Mac Blake

Can a beard and an ill-fitting plaid shirt make-up an entire personality? The answer will make you cream your jeans! ASF HOT SEAT: Mac Blake of Waterbed

When did you first start doing Waterbed?

I started waterbed in February of 2015. I wanted there to be a show that regularly mixed sketch & stand-up & experimental stuff so I started one. Cody Dearing gave it a monthly slot at ColdTowne. The show kept growing so the next year, Adrienne Lake welcomed us to the Spiderhouse Ballroom.

How did you come up with the show title?

A waterbed is more or less a very stupid invention that has a certain charm and appeal and that is exactly what I want for this show.

What's your creative process like? How do you generate ideas and keep it fresh?

Collaboration is key. After the first year I started having a different co-host each month. Being able to bounce ideas off of different people keeps the show fresh for me.

One of those people is our photobooth master Erin Holsonback. Sometimes when thinking of show themes - which influence the show’s pieces - we’ll start with the photobooth first. Having a photobooth for the show makes it feel more like a party and the photos Erin takes are hella fun. Shout out to Erin’s husband Derek for helping set it up and being a willing model for whatever offbeat prop we have that month.

What are the show’s influences?

I will shamelessly steal any trick that another show does well. Not big stuff - like I’m not going to start giving points for puns on @waterbed - but I’m always on the lookout for elements that make a show feel more like a can’t miss event.

 

 

What can we expect from your Sketch Fest show?

This is our second year doing a Sketch Fest edition of the show. It will be all sketch with a mix of all-stars from the festival plus some very awesome local acts, plus The Dark Arts. Plus it's free.

The amazingly talented Chrissy Shackelford is going to co-host it with me. Chrissy is so funny. Don’t believe me, here’s a vid: 

Her show at last year’s ASF was a fest highlight. She’s performing with Characters Welcome this year so check that out for sure.

What else – comedy wise – are you looking forward to this year? What do you have cooking?

Well I releases a stand-up EP on May 11th. You can buy it here:  http://bit.ly/MacBlakeEP

 
 

The finals in the Funniest Person in Austin contest is this month - which is an amazing show. I’m also super looking forward to anotherShow of One Person Show. Eight really great performers with very diverse comedy backgrounds, each doing a complete one-person show. Hosted by me. I’m probably going to host the show as Pat Hingle’s Commissioner Gordon. An idea I like more might bonk me on the head before then, but right now that’s the plan.

For more stuff, check out my website macblakecomedy.com


Catch Waterbed tonight at Midnight at Spider House Ballroom! Tickets Here. And support Mac!

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT3

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT3

By Mac Blake

STAGECRAFT OR NOW THAT YOU HAVE A SHOW

9. DEATH TO FALSE TRANSITIONS

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.

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT2

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT2

By Mac Blake

GROUP DYNAMICS OR HOW TO NOT KILL EACH OTHER

5. BE A FAN OF FEEDBACK

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.

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT1

All The Wisdom I Can Assemble: Here’s what I learned from being in a sketch comedy group. PT1

By Mac Blake

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.

ASF Hot Seat: The Show of One-Person Shows

ASF Hot Seat: The Show of One-Person Shows

 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).