'Tis the season to dodge holiday music and focus on making plans for the next year. What? Too Scrooge?
This month I want to follow my fellow creative, Candice Lola and invite you to collaborate with me in 2018. You don't have to be a professional anything. Next year I'd love for you to continue sending me links to all the funny women. I love supporting women in comedy and film. Shoot me an email if you're thinking about creating something. I'm playing with video, audio, and writing all the pages. I can't neglect my type-A side. Send me all your software recommendations, productivity tools, or even a cleaning tip.
Be safe and happy holidays!
JBF: Crash Dummy (The Daily Herald)
I successfully swerved through the lanes and exited onto the hill with a steep incline. Watch out St. Maarten, Onicia is doing her driving exam.
Film Review: Mighty Ground (Indie Activity)
With the help of unlikely friendships along the way, a homeless songwriter tries to kick a hard-core crack addiction and escape the grisly streets of skid row via his love of music.
JBF: Never Netflix and Chill with Your Dentist (The Daily Herald)
After three years of neglect, I reunited with my medical love. I couldn't wait to tell Facebook "The dentist done changed since I was a kid. Netflix and chill, y'all!"
Caribbean Entertainment Magazine is having their Readers' Choice Award. You can help me and some of my favorite Caribbean creatives by voting for us. Simply copy this list and email firstname.lastname@example.org. Use "Nominations CEM Readers Choice Award" as your subject line. Deadline November 15, 2017.
Best Photographer - D.A. Robin
Best Female Blogger - Candice Lola
Best Female Radio Personality - Sagan Speaks
Best TV Personality - Nikki Jae
Best YouTuber - TAP
Best Music video - Red Eye Crew "Good Good"
Best Radio Station - Laser 101.1 FM
Best Male Radio Personality - Suppa Kid
Best New Comedian - Onicia Muller
READ: Caribbean Entertainment Magazine Announces Readers' Choice Award
Tis' the season to be thankful. Last year I decided to publish a monthly newsletter because as an introvert (SURPRISE) social media becomes tiring and I needed a way to update the world on my trials and failures as a Caribbean writer and comedian who isfreezing my buns off in Chicago. (video byShanna Shrum)
I'm thankful that I've been consistent with my newsletter. (Thanks, L'Oreal!). I'm thankful for all of you who help me leave my house, book more shows, overcome my YouTube fears (Thanks, Sandy!), create dope ish (Thanks, Robin), and nourish my inner artists.
This month I'm super excited to share the preview of my Caribbean audio drama Sucker's Garden. This is a 5-year labor of love with my partner in Mexican crimes, Kimberly Meyers. Radio dramas were my gateway storytelling drug. I remember being so upset that my mom would fall asleep while reading bedtime stories. My world changed when she brought home the Alphabet Pals stories (cue angelic sounds). Through my teenage years, I enjoyed Your Story Hour and Unshackled before discovering to web series.
In November, The Stoop is having its final show for the year. Over the next few weeks, I'll be co-hosting House Mic, an open mic project with the hilarious Angelica Davila! (She has a dope money blog.)
Sooo, this year I considered doing a campaign for Forbes' 30 Under 30, but that's not gonna happen. Instead, I'd like you to nominate me forCaribbean Entertainment Magazine Readers' Choice Award. Deadline November 15, 2017.
Doing any holiday shopping? Support my art by using my Amazon affiliate link* (OniciaMuller.com/Amazon). Just click the link and shop away.
Thanks for the love and good vibes,
JBF: not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin
The Daily Herald
My rule: if I have to squint to see the strand while isolating it against my nail, it’s too thin to pluck. I guess dark skin privilege is the ability to be selective about which chin hairs you pluck. Now that we’ve bonded over that, I can tell you about my mustache.
Posh Hollywood might be a Scammer but I Love Her
A few months ago I was on YouTube looking to mind other people’s business when I stumbled across Ms. Posh Hollywood. Lord, grant me the confidence of Rudolph the golden-nosed reindeer to say, “F*** the haters! I’m following my dreams.”
