Hello my friend who made it to this page! So many exciting book details to discuss. First big news? The Audible book is OUT! Read by none other than me. I had such a great time hiding in the booth with a cap and scarf drinking Throat Coat tea with gobs of honey in it for three days. For reasons I cannot identify, I decided to present myself as some kind of psycho storyteller here, but believe me it was a joy!
I will be heading east next week. First to do a segment of “Red Eye with Tom Shillue” on 1/22 and then a show at the JCC of Washington DC on 1/23.
On 1/28 I will be in Santa Barbara at Chaucer’s Books on State St. at 7 pm.
Here is an article from The Santa Barbara Press by BRETT LEIGH DICKS, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT 1/13/16
Timing is everything in comedy. So when Los Angeles-based comic, author, mother and wife Dani Klein Modisett realized the same was true for relationships, she quickly tapped into a life of poignantly hilarious fodder.
Ms. Modisett channeled her witty observations of parenting into 2009’s “Afterbirth ? Stories You Won’t Read in a Parenting Magazine,”released by St. Martin’s Press, which was based on a live show of the same name. Three years ago, she turned her attention to marriage when she launched a spin-off show, “Not What I Signed Up For.”
Ms. Modisett wrangled a collection of acclaimed actors and writers who joined her in reciting funny stories about how marriage and parenting challenges them in unexpected ways. That show recently laid the foundation for a new book, “Take My Spouse, Please: How to Keep Your Marriage Happy, Healthy and Thriving by Following the Rules of Comedy”(Shambhala Press, $16.95), which explores how the cardinal rules of comedy can help couples laugh more. She will sign copies 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St.
“I toured with ‘Afterbirth ?’ for about 10 years, but what happens is that your children grow up and you can’t write about them anymore because they start to read,”Ms. Modisett said.
“You also get to the point where your children are old enough to be out of crisis and you don’t feel like, ‘Oh my God, they’re going to kill themselves so we have to put all our focus on them,’ so you have more time to look across the room at your spouse.?
In turning her attention to her relationship with her husband, Ms. Modisett, 52, started addressing questions like how will they recover their pre-child connection and how will their relationship change as a result. Those questions led to a live show called “Not What I Signed Up For,”which took the comedian across the country and performing sold-out shows in San Francisco, Boston and New York City.
“The show was full of stories about me finding out things about myself,”Ms. Modisett recently told the News-Press by phone from the Bay Area, where she was on vacation.
“Around the 10-year mark of marriage, I was personally feeling, ‘I don’t know about this.’ I thought back to when I was doing stand-up comedy and how people were saying that’s the hardest thing in life to do. Then after one particularly bad fight I thought, ‘Well, actually marriage is harder – with stand-up you give your set and you’re done, but marriage is a much longer gig.’ ?
That realization inspired Ms. Modisett, who taught stand-up comedy at UCLA for 10 years in the late 1990s, to look back at her teaching course notes.
“I thought maybe there’s something in that first hardest thing to do that might be applicable (to) what I’m finding the hardest thing to do now, which is being happily married,”she said. “I looked at my syllabus and thought so much of (what) was important for comedy – like being willing to show up, listening, timing and letting go of a bad night – all of that was relevant for marriage. It was a great epiphany.?
In comedy or marriage, Ms. Modisett points out that one bad night doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. By coupling her trademark humor with a pointed pen, “Take My Spouse, Please”provides a roadmap for navigating a marriage through rough patches and nights when everything falls flat to come out laughing at the other side.
Not only did Ms. Modisett look at her own life in the book, she also reached out to various colleagues for insights into the role that comedy has played in their relationships. She interviewed comedians, comic writers and marriage counselors, all of whom delivered their own unique insights into marriage.
“I interviewed long-term couples, people who have been together happily for between 30 to 60 years,”she said. “I wanted to know how to infuse your marriage with laughter because I find laughter to not only be healing, but a great way for connecting. So if I saw two people with gray hair holding hands and laughing together, I wanted to talk to them.?
The book features contributions from celebrities like Jerry Stiller, Patricia Heaton, “Wicked”writer Winnie Holzman, “30 Rock”writer John Riggi, “Everybody Loves Raymond”writer Lew Schneider, songwriter Mike Stoller and filmmaker Gotham Chopra.
“Being a comedian, I have gotten to know a lot of people over the years,”Ms. Modisett said. “I have known Jerry Stiller and (the late) Anne Meara for 30 years. One thing that fascinated me about Jerry and Anne is that they were both so very talented and I was curious whether there was ever an element of competition between them. Jerry said one of the most profound things to me and that was ‘we needed each other.’ ?
For someone who has fiercely defended her individuality, Ms. Modisett found the comment to be a revelation.
“The idea of ‘needing each other was actually something to be valued in a marriage’ was really lovely to hear,”she said. “Needing and not being afraid of that vulnerability was an epiphany for me.?
The litmus test for just how well applying the rules of comedy to a marriage can work could very well be Ms. Modisett’s own relationship. She met her husband, Tod, in a bar on La Brea in Los Angeles 15 years ago and married one year later. Mr. Modisett gave the book his full blessing.
“He met me when I was doing stand-up comedy so he knew what he was in for,”she said with a laugh.
Dani Klein Modisett will sign copies of “Take My Spouse, Please: How to Keep Your Marriage Happy, Healthy and Thriving by Following the Rules of Comedy”(Shambhala Press, $16.95) at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St.