An Interview With Actress Judy Cerda

Judy Cerda is a California based actress who appears in the film Tibet in Flames. Here is a link to her website:

http://www.imdb.me/judytheactress

Q. What made you interested in becoming an actress?

A. Watching TV as a little girl and gaining an interest in acting so I could pretend to be somebody else with a different family and a more exciting life. I used to watch commercials and tv shows and think to myself “I could do that!” and I would imitate the actors and create my own commercials to perform for my parents and neighbors. Then I started taking tap, ballet and jazz dance lessons which got me into performing. I knew then that I really wanted to be an actress more than anything else.

Q. What is Tibet in Flames about?

A. It’s a very dramatic and political movie about the situation in Tibet where Tibetans are committing suicide via burning themselves (hence the name) in rebellion to those opposing their religion. The movie shows how strongly the Tibetans feel about their religion and their right to practice it. It is currently making the rounds in different film festivals.

Q. What role do you play in the film?

A. I play the role of Matty, a doctor and the best friend of a Tibetan man on the verge of suicide. The role was a really emotional role and showed how sad it is to lose a best friend. I also had some beautiful scenes outside in a gorgeous garden in front of a lovely house so it was an enjoyable experience. The director and crew were wonderful to work with.

Q. What has been your greatest professional triumph?

A.  I think there have been several. One that comes to mind is being able to cry on cue in movies. My most emotional role was “Lola” in the movie “To You For You”. Lola is a woman on death row who is pleading with her lawyer/brother to save her from execution. This role required hours of filming and crying over and over again for the retakes and I think I did really well with that. I had to really ready myself for the role and the emotions it entailed during the rehearsal before we began filming. I also felt that a personal goal had been achieved when I had a lead role on the national tv show “I Almost Got Away With It” as Debra Mason, which was another emotional role that required crying, yelling and showing lots of emotion. This show has aired several times on the Discovery ID channel, the Discovery channel and On Demand TV.

Q. What has been your greatest disappointment?

A.  Projects that get cancelled. I have been cast in a few feature films and web series that got put on hold or cancelled due to lack of funds. This is a real disappointment when an actor goes to the trouble of auditioning and competing hard for the role, getting cast and then being informed later on that they are still working on obtaining funds, crew, etc. and that the project may not happen after all. That is such a waste of time and very discouraging.

Q. What method of acting do you employ in your work?

A. No particular method. I believe acting is about putting yourself in a character’s place, feeling empathy for this character and developing a style for that particular type of person. You have to really feel it and believe you are that person for it to work. I get irritated when I see so many bad actors out there who study under bad so-called acting teachers. I can usually spot them right away. They don’t show any emotions, they whisper and can hardly be heard, and are so afraid of overacting or projecting that they don’t act at all. It’s always easier for a director to tell an actor to tone it down than it is for them to try to get the actor to show emotions or act as a real person would. It’s better for actors to overact than underact in other words because doing something with a character is better than doing nothing, and being heard on camera is so important. Whispering can get an actor’s scene cut because they can’t be understood and therefore are a waste of time on the screen. When I play a character, I attempt to understand their feelings and their words, what they are going through in the scene, and then let it all out as I imagine the character would.

Q. What is your wildest backstage story?

A. When I was in the movie “The Final Duel” playing Coach Charlie, a fencing coach, there was another actress in the film who got really sick. We had been filming all day for a few days which included fencing lessons as the actors playing fencers in the movie and me as the fencing coach, needed to be able to play the sport for real somewhat. So we were pretty busy with our fencing in between our takes. Well this one girl seemed to have some kind of seizure which resulted in someone on the crew calling an ambulance. As it turned out, they were able to help her on the spot and did not take her to the hospital but she did need to lie down and rest the rest of the day. This changed the whole schedule that day as she was in several scenes, two of them with me. I suggested that we just do my close ups in the scene while she was down and let her do her other scenes the next day if she was better, but the crew seemed to be agitated and had a big meeting among themselves, and decided they all wanted to wrap for the day. They wanted me to come back a third day to complete my scenes with this girl, but I was unable to due to my filming in the movie “Albatross” as a TV reporter the next day. It turned out they ended up cutting those scenes between the girl and me since I couldn’t make it the next day. It was too bad because it shortened my role in the movie but this whole incident was unexpected and I did have my other filming commitment the next day.