JBF: bicycle test
The Daily Herald
I cracked open my notebook. How many of these parts did I already know? Pedal. Handle. Spoke. Those metal things have names? Aren't’ they just all part of the wheel? This is too much. I need to fake sick. I slouched in my seat and practiced my sick face.
Life Lessons with Dude That's Not What I Meant Podcast
Every week — heck, every day — someone somewhere is complaining that something they said was “taken out of context.” It can be politicians caught in a scandal or your cousin who continually posts relationship advice but hasn’t been in a healthy relationship since, well, never. Here are four life lessons from the Dude That’s Not What I Meant podcast.
Producer - House Mic (Chicago)
November 9, 14, and 29
Producer - The Stoop: Lily Be's Tamale Birthday Jam (Rosa's Lounge, Chicago)
Live lit, off-book storytelling
November 16, 2017
Storytelling - Louder Than A Mom (Martyr’s, Chicago)
November 20, 2017
The Plagiarists: Rip It Up (MATILDA-babyATLAS, Chicago)
November 21, 2017
*1 As an Amazon affiliate, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission on sales generated from my links. Be sure to click my link the same day you make your purchase. My commission expires after 24 hours.
"Storytelling is a compulsion, an urge, like having to pee. When we come up with a great idea, there is an immediate desire to share it ... But once we let it out, give in the compulsion to tell someone our idea, the urge is gone, or at the very least much diminished." - Transforming Reality
Consistency is scary. Just like back in my (super struggle) running days, somewhere along my 5K journey I'd desperately want to stop moving. I told myself to "just take one more step". Looking at my phone to calculate the remaining distance made me want to topple over and become one with the nearest patch of grass.
Mia's lesson from Transforming Reality is key to getting through many of my creative projects. Don't talk about it; just start. In the spirit of not letting perfection stop me, I launched a free resource page for how I stay on top of creative projects and my first installment of the Just Being Funny web series.
And now to wait for the Halloween candy to go on sale so I can replenish my stockpile.
Thanks for laughing with me and NOT at me. -- O
Storytelling - The Skewer (Cafe Mustashe, Chicago)
October 4, 2017
Catch the replay on Soundcloud. The Skewer is also looking for storytellers. Just shoot them a quick email.
Storytelling - Louder Than A Mom (Martyr's, Chicago)
November 20, 2017
Need a comedian with Caribbean flavor? Bookings[at]onciamuller[dot]com
Just Being Funny: He called dibs on my spit (The Daily Herald)
We were originally hyped to see a real Mexican bullfight. I was ready for some Loony Toons level shenanigans. Twenty minutes in, I decided to stop fronting and wear my glasses. My life instantly upgraded to HD vision and I had questions. Who cosigned using the red cloth to hide the stick from the bull? More importantly, who swapped the stick for a big ole sword? Where is PETA? How is everyone so chill watching murder?
How to pick up Asian Woman (Heaux)
6 tips from the YouTube web series where Asian American women review self-published books written by white men on how to pick up Asian women.
Just Being Funny: Fashionista on a budget
If you bend over and your booty cheeks pop out, this is not the thing that you need to be wearing. And don’t let them pressure you into buying something that's going to cut off circulation to your box. You don’t need to be a feature on “Untold Stories of the E.R.”! As I exited the dressing room, I mentally hyped myself for the most difficult part of this female bonding ritual.
Life Lessons from Dude That's Not What I Meant Podcast (HuffPost)
Every week — heck, every day — someone somewhere is complaining that something they said was “taken out of context.” This Chicago podcast shows you how NOT to pull your foot out of your mouth. Ha!
Oh yeah, Eva Green (a.k.a Soca Mom) created this wonderful resource "How Can You Help Those in the Caribbean Devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria?"
In August, I spilled my soul and faced my fears head-on. The results? I feel free. I published a few YouTube videos. This month I'll be brief because I should be working on my new script. I fear that I will judge myself before the work is created.
What are you doing this month?
Things to read
Just Being Funny: Real Life Bed Intruder (The Daily Herald)
Suddenly, I hear what can only be described as full grown grizzly bear mixed with Chubakka snoring. Rebecca, you can't sleep with your door open if you plan to snore like a wildebeest.
