Since 2009, How I Learned has featured some of the best live storytelling, reading, and comedy in New York. It all happens every month, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you'll have the best night of you life on those nights, repeatedly.

Cheryl B.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

The lovely and kind Cheryl Burke--poet, storyteller, producer, and HIL alum--died yesterday. She was tough as nails and it never, ever occurred to me that she might not make it. She was wonderfully supportive of others and brilliantly courageous in her writing and in her life. She was not nearly done with this world, which makes it all the more devastating. As one of her friends said on her Facebook page, "Fuck you, cancer." Really.

Cheryl, thank you for everything. You will be missed always.


This is going to be totally educational in a hilarious yet poignant and also maybe slightly offensive sort of way if you want me to be perfectly honest with you. Up with people!


The How I Learned Series Proudly Presents:

(Tell Your Friends!; Comedy Central)
(; Glamour)
(The Moth; New York Confidential Storytelling Series)
(Vodka Shoes; Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion)
(New York Post; Bust Magazine)

Created, Produced + Hosted by

Wednesday, June 22nd
8pm / Doors open at 7
302 Broome Street (between Forsyth + Eldridge)
J, M, Z, F to Delancey
B, D to Grand



VICTOR VARNADO has navigated the adversities of being born a legally blind, African-American albino to become a nationally known actor, comedian, director, and, according to legend, a Jedi. You may recognize him from TV appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Adult Swim and My Name is Earl, and in the films End of Days, A Guy Thing, and Julien Donkey Boy. He most recently directed the live concert film Tell Your Friends! You can visit him at 

DODAI STEWART was born in the South and raised in New York. She started writing stories at the age of 4, attended Bronx High School of Science, and was a screenwriting major at Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently the Deputy Editor of Jezebel, and has also written for Glamour, Ladies Home Journal, New York Magazine, Jane, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. She lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan but dreams of retiring on a chihuahua farm in the South Pacific.  [Photo: Nikola Tamindzic]

LESLIE GOSHKO is a Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion, recipient of the NY Fringe Excellence Award, and host of the monthly storytelling series, “Sideshow Goshko” (Time Out NY "Critics' Pick", New York Daily News “Editor’s Pick”). Her stories and comedy writing have been featured on Sirius XM, WNYC, NY Metro "Funny Page", Risk! podcast, and she can be seen performing with NY's hardest-drinking improvised storytelling rock band -- The BTK Band. Her one-woman show, Vodka Shoes, opened to rave reviews as part of the NY Frigid Festival and was awarded several extended runs. She's also pretty proud to have performed on Broadway with the cast of Hairspray. [Photo: Mindy Tucker]

EUGENE ASHTON-GONZALEZ is a writer and comedian. He is the host and creator of New York Confidential, a real dirty storytelling series running at a hush-house near you. As a ghostwriter he has worked on projects about bank bailouts, the Iraq War, and Beyonce. He makes stories all over town, and on the world wide web at


As the child of a Yeshiva fleeing Bronx bred dad and anti-religious Ukranian Catholic immigrant scenesters ALYSSA PINSKER has dated hipster Hassids, turbaned Sikhs, skirt-wearing Keralite Muslims, WASPS and Jews. She's the post-modern Jukrainian yogi herself. She is currently working on an anti-Eat, Pray, Love memoir, and has written for the Huffington Post, Time Out NY, New York Post, The Daily News, Bust Magazine, The Frisky, The Forward, Generation J, and Interfaith Family. She has also appeared in The Moth StorySLAM and New York Confidential.

This is really going to be something. I am pretty sure all bets are off. Facebook event is here for your optional RSVPing pleasure.
See you soon!
xoxo Blaise

Sex Stuff: More Catching Up with Photos

Monday, June 6th, 2011

How I Learned About Sex (Volume II)

SHAWN HOLLENBACH shares his childhood world of unicorns. This one unicorn is a rainbow maker!

The adorably befreckled Miss MICHELE CARLO reads from her memoir Fish Out of Agua.

Ladies laughing. That's what I like to see.
MR. PAUL FORD in his second HIL appearance. What can I say? The man knows how to tell a story.
More ladies laughing!
RACHEL SHERMAN didn't even know her story would be funny. It was very funny.
BEN LERMAN singing about a town called Bonerville.
BETSY PEPSII MAHER at the bar. She's the best.

We have fun! The end. (That's all I got.) See you June 27th for an all-new topic! You guys, that's right around the corner.
xoxo Blaise

Catching Up With Photos!

Wednesday June 1st, 2011

How I Learned It's Not Me, It's You (Or Maybe It's Me)
Photos by Jon Boulier

This show, waaaay back in April, was such a gas. The brilliant SAM LIPSYTE even applauded it from the stage.
ANDREA ROSEN is one of my fave comics. I've told her as much, and in such a way that may have got her thinking I might sometimes engage in some low grade stalking behavior.

 Here I am using air quotes without irony.

ELISSA BASSIST reminded us all it's not a How I Learned show until someone references their own jungle town vagina.
JIM O'GRADY killed with a true story about a Leonard Lopate mishap. O'Grady is a serious storyteller. A champ. A whiz. A pro. This was such a stellar lineup--one that dreams are made of!
Aw, we have fun.

Don't go anywhere. Stay tuned for details about the summer edition of How I Learned on June 22nd! To get on the mailing list email howilearned at gmail dot com or search for How I Learned on the Facebooks because I'm too tired to post the link here.

xoxo Blaise