Q. What do you like most about film acting?

A. Being able to portray so many different characters. It’s really exciting to play so many different roles the way I have. I have played prostitutes, TV reporters, school teachers, real estate agents, flirty girlfriends, cheating wives, nice wives, best friends, villainess women, queens, witches, victims and so many more types and it’s nice to challenge myself to be different people for each role. Watching yourself on the screen in a movie theatre or seeing yourself on tv is pretty thrilling too. It makes it all worth it.

Q. What do you like least about it?

A. Seeing others who are not as talented get roles because they know directors personally and have the time to follow them around in the business.

It’s hard if you know you have the right talent and look for a role but hear that a relative or long time friend got the role. I know one director who puts his neighbor/good friend in the lead in every movie he does without realizing that she really can’t act and incapable of showing emotion on screen, crying on screen or even showing the fear that some of the roles have required of her. When things like that happen, it’s easy to dislike this business and wish I had become a psychologist instead. There is some unfairness in this business whether we like to admit it or not.

Q. What film role could you have nailed?

A.  I could have played the role that Sandra Bullock played in The Blind Side movie. Not only did she have blonde hair like me in it, but she dressed just like me. I tend to wear a lot of short dresses/skirts and high heels. I dress up a lot for any occasion and she reminded me of myself the movie. Plus, she was very determined and organized in the way she played the role which is definitely my style. She was firm yet feminine and I know I could have played the role just as well.

An Interview With Filmmaker Warren Pereira

Warren Pereira is a filmmaker whose film The Hinglish Project garnered the Gold Lion prize at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Here is a link to  his website:

http://vimeo.com/warrenpereira

 

Q.    What is The Hinglish Project?

 

A.    The Hinglish Project is a project initiated by DDB Mudra Group Ad Agency with the support of Incredible India. The Project introduces the new typeface “Hinglish” that blends Hindi and English in turn demystifying the Hindi language for tourists. Most recently they premiered a film I directed for the “Hinglish” project at Cannes Lions and they ended up winning the Gold Lion.

Q. What made you interested in the project?

A. I liked the challenge of making a film to explain this novel and ambitious “Hinglish” linguistic hybrid and its applicable use. Also originally being from India, and having to do an international shoot added some attraction to the project.

Q. What’s wrong with traditional phonetic spelling?

A. Nothing to me. It has certain limitations, like language specificity, but nothing wrong about it.

Q. What is the most common misconception about India?

A. I have a heard a few misconceptions, not sure what the most common is by consensus. But sexism, against women, seems to be one misconception! I mean this is the country that elected Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister for four terms!

Q. Why should Americans visit India?

A. Culture, Color, Cuisine, Taj Mahal, Wild Tigers, Business opportunities, an Indian Wedding, and many other reasons.

Q. What is the biggest change you have seen in Indian culture in the last ten years?

A. I think all cultures are influenced by economic upward movement and the influx of western media. You see this in India too where a lot of traditional customs are now less believed in but done for traditional reasons only.

                                                                                                     

Q. What was the most challenging thing about your project?

A. There were a few challenges from getting tourists to be natural on camera to selecting the best locations and shooting hand held in hot, humid, crowded environments. But I think a lot of these added to the cinema verite style of the piece.

 

Q. What other subjects have you made films about?

A. Narratively I have focused on aesthetic obsession and relationship comedies. I am also in the research phase on a documentary on the Indian Tiger. My new feature script “Bathing in Honey” has me researching sexual empowerment, Saabs and drummers.

Q.  What is your wildest work story?

A. I can’t tell you, at least not in this interview, sorry.

Q. If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?

A. I would change the way films are selected for the major theaters; I would like to see a more interesting selection.

 

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

An Inteview with Actor/Director/Writer Shane Ryan

Shane Ryan is the director, writer and star of the video “Amateur Porn Star Killer 3D: Inside the Head and appears in the film “Darling Nikki”.

