YBY ep 225: Marc Majcher shares creative lessons for making comedy!

This week on Yes But Why, I talk to Austin improviser, Marc Majcher.

Marc Majcher is an improvised theater artist. He performs and directs improvised theater productions at theaters all over Austin, Texas. Marc also designs, produces, and sells his own tabletop games!

In this conversation, we talk about narrative genre shows, commedia dell’arte and immersive theater pieces.

Marc explains to me how improvised singing is actually very easy ( I enjoy it but easy?)! We talk about empowering people to produce their own stuff and how to trick your brain to avoid procrastination.

Support Marc Majcher by buying one of his games – here’s the itch page where you can buy them!


Special shoutout to Marc today as his episode day, August 24th, is his birthday.


Yes But Why Podcast is a proud member of the HC Universal Network family of podcasts. Download the FREE HC Universal Network app for Android and iDevices or visit us at HCUniversalNetwork.com and join the fun.

This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible – get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at http://www.audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY

This episode of Yes But Why is also sponsored by PodcastCadet.com. Swing on by PodcastCadet.com to get help for all your podcasting needs! Go to PodcastCadet.com and put in offer code YBY20 to get 20% off your first consultation!


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(production notes: recorded phone call with Rodecaster at the home studio on 7/8/2020)







TRANSCRIPT by Otter.ai

HOST  00:00

Hello, Yes But Why listeners, this is your host, Amy Jordan.   Welcome to episode 225  – my chat with Austin improviser, Marc Majcher.  But first, let’s hear about the sponsors.   This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible. You can get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY.   In my conversation with Marc Majcher, he mentioned a series he worked on that was HP Lovecraft inspired pieces. Plus there’s that HBO show everyone is talking about so let’s look up HP Lovecraft. Oh wow, there are like 10 different versions of his complete works. Ooh looks creepy. I love it.     Audible is available for your iPhone, Android, or Kindle. Download your free audiobook today at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY.  This episode of Yes But Why is also sponsored by PodcastCadet.com. Swing on by PodcastCadet.com to get help for all your podcasting needs! From writing to producing to hosting, Podcast Cadet can help you improve your podcast. Go to PodcastCadet.com and put in offer code YBY20 to get 20% off your first consultation!  This week on Yes But Why, I interview improvised theater artist, Marc Majcher  In our conversation, we talk about narrative genre shows and immersive theater pieces. We discuss creative projects during covid and how to trick your brain to avoid procrastination.   Special shoutout to Marc today as his episode drop day, August 24th, is his birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARC!!!  I now present to you: Episode 225: Marc Majcher shares creative lessons for making comedy!  I’m Amy Jordan. And this is yes, but why podcast…yeah!


GUEST  02:25

When I was a little kid, I would do like magic shows and stuff for neighborhood kids and stuff. When I was a teenager or in high school or like college, I was I performed in the cast at a Rocky Horror Picture Show in Rochester and then Buffalo, that lesson for July. And then I sort of didn’t really do anything. I took a theater class or two in college, and then just sort of let it drop for a long time. It wasn’t really a thing I was super into. I did a improv class. You here when I was 35, then and I know it just was a really fun, like, easy way to get stuff out and there’s it. It was it was alright. Like I was performing with my troop regularly and doing like local shows my shows and stuff. It was like a lot of fun but what just like this is what I’m gonna do. And somewhere somewhere along in there, I think there was a, there was a long form serial show way early on called the Great Monday that like maybe 10 people have seen. I saw that early on. I was just like, man, because it was they did it for I think six or eight weeks. And it was one story that continued over the weeks I was improvised. And it was ridiculous. What are like man that’s like you can you can do that. And then I started doing more narrative shows or genre shows. And those were really fun. And I really got interested in the idea of doing improvised theater that wasn’t necessarily comedy. And finding those moments where it’s like, oh, this is just like, a, this is just a play. But we don’t have a script. It doesn’t always have to be comedy. And trying to find those. Those moments within shows, or the whole shows themselves, where we’re just like, Hey, we’re putting on a play, and we don’t even have to say it’s improvised. And because, you know, some people don’t believe it’s improvised anyway, so why bother?


HOST  04:42

That’s true.


GUEST  04:44

Yeah. And literally, I was like, where are we up top or like, we make this up? 100% off the bottom. And afterwards, you’re like, Yeah, but like you plan out this and that, like, No man knows or we’re not lying. This isn’t a magic show. Yes, I think it was, I don’t know if there was like a specific date or a show, or a time that it, like, hit me. It was just kind of a slow burn of like, Oh, yeah, like we can do. We can do theater that actually means something and do it in improvised medium instead of scripted. Other.


HOST  05:25

Are you regularly doing that kind of theater now? Are you working on that? Or were you working on that kind of thing?


GUEST  05:33

So let’s see. The last last thing I directed, produced was last year, and we did a series of improvised HP Lovecraft inspired horror, stories and show so each each show was three separate stories and we had a narrator for each one, and it was just straight up horror. It was all improvised. And it was great. And it was I did that show. Pretty much the same show. Oh, maybe Gosh, almost 10 years ago, maybe now could be that long. I brought it back with a whole new cast and it’s great. And then the show before that performed a couple that were also everybody’s drama. There was shattered. That was directed by Peter Rogers and Nicole Bennett. And before that, did the immersive improvise show. So we got a little warehouse space and made it up like a little house and it was heavily inspired by sleep memoir is called speak no more. Because we did it with my silent true golden and it’s like 90 minutes, improvised family drama Elizabethan ghost story thing where we’re all silent. we’re performing in five different rooms are running between the rooms. And we can’t even talk like tell each other what’s going on. And it worked amazing. It was so good. That’s one of the best things. I’ve been a part of.


HOST  07:21

That sounds super fun.


GUEST  07:23

Yeah. I just sort of like it’s, it’s like going into it, like looking back at it like that is if someone asked me to do that now. I’ll just be That’s impossible. You cannot do that. It’s


HOST  07:35

not today, maybe not. Maybe not right in the mid or not the middle of COVID. But I bet Yeah, I bet you betcha. Those immersive shows are back.


GUEST  07:47

There, we still have a box of those masks that we made you aware. So maybe it’s just it’s such a dumb idea and it worked out so great. There’s no there’s no reason they should have worked on it as well as it did. And that’s, that feels like the sort of common experience I have. And there’s like two, there’s two sides of that. There’s like the great side where it’s like, I know, I’ve been doing this for long enough that I don’t have anything proof. And I’m not really afraid of anything on stage I’ve done. I’ve done every shows where we’re completely naked. I’ve done improvised shows where there’s no one person talking for an hour of, you know, we’ve all sort of we do silent shows all the time. So there’s nothing really that I’m afraid of doing on stage. And also there’s nothing that you know, I don’t have to prove to anyone that I can do a thing. So it’s just a really great review of like, yeah, this is a really stupid thing. It’s a dumb idea. There’s no way it’ll work. Let’s go ahead and try it. And that usually works out. Usually, it often works pretty well. Anyway, it doesn’t, it’s gone and no one remembers it. It’s great.


