On The Move With Ella Gale

(Credit: Erin Holsenback/ An Indoor Lady)
(Credit: Erin Holsenback/ An Indoor Lady)

Audio by Valerie Lopez, Words by Richard Goodwin

Like the origins of comedy itself, my feelings about Ella Gale may be best represented as a quantum superposition: two states at once -both joy and sadness. The former comes from the hilarity and presence she has brought to the Austin comedy scene, and the latter from the fact that she is moving to Los Angeles in early 2017. At the same time I’m also happy about her future success there. So that’s three states at least. Physics is amazing, y’all.

The oddly technical intro up there came about after listening to Valerie cover Ella Gale’s dual lives in performing and engineering (R.I.P. to the second life as of when this was recorded). I can  relate to how she methodically approaches comedic endeavours and the many videos and sketches she’s created and refined.

Ella Gale: The Past

For a young comedian, Gale has a hefty, and worldly, history behind her. Her path led through Colorado, Montana, Yemen and Austin is definitely one rarely traveled. In college, Gale took advantage of  varied Liberal Arts and Sciences topics. She picked up skills in areas that ultimately make perfect sense for the rigor and creativity she brings to stage and video. In Part One of her interview, we learn more about her history, how a bad job market and coincidental connection led to re-igniting her performing career, and how she became involved in several projects that local comedy fans will certainly know by name.

Ella Gale: Current

Fresh off a performance at the Bridgetown comedy festival in June, Valerie jumps into Part Two covering the major changes happening in Ella Gale’s life and careers. We discover how to slake our unending thirst for general (and just accurate enough) knowledge about giraffes, Los Angeles vs New York, and finally reveal the name of her agent. Don’t forget to check out Ella’s YouTube channel; she’ll know if you don’t.

Catch Ella Gale on Naughty Bits on November 11th and December 16th, the only two remaining with her at the New Movement Theater. She also has two upcoming Master Pancake shows on November 11th and 12th at the Alamo Ritz.  Find more show dates and videos at her website, ellagalecomedy.com. Be sure to follow her on Facebook. Her latest video covers a new dating service that is sure to have many rolling over in their graves, or, if you’re lucky, your bed.

Here are a few more topics to check out from the interview:

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Ella Gale

Valerie Lopez

Richard Goodwin

Comedywham

Katie Stone: Unfiltered For Your Pleasure

(Credit: Kana LiVolsi of Dos Mundos Creative)
(Credit: Kana LiVolsi of Dos Mundos Creative)

Audio by Valerie Lopez, Word by Richard Goodwin

You know those parts of past relationships that drive you insane? The parts which would help so many people if they could hear them and just understand that what they’re going through is not unique, and they have the power within them to effect change for the better? You know how you keep your experiences to yourself, because they seem too embarrassing, and no one could possibly relate? Katie Stone doesn’t do that.

Whether you follow the warped magnifying glass of her Twitter feed, read her essays on her website, or have been lucky enough to catch one of her many live shows, you know Katie Stone holds nothing back. I’m fairly certain I participated in a Twitter poll on whether she should feel bad about answering the door for a delivery after having not showered for 3 days. If you haven’t lived in that glass house, then by all means throw the first…well, you get it.

Katie Stone: The Past

In Part One of their interview, Valerie Lopez and Katie Stone dig into how experiences in school life set the stage for a career in performing for an audience. She comes to our fair city from Georgia, passing through Tulane University to nab a major in a language that has one of my favorite words of all time. (Hint: it’s ausfarht.) While comedy wasn’t at the forefront of her mind from the beginning, a chain of serendipitous events after she arrived in Austin got her back in front of people with a renewed passion.

Katie Stone: Current

Many know Katie from the Naughty Bits live show and podcast, created with local comedian Ella Gale. Naughty Bits, now in its second year, is a delightfully dirty, and sometimes touching (in the good way, pervs), look at what makes for really good and bad comedy about sex. Be sure and catch the next one on November 11th, at The New Movement Theater, which hapens to be one of the last two before Ella Gale moves on from Austin. Stone also runs the weekly Megaphone show, Saturdays at 10:30 at The New Movement Theater. In Part Two, Katie explains this unique format and where she hopes to take it.