Here is a link to his IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1546474/

1. What made you want to become an actor?

Jean-Claude Van Damme. I was introduced to Bloodsport when I was about 8, and instantly wanted to be an action star, so I started making my own films and doing stunts (when parents weren’t looking – like jumping off buildings and stuff) in hopes to work side by side with him. Though I had already been in love with films since I was about 5 due to my Dad being an editor, and taking me to and teaching me about films. I started learning to edit when I was 5. All of that helped as acting in my own films has been some of my own real work.

2. What makes you so attracted to the horror genre?

Nothing, actually. I was making arthouse movies, drama, noir types (actually in black and white) when I realized, that if you have no money to make a film, or are an indie/underground filmmaker, the only real place for support is the horror community. You have about 100 times as many places willing to cover your film, it’s insane. Not that I don’t like a good horror film, I like good films regardless of what category they fall under, but most good films fall under drama, for me. So, I basically tried to disguise my arthouse films as horror and erotic, to gain attention and support, while trying to tell stories about characters and events I thought were interesting. I’m very much into true crime, but for the mystery, the psychology, etc., not the blood, at all.

3. What is ” Amateur Porn Star Killer”?

Amateur Porn Star Killer was sort of a fluke. A film I shot in one night, which actually jump-started my career. It’s a fake snuff film, about the last hour in a 13 year old girl’s life, before she is raped and murdered. I thought it was important to portray rape in a realistic fashion, to show how vile it really is, and how rape, many times, is about manipulation and power, not by using force. While I felt the idea was important, the only reason I shot it was because I had failed multiple times at making a feature due to people not showing up, technical problems, no budgets/money, learning experiences, etc., so finally I said “Fuck it, what can I shoot in one night with no money/crew?” Therefore there’s no way I won’t finish this film. And that was Amateur Porn Star Killer. An arthouse talky drama, disguised as a rape-murder-fantasy type flick to get its foot in the door. It received so much attention, I decided to turn it into a trilogy. Now I’m trying as hard as I can to get away from it and do films I really want to, lol.

4. What do you like about Hollywood?

I liked Tower Records, the Sunset 5 Laemmle, and Virgin Records, but they all shut down. That was my only reason for really going down there. I live a couple hours north of Hollywood, most of the time. Unless we’re shooting something in Hollywood. I guess I like the parts with character. There’s this really seedy area I’m hoping to shoot at in a couple of weeks. Always has runaways, prostitute, druggies, gang bangers, cops, and that’s it. So dirty, you don’t want to touch anything, but it’s sad, with character, and that makes it very interesting. I like some of the people down there I guess, the ones who don’t act like Hollywood. I like the diversity, that’s the big thing, I suppose.

5. What don’t you like about it?

It’s like high school, yet somehow way worse. “He said, that she said, that this star said, about this extra, from her momma’s bachelor,” holy shit, it just goes on and on. I think that’s why I don’t want to move there, I can’t stand that drama shit. I’ve seen enough real drama in my life, this petty shit that never ends is ridiculously annoying. I also don’t like men telling women to get fake boobs, it’s retarded. More men like real women than you would think. We want real boobs, I don’t care if they’re small, big, whatever, let yourself be real. Women, don’t waste your money and esteem on fake shit you don’t need and probably look way better without. And I hate the smog. It’s crystal clear where I live, you can breath, see the stars (the real stars, in the sky). Hell, some actors know what I mean, I see Clint Howard up here all of the time.

6. What separates a good horror movie from a bad one?

Well, as saying, not much for horror, but it’d be character. If you care about a character, or are at least interested in the character, you will be more involved with what’s happening, therefore it’s more suspenseful. I saw that piece of shit The Cabin in the Woods (which everyone played up for some reason) and couldn’t give one damn about any of those people, most just annoyed me, so I was totally bored. Then I watched Retreat with Thandie Newton (I really wish she would get a divorce so I could marry her, wow! anyway) and it was freakin’ awesome, I was so devastated at the end, but enjoyed and was thrilled and engaged every second. There were only 3 actors in a house for most of the film, but I cared about two characters, and was totally interested in the 3rd. I think suspense and horror is in looks, moments, emotion, feeling, not in blood and guts.