HOST  09:00

Have you always been that easy going, like as far as you know? Lack of fear now? Not so much?


GUEST  09:08

Yeah. Yeah, it was definitely through just like the exposure of performing all sorts of different stuff. My first trip out of our first class was called improv for evil. And, like, we just did all sorts of insane, dumb stuff. And I think we broke a lot like stuff that we had been told that we shouldn’t do or couldn’t do. Not in terms of like safety, but like in terms of like, Oh, you can’t do that improv or Oh, these rules, but that and we just did stuff. And just having I, I feel spoiled, because it was such a unique environment and experience to have that place where we just try stuff and at the time, like, people we’re going to see improv but not we would if we have performed for an audience of one or two. Lots of times. So there’s like a low, low bar, there’s no pressure. And just be able to do that over and over again and tried things, seeing what works and what doesn’t. And just like being on stage and just standing still, and staring at the audience for five minutes. Like, that’s the most terrifying thing for a lot of people and it doesn’t doesn’t bother me anymore.


HOST  10:29

I love that. That’s my favorite. Like, if I could if I could extend the silence staring at the audience for as long as I possibly could. Best.


GUEST  10:42

Yeah, and that’s one of my, that’s one of my dirty secrets is that I’m really good at passing off not knowing what to do or say as a dramatic pause. being okay with that, so like, I have no idea what do I just sort of like stare meaningfully off to the side A little bit, apparently. Gives me a minute to think so.



Such a trick. Excellent trick. I like it. Maybe


GUEST  11:13

we talked about not doing or saying anything.


HOST  11:16

Oh my god, I’m a recap. I’ma like, Where am I? What’s going on? I start like describing what’s been happening. So since we’ve walked into this room, I’ve talked to this guy anyway, just try to get myself like, Where am I going? What’s happening right now?





GUEST  11:37

There’s so many. I mean, mostly newer people, but people of all levels, including myself sometimes where you just get to a place where it’s like, I gotta do something. I’m gonna keep talking or doing something or fidgeting or it’s just meaningless noise to the audience. And, man, if you just like, slow down and not do anything not saying anything for a little bit too long. It’s it just makes such a great impression. I think when they’re people used to watching people just being frantic.


HOST  12:09

Yeah. That’s a good way to, like meet new people to meet new people, especially like in a post show scenario. They want to say stuff to you. You don’t have to say stuff, you know? Yeah. You just go like, yeah, and just smile real big. Oh, wow. You know, I don’t say much. Try not to give too much in that moment, especially in a post show scenario. You know, where you’re like, I’m super poor, but I’m very supportive of you supporting me. Oh, man, Hey, can I jump back? You said when you were a kid, you did Rocky Horror. Now. I didn’t find Rocky Horror until I was an adult. And that’s probably my parents. Good fortune, but like, how, what was the? How did you get involved with that? Like, I’ve only known a handful of people that did it. And I’m always envious, like, I’ve never Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never gone. Okay. I know it’s terrible. And once COVID over, you’ll drag me to one and I’m fine with that. But what I’m saying is like, why did you get involved? Like, what was the scene? Like?


GUEST  13:29

When I was a kid, my dad had a record Album of the soundtrack. And my son and I were playing it all the time. Because we thought it was ridiculous. Yeah, and being pretty young, didn’t know anything about what anything was. And I think it was in a movie too. It was like in fame or something where they would see it as like, Oh, that looks like a fun thing. And so it was mid high school, I think I think my dad actually took me to it. I remember I asked him if he was like, We’re going. And we went, took me like, two or three times, I think. And then I started going by myself later on. And yeah, it’s weird because it’s the same as the same it was in it was in Rochester. It’s like the same group of weirdos that goes in 20 3040 people that go every week. And so when you start going more than a couple times, you know, people, and then eventually people rotate out of the cast performing it in front of the movie. And they’re like, Hey, we know you want to do a thing. And it just just happened. A lot of fun. It’s a and again, that’s it’s like a little like really low pressure, low stakes environment because you’re in a dark movie theater. There’s no light stage lights on you. Everyone there is they’re often or at least know what they’re getting into. So like people running around in fishnet stockings and doing dumb stuff is not. It’s not a problem. Feeling. Like, that’s what we’re here to see. And then, like, the repetition is like, it just becomes I don’t know how to describe it. You just do this thing over and over and over again. Until I breathe and do this. This is my ritual. Yeah.


HOST  15:34

Yeah, it’s a ritual for sure. Did you like make friends with people? Like, was it your crowd? Did you like hang out in high school?


GUEST  15:43

Yeah. After we, we, I went to college in Buffalo and joined the cast there. And I’m still friends with some of the people who are in the cast at least one or two. One of them’s a lawyer in New York now. And we’re like, basically When talking to all the time I was there 30 years ago, 30 years ago. Yep. So, yeah.


HOST  16:09

Man, I think about that movie when I like saw it and then was like, wait, I’m sorry, what large groups of people collect and watch this movie together? was like, yeah.


GUEST  16:23

Yeah. It’s such a it was such an interesting kind of formative time too, because like, as a high schooler in upstate New York, you know, there are not a lot of not a lot of gay people. There’s not a lot of people who aren’t white. Try just being in that environment and being exposed to like, Oh, yeah, like, all all this stuff. And just having it be like, yeah, that’s just how it is. was a real interesting, like, then going out into the real world where people you know, and that’s what you 1990 ish. So people are starting to go out a little bit, but there’s a lot of people who have a lot of problems with anything. It’s not. I don’t over there’s


HOST  17:12

Oh, yeah, I don’t think Rocky Horror would do elephant came out right now. Yeah. Like I think it’ll be like, You know what? I don’t think so.


GUEST  17:22

Yeah, so just a nice environment to be like, yeah, like this is this is all stuff I see all the time. I don’t know why anyone have a problem with any of it.


HOST  17:31

Carry seems fine to me. I don’t know what the problem is. It is interesting to like, because your dad got you into it. Like a it says a lot about your dad in a cool way. Like, it’s like, yeah, cool. Your dad’s my friend now but like also, you know, like he was into it and welcoming to that situation. So like, you would immediately be as well you’re like, Great. Okay, so my dad did. What’s this? Oh, okay. So like when later people are like, That’s weird. You’re like, I don’t get that. You know, because I parents like that too. And when I got older and I was like, I’m confused why you’re mad, like, my mom says it’s fine. She’s the top. So what’s the what’s the problem? Right?


GUEST  18:16

Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people’s biases don’t hold up under any sort of, like, explain to me why a gay marriage is wrong. Like you can’t. You don’t have any good reasons. Even if you don’t like it, you can’t explain besides like, I don’t like it. Right?


