The Centennial Post

100th Post: Recap and Answers

100thPostEvery single post on this blog has been a true labor of love and I can’t believe this is the 100th one. From interviews and show reviews to must reads and life posts, LAFS has escalated from this tiny little home-grown project to being the single one thing that has shaped so much of my life today. I won’t get into all the details about everything I’ve learned or opportunities this blog has given me, (because I already did that not too long ago). But I did want to take a few moments to highlight the various responses I’ve gathered about the greatest insights people have discovered between life and comedy and answer a few questions people have asked of me.

“What’s the greatest insight you have discovered about life and comedy?”

“This is specifically derived from improv: you can do more as a group than you can as an individual. Because left to our own devices, we come up with one idea. When you have multiple people together, collaborating, then you can each build off of each other and build a gigantic thing.” – Jeff Griggs

“I think everybody is funny…with notable exceptions. It’s very humbling to meet so many smart and funny people all the time. There are many capable, very talented people in the world who are completely capable of doing what I do on stage. It’s absolutely opened up my mind, it sounds so cheesy, but it’s led me to be more accepting, more generous and less judgmental. Most of the time. ” – Colleen Doyle

“We’re so scared to be vulnerable, but it’s scarier to not be vulnerable.” – Ayala Skopp

“The laugh isn’t the most important thing. It seems self-evident that the laughter is the most important thing, but when you go to a show and what happens is a series of sustained laughs, that’s great and you’ll come out of it feeling elated and you’ll say that was a good show, but you won’t remember it. You will never remember that show. All you’ll remember is that a series of funny things happened, that’s it. The shows that you remember are the shows that have an undercurrent and a structure that reflects a larger truth. Laughter should be a natural extension of an observation of human truth. Sometimes that’s not even a laugh…I think we need to stop thinking of comedy as an end and think of it more as a means to deliver something important.” – Jason Lord

“The greatest insight that I’ve discovered is that life is really good. To be able to do what you love with people you admire and respect and spend your time around really, really intelligent people. I don’t know, there’s nothing more heart warming and insightful than that for me. That’s what I’ve learned. It’s good.” – Jessica Rogers

“If you really do respond honestly to this particular moment right now, everything seems to take care of itself.” – Dave Pasquesi

“Specifically through improv, I’ve discovered that listening and staying in the moment has made my life so much more rich and fun. Life just goes by you so fast, so being present in the moment and enjoying the moment for what it is, is really hard to do, but I think it’s really important…Also, the idea of saying “yes” to more things. Saying yes to things that you wouldn’t normally say yes to, within safety boundaries of course, leads you to more experiences that just enrich your life…So enjoy the moment for the now and say “yes” to more things are the two biggest things I’ve learned from comedy that I’ve applied to my real life.” – Micah Philbrook

“Do what you say you’re going to do. Agree to an idea, contribute to it and follow through.” – Irene Marquette

“I can’t separate the two anymore from each other. Just laugh more. As comedians, we’re so eager to make other people laugh, but that’s often the hardest thing for ourselves once we do this work for a while. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what brought you to this in the first place, which was laughter. So just laugh more. Laugh even when you want to criticize and laugh even when you want to worry. Try to witness life a little bit more instead of trying to fix everything and realize that life’s funny.” – Jet Eveleth

“I think that most things that are supposed to be funny on purpose aren’t funny at all. 90% of the things that are accidentally sad are kind of funny. Maybe that.” – TJ Jagodowski

“If you’re not listening, you’re going to miss the joke. There’s so many ways to not listen. When you’re not listening, you’re not in the moment, on and off stage. You’re missing so many opportunities when you’re not listening or when you’re only listening to one part of whatever. If you’re only listening for certain things, those are the only things you’re going to hear.” – Tim Baltz

“I’ve always been a bit of a planner. I like to look forward to things and I’ve always been somewhat organized with that kind of stuff. So I think I’ve learned, with improv, to kind of let go and go with the flow and know that things will still turn out ok. So, let go and don’t take life so seriously. You should always be able to laugh about everything eventually. Don’t be so serious.” – Casey Whitaker

