June 2018 - Cover Story: Maria Bamford
The old phrase, "Write what you know," was created for Maria Bamford. The comedian has taken her life experiences and created some of the greatest moments on stage and television. As Bamford prepares for her performance on June 29th at The Santa Ana Star Casino, we had the opportunity to ask a few questions about her inspirations, upcoming projects, and her legacy.
What was childhood like for you? Was comedy ingrained for you?
I was pretty shy. I loved listening to Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and watched SNL with my Dad. My parents are ridiculous, but I never thought of comedy as a career.
What is your inspiration when it comes to comedy? How do you prepare?
Sometimes I am not inspired. I just keep making things because it makes me feel better. I prepare by rehearsing over and over again and many times, I do not want to do it.
Is it difficult to do such personal material in front of people?
The more personal (for me) is more meaningful. I like the feeling of sharing something in public that might be taboo with the idea that one person might not feel as alone (even if that one person is me).
What was the inspiration behind the Comedians of Comedy’s decision to perform in small indie rock venues as opposed to comedy clubs?
You’d have to ask Patton, but there is something nice about not having the food/beverage service throughout a show at comedy clubs. It may have been the door split was better! How did you get started in voice acting? I was a secretary at Nickelodeon Animation Studios after 2 years of temping at different studios and I was hired as a full-time employee. Due to proximity, I was asked to audition for CATDOG and that was my first job.
Do you have any Heckler Horror Stories?
Not as much anymore- I definitely had more in the beginning- and probably for good reason. I’m more of a theatrical act and not really a great show for a general population out for a good time on a late show Friday night. I understand the POV of the heckler- you’re trapped and you feel like you have to stay at a show you’re not enjoying. Add alcohol to that and I’m surprised it doesn’t get worse. Live performance can really trigger strong feelings (especially when you’re forced to have a 2 drink minimum).
What inspired you to do a Stand-Up special for just your parents?
It was the easiest thing to do - in my house, just my parents. It was sloth and somewhat symbolic- in that they are the source of my desire for attention.
Lady Dynamite is quite the show. What was your process in creating each storyline and how did it feel to know so many people connect with your show on a personal level?
I only provided material- the scripts were written by a wonderful staff of 12 professionals. They spent 3 months crafting storylines inspired by some of my stories and then, adding their own. I am grateful that anyone enjoys the show! It makes me feel useful, for sure.
What upcoming projects to do you have on the way?
Well, I am coming to New Mexico! I have a new hour I’m working on and then, a few other irons in the fire, but the biggest iron is having a lovely personal life with my hubby, family, and friends. That’s the most important now. A little late in the game and I probably should have focussed more on it earlier in life, but oh well.
What would you like your legacy to be?
She was here.