HOST  18:35

So like, Are you seriously watching this movie? Like it’s a documentary? Are you kidding me right now? Come on. Clearly, it’s a romp get into it. Like Have you ever seen a musical? Oh, you haven’t happy? I’m so sorry.


GUEST  18:49

One of the first musicals I ever like. Not I’m sure I saw musicals before but I was the first one where I was like, oh, like into this.


HOST  18:58

Yeah. Good.


GUEST  19:00

Songs the college do about about it.


HOST  19:04

Yeah, nobody ever made you watch Guys and Dolls or Oklahoma or anything?


GUEST  19:09

No, not really. I think I kind of like miss that. Like there was like, no grease and you know, movie musicals. But yeah, I didn’t like really do like musical musicals until I like, came on and started doing theater something much later.


HOST  19:25

Yeah. And now it’s like improvised musicals, which is way crazier.


GUEST  19:30

It’s so everybody’s musicals. So here’s the other dirty secret that one of one of many. Improvise singing is the easiest. It’s easy. If you know how to improv, you can improvise singing. You just talk only you talk with a musical tone. And then you have a great musical improviser to play along with you. And it’s super simple to do once you get over the Like, oh my god, I was singing. And people in the audience lose their shit because they’re like, how can you possibly do that? It’s impossible. You can’t You can’t come up with a song with a super simple chorus. It’s like two words that you just repeat over and over again. And then you did it again later. How did you do that? The magic is the easiest thing. And super fun to do. Yeah, I just love hearing people just like, oh my god, I can’t believe like, the two of them like, same the same the same course at the same time or whatever. Like, I know because we make it. There’s it’s tricks. It’s all tricks, though. magic tricks? Yeah.


HOST  20:39

Absolutely. Like we were talking earlier about little ways to like tell people like like, when you look down and you’re like, um, I don’t know what I should do right now. So I’m going to take this dramatic pause. When I did this improv musical. We used to, when I when I do improv, I can keep track of time. But when I did improv musicals, I couldn’t like I, I time would pass in a different way. And so there would always be one of us in the group that would be in charge of staying on track with the time. And we have this thing where that person’s job was to mention anything at all that is French. And that would let us know it’s time to sing the final song. Like so that was our way like, it was just our little communication between us that like, they just be like, man, I could go for some french fries right now. And we’re like, Cool last song God. Like, or he’d be like, are they do some sort of like, I could handle it. Like, does anyone have a croissant? And you’re like, Okay, French I got it. All right. You know, I just be little things no one would ever notice it would go with whatever we’re talking about, but it would like get us all on point together and like, Oh, what? Okay, cool. Great. Let’s sing a big final number. Man, those are fun though. I love That kind of thing. You know, it’s funny you say, I love how your like dirty secret improv singing is easy, says the same guy who is like, but I’d be cool standing on a stage and saying nothing, which I think says that you have some, you know, stage presence and comfortability when you’re on stage, you know, if you have those things, of course, and promising things easy,


GUEST  22:25

but that just came from like, doing doing it badly for a long time. And again, like, I think we were super spoiled, like I started doing a prop here in like 2005. And like the first five years or so like that I was doing it. Again, like they were the community was relatively small, the audience is relatively small and you could get away with doing whatever you wanted, as badly as you want. And so we were very spoiled that we didn’t have to put audience in seats really we could we could do a really, really bad musical. We could do anything. Oh man, the worst improv I’ve ever seen. I still have on my YouTube channel. It’s a it’s a narrative duo that me and my friend a dean did like a year after we started doing improv. There is a truth here called Get up with Shannon, McCormick, and Chamberlain. And they would do improvise narratives. Like, you can do that. So we had like two years. And we decided we were going to do that. And it is the most painful 20 minutes you’ll ever ever see the worst thing I’ve ever been a part of and everything and rage, because now I have people like now saying, oh, you’re good, whatever. I’m just like, No, no, no, you don’t understand it. You have been doing abroad for six months now. And you’re way better than I was after like five years come and it just took off. If you like it took me a longer time, which may explain like a sort of resilience or whatever. Just like a slow. It was a slower cook more of a brisket than a french fry.


HOST  24:13

What kept you going back though? What kept you going even though you felt like it wasn’t connecting?


GUEST  24:21

I don’t know. It was mostly the people I was hanging out with. I think we just get together and do your dumb stuff. And you’ll put on the best show we could which was usually not super great. But gradually got better and better better. And yeah, I like to point back and when people be like, are like, oh, like I had my first mainstage show, I didn’t do the job or, you know, I got kicked off the street or whatever. I’m like, Look, I’m gonna send you a link to a YouTube video. You can look you will, you will know that you are 100 times better than that. So don’t feel bad or feel how you want to feel Feelings are valid. But don’t don’t despair because you are already way better than I was for a long time. So you got two kids.


HOST  25:11

I like the idea that you’re just spreading. You’re like trying to get views on this YouTube video. And also like, you’re like, let me show you this terrible. It’s called like, he should rename it to like worst improv scene ever. And then you get a lot of views on love people watching that, like Watch out for the chicken and quiet. And they’ll watch all the way to the end waiting for some chicken.


GUEST  25:35

At one point, like we were in the middle of the show in the middle of a scene, like I think, I think it was an ad which is like backing off stage tiller, like we’re doing a scene off stage. Viewers wants to be there. It was great, so good.


HOST  25:51

I teach a lot of level ones and I’ve seen quite a few I’m gonna back off stage and try to try to get out of here. I’m usually From the audience out now, you don’t end the scene. Someone else does. Pretty close up stage. Come on. I don’t care if you have nothing else to say keep talking.


GUEST  26:12

Don’t have to say the great thing. You don’t have to be funny. You don’t have to be clever. You don’t have to be fast. Don’t literally don’t have to say anything. Just be cool.


HOST  26:24

How did you get? So like you started out doing? The now? The community was the hideout? Correct? That’s where you started taking classes.


GUEST  26:35

So I started taking classes at the hideout. The community at the time was the Austin improv community which was gonna like 40 people it was kind of consisted of like the hideout and


HOST  26:48

yet oh town maybe institution at that point, Shana.


GUEST  26:52

Around way back Shana was around. Yeah. We’re on yet. I know. We would actually get paid for shows. But we because we would start at the door, but we know each troop would get like a buck 50. But that way the community worked was like, yeah, you get to kind of the door. It’s like $1. But, uh, yeah. And then then the new folks bought the hideout and became that and gather a lot of community based on that, too. That was my primary primary venue.


HOST  27:24

Right on. So when you started though, you did the basic comedy improv, right, looking for game and whatnot. What led you was it just the changeover of the hideout crowd that led you into the sort of improvised dramas and improvised genre pieces or were you into that and you like, sought it out?


