Instagram / RoxxyHaze
Houston-based comedian Roxxy Haze has been creating online content for years.
During quarantine, artists are going live on a variety of platforms, be it your favorite musician playing acoustic guitar or your cousin DJing in your aunt’s garage. The options can seem overwhelming.
If you’re looking to lighten the mood right now — and who isn’t? — plenty of Texas comedians are looking to make you laugh from the comfort of your couch.
The beauty of this new online approach is that it presents comedy in a truly live format. There’s no 10-second delay, so anything can and will happen. That’s especially true because the crews of these shows are all working remotely due to the pandemic.
Some comedians also see this crisis, scary as it is, as an opportunity to perform in front of more people than an average open-mic audience.
But be warned, not every comedic approach is going to translate well to livestreaming. Austin stand-up Jay Whitecotton, who just released his special Jazz Funeral on YouTube for free, thinks the format is harmless, with one exception.
“I think it’s terrible for stand-up comedy,” he said. “As far as funny live streams in general, I find the ones that are run by people who already had pre-existing content to be perfect for quarantine entertainment.”
Experience also plays a role in quality. Artists that have been using online platforms before the pandemic have already built an audience and an ability to connect with them, while others seem to have trouble figuring it all out. But in this new normal, aren’t we all?
Here’s a rundown of Texas comics who have made the jump:
Houston-based comedian Roxxy Haze has been creating online content for years. With more than 14,000 Instagram followers, finding her online is nothing new for her fans. Since the quarantine, she’s participated in a few online standup showcases. “I didn’t do it like a standup show like I see people doing,” she said of her approach. “I did it the same way I do my live stream, which is more of a conversation with the people watching.” Follow her on any platform @roxxyhaze.
San Antonio native and popular Austin-based comic Avery Moore has been using her Instagram stories to produce hilarious absurdity such as the adventures of Panama Brad, Panama Jack’s little brother, and her popular Quarantine: The Musical. She promises to “do something stupid every day for our amusement until we’re allowed to leave our homes.” Follow her on Instagram @lilmisspopovich.
Jerry Karnes hosts “Quarantine FB Live Comedy Showcase” Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. for El Paso Underground Comedy. Having done the live-streamed open mic “World Famous Comedy” before the pandemic, Karnes decided to expand his online activities to chronicle the El Paso comedy scene. He started with comics performing out of his garage until the stay-at-home order hit, then he began reaching out to comedians from outside his local scene. Karnes still hosts the show from his home, then turns the camera to a monitor where comics perform via Zoom. While Karnes says the feedback from the audience has been phenomenal, he has words for his critics, mostly other comedians, who bash his outlet. “I don’t know why, other than the fact that it is harder to perform since there’s no live audience,” Karnes said. “I see it as practice for a televised event, which is the ultimate goal for any comic.” The show runs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. at facebook.com/malkreadcomedy.
Live From Your Living Room
The brainchild of Canada-based Steven Berry and San Antonio’s Chris Zaiontz, Live From Your Living Room premiered April 3 on Facebook and YouTube. Using programs Vmix and caster.io, the variety show aims to feature artists across the U.S. and Canada, including San Antonio’s Tori Pool, David Sangiuliano and Tram Trinh. Zaiontz, manager of Wizard Broadcasting, has produced live broadcasts for concerts and the San Antonio Runners Soccer Club, so he hopes that experience will translate into a professional-looking show. If the venture is successful, look out for more Live From Your Living Room shows on Facebook and YouTube.
Larry Garza is a San Antonio-based standup comedian. His group Comedia A Go-Go’s six-year old interactive podcast Public Axis has also jumped to the world of livestreaming. The show runs every Friday at 10 p.m. on Facebook Live.
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