May 9, 2007

Who's Laughing Now? The Internet, That's Who

I'm having a good comedy day. I just conducted, wrote, and posted an interview with one of my very favorite comedians, the very original, hugely gifted, and adorable Maria Bamford. I love that she's (to use a phrase I find spilling from my mouth more and more when I talk about comedy I really like) "very herself."

She has a kind of openness and a comfort showcasing her personal quirks that I really admire as I try to get more comfortable in my own skin doing stand up comedy myself. I was telling someone the other day that I want to spend less time guessing what the audience will think is funny and more time bringing my deeply internalized sense of amusement more to the fore, because that's what's fresh and original and appealing, and that's what people really respond to.

It's a challenge because I've spent most of my life so far as a pretty quiet person, keeping my weird little observations to myself, because I never felt like my perspective was a welcome or needed one. This is partly because I grew up the littlest one in a large and boisterous family that was already full of laughter and barbed wit well before I got there, and I always had this feeling that I couldn't possibly be thinking anything that everyone else wasn't already thinking, so why bother trying to shout over the din?

The good news is, as a writer, I'm getting faster and better. The 2500-word Maria Bamford interview, from telephone conversation to transcription to proofreading, and formatting the post with links, pictures, and video only took me three hours. Damn, I'm hot stuff. (So yes, Chicago corporate writing community - hire me. Hire me, hire me, hire me. I want more work. I'm good. I'm totally fun. And I'm lightning fast.)

The other good news is, Maria educated me about some of the lucrative and creatively flexible possibilities for comedy on the internet - she and her partner get a big fat budget per weekly episode of her web show on SuperDeluxe. I had no idea people are getting paid that kind of dough producing their own content, and I find that very exciting.

There are so many moments where I torture myself thinking I moved from my hometown to the city too late, I started comedy too late, maybe I missed my chance, blah blah, but then I realize there is no better time to be a nerdy, net-savvy, comedy-oriented person, because the possibilities are endless. I might just do okay after all.

Here's a bit of Maria:


k.barrick said...

I thought that might've been your interview! I too LOVE Maria Bamford.

Last night I was having a conversation with another comic.. I commented that not many people's material was personal. She thought that I was saying personal was below whatever else... that right now I'm talking about myself because that's all I see but soon I'll see all the quirky things going on around me...that not everyone could relate to me being Swedish (Tre Kroner all the way!) but they could to (another comic's joke that was totally observational).

It was a really strange moment when I realized I thought of comedy COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY than she did... and that I'm more comfortable with my idea of it.

Which brings me back to Maria Bamford. LOVE HER!

Bella Rossa said...

Yes, that was my ("still can't believe I talked to her") interview with the wonderful Miss Bamford.

Like she says, comedy is very subjective, and everyone has their favorite flavors. One of mine is the quirky (although I hate that overused word) and personal.

One of my guidelines for what I'm doing with stand up right now is: Could that joke work coming out of someone else's mouth? If so, it's not something I want to say.

Dr. Zaius said...

What a great video! I love your site, but I have forgotten to check it lately. Argh! I guess I have some catching up on my reading to do!