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Russell Peters: Call Me Russell

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Erin Clappison

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Russell Peters: Call Me Russell

Call me Russell Russell Peters The End Russell's Proud Moments Awards and Accomplishments Fudge Factor Truth/Fiction Themes Thank You Part One Introduction:Meet Russell Russell Dominic Peters Born September 29th, 1970 He is the first stand-up comedian to ever sell out Canada's Air Canada Centre, selling 18,000 tickets in just two days. Grew up in Brampton, Ontario Personal Life Married to Monica Diaz, August 20th 2010 in Las Vegas but divorced recently after in 2012.
Together they have a daughter, Crystianna Marie Peters Parents: Eric and Maureen
Brother: Clayton Currently doing a 2013 World Tour Russell's Career Early Russell used to imitate family members with his cousin Mikey. "I was a big fan of comedy and then I told my brother, Clayton, and he took me around to a couple of venues to watch it and see what it looks like live and see if I still wanted to do it.” First time on stage Tuesday November 28th, 1989 after his cousin suggested Yuk Yuk's. Returned to club in 1990's, would pick up gigs anywhere he could. Whitby, Mississauga, Toronto, Pickering, Timmins etc. 1995 First comedy special for CBC called 'Comics.' In 1997, Russell Peters starred in 'Show Me The Funny' from the TV-series Comics! Watch first 2 minutes to get a glimpse of his
earlier stand up act (1997, Yuk Yuk's) Russell's Career Middle "Doesn't matter when, how, where, just that you get up there and try it."
- George Carlin Pg.136 "Best advice I ever got" "I'd forgotten the important rule that as a comic, it's your job to make them like you, no matter what."
- Russell Peters Pg.138 Decided to check out different areas of the world, New York, England, Scotland etc. In 2000, hosted stand-up special for BBC 'Masala Malai Mix' and the Edinburgh Festival. In 2004, Russell did a tour called 'The Gurus of Comedy." In 2005, did stand-up at the Apollo. Comedy Now! footage was also leaked onto YouTube. In 2006,First debut comedy album, 'Outsourced' on comedy central. Russell also landed 2 big shows in New York at the Beacon Theatre. The first show he used a DJ on stage, DJ Spinbad. In 2003, did stand-up for 'Comedy Now!' Special. Russell Peters 'Outsourced' First 15 minutes, watch as much as you'd like. Russell's Career Later In 2008, released his second DVD album 'Red, White and Brown.' In 2010, Russell released his autobiography
'Call Me Russell.' Russell Peters has done tours all around the world including: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Denmark, South Africa, the Caribbean, Vietnam, New Zealand, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Sweden, India, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Norway, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Trinidad among other places. In 2011, he released his third DVD album 'The Green Card Tour: Live from the O2 Arena.' Sneak peak to the
Green Card Tour. Review and Commentary for Call Me Russell "Even though I had dreamed about getting to that place for the better part of my life, I wasn't prepared when it actually happened."
- Russell Peters Pg.80 As much as this book may inspire and, as his brother writes in the introduction, “serve as a guidebook to all those kids whose parents discourage them from pursuing a life in show business,” Call Me Russell also demonstrates how difficult and utterly humourless the life of a Canadian comedian can be. As with all things difficult to achieve, you not only need talent, you have to really want it. And even once you get it, and you know you’ve earned every blissful moment and bleeding penny of it – even then, you still might not believe it.
- Globe and Mail from teacher at Humber College
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/russell-peters-call-him-grateful/article1321408/ Works August 26, 2006 September 30, 2008 May 31, 2011 October 26, 2010 By: Melanie Latour, Erin Clappison, John Callum and Megan Henderson In the hands of a more skilful writer, Peters’ story could perhaps have been told with greater intensity, but as it is, the book is engaging enough, filled as it is with anecdotes about his career and encounters with other celebrities. He also gives us his impressions of the various countries in which he has performed. Peters the comedian, of course, upstages Peters the writer and the sample lines from his acts, which precede certain chapters in the book, will have you laughing out loud.
- The Record.com from Zahra Chugtai
http://www.therecord.com/whatson/books/article/489763--book-review-russell-peters-call-me-russell Up-close, personal, and yes, funny — this is the must-have celebrity memoir of the year.
This candid, first-person memoir chronicles Russell's life from his humble beginnings in suburbia as a scrawny, brown, bullied kid with ADD all the way to his remarkable rise as one of the world's top-earning comics. This is a shockingly honest book filled with poignant memories of his family, his life and his career. Call Me Russell is a deeply inspirational story for aspiring artists of any culture about having hope, working hard and dreaming big - Goodreads Russell talking with Allan Gregg
