ASF Hot Seat: STAG Comedy

STAG Comedy :: David Jara, Mac Blake, Ximena Estrada, Dave Youmans, Lance Gilstrap. Andrew Rosas, Joe Parsons

STAG Comedy has been busy in the past year, with a microtour of Portland and Seattle, a trip to the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, and a brand new show, Sensible Pantsuit. They also added a new member, Lance Gilstrap. They’re also performing Thursday night along with There’s Waldo and Danny Palumbo. Stags David Jara, Dave Youmans, Lance Gilstrap, and Joe Parsons told us secrets in the forest.

You guys sure like to travel. What do you enjoy about taking your show on the road?

Lance Gilstrap: Snacks

Dave Youmans: I got some trail mix in Toronto called “Cranny & Banany”. Probably the highlight of the trip.

David Jara: It’s interesting to hit the road and see which sketches work with which audiences. It’s also incredibly satisfying to go to a city that has never even heard of you and win them over. This is the first I’m hearing of “Cranny and Banany”, though. I may have to change my answer.

Do you guys have a favorite show you’ve done?

David: Gosh, I like all of our shows for different reasons. I’d probably have to say I enjoyed our most recent shows of new material the most. They were the least stressful show I’ve ever been a part of, the crowds were great, and I feel like the material was some of the strongest we’ve ever done.

Joe Parsons: I feel like the shows keep getting more ambitious, more complex, and better overall. I feel like with these last two shows, we’ve really found our voice and the work is the best its ever been.

What’s your writing process like?

Dave: It’s like making love to a beautiful woman with five of your closest friends and Joe.

Joe: It’s like making love to- Hey!

David: It’s not as drunk as it used to be. I miss that.

Joe: We typically write individual scripts based on concepts then read them as a group for feedback. That said, we also work collaboratively, base sketches off of improvised scenarios and characters, and have what we call “Challenge Rounds” where one person in a group challenges another person to write a sketch based on a premise.

Lance joined your group last year. How do you decide to add a new member?

David: It’s funny, because there was absolutely no decision process for adding Lance whatsoever. We’ve all known Lance for years and have worked with him in some capacity. So, when the time came to start on our most recent show, the rest of us were sitting around and one of us basically said, “Hey, do you guys wanna add Lance?” And we all agreed. Because when someone that talented is available, you’d be a dummy not to snatch him up.

What can we expect from your ASF show?

Lance: Expect to be educated. An unintentional theme in this show is education because we are all teachers at heart. Also the Klan because we are all great friends too.

What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?

Dave: The waterslide!

Joe: Sketch is a bit of a small world. Doing sketch in Austin, we have all become familiar with what the other troupes do and what their humor is like, but ASF gives me the opportunity to see what’s going in other places. I have seen some really great comedy at ASF in the past that I would not have seen otherwise.

David: I’m looking forward to all of the shows I’m in (STAG!, The Hustle Show, Mascot Wedding), because it means I made it to the shows, and that’s important to me.

Lance: I’m looking forward to all the shows David isn’t in. Mostly because he is so nice to me that it makes me uncomfortable and I always assume he wants something from me… something unspeakable.

STAG performs Thursday May 23rd, 8pm at the Spider House Ballroom with There’s Waldo and Danny Palumbo. Tickets here.