I figured that it was a good idea to finally put up a little something about me for those who were interested.

So a bit of general background:

I am a chemist by education and have worked in water analysis (always important in the western US) briefly flirted with dentistry, and I am on the fence about getting a PhD in Chemistry so I can teach college chemistry.  In the late 2000’s I became a technology journalist, and was paid to go to events, and report on the tech at conventions like CES.  And in the 2010’s mobile gaming was actually the emphasis of my personal YouTube work.

While I wouldn’t call myself an accomplished crafter, I do love learning to do things myself, so I know just enough video editing, mechanics, and art to get myself into trouble.

Lam and I met back in the early 2010’s, and ill never forget first time we shared a meal together, because that evening I had the WORST toothache ever.  It was just out of nowhere!  But I digress.

In our podcast I usually cover the segments on Video Game History, Kick or Kickstart, and Legalese.

I was a founding member, and for a year President of RetroGamingLiveTV on twitch, so I have always loved the Retro style, and Vintage video games.  Between this and my love of old time radio, I feel like Ive always kind of lived with one foot in the past, which makes Video Game History perfect for me to cover.

Ive never cared much for AAA studios, and always felt like indie games were where my heart was.  Back when we started planning 2 Nerds in a Pod back in 2016, and even more so now, crowdfunding has helped some of my favorite indie games get made.  I mean, Chasm anyone?  So a segment where we discuss and sometimes recommend a crowdfunding project seemed like a no-brainer.

Growing up, my dad got his JD, and while I personally do not practice the craft, I have always had the legal perspective in my life.  I would never claim to have all the legal answers, but sometimes approaching a question from a legal perspective goes a long way in helping us make sense of the climate and framework around video games.

Thanks for reading, and Keep it Nerdy!


You know what time it is! Episode 60 is a go!

Join the conversation with us LIVE every Tuesday on twitch.tv/2nerdsinapod at 9pm CST.

Viewer questions/business inquiries can be sent to 2nerdsinapodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on twitter @2NerdsInAPod for updates and daily gaming news!

Background music from the OCR SMRPG mix




I keep New Years resolutions about as often as I went to class my freshman year of college. For that reason I don’t even bother setting them. I’d rather set goals throughout the year, and course correct as needed. If you know me you know that I moved to Chicago (suburbs) about a year ago so that I could do more comedy, and for other other reasons (see: pizza, and a job promotion). If you know *that* about me you also probably know that I suck at social media.

I just don’t like to put myself out there for some reason, especially on Facebook. As a comedian I spend my nights on stage saying “look at me! See what I can do?!” In the past I haven’t seen any reason to do the same thing online. Let’s be honest, people who do that are ANNOYING. I get that your kid is cute, your lunch was delicious, and several of your “friends” have a Go Fund Me page that you wanna share, but maybe some selective posting would help your cause.

Soooooo a goal that I started at the end of 2016 (so once again it is NOT a New Years resolution) is to be more active on social media. Does this mean that I’ll tweet pics of myself from the toilet and get disturbingly personal on Facebook? Nope (although I do tweet @niceguygaming). It just means that I’ll post content that I create, or find entertaining, and the occasional show that I’ll be in.

Image result for twitch troll

Speaking of being selective, I recently cut back on the number of side projects that I have. For a while I was trying to balance stand up comedy with live streaming video games on Twitch.tv every night! Both areas suffered in quality, plus gaming felt like a job. Imagine that you really like to ski. So someone tells you that you can ski LIVE ON THE INTERNET for strangers, some of whom will become regular viewers/friends. But you’ll also have to deal with people critiquing your skiing ability, and the occasional trolls (which don’t phase me, minor annoyance). You’ll make some money, but you’ll have to spend several hours a night on this so that your viewers/fans/friends get consistency and keep coming back. After a while skiing would seem like a chore rather than a hobby. So I cut back on twitch almost completely, despite having nearly 6,000 followers. Someday when I have more time I’ll get back into it.

I still scratch my video game itch by playing them, and doing a gaming podcast called 2 Nerds In A Pod! with a friend of mine from Utah. If you’re into that kind of thing you can check us out on iTunes here.

So if you’re a fan/friend/random person that stumbled upon this blog post AND made it this far you can SELECTIVELY go check out my other social medias (is that a term?) for great, selective content.

West Logo

Wasssssup Westies!

I’m addressing this post to you guys since I assume at least a few of you will read it. Also I assume you can read since you’re in college. Let me know if I’ve made too many assumptions….