about his book 'Call Me Russell' Won a Gemini Award in 2008 for 'Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series.' Hosted the Juno Awards in both 2008 and 2009. Released 3 album DVD's and an autobiography and has been in a number of movies and TV shows. Became the first comedian to sell out Toronto's Air Canada Centre with more than 16,000 tickets sold in two days for the single show. Russell was rewarded a star on Canada's Walk of fame in 2011. Has appeared on Showtime, Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, CBS, CBC and CTV. Tribute to Russell Peters at the 2011 Canada's Walk of Fame Awards and his speech. Interesting Facts About Russell Peters His butt cheek twitches when he is nervous. Pg.98 "Although I should mention that I do like to wear colourful socks. It's my thing." Pg.76 Russell didn't had an alcoholic drink until he was 31 because he didn't like the taste or smell and worried about what kind of drunk he'd be. Pg. 197 Loves the rock band KISS. Pg.62 Was bullied as a kid for being small and for where he was from. Took up boxing so he could defend himself. Pg.94 He was supposed to be a girl, father was disappointed. Pg. 25 Interview Summaries Interview with Susan Ormiston about his career and book 'Call Me Russell'. with CBC They talk about how he is a 'big deal' now in terms of his career. How he picks up his accents for his stand-up and how his dad helped him and that he doesn't touch the subject of religion. CBC Interview with Susan Ormiston about his career and book 'Call Me Russell' How his life is being married and living a celebrity lifestyle, in terms of money and fame. REFERENCES Part Two Analysis of Call Me Russell 'Call Me Russell' has the following attributes of a memoir: Personal, intimate story telling, during the whole book you can tell Russell is re-living the stories as he, his brother and Dannis write them. You can tell by the way the story is written, how the words and memories are linked together. Russell definitely expresses his feelings and emotions through the memories he shares in 'Call me Russell'. He talks about his struggles growing up as an Anglo-Indian, the death of his father, having depression dealing with his fame and his love life. "I'll let you in on a little secret. I have a little ritual I perform every night before I go onstage. I talk to my dad. Backstage, when others think I'm blabbing to myself or reviewing the set, what I am actually doing is talking to him." Pg.47 Takes place over a number of years, jumping forward and backward over different time periods. He seems reflective, sometimes within or at the end of the chapters. "That trip made me realize how much I loved India. I loved the people, the food, the culture." Pg.219 Historical Contents Russell Peters covers a wide range of years in his book 'Call Me Russell'. He covers the earlier years of his parents lives, the mid 1960's. He talks about his birth in 1970, his childhood and teenage years in the 1980's. He also discusses a mix of memories from the 1990's right up to 2010. Since the book covers such a large portion of years, it was decided to talk about the historical events which happened within the later years of the 1990's to 2010 according to the fairmont flyer by Alex Bachmann. The attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., claimed 2,973 lives and sent the United States into the War on Terrorism. (2001) Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the United States. (2005) The United States (and much of the world) entered a major recession that saw surging numbers of home foreclosures, bank failures and job losses. The United States elected Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. He is the first African-American president. The invention of Wikipedia(2001), Facebook (2004), Twitter(2006) And many, many more. Historical Contents In pictures Summary of the 'Call Me Russell' Part 1 Summary of 'Call Me Russell' Part 2 Call Me Russell why a memoir? Peters is considered one of the most successful and highest-paid comedians in the business, and was ranked #7 on a Forbes list of the highest paid comics. Lives a luxurious lifestyle with many houses, cars and shoes Russell Peters on 'Cribs' MTV Yuk Yuk's Outsourced Green Card Tour Interview Canada's Walk of Fame CBC British and Indian Russell Peters grew up in Brampton Ontario, a small child who loved being the centre of attention. His parents moved from India and worked very hard, making him and his brother latchkey kids. Russell was always surrounded by close family and friends. Russell's father, was a very strict but loving man. He lost his father to skin cancer in 2004 after a long battle, Russell got to spend a lot of time with him therefore he got some closure. Father raised him to be clever, respectful, tolerant and smart. He believed in Russell but thought that the work of a comedian wasn't ideal. He is very close with his brother Clayton, who is now his manager. He is someone Russell admires. He tours with him and they talk almost everyday. Russell doesn't like to do press work and had a hard time getting used to his new celebrity lifestyle, the money and fame took a tole on him. His brother was there by his side the whole way to help him. Russell has diagnosed himself with ADD which made it hard for him to focus in school. He was bullied because of his colour and heritage and hates the word 'paki'. He took up boxing to defend himself, sold drugs for a brief period of time to make extra money and DJ'd under the name 'DJ Russell' because he didn't know what he wanted to do with his future. He experienced a lot of crime and murder within his life. Russell start doing stand up comedy after a cousin told him he was really funny and should check out Yuk Yuk's. Through his comedy acts he wants everyone to get the jokes and for no one to feel left out. He just tried to get whichever gigs he could and would travel with friends and family to try out different venues and get his name out there. Russell started becoming more known within the industry, started landing better opportunities and more prestigious venues. All the while meeting his childhood idols and other comedians, boxers and celebrities that he admired. With his new fame Russell wanted to try out movies and sitcoms and though the beginning was rough he landed some good spots. He was also able to create 2 DVD albums and tour the world. He talks about some hardships he's had with his jokes offending some people. He talks about one in particular about a 'Toronto Maple Sikhs' joke that he made and received death threats over, which he then had to go talk to the Sikh community about. He says that he just talks about race and culture honestly and "he wants people to laugh with ourselves with authority not ignorance." Russell then goes into detail about some of the places he's been and toured, those being "South Africa, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, India, Jordan, Canada, the US and the UK. The experiences and women he's encountered on his travels. How he met the King and Queen, Abdulla and Rania. Lastly, he talks about how he started a family with his wife, how he proposed to his wife, how they got married in Las Vegas and the troubles he had with having his daughter prematurely.Russell also talks about what he sees in his near future. "The stories and themes of this book are universal and can serve as a guidebook to all those kids whose parents discourage them from pursuing a life in show business. It proves that success can be achieved if you stick with something if you are passionate about it."Pg.2 Inspiration and Hope Entertainment "When we first started working on this book, we had discussed with the publishers the idea of creating a collection of my brother's humorous stories and new 'bits'- essentially, a 'funny book'." Pg.2 Understanding "My biggest fear was that my audience would misunderstand me, and I wanted to be clear that my comedy has never been about hatred." Pg.183 Tone and Voice 'Call Me Russell' uses the concept of the 'author voice'. The way Russell combines the story elements and uses both now and then voices. The now voices are usually in brackets or obviously put in another sentence. "So the headline comic, Boyd Coons (at that time he used his real name, which he later changed to Boyd Banks), was sitting back there with me." Pg.115 "I'm not about to bother you everyday to tell you what colour socks I'm wearing. (Although I should mention that I do like to wear colourful socks. It's my thing.) Pg.76 The tone of 'Call Me Russell' was friendly, direct, humorous and emotional. - "I've also tried to be a little more PG with the language than I normally would be. If you're afraid of sex or talking about sex, then skip this chapter." Pg. 119 - "To me, the Smart car looked like a giant nose, and I have a giant nose. So it was like a giant nose was driving a giant nose." Pg. 199 - "My dad always wanted a girl and now here she was." Pg. 236 When one reads a memoir, autobiography or book about somebodies life it is always a wonder in the back of the mind 'What's real and what isn't?' 'What is raw facts and what is exaggerated for entertainment purposes?' It seems as though Russell used both factual and emotional truth in his memoir. Russell had his brothers support writing the book which probably helped with remembering certain events and experiences. Some of the stories are told in such a direct and vague way, seems as though he is telling you it exactly how he remembers it- no fluff or excessive description. Russell even admits some things that don't look good for him. -"The next day they showed up at my hotel with this old-ass, fucked up 1994 Corolla with manual windows and no stereo. I'm not sure what they were thinking. That night, I went on stage and made fun of Toyota for giving me such a shitty car." Pg.199 - "Everyone froze, and they had heard it too. We all looked down, and right by one of the servants' feet was an asp, poised to bite. My dad immediately moved to get his gun into position, but I had the air rifle ready and just pointed it downward." -Seems as thought it could have been emotional truth with the story of the snake and factual truth with the Toyota story. Race and culture seem to be a big theme in 'Call Me Russell", it has shaped who he is and his career. - "I'm never just a comic. No matter how people describe me, there's always something before my name or my profession. There's always that hyphen: South-Asain comic, Indo-Canadian comic, South-Asian-Canadian comic, Canadian-born-Indian comic, Brampton-raised comic." Pg. 9 -"Paki became an unbrella term for anyone who was brown, and the intent, no matter where you were from, was to make you feel like a piece of shit." Pg. 107&108 Death is a pretty big theme within the book, Russell experiences many deaths throughout his lifetime from friends to family. - "My dad died on March 15, 2004, after one hell of a fight." Pg.68 -"The entire spectre of murder is a little too close to me for my own liking." Pg. 104 Russell's rise to fame and the struggles surrounding the journey. -"I don't care about playing bigger venues! I'll just go back to playing clubs. I don't want to do press or talk about myself. I'll just walk away from all of it! I don't care about the money!" Pg.80 -"Look, everybody has to do these roles at some point." "Not me." Pg. 171 -"I don't feel like talking to anyone. I feel blah and lethargic. Not thoughts, no motivation. I'm uninspired and down." Pg.81 Identity of Narrator the many Russells The Comedian The Sensitive Side Reflective Russell Little Russell -"My love for Crystianna is the most natural love I've experienced." Pg.237 -"Sometimes I think about how things could have turned out for me, how things could have gone differently." Pg. 101 -"Mr.Gould, our nice neighbour, is doing me a favour. He's pointing a hose of cold water at me because it's hot outside and he's helping me cool off." Pg.108 "I was the only drug dealer around with a return policy." Pg.101 The Many Russells Melanie Latour's Connection Erin Clappison's connection John Callum's connection Megan Henderson's connection Firstly I would like to express how much I enjoyed Call Me Russell. The conversational writing style is a bit different compared to other celebrity memoirs I’ve read but I thought the way the book was executed rang true to the author. I appreciate all of the personal stories and struggles Russell shares with readers and all of the candid tidbits really engage the audience. I myself have always loved Russell’s comedy so I found myself really rooting for him while reading about his younger years even though I knew he would grow to be an incredibly successful comedian.

Personally, I prefer a timeline structured memoir, from birth to present time. This memoir is written a bit differently and that can be attributed to Russell’s attention deficit disorder. While it can seem a bit distracted, I feel like that it adds the genuine nature of the book.
Call Me Russell resonates with me because of the genuine content of the memoir. I appreciate reading such candid stories and his journey to success has only made me like him more. I think that it’s so hard to really break out in a Canadian market and then make it big in the worldwide stage and remain humble and grounded. I’m proud that he’s Canadian and hasn’t forgotten that. References The Russell Peters Memoir was a great book choice. It was very up-close and person with Russell and shared a lot of parts of his life that is similar to mine. Russell talked about living in Brampton and being one of the few brown kids in his school. He was bullied consistently, whether it be by his classmates or his father, but as he grow up he realized how all of that negative influences helped make him who he is today. My personal life wasn’t as rough has Russell’s, but I did get bullied by classmates and by my father, but looking back it has help to make me who I am today. A person, like Russell, that is hard working, down to earth, a determined young man with big dreams. Call Me Russel was a deeply inspirational story for aspiring artist of any culture. The memoir help me to reflect and look back on my life, and be happy of the things I have because I worked hard to get them. It has strengthened my goal-setting mindset to remember to always from goals in mind. It was a good book, because I could relate to Russell. During the reading of Russell Peter's memoir, I learned so many new things about him that I was quite shocked and amazed about. Peters is a family man who strives to give back and help his family.

