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Broadway Bullet Interview: The Rejection Show

We interview Jon Friedman of "The Rejection Show" and Rich Zeroth who was rejected by Orbitz. Plus, we also play their new theme song which was written and performed by The Defibulators

"The Rejection Show" is (and we're going to use their words here because, well, they're to the point): a comedic based event that embraces the rejected and "turned down" material of professional and amateur writers, comedians, cartoonists, artists, and human beings whom display their creative "failures" live on stage and now on the web.

"The Rejection Show" has turned into quite the synergistic machine so to learn more about all aspects of it please visit their website .

You can listen to this interview and many other great features for free on Broadway Bullet vol. 106. Subscribe for free so you don't miss an episode.

 or MP3 Feed with XML

Broadway Bullet Interview: Jon Friedman and Rich Zeroth of The Rejection Show

Broadway Bullet: I know a lot of our listeners out there are artists in their own right. If there's one thing that is a given in the life of an artist it's rejection. So, Jon Friedman is the creator, producer, and host of a show designed to help us through those critical moments. He's the creator of the "Rejection Show," which runs monthly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. How are you doing Jon?
Jon Friedman: I'm good. Thanks for having me here.
BB: And you're joined be Rich Zeroth. How are you doing?
Rich Zeroth: I'm doing well thank you.
BB: Lets just start off Jon, by letting us know the whole premise of your show.
JF: Sure. In it's most simplest form the "Rejection Show" is a variety show, humor based variety show, that features material that has been rejected from other places. And by variety I mean from TV, radio, magazines, animation, still frame cartoons, miscellaneous rejections, personal rejections. All different types of rejected material that would be fun and entertaining and just in a way therapeutic to be displayed live on stage at a comedy venue like the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
BB: So what's one of your favorite rejections that you've featured?
JF: One of my favorites? I get asked that a lot and because I work on the show so closely and because I've put them all together for a few years now it's hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoy, I mentioned the miscellaneous rejects, and that's one of the reasons I wanted Rich to come today. Those are really my favorite. The unique rejections that people come to me with. The ideas that they have. You know, it's not just your typical my pilot was rejected from TV, which is great, but something that I never would have thought of as a rejection.
BB: Well, Rich Zeroth why don't we then get into your story. What was your rejection?
RZ: Yeah, well it's a good thing mine was one of your favorites, since I'm sitting next to you right now.
BB: yeah, imagine how that worked out.
RZ: Yes, imagine. Mine has to do with the website and more specifically they have this new feature now where they will leave you a voicemail reminding you what time your flight departs. The last time I used this site I must have unadvisedly signed up for this voicemail because I received it and after they leave this message there's a confirmation number, and it seemed entirely too long, so I made it a point to save the voicemail and then after listening to it a couple of times I guess I had decided that I had this goal that I wanted to call Orbitz customer service department and repeat this confirmation number back to them in hopes that I wanted to get them to admit that it was far too long for a confirmation number.
BB: I think before we go further: what's too long for a confirmation number? Do you happen to have this voicemail on you?
RZ: Again, by an amazing coincidence I do, so I can play you the original voicemail that they left me. So. I'm going to play that now.

Hear the call in Broadway Bullet Vol. 106

BB: That's too long for you?
RZ: Just by like four.
JF: Its long, and we're setting you up for it; telling you it's long. You just get this voicemail out of nowhere. You're not expecting a long confirmation number, or a confirmation number at all, so in that sense it's pretty long.
RZ: I laughed so hard I missed my flight.
JF: you missed your flight by writing down the confirmation number.
RZ: yeah, I did. It took me too long they were boarding when the voicemail started and then I missed it.
BB: So, you call up Orbitz?
RZ: Yeah so I called up Orbitiz and my first attempt was "Hi, I need to confirm a flight and I happen to have my Orbitz record locator here," and they said "ok great would you mind repeating that number and I read it back to them in that same robotic fashion and when I finished they just repeated it back to me very fast like ok was that AP124os7 and they said it very fast so it didn't make the numbers seem very long at all. So I was like ok shit and that didn't work at all. So I hung up and panicked and thought maybe that was just someone who was really polite on the phone so I tried 3 or 4 more times and each time with the same result. I'd even purposely transpose some of the numbers, and in the end instead of me getting them to admit that their confirmation numbers are to long it ended up just being a testament to orbitz amazing customer service. I've never talked to such patient accommodating people.
BB: With those numbers maybe they have a recruitment campaign out there for autistic people.
RZ: That's true.
JF: Basically Rich and I just work for Orbitz. This has all been one big commercial for Orbitz. We fooled you. I'm just kidding.
RZ: So basically when it didn't work for so many times obviously that idea had been rejected in my mind. I am unable to get them to admit that their confirmation numbers are too long, so kind of as a last ditch effort, or so as a consolation to myself, I called them and gave them a confirmation number that was my own. It was entirely too long. I guess it's what I call the never-ending confirmation number; I just needed them to tell me to shut the hell up or hang up on me. I figured that was the only way I could get even with them. So when I went on the "Rejection Show" it ended with me finally getting them to admit that a confirmation number can be too long. Not necessarily theirs.
BB: And I understand you have that phone conversation with you too?
RZ: In fact I do.

Hear the call in Broadway Bullet Vol. 106 

RZ: And that's pretty much really where it ends.
JF: I counted the numbers
RZ: Oh you did?
JF: It was 67.
RZ: 67 and you also said C3PO and R2D2
RZ: well I said C3P zero. I had actually scripted out the whole number and I did put c3po and r2d2 in there, but I read it incorrectly and said c3pzero.
BB: What is the crowd like for these shows?
JF: the audiences have been amazing. Its what makes the show successful the audiences are so supportive and there ready to laugh and I think the main reason why they are is because they can all relate. They're at show, a comedy show, where it's kind of a new way to watch entertainment.
BB: Well, if any of our listeners have a good rejection story that they want to be on the rejections show how would they get in touch with you about that?
JF: They can get in touch with me through my website which the URL is and you'll find contact info there for me and there's also, I'm actually updating the website now, but you'll find a new tab button that says submit your rejection. I have a book coming out based on the rejection show also through Valiard, which is an imprint of Random House so you can submit to be on the show, or the book, or the website.
BB: And this is every month at the UCB?
JF: Yes, it's been in many venues but right now it's at the UCB theatre.
BB: and for our listeners I think the next show that they could catch is in April. Do you know those dates yet?
JF: yes April 11th at 8 o'clock at the UCB theatre. Usually the second Wednesday of every month is a rejection day
BB: Well it sounds like a great place for our listeners to take out their frustrations at the power that be and I thank you for coming and sharing your rejection story.


You can listen to this interview and many other great features for free on Broadway Bullet vol. 106. Subscribe for free so you don't miss an episode.

 or MP3 Feed with XML

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