Anyway! Last week I went to NACA West in Portland Oregon (aka Rip City!). NACA is…well….a party, lets be honest. It’s disguised as “serious business” but its an awesome event where college students get to watch a lot of entertainers (like yours truly) do their thing in hopes of getting some college gigs. This was my first NACA experience, and I learned a ton! First off, NACA doesn’t start at 9AM on the first day! If you show up at 9am and ask the even coordinators where everybody is (like I did) you’ll look like a fool. This actually makes sense, what college student do you know that takes 9am classes??? The student who registered for classes late and got stuck with 9am classes because everything else was full, that’s who.

Sooooo after making a fool of myself to start things off, I managed to have an AWESOME weekend. College students are HILARIOUS! I’ve only been out of college for two years, and I don’t remember college being a CONSTANT dance party. When music would play: students would dance. Someone won a bucket of Voodoo donuts: students would dance. An announcement came over the intercom that a cell phone had been lost; students started dancing. It was like a Justin Timberlake video 24/7! Good times.

One of the cooler parts of the weekend was that since I grew up in Seattle I got to spend some time with my family AND since my wife has a sister in Portland we didn’t have to pay for a hotel! #IAMCHEAP. Even cooler than that were all the awesome artists showcasing. I’m a comedian, but I’m also a comedy NERD to the nth power! I love watching comedy only slightly less than I love writing and performing my own comedy. Second City Chicago performed! This is the group that has produced many of the best improvisers/comedy minds in the game! Also there was a lot of awesome/eccentric/mind blowing music on stage at various times. One group that I remember in particular was called Fly Panda. They’re a rap-rock duo that has a dude in a panda suit dance on stage while they perform. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

Of course I spent a lot of time networking, handing out business cards and other promo to college students/agencies/fellow performers, and oh yeah eating. I ate a lot. I at at Red Robin, twice. Even though the first night I ordered some donuts and they tasted like they had been fried in the same oil as their onion rings. If you haven’t ever tried onion flavored donuts, you aren’t missing anything.

In short, NACA was excellent! If you’re a NACA West attendee and you’re reading this I hope I got to meet you! If you’re considering bringing to your school STOP considering and start doing! I’d love to make you laugh (and your school’s students too, of course).

I livestream video games on Twitch.tv. Nightly. Where you ask? Here: http://twitch.tv/misterniceguy425.

This basically helps fill the void of not getting to perform in front of a live in-your-face audience as much as I would like. Not to mention that it’s a great excuse to play video games while riffing with my viewers. For the uninitiated, Twitch.tv is a place where people can play video games and broadcast it over the internet with a live camera shot of themselves. I know what you’re thinking; “doesn’t that have the possibility to get out of hand? Someone could broadcast (fill in the blank).” All of the vulgar possibilities that you’re imagining have probably happened, and there are people way more creative that you thinking of other crazy stuff to broadcast as you’re reading this. Never fear, my stream is pretty tame.

When I first started streaming, I’d never have imagined that there would be “hecklers” on the internet. You may know them as trolls, or keyboard warriors; people who do whatever they can to get an angry reaction out of you. Now that my stream is gaining a little (strong emphasis on “little”) traction, I have a few regular trolls who pop in every night and spew negativity in the chat. This post is not intended to bring attention to these hooligans (and I use the term ‘hooligans’ ironically, I’m well under 50 years of age), but rather to express my confusion.

In a comedy club someone who hecklers a comedian gets to see their reaction, and at least takes some ownership for their terrible actions. They might get kicked out of the club, cursed out, invited on stage to see if they can do better than the comedian who people actually paid to see (this is rare), or in extreme cases beat up. On the internet when someone heckles during a livestream, they do so somewhat anonymously and have to wait 30 seconds (twitch has a delay) to see the streamer’s reaction. By the time they see that reaction the zinger that they thought was so brilliant 30 seconds ago is now irrelevant and they look stupid.

My hecklers usually point out the fact that apparently I look like every single African American celebrity that has ever been on television. I find this hilarious because the comparisons are so over-the-top. I’ve been compared to: Cleveland Brown, Oprah, Rerun (yes, Rerun), Carlton from Fresh Prince, Steve Urkel, Barrack Obama, Denzel Washington, Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle, and Kenan Thompson. If Kenan Thompson, Oprah, and Denzel Washington were all at a Dinner party, nobody would go up to them as ask “hey are y’all related?” Yet somehow, I look like all of these people.

Regardless, streaming is awesome and has been a legitimate job for a lot of people. I stream nightly (here’s the link again in case you missed it earlier: http://twitch.tv/misterniceguy425) at 8PM MST. Come hang out, laugh, and compare me to celebrities of color that look nothing like me while I play videos games.

….only 6 days late, so the year looks promising!

