If you're putting up an entire show, then you probably know to keep stage picture in mind, keep props and costumes to a minimum, be downstage as much as possible, project your voices, and keep transition times tight.
If you don’t want to hear other people’s opinions of your work, then you probably shouldn’t be in a group. Feedback, critique, notes are all necessary steps of creative process. You don’t always have to incorporate the notes, but you’d be dumb not to listen to them.
During the summer of 2009, I joined a pre-existing sketch comedy group called STAG Comedy in Austin, Texas. In 2015, that group (featuring none of its original members) performed its last live show. In those six years, I was part of two other sketch projects and also a member of the Austin Sketch Fest producer team, where I reviewed submissions from hundreds of sketch groups.
It feels a lot like there’s not much to look forward to in 2017 with our incoming administration buddying up to the murderer Vladimir Putin and creating a rogue’s gallery of cabinet members that would make the Legion of Doom queasy, an international refugee crisis that threatens to destabilize Europe, and the constant uncertainty of whether or not the McRib will be back. Not to harp on the adage of “Trump will be good for comedy”, but the truth is that I know that he will be.
Each year the Austin Sketch Fest production team sits downs and thinks back on all the things they regret from the past year, then to make themselves feel better, they think back on their favotire sketches from the past year. These are those sketches.
Austin’s unofficial slogan of “Keep Austin Weird” might make some people think of hippy-ish imagery, or jorts in the office, or some asshole who brings a Parrot to a bar. To others, it means a variation from the norm, more specifically, against the expected.
The Executives hail from the Magnet Theatre in New York City. Formed as a house team at the venerable NYC comedy institution, their collective writing credits include: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Broad City, Master of None, Funny Or Die, and more. The Executives’ physical, thoughtful, follow-the-fun comedic energy celebrates genre bending, the zeitgeist, body-slamming and sometimes bodily functions. The Executive’s omni-brain answered our questions.
Victrola! is an improvised sketch comedy podcast lovingly piloted by ColdTowne Theater’s Michael Jastroch. In the past 12 months, Victrola ha racked up some glowing reviews and made a live appearance at the Dallas Comedy Festival, and now this homegrown podcast will record an episode live at Austin Sketch Fest. We asked Michael Jastroch some questions ANDGETTHIS, he answered them.
With the retirement of STAG Comedy, Your Terrific Neighbors “officially” became the oldest “serving” non-Esther’s sketch comedy group in Austin. YTN is also now the only group to have performed at every Austin Sketch Fest. Curtis Luciani and Courtney Hopkins are two of the busiest comedic actors and writers in Austin, appearing in dozens of scripted and improvised productions each year.
One Idiot was formed at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York as part of Maude Night, their in-house sketch program. Their latest show, “What the Horse Saw”, earned them a permanent run at the UCB and was presented at the New York Comedy Festival as The Best Of UCB Sketch.
Making its third straight appearance at Austin Sketch Fest, I Didn’t See You There: The Show of One-Person Shows goes up tonight, 10pm at ColdTowne Theater. SOOPS (as Festival Producer Will Cleveland calls it) feature 8 short, complete on-person shows from an eclectic mix of comedians from Austin’s sketch, stand-up, and improv scenes (and some people that do it all).
ColdTowne Theater alumn Katie Sicking left town (and our hearts) a few years back for the greener concrete pastures of New York City. Since she’s appearied in projects all over the city (at the UCB, at the PIT Theatre). In fact, she references so many sketch projects in this interview, we thought she was lying at first. She’s not. She actually does that much. It makes us feel lazy.