After yesterday’s blog appeared, Lewis Schaffer – a man who knows a thing or two about effective promotion using ‘self-knocking copy’ – issued a double press release:
LEWIS SCHAFFER TO BE A LEAD IN A PLAY (??!)
In what has to be the most insane move of the year, Lewis Schaffer, the failed old New York Jewish comic now living in Nunhead, Southeast London, has been cast to co-star in a play making its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
He will be co-starring with comics Tom Stade and Phil Nichol in the new play GIANT LEAP at The Pleasance. He is in every scene of the 70 page script, has lines on over 60 of the pages and is to be paid money and accommodation.
This is to be Lewis Schaffer’s first live acting gig since he appeared in The Odd Couple as a 17 year-old at Great Neck North Senior High School on Long Island, some 41 years ago.
Lewis Schaffer is to play a failed old New York Jewish comic.
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LEWIS SCHAFFER TO CHARGE ADMISSION AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE 2015 FOR HIS SOLO SHOW
In a shocking announcement, Lewis Schaffer star of the the Free until Famous brand, is to charge admission for his formerly free show, the first time in seven years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.
He will be interrupting his unique and amazing Free until Famous tour to ask for money in advance. His tour is at over 45 of the largest and most prestigious theatres and arts centres in the UK. Dates include 23rd July at Exmouth; 24 July in Guildford; and July 25th at Barnsley.
That is one way to promote a product. Another way is to take the Jason Cook route, which is to buy me breakfast at a cafe in Borehamwood.
Jason is heavily dyslexic yet has just published A Nice Little Earner, his third book in a gangster quadrilogy. Yesterday morning, over bacon & beans, he told me:
“We’re launching a competition for the new book. You have to answer a question about Vinny Jones – all the details are on the website – and you win copies of all three books, signed by me. And I’m going to be doing signings again at WH Smiths and Waterstones in August.
“Five months after that, we will publish the fourth book – Cocaine: The Devil’s Dandruff. And, in the meantime, we’re working on the film scripts.”
“There were,” I said, “only going to be three books?”
“Well,” Jason told me, “the editor looked at the third book and said: There’s two books in here. What do you want to do? So I said: Publish it as two books. So we cut the third one into two books. The four of them can be read separately or as one story.”
“How do I describe these books?” I asked. “Fictionalised reality?”
“They’re based,” said Jason Cook, “on a real-life story, but the elements have been changed to protect ourselves and other people.”
The central character running through the books is called The Cookster.
“Remind me what the four books are about,” I prompted.
“The first one,” said Jason, “There’s No Room for Jugglers in My Circus, is about a young boy who grew up in Borehamwood and how he gets involved in criminality – drugs and gun crime – and is used as a chess-piece in an international smuggling ring. It’s set in London, Borehamwood, Marbella, Colombia and Jamaica.
“The Gangster’s Runner is about how organised crime works and who’s involved – the trappings – fast money, power, cocaine, guns.
“A Nice Little Earner is about the main characters in the drug smuggling, about Mr Niz, his smuggling of the cocaine and about the ‘firms’ in London.
“Cocaine: The Devil’s Dandruff will bring it all to an end and how Mr Niz was involved. He was actually nicknamed ‘the milkman’ because he was able to deliver cocaine in any country.”
“So,” I said, “overall, the books are about…”
“They’ve got,” said Jason, “police, gangsters, villains, a grass, prison, plenty of powder and connections to the football and boxing underworlds.”
“Connections?” I asked.
“Organisations,” Jason said, “with regard to boxing promoters and football ‘arrangements’ and bribery and the signing-over of a Premier football club… allegedly.”
I asked: “Not a player? A club.”
“A club,” said Jason. “And there’s a football player who gets blackmailed. The footballer’s being blackmailed by the footballer’s wife.”
“His own wife?”
“Because he’s fixing matches. Obviously, we have protected all the names. A lot of it has already been in the news, but you’ll read about it first hand in the book.
“The Sun newspaper sent a reporter down to talk to me and took pictures three months ago but, after talking to their solicitors, they decided not to do the article because, they said, they ‘didn’t want to open a can of worms’.”
“I would have thought,” I told Jason, “that you should be more worried about the consequences to you.”
“I talked to my solicitors about what I could put in the book and talked to a lot of of the people involved.”