GUEST  27:47

Yeah, I definitely was pushing people to do that. From from the get go. I I’m also a gamer. I play a lot of our tabletop role playing games. And the games I was into and still I’m into at the time are less like d&d Friday monster stuff and more like, let’s write sad things on index cards and talk about our characters feelings stuff. Like LARPing, along that lines do. So there’s a lot of like, oh, like we can do this sort of like dramatic story generation at the table. I want to see if we can do it live in front of an audience. It turns out you can, because it’s basically the same thing. Bravo is just role playing standing up. No dice, usually.





GUEST  28:38

The only difference between LARPing and improv is that you get an audience for one.


HOST  28:45

And for LARPing, I find that there’s a bit more like costume and props, and like,


GUEST  28:51

one’s a costume or props for a lot of improv shows. Oh my gosh, all right. I actually made a dozen For the Conan show I directed like, and taught people stage combat and got all the costume. Yeah, it’s probably costume heavy, which sometimes it’s great because it makes it more theatrical. Also, it can be leaned on, I think. Yeah to make up for not great improv, which, you know, happens regardless, but





GUEST  29:25

try to make everything as good as possible and then not care about it.


HOST  29:30

Yeah, I hear that I did that with a sketch show for a while. It was like, okay, we all just wrote amazing scenes now let’s see if the actors learn the lines. Who knows? You know, so yeah, there’s definitely something about I like to say you know, if you want to do live performance, you better be fine with chaos. And and like putting your heart and soul into it and then accepting chaos back like, Okay, cool. And so how did you originally get into the idea of the improvised? Or was it from the RPG games that you had going?


GUEST  30:11

It was it was a bit of both it was, you know, something from like these more dramatic or character and style role playing games and some from just like, like I said, cutting those bits of theater, in whatever we’re doing and be like, oh, like we could do more of this. And we could do it on purpose. And we could just do a play instead of comedy improv, right, which is just our like, I feel like I’m always the kind of person who finds the like the weird thing that other people don’t really want to do. And definitely try to get other people to do it. Everyone’s just, I’m just here to have fun. I’m just letting you know dude, telling jokes and making boots. I’m like, oh, let’s talk about our feelings and expose our dark secrets. And it’s like, but it takes a certain certain kind of performer to be into that.


HOST  31:15

Sure, sure. You know, we all come at it from different points of view, right? I dig the lots of detail and developing the characters. I’m like, Oh, I want to play that role playing game where I just develop a character and don’t have to do anything. I’m into it.


GUEST  31:31

So any recommendations? That’ll be another?


HOST  31:37

there right up the same alley, though. I mean, as far as developing, you know, sort of a war a cohesive world and an improvised, you know, genre show for sure. I mean, if you’re gonna get a bunch of people to make sense in this, you know, one night play, even if it’s fanatic, you know, you have to be able to quickly communicate I’m this person and this is how I feel. And this is what’s gonna happen.


GUEST  32:03

This is my deal. Boom.


HOST  32:05

Yeah, totally, totally. When I would teach, I mentioned earlier that I teach a summer camp. Now this year was all online and just me teaching by myself, but years past. It’s been I’m teaching comedy some of the day, but then there’s other people who I get to, like, kind of curate what their other lessons of the day are. And I will ask for certain things to help develop what we’re trying to do. So there was a guy, maybe you know, him actually is named Ben Sterling. Who? Yeah, he would teach Commedia del arte to the kids. Yeah, and just knowing the sort of tropes and the characters really helped when I was like, Okay, guys, let’s write this scene about, you know, these characters, what’s going to happen and then they give me a vague idea, and then I’d be able to assign different characters to the ideas that Ben had given them in the morning, and that would help us write the thing be like, you know how we were talking about that guy who’s the villain, okay, this character we’re writing, they’re gonna be the villain, you know, so really helped. Like, sort of the interdisciplinary nature of that, like, this is a the idea of these trope characters is something we’ve been doing for thousands of years. Like, we can do it. Just give them a different name. It’s all the same. This one’s a lover. This one’s a fighter. This one’s mad about everything.


GUEST  33:30

Great. Got it. This whole pull out of your pocket like I know I’ve done stuff. I’ve taught some Commedia to find electrics and be like, cool. Like, we’ll just have to pick a random character and see what works and it always works even like, we got to pick up a Thanos like, it’s great. It’s hilarious. Yeah.


HOST  33:49

Yeah. Yeah. Because it like feels like it feels not only like a structure that you can handle. But when there’s sort of historical context to it, I mean, I don’t know about you. I went to a couple That was like all about the classical theater stuff, you know? So Commedia was like, number one, right? They were all about it. And so is there’s just something comforting, I think to imagine that like, not millions, but like, hundreds of thousands of years ago, there are people putting on these plays just winging it, just like we are.


GUEST  34:23

There’s a certain like, I think there’s a lot of kind of imposter syndrome amongst all artists but improvisers and actors as well. And, like, there’s a difference between coming up with a character, you know, fully fleshed out on the spot, however well, or just picking something that someone else already made another archetype or even something that someone wrote down like, audience, like that’s half of why we take suggestions, you It’s not your fault anymore. And like, if you have to, if you’re making up a character, you can feel like Oh, now I got to make the right choice tonight. is dumb. I don’t Am I not the worst ever, but you can do the exact same thing and just pick, you know, an arbitrary character that someone else came up with before whether it’s a Canadian character, whatever. And then I go like, Oh, yeah, this is solid because someone else did it or it’s already existing. And like, you feel less like it’s your dumb choice. And people feel like people like get a lot of confidence from that. I think a lot of like, be the the journey to becoming a good improviser is maybe not necessarily feeling but like understanding that your your choices are just as solid and you can be as confident with those is something someone made up with thousand years ago? Hmm,


HOST  35:43

yeah, totally. I don’t usually. I have a sort of similar personal confidence on stage. So I never, people always talk about imposter syndrome. I’ve started feeling it since I’ve been home because I’m not doing as much work. When I stay busy, I don’t think about it at all. Because,


GUEST  36:03

yeah, I don’t think about


HOST  36:05

and also like, I’m not an imposter. I’m doing this. Are you doing this? No, you’re not great. I’m in. Like, yeah. Okay. Like when people are like, oh, but I’m not famous. And I was like, Yeah, like I didn’t work all last year. I did. Like, great. I’m super glad he’s famous. I hope it works out for him. But yeah, that’s not. That’s not what I want. You know, I talked to my friends who like legitimately went to like film school and are like trying to be actors, and they haven’t performed at all like, they’re in LA, they haven’t done anything. And you know, I’m done anything in six months.


GUEST  36:37

are too high. Like you’re doing this for a living, or you’re doing this to become famous or impress someone and the stakes are high and that like automatically makes you seize up. Yeah, you have to go. Even if the stakes are high, you have to kind of throw it away, which is really hard. way easier said than done.


HOST  36:56

Or like in the case of there being a community which now the current community Do you know COVID? Shut down aside, the community of Austin has a lot of opportunities. But there’s still way more people than there are opportunities. So I’m sure there’s plenty of people who are like, Oh, I wish I could do this show, but I didn’t get cast in it. I’m not the kind of person who goes, Oh, that sad that you didn’t cast me I’m not going to do anything. Now. I’m like, cool. I wanted to do that thing that you wanted to do. And now I’m not in your thing. So I’m going to find a way to do it myself.