Three Little Latchkeys (Distinguished Diva)
Balancing the thin line of beauty and torture is a difficult and necessary act every girl and woman must learn. Remembering five times my parents nearly lost their daughters to Child Protective Services.
Just Being Funny: Bathroom Experiments (The Daily Herald)
I noticed the toilet paper roll was facing under (behind the roll). So, I adjusted it. They next morning, the roll was back in its original position. Was she intentionally being a bathroom psycho?
The Micro Storytelling Challenge (LA-Screenwriter)
While working on a feature film, Flavia Borges found the writing process to be very lonely. So, she asked Sarah Alò and Devon Carson to help create MENACE, an intersectional feminist micro-series.
I'm doing a handful of shows before I take another break to create new material and recharge. If you're around, I'd love to see you at some of these events.
Storytelling - This One Woman (Hopleaf, Chicago)
Theme: Hedy Lamarr
September 25, 2017
Producing - The Stoop (Rosa's Lounge, Chicago)
Theme: Toe up from the flo up
September 28, 2017
Are you interested in trying stand-up comedy or storytelling? You don't need any special training. The Stoop is always looking for new storytellers and there are several comedy open mics you can attend.
Summer is almost over, and I'm not sure what I did with it. The time between September and December is when I decide my goals for the next year and my full-length writing project. Usually, by June, I've decided what I want to write, and I start plotting it with post-its around my office. (Shout out to the writers of Being Mary Jane) I'm struggling to settle on a story because I'm afraid of rejection.
When I graduated from Northwestern, I couldn’t write because I was trying to be gross and edgy like the writers most professors favored. I forced myself to produce something commercial for American audiences. When I finally freed to myself, I wrote a play inspired by my nephew Lupa. Oh Baby! Was my first production and the first show was sold out before opening night.
Riding the wave of being true to my artist's voice, I wrote my first web series, Bathroom Confessionals. That project ended up being a semifinalist for Sundance/YouTube New Voices Lab.
Unfortunately, the scripts I shopped this year (Rosemary Lane and OKCouple) didn't do as well. In fact, they bombed. I’ve got over 20 rejection letters in my inbox. Probably over 50 if I count the comedy fellowships and showcases I submitted to. For sure over 200 if I included potential client proposals and magazine pitches.
My gut says I have to write the story for me and not worry about winning awards and fellowships. Sadly the fear is crippling. Last month I interviewed Cas Sigers who shared how it took ten years before her script When Love Kills got picked up by TV One. The talented ladies of Milk + Honey (HBR feature), have been working on their web series for over five years. WOW! Who even has that kind of stamina and persistence?
I also interviewed Rebecca Roos (Dutch Caribbean filmmaker) about her creative process. The struggle is real for my fellow creatives back on the island. Even when you have talent; logistics and access to resources is a major challenge.
Dread, I’m totally just pouring my heart out right now.
As I prepare for September and the season of planning, I’d like to share a bit of what I’ve been reading. What are you doing? How's your summer going?
I imagine it can be very intimidating when I lump all of my achievements into one email, but I this monthly post because I want to have a dialog about things we might have in common. Do you related to any of the JBF stories (Bad Food + Bad Clients)? Email me your thoughts (HeyOnicia[at]oniciamuller[at]com) or talk to me publicly on Twitter (@oniciamuller). I kinda hate Facebook right now.
P&P's Daughter by Suprina Frazier
An inspirational romance novel. This is my like my fifth live story with Suprina. It's crazy; we get to ready the book WHILE she writes it! Who is this prolific goddess and how can I harness some of her power???
Tenth Year in The Sun by M.L. Wonder
A novel about sisterhood. You know the story is good when you start talking to the characters and advising them while you wash dishes. SMH! (HuffPost, The Breakup Queen)
Transforming Reality by Mia McCullough
A book on how artists can to get out of their own way and create dope ish. I'm re-reading this for a second time. I was gifted a free version as a PDF but literally the fifth sentence of the first chapter changed my artists life. I bought the print version just so I could highlight that gem.
#WednesdayWisdom by LT in the City
A weekly newsletter that's #BlackGirlMagic and positivity. I'm subscribed to over 20 newsletters, but I must read LT's thoughts within 7 days of posting. Good vibrations only.