Something about January 1st makes people think that they’re going to stop procrastinating things that weren’t important enough for them to stop procrastinating any other random day of the year. I’m one of those people. I won’t post my comedy goals here, they’re personal. I will say that they center around the creation of content, improving of my act, and putting myself out there more. Whether I fail or succeed I plan on doing it big. I think that most talented people who aren’t where they want to be fall into the trap of making excuses. I’ve been guilty of that. 2013 was a solid year for my comedy, but it could have been even better if Netflix and video games didn’t exist (see there I go making excuses again). Without going into specifics I plan on 2014 being better than 2013 was in certain areas. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.



I have a great day job that I love, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take my comedy career extremely seriously.

I hear a lot of comedians say things like “If you have a Plan B (other than comedy) then you aren’t taking your comedy seriously enough.” That’s ridiculous! Of course I would love to write jokes all day, perform every night, and be heckled more regularly, but I have financial obligations that prevent me from doing that at this point in my career. I have a family that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t feel right about telling them that; “we’re gonna live in poverty for several years so that I can pursue my dream. I hope guys like Ramen! I know you’ve all been well behaved, but Santa felt you weren’t quite good enough this year!” Yeah, that’s not my style.

Not long ago I had a conversation with a guy I know who does improv, and is very good at it. We were talking about how being a starving artist isn’t really possible when you have a family; there is a certain standard of living that needs to be maintained. This isn’t an excuse, I still work hard when it comes to stand-up. It isn’t lost on me that I’m basically in competition with people who may not have the same responsibilities that I have. In fact I’ve even talked with veteran comics and watched their facial expression change when I mention that I have a family, as if to say; “Good luck kid! May the odds be ever in your favor!” (Pardon me, I watched the Hunger Games earlier this week!)

Also, there’s a part of me that really likes the idea of putting on a shirt and tie everyday. Even if I ever reach the point where I making tons of money doing comedy I’d probably still start side businesses, not only to multiply my money, but because being an entrepreneur is something that I enjoy . Having a day job is occasionally frowned upon in the entertainment industry, but I like to think that I have the best of both worlds. I have an amazing family, and I’m able to support them financially while still pursuing my dream. I have no problem with entertainers who want to establish themselves before “settling down”, but my path has been different. I’ll see you at the top!

I recently got a new day job with an excellent company. The interview process was thorough, and I believe that part of my success was due to the fact that my background in comedy sets me apart from other applicants. Comedy has taught me how to read people, entrepreneurship, how to think on my feet, and numerous other skills. All of these skills are relevant in business.

Many jobs require a college degree, so obviously everyone who applies for these jobs will have a degree. An interviewer would probably get tired of hearing every single applicant talk about their educational background, I know I would. So in my interviews with this company I talked a lot about stand-up and things that I have learned from it.

I talked about how as a college undergrad I wanted to make extra money, so I started a small (and successful) comedy business with some friends. I talked about how as a comedian you have to adjust to an audience, much like how people in business can’t approach every single client the same way. I talked about how I’m personable, a good public speaker, and likeable. All of these things relate to comedy.

Of course if I didn’t have the necessary academic qualifications I probably wouldn’t have been CONSIDERED  for the position. However, if I didn’t have skills that have been supplemented by the fact that I do stand-up, I probably wouldn’t have GOTTEN the position.

The take home message? Comedians aren’t necessarily profane clowns without work ethic or common sense. Comedy is serious business.


It would not consist of playing Xbox or watching movies; my ideal work day would consist of a lot of, well, work.

Of course this work day would take place at home, mostly in my office. I’d start off the day by working on my comic strip. I generally come up with ideas for it in the morning, and they are usually based on recent and past experiences. I’ve found that when I am working on this strip that I have some days where I’ll make 3 or 4 comics, and others where I am in a dry spell. Regardless, I would work on this strip for the first hour of my day. By the way, today I started putting this strips into PDF form, so that I can make an E book out of them later this year. Stay tuned!

One of the most crucial parts of being a comedian is writing. This is what I would do next, because often I make comics strips that could be turned into new material. It is only logical that I would spend time writing new jokes after working on my comic. I used to try to write with music in the background, or while watching Netflix. I always found myself simply listening to the “background” music, or watching Netflix, and not actually writing. I don’t need complete silence to write, occasional distractions can actually help me at times. Also, I don’t write my jokes out word for word. I’ll generally write the premise in as few words as possible, and then have some bullet points of punchlines, and ideas to explore based on that premise. Additionally I have pages in my journal of premises to explore later, I love making these lists. Sometimes the ideas get forgotten, but sometimes when I’m having writer’s block I’ll look for one of these lists and force myself to flesh out one of those ideas.

At some point during the day I’d eat lunch. Generally when I’m on a roll with writing or whatever other comedic pursuit I’m into I don’t want to stop and eat. So who knows, this type of work day might help me lost a few pounds.

