Airplane Talk

Dialogue that happens on every single conversation between two polite strangers on an airplane:

Person A: and what is your job in [destination city]?
Person B: I’m a [literally ANY profession]
Person A: oh neat!
Person B: yah, it’s interesting *light chuckle that turns into a sigh* very interesting
Person B: and what do you do for a living?
Person A: I’m a [another profession]
Person B: oh, very cool
Person A: ha yes, its a job! *also chuckles and then sighs*

Person A: so you’re from [any city]? I think I have a second cousin there. I think he works in [any industry]
Person B: oh wow. Hmm maybe I know him! Or know someone who knows him! you never know
Person A: Yeah, he’s interesting. *chuckles and then sighs*
Person B: *also chuckles*

Person A: I love the food in [destination city]
Person B: I’ve never been!
Person A: you have got to try out [lists multiple restaurants]
*Person B is nodding her head, but not actually listening to any of the restaurants*
Person B: well I’ll have to try them!
Person A: Oh yeah, they’re interesting *light chuckle*

*this is at the end of the flight*
Person A: well it was so nice meeting you. What was your name again?
Person B: [name]. So nice to meet you too. Maybe i’ll run into you while you’re here!
Person A: haha maybe! *light chuckle as she turns away and pointedly makes sure to avoid eye contact as they unboard the plane*

If you don’t feel like having these conversations every time you fly, I suggest that you put your coat hood over your face for at least the first 30 minutes of the flight, and no one will bother you.

Henry’s Performance Dates

 

joshaaron
F***ing Identical Twins, A Musical
Monday, February 1st
at UCB Franklin in Los Angeles
Henry accompanies this insane musical comedy, written by Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Karl St. Lucy

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Langan With A  Z
Tuesday, February 2nd , 8 PM at Open Space in Los Angeles
Henry accompanies Langan Kingsley for her hilarious cabaret/comedy show about a revered gay icon. Also starring Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson. 

joshaaron
F***ing Identical Twins, A Musical
Thursday, February 4th, 8:30 PM
at UCB Sunset in Los Angeles
Henry accompanies this insane musical comedy, written by Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Karl St. Lucy

am i doing this right?
Am I Doing This Right?
Friday, February 5th, 8 PM
Henry Koperski accompanies Marielena Logsdon on the piano for her phenomenal one-woman show at The Experimental Comedy Gallery

stand
The Stand W/ Matteo Lane
Date TBA
The Stand Comedy Club
Henry accompanies this awesome show, hosted by MTV’s Matteo Lane at one of NYC’s most famous clubs.

frankie c
Frankie C’s Cabaret Night
Friday, February 12th, at 9:30 PM
Metropolitan Room
Henry accompanies Frankie and his amazing select singers as they serenade us with their favorite songs.

pop21
POTENTIAL POP ROULETTE LIVE SHOW
Saturday, February 13th, Time TBD
Henry music directs a live band for the amazing musical sketch comedy group: Pop Roulette!

henry koperski
The Black Swan Featuring: CHICAGO
Wednesday, February 17th, 8 PM at The Annoyance Theater
Henry and his co-writers Steph Dawn and John Rob Van put together another hilarious movie/musical combo that will have you laughing and singing for days. (wow I hate this reveiw, but its true). This time its the classic Natalie Portman flick Black Swan, with the foot-stomping music of CHICAGO (by Kander and Ebb, of course!). Starring Bowen Yang, Matt Rogers, Joel Kim Booster, Tessa Hersch, Chrissy Shackelford, Julio Torres, Jon Wan, Betsy Kenney, and more!!

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LIVE ON BROADGAY
Friday, February 26th, 8 PM @ Littlefield
The masters of unique and hilarious extravaganzas, Bowen Yang and Sam Taggart are putting up another one of my favorite shows, Live On Broadgay, where a bunch of gay comedians, and one straight female comedian do a staged version of a Sex and the City episode. Henry is excited to add music to this wild event.

written by lulu krause composed by henry koperski

I AM JAN
Tuesday, March 1st, 7 PM at The PIT (Striker Stage)
Henry is thrilled to be composing music for Lulu Krause’s wacky and sweet musical, “I Am Jan.” They are truly great songs, and Lulu’s character Jan is incredibly lovable. It is directed by Andy Zou, and features an all-star cast, including: Doug Widick, Daniel Tepper, Natalie Walker, and Jon Bander!

pop21
POTENTIAL POP ROULETTE LIVE SHOW
Saturday, March 12th, Time TBD at Union Hall
Henry music directs a live band for the amazing musical sketch comedy group: Pop Roulette!

TITANIC Feat. THE MUSIC OF GREASE
Monday, March 14th, at The Annoyance Theater
Henry Koperski, Steph Dawn and John Rob Van produce another weird mashup of film and musicals! Don’t miss out

lady gaga
The Kennedy Center honors: LADY GAGA
Saturday, April 2nd, 11 PM
At the People’s Improv Theater (The PIT)
Henry Koperski produces another amazing medley of songs by a pop star (this time, Lady Gaga)! It will be performed by about 20 different comedians, actors, singers, and more!