You can also find more of Katie Stone around town at shows, open mics, on Instagram,  and in Sketch videos she’s written and directed, and those created with others. Don’t forget to to follow Naughty Bits and Trash Palace on Facebook.

Twitter

Katie Stone

Valerie Lopez

Richard Goodwin

Comedywham

Roxy Castillo Wants To Put A Spell On You

Words by David Thomas

I have covered quite a few comedy shows on this site. There was that one person sketch show about the Mothman Prophesy. Then there was the other one about dating. Surely we shouldn’t forget the one where the audience votes on who was funnier, the drunks, stoners or sobers. That’s just scratching the surface, there have been shows involving singing and comedy, plays, two person improv, one person shows and on and on.

(Poster Credit: Daniel Solano)
(Poster Credit: Daniel Solano)

This is what makes the Austin comedy scene so fun. The creators, curators and performers in these shows are limited only by their imaginations… and sometimes other stuff, but mostly their imagination. These endeavors have made my writing experience an eclectic tilt-a-whirl of word craft.

From Denver to Austin

One of these creative comedic types is Roxy Castillo. Castillo, who originally hails from Denver (Colorado, not Missouri) got her start in the stand up comedy scene in the Mile High City eight years ago. Here’s her abridged version:

“I always liked comedy as a kid, but it was in college that I took an elective theater class that was a comedy course. So they taught us basic improv, sketch, and stand up. When I excelled at that, it just fit my life. Gave me an outlet for my oddities and need for attention and ever since that silly class, I was hooked.”

Castillo on stage at The New Movement
Castillo on stage at The New Movement

Castillo went on to tell me that shortly after the class, she decided to move to Austin on a whim. She got the idea in December and by April, she was packed and gone – no job prospects, no housing plans, just a few personal items and a big jug of faith in that it was the right thing to do. She felt Austin was more suited to her, so she packed and moved, having never visited Austin before and according to her, it was a perfect fit for her and her sense of humor. In Austin where she started expanding into improv and sketch comedy. Her involvement with the sketch group, Bad Example, introduced her to the New Movement Theater and the topic of this article.

The Witching Hour

Roxy Castillo has decided to blend her love of comedy and the occult into her new show, The Witching Hour. What is it and why? Because this:

“It’s an occult comedy talk show. It’s a mix of Pee Wee Playhouse and a Hogwarts class taught by me. I’m really into mystical/occult/new age type stuff (tarot, crystals, astrology, etc) and a lot of my friends come to me for information on this stuff, so I figured I should put a show together where I can explain some of these things thru a comedic lens.”

Sign outside the New Movement Theater
7th and Lavaca y’all.

In case you were wondering, yes there will be character guest interviews and presentations with the help of Kelsey Rogers, Zaftigg Von Bon Bon, Vanessa Gonzalez, Cody Cartagena, Stephanie Pace and Ariel Greenspooon. For the first show, Castillo is focusing on crystals, tarot, and magik (with a “k” not “C” like that David Blaine stuff). As a bonus, the show is sponsored by Nature’s Treasures, a local gem and crystal store, and audience will receive a few free gifts and coupons to start them on their cosmic journey.

Deets

Of course the show is at the New Movement Theater. It’s also this Saturday, May 28th, at 9pm. As you should all know by now, The New Movement is a BYOB establishment and is nestled near the corner of 7th and Lavaca in scenic downtown Austin. Ticket info can be found on this Eventbrite page. Remember, they’re cheaper in advance *wink.*

As for Roxy Castillo’s other projects and appearances, she be can be seen all over town doing all sorts of things. The best thing to do is follow her on Twitter. She also dabbles in burlesque under the name Miss Fahrenheit and performs weekly with Bad Example.

 

Following Your Folly with Christina Parrish

(Credit: Vimeo)
(Credit: Vimeo)

Christina Parrish probably has the most unique comedy background we’ve come across.  At the very least, it’s the boldest. Her dad used to take her to improv shows when she’d come visit him in Austin. Eventually she chose to live with him, quit high school and jumped into the the improv pool head first. Soon after she discovered stand up.

