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Venue:Cabaret Voltaire, 36-38 Blair Street Edinburgh EH1 1QR
Phone: 0131 247 4704
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: Upstairs
AUG 4-21, 23-28 at 20:00 (45 min)
Show Image

Truth is relative, sure, but as far as I’m concerned I’ve got this sh*t figured out. My show is based around the premise that my opinions – true or not – are the goddamn truth. What is truth anyway? You can never be 100% certain so you might as well just find the closest thing and latch on to that sonofabitch and enjoy the ride. That’s what I do, anyway, and I’m fine! (For the most part)

In my one-person show I explain how everyone gets most everything wrong and, conversely, how I get most everything right. We all know that opinions are like a**holes cause everyone has one, but let me tell you, folks, my opinions, unlike a**holes, smell fantastic.

You’ll be same person after seeing my show as before but, if you paid any attention, I’m 100% sure that you’ll be a little bit less full of sh*t. I'm not here to give you people the same two-bit horse sh*t advice you can get from any self-help book; I'm here to give you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the goddamn truth.

So, that’s what my show will sound like. It’s me vehemently defending my strongly held opinions. There are also a few characters. Although I spend a lot of time rallying against popularly held beliefs, there are always joy and optimism driving the show. You might not agree with everything I have to say in Jeff Seal: The Goddamn Truth but you’ll have fun watching me try to convince you otherwise.

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News and Reviews for this Show

July 26, 2016  Gothamist
News Story
Comedian, videographer, and frequent Gothamist collaborator Jeff Seal isn't here to parse words—he's here to tell The Goddamn Truth. Seal's stand-up shows always feature plenty of wry observations about life in New York City, along with plenty of reasons why no one should ever go skydiving and then open up a cupcake shop. The man is able to banter with himself in a way that's both hilarious and a little scary, but trust him: he's a semi-professional. Seal is performing The Goddamn Truth twice this week at 59E59's Theater's East To Edinburgh festival, and it'll be the last chance to see it before he brings it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, so yourself a weird, funny favor and catch his set. Click Here

November 30, 2015  The Dance Enthusiast
Impressions of Jeff Seal and The Raving Jaynes
“Once the audience buys a ticket, they enter into a social contract not to say anything,” says comedian Jeff Seal. He’s not wrong, but he’s not right either.

Performers expect the audience to maintain a respectful silence. Courteous applause, fervent cheering, and the occasional sneeze or cough: these stand as acceptable noises from spectators. Yet, our silence reveals much.

Nowhere is this more apparent than a comedy show. When the jokes fall flat, everyone knows. Politeness turns pained, and grins pucker into winces. We might not say a thing, but the artists feel our judgment.

In their split-bill program at Triskelion Arts, Seal and improv duo the Raving Jaynes make it their goal to elicit laughter — lots of it. Their brand of comedy isn’t subversive or political or even particularly physical. Instead, Seal and the Raving Jaynes wield wit to highlight the sweet absurdity of humanity.

With his twinkly eyes and manic hands that he shoves into his pockets, Seal resembles a dippy, dorky dad. In The Goddamn Truth, his humor — although plentifully studded with profanity — runs in the same vein. Using storytelling and stand-up, he hopscotches through a variety of hashtag-worthy subjects like #manchupicchu pictures on Tinder and JetBlue’s #tellyourstory campaign. He flaunts his stick-of-dynamite tattoo that (#whoops) ended up resembling a used tampon (#gross).

As with all comedy, the effect can be patchy. It’s fun to see what sticks its landing (a deliciously ribald story about Judy Blume and Maurice Sendak) and what doesn’t (the visceral pleasure of swear words). It’s even more fun to see on whom it lands. One brunette in the front row honks at everything. Two burly dudes with trendy glasses sit with their arms crossed; their faces remain pinched for the entire set.

Seal’s greatest asset proves to be himself. He brims with "aw-shucks" affability. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine if we’re laughing because his wisecracks are amusing or because he’s so darned earnest. Does this distinction even matter? We’re laughing more often than not. Click Here

November 12, 2015 The Dance Enthusiast
The Dance Enthusiast Asks The Raving Jaynes and Jeff Seal
Mixing standup, storytelling, characters, and clowning, Jeff Seal shares his one-man show with the dance-and-comedy improv duo The Raving Jaynes at Brooklyn’s Triskelion Arts.