I haven't finished read these books but I hope to by the end of the year.
Published Writings and Upcoming Events
Most of my recent publications are linked through out this post.
Flash fiction. Is despair haunting?
Ready for Innovation: Caribbean Entrepreneurs and The Hati Tech Summit (HuffPost)
interview with Darren Butcher and Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown
The Stoop: Shotgun Storytelling (Rosa's Lounge, Chicago)
August 10, 2017
The Stoop: How, Sway How? (Rosa's Lounge, Chicago)
August 31, 2017
Welcome to July! I don't know about you, but I could use a long holiday. Last month, I collaborated with phenomenal storyteller and friend, Ada Cheng, to raise funds for The Healing Corner. While we found many new supporters, Arielle and Krystal are still in need of volunteers and donations.
June was super busy. I think I haven't been this prolific since I left my job at the newspaper. This month, I hope to take a break from article writing and write some sketches and improve my video editing. This entire year, it's been such a challenge to look alive on camera and edit the footage into something usable. Fingers crossed I get it together this month.
My Awesome Friends
"Standing Up: From Renegade Professor to Middle-Aged Comic" by Ada Cheng
Taiwanese-born Ada Cheng had achieved the American dream: U.S. citizenship, a tenured faculty position as a sociology professor, and a following of students who adored her. But by midlife, she was tired of struggling against both subtle and overt gender and racial discrimination and battling
After Wonder Woman: Why Storm Wont Be the Next Superhero Film
An interview with fablist and blerd, Candice Lola about black women and super heroes.
The Skewer with Tom Harrison and Erica Dreisbach
If you like Reddit, the news, and satire, this is the podcast for you. My favorite stories in episode 19 are Zack Mast on Mike Huckabee, Will Sonheim with his horse-based fever dream of glue and politics, and of course the final debate between Nora Regis and Erica Dreisbach.
P&P's Daughter by Suprina Frazier
Last month I started reading this live romance/ edgy inspirational story by Suprina. I've been a long time reader, I think my first story was The Professor. I'm always amazed by how she's pumps out pages so quickly and consistently. Plotting is the secret to busting out pages and ensuring your story structure doesn't collapse.
‘Tenth Year in the Sun’ a Novel about Sisterhood by Former Diplomat (HuffPost)
The novel weaves together the lives of four “soul sisters” from different cultures as the best friends journey into the fullness of womanhood and endeavor to honor their ten-year commitment to reunite in a foreign land. In the years following their impromptu vow, mysteries are revealed, secrets unravel, cultural treasures surface, and sweeping doubts arise.
The Daily Herald
Hollywood's Black Renaissance
The Huffington Post
After an almost five-year hiatus, Dana Gills, Asha Kamali May, and Jeanette McDuffie are teaming up with Issa Rae Productions to release all new episodes of their much talked about web series, Milk + Honey. I sat down with the Brown Paper Dolls Productions trio to discuss their creative journey.
From having Idris Elba as their executive producer and their pilot episode earning over 150 thousand views, producing this series has been a journey of well-timed collaborations.
Y'all, it is JUNE! What have you been up to? After a few weekends in bed, the roommate and I are back on the streets and volunteering. This month, Ada Cheng is dedicating her June performances of Not Quite to raising funds for The Healing Corner.
Tweet me if you'd like two tickets to Ada's show. There are only three more performances!
The roommate and I enjoy volunteering with THC because their mission is simple: bring happiness to a corner that was recently marked with a bad memory. There are lots of organizations that give free hugs, but THC is one of the few going into -- and staying in -- communities that need hugs. They have conversations without secret agendas to convert people. They stand up to gangs by reclaiming street corners and parks. They give frightened neighbors the opportunity to see each other; to step out of their homes and form relationships. Everyone can be outside without fear. The children can play, and those who are grieving can be comforted without awkward pity and conversation. We want this work/magic to continue. Please consider donating to THC.
What causes do you support?
