First BORN READY Fan Mail – A Photo Essay, and Journey

I rarely check the mail. Mine is often times listed as the mailing address for PianoFight, so refusing to check the mail is frequently a point of contention with my business partners – they keep saying things like “Bank statement this” and “sales check for that” or “business license renewal blah blah blah.”

So after years of fighting the good fight, this morning I caved and checked my overflowing tiny mailbox, and to my surprise, when I opened the little mail thingy, this package fell squarely at my feet:


The package is from devoted BORN READY listener, and co-host Raymond Hobbs’ mother, Ellen La Scola. Since Ray and Duncan Wold and I started the podcast, Ellen has listened to, shared and commented on every single episode. She loves the show, and we love her enthusiasm – except maybe Ray some times who claims Ellen is “trolling his Facebook account.”

But I was pretty surprised to see a package from her. Ellen’s never sent me anything before – what could be so important that now I get not just a piece of mail, but a whole package? With intrigue, I opened it up…


Canadian Flag Pins! These are dope. I used to have a bunch of these. Thanks Ellen! These will be perfect for when I inevitably move back to Canada to run for elected office in my home province of Ontario. What else is there?


Actual Canadian Flags! ALL my American friends will LOVE these. So far, this package is awesome…


Oh boy, wonder what’s in here….


Oh man! It’s a photo album of her trip to Vancouver over July 1st, Canada Day. I know about it because Ellen and I are Facebook friends, and she relentlessly tagged me in a bunch of photos of random drunk Canadians having a freakin blast on their independence day by christening it anew with the time honored tradition of getting super baked. That is really cute that Canadians getting stoned makes Ellen think of me. Let’s see the photos…


OK, it’s a pic of Jay, Ellen’s husband, and another pic of Ellen apparently buying fat sacks of ganj. Epic.


And here’s Ellen with a cutout of a Mountie. This is, oddly, incredibly sweet. Ellen knows I’m Canadian, cause I talk about it on the show, and she sent me pics of what a great time she had in my home country. Pretty cool.


Huh, that’s kinda strange. Neither Ellen nor Jay are in these pictures. And the girl in the pic on the right isn’t even facing the camera. I wonder if she knows her picture is being taken? Maybe Ellen and Jay have a bunch of young friends or family in Vancouver and that’s why these pictures are here? Huh.


OK, this is weird. I can’t imagine that Ellen knows anybody in Canada. Whenever she posts some Canada-related news story on Facebook, the only person she tags is me. And what up with these booty shots? That’s not even the same girl in white shorts.


Ellen! These are just pictures of hot Canadian chicks partying! THIS IS AWESOME!


You gotta be kidding…


Nope. Not kidding. That’s just Ellen, hanging with a bunch of sexy Canadians…


And surreptitiously snapping pictures of their butts…

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Just a bunch of foxy Northerners celebrating their national heritage…


And renting boats.


Oh Canada, I stand on guard for thee….And so does Ellen La Scola.

Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

Roughin’ It III: Theater. On. The. Rocks.



Keeping up our annual tradition of bringing bad ass site-specific live theater to the great outdoors, PianoFight Productions is thrilled to bring to you, for one night only, Roughin’ It III: Theater. On. The. Rocks. This time, we invite you to enjoy the magical backdrop that is The Paradise Healing Center in Lagunitas, Ca.

Featuring all-new original material by slew of local playwrights, overlooking golden hills and nestled in the forest of West Marin at sunset, Roughin’ It III features live music, sizzling bbq, local brews, and an adventure like no other. With ticket purchase, you also have the
option to include a round-trip shuttle ride (21+) from San Francisco to The Paradise Healing Center for an additional $20. Audiences are encouraged to pack a picnic and BYO-Libations.

