I told myself I’d never cover the same series twice, but when I made that promise, I hadn’t conceived of a couple like Ann Carr and Warren Holstein — the hearts and brains behind one of the web’s longest running and consistently excellent series, The Actress. In a digital environment saturated with folks making shameless grabs at quasi-fame and fleeting HuffPo notoriety and then trying something new if they don’t get instantly huge, this series stands out not only because it’s quality, but also because its creators are so apparently committed to putting the time in, nurturing The Actress in its native state to make it the absolute best [...]
Fire up your Internet and go on a web series hunt. What you’ll probably find are the creative outputs of twenty and thirty-somethings—folks clamoring to express sensibilities seasoned by the years of pain that drove them to become comedians. Much less common are web series created by teens. (I’m looking past the YouTube glut of make-up tutorials and weekly twerk sessions posted by 13-year-olds and met with unfailingly creepy fanfare.) Created by and starring Susie Yankou, 101 Ways to Get Rejected attracted me not because it’s flawless, but because it’s an anomaly and because this Freshman effort is as impressive as it is brave and pure.
How did you get [...]
Six months ago, I didn’t know what Vine was. I mean, I knew in the way that I know what brain surgery is. I knew it existed, but I didn’t know the first thing about making or even critiquing one. So being the man I am — a sniveling victim of fear and cowardice — I steered clear of reviewing them in this column. Then, this past December, while home for the holidays, I was inspired to watch some Vines. And by “inspired,” I mean I got sucked in by YouTube click bait, the legion of ass and boob screenshots that serve as cover art for what seems like [...]
Tristram Baumber takes his time.
A big part of comedy is throwing caution to the wind and just producing content, getting out there and “doing it” even if your idea isn’t completely baked. That’s all true, great stuff, and readers of this column know we spend a lot of time talking about the need to pursue passions without self-defeating at the early stages of idea development. That said, the line between cultivating unfettered rawness and creating product that people will actually sit through and enjoy…is OH so very thin. The best creators are able to open the creative flood gates without regard for norms or structure, whittle down their Post-It note [...]
“Don’t go to crazy town!” It’s one of the first things every sketch comedy student is taught — or should be. Crazy Town isn’t an actual place, of course; it’s a metaphor for a type of off-the-wall, ungrounded comedy comprised of so many weird elements that the audience isn’t sure what to laugh at and, as a result, doesn’t really laugh at all. Because sketch comedians are so afraid of traveling to Crazy Town, we often write things that stay within the lines of a parody or a character sketch or some celebrity impression. We’re tempted to stay safe within the haven of jokes that are instantly recognizable, in [...]