Just be a civil gospel music battle - The Daily Herald
Yeah, I got that good Christian hip-hop. Obviously, my speakers are superior and his Hillsong United can't drown out Jeremy Camp's Take My Life. People on the bus are utterly confused. My five friends joining me via Facebook Live are going wild. (I might be embellishing, but you have no proof). Yes, my first ever Facebook live stream was a gospel music battle on public transportation. I sure showed that guy!
3 Red Flags Freelancers Should Look Out For When Vetting Entertainers and Artists - BlackFreelance.com
The stereotype of performing artists is that we’re flaky and broke. For my own art, it’s hard to find collaborators who have money and discipline, but avoiding these three red flags helps me reduce my nightmare client body count. (Tweet this)
5 Reasons Pete Rose NEVER Gets In - Baseball Classics Magazine
Rose’s golden years should have followed with private and public appearances, selling autographed memorabilia, and publishing a best-selling autobiography. Instead, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti confronted the Hit King with an investigation related to illegal gambling allegations. 5 reasons why Pete Rose will forever be banned from Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey of ‘Brown Girls’ Land HBO Development Deal - HollywoodsBlackRenaissance.com
This year continues to be an exciting one for women of color in entertainment. Creators of the wildly popular, Chicago-based web series Brown Girl announced via ELLE.com that writer Fatimah Asghar and director Sam Bailey inked a development deal with HBO. (Tweet this)
Just be a Mexican Yoghurt Thief - The Daily Herald
The coughing and choking sounds continued for longer than anticipated. Maniacal laughing changed to silence and wide-eyed stares. Did we unintentionally cross the line between harmless prank and criminal offense? Serving a ten-year prison sentence in Mexico was not the way I envisioned celebrating my twenty-third birthday.
If you would like to read my weekly humor column as they are published, please become a Daily Herald Subscriber. They pay writers!
I'm one year older and stubborn as ever!!! My birthday month was pretty busy. I ventured into the world of daily vlogs. It was an epic fail.
Despite having a great video editor and professional lights, I just sucked at being entertaining on camera. I also got pretty sick (bad food), received two rejection letters, and missed a film festival deadline. Boo! At the end of April, I managed to post 17 YouTube videos, booked 6 stand-up comedy and storytelling shows for May, and published my weekly humor column and other writing projects!
Thanks for reading, sharing, and all the good vibrations!
Shoutout to Shanna Shrum for creating this dope promo trailer. Shanna is a freelance video editor. If you have cell phone footage of your kids, corporate footage you want to impress the boss with or some random shots of your hairy ex-boyfriend that you want PAHTYFIED, just holla!
Healing Corner and Ada Cheng Collaborate to Build Community Through Storytelling - HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post)
Chicago is a place with residents from diverse backgrounds. However, for many it doesn’t quite feel like home. To help more people find their space in the community, local performer Ada Cheng is dedicating June performances of her solo show to raising funds for The Healing Corner.
A Jamaican Book Thief - The Daily Herald
“Good luck with your project. I hope you make friends soon. Remember to return the book next week.” Glasses. Braces. A backpack weighed down by books. Many would be surprised to know that I regularly ditched class. Yes, I skipped class to read books at the library. Insert montage of everyone, who has ever known me saying, “You too fooly nuh gyal."
A French Translator - The Daily Herald
Every Caribbean person comes out the womb bilingual. My goal in life was to speak seven languages at least and maybe one day work as an interpreter at the United Nations. On my quest to mastering seven languages, I came across a little known tongue called Spanish. As a big-headed teenager, I believed French, Dutch, and English were the most important languages in the world. Spanish was not going to be a thing!
Baseball Classics Magazine
Are you a fan of Major League Baseball? I do copy editing for Baseball Classics Magazine. Inside each issue they reveal great insights and amazing facts about teams and players from 1901 to present! It’s FREE!
If you would like to read my weekly humor column as they are published, please become a Daily Herald Subscriber. They pay writers!
Created in St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. I write, say funny things, and enjoy hanging with creative minds.
Here you'll find writing samples, videos of past performances, and off notes about my life as a writer.
When I'm not writing and performing, I help artists get organized. You should hire me to help you produce live events, promote your art, or manage resources so you can make the most of every opportunity.
Find Me Online
I like internet strangers. Just you know... be cool. Stalker, no stalking.