by Ryan Meehan
After graduating from the acting school at USC in Los Angeles, and a year in London at the British American Drama Academy, Adam has been seen guest starring on “Two Broke Girls,” “WORKAHOLICS,” “Arrested Development,” “According to Jim,” Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV,” writing for MTV’s “PUNKD,” most recently as the bad guy opposite Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s buddy cop comedy “The Heat,” and coming up you can see Adam’s standup featured in the upcoming Comedy Central show “HOUSE PARTY.” And with over 30 million views, you should definitely check out all his sketches at AdamRayTV.com and hear what he has to say in today’s edition of 7 questions.
RM: Could you tell us a little bit about “Above Average”, the YouTube Channel that you are working with which features Abby Elliot from SNL?
AR: I’ve been doing comedy sketches since High School. Always just for fun. Then when YouTube came out, it gave comedians a way to get some exposure and gain some recognition from people from all over the world. I got a job at Funnyordie doing exclusive content for them for a few years, and now with Above Average, which is partnered with SNL. I love doing sketch comedy. I’m always thinking of stupid stuff to shoot, and it’s nice to have a place to put it. Some of my videos are more popular than others, but to have people come to my standup shows because of some, is pretty cool. Having my Mom say she loves my video where Kermit the Frog masturbates to Two Girls One Cup, not so cool.
RM: How did you end up getting involved with “The Heat”? Did you feel like you had really nailed the part in your audition?
AR: Allison Jones cast The Heat. She’s also cast The Office, Bridesmaids, Anchorman, and Superbad. I’ve been going in for her for a few years now, and doing my thing, and this one finally matched up. The name of the game with auditioning is kill it every time, and hope they don’t just offer the part to George Clooney or Seth Rogen. I went in 3 different times for The Heat, and felt good every time. And thankfully, it went my way on this one. But man, it hasn’t so many other times, which is why this biz can really suck sometimes.
RM: Why do you think panel comedy shows are so popular at the moment? Do you necessarily have to know the other comics that you’re on the panel with to make it work comfortably?
AR: People like quick and funny, and pop culture. That’s what panel shows offer. You don’t have to know each other, cause everyone is pretty much out for themselves in those shows, but when their is chemistry, it’s always better, and you can tell.
RM: I saw the online clip from 2011 where you had someone in the crowd mention that they weren’t excited for the holidays, because their husband had died and left her as a widow with four kids. Other than drinking, what was your initial thought towards handling that situation at a place (The Ice House in Pasadena) where the energy is usually so good? Do you think that even though it was obviously a tragic thing that happened to that woman, maybe The Ice House on a Thursday night was probably a bad time to bring something like that up? And did you go back to the guy with the Dick Tracy hat because you just had no idea what the fuck else to do there? Have you ever had anything else that awkward happen live?
AR: I’ve been doing crowd work a while now, and the more you do it, the more you put yourself in situations that you haven’t dealt with before, and that’s how you get better. I have learned to always play the truth of the moment. When she said she was not into the holidays because her husband died last Xmas, my natural reaction was to pause. And the audience was with me on how awkward it was, and I felt that. I then talked to her and tried to pull some comedy from her responses. I never attack a crowd member. It’s a quick way to get the audience to turn on you.
Crazy experience? One time at a winery in Paso Robles, after doing jokes about being Wolverine at Universal Studios, a drunk woman threw a wine glass at me from about 15 feet away. My head was down thinking of my next bit, and I didn’t have enough time to look up, but I saw the glass flying at me in the corner of my eye, stuck my hand out to deflect it, but the glass stuck perfectly between my fingers. So I snabbed it out of mid air. People erupted with applause and cheers, I walked over to her, set the glass down and said “I said don’t fuck with me I’m WOLVERINE!” Everyone went nuts, and they kicked her out. Coolest shit ever.:)
RM: In your eyes what do you think is main the difference between “About Last Night” and other comedy podcasts? How long have you known Brad Williams and where did you guys meet?
AR: Brad and I always have a lot of fun. Our built in repoire and natural give and take, makes our episodes flow without dead air, and we can really finish each others sentences. That helps if you are doing a show with another person. We always love having a guest, and prepare with a map so that we have somewhere to go if we get too off track, which we like to do. We don’t like to make it to interviewy, and pride ourselves on that. We want it to feel like people are hanging out with us, which is the response we’ve gotten. But at the same time, when we had Joey McIntyre on, we definitely made a point to hear how the New Kids came to be:)
RM: What’s the biggest mental mistake you see other comedians make? What do you think causes performers to do that; and how do you avoid such pitfalls?
AR: Looking at each set as “I crushed,” or “I bombed.” I think you can take something positive and negative from every set. If you bomb, you get better. Because hopefully you walked away reflecting on what didn’t go well and how you can fix that for next time. If you had a great set, I feel you should be just as focused on what you did, and not just pat yourself on the back and have some drinks. You learn so much just from doing it every night, which you have to do, but it’s an art, and there are so many technical things you have to be cognizant of. And recording your sets is a great way to make sure that happens. Some nights, the timing of a joke will change for me, because of laughter coming in a new place because of something I’ve improvised in the moment, and you gotta have audio evidence of that so you can slip that in again the next time. At least for me. Some comics just like to have everything be spontaneous. But it’s never really that way for anyone. We all go up there with some idea of what’s going to happen.
RM: Out of everything in the entertainment industry that you haven’t had the chance to do yet, what would you most like to pursue in the near future? Do you think that in ten years you’ll be able to say that you’ve done it?
AR: I came to LA to attend acting school at USC. I’ve done a handful, and the movie was a great credit to get some momentum going. But I want more. I want to be doing it consistently as I do standup and the podcast and my comedy sketches. That stuff I can control, and it’s fun, but acting is a different muscle. And I’ve been doing it my whole life. Practicing. But only played in a few games. I need more games.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
AR: Lotta standup touring, my first CD coming out, bigger guests on the podcast, and auditioning a ton. Get on a TV show is the goal of this next year. When the acting tough takes off, the opportunities for everything else become more frequent. I love what I do, and am lucky to do it at the level I’m at. But I’ve worked my fucking ass off, so I feel like I should be where I’m at. Trouble is, it’s nowhere near where I want to be, and that’s what keeps me going every single day.
Official Website: http://www.adamraytv.com/newsblog/welcome-to-adamraytv-com/
Adam on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdamRayComedy
Adam on Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamraycomedy
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