“They’re hilarious when they're ‘on’, endearing when they're not, and both irreverent,” says Triskelion Arts Artistic Director Abby Bender. “They border on being just offensive enough to make us laugh with them (and sometimes even at them).”

The Dance Enthusiast met with The Raving Jaynes (Amy Larimer and Jamie Graham) and Seal to talk about what makes them laugh, how they practice comedy, and what it means to fail in performance.

Trina Mannino for The Dance Enthusiast: Raving Jaynes, what sparked your interest in fusing dance and comedy improv? What are its challenges?
Amy Larimer: I thought it would be interesting to combine the two forms to bring more body in the comedy improv and bring more story to the dance.

Jamie Graham: Often, when we first began this process, we would find ourselves in scenes more than in dances, because language is powerful. Keeping the balance between them is tricky.

AL: We have to constantly ask: How does dance fit into the literal narrative we’re trying to tell? How literal do we need to be? We also explore moving abstractly in a way that still supports character development.

TDE: Jeff, how did you arrive at wanting to do comedy and physical theater?
JS: I’ve wanted to do comedy since I was very young. I started taking improv classes in high school…I used to watch old vaudeville stuff. You realize when you’re watching clips of Groucho Marx, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin that they have similar ways of moving. You can tell it came from their experience in vaudeville and performing in music halls. I found dance through clowning, but I would not call myself a dancer out of respect to actual dancers.

Jeff Seal; Photo by Nicki Ishmael
TDE: How are your upcoming premieres different from your previous work?
JS: For the first time, my process has been to sit down and write. Normally, I go to a studio with other people, and we create material on our feet.

I’m struggling with the thought that I’m more funny in life than onstage. I’ve done a lot of clowning, which is about being yourself and being vulnerable. But I still feel that it’s not 100% me. This show is about stripping away everything I’ve been trying to do for several years and going onstage with no theatrical artifice and proclaiming ‘This is me. These are the things I talk about when I’m drunk at a bar. But right now I’m neither drunk or at a bar.’

AL: In the past we’ve taken suggestions from the audience to get started, but we’re not going to do that for this show as a way to see if it really can come from the body.

We’re excited to have a real theatrical experience rather than coming out on a stage about the size of this table. Though we’re doing improvisation, it’s important that we have a trusted technician – like Andy [Dickerson] at Triskelion — because they ultimately call our end.

TDE: In comedy, sometimes the material falls flat with the audience. How do you navigate that possibility in performance?
JG: What’s difficult is that there are many ways you can fail. You can fail if nothing is happening to move the story along, or you can fail if there appears to be constant conflict. Usually, that manifests in fights. One show, we were [pretending to be] boxing the entire time.

JS: You know, comedy is failure. If you’re having fun, even in the failure, and you acknowledge something didn’t work, the audience will often be on your side. But, if you try to brush it off like it didn’t happen then they’ll stop trusting you.

The Raving Jaynes (Jamie Graham in front and Amy Larimer in the background); Photo by Mathieu van den Berk
TDE: The late Christopher Hitchens was lambasted for writing an article asserting women aren’t that funny. Amy and Jamie have you experienced any challenges being dance-trained females in the comedy world?
JG: Sometimes we get: “So you’re the novelty act?”

AL: We talk about whether we need to “prepare” the audience for what we do or can we just go out there. Our brand of comedy works to our advantage and disadvantage. Some people really love it while others may say, “you move really well, but you could work on…” [She impatiently snaps her fingers.]

I think that women aren’t encouraged to be funny in our culture. We have to recognize the times when we hold back socially or in an improv class. I think that’s more stemming from socialization than from people or performers around us.

TDE: Who or what makes you laugh?
AL: Social awkwardness. When things go really, really bad. Jamie.

JG: I feel the same way about you! I also think that the big cosmic joke — the absurdity and futility of everything — is funny. Amy and I really like the sacred and profane.

JS: I like comedians who you just look at and they make you laugh. They’re not necessarily saying clever jokes. It’s just who they are is funny.

To see someone transgressive to the point of knocking another person back into place can be satisfying. Once you put something through the grinder of comedy, it’s not the same afterward. Comedy can serve as an equalizer.

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