How did you get involved with Weird Town and Venture Shark?
I met everyone in level C improv at Second City, my Sunday class had shrunk to the point of not being viable and I moved to Tuesdays to meet an awesome group of funny collaborative talents. When I heard about the project I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a creative process with these great funny folks.
Who is your character on Venture Shark?
My character’s name is Eric, he works in accounting and is a terrible terrible person. He’s the kind of person who sits around in online forums and uses the words Marxist and Postmodernism without actually understanding what they mean.
Do you get performance anxiety? If so how do you deal with it?
I do, it’s something that hits me (as well as a severe case of Impostor Syndrome) but I just try and plow through it and usually after the first couple of seconds adrenaline kicks in and I get in the head space. One of the big therapeutic takeaways from improv class was valuing the moment and trusting those around you have your back. Ever since I started being more in the moment it’s really helped with this anxiety.
Tell us your characters top 3 best/worst qualities.
Gross, just really really gross. He can’t dress himself, he doesn’t know how to socialize with others and is just kind of mean spirited.
Do you have any life experiences similar to Eric? If so, what and how does it help you with your performance?
I’ve been an office worker for the better part of 20 years now, I spent a good deal of that time in the tech world (15 years in software and hardware support, database management, systems integration and customer training). During that time I’ve worked in companies ranging from big corporations to tiny start ups. Over the years I’ve met more than a few people like Eric and just sort of drew from my experiences with them.
How do you prepare and get into character?
I just think back to the last gate keeper jerky gross thing I read on the internet and channel that.
Why is Weird Town important to you?
I just love the opportunity to work with friends and create something, the rest of the cast and crew are so awesome it’s a real joy to be a part of it.
If your character was trying to help you get over performance anxiety, what advice would they give?
Eric would probably say something dumb like “Just man up” or “Grow a pair” followed by something even more aggressively misogynistic.
Plug your stuff! What else do you do? What are the links people can find you at?
People can find me on twitter at the handle @commonperson but I don’t really update all that much. Most of my energy goes into the comedy podcast I collaborate with my friend Jason Deline on called The Comedy Album Book Club (www.comedyalbumbookclub.com). We do panel shows with local and international comedians as well as one on one interviews to discuss their craft.