“Just be a good person. Listen to people and be genuinely interested in them and what they have to say.” – Damian Jason White

“The greatest insight I’ve discovered is that this life in comedy is a constant balance between always being humbled and trying to show that you have a reason to be under the lights. You’re always in a state of learning something or showing something. At least that’s true for me, I’m always bouncing between those two things.” – Greg Hess

“Comedy brings laughter and laughter enlightens life. It’s like a circle of laughter and life. I kind of feel that without joy there is no point in life, so there you go.” – Carisa Barreca

“Don’t judge. Learning not to judge. I feel like life gives us a lot of those moments to judge. I think we’re judged even if positive ways as well as negative ways. We’re judged in the sense that we want to do well, go to a good school and get a good job. Those pressures to succeed even outside of theatre and acting. To have that in both worlds, where you’re not judged and you’re encouraged to do what makes you happy, I think is a perfect little present in a box to sum up how we act in life.” – Timmy Mayse

“Get really in touch with what makes you laugh and the people that make you laugh and build a life where you spend absolutely every waking moment pursuing those ideas and spending time with those people. Find something you would want to do seven days or seven nights a week and do that. If you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. Sacrifice everything. That’s it.” – Ted Tremper

“For me personally, funny isn’t really the point. Taking care of your people and being open gets you so much farther. Not that you shouldn’t be funny too, but funny finds you when you’re those things. The best you can do is to be the best version of yourself you can be every time you come to play. That’s what’s served me the best.” – Eleanor Hollingsworth

“They go hand in hand. I don’t think you can have one without the other…or you shouldn’t.” – Patrick Poulin

*To be inclusive, I also have interviewed Tara DeFrancisco, Nnamdi Ngwe, T.J. Shanoff and Sherman Edwards, but have not yet transcribed their interviews. My apologies!

Questions for me:

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from all the shows and interviews you’ve had up to this point?
The most important thing I’ve learned from interviews is that the only way you’ll have success of any level is by working really, really hard. There are too many people who want this, so if you aren’t willing to bust your ass for it, just know your chances of success are slim. The two most important things I’ve learned from shows are that 1) they need to be marketed and 2) people need to practice humility on a more regular basis. This market is so over-saturated and people need to start thinking quality over quantity. In general, we just need more original, high-quality shows.

Every review seems to be so positive. Do you love every show you go to?
I try to only agree to review shows that I think I will like, just because I try to be strategic with my time. However, I also feel that it’s not necessarily my place to write a scathing review for a bad show. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen tons of bad shows, I just choose not to write about them. But if someone specifically asks me to come to a show and write a review, I will write my honest opinion…I’ll usually try to make sure to include something positive.

What was the most surprising thing you discovered from an interview?
I interviewed Jet Eveleth right before she moved out to LA in 2012 and found out that while she had been telling everyone she was engaged to Brett Elam, they had actually gotten married a few weeks after their first date and had legally been married for two years already! That was so unexpected and I loved that she shared that with me.

Will you ever go into a different medium (podcast, YouTube, etc)?
Good question. I actually tried to do video last year starting (and ending) with Tim Baltz’s interview. I quickly learned that not only is it more difficult, but I am not equipped to do so. I bought a camera, lights and a tripod, but didn’t have the budget to purchase the quality of equipment needed to do video interviews well, so I scrapped it. I did receive an offer for someone to come along and film it with me, but opted not to do that because I like the intimacy of having one-on-one conversations. Having it just be two people allows a greater sense of confidentiality if something is said they don’t want published, etc. With that sense of security, I feel people open up a bit more. The other difficulty with audio is finding a quiet place to conduct the interview. It’s hard enough to track down these people and find a common ground to meet as is and to juggle an additional element would make it even more difficult. So as of right now, probably not. I’d love to do video, but I’m focusing on building out a few other things in the near future, so it isn’t quite a priority at this time.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Interviews, News/Updates

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