CB: How long have you been writing and performing comedy?
SK: This is a hotly debated topic in certain (very small) circles. Family members would argue they witnessed my first “performance” was when I was 14 and roasted the hell out of my uncle at his 50th birthday party…although I shoplifted most of my bits from Dane Cook and Nick Swardson. I’ve been comedying in NY since 2011 when I moved here and began doing stand up and taking improv classes at UCB.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
SK: I’m in a sketch group called Sorta Best Friends along with some stand up and in both, the majority of it is observational. Not in a Seinfeld type way, but in the sense that I like to analyze social situations and and compare them to things I understand better, like food. I compare the gay marriage debate to birthday cake, for example. Which would make Kim Davis a baker…I think. I’m still working on that one.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
SK: I’m very inspired by all of the awesome comedies on TV right now! I love how shows like Broad City, Workaholics, and Always Sunny all began with a group getting together and doing the same thing my friends and I are doing now. As for stand up, my favorites are always the people I’ve watched most recently. So now they’re John Mullaney, Nate Bargatze, Hannibal, and Brian Regan.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
SK: I didn’t realize it, but yes. I’ve always enjoyed doing funny things since I was little. Looking back, there was never anything else I specifically wanted to do. Maybe a private investigator when I saw those mail-order career ads on tv.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
SK: My process consists of a lot of what my parents/teachers called “procrastination”. I like to call it marinating. After my ideas have sufficiently marinated in a memo on my phone, I like to start with a vomit draft. I just write in a stream of consciousness without thinking of structure or length, that leaves me with 7 page sketches and jokes that look like college essays that I then whittle down. It may not be the most efficient, but I think of a lot of new ideas in the middle of the vommit phase. Then I get feedback at a read throughs with SBF or at a mic, and 3-5 rewrites later it’s PERFECT.
CB: Do you write and perform comedy full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
SK: Performing comedy is not how I pay the bills, although I wouldn’t call it a hobby because I’m hoping it’s what will pay them eventually. My desk job now leaves me more brain-dead than influenced, but before that I was biking around New York doing odd jobs for strangers. That definitely gave me some material – some for comedy, some for therapy.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
SK: I think the most enjoyable part in New York is the comedy community in general. Everyone is extremely supportive of one another and eager to collaborate- whether it’s people spending 40 hours of their weekend to shoot a video for nothing but a high five and a bagel, or putting up an indie show under an old bridge in deep Brooklyn, it’s a very generous, nice group of funny people. What’s frustrating is deciding whether you want to make your millions from stand up, sketch, improv, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Bumble, or Apple Maps.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
SK: We [SBF] have performed all around the country, and I think college crowds are pretty great.They’re voluntarily giving up a night of drinking and suckin face to see comedy, so you know they’re into it and want to laugh. Plus they sometimes give you pizza!
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started performing comedy? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
SK: Haven’t been heckled much in the traditional sense. I’ve had people talking about work while I was doing stand up. That was a bummer, her job sounded pretty sucky. I’ve mostly experienced drunk friends being loudly over-supportive at sketch shows. The best was probably when this girl kept screaming “ADAM I LOVE YOU!!” But Adam was not on stage. Sometimes I wish I was Adam ;-(
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
SK: The best advice I can give is what I’ve been told a million times and, while annoying, it’s totally true. You just have to keep doing it. Whether it’s stand-up or improv or filming sketches or whatever, you don’t get better thinking about it. You can’t become a body builder without going to the gym and throwing weights around. It’s the same with comedy things – it’s the Nike slogan! It’s that Shia Labeouf video! Annoying and definitely not easy, but it all starts there. Just Shia LaNike.
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