|Photo Credit||Daniel Solano|
This week we welcome back into the fold previous CW guest, Joey Zimmerman, and since Valerie Lopez last spoke with him in 2016, he’s been anything but idle.
Zimmerman’s lived in Austin going on 4 years, and I don’t know if the city is contributing its laid-back style to his already even-keeled outlook on life, or vice versa. Either way, his persona shines through, in his reputation in the comedy scene, and in his new EP Chillin’ With My Friends (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play). The self-described “all weed joke EP”, available on iTunes and Spotify, dropped this year (on April 20th of course), and is a showcase of some of his favorite ever-green (pun intended, naturally) material. There’s even an extended story at the end, with some life lessons about less than optimal conditions for dropping acid.
In addition to the new EP, Zimmerman continues to host unique monthly shows at Genuine Joe’s Coffee House, a venue that has been wonderfully supportive of the comedy community (and has some tasty sustenance to boot.)
The Listening Room (2nd Saturday of every month) is a combination storytelling and live podcast show, published by Body Tape Intl. It’s a concept that not everyone comes to easily; finding a 10-15 minute story to tell, with very few rules, can be very daunting compared to the compact, rapid fire sets you often see in a stand-up show. The Listening Room gives the stage to people from all walks of life (not just comedians) that have a compelling story to tell. Zimmerman’s goal is to give someone a platform to share something that has meaning for them, no matter if the audiences’ and listeners’ tears are from laughter or shared empathy. “Standup is the nucleus of everything, but I feel there’s so many things that can branch off from that idea”, Zimmerman says.
On the 4th Saturday of every month is Glow Show, a lights-out experience where the audience is armed with glow sticks to brandish in the darkness to show (and share) their enjoyment of the stand-up performance. It’s not a concept most people would think of applying to comedy, but it works well, and had only a little bit to do with the fact that Zimmerman wanted a legit reason to play with glow sticks. Allegedly.
Zimmerman has more ideas on the back burner or bubbling up; speaking of bubbling, be sure to check out the audio-visual “game you can play at home”: Is It a Bong or a Lamp?. He’s always on the lookout for ways to create a connection and participation with people, whether it’s centered on stand-up or in the ever-expanding orbit of “things he’ll try at least once” to see how well they’ll work. He tells us, “People should not just stick to one thing…Keep branching out–do the Donald Glover–make music, be funny, be both ends of the spectrum if you can. Who knows which one of them will take off.”
When we closed our previous talk with Joey Zimmerman, his “one word for the future” was uncertain. For some, that could speak to a sense of unpredictability and stress, but for Zimmerman, it’s perfectly representative of his relationship to the world: full of opportunities, and you never know what comes next, but, as he says, “There’s always a spot for you somewhere”. We agree, and look forward to him exploring each and every one of them.
With shows every month, you have plenty of chances to get out and see Zimmerman: