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Inside With: A Week of Kindness

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOur week of SketchFest profiles comes to a conclusion. Area favorites, A Week of Kindness, sing us out.

What's your story, A Week of Kindness?
We met as students at Penn State. We were involved in a student theatre company called No Refund Theatre which performed weekly in a classroom. Over the course of our college degrees, we had all written for/directed/acted with each other in all sorts of shows, dramatic, comedy and otherwise. We're all pretty big comedy nerds, so when we found ourselves living in the same city a year or two after college, it seemed like the right thing to do to develop a sketch comedy act together.

How would you describe your group?
What separates us is first our determination to make every show more than just the sum of its sketches. You'll see jokes, videos, and sketches folding back into themselves in all kinds of bizarre ways, and most shows have some kind of through-line whose plot is illuminated by the events of the constituent sketches, and some stuff that we hope might become even funnier to you on a second viewing. We're proud of our ability to mix some of the most retarded material you've ever seen with stuff that's more high-brow, and to make them live harmoniously together in the world of our show. As for influences, right now we're on a big Tim and Eric kick.

How do your sketches go from an idea to the stage?
We typically rehearse and write at Dans' apartments in Brooklyn. The writing is very collaborative. We typically write even the first drafts together, arguing and agonizing over every line from the beginning of the sketch until it's complete, and then arguing and agonizing again a few days later when we've slept on it and realized what has to be punched up. We're fairly sure that this would be impossible for us if there were more than 3 people on our team. We are actually answering these questions collaboratively, arguing and agonizing about every line including this one.

Who are you most excited to see this year at SketchFest?
We're really jazzed to be playing a show with Trophy Dad, who are friends of ours, and who did one of the really stand-out shows of the fest last year. A brand new Fearsome show is also always an event. We first met them in 2004 when Mike was the emcee of a sketch comedy tournament that they ended up winning, and they were the first sketch group to really open introduce us to the scene.

Any other projects you're working on?
Dan writes for which just won a Webby award, and also does sketch videos with a group called Old Rich People, who host a monthly video night at Hugs in Williamsburg. Nate does his own stand-up and music-based act. And Mike is a member of the UCBT Harold team Bangs and the Maude team The Skuntz. This past weekend, he hosted the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and sat in with UCBT's oldest team, Mother. AWOK's big project this year has been a monthly show at Pianos.

A Week of Kindness performs tonight at The UCBT at midnight.

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