 

if you think i’m straight-acting, then it’s probably because you make me uncomfortable

People have said to me many times, statements very similar to:

“It’s crazy… I wouldn’t have guessed your gay.”
And/Or
“you’re pretty straight-acting.”
Or even:
“it’s so refreshing that you’re gay, but don’t make it super obvious with how you talk and act”

When people say these things, they think what they’re saying is a positive observation.  Something I’m going to like to hear. And 5 years ago, YES, that would be true.  Because for the first 20ish years of my life I worked SO hard to be “straight-acting”. I wanted to fit in with the other guys, and not embarrass my dad, and not be ostracized by the majority of my (mostly) conservative Christian peers for possibly being a “man-lover.”   (man-lover is a term introduced to my 8th grade english class by this kid named Braden who said that, “being a man who loves another man is the absolute worst thing you can be”. The best part of it is that my teacher didn’t disagree!)

Acting “straight” was pretty difficult for me as I was obsessed with sissy classical music, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Lindsey Lohan, and most importantly, Rodgers & Hammerstein (thanks mom!). Putting on this straight facade wasn’t very hard…. it was TOO HARD. The energy it took to balance my love for Beauty and The Beast and also seem like a WOMAN-loving man, was so exhausting that I kind of shut down and became very shy and invisible in most social situations.  I was always very nice to everyone… but I didn’t participate much in class, wouldn’t talk to people unless they talked to me first, wouldn’t do much of… anything! I just became this emotionless, plain, blank piece of paper. And it felt AWFUL. It sucks suppressing everything you love, just so you’ll fit in- BUT then end up being so boring and lame, that you still don’t fit in!

(I should note that I did have some select friends growing up who I DID feel very comfortable around and felt like I could be myself around. Mostly the other misfits and nerds from band, choir and theater! The best kids!)

When I first arrived to college, I started off the semester with this quiet, unnoticeable, persona, and kept it up for a while… until I started meeting gay people all the time. Out, open, fearless GAY PEOPLE. I was obsessed with them, and was so envious… yet still felt that it was important to keep up this “straight” thing, so I avoided them at all costs.  I can’t even remember how the transition went, but I eventually came out, and became the happiest I had ever been in my life, INSTANTLY. I felt truly ALIVE. My high school experience wasn’t horrible by any means… but comparing those years to college makes them seem like dark, awful times. One giant headache.  I became so comfortable with myself, and became a very social person with lots of friends, and it was a happy gay ol time.

What’s the point of all this?  Now, whenever I’m uncomfortable, or anxious, feel out of place, or inferior… I revert back to this “straight-acting” (I’m going to use quotations around that word every single time, sorry bout it) personality. I close up, don’t talk, and become my high school self again. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a group of frat bros, or in the center of a crowded gay club, or even on a date with a MAN– once I feel uncomfortable I turn into a shy, bland, little bug with nothing to say.

If you tell me I’m “straight-acting”, or “not that gay”… well, its a BAD thing– because it means I’m not being myself with you. It means I’m putting up walls, and hiding, and trying to fit in, and be what I think you want me to be.  I’m not saying it’s your fault that I’m not comfortable with you– it could be because we just met, or because I work for you, or because I want to impress you, or think that you’re smarter than me, or many other anxieties.

I often find myself in the company of comedians and actors, who are so funny, and interesting and cool and doing hilarious bits non-stop– and for some reason, no matter how nice everyone is, I just go right back to High School and dry up, can’t think of anything to say, and eventually pull an Irish goodbye and get home as fast as possible. (I am getting better at this, I really am!).

I think it’s really interesting (sad) that when I’m uncomfortable, my first instinct, no matter what the situation may be, is to HIDE MY GAYNESS. BE STRAIGHT. BE COOL.

Because of the environment I lived in for the first 23 years of my life, I have had it drilled into my brain that being gay, or even acting gay, or effeminate is bad. Even in college when I was much more comfortable– a LOT of the other gays took a lot of pride in “passing as straight,” and made it very clear that they were only interested in “straight-acting” guys.  “I have nothing wrong with guys that are feminine, I’m just not into them”. That’s bullshit. It’s all your insecurities taking over. I know this is true because I used to have the same insecurities. I feel like such a fool admitting this, but I totally used to think that “acting straight” was an attractive quality, more so than people just being themselves. I don’t know if this came with maturity/growing up, or if it came out of moving to New York City, but now the most attractive thing in the world to me, is when a person is 100% comfortable/confident with being themselves (also very attracted to guys that can sing).

When you tell a gay person that they are “straight-acting”, you are reinforcing an awful stigma that SO many gay people have struggled with their whole lives. Whether you mean it or not, you’re bringing up a comparison that just shouldn’t exist, because it comes from excluding people. It comes from humiliating people. Sometimes it comes from killing people (sorry so dramatic, but it’s true).  I wish I had the confidence to just be myself all the time and not have this uncontrollable urge to straightify myself whenever I’m uncomfortable. I’m working on it. Maybe I need a therapist.  But yeah if you think I’m straight-acting, you’re right– I’m ACTING straight. Literally pretending to be something I’m not, because I’m scared.

