INTERVIEWS

Dan St. Germain

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Kyle Makrauer - kylemakrauer.comDan St. Germain has been stockpiling the accolades: Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Comedy Central, The Artie Lange Show, WTF with Marc Maron. . . actually it’s a long list. You should go out, or order online, his album Bad at the Good Things. Or go to his show at The Crepe Place on August 1st and buy it there. Last time around it sold out, so get tix now: http://tinyurl.com/3ozegbt

This might have been one of the more cursed interviews—it took two cell phones, a couple of dropped calls and a train seemed to be permanently going by. It seems to end abruptly because I heard another train coming and Dan had been totally generous with his time and I didn’t want to abuse that.

SUSC: Hey Dan, it’s DNA.

Dan: What’s up?

Trying to find a phone that works. I think my apartment building is made of lead.

I don’t know whats going on over there.

It’s nuts dude. Where are you right now?

I’m in my apartment in Los Angeles.

How long ago did you move from New York City to LA?

I moved out here last August.

Was it your first winter without snow?

I was on the road a lot in February. I was in Chicago and Wisconsin and Virginia Beach. In March I was in Toronto and New York. I experienced winter, plenty. I miss Autumn.

Yeah, they don’t really have that in LA. The palm trees don’t change colors. It’s hard to explain to people who didn’t grow up with winter, how it changes every aspect of how your day goes.

I miss the seasons a lot . But the one I miss most is the Fall. But even the last few years, because of global warming we weren’t get much of that. Not to make it too depressing. . .

It’s not depressing, it’s a fact. The intensity of the storms on the East Coast has increased dramatically. Boston got 100 inches of snow.

I was in Boston in early april and there was still snow everywhere.

It’s like the movie Day after Tomorrow. (Train approaches and is LOUD)

They definitely need to do something. (laughter)

When you hit your first couple of mics during high school in New York City did you go to clubs?

I did not go to clubs. Like everybody I had the traditional way of coming up. I did a ton of open mics. Became one of the best guys at open mics. Then I would get booked on the shit shows and tried to become the bets at the shit shows. Then I got booked on better shows and tried to hold my own there. At that point I got seen by a manager. 4 years later I quit. My clubs days didn’t come until later. Some of the mics I started at downtown are really precious. They are good for developing your voice. At first it’s kind of masturbatory trying to figure out what works but eventually it becomes a wider thing. You can’t be reading your notebook for ten years. But it takes time to find your voice so you don’t get stuck just doing your Kevin Hart impression. Ya know, doing that Bill Burr voice. I was on the road doing a one-nighter in Daytona and the other two guys, one was a guest set and one was hosting. . .and if you closed your eyes you heard Louis CK and Bill Burr. I get it. When you first start it happens. I think I copied some people when I first started.

Guys that were your peers or more famous people?

I’ve never copied my peers.

Were they comics that you were really influenced by?

Not really. I did one-liners for a while. I wasn’t trying to be Mitch Hedberg, but it sure as hell sounded like I was.

(another train approaches. . .EVEN LOUDER)

Christ, dude, where the hell are you?

My apartment building is made of lead and is on the railroad tracks. Do you ever totally find your voice on stage?

I don’t think I have totally found my voice. I’m better then when I started. I’ve gone from being terrible to competent. But I’m not where I want to be just yet. That’s a great thing to say when you’re promoting a show. (laughter)

The interviews at SUSC tend to get into the technique a bit, it’s good. You had a solid background in theatre, did you think being a big fish in theatre would translate to stand-up?

Here’s what I think. Having a theatre background really helps for not being terrified on stage. There’s a class I took when I was at the University of Evansville from John David Lutz. I wish I went to Harvard because that a serious comedy degree with the Lampoon and all that. But it was a monologue class and it helped ground me to a certain extent.  So yes, the mechanical shit but as far as the emotional connecting to the audience, no. I believe if you wrote it, you’re already connected to it. I don’t buy into the whole Stanislaus bullshit. I think stand-up can make you a way worse actor, because you’re in your head all the time. If watch certain famous stand-ups that are actors, and there are exceptions like Louis, but they have a huge comedy backgrounds. . .

I’ve watched Birbiglia from a foot away and his comedy act is so nuanced but it’s the same each show.

He’s fucking great and a good actor too. . .so it’s not true all the time.

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Interviews
07/27/2015

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