An Interview With Comedian Evan Wecksell

// Posted by eliza gale on May 30, 2012 – 10:22pm

Evan Wecksell is a comedian who has appeared on such shows as “I Love the 70s” and “I love the 80s”. Here is a link to his web-site:

www.evanwecksell.com

1. What made you interested in being a comedian?

It was never a lifelong dream. I always liked being funny, I liked funny people so I had an eye on it, but I was in the early stages of a non-profit and sports marketing career. Having just finished an internship at the National Hockey League, I took a Sports, Entertainment and Events Marketing seminar at NYU. During the final presentation I was really good at making the WNBA funny. The presentation was strong, but the humor was stronger. The professor wanted me on the stage so I looked up some comedy classes to take in NYC.

2. What kind of training have you had?

I took the Stand-Up Comedy class at The Comic Strip in NYC two times through. DF Sweedler was a good teacher who really gave you the theory behind stand-up. When I moved to Los Angeles, I studied musical theater with Gary Imhoff at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. He let me bring my funny songs to class and then I followed him to his own school when he left BHP. Can’t endorse him enough as a teacher for all artists.

3. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a comic?

I regularly give a seminar at Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood called “How To Make a Living in Comedy.” (Next one is June 11.) The first thing I go over is the way to make it in comedy is quantity, quality and viability. In other words, write and perform a lot of material, let your best stuff shine and make sure you have enough of it so that you can go out and really market yourself and your show.

4. What do you like about working in Hollywood?

Hollywood is not for the conventional. There are so many ways one can work in Hollywood. One day it’s a commercial, the next day it’s a game show, another day you’re on a movie set. The list is endless.

5. What don’t you like about it?

It is a numbers game so if you’re in Los Angeles to be an actor/artist/comedian, you can’t half-ass it. You really need to take massive action. I also don’t like the traffic and I think the number of medical marijuana stores you see are tragically absurd.

6. What life experiences have influenced your comedy the most?

When I moved to Los Angeles with the preconceived notion of “making it,” the only thing I made it as was a temp. So while temping at a cruise line I thought, “how am I going to make this [comedy career] work?” I immediately thought of my college fraternity Theta Chi and began contacting every chapter in the country about performing for them. Sure enough, some of them said yes and I began touring the country playing mainly colleges. My schedule has been snowballing ever since.

7. Who are some of your influences?

Jon Bon Jovi – I started playing guitar to cover Bon Jovi songs. I kind of wanted to be a funny Bon Jovi. He also has an extremely charismatic stage presence and badass work ethic.
Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey – funniest people on the planet when I was growing up, their posters were all over my wall.
Dave Attell – great straightforward, uncensored sense of humor.
Lisa Lampanelli – brutally racist which would get her kicked out of every public place, but her confidence in herself and her material and her relationship with the audience is something special.
to seth mcfarlane
– already took over TV and is about to the same with movies. We grew up watching the same shows so I love those references and his creativity.

8. How did you get on “I love the 70s”?

I was working at this non-profit job back when I was just moonlighting as a comedian. One of the people that fund raised for the non-profit happened to work at VH1. Before I knew it, I was going in for “I Love the 70s,” “I Love the 80s” and “I Love the Holidays.”

9. What makes someone funny?

First, their own decision that they are funny. Then an ability to talk about topics that audiences can relate to. Technically, it is the audience makes the comedian funny, but the comedian has to be willing to put his communication, verbal or physical, out there.

10. What is your wildest work story?

More funny than wild, but I played a Theta Chi show at Ball State in 2007 where they put me on the front lawn and amplified me pretty well. During my Top Ten Things about Theta Chi list, I mentioned “You’re not BTB (name of their rival fraternity – not actual letters)!” Well, a BTB brother was across the street and started walking towards us. Then I told the crowd to applaud him and we did and half a few brothers did some damage control he headed back. A week later I was sent a newspaper story from Ball State about Theta Chi being broken into, composites being stolen, etc… Then a few days later, I received another story about how campus police searched BTB and found all the missing Theta Chi articles. The school then chose to deactivate that chapter. So in a way, my show helped Theta Chi get rid of its rival fraternity.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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