Q&A with comic Brandie Posey

By Tony Castleberry

 

Let's talk about talk-to-type technology.

I have just used it for the first time and, you guys, I am never going to type again. I’m not typing these words right now! We are living in the future!

Not only will using talk-to-type save time when I’m writing stories for both of my jobs, it will also provide my strong but well-manicured hands with the additional stamina needed to do the following things:

1. Get crazy good — like Ed Norton in “Rounders” good — at shuffling/dealing cards.

2. Pursue my dream of being able to peel, chop and dice vegetables as gracefully and efficiently as Rachael Ray.

3. Try on a bunch of expensive rings and not buy any of them, then throw up a peace sign as I leave the jewelry store.

Most of us have used talk-to-text, Google voice search and Siri, but talk-to-type, which I used to transcribe this really fun interview with stand-up comedian Brandie Posey, is a game-changer for me. I had to make a few edits, and it typed Corky when I said quirky but the positives overwhelmingly outweighed the negatives. 

I found zero negatives in my recent chat with Posey, who released her debut album, “Opinion Cave” in late February. She is also a co-creator of “Picture This!,” a show that pairs comedians with animators and cartoonists whose interpretations of the comics’ sets are projected on a screen as the jokes are delivered.

Posey, a Maryland native who is one-third of the Lady to Lady podcast with Barbara Gray and Tess Barker, discussed having Laurie Kilmartin and Jackie Kashian as fans, her love of Jim Carrey and Ryan Reynolds, owning a mobile home in Los Angeles and much more. 

 

Tony Castleberry: I’m not a big animation fan but Picture This! sounds incredible. Have those shows lived up to the promise of that brilliant premise?   

Brandie Posey: Yeah, they really have. They’re so fun to do just because every set is completely unique. Even if the comics are doing the exact same joke, they kind of get taken in different directions based on the artist that you’re paired with. You end up getting to riff in this world that you’re so used to but from a completely different angle, filtered through somebody else’s perspective of what you’re talking about. In stand-up, you’re used to, “Oh yeah, this is what the joke looks like in my head,” and to see the way that somebody else perceives what you just said is a real trip to kind of play with.

TC: If something isn’t killing verbally, maybe the animation will be there to pick it up, and vice versa, right?

BP: Yeah, it really does. You almost go into like a fugue state when the pairs line up correctly. A lot of animators and artists that we use, they have the same brain as a comedian. They tell jokes visually versus verbally so the same premise will just come out in two different ways. We have the same comedy math. It’s just we’re geometry, and they’re algebra.

TC: You recently got the seal of approval from two badass, really funny women: Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin. How did that feel?

BP: It was really awesome. They are two gals that I look up to. They work really hard, and they embody a lot of the things that I really like about stand-up. The passion is it. The ego is not a part of comedy. They want all the gigs. They want to perfect the craft. Dana Gould always likes to say that comedians aren’t artists, we’re craftsmen because we’re trying to find a way to perfect the way that we tell our jokes. (Kashian and Kilmartin) have kind of embodied that for me. They aren’t these necessarily like huge, rock star names. They are legendary statesmen of the craft. That’s what I want to be. I want to be the best at this thing.

You look at super famous people, and they have to step away from comedy at a certain point because they can’t do it anymore because they lose the objective. (Kashian and Kilmartin) are just working really hard, and want to be the best possible. They’re so funny and true to who they are. I’m lucky enough to get to work with both of them a lot in L.A. I’m kind of buddies with them a little bit. Just to get validated by peers who you look up to really feels great.

TC: I’ve known about Laurie longer than Jackie but I saw Jackie open for Maria Bamford twice and she’s one of those comics I instantly knew I was going to like a lot. Was it the same for you?

BP: Oh yeah, definitely, and that just kind of comes from putting the years and the reps in, you know? You can feel the experience in both of them whenever they perform. It’s like (Michael) Jordan throwing hoops. [interviewer laughs] Throwing hoops? Throwing balls in baskets?

TC: There you go. Perfect.

BP: Once you have the muscle memory of it, you can slide into “Oh, that’s how it goes.” Even when they’re working out brand new material, it’s hilarious.