I won’t make you read about Parrish’s fascinating past or her amazingly supportive parents when you can listen to it as she speaks to our very own Valerie Lopez:

As with most of our posts, there is a part two to Christina Parrish’s story. Click the link to find out about where her career is now, and how she got into making Galifiniakian style videos:

Speaking of Parrish’s vidoes, you can find them online at Funny or Die, or on her YouTube Channel.  I highly recommend the video, Misunderstood.

Twitter!

Christina Parrish

Valerie Lopez

Comedy Wham

Martin Urbano Loves Comedy

(Credit: Facebook)
(Credit: Facebook)

The title may sound a bit tropish but Martin Urbano really, really loves comedy. His passion has landed him in Austin via a route across Texas that would give Fibonacci a wet dream. Part one of his conversation with Valerie Lopez tells of his early adventures and how he got his start in comedy:

In part two of his interview, Urbano talks about his experiences in Austin, working with Yusef Roach, and two shows he helps host and coordinate: The Damn, Dirty, Filthy Show! at Nasty’s Bar; and The Little Miss Comedy Pageant at The New Movement Theater.

Twitter Links

Martin Urbano

Valerie Lopez

Comedy Wham

Late Night Basement Comes to Austin

Late Night Basement is bringing quite a bit of talent to Austin. (Credit: Late Night Basement)
Late Night Basement is bringing quite a bit of talent to Austin. (Credit: Late Night Basement)

Chris Rose is bringing his ode to late night talk shows, Late Night Basement, to Austin in conjunction with Fun Fun Fun Fest, and he’s bringing friends.

From Austin to Brooklyn and Back

Late Night Basement is Chris Rose’s baby. The Brooklyn based, Austin native, created the show as a tribute to network late night talk shows. You know what I’m talking about and if you don’t, you may want to turn on the internet or a TV. Then again, if you’re reading this, you know about the internet… I digress.

The show has all the bells and whistles of its network big brothers, but its not in the shadow of the FCC. Which means, Rose and his team have more leeway with the jokes, quips and shenanigans.  The team’s hard work hasn’t gone unseen. Recently the website, New York Natives, wrote an article about Late Night Basement, branding it “The Funniest Show Not on Television.” New York Magazine also crowned it 2015’s “Best Comedy Show in New York.”

Chris Rose is so confident the show can carry such honorifics, he’s decided to take the show on the road with some friends. Fortunately for Austin, he’s bringing it to The New Movement Theater this Friday, November 6th, as a part of Fun Fun Fun Fest Nites. The beloved festival is taking place this weekend and Nites is an extension of Fun Fun Fun Fest taking place at a variety of venues in the downtown Austin area.

Chris Rose is Bringing Friends

Here’s a rundown of the shows guests pulled from the press release:

The Lucas Brothers have performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, been written about in Rolling Stone, and have appeared in Arrested Development and 22 Jump Street.  You can catch their animated show “Lucas Bros Moving Company” on Fox, but these Late Night Basement vets are at their best when you see them live, joking around on stage with each other.
 
Andrew Bujalski is an Austin-based filmmaker and one of the creators of ‘mumblecore.’ He’s best known for his debut movies “Funny Ha Ha” and “Mutual Appreciation”.  The director, writer, and actor is stopping by to talk about his 2015 release, “Results.”
 
Terance McDavid is an Austin-based comedian who has performed at Hell Yes Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and SXSW Underground.  Terance has toured the country with ATX Comedy Hour and hosts a weekly stand-up show at The New Movement.
Chris Rose does a monologue in front of a packed house (Credit: Mindy Tucker).
Chris Rose does a monologue in front of a packed house (Credit: Mindy Tucker).
Bill Callahan is a singer/songwriter, who has recorded under the name Smog and has been a guest on the Comedy Bang Bang! podcast (Episode 258: Yoke Jams).  The Austin native currently has 15 albums under his belt and is signed to Drag City Records.

Details

You have once chance to see Late Night Basement this weekend. The show starts at 10:30 pm sharp so don’t do that Austin thing, arriving late and what not. The show is free for 18+ Fun Fun Fun Fest wristband holders. If you aren’t holding a wristband, all is not lost. They are accepting a few folks for a guest list hook-up but you need to send an email to LateNightBasement@gmail.com pretty quick.  Please note the line up is subject to change.

The New Movement Theater

 

Giulia Rozzi Returns to Austin

Combination profile picture of Giulia Rozzi and Will Miles
Rozzi and Miles team up to take on Austin (Credit: The New Movement Theater)

Giulia Rozzi is coming back to Austin. Last year she brought her one person show, Bad Bride, with her and made herself very comfortable at the New Movement Theater. This year, she left the show at home but found a comedy partner named Will Miles.

She’s Back!

The New York City based duo are set to headline the New Movement Theater on October 6th.  I mentioned in my article about Zac Brooks about how the New Movement Theater’s avant-garde approach to comedy leaves room for very creative comedy shows., so ti’s natural for Rozzi and Miles to want get to the cool little theater on 7th and Lavaca.

Giulia Rozzi is a huge fan of the story telling style of comedy. Her passion for the craft has landed her in and on a variety of media outlets, shows and programs. Here’s a a piece from the press release, “She’s [Rozzi] appeared on Tru TV’s How To Be A Grown Up, Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, Vh1, Chelsea Lately, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Playboy TV, and CNN. As a writer Giulia has worked on MTV’s Girl Code and Silent Library, Bravo’s Odd Mom Out and TV Land’s Younger. She has also contributed to BUST Magazine, Esquire, xoJane, Playgirl, The Huffington Post and more. She has also performed and written two solo shows: Stupid Foreigners and Bad Bride (which recently toured to London) and also co-hosts the long-running nationally touring storytelling show Stripped Stories.” Giulia Rozzi also has an ongoing web series called Seeing Other People.

Sign outside the New Movement Theater
All Comedy is welcome at The new Movement Theater

As for Will Miles, he’s also been a busy bee. Originally from Chicago, Miles has been performing stand up since 2005. Within that time he’s toured with… well, just read his part of the press release, “He’s appeared on Tru TV’s Friends Of The People and the Fusion Network. He has been featured on Hannibal Buress’ My Name Is Hannibal tour and has worked with such acts as Aries Spears, Felipe Esparza, Eric Andre, Jerrod Carmichael, and Bill Bellamy. Currently he hosts the wildly popular Comedy At The Knitting Factory show every Sunday in Brooklyn.”

Get to the New Movement

The show at the New Movement Theater isn’t the only thing Rozzi has going on. She’s teaching storyteller classes at the New Movement Theater on Wednesday the 7th. The two hour class is designed to teach people to twist their life stories into humorous barbs which will make the student the toast of any party. The last part isn’t guaranteed. By the way, she’s rumored to be performing somewhere else in town, but it’s top secret.

So there you have it, two possible opportunities to see Giulia Rozzi do her stand-up thing and one opportunity to learn how she does it.

The New Movement Show starts at 7pm and tickets are $10.00 online or $12.00 at the door.

The Story Tellers Class starts at 6:30pm and costs $50.00. There is a 10 person limit for this workshop.

Follow this site on Twitter: @comedywham

 

 

Aaron Brooks Does Austin

Head shot of Aaron Brooks
Brooks is an established member of the Austin Comedy scene (Credit: Skippy Leland Photography).

Aaron Brooks has jokes and he’s telling around town.

St. Louis to Austin

Early on Aaron Brooks was a fan of stand-up comedy. He drew his influences from the likes of George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor whose story telling style of comedy hit him in the right spot. In December, 2009, he got on stage for the first time at Comedy Etc., a comedy club in a hotel known for having a T.G.I Friday’s in it.

After getting his feet wet in the St. Louis Comedy scene,  Brooks had a moment of clarity. He knew that in order to grow his burgeoning comedy career, he had to  beat feet to greener pastures and better opportunities. He moved to Austin.which has been a stopping point for wayward jokesters for some time now.  Venues like Cap City Comedy Club, The Velv Comedy Lounge, a creative and welcoming environment has fostered a healthy comedy scene where performers can find a show almost every night of the week.