GUEST  37:30

Yeah. And that’s exactly like the last couple things. We did. Like we didn’t do with a theater. We, I was like, I’m going to do the show. I’m not going to wait for someone tell me it’s okay to do it. Even though I know I have a good relationship and a track record. So I could probably go to a theater and be like, Hey, I’m gonna do the show or want to be in the show. Or like, you know, I’m not gonna wait for someone to tell me that. I’m allowed to do this show or waiting for someone to put me on a schedule or give me space. I’m like, I’m gonna I’m going to get people I’m going to maybe do a Kickstarter to get some money. I’m going to rent a space. I’m going to hold auditions, I’m going to make a show happen. Great. And that’s how I feel. I don’t think. I don’t think people do this on purpose. But there is definitely a scarcity mindset to a lot of people I know. But most of the people who are responsible for a lot of schools and whatnot, do not, like, actively advocate against that scarcity mindset.


HOST  38:30

What do you mean, the scarcity mindset? I don’t know that I understand what you mean.


GUEST  38:34

So like, if you’re a student, and you’ve finished all levels, and you’re like, cool, I want to do shows. You know, there’s 50 other people who graduated near you, and there’s, you know, six slots in a mainstage show. And I think people feel like they have to fight or like, socially climb or do something or radius or whatever to like, be noticed or get that spot and like in the grand scheme of things Like, getting a lot of mainstage improv show was like the lowest take, like, you’re not getting paid, you’re not getting famous 100 people are gonna see you. But like, it’s a small, tight knit community. So like the stakes are personally high, because you’ve made these bonds with these people and you want to, you know, you want to be in front of people, you want to get your chance to be on stage, you want to show off to your friends and family. There’s a lot of reasons.


HOST  39:25

Yeah. Plus, there’s a certain level of like, climbing a ladder within the community that you feel like you have to do when you first get into it.


GUEST  39:34

Yeah, and I know that no, I’ve spoken and listen to a lot of you know, theater owners and school owners and stuff. They’re like, please go do your own stuff. You don’t have to do that. But there’s, it’s just because people are people. And there’s that scarcity mindset. People feel like they have to scramble and like if someone doesn’t give them a slot in the schedule or someone doesn’t cast in the show. They feel like they’re not good enough to do their thing or They’re not allowed to do they’re like the worst. Like they’re, if someone else doesn’t give me time on the schedule, I can’t do my show, or my troop can’t perform next budget. Yeah, go to their coffee shop, go to a bar, go to the street, you know, rent a space, put on the show you want. There’s no one can tell you not to do a thing. Or they can but you don’t have to listen to them. You do what you like.


HOST  40:22

Yeah, there’s no like theater police. Like there really isn’t anyone that will stop you doing something if you want to make it happen on your own. I get the idea that not everybody’s like a show organizer, though. Like, like some people just there’s a huge part of, you know, the population of performers that will wait for somebody else to give them an opportunity. I feel like that’s a lot of people not just an awesome like across the board. Yeah, so but the idea of like, putting yourself out there and doing your own thing seems so like, you know, like a frightening prospect. You know, I’m here to tell anyone that’s listening. The specter of getting in trouble for doing something is gone. Chris true is not around anymore. He used to tell us not to do stuff all the time. But he was the only one in the whole community that ever had rules like that, ever, ever. On this


GUEST  41:19

podcast like that guy.


HOST  41:20

Yeah, you can say, Oh, my God, oh, my Absolutely. But like, that’s, that was the only scenario like I, I thought that too. But in my initial experience, there was sort of a gatekeeper, right. But I’m here to tell you guys since I’ve been around, it turns out there isn’t a gatekeeper. And to the point of anything like you could go to any one of the other improv theaters and pitch your show. Like that’s the other thing too. Yeah, maybe the entire cast is people that like are from hideout. Maybe the whole show was conceived after a workshop done at the hideout. But that doesn’t mean that every other theater might not be like, yeah, sure, we’ll take that. We’ll put that out. On our, our roster and any kinds of space or whatnot, the other thing to to think about when you’re trying to produce your own show is like who’s looking for this? Like you don’t have if you go to an Improv Theater sometimes that’s already fill up. Those people are not interested right now go somewhere where they’re gonna be like, what is this? This is a wild I don’t understand why.


GUEST  42:25

Like, one of the sort of realizations that a lot of people have made, it’s like, you know, we have or had have we still have around you know, there’s say for everyone theaters in town, they can fill say, you know, 50 seats a night or 100 season, I’d say they optimistically any given weekend night, but if they completely sell out, pack x frequently 500 people seeing improv, there’s a million people in Austin. You’re not your competition is not other improv theaters or The audit, you’re not trying to get the audience’s going there. You want people who, you know, would stay home and watch Netflix or you know, do whatever. If you if you can’t get any of the other 999,950 people out to your show. It’s not anyone else’s fault.


HOST  43:19

Well think about we were talking earlier that you and I did both did dinner detective, a totally random, very campy, ridiculous show. That’s essentially what we’re talking about. It was an improvised base that we knew what happened. But you know, we didn’t really know all the things that we’re going to go on during the course of the evening. We played it out. How many people after the show were like, I didn’t even know they did improv in Austin. You’re like, Are you kidding me? You know what I mean? Like the people that came to that show. Were just a different group of people, people that would never have googled improv in Austin, right? but yet they came to a show and experienced it had a great time thought they had the oh my goodness, it’s so wonderful like, guys that was at the Marriott, the Marriott would not mind renting you that room. They’re fine with it.


GUEST  44:12

Anyone can do it. And there is no there is a there is a privilege barrier of like you need to have enough money to put up for a space, you need to have enough free time you know that you’re not working or taking care of kids that you can organize. There’s like, there are a lot of barriers that are not related to theater. But I’m sure it’s


HOST  44:34

like anything if you’re interested in doing something, no matter what it is, whether it’s producing a play writing a novel, learning how to weld, like you’re gonna find the moments in your day to get it done. And the unfortunate part is, no skill is going to come to you by you thinking about how you’d like to do it. You like so you gotta do it. You got it. Figure it out. And you gotta navigate like, thankfully, like, I like talking to you right now because like both of us have had experiences producing in this city and then outside of the city where it’s like, you know, I’ve tried, I’ve done random different things. I worked for a theater, I was an intern at a theater in Portland, Maine. And it was like a thing where I was the assistant director of two of the shows of their season two of the shows out of the full year, which meant all the rest of the time, I had a lot of free time. So anytime I had free time, I was like, Is there an open space I could use? And they said, Yeah, hear us this space. And I put up two different plays, because I was just bored. And other people were to was like, Hey, man, you’re not in this next play. You want to do this monologue with me? And he’s like, Yeah, go for, you know,


GUEST  45:48

like, Great, awesome. They’re, like, go COVID aside, like, a 20 minute play. Like there’s like the fronteira fest every year. Like literally all you have to do is I want to do a thing and get a spot. There are lots of things like that where if you want to do a thing, it’s even if there are barriers like those barriers are very low. Look for festivals look for yet look for people who have empty space collaborate with people.


HOST  46:18

My God festivals. You’re right. There’s so much of that. Even even not COVID aside, you know how many online festivals there are right now? Oh, my God, if you were like, I can’t afford a plane ticket. But I bet you can get on zoom. Come on. Yeah.


GUEST  46:32

There’s a festival in New York that he couldn’t make otherwise, right. Later on this month. I like Oh, yeah. Cool. I don’t have to leave my house. Great. Awesome. And yeah, and like this. You’re You’re absolutely right like this. Talking about, like removing barriers. You don’t have to rent a space anymore. You don’t have to get approval from a theater or artistic director. You don’t have to run by anyone. It’s like the only limitation is you having a computer and a network Connect And like you can do as good or better of a show than many, many, many people are doing right now or teach classes. You can teach classes online. You don’t need to do anything besides like, tell people what you know. Yeah, right. Dr. Bill Barnard, she’ll be the first person to tell you like every, every person has their own a profitable. So if like if you always wanted to be an improv teacher, but have been able to get to be a TA at your school of choice, like, fuck it, do put together a syllabus and invite some people to do a free class. Or if you want to get some people together, do a show. I have a script reading group, we just like do table reads of scripts with like a little show for ourselves. You can do that for other people that like you can do you can do as good or better show than anyone in the world is doing right now. There’s no there’s no barriers except for doing it. Right.


HOST  47:58

Yeah, and you know, I’ve noticed a little A lot of like, watching a lot of the zoom stuff like like not just our internal like Austin or improv zoom stuff. I mean, like the parks and rec zoom special and like the SNL done on zoom, y’all, we’re all figuring this out one by one way. This is not like they weren’t great, right? We know that. Like somebody wanted to throw some makeup on half of those parks and rec people, but they did it right. But that’s okay. That’s what they really look like. I’m so sorry. You had to find out now, but that’s it, right?


GUEST  48:36

It was, um, Ah, crap. What was it? It wasn’t a Shakespeare play. It was a Greek play. Anyway, it was like, professional actors, big theater. overdue, man. It was like, Okay. Like, I’ve seen, I’ve seen I’ve seen some amazing others. So you know, the rednecks in town here. them play called method gun. They never got saw. See? A student group at Wesleyan College did a production of it over and they had to switch to doing it over zoom halfway through the process. And it is the best thing I’ve seen so far. They were so amazing. performances are great. The way they use the medium was great.


HOST  49:22



GUEST  49:23

yeah, it was like, yeah, balling halfway through it is


HOST  49:26

amazing. You know, that’s a good point, using the way to use the medium. Like, that’s another thing of like, if you’re sort of hitting a wall with like, stuff that you were doing, if like, when COVID hit, you are like, Oh, man, I don’t. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I’ve exhausted all the things I wanted to do. Well, here’s a brand new medium that you’re not allowed to be worked with and


GUEST  49:51

your limitations now and that is the best way to get yourself going. Yeah, and like I’ve watched a lot of stuff Because it both for refunds and for among bipac minis, I have to watch a lot of stuff. And I’ve seen some stuff where people are like really, really, really making good use of the media because it’s, you know, you’re not on a stage anymore and you’re not performing for a television camera. And you’re not doing a web series like you. This is a new thing. And I’ve seen a lot of really great things and a lot of things. We’re just like, we’re gonna do the same thing. Only, you know, sitting down with zoom background, it’s like, oh, I’m glad you’re glad you’re doing your thing. But like, the people who are like really using a new medium, and I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface. What we’re we’re forced to do this now. So I think people was not gonna be capable. We expect there’s gonna be people coming out of nowhere. We’re doing something off the wall. Amazing.


HOST  50:51

Yeah, right. I mean, cuz you see people making these friggin tic Tock masterpieces. And then back in the day like remember when they Did like Cloverfield and it was all the handheld cameras and everyone was like, Oh my god, I can’t even handle it. It’s like just a different way of doing stuff, man. I mean, right now I’m working on. I don’t even know if I should call it a web series or what, but like a web series was a couple of friends of mine from local theater, where like, they wrote it specifically with the idea that we would all film our stuff separately. So like, we all film our own things separately, and then they’re editing it together. So it’s like, super interesting how that’s a different sort of medium and figuring it out. Like we’re all in different spots, but they figured out a way to arrange it so that it’s not like super terrible that we’re in different spots, you know? So,


GUEST  51:50

like, using their house as a background and like, there’s ways to incorporate that like, don’t try, don’t hide it. Like use the fact that you are visibly different spaces to do something. There’s so many so many limitations that you can use for great effect, I think and I don’t even know where to begin.


HOST  52:13

Plus, if you’re like deep into celebrity worship watching them do zoom is hilarious. No one is there not unless they’re improvisers like. Sure. You see. You see like Amy Poehler did great. She’s fine. You know, she’s alright. She can handle it. But like the rest people trying to figure out what they’re doing, how this works, what’s going on? And like you when you I’ve been watching like, interviews, you know, and you like see their room and you’re like, what’s, like, what’s happening? Like, you’re like, what are the books behind Tom Hanks head? What is that book? I need to know Dianetics





HOST  52:55

Oh, six copies of Dianetics. Okay, cool. I got it. You know, but But you know, it’s just little things like that where you’re like, What is she drinking Chardonnay right now? What’s going on Hoda, you are on point. Like, like, whatever, whatever ridiculous fun little details that we can now glean from one another. It’s really even the playing field to me earlier talking about like, Oh, this famous person versus, you know, like this actor or whatever. But now it really is the same. I mean, like, it’s, it’s even the playing field to the point where like, I’ve seen little zoom at their own home shot movies with famous people. were like, they’re making little scenes with their friends. And it’s like, yes.


GUEST  53:43

The fight choreographer movies have gone around, right? We’re like, each fight choreographer, you like those, like punches the camera or goes back. And like, yeah, like stuff like that, like no one would have ever done that before. They had And it’s amazing. It’s so great. Yeah, to see what happens.


HOST  54:06

There’s also something really great about a moment of boredom. I was actually bemoaning a lack of boredom. Sometimes I worried that it was these thoughts that I had that caused us into this thing. But I was bemoaning the lack of boredom for myself and for everyone that there was just too much available for us all the time that I was never going to get to the point that I needed to get to really come up with a new idea or do something new. And boy Howdy, Did I get it? I got a lot of staring. Now there’s a lot of like, Oh my god, what am I gonna do with my day? Okay, the same thing. Plus, I’m a toddler now who likes to watch the same movie every day. So there’s a lot of that there’s a lot of like zoning as that’s going on. And then coming back. Oh, oh yeah, look at him. Okay.


