Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Comedians #2

Ugh. I am WAY too hungover and grumpy... Grumble grumble. Hopefully I have something to cheer up all the grumpy hangover people out there!! SUNDAY COMEDIANS!! Awesome. 

This weeks comedian is Patton Oswalt. Patton is a dirty hippy-hating man but is just so nerdy that it is delightful. As our interviewed comedian, Keith Carey said last week, "Patton is a Frankenstein patchwork of the best elements of any comedy scene. All his shows have the brilliant, cerebral-meets-lowbrow writing of the Alt-scene, the commanding stage presence and crowd savvy of a club comic, and this oddly affecting emotional heft, that feels almost more like a one-man show on Broadway than straight comedy." I re-quoted him because there is no better way to put it. Even the way Patton Oswalt talks is hilarious, if you didn't understand english you would probably still laugh from his ridiculous voice and his wonderfully funny screaming at the audience tactic. AND HE WAS THE RAT IN RATATOUILLE. You can't go any higher than Pixar people.

Here are some things of Mr. Oswalt:

Finest Hour CD
Werewolves & Lollipops CD

Feelin' Kinda Patton CD
My Weakness Is Strong CD & DVD

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book

So many delicious things here for you to gnaw on!!!
If you want to follow him, here are some links:

Twitter Nothing makes a day better than a round of Oswalt's #gentletweets
Patton Oswalt's Website

Patton Oswalt's name sounds SUPER weird right now. I said it too many times, now it sounds RIDICULOUS.

And now for the Interview with this weeks upcoming comedian!!! Mr. Nathan Camp! 

Nathan can be seen all around the OC and LA. He has been performing now for a year or so. Nathan says, "I tend to enjoy jokes that play on the absurdity of how people view themselves and others.  I like to trick the audience in such a way that I get their support on something horrible or get them to boo a genuinely good idea.  Playing with social norms and such really tickles me"in view of his own comedy. He is hysterically funny and most of the time, just plain hysterical on stage. Last time I saw Nathan he just started screaming for no reason (we should have all been terrified for our lives but we were too busy peeing our pants from laughing so hard.) Always a good show when you see Nathan Camp!

Q #1: How did you start doing comedy? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

A: My first ever show was at a place called the 705 club.  It was my first open mic and I had only ever tried a half hearted attempt at stand up at a talent show a few months beforehand.  I was really nervous considering I was really late on the list and was even more concerned because I had friends come out to see me.  As each comic got up I recognized how many of these people were really just “trying to be funny”  they didn’t really know what makes things funny.  They had formulas and joke theory but they didn’t have the joviality/lightness of spirit to really make them jokes.  When I finished my set I got a really nice response.  I think if I hadn’t had that I wouldn’t have stuck with it.

The positive response to my comedy was the reason I didn’t immediately quit but I wasn’t necessarily convinced that this was something I wanted to do.  When I knew I wanted to do it didn’t come until later.  As I started to spend more and more of my time writing and punching up my jokes I recognized that this was something I really enjoyed.  Each time getting up was like an experiment where I was trying to tap into the audiences heart and see if we could agree on what’s funny.  Something about that vulnerability and sense of community really really touches me.  I guess that’s when I knew I wanted to do it.

Q #2: How do you handle bombing?

A: When I bomb I often rely on my crowd work or improvisation to get me through.  The trouble with that is that in my experience it can be really easy to be funny in the moment but you rarely get anything of lasting value out of it.  No matter how funny a vibe in the room is or how a guy in the audience looks, you are rarely are stretching the comedy muscle by doing crowd work.  In more vulnerable moments I like to address the fact that I am bombing with false confidence.  When I hear a joke fall flat I like to whisper loudly into the mic “You’re killing them Nathan, they are eating out of the palm of my hand.”  Half the audience get’s that I am downplaying my failed attempt and the other half thinks I am a delusional fool, either way it tends to get laughs.

Q #3: What was your best performance? How did it feel?

A: I have had my fair share of “good”performances.  That being said I tend to find the one’s that I do at open mics more memorable than the ones I do for civilians.  The respect of my peers in comedy tends to be something that is harder to earn given that they like me are all students trying to figure out how to become masters in comedy.  That being said winning second place at the Royal’s Comedy Contest meant a lot.  I got to perform with amazing people and only because one of the people who had made it in had to back out due to health problems.

I had been knocked out previously from the contest and by a narrow margin, which at the time was crushing.  Some of that real “Why do I even do this?” thoughts and feelings came to me the night that happened.  So being able to come back from what was a purely negative event to win second was huge.  I won thanks to not only a lot of people finding me funny but because they came out to see me.  It was a huge affirmation that not only was I on my way to someday being great at this but that people really do care about me.  Which matters a lot more to me than I try to let on.

Q #4: What's the most embarrassing thing you have done on stage?

A: Outside of a very unfortunate event where I forgot 5 minutes of my ten minute set and did some of the most horrid crowd work humanity has ever seen I can’t think of too much.  One time while I was starting a set, some fellow comedians yelled at me to “show my tits.”  I decided why not and proceeded to do a ten minute set shirtless.  I am assuming most people reading this are fortunate enough to not have to see me without my shirt on but it is not a pretty sight.  It got a big laugh and for some weird reason made me feel more confident.  A woman described my shirtless visage as “Looking at a brown Jackoffasaur from South Park.”

Q #5: Who is your comedy idol?

A: Patrice O’Neal.  He was a man who always managed to have a swagger and way about him that you had to like even if you didn’t agree.  He had such a relaxed and funny vibe about him that he would have been just at home acting in silent movies.  The way he would share his philosophy with the audience and get them to relate on really controversial issues has always been amazing to me.  The world is a little sadder with his passing.  I hope me and every other up and comer works hard to make it funnier again in his stead!

Nathan's next show is the Brea Improv on June 6th!!! Make sure to add him to keep up with his shows!

Here are some Nathan links!!

Campfire Podcast

Happy Sunday Everybody!

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