The saddest part about all this is that  I know there are thousands of other gay people that have the same basic story…except its WAY worse. Gays that have been kicked out of their homes, or beat up, or lost their job, or simply just have unsupportive parents…its truly fucked up.

Now after typing this long disorganized stream of thoughts, I’m a little worried that I may have said some unintentionally ignorant things–  LONG STORY SHORT: Gender norms suck and are pointless, and everyone should be themselves, and everyone should accept everyone.

Sorry that we gays have so many issues and demands and whatnot.

Henry

drag

 

HENRY’S SHOW DATES

 


duplex oct6Sing With Henry @ The Duplex
Tuesday, October 6th, 9PM-4AM
at The Duplex in the West Village, NYC
Henry Koperski hosts one of the most fun open mics/singalongs in the city! (I know that’s a bold statement, but I stand by it).  Come sing a song in one of NYC’s most legendary piano bars, and hear the incredible voices of the theater, music, and comedy community.

matteo
CHEMISTRY
Tuesday, October 27th, 11 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry co-hosts (for the first time) this weekly stand-up show with MTV’s Matteo Lane at UCB East! Expect Liza impersonations.

stand
The Stand W/ Matteo Lane
Wednesday, October 28th, 10 PM
The Stand Comedy Club
Henry accompanies this awesome show, hosted by MTV’s Matteo Lane at one of NYC’s most famous clubs.

 

witches
WITCHES GET STITCHES
Saturday, October 30th, 11PM- 2AM
at Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village, NYC

Henry Koperski, Michelle Pastor, Nicole Adsit and Ashley Medeiros are hosting a party/show/contest that’s all to do with WITCHES. We will have some amazing musical acts, comedy acts, and a costume contest with real prizes WOW. Don’t miss this!

matteo
CHEMISTRY
Tuesday, November 3rd, 11 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry co-hosts this weekly stand-up show with MTV’s Matteo Lane at UCB East! Expect Liza impersonations.

joshaaron
F***ing Identical Twins, A Musical
Thursday, November 5th, 9:30 PM
at UCB Franklin in Los Angeles
Henry accompanies this insane musical comedy, written by Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Karl St. Lucy

joshaaron
F***ing Identical Twins, A Musical
Monday, November 9th, 8:30 PM
at UCB Sunset in Los Angeles
Henry accompanies this insane musical comedy, written by Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Karl St. Lucy

matteo
CHEMISTRY
Tuesday, November 10th, 11 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry co-hosts this weekly stand-up show with MTV’s Matteo Lane at UCB East! Expect Liza impersonations.

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Lisa Dennet’s Don’t Tell Mama Cabaret
Thursday, November 12th, 7 PM
at Don’t Tell Mama’s in midtown, NYC
Henry music directs the talented Lisa Dennet’s hilarious cabaret show!

nycfucbeast
UCB 401 IMPROV CLASS
SHOW
Friday, November 13th, 4:30 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry and his 401 classmates show off their new improv skills, using THE HAROLD form.

CAR WASH FESTIVAL- SING ALONG 
Saturday, November 14th,
New York City
more details to come

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Lisa Dennet’s Don’t Tell Mama Cabaret
Sunday, November 15th, 4 PM
at Don’t Tell Mama’s in midtown, NYC
Henry music directs the talented Lisa Dennet’s hilarious cabaret show!

matteo
CHEMISTRY
Tuesday, November 17th, 11 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry co-hosts this weekly stand-up show with MTV’s Matteo Lane at UCB East! Expect Liza impersonations.

SPOTIFY COMEDY SHOW
Thursday, November 19th, 6-8 PM
Spotify NYC Headquarters
More details to come!

pop21
Pop Roulette, Plugged & Unplugged
S
aturday, November 21st, 7:30 PM
Union Hall in Brooklyn, NY
Henry leads a live band as they play the hilarious music of Pop Roulette

The Fart Monologues: Farts Throughout Women’s History
Wednesday, December 2nd, 7:30 PM
The PIT Loft in Midtown
Henry performs an original song written with Ren Piers

nycfucbeast
UCB 401 IMPROV CLASS SHOW
Monday, December 7th, 6:30 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry and his 401 classmates show off their new improv skills, using THE HAROLD form.

nycfucbeast
UCB 401 IMPROV CLASS SHOW
Friday, December 18th, 6:00 PM
UCB EAST in the East Village, NYC
Henry and his 401 classmates show off their new improv skills, using THE HAROLD form.

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A Gay Show For All People
Saturday, January 2nd 9:30 PM
The Duplex, West Village NYC
Henry joins Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson for a hilarious night of comedy, performed by gay comedians, and fierce female comedians.