GUEST  55:03

Are you with him again? Yeah.


HOST  55:07

Oh, he’s gonna fall. Oh, look, they saved him. Yeah. Oh no. But yeah, it’s interesting how, uh, you know, this this moment I’m trying to, you know, soak up as much as I can for its creative helpfulness. Like, what new ideas do I have? What new views of the world? What new ways can I communicate this? Hmm. What do you think for you has been the thing that you’re taking away and this is kind of off the cuff. But like, it’s okay. If you don’t have an answer. Is there any sort of creative lessons you’re taking away from this time?


GUEST  55:48

Yeah, I’m in the before times. I’m really, really busy. And I was like, man, if I just had no If I just had like a month of free time, I could like knock this project out or do this or whatever. And now I have all the time in the world. And I find that it does not help with being productive. I’m working on a podcast with some folks right now, doing some writing, I was like I have all day every day like I am not as just like, it’s not the like going forward. when things change, however they will like, it’s not the lack of free time. I think that necessarily keeps you from doing stuff. Like every time I’ve like been unemployed or between contracts or whatever, like, I have a month to do this thing that I want to do. And I always wind up not doing it. But when I’m like doing two shows, and working full time, like Oh, I like somehow I wrote this book or whatever. And I know it doesn’t feel like either side is necessarily super healthy. But it’s just an observation, sort of like noticing like it’s not, it’s not lack of time that is keeping me from doing things. It is something else and I have figured out what it is


HOST  57:18

like you know what it is? I’m have two thoughts about this one. I feel like sometimes their ideas for projects in our head that are not actual ideas for projects, but rather they’re just good brainstorming fodder, and they help us develop other ideas. So I’ve had this one screenplay that I wrote, this screenplay wasn’t great. It was like a first draft. You know how it goes. And I was trying to figure out how to revamp it. How do I change this? What do I do? The brainstorming that I do, I’ve never rewritten okay, but the brainstorming than I do about how to rewrite it has formed three or four other stories, right? Because of just the Nature in which I’ll start pulling the ideas out. What about this? What about this? What about this? What about this? And then I’m like, Ooh, this is interesting. And I go down this other path with a different character and a different thing altogether. But it’s just sort of like so I kind of think like, some ideas aren’t meant to happen. They’re there to keep your brain crunching and moving around and, and thinking of stuff but but that story, that character will never truly come to life in the same way that others will. It doesn’t make them less than it’s just that and then the other thing is, I’ve been watching spending time at home a lot. We got this like app that’s called Great Courses, on Yeah, on our TV, and we’ve been learning stuff and one of the things that we learned about was about the way your brain works and that was about motivation and getting projects done. And it was like, your brain is naturally going to procrastinate. Like, it’s got 1000 things going on, don’t beat yourself up, like that’s what it’s gonna do. But if you really want to do something, the first thing you need to do is stop doing anything like if you want to work on a project as opposed to like, okay, I just got home from work. Now I’m going to sit down and write the novel. Okay? The guy, the neuroscientist teaching this course says you should come home, sit for 20 minutes, not do anything. Just think about the project you want to do. And then after 20 minutes, start working. Then that 20 minutes of downtime in which you let your brain relax and also formulate what it’s going to do and plan and stuff like that will actually be better for you and that like a lot of times we think that what we should do is just like go go, go, go go. But he suggests that the brain needs like, like a prep time where you’re like, Hey brain, okay, we’re gonna do this project and I know that you want to make me not do it because you’ve been we’ve been procrastinating on this one for six months. But today we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it Today’s the day because of this, I think of it. When they when he told that money told tells a story made me think of, you know, like improv scenes where you’re like, today’s the day like Okay, guys, what’s today? What Why are we having this conversation? Today is the day she needed to tell you this. Why? Why is today the day right? Yeah. And that makes me think, you know, like, so that’s how so in my mind, I think it’s sort of like priming your brain to suddenly be like, you know what, today is the day I’m getting it done. I’m gonna be the best at this. It’s gonna go great. And it’s like ridiculous. And the guys like, Listen, I get that you’re probably laughing at me and saying, like, I’m not gonna trick my brain into doing it. If I don’t want to do it, I’m not gonna do it. And that’s the other thing I think, by the way is if you don’t want to do it, you’re not going to do it. But the neuroscientists says, if you think about it long enough, you can make yourself do it. So I thought, hey, this guy’s pretty good. He’s a scientist should probably listen to him.


GUEST  1:01:15

language of like, I’m gonna trick my brain into this as if your brain is something that is separate from you. That language is always just like really, really interesting to me. Like, I it’s not tricking myself, like I’m tricking this other thing that somehow makes me do things. It’s like, it


HOST  1:01:35

sounds crazy. But like the whole lesson that this thing was that I was watching was literally about the things that we feel are logical, common sense ways our brain should work and how our brains work the opposite way.





HOST  1:01:50

and I was like, What? You know, different I forget one of the other ones, but I was just like, so mad when he was like, actually, this happens and I was like, no


GUEST  1:02:00

Cuz like common sense wanted it to be true. I’m kind of out of the mind of the mind that there is like, there is not a single brain, you don’t have a single mind like there’s 100 competing brains in your brain that are all trying to do different things. And whichever one like comes to the surface at any time is the one that you like, think is yourself that sounds and aloud, I like



  1. I like it.


GUEST  1:02:27

I think like where how I like neural networks, because that’s a different thing. But like, that’s actually turned out like how a lot of stuff works. Like there’s a lot of competing, competing people in your head. Yeah, sort of synthesize into who you are glanza like, you do kind of have to trick things into doing things. You can like when you’re doing like math work or something on stage, or whatever. Like, there’s a lot of like, oh, like that is I’ve definitely had moments where Like, had a strong character or a mask character on stage and like they are they are separate from you, and they are doing and saying a thing. And I’m in my brain like watching it going like oh no, why would you do that? is really like interesting. That’s our like, separation of mind. And like, of course, like, I’m not schizophrenia or whatever, like I’m a person with a coherent identity. Because the thinking about like, the way like these different these different like, sort of like sub routines, I guess, in your brain, like, fight for dominance and wrestle with each other. And


HOST  1:03:36

you will makes me think of what you were saying earlier about, like costumes, like some things are costume heavy, and they can do the work, the costumes do a lot of the work, if only just to get you into the mindset of this other person. I mean, like, I’ve heard actors on television shows be like, you know, I have to wait to be the character until they finish my makeup and then I look at myself and I’m like, Okay, now I can Do it. And it’s like crazy.


GUEST  1:04:03

Like I’m saying like people will be like, and like then go on stage and be a character and like their character is not, does not have a blue and then they get off stage and immediately they’re sick again. It’s just like really? I don’t know. It’s really fascinating to me.