TC: I just realized that you may have met one of these people but I’ll ask as if you haven’t. Who would you be more nervous to meet: Jim Carrey or Ryan Reynolds?

BP: Oh boy. I have not met either one of them. Well, I’ve been in the presence of Jim Carrey but I wouldn’t call it a meeting, and I still almost lost my shit. 

Ryan Reynolds, I have a huge crush on him. I also think he’s legitimately funny and has a good comedic mind. I always thought we would hang out, and I like to surround myself with beautiful people. I thought he’d be one of my buddies that I could just stare at. He’d be great for that. I respect his marriage and his baby. I just want to be friends with him, and stare at him sometimes. [interviewer laughs]

Jim Carrey, though, is like my childhood hero.  I consider us on very different success levels but now that I do stand-up, I’m kind of in that world so I don’t have that knee-shaking (awe around celebrities) although I worry that if I were to meet him and have a conversation, I would burst into tears. I legitimately worry about that because he meant so much to me when I was a kid. In the 90s, those were my elementary school years, and he was flawless for a whole decade. Every single one of those movies that he put out was just everything to me. I was also kind of an introverted kid. I was never really shy. I was funny with my friends but didn’t go out of my way to make new ones. Jim Carrey was just so extroverted in his movies and I loved him so much that I think it kind of helped open me up to just being a little bit more outgoing. It would be really weird if you were just — deadpan — “Somebody stop me.” That doesn’t work.

My comedy is nothing like his but it was like that first step of me getting the bug, even through quoting his stuff. 

TC: I admire your bravery in talking about being a mobile home owner. I lived in one for many years as well. Are you planning on staying there for a while or are you hoping to move?

BP: We’re still in ours. It’s not like an Airstream. It’s a manufactured house. I always like to say that because some people think I’m in a Winnebago. I’m like, “No, I’m in a house. Don’t worry.” It looks like a house. No one’s going to give me a ticket.

Honestly, it’s a perfect thing for L.A. Our trailer park out here, there’s only like 32 spots. It’s really small. We’re in the city, a really nice part of the city. I don’t know why it exists but we found it and our rent is a fraction of a lot of my friends’ rents. We own the house and there are also real houses nearby. The house up the street from us just sold for $1.5 million and we just sit in our mobile home and laugh about it. We go to the same grocery store as millionaires. [interviewer, Posey laugh] It’s just stupid.

Our place is honestly a lot bigger than a lot of our friends’ apartments. The only downside to a mobile home is people kind of look at you sideways for it. Then they come over and they’re like, “Oh man, this is great.” 

I’m all about thinking outside the box. A mobile home is the same thing as deciding to throw my own tours or produce my own album. It’s just like, well, I don’t need to do the thing that everybody says I’m supposed to do. This is a good place. It’s cheap. I can live within my means here. It’s a two bed, two bath. We’ll have roommates in our front room every once in a while. All my neighbors are either quirky or totally cool except the mobile home hoarder does live right behind us. But I kind of enjoy it.

My parents and people of that age, a lot of them have gotten tied to these houses that are kind of like these chains around their neck. It’s like, “I have a big house but I can’t retire from it. I have to work to take care of it,” and that kind of just becomes this thing that you become a slave to. A lot of my friends want to live cheap and spend money on experiences as opposed to things that are just going to break down and take all of our money to take care of.

Plus, I like to say that I’m a mobile home owner in Los Angeles so, no big deal. I was in escrow! I still don’t know what it means but I was in it.

TC: I think I want to go mobile home shopping now.

BP: When everything breaks bad, because it’s all coming to a horrible ... We’re all going to crash into the ocean. I just want to be able to take my home into the woods and live on dry land.

TC: Right! I can’t take my townhouse and move it into the woods, Brandie.

BP: Exactly! You’ve got to be a little bit mobile because when the apocalypse comes, you’ve got to be able to get to the woods.

 

Contact Tony Castleberry at tcastleberry@reflector.com, 252-329-9591 or  follow @tonycastleberry on Twitter.

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