Gutsy sketch comedy powerhouse There’s Waldo combines fast-paced, high energy writing and memorably pathetic, off-kilter characters. This ensemble cut its teeth on full-length revues at the Velveeta Room and the Institution Theater, including their spectacularly dark Christmas special, Human Santapede. Since 2010, they have charmed Austin audiences with their uniquely silly and twisted point of view. Fresh off performances at the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival and the Ladies are Funny Festival (LAFF), There’s Waldo will take the stage on Wednesday, the Fest’s opening night. We asked cast member Amy Dietze to find some red-striped, cane-wielding answers in a crowd of similarly-dressed responses.
How did you get involved with doing sketch comedy?
Amy Dietze: We’re all improvisers who wanted to do more writing. Most of us were writing sketches that we never did anything with, and then The Institution Theater, which we were all involved with in some capacity, started an informal weekly sketch writing group a couple of years ago. Out of that group, some of us were just naturally drawn to each other and loved each other’s work, and we decided that we wanted to write and perform together. That was the beginning of There’s Waldo. Two years
later, we’re still writing and performing sketch comedy together and we love each other more than ever. Aww.
What’s your writing process like?
AD: We have writing meetings weekly when we’re not rehearsing for a show. Sometimes people bring fully written sketches to the group for feedback. Other times someone just has a little nugget of an idea and we’ll work on developing it through improv.
A lot of our sketches have evolved out of silly voices or character bits that we do to make each other laugh during rehearsals or writing meetings. Sometimes we have a hard time finding time to get together other than late at night, and there’s nothing
quite like the weird stuff we come up with when everyone is ridiculously tired and delirious and we’ve been writing for several hours. Sometimes we do this.
What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?
AD: We’re really looking forward to hanging out with other local sketch groups, because normally we’re all disjointed and rarely get to merge circles let alone perform in the same shows.
What can we expect from your ASF show?
AD: We hope people are horrified, in a way that they love.
List 5 things about There’s Waldo, of which only 3 are true.
1. In our most recent show, one of our cast members ran into a wall and was bleeding profusely from the head, and another fell off the stage.
2. We have met Waldo and, trust us, you wouldn’t like him.
3. More than half of us have master’s degrees. Are we using them well? You can be the judge of that.
4. We like to eat Skittles Riddles during rehearsals. The colors don’t match the flavors! What?!?
5. We are all sleeping with each other.
There’s waldo performs at ColdTowne Theater on Wednesday, May 23rd at 8 PM, with The Hustle Show. Tickets HERE.