Avery Moore. Avery Reed Moore is one of those people who you just want to hang out with to see what happens. One way you can do this is by watching Funniest – a documentary which has been well documented on Comedy Wham about Cap City Comedy Club’s Funniest Person in Austin Contest. I’m getting ahead of myself, though.
I’ve had a professional friendship with Maggie Maye for several years now – four, five? I can’t recall. I do know that this incredibly talented comedian has expanded her comfort zone and horizon exponentially since I first saw her on the Punch Comedy Showcase at Cap City years ago. Her energy, and enthusiasm on stage is as much a part of her set as her jokes about growing up in Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Maye grew up smarter than most. Reading at four and switching the TV from Sesame Street (boring), to watching Joan Rivers on Hollywood Squares made her love comedy at a very early age. Besides the late great Joan Rivers, Maggie Maye found inspiration in Whoopie Goldberg’s comedy work along with Chris Rock and others.
Despite double majoring in marketing and television production during her first stint in college, Maggie Maye found herself hanging with the theater kids and trying to get in on their projects. After a bit of cajoling and endearing herself to them by not leaving, they let her participate. Later, Maye found herself at UT Austin taking classes to prepare herself in the illustrious, high-risk career of Pharmacology. Then she discovered the Velveeta Room.
With a list of credits as long as the river she grew up near, Maggie Maye has a bright future. I enjoy her sets so much that whenever Moontower Comedy Festival comes around, I make sure I see her perform. This is despite the fact I can catch her anytime of year, or could. It’s bittersweet to say Maggie Maye is Austin’s latest comedy export to Los Angeles. It’s hard earned and well deserved. Sure, it’s gonna suck not seeing regularly at Punch! or in the FPIA contest but I’m confident her hard work will land her a Netflix special, and that my friends would be awesome. In the meantime, check out Maggie Maye’s website for appearances and shows.
All comedy is about voice. Whether it’s the writer, the performer, or sometimes even the audience – the voice guides you to someone’s soul, and what it is they have to say to the world.
When Jesse Hensley sits down with Valerie Lopez, there’s simply no way to miss his powerful, addictive, North Texas timbre. (Nor would you want to). Hensley hails from the little not-quite-a-town of Diana, Texas. Diana is a geographical crossroads, one hour away from Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Hensley grew up absorbing performances of names we’re all familiar with, like Mitch Hedberg and Dave Chapelle. Still, comedy wasn’t always a given in his future. Two years ago, during a brief bout as an aspiring author, he got the bug to head to Coldtowne Theatre and try his hand behind the microphone. It wasn’t a home run, but it became the first step on his journey to making comedy a full-time passion.
The ball really started rolling for Hensley after he got a guest spot at Cap City facilitated by one of his idols, Nate Bargatze. That led to opening spots and multiple runs in Funniest Person in Austin. As he honed his style, Hensley found himself trending towards storytelling, one of my favorite formats. A great storyteller can build a structure to suck you in and hold you on edge waiting for that sweet, sweet payoff. It’s a craft that is a mixture of rhythm, refinement, and even a bit of math, which we know is near and dear to Valerie Lopez. His philosophy of comedy, and what it means to the billions of us walking the planet, is fascinating.
Hensley appears in many Austin shows, including Drink Up: an outdoor, booze-themed experience. It runs the first and third Mondays of the month at The Parlor Room. In the interview, Hensley drops the secret phrase that may even score you a free drink. See more of his upcoming events at Last Gas Comedy, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.