Audio by Valerie Lopez, Words by Richard Goodwin
Austin is a town rife with comings and goings in the comedy community: careers being born, taking off, a conglomerate of spreading wings of humor. In this week’s on location interview, Valerie Lopez sits down with relatively recent Austin arrival, already building a presence in the scene, Brett VerVoort.
VerVoort is a Houston native, but you’d be forgiven for thinking she hailed from the Midwest; as she readily admits, “sometimes a word will sneak in there” and her family’s roots outside of Texas become quite clear. As do her early roots and interest in performing, with VerVoort creating her own short film in middle school, and diving deep into acting in all forms in high school and beyond, seeking to build the chops to fulfill her dream of directing. “I was told to be good behind the camera, you need to learn to be good in front of the camera”, she tells Valerie.
With memories of an early obsession with the famous BBC series Black Adder–fronted by legend Rowan Atkinson–and a waning acting bug, VerVoort eventually found herself being drawn into the allure of comedic performance and creation. Her interview also marks a unique first for Comedy Wham: when a pivotal moment for a comic’s journey came in the form of a gifted Groupon. (Listen to the interview to hear more on that.)
When she calls stand-up and improv the “perfume she drenches herself in”, you truly can’t miss the excitement and love of the craft that VerVoort exudes. Her drive led her to getting into the scene any way she could, including doing tech duty at 616 Lavaca, and moving into her own first stand-up sets.
Today you can see VerVoort in showcases all around town, nurturing twin passions for stand-up and improv. She’s not quite ready to pick a favorite of the two: “I’m going to try and parent them both and see which one…slams the door in my face and talks about me in therapy,” VerVoort says.
In addition to her work on the stage(s), you may have heard VerVoort co-host the excellent behind-the-scenes comedy interview podcast Leading the Blind with Arielle Norman. She’s also part of the improv troupe Eggs (and has the eponymous tattoo to prove it), and shares with us some of the wild and unique ideas they have planned ahead; they sound fantastically mind-twisting.
Grab a bottle of your favorite scented substance and listen to this week’s interview to hear more about how VerVoort’s brain works, and how she applies herself to constantly experimenting, improving, and becoming the best version of herself. Then follow Brett VerVoort on Twitter, and get out to see her at some of her upcoming shows:
- March 3: Eggs performs at 616 Lavaca
- March 15: VerVoort and Eggs kicks off SXSW Comedy at 616 Lavaca
And stay tuned to Leading the Blind to hear VerVoort on the other side of the podcast mic. Like our interviewers here at Comedy Wham, she loves to invite people in and trade secrets and tips, and it absolutely shows.