Hard Work Pays Off

Aaron Brooks and Danny Palumbo have unicorn horns on their heads.
Brooks & Palumbo co-host Jazz Cigarette (Credit: Erin Holsonbach).

Since the move, Brooks has been featured on key showcases like Punch!, and Sure Thing. He’s performed at The Velv Comedy Lounge and Cap City Comedy Club. He’s been a part of comedy festivals and has participated in the Funniest Person in Austin contest. Currently, Aaron Brooks can be found co-hosting the standing room only Jazz Cigarette Show with Danny Palumbo at The Spider House Ballroom. He also does a pretty good dead Elvis impersonation.

Brooks’ hard work has paid off. Over the next couple weeks, he’ll be rocking a series of shows around town. Brooks is one of those comedians who is able to grab your attention, hold it, and take you for a ride. You can hop on that church van of comedy by catching one of these show:

The Velveeta Room shows will be a good time. The venue is on 6th and Red River, rocks a full bar and has a  cool vibe to it.

There’s Plenty of Aaron to Go Around

Poster promoting Aaron Brooks' upcoming schedule.
Aaron Brooks’ upcoming schedule

Aaron Brooks will be performing the shows at The New Movement Theater and Velveeta Room with Sara June. I had the opportunity to see her host for Matt Bearden a couple of weeks ago and she was solid. The pairing of June and Brooks is like Aaron Franklin and bbq or peanut butter and jelly. Well, you get it.

Ticket information can be found on each venue’s website. For more information about Aaron Brooks and his podcast, Stay Wonderful, visit his website.

You can follow Comedy Wham on Twitter: @ComedyWham

 

 

Disposable Income Freak Show Is Emotion

Promo picture of Donny Rodriguez as a ringleader.
Donny Rodriguez is the ringleader of DIFS (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Donny Rodriguez is the quintessential do-it-yourself type. The bootstrappy attitude has lead him to create an entertaining show that shouldn’t be missed. Fortunately for you, the Disposable Income Freak Show is live this Friday at The New Movement Theater.

Windy City Roots

Rodriguez is originally from Chicago. He honed his sketch comedy skills in the Windy City for six years before moving to Austin. He started the sketch group Wood Sugars with his brother, filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez, and their buddy, stand-up comedian Jon McCarthy, after goofing off during a poker game. McCarthy was replaced by author/actor Jeff Phillips after he left to L.A.

The Disposable Income Freak Show Flyer with characters on it.
The Disposable Income Freak Show is only $5.00 online (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Since Chicago is basically the capitol of improv, you’d think Donny Rodriguez would have gone that route, but everyone I’ve written about has their own story regarding their first experiences with comedy and their influences. The Rodriguez brothers aren’t any different. Here’s Donny’s version, “My brother and I were left to our own devices a lot of the time some we would watch Benny Hill, All In the Family, Roseanne and In Living Color. That’s how I found comedy.” That explains why he was attracted to the sketch scene and his blue collar approach to getting things done.

The Disposable Income Freak Show Takes Form

By the time, Donny Rodriguez left Chicago for Austin, Wood Sugars shot over 120 videos, performed on a variety of TV spots, produced 10 web series, and had two podcasts ( listed as 2 of the 5 best podcasts in Chicago in 2011 by Time Out Magazine). During this time a primitive version of the Freak Show took form. Their ad hoc approach to comedy and

Chris Trew holds the Air Sex Championship Belt
Chris Trew saw potential in Rodriguez’s show concept.

lack of theater training, kept Donny Rodriguez and the Wood Sugars crew from performing at established theaters like Second City. So they took to bars and music fests where they learned to engage the audiences. After all they had to keep people’s attention.

After moving to Austin, the Disposable Income Freak Show marinated in Rodriguez’s head. He moved within walking distance of The New Movement Theater. He quickly became involved in writing for a variety of shows like the Block Party and the now defunct NEWS Movement. Chris Trew was impressed by Donny Rodriguez and let him pitch the Disposable Income Freak Show. Trew was on board with Rodriguez’s gritty approach to comedy and green lit the show.