7. Who are some of your influences?

On my last film, My Name is A by anonymous, I kept telling everyone (when they needed security about where we were going) to think of a David Lynch film, though I definitely wouldn’t say I ever try to copy any of these people – Gus Van Sant, Harmony Korine, Terrence Malick, David Fincher, Jim Jarmusch, John Cassavetes, Lars von Trier, Alex Payne, Sofia Coppola, Edward Burns – I do love that they all have their own style, and do their own thing, and that’s what influences me. Sometimes I love their work, sometimes hate it, always admire it. Otherwise, as far as filmmaking, there’s plenty of things in life that gives me ideas and motivation.

As far as acting, I’ve been so sidetracked filmmaking, I’ve been trying to find myself, where and if I belong acting. Recently, since I found myself to be method, I’ve been going back and really studying Dustin Hoffman in the 70’s when he was closer to my age, especially since I’m also his height, similar look, it’s been helping mold ideas of how to do things. And looking at the recent work of older actors, like Michael Caine, who never turned down a role really (or took every job he could get) and just kept learning. So, I really studied him in Harry Browne a few times. Subtle genius.

8. What is your wildest Hollywood story?

Hmm, I’m actually not that wild in real life, though when I have been don’t believe it was in Hollywood. Only thing I can think of, can’t name names, I met up with some friends (well, people I didn’t really know at the time) and there was a famous former child star with us (whom I didn’t recognize since I never watched the insanely famous show she was on forever). She’d been drinking all day, and as it lead into the night, she started getting very feisty, and was not getting along at all with this guy who was there. They started fighting all night long, everywhere we went, cussing up a storm, really yelling bad causing a scene, thought it would get physical. Eventually he passed out at the Roosevelt, but then got kicked out by security. It got bad when he came back in, nearly fell in the pool, then we were told to leave (I was the only sober one, unlucky me). So, everybody who’s drinking (everyone else) starts throwing a fight with security, eventually after awhile the entire staff is down there forcing us out. The girl child star, being tiny and under 5 feet tall, nearly gets us arrested, starts trying to fight security, the manager (I didn’t realize how well known she was at the time, so I was surprised later when I realized paparazzi would have been on this if they were around). She’s literally going off on these people, I have to drag her out, and try and get every one else to shut the fuck up, don’t start a fight, let’s just leave. This could go on forever, this story, so, quickly, wrapping it up, we get to the parking lot, she psychically starts beating her boyfriend up (not the guy she was arguing with all night, that was a different guy), gashes him up, verbally and psychically, in front of all these rich guests waiting for their cars. Then he tries to drive her home, he’s plastered, I have to fight for the keys, then convince the valet I’m not stealing the car, drive them home in this expensive fancy ass car I can’t figure out, while they’re all screaming nearly making me crash. We get to their place, but it doesn’t end, they keep fighting, meanwhile, I can’t get back to my car now. Now the guy she was fighting with all day, he gets out of the car and just disappears, leaving his phone behind. We look for an hour, never see him again, hope he lived (find out next day he did). Then, the girl star, hears a party across the street, feels the need to go over and crash it, so me and her boyfriend go with (as she brings more booze to drink), it’s tons of old rich folks, they’re staring at us like, what the fuck, who are you, etc. After that, didn’t get too bad, same shit, but it was fun. That’s about the peak of my excitement.

9. What separates you from other aspiring actors?

I can’t stand actors, lol. Unless I’m directing them, then I love them. But as a co-star, as a producer or anything else, they seem to really annoy me, or not get along with me, or not like me, or something. Not all of them, but many. Hopefully it changes.
That and getting my first two big jumps between being on Disney’s That’s So Raven, and raping a girl in my own fake snuff movie. My SAG work and my first starring role, pretty diverse. I also rarely get a part through auditioning, and don’t audition much, because it usually never works out. I get everything through making my own films and starring in them, and then getting recommended off of those films. And I’ve never really even liked acting until recently, when I did this film American Girls. It was only one day, but I think I finally found myself as an actor, did the method thing, loved it. So, from now on, hopefully I’ll be an actor who likes or loves, to act.

