it control your life? That’s one of the biggest questions of modern living.”

That sounds awesome! I will go see that play. We should all go see that play. If you don’t live in Southern California, don’t worry, you’ll get your opportunity. Because it’s going to Broadway! Probably. We don’t know yet. But of course it will, because all signs point to it being the pinnacle of human theatrical achievement. Suck it, Aristophanes!

Congratulations, Kyle!

Mark Green’s Awesome Ad Campaign

September 26, 2009 By: Category: Politics, Videos

Mark Green is the best. There’s no question about it. He’s a political scenester in New York who is apparently running for public advocate. He just made this ad that proves you don’t need any money to do something awesome:

A few years ago, I went to some fund-raising event that Kyle was performing at. It was at the nonprofit where FOA (friend of Awkward) Desiree Burch worked, and after the performances, the woman who headed the charity up gave a short speech. Afterwards, Kyle and I were riding in the elevator with Mr. Green, who had come to see the event. First of all, he’s a short, short man. Second of all, we got to talking with him, and Kyle asked him if he enjoyed himself.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Especially the final speaker. What a doll.”

“Yeah, she wasn’t bad,” Kyle said.

“She’s my wife,” Mark Green admitted.

“Your wife is a foxy, foxy lady,” Kyle said.

To this day, I am unaware of whether Kyle had any idea who he was talking to, but it was a smooth move, nonetheless.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

July 28, 2009 By: Category: Publishing

Only Moz knows my pain.

You're the only one who knows my pain, Moz.

This is hard.

You might not know who I am. You may have come to this site because I found you on Twitter through other independent publishers that you have chosen to follow. (Yes, I’ve been doing that, and I’m not proud.) Or you may have known me for 25 years, as have most of the (two) people who seem to be posting comments.

My name is Jeffrey Dinsmore. I helped start a publishing company called Contemporary Press. You have probably never heard of that, either. Shortly after 9/11 (I think … I’m a little foggy on the details) my friend Jay came up with the idea of starting a modern pulp fiction publishing company. I jumped on board, as did five of our other friends. We threw a couple hundred bucks into a pot and started writing books. My stipulation before joining CP was that I be allowed to write a book called Johnny Astronaut. I didn’t know what Johnny Astronaut would be about, but I knew I had to write it. I wrote it under a pseudonym, which makes perfect sense if you read the book. The author becomes a character. It’s very meta. My own family didn’t get it and most of them never bought a copy. They knew I wrote it, but they didn’t want to read it unless my name was on it. That’s very meta, too. Today, Johnny Astronaut is out of print.

I wrote another book called I, An Actress: the Autobiography of Karen Jamey. I personally am more attached to this book than the other one, but a lot of people I know didn’t really care for it. There are 1,000 copies of I, An Actress available. You should buy all 1,000 and blow our distributor’s mind.

CP was fun. We went to publishing conferences. We were blurbed about in GQ. We got a kick-ass review in The Believer. We lost our shirts. We never had an office. We did all our business on Wednesday nights at a bar. We threw parties in New York featuring musical performances by soon-to-be semi-famous bands like We Are Scientists, Bishop Allen, and the Oxford Collapse. I put my heart and soul into CP, and it broke into a million pieces. Both my heart, and CP. We still owe our distributor money. We were really good at drinking, but we were not so good at business. We were also not so good at proofreading, as a visit to our now dark website will prove.

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