According to Donny Rodriguez the show is “hacky” on the surface but contains a lot of emotion beneath the surface. The characters are composites of modern day character types who deal with modern day issues like coming out to your homophobic friends, compartmentalization, dealing with failure and the run-of-the-mill trash talking we all enjoy with our friends.

Change is Coming

Donny Rodriguez writes the majority of the show and draws his cast mostly from The New Movement Theater’s pool of students. Over the last month, TNM Tonight host, Chris Sebilia, Alex Kone, Stephen Childress have started helping Donny Rodriguez write the show. Along with them, Amy Jordan has been brought into the mix and the Disposable Income Freak Show will be going through some renovations.

Chris Sebilia on stage
Chris Sebilia has been working with Rodriguez in the writing department.

What does this mean?  It means that this Friday, will be the last chance you get to see the show in it’s original form. If you want to see Donny Rodriguez smash down the fourth wall as he wrangles an eclectic cast of misfit characters like The Human Sunday Funday and The Dub-Step Father, then get to The New Movement Theater this Friday. The doors open at 7:30pm. You should know where it is by now, but if not, it’s on 7th and Lavaca. Tickets are $5.00 online and $7.00 at the door.

Details

The New Movement Theater

Donny Rodriguez

 

Follow this site on Twitter: @ComedyWham

 

TNM Tonight Kicks Late Night Talk in the Kiester

TNM Tonight poster
TNM Tonight is an edgier version of a late night talk show.

We’ve all seen the clips. Jimmy Fallon pretending to be Neil Young, Jimmy Kimmel playing mean tweets and so on and so forth. The Tonight Show has historically made comedian’s careers. The late night talk show has an exorbitant amount of power over pop culture. So naturally Austin shatters that ivory tower with TNM Tonight.

TNM Tonight is Two Years Old

TNM Tonight began in January 2013 when UT film and TV student, Devon Powell, wanted to do his version of a late night talk show.  In December, 2013 he passed the reigns to Odin Armador who then hosted the show until October, 2014 when Chris Sebilia took over hosting duty.

Chris Sebilia has been active in the Austin Comedy scene since he stepped on stage at the No Shame open mic at the Salvage Vanguard Theater four years ago. The engineer needed a creative outlet and found stand-up as a good way to express himself.

A Show With No Limits

Hosting TNM Tonight has been a long time goal of Chris Sebilia. The uniqueness of the show (there isn’t another one like it in town) and lack of censorship fosters a creative environment that has an anything goes vibe.  Where Kimmel, or Fallon has to kowtow to the FCC, investors, advertisers, and network censors, Chris Sebilia and TNM Tonight’s writers have nothing like that to worry about allowing them to go hard on pop culture, current events, and news topics.

Creating new content weekly is no small task but TNM Tonight has plenty of writers up to the task. Martin Urbano heads a team of writers comprised of Adam Wolf, Jesse Mundy, Austen Silver, Chris Levi, Donny Rodriguez, Cene Hale, Trace Holt, and Chance Garcia. Together with Chris Sebilia, they create a show featuring all the bells and whistles (guests, monologues, comedians, sketches, etc.) of a show, that according to Sebilia, is a, “A Jimmy Fallon show if he had a soul.”

Maintaining Forward Motion

Chris Sebilia on stage
Chris Sebilia has been hosting since October, 2014

TNM Tonight is something special and Austin comedy fans know it. The shows has steadily grown a loyal audience over it’s 1 1/2 year run and continues to foster an audience thirsty for creative humor.  TNM Tonight is currently rocking a solid schedule through the month of February and on into March. SXSW won’t slow them down either as they are going to be a part of a “secret” SXSW comedy show called...

The next TNM Tonight is this Saturday February 21st at the The New Movement Theater, conveniently located at the corner of 7th and Lavaca. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are $7.00.  If I were you, I’d buy them in advance. These shows fill up pretty fast.

Details:

TNM Tonight

The New Movement Theater

Chris Sebilia

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ElDavidThomas