10. What would you say to someone who says Hollywood is racist, sexist and looksist?

Shut up and do something about it if that’s how you feel. When I make my films I do them the way I think I should, against whatever problems I have with Hollywood. As an actor, if I don’t like a role I’m submitting for then I don’t submit to it, or don’t take the part, or if I do take it out of desperation, then I try to learn from it. If you don’t like how things work then do it yourself, and hope others follow.

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

An Interview With A Shot Above Owner Lea Hatch

Lea Hatch is the owner of the bartending service A Shot Above. Here is a link to her website:

www.weareashotabove.com

1. How did you get into bartending?

I began as a server at a fast paced restaurant and knew the basics about beer and wine. One day every bartender on staff either was off and couldn’t come in, or called in sick, and the bar was left unmanned on a busy night. I volunteered to take over, thinking it was easy and ended up panicking and downloading a mixology app onto my phone just to be able to keep up with the weird drink requests. I decided that night I would attend a bartending school to become certified. The rest is history.

2. Why should my readers hire A Shot Above?

Because we are the whole package. You not only get an extremely qualified bartender (or several), you get hand picked attractive people that are trained for your type of party. We have everything from elegant wedding bartenders to the sexy lingerie clad pole dancing bartender for your party. All of our bartenders are certified mixologists, ServSafe Alcohol Certified, and has a current Food Handlers card. They are also schooled in alcohol laws, so there won’t be any criminal liability if ABC shows up.

3. What are some of your signature drinks?

I’m a shooter specialist, and I make the BEST shooter combinations. My personal favorites are a Peanut Butter and Jelly shot and a Dirty Girl Scout.

4. What do you like about working in Los Angeles?

The night life! People are so amazing here, and the range of parties I have bartended is incredible. I really enjoy the celebrity parties, as those seem to get the craziest.

5. What don’t you like about it?

My only complaint is when I get a beach party gig it ALWAYS seems to be cloudy. I am a sun loving girl, and live inland for a reason. I don’t like the cold and fog next to the beach.

6. What is the strangest story a customer has ever told you?

Oh! I don’t know if I can put it here, but I’ll clean it up and try. I had a “gentlemen” tell me in graphic detail about his sex dungeon he had downstairs in his basement, and that he currently had a bunch of girls tied up in sexual positions. As a surprise for his guests, he was going to bring the party downstairs so his guests could admire his “furniture” for the night. I got a little freaked out, but he assured me they had all signed contracts to show they were there voluntarily and not against their will. It was very weird, but the guests didn’t seem to mind, and the girls seemed to enjoy the attention.

7. What is your wildest work story?

I did a super fun New Years Eve Mansion party 2 years ago. It was hosted in the Hollywood Hills. It was celebrity studded, had a red carpet, photographers, and was even sponsored by Rock Star energy drink. There were 3 bars placed through out the house, and we were slammed all night long. Every one loves an open bar!

8. How do you tell when someone has had too much to drink?

I am trained in ABC laws and ServSafe certified. I not only use common sense and visual clues to determine, but I also keep a mental count of how many drinks a person has had. Bigger parties make it harder to do that, but we haven’t had any issues.

9. Has anyone ever stumped you with a drink order?

Of course! There are so many new drinks being made up constantly. I make it a point to go to the Bar Convention in Las Vegas every year. Granted, it’s rare these days to stump me, but that is why I STILL keep a mixology app on my phone.

10. If you were a mixed drink, what would you be and why?

Probably a Voddy 28, because it’s tall, skinny, sexy, and goes down easy…here’s the recipe:

5 cts Vodka
5 cts Violet syrup
2 Lime wedges, 1 Orange wedge
1 can of 28 black

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

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:)

An Interview With Comedian David Beach

David Beach is a comedian and actor who has performed at Disneyland and Universal Studios.  Here is a link to his website:
http://www.thedavidbeach.com

 

.
1. What made you want to become a comedian?

I am not sure what actually made me want to become a comedian. It was sort of a natural progression. It seemed since I moved a lot as a kid and I was always the shortest kid in the class, that I learned to use comedy as a way to protect myself and introduce myself to new situations. I turned to comedy a lot. So, I kind of studied comedy. I would watch classic comedy and comedians and then before I knew it, I was doing it. I still remember my first house laugh as a Christmas elf when I improvised with the script and threw a bucket of water at my teacher while in elementary school. That house laugh inspired me.

