Inside L.A.'s Storytelling Boom
What's also remarkable about the storytelling scene is how savvy each show's producer is in branding his or her show to help it stand out from the fray, something that alternative stand-up nights around town fall short of doing (watching a room of young alternative comics at one watering hole in Los Feliz can be quite similar to another in Westwood).
|Greg Walloch on Eat Your Words: "L.A. audiences don't seem to actually eat very much food, so they might as well come to a show where they can hear all about it."|
At Greg Walloch's Eat Your Words , stories need to adhere to a food or meal theme. At the Oct. 3 show, Walloch, who has cerebral palsy, hysterically confessed his Freegan exploits, which involved going through dumpsters in New York City, resulting a -- ahem -- bleeding rectum. At the midpoint of the show, he brought up burgeoning, vegetarian-friendly chefs Sergio Perera and Jacob Kear of The Amalur Project, who briefly discussed their eclectic pop-up restaurant.
Meanwhile, Alex Alexander's The P.E.Z. Show hosts TV writers emoting about comical occurrences in their lives. She also tries to put a thematic spin on the food after the show. One performance she hosted in recent months centered around school, and she served up cafeteria-style food like pizza and fruit cocktail.
And Don't Tell My Mother!, in addition to showcasing particularly embarrassing stories, plays like a variety show, complete with a house band and a finger-snappin' theme song reminiscent of a '90s sitcom, with the occasional drag queen (i.e. Courtney Act) breaking out into song during a story.
"We're a community that supports each other, but I feel like it's competitive for audiences. There's over 40 shows and they all have a different flavor," says Alexander, who captivated the crowd during P.E.Z. with a story about her ex-husband falling for a lesbian.
Up next: East coast vs. west coast storytelling