Comedian Highlight: Roman Leo

In the foggy palace of Berkeley, ten minutes from the movie theater, down a gentle slop of matted grass and up a procession of man-laid stones licked with mossy macula is a log cabin. This redwood cabin: sapping, rugged and quaint, stands crystallized in steamy ambiguity. No fence, no mailbox, an empty yard beyond a large, unmarked stone rumored to rest upon a late bear. The chimney pumps carbon triple time, a never-ceasing eruption of silver plum. Every night ‘round dusk the cabin’s inhabitant appears: an ice-eyed, Viking-visage mountaineer named Roman. In his hands is a machine.

The machine is a curious thing. It rests on its side coiled with coils, compressed with springs, washed with washers, screwed with screws, polished with polish, rivets and bolts and copper and steel and nickel. It looks like it performs a number of functions with its abstract mid 20th century design but it doesn’t. The machine has no basis of utility. It’s pretty, clever, inside is a pulsing core of gold and every day something is added or removed as an organic, inorganic piece of modern ingenuity. Still, the machine has no purpose beyond pleasure, pride and gratification. The machine simply is and every night Roman Leo takes it out to be gawked at, measures its success and returns to his cabin to work on it again.

I Feel You Pulling For Me, Especially in the Bathroom – OH!

The machine started over a year ago in little galleries on 7th and Folsom, Larkin and O’Farrell, Columbus and Kearny. The galleries are where machinist show off their inventions and improvements. Roman’s machine is well regarded in the community; some enjoy the crude oil lube, some enjoy the well-structured design, some enjoy the encroaching rust, some like the shiny passive aggressiveness. It’s a hard machine to compartmentalize. It’s also made of metal.

I Feel I’ve Wasted the Last Ten Years of My Life

Roman wasn’t always a machinist, he used to live in Ohio. Swimming, fratting and facing rejection in barber shops, Roman was the any man. He collected compact discs and went on measured adventures. Eventually he became married and he never really thought of machines, let alone being an inventor. But machinists are born, they possess a certain mind and it’s hard to ignore the call to build especially when blueprints inexplicitly start tracing themselves on napkins and notebooks.

The rest is undoubtedly a mystery. How did Roman become an everyman machinist living in a log cabin in Berkeley? How does Roman cultivate an insane work ethic that leaves his fingers cut, burned and covered in metallic drippings? How does Roman take white guilt and create white gold?

Just Trying To Get Better, Y’Know

Roman operates under a constantly thinking, critical mind. Shifting through a series of misleading poses; he’s consistently analyzing himself, colleagues and the encompassing environment enveloping them. The brain can get away from Roman while observing the great inventors passing through San Francisco. As he observes the brilliant machines of O’Neal and Burr, Roman finds himself in doubt. This sensation hardly lasts; it lacks the mass to alter the gravitational pull of talent and determination. Confidence is built within the machine; it helps turn the gears and spin the turbines as Roman moves towards his purpose beyond the lodge.


Roman Leo is a stand-up comedian. He’s extremely funny and possesses a beard. For any inquiry into Roman’s schedule please continue to visit this site as Mr. Leo detests self-promotion.

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