2. What are the advantages to living in Los Angeles for a comedian?

Comedy clubs aren’t as popular as they once were. But, considering the size of LA, there are quite a few comedy stores still around just due to the fact the size of the city means there are enough comedians to support it.
We also have the benefit of the possibility of a casting director, or producer, or whomever, catching your act and deciding to take you to the next level.
That rarely happens in Cincinnati, or some city not so attached to show biz.

3. What are some of the disadvantages?

The disadvantages here are pretty much the same disadvantages as anywhere. One could say there is a lot of competition, but there is also a disadvantage to being in an area where there is no competition. Big fish small pond syndrome. There are a lot of people that take advantage of comedians, but that too can happen anywhere.

4. What makes someone funny?

Any number of things can make someone funny. I think a more important question is, what makes you laugh.
Personally, I will always laugh at a performer that is dying on stage. It’s real. And, it’s uncomfortable. Seeing that emotional state is real and real is usually a great deal more amusing than a scripted bit. Maybe I have seen too much comedy and am no longer surprised. I have had contests on stage to see if I could guess the punch line after being given the set-up and I guess I do pretty well. So, knowing a lot of jokes, or set ups doesn’t make someone funny. What I find amusing isn’t a universal. So, what I think makes someone funny is not likely what someone else finds funny in someone. There are hugely popular movies that I can’t stand due to the sophomoric humor. I don’t particularly find blue comedy funny. But, I cant deny the success of comedians that work that way. So, maybe that is what makes someone funny.

5. Who are some of your influences?

I go old school. I remember cracking up at Harpo Marx. Harold Lloyd. I would love seeing Victor Borge. Bob Newhart. Older Bill Cosby. George Carlin before he became so political. I find that people that show anger onstage in regards to politics, like my hero David Letterman, ruin it a bit. But, our job as a jester is to be the one to point out that the emperor is naked. So, once again it’s a matter of taste.
I could go on and on about my original influences. As a variety performer I loved Carl Ballantine, Jay Johnson, The Flying Bros Karamazovs and on and on.

6. Tell me a joke about bloggers.

So, out of curiosity, I googled ‘jokes about bloggers.’ Wow. There really are no funny jokes about bloggers.

I’ve got nothing either.

7. What is your weirdest Hollywood story?

One of the first auditions turned out to be for a pervert who is, to my knowledge, sitting in jail for taking inappropriate pictures of underage boys.
I went into the audition. He wanted me to juggle. He then asked if I knew a lot of tricks with balls. It started to get odd when he asked me to sit on the couch with him and he would get me a SAG card if he did. I walked out. Before I left, I walked up to the secretary and asked if she was aware of the kind of auditions he was putting on. She stared at me and said, you think that’s bad, you should audition for his partner.
I was too stunned to do or say anything else. I walked out. I was thrilled when I saw his name in the paper for illegal activities years later.

8. What stand up comedy trends annoy you?

It’s kind of pointless to get annoyed. It won’t stop them. They will stop if the audience doesn’t buy into them. But, it is interesting to see the trend of televised comedy. If you go back twenty years, you can watch Candid Camera and see Allen Funt having fun throwing people into odd situations than appearing and saying, smile. Nowadays, we have movies that make millions by hurting people and being disgusting. Like I said, it’s pointless to be disgusted or annoyed, but it doesn’t speak to highly as to where our comic sentiment and senses have turned as a society.

9. What makes you fame-worthy?

Determination. Longevity. A sense of what makes my audience laugh. And desire. Yes, I still desire fame, which is really a ridiculous goal. Can you pass my name along to the gatekeepers, please?

10. If you could ask Lenny Bruce one question, what would it be?

What’s a funny joke about bloggers ?

And, if I were allowed a second question.. I would ask if I could have dinner with him. He was cutting edge. And now, somewhat tame in comparison. But anyone that blazes a trail is to be respected. But, I would rather enjoy getting to know him than ask him questions about the career or choices. My guess is he wouldn’t really be the type to answer sincerely anyway.

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