This Sunday, August 2nd through Tuesday, August 4th, Tulis McCall will be presenting the THRICE MAD FESTIVAL, Three Evenings of Monologues and Madness at Cornelia Street Cafe in beautiful Greenwich Village, NYC.
Mike Trupiano, a New York based writer, actor and comedian will be performing at the Festival. We talked to Mike about comedy, philosophy and artistic collaborations. He assured me that all of his answers had been “cleared with legal.”
JM: Was comedy a life long pursuit or did you come to it accidentally?
MT: From the youngest age, I heard I should be a comedian. In grade school, there were empty seats around me. No one wanted to sit near me because I would make them laugh and they would get in trouble.
JM: One of my editors tells me that you majored in philosophy. what’s your philosophical take on the value of comedy in the human drama? (I lied on that question — I don’t have any editors yet. Sorry)
MT: Personally, comedy is the only thing that keeps me sane in the midst of human absurdity–the ephemerality of our endeavors, the powerlessness in the universe, our lack of control over even our own minds and desires, the inevitability of our physical demise, etc. To me, comedy acknowledges all this but affirms it anyway. Is that the opposite of tragedy? My ancient Greek escapes me right now.
JM: Who cracks you up? It doesn’t have to be a professional comedian.
MT: Who’s cracking me up now are Mitchell and Webb, the British comedy duo. They’ve been around for years but I’ve only discovered them recently. Their homepathic emergency room sketch sketch got me hooked.
My friend and comedy partner Mike Kramer cracks me up. All I have to do is look at him. He’s a professional clown. We met on the standup scene.
JM: What projects are you working on right now?
MT: I’m starting to perform with Mike Kramer as a comedy duo. We have similar auras of lostness in our visages. Whenever people, even strangers, see us together, on stage or off, they are mesmerized by the spectacle. I’m also doing more solo characters and monologues and leaving standup far, far behind. Not in my dust but behind it.
JM: What is Monologues & Madness and how did you connect with them.
MT: After years of standup, and being very pigheaded and an incredibly slow learner, I realized that standup was an arduous, unrewarding, soul-crushing grind. I’ve had friends who could somehow realize this about standup after one week.
After a break from performing, Carl Kissin, a friend and fellow improviser, invited me to watch him at Monologues & Madness perform a comic monologue he had written. I loved the entire scene down there and was inspired to write my own piece, which I did. My first show was March of this year. I’ve been in four shows so far, one per month.
Monologues & Madness is a show of 10-12 actors and/or writers reading monologues that either they have written or someone else has written for them. Only new writing is allowed. You can’t read Pinter or Mamet. The founder and MC, Tulis McCall, encourages the writers to take chances. M & M is a phenomenal place to try out new stuff before a real audience.
JM: Tell me when you’ll be on and where it will be etc… (I’ll post a link, but this is for the lazy who don’t like to click).
MT: Sunday night, August 2nd, is a greatest hits show from the years 2006 to the present. Past performers and writers voted on their favorites. Two of my monologues garnered a lot of votes: One of my fear of heights, one of my fear of the woods at night. Maybe you can sense my themes. Alas, I can only perform one piece in the show. Please come on down to find out which one I went with.
Also, I’ll be reading a brand new monologue in Monday night’s show. Either something about fear or maybe something about anxiety. Not sure yet.
The show is at the gorgeous Cornelia Street Cafe at, coincidentally, 29 Cornelia Street. Showtimes are 6-8 p.m. A great venue to perform at and also to see a show.
JM: Anything else that you want to add?
MT: Speaking for those in the lineup, we are so glad you will not be in the Hamptons on those nights and will be coming down to see us! The Hamptons will always be there. We won’t.
Here’s the line-up:
Sunday August 2
MONOLOGUES MOST MEMORABLE
A Rich Sampling of Past Performers 2006-2009
Monday August 3
Just the way you like ‘em – Fresh out of the box!
Tuesday August 4
Mighty Two-Minute Monologues
At The Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC ~ Tel. 212.989.9319 (There’s a $7.00 cover which includes one drink).