PLAYWRIGHTS: Chardonnay, Christy Crowley, Dublin, Dwayne Yancey, Emma Rose Shelton, Jake Arky, Nicole Hammersla, Michael Monteiro Wise

DATE: Saturday, September 6th

TIME: 6PM (Doors open at 5pm)

LOCATION: The Paradise Healing Center. 9 Alamo Way, Lagunitas, CA, 94938

SHUTTLE TICKETS (Includes General Admission): $70 Shuttle-Ride Tickets for 21 and over (valid ID required). Shuttles depart Mint Plaza (5th St and Mission) in San Francisco at 4:00pm. Purchase at:

GENERAL ADMISSION: $50 GA tickets are also available for those who prefer to drive themselves or are under 21-years-old. Purchase at

**Take advantage of our Early Bird Discount and save $10 off GA admission by making your purchase by August 20th!!

Posted August 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

BORN READY EP 8 – Shakespeare Battle Royal w/ Steve Boyle

PODCAST: Play in New WindowDownloadBORN-READY-Steve-BoyleWeb

Welcome to the eighth episode of BORN READY, our Shakespeare Battle Royal featuring Shakespearean director and general expert Steve Boyle.

Inspired by Ira Glass’ tweet that “Shakespeare sucks.” And the (inevitable) subsequent freakout that happened online, we get into how and why Shakespeare’s plays are so widely produced and some issues that go along with that. And we kill a 12-pack of Modelo in the process.

Posted August 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm

BORN READY EP 7 – Merlot Out of a Sippy Cup w/ Brad Erickson

PODCAST:    Play in New Window   –   DownloadBorn_Ready_EP_7_Brad_Erickson

Welcome to BORN READY! This week we welcome Theatre Bay Area Executive Director Brad Erickson. In this episode we talk about what TBA does, their recent fundraising drive Bridge the Gap, the Counting New Beans study and what impact it’s had, the plans for 950 Market St Arts Center (which look incredible), the TBA Awards and how they might be expanded in the future, and why we all hate drinking wine out of sippy cups. Enjoy! And share it if you dig it.

Posted August 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm


On Thurs, Aug. 14, PFMD be all night. *******TICKETSMORE INFO*******

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Posted August 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Surf. Soul. Party. – the soundtrack to your GOOD ASS time – is out today

Today is a huge milestone for PianoFight as we launch PianoFight Records with it’s inaugural release: Surf. Soul. Party. by the PianoFight Music Department (a.k.a. PFMD).

Surf. Soul. Party. is a four track EP available now on 7″ vinyl and as a digital download. You can buy the album or stream it for free from the PFMD Bandcamp. You can also stream and comment on SoundCloud.

A lot of hard work and love has gone into this music and we really hope you enjoy it.

P.S. We’ll be playing a big sweaty dance party at Leo’s in Oakland on August 14th to celebrate this release. Consider joining us. TICKETS

Posted July 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

pfmd b side – FNKY HLD MSC

Ahead of the Aug. 14 EP Release at Leo’s Music Club, here’s a  quick PFMD B Side.

Posted July 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

BORN READY Ep. 6 – Nothing’s On Fire w/ Jamie DeWolf



It’s BORN READY Episode 6 straight to your ear balls! Our guest, Jamie DeWolf, talks working heel and going pillar to post with his own audience, and wonders aloud how people can get so angry at a dude with a mic.

In our newly minted segment, News That Is Theatrically Related and Happened in the Not So Distant Past, we talk about the legendary Potato Salad Kickstarter, Hollywood Reporter’s lists of the Best 25 Drama and Film Schools in the World, and debate whether the MFA is worth the $$.

From there we get into how Jamie started performing and why he startedTourettes Without Regrets - SPOILER ALERT: he’d been kicked out of every other decent show in the Bay Area. From those humble beginnings, we get the real story behind the rise of Tourettes into the indie juggernaut it is today and give props and shout outs to the Oakland Metro Operahouse and Hoodslam along the way. We also get an interesting answer when we ask Jamie, “Do you consider yourself a theater maker?”

As always, you can tweet @BornReadyShow @DrHobbs and @RealDuncanWold, or leave us comments here. Thanks for listening!

Posted July 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm