A New Direction for Drew Woods

August 19, 2018

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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Hob­bies are kind of my thing. Not so much excelling at them, but try­ing new ones on for fit, see­ing how they work, and then kind of build­ing a clos­et of regrets filled with the accou­trements. It’s more about the explor­ing and less about the doing. 

On a recent episode of the Why Should We Care? pod­cast, which gives guests an oppor­tu­ni­ty to try and pro­mote or defend a top­ic, hob­by, pas­time, or real­ly any­thing they care about, come­di­an Drew (née Andrew) Woods stopped by to wax on why hosts Chris Tellez and AJ Hen­der­son should care about one of his pas­sions: skateboarding.

It’s a bit of a micro­cosm of under­stand­ing the Mon­tana native Woods (by way of a round trip that includ­ed Guam, and Dal­las, before even­tu­al­ly land­ing in Austin). He excels in tak­ing some­thing unas­sum­ing, for exam­ple, ask­ing the audi­ence for a scrap of infor­ma­tion– say, your Net­flix cre­den­tials –and twist­ing it into the unex­pect­ed on stage. Magi­cians short­hand this term as mis­di­rec­tion. Inas­much as com­e­dy is often about sur­prise, it’s in a bit of many per­form­ers’ toolk­its, but for Woods it’s a core part of the experience. 

Unlike some come­di­ans, Woods’ youth wasn’t focused on per­form­ing. A fan of goofy flicks like Wayne’s World, Woods let Valerie Lopez in on the sto­ry of a par­tic­u­lar­ly mem­o­rable duet of I’ve Got You Babe with his youth pastor’s wife, done in full cos­tume. Aside from that, stage fright and the rel­a­tive­ly tepid Mon­tana envi­ron­ment left him with idle ener­gy, and thus enters the four-wheeled deck. 

Skate­board­ing became some­thing he could focus and improv­ing upon with­out feel­ing depen­dent on mak­ing it to the big leagues. It’s a les­son he car­ries with him still: you can be pas­sion­ate about some­thing, but don’t have to feel behold­en to dri­ving it to an obses­sion. I try to remind myself before I go on stage; at least try to have fun”, he says, relat­ing it to his com­e­dy as If I smile or break on stage, I know I’m hav­ing a good set.”

If I smile or break on stage, I know I’m hav­ing a good set.” Drew Woods

Woods went on to try his hand at screen­writ­ing at the Art Insti­tute of Dal­las, but found the cur­ricu­lum of episod­ic TV and com­mer­cials wasn’t for him. Find­ing him­self on stage for his first real” per­for­mance, karaōke with a live band, helped re-ignite mem­o­ries of the younger Andrew that got a kick out of being the fun­ny kid”, keep­ing his sis­ters rolling with his antics. That led to ten­ta­tive open mics, and then a slow (but inten­sive) burn of refin­ing a style, mate­r­i­al, and name as he trav­eled back and forth between DFW and Houston. 

It proved a great train­ing ground before he set out for Austin (and not, lucky for us, his orig­i­nal choice of Los Ange­les) last July. We’re blessed with a pop­u­lat­ed and diverse com­e­dy scene, include a dense pop­u­la­tion of Andrews” in it (past and present); it served as one of many rea­sons that Woods now goes by the abbre­vi­at­ed Drew”. He tried his hand at sev­er­al shows, grow­ing con­fi­dence and a per­sona, and is about to cel­e­brate his 6th year of stand-up in Sep­tem­ber, months after his first entry in Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin. 

Writ­ing is still a part of Woods’ life, even though he admits I don’t have the best work eth­ic”, and he’s com­plet­ed a pilot script. It’s some­thing he wants to pur­sue, and after a bit more time on the ground here, he’s con­sid­er­ing the options that lie for him in the LA or NYC scenes. Austin’s still spe­cial in his heart though, say­ing If you’re think­ing about mov­ing to Austin…just move here!”. 

If you do, he’s still look­ing for a good Hulu login, so, help a guy out.

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Andrew Woods