There's Waldo

ASF Hot Seat: There's Waldo

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When There’s Waldo gets together expect infectious energy and total commitment to whatever dumb thing is going on. Dumb in a good way of course. Like Teen Wolf dumb, not like Transformers Dark of the Moon dumb. Does that make sense? Check it out for yourself Thursday, May 23 at 8pm (get tickets). We asled Waldonians Amy Dietze and John Buseman for a little preview.
You guys spent part of last year hosting a weekly variety show. How’d that go?

Amy Dietze: Ah yes, Informal Pig Show. It was fun and a little bit exhausting. We wanted it to have an “anything goes” atmosphere, and I think we mostly achieved that. It was nice to be able to give stage time to people wanting to try out new things, and we used our hosting time to do some of the weirdest bits we’ve ever done. We were already open to doing really dumb stuff, but it may have pushed us even further in that direction.

What can we expect from your ASF show?

John Busemen: Stupidity and delight.

Amy: Hopefully things that will make you happy and a little bit uncomfortable at the same time.

What are some of your biggest comedy influences?

Amy: Bob Newhart. Mitch Hedberg. Arrested Development. All of the Christopher Guest movies for the incredible character work. Anything that is genuine and shows commitment.

John: The rest of There’s Waldo, because we work together so much and I think all of our sensibilities have rubbed off on each other. I love really stupid sketch that exists in its own world, like Stella and Human Giant. The Comedy Bang Bang Podcast, and Andy Daley.

Why sketch comedy?

John: It’s cheaper than coke.

Any: Maybe. We’ve spent a lot of money on stupid props. I love sketch because it’s just such a great challenge for comedy writers and performers to try to get something to be exactly what we want it to be, and figuring out how to get there. It can go to a weirdly obsessive place of making endless tiny revisions and adjustments, but when you find something that really works it feels worth it. Also, there’s pretty much nothing more fun than getting to create ridiculous things with people that you love, in my opinion.

What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?

Amy: I’ve never seen Beige before, so I’m excited to see what they do. Your Terrific Neighbors is always a sure bet for work that’s original and unpredictable.

John: Coke parties. Paul F. Tompkins. Getting to see out of town groups for something new and inspiring. Also, just the chance to hang out with local troupes who we don’t always get to see because everyone’s always busy doing their own thing. More joke friendships!

Hot Seat question! Which member of TW would make the worst president?

Amy: Sara Osburn. She would never make any decisions because she wants to make everyone happy. Also she would get distracted by articles about how Lauren Conrad from The Hills is totally braiding her hair now.

John: I presume this question is only for Tyler and I because, haha women, right?

There’s Waldo is performing Thursday May 23rd at 8pm along with STAG! and Danny Palumbo at the SpiderHouse Ballroom.

Get to Know: There's Waldo

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.