As a comedian, he has grown and changed dramatically compared to when he first started out and has collected many fans over the years but still stays faithful to Canada where he still returns and lives. I was shocked when I learned that he was married with a daughter as well. His life stories are challenging yet relatable in so many ways and I was very sadden to read about the death of his father, and how he struggled through it with his family. Russell is a very strong man and loves his mom as he writes about the spending time with her and his daughter. With his wife by his side he feels invincible.

In the end, Russell Peters has overcome many struggles along with becoming successful by fighting through them. I have learned from his memoir how to become the person you want to be along with the struggles that you can possibly go through. Peters is well known around the world even though he came from a city in Ontario, Canada. His memoir gives me hope for my future and others. •The major events that happened throughout the years Russell talks about in his book.
- Bachmann, A. (2009, November 25). Major events in the past decade : The Flyer. The Flyer. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.fairmontflyer.com/news/2009/11/25/major-events-in-the-past-decade/

•Provided additional insight into the theme of a book and how to find it.
- Fleming, G. (n.d.). Theme of a Book - Finding the Theme of a Book. Homework Tips - Help With Homework. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://homeworktips.about.com/od/writingabookreport/a/theme.htm

•After being a successful comedian, Russell Peters has ventured off into other aspects of show business.
- Russell Peters - IMDb. (n.d.). IMDb - Movies, TV and Celebrities. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0992289

•This is the official Russell Peters website that provides information about his tour dates, previous work, and information about Russell.
- The Official Russell Peters Website. (n.d.). The Official Russell Peters Website. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.russellpeters.com/photos.aspx

•The book, Call Me Russell, has a unique voice and tone. These websites stated useful tips that helped us further understand how to find the voice and tone.
- Wildhaber, J. (2010, July 1). Grammar Girl : Understanding Voice and Tone in Writing :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™. Grammar Girl :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/understanding-voice-and-tone-in-writing.aspx •A biography of Russell Peter’s life.
-Bromley, P. (n.d.). Russell Peters Biography - Biography of Stand-up Comedian Russell Peters. Comedians - News and Reviews About Comedians and Stand Up Comedy. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://comedians.about.com/od/comediansmz/p/Russell-Peters-Biography.htm

•Russell Peter’s describes his career, sharing his impressions of the various countries that he has performed in.
-Chugtai, Z. (2011, February 18). Book review: Russell Peters — Call Me Russell | therecord. TheRecord.com | Your online newspaper for Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding townships. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.therecord.com/whatson/books/article/489763--book-review-russell-peters-call-me-russell

•Review from the Globe and Mail website for the memoir 'Call Me Russell'
-FENN, A. (2010, December 28). Russell Peters: Call him grateful - The Globe and Mail. Home - The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/russell-peters-call-him-grateful/article1321408/

•This is a video of Russell Peter’s receiving the Canadian Walk of Fame Award after 22 years of being a successful comedy.
-Johnson, M. (2012, April 9). Canada's Walk of Fame Celebrating Inductee Russell Peters. Canada's Walk of Fame. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/inductees/2011/russell-peters

•Russell Peter's got to host the Juno Awards. He was able to help design the theme and script for the show.
-Stanisci, G. (2012, March 29). Juno Awards: Best and worst hosts | Sound Check - Yahoo! Music. Free Music Videos, Artist Interviews, Reviews & More: Yahoo! Music. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://ca.music.yahoo.com/blogs/sound-check/juno-awards-best-worst-hosts-191314678.html " You may have even noticed in this book that I jump around alot. It's just the way my mind works." Pg. 89 "Many people see me as a celebrity, but I definitely don't think of myself as one." Pg. 176 "It's hard for me to even say that because I adore her and now I'm totally a mama's boy." Pg. 109 " She smiles when she hears my voice and stares at me like she recognizes me. It's like nothing I've ever felt before." Pg. 237 " The incident wasn't racially motivated; it was just straight-up bullying." Pg. 92 " The only way to really understand me is for you to first get a handle on the force of a man that was my dad." Pg. 35 Overall, I really enjoyed 'Call Me Russell'. The memoir had some tones that I admire in a book and especially in a memoir. I loved the fact that there were humorous, sad, and shocking pieces, and all the things you learn about Russell Peters.

He showed both sides of himself, the motivated and career-oriented comedian and the bullied, loving and sensitive side.The wide range of emotions he showed and the stories he shared, like the death of his father, the loss of family and friends, having his baby daughter and how hard it was to climb to where he is now.

I felt that the book could have been improved with a better structure, if it didn't jump around as much but it didn't ruin the story for me. It was a nice touch that they added some of Russell's signature jokes or old and new personal photos every chapter.

This memoir resonates with me because I feel that Russell was as honest, open and direct as he could be while staying respectful to his audience and providing knowledge and entertainment. I am a huge fan and have had the privilege of seeing his stand-up live, it was a nice bonus to find out a little more about one of my favourite comedians. You can almost picture him telling you the stories. "...I showed up for the show right at the last minute, still convinced that I had nothing to offer the crowd." Pg.81 "Here's the backstory on the 'Be a Man' bit. It was never actually part of my original act." Pg.69 "By 1993, I was starting to feel a little cocky about my talents as a comic." Pg.138 M.L M.H E.C J.C E.C M.L M.H E.C J.C E.C E.C M.L M.H J.C J.C M.L
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