HOST  1:04:18

Oh adrenaline’s the best drug of the mall. Are you kidding me? Yeah, you get on stage. You could be like, yeah, fully, fully fluid up, and then you go up and you’re like, haha, I’m the best who’s who’s laughing at me? Everybody loves me. I see. I see a lot of guys. And you get off stage and you’re like, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Love that for sure. Yeah, it makes me think of like, you know, just developing the way that you look at yourself. Like, I I’m not a Freud person. Exactly. But I do think there’s some validity to like the, the in the ego and the super ego like you know, the ID being Like, you know, the part of me that’s like, yeah, gonna have some chocolate eat it now. Yeah. And then there’s the super ego who’s like, it’s really not good for you probably shouldn’t have it. You should quit sugars on the whole. And then the ego who’s sort of in between the two of them who’s like, okay, I hear what you’re saying, Yeah, I get that you want chocolate, I get that you want us to quit? We’re not going to quit, or not gonna have chocolate right now. Do you guys think? Okay, good. Sounds good. Like, I feel like for sure, there’s definitely for me at least three solid, like voices in there moving things around trying to make decisions like the it’s all about emotions, you know, like, when I’m angry. It’s all like, yeah, look, punch something, what’s happening? Ah, you know, and like, I’m, you know, the logical part of my brain is like, you know, I, I see that you’re angry and you probably shouldn’t do or say anything that you’re thinking right now because that’s not gonna end well. So you know what I mean? Like, so there’s all sorts of things. Different parts of me I think about that all the time. And to be honest, if not for the, you know, psychologists that have mentioned such things and even acting training, like you’re talking about with the mask and developing characters and stuff, I’d probably think I was crazy. But the fact that there’s so many people around me that also have this connection to sort of the multiple sides of themselves. It’s like, okay, okay, cool. Great. Great. I’m not I’m not the only one. Yeah. Anyway. Oh, man, I’d rather be crazy. I think it’s a good path. It seems right for me. I’ve always thought I was gonna go down a rabbit hole and end up in a straitjacket someday. Who knows how it’ll go. We’ll see. I mean, that the most fun way about myself, I promise. Um, so final question for you. Thank you, Mark, by the way for chatting with me for so long and sharing. What is any advice Ice that you have for other people who want to do performance like you do, how do they How do they get into it? And how do they How do they make it happen?


GUEST  1:07:14

I’m just do it yeah, I mean really, I mean really the only reason that I am where I am is because I stuck around long enough. I think literally, the only reason is like, keep keep doing it. Like find the thing you like to do. Keep doing it and wait until everyone else leaves so then you’re the best but like it’s just it’s really like, I am a firm believer that there is talent is not a thing that exists as a made up concept. What it skill is not a thing you know, except for like, you know, there’s some people are more About predisposed to being marathon runners, whatever, I think is like as far as like acting or playing an instrument or writing or singing or whatever you like to do. The only reason people are good at it is because they have spent a lot of time at my, my daughter is 13 or 13. She’s incredibly good artist right now, I think. And she gets furious when her friends are like, Oh my god, you’re such a good artist, like you draw, like, you have so much talent. She’s like, no, I draw four to eight hours a day, every single day because I like it. But like putting in those hours is the only way to do it. And even like directed practice, or what’s the term, like the practice directed towards doing the thing as good as possible? is gonna shorten that time, but like, I didn’t have it. I didn’t. I didn’t really do that, like I did my best but just a matter of like doing doing your 10,000 hundred hours and just keeping adage. And if you don’t like it, you don’t you don’t have to do it anymore. Like sunk. sunk cost is a is a terrible thing. Like if you’re especially like, man, like if you’re in some sort of relationship, like an impromptu or whatever, and like, we’ve been together for five years, and everyone hates each other and I don’t like the work we’re doing, but I put five years in so I keep doing it. You don’t have to do to like, or like I don’t like, I don’t like writing anymore. I’m going to be a dancer great. You don’t have to do it. You do what you like. But if you want to get good at something, put in the hours. And if you just want to do something, you’ll be fine, but that is totally fine too. You don’t have to be the one of the things that like has been enraging me more and more last couple years is like the idea that you have to hustle or make your hobby something You become great at or can make money at. If you just like doing theater, just to like be onstage and be dumb. Like, you don’t have to be good. No, I don’t care if you’re good. Most people don’t care if you’re good. If there’s a or if there’s something that you like that you really enjoy that you really think you are good at, and nobody agrees, welcome you the thing that you like, draw your, your webcomic the player, you know, banjo or whatever, like you do it because you like it. And if someone else likes it, that is a bonus. If you get good at it, that is a bonus. But you get paid for those supervise. But dude, do what you like, you got you got, you know, up to 80 years left. Not a lot of time to do what you like and like everyone else. Be nice to people.


HOST  1:10:47

Be nice to people. That’s a good one.



That’s a good


HOST  1:10:51

Yeah, I mean, in the interest of doing what you like, you know, be nice to people because they’re trying to figure out what they like to


GUEST  1:10:59

yeah Yeah, it’s always nice. Yeah, it’s nice to be around people who are nice. And especially if you’re, if you’re someone who has been around a while that other new people come in and see, like, be nice to new people. Be nice to people you don’t know. Be nice to people who can’t. Most importantly, be nice to people who can’t get your period like that’s the number one. Let’s do that put in the hours and get that done. But what I whenever people ask me for advice like that, pretty proud of it, like my two rules are like, I was not good for a long time. You don’t have to be good. show up on time. And don’t be a pain in the ass. Get your 90% of the way and have a side job because you’re not going to get rich doing it.


HOST  1:11:50

I’m gonna say show up on time and don’t be a pain in the ass could get you like a full film career. Like


GUEST  1:11:58

all you got to do that will put you above 90% It


HOST  1:12:00

really will. It really will. It’s crazy how those two things are so rare. Oh my god, I can’t tell I honest to goodness, when I had the sketch show I had I, the people that would show up on time for the audition and be like, oh, they’re the first three and



I don’t care if they’re the worst. I’ll put them in. I’ll find them Raul. I’ll teach him how to be better.


GUEST  1:12:27

Yeah, you could always teach people you can always direct people. You can get big, big people not be the way they are.


HOST  1:12:36

Yeah, that’s why I like like in auditions for stuff, like for film or commercials. I like when the people who are going to be making it are there because I can get anyone to like me, you know, so I’m like, Hey, you want to hang out with me? You know, you do. I’m the best. And then and then they’re like that’s true. There might be much plenty more attractive people. or people who are more talented, but I’m a fun time and they have to spend six months with somebody as me right. Fun Time, Amy. Oh man, so fun. Thank you so much for chatting with me and sharing your story and excellent advice.


GUEST  1:13:19

Yeah, thanks for having me on.


HOST  1:13:27

Thanks for listening to yes but why podcasts? Check out all our episodes on yes but why podcast calm or check out all the content on our network at Universal at HC Universal Network calm

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