24 Apr

Aziz Ansari. Image courtesy NBC.

It seems like the subject of comedy has been coming up a lot lately in my life, reminding me of how much I miss writing and performing for the stage (or for live-action video).

On Monday, my Digital Savant column was about how stand-up comics are using social media and other technology to attract fans, sell their own productions or even generate material. I spoke to several local comics who will be performing at the new Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest as well as Aziz Ansari, who was nice enough to do a short phone interview with me for the piece to talk about his online special, “Dangerously Delicious.”

I’ll be covering some of the Moontower shows this week for the paper. My colleague Dale Roe did a piece in the paper advancing the festival that looked back at the Austin comedy scene, including some previous festivals like the Big Stinkin’ fest, which was the first big gig we ever had in the Latino Comedy Project.

The LCP, incidentally, is about to put on a brand new show in May called “Los Abengers.”

My understanding is that some of my other comedy friends are also doing a different comedy show that’s being put together and it just got me thinking how fun it was to write together and to go through the process of editing and revising sketches. (Sometimes it was frustrating and tough, but the parts I remember best are just laughing and laughing, all around the table.) I’ve offered to write stuff from afar, but of course, it’s not the same as being at writing meetings and rehearsals and doing the work to get stuff on its feet. With the way my life is right now (kids, commute, other writing commitments), it’s just not possible to do that. But I do miss it.

I still have sketches that were written and never produced and a few ideas for new sketches, but the whole point of a sketch troupe is the collaboration, the whole being more than the individual parts, and doing something like that remotely, shooting in scripts by email or Google Docs and not being able to participate beyond that seems weird and maybe wrong. But we’ll see.

Other stuff going on recently: I did an interview with Dennis Tardan for his BlogTalkRadio show. We just talked about writing, inspiration, trying to be creative, all that. It was nice to talk about writing and not have it just be about stuff related to technology. He asked some great questions and the interview took place on a day off when I was able to lie on the couch and relax and really focus on the conversation.

I covered the International Symposium on Online Journalism at UT over the weekend and blogged about it for Digital Savant. It’s always an inspiring conference with lots of great idea.

Soon I’ll be posting the last Trailers Without Pity video of the season (and if I’m being honest, perhaps ever). But more on that in the next post.

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