Another important part of the day would be spent reading articles about comedy. This is something that I try to do in moderation. I’ve learned that reading and talking about the way that other comedians have succeeded can actually be detrimental. For example, Louis CK has done a lot of amazing things by controlling the production of his tv show, selling his own tickets online, and self-releasing his own albums as of late. However, I’m not at a stage in my career where any of those things are relevant. It is great to read about them, but I refuse to let those things get in the way of my writing, performing, getting better, etc. I do like to read interviews of other comedians, studying the greats can have its benefits.

Obviously I enjoy creating things, and I enjoy writing. Something that I want to start doing is writing monologue jokes. You know, the ones that guys like Letterman and Conan deliver on a nightly basis. Those were all written by talented comedic minds. This requires not only quick wit and writing ability, but also a knowledge of current events. I’ve never had a ton of topical material in my act, because it has such a short shelf life, but I think that writing for late night would be amazing. I’m obviously not at that point yet, but writing dozens of topical jokes would be great practice. Creating writing samples would take place during this chunk of the day, sitcom scripts and various other relevant writings.

Lastly, I’d go out at night and work on my material. I don’t currently live in a place with stage time every night, but I do get up as much as I can. I am somewhat envious of comics who live in places where they can think of an idea in the morning, and ALWAYS be talking about that idea on stage that night (if they so choose). When I went to New York this summer I remember hitting 3 open mics in one night, it was amazing. I love the stage. Writing and creating things aside, doing actual stand-up is my passion, first and foremost. I ALWAYS write my ideas out by myself initially, but at least twice a week I’d love to meet with other creative minds who I trust and bounce ideas off each other.

During this ideal work day I may spend some time watching actual stand up too. I feel like I’m at a point where I’m comfortable on stage, I know what I’m doing. It is always good to watch people who are better than you, and have different styles. It keeps you hungry.

Did I mention that this workday would start around noon? Not because I’m lazy, but because I have a family that I’d spend my mornings with. Also, I’d probably be working late into the night (that’s when I’d be on stage), so starting at noon makes sense. Also, I’m not a morning person, so there’s that.


Not all comedy shows are created equal. There are rooms of all sizes, audiences of varying attention spans, and other varying variables. On Wednesday I had the chance to open for a Las Vegas-based comedian/magician named Adam London, and it was one of those shows where most if not all of the variables were ideal for comedy.

My wife and I arrived at the venue at 6:30pm. I told someone at the front door that I was the opening act, and they gave me a funny look. Luckily right at that moment someone came out and said “oh good, Lam, you’re here,” and took us inside. It was a nice theater with a balcony, seating about 600 people. Adam was on the stage and introduced himself, nice guy. One thing that I’ve heard a lot (and I believe to be true) is that you shouldn’t pester the headliner. I always try to see what type of person they are before engaging in a lengthy conversation. There are plenty of people who (understandably) don’t want to talk to everyone before their show; they may be preparing, getting in their “zone”, or whatever. Adam seemed very laid back and kind, not at all in his own world.

A friend of mine was opening as well. We had each planned to do a certain amount of time, but were asked to shorten it. Not a problem. Another thing that I’ve learned is that you have to roll with the punches. Being easy to work with is almost as important as being funny. That may not be how it should be (some people feel that being funny is all that matters), but I think I’m pretty easy going anyway so changing things up last minute is never a big deal to me.

Fast forward to the beginning of the show. The theater was packed. My friend did his set, and did well as he always does. Then I did my set, and was later told both by Adam and many audience members that it was great. I’ve read a lot of articles that say when you are hosting/opening/featuring that you should hold back a little; you shouldn’t come out and try to “knock the headliner’s head off.” In other words; do well, but don’t do so well that the headliner has to compete with you. I can see the truth in this, but also, you never know who is watching.

Regardless, I kept that rule in mind. I feel like all of my bits were hitting with the audience, as they should since I was avoiding new material. However, the bit that I decided to close with didn’t end with an applause break as it normally does. The reaction was great, but not what I’m used to. It was sufficient though, so I ended my set and left the stage. Normally in that situation I would have kept going in an attempt to end on a slightly higher note, but I wanted to be mindful of the time that I was given. Earlier today I watched the video of my set from that night, and I’m fine with how it went.

Adam’s show was great. He started off with stand up and then did magic with tons of audience interaction. I haven’t seen tons of magic, and there were several tricks that I was impressed with. For one of his tricks he made my wife’s wedding ring go into a bag of M&Ms. Crazy stuff.

Everyone has to pay their dues, especially in the entertainment industry. Every time that I’m fortunate enough to do a show like this it reminds me that it is where I want to be. I love performing for crowds of 30-50 too, it is relaxed and I can work on new material. Even if I’m blessed to someday perform in theaters on a regular basis I’d still want to continue to do smaller shows. Bottom line is that its great to work with people who have what I want, to get to know them, to watch them work, and to show what I can do in those circumstances.