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« Birthday Boys/Convoy Interview: Part IX | Main | Heather Fink in LA! »
Wednesday
Jun172009

Birthday Boys/Convoy Interview: Part VIII

We sat down with the improv group Convoy and sketch group The Birthday Boys and had them talk about influences, origins, and sketch vs. improv. We broke that massive interview down into weekly chunks. The following is chunk eight of that series.


ALEX F/CONVOY: (So) you guys make a lot of videos, and I’ve never seen a video of yours I didn’t really really like. So is that, like, sort of what you want to do? Videos? If someone was like, alright, pals, it’s video or stage, what would you do?

CHRIS/BDB: I think there’s, I don’t want to say a rift, but some of us are like, like myself, really like the videos, but some of us like the stage. It balances out.

DAVE/BDB: There’s a general eagerness to create, Just like you guys said, coming up with the idea, getting it to script form, and getting to portray it ourselves…whether that’s a web medium, TV…pitching feature idea, whatever, that is to me, and I think the group as a whole, really enticing. But what’s interesting is that while you’ve come at it from this improv/performance standpoint, a lot of us were screenwriting majors, saw ourselves as writers in a room or editors…and like coming to UCB, performing around town has broken that shell. So like now we want it all.

ALEX F/CONVOY: Todd and I were history majors, and Alex was a physics major…there’s a part of you that, until just recently, there’s an element like: okay, this is “fun”, very little thought went into, like “how can we turn this into a thing?” And the more I interact with people, (I realize), I just want to make stuff. Like if you guys were still in Ithaca, where there’s little to no chance of making it in the TV business…the people who would be doing that no matter what the circumstances, that’s the best. And I feel like if you guys were in the Antarctic you’d still be doing this. And that totally differentiates between that and “I’m at the showcase, and I hope someone sees us”

DAVE/BDB: And I don’t think we’d exist as a group of 7 if there we didn’t feel that way. Because it is the most fun way for us to create comedy, pitching to a group of people. It might not be the best way to advance a group, but it’s THE most fun way for us to create comedy.

TODD/CONVOY: When we even started, when I came back to LA after college, I didn’t want to act, I wanted to be in the music industry, but for me I always like performing, convoy was just started to have fun. The two of them they had a sketch site, Police Cat.

ALEX B/CONVOY: Which had ulterior motives, and because of those motives failed! We tried to put that show up at UCB, we got a Spank slot before they had Spank slots. Seth Morris was like, ah, I think you two can do better and turned us away! But it was probably for the best because we ended up working on other stuff.

TODD/CONVOY: And that led to Thirty/30, too.

ALEX B/CONVOY: And I want to be very clear, Seth Morris was very kind, and right. I don’t’ want to portray him as some kind of comedy Nazi.

TIM/BDB That was Police Cat?

ALEX B/CONVOY: Yeah. And we still have so many bumper stickers, if you guys want any.


Convoy has a weekly show Thursdays at 11p, The Birthday Boys do a show the first Wednesday of every month at 8p. For more info on these groups check out http://www.myspace.com/birthdayboyscomedy and http://www.myspace.com/convoyimprov.

-Joanna Calo

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