I’m interested in how comedians are made. I look at performers who have “made it” and I wonder about their early drafts — the thousand of unrefined close-but-no-cigar versions of themselves they had to slog through on the road to greatness. This week, #TheEarlyDraft blog takes an insider’s look at Hell Yes Fest. Held Nov 12 – 16, Hell Yes Fest is to comedy lovers what the Mcdonald’s Playplace is to bacteria: a boundless wonderland.
We spoke with creator of Hell Yes Fest, Chris Trew about his top picks for the fest this year. Trew is also co-founder of The New Movement comedy theaters, located in each Austin and New Orleans. Comedian, rapper, master of invisible love-making and co-author of the comedy manual Improv Wins, Trew exemplifies what it looks like to always be pushing. You can see him perform during Hell Yes Fest at The New Movement on Thursday November 13h at 7:30 p.m. in The Real @ChrisTrew Show.
Trew’s Hell Yes Fest picks:
Greetings from Queer Mountain: Thursday, November 13, 7 p.m. at Cafe Istanbul (2372 St. Claude)
This show is an LQBT storytelling showcase from Austin, Texas. “New Orleans audiences have really shown a hunger for storytelling shows,” says Trew.
The show features a killer line-up of storytellers including Janine Brito (FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell), Mike Graupman (Producer of Austin Story Slam) and Daniel Webb (Austin comedian know for the fist-bump heard round the world).“It’s exciting to give them their first taste of this unique show that has quickly become a staple on the Austin arts scene,” adds Tew.
LateBit – Comedy Gaming: Thursday, November 13, 9 p.m. at Cafe Istanbul (2372 St. Claude)
“We’ve designed the festival to grow to a variety of interesting types of comedy,” says Trew. Thus, this video-game-themed comedy show was a perfect fit for the festival. With a panel of performers competing against the audience in gaming challenges, this show is for “gaming nerds or anyone who 1) loves good comedy and 2) understands what a video game is.”
At Hell Yes Fest events, Trew says he watches for:
Great concepts with great production value.
Trew believes that audiences who come out to watch live comedy shows are hungry to see something incredible. They want to feel something they can’t get from Netflix. “I like when a show producer really commits to a concept,” says Trew. “Comedy is about taking a chance. When performers dig deep and put in the time and polish to really push a concept to its limits, I think it reminds us all why people pay to see live comedy.”