Monday, August 10, 2009
Maria Bamford Meet-Up
The Lakeshore Theater in Chicago recently had a meet-up in which all the local comedians were asked to come on down to the theater and talk with Maria Bamford in a very informal manner.
About thirty comics, writers, or friends of either showed up to the event. The meet-up, at Maria's insistence involved everyone going around the room, introducing themselves like they were in AA, and then giving a brief background on who they were (comic, writer, other) and what they needed most to work on. Then Maria had everyone come up to the stage, where a mic was on and do one small bit that they were working on.
Maria herself did a joke or two about her boyfriend who happened to be there.
I should note it wasn't a lecture, it wasn't Maria giving pointers or tips about how to improve this or that, it was more a formal chat about what people were doing and where they were with their art. Also Maria noted in a very serious way that the road lonely, but moreso, she just felt it was good to meet people and find out what people are working on. She said it was more "selfish" than anything as she got more out of it than the people who were there, but that certainly did not seem to be the case.
The only advice she actually had to give was something she learned from Emo Philips about doing comedy: "You start off, you do stand up, people come and watch you, then more people come and watch you, and more people come and watch you. That's it."
I should point out that being that most of the people there were comedians, there was a lot of talk about working on overcoming fear, anxiety, OCD, depression, and trying to overcome the fear of being in public with other people. So, in a way it was almost like group therapy. In a good way. It was the feel-good Chicago comedian event of the summer.
After it was all done, Maria said her goodbyes, posed for a few pictures, and headed off for what must have been a needed rest before her nightly sets. Many thanks to the Lakeshore Theater for hosting this very nice event.