|Photo Credit||Comedy Wham|
When we have a guest on for the second time, we like to call it “Volume 2”. It’s a reflection of the fact that we previously delved into a comic’s life, learning about their past, present and future; like a book you can’t put down, the story does eventually end, but you know that the story will go on, and cross your fingers there’ll be a sequel.
Seeing Carina Magyar take the stage at Fallout Theater for our second live Comedy Wham podcast recording was like running to the mailbox to dive into that sequel the moment it arrives. She grabs the mic and jumps to life, and it’s like you never left her world behind; and make no mistake, when Magyar is on stage, it’s her world you’re living in.
It’s a world she shares freely, giving insights into experiences and exercises (sometimes literally) that many wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. As a comedian who is transgender, her role first and foremost is to make us laugh, but inherent in good comedy are the thought experiments that twist our mental processes and extract pleasant surprise.
Magyar’s gender transformation certainly offers ample opportunities to do just that. From bringing prescription dildos through TSA, to the upsides of expanding your sexual horizons, she can easily bring the room to uproarious laughter. Look closer and you’ll also see, behind the smiles, the trademark signs of people pondering just what it was that evoked their reactions. It’s a unique style, one that gives your brain a morsel to enjoy and briefly ponder, then leaves you to further consider the events that inspired the stories.
Mind you, some of the thinking has to come later, as Magyar keeps a rapid pace at the mic, as she does in her personal and professional life. Leading up to our live recording, Magyar had not one but two milestones to talk to Valerie Lopez about.
Her first comedy album, Issues, has just landed (see our review) on Sure Thing Records, and, despite feigned protest, she dropped a tease of one of the tracks in her set before the interview. “I had a list of superficial accomplishments, and putting out an album was one of them,” she jokes about the achievement. As art follows life, it represents material and a time in her life where transition was a major theme, and in a way serves to capture some of the “before” time, to be enjoyed in its most sincere form for later years to come.
“I had a list of superficial accomplishments, and putting out an album was one of them.”
Magyar is also no stranger to the written word, with articles and professional content to her name in Austin Monthly, and as a current content strategist in her day job. The second of the two milestones marks her first creative publication, the children’s book For the Kingdom, with illustrator Damien DeMartino. Although recently published, it’s the culmination of a 6 year project, with Magyar’s goal of creating a kind of fairy tale where gender roles take a backseat to the success of the quest. She describes the impetus as “[something] I’ve always wanted…a fantasy book with a prince and a princess, but neither one of them is the reason for the story.” It’s a tale of family, and tailored for young children like two Magyar herself has, and is graphically entrancing in addition to its positive messaging.
So should we expect a Kingdom trilogy, a la, well, everything published or filmed now? Magyar neither confirms nor denies, but does clearly signal her ongoing preference for comedy and its immediate “release cycles” and feedback. She’s as active in the Austin scene as ever, running the comedy compendium LastGas.org, where you’ll find the latest shows and events for local and national comedians, and runs the standup showcase Live at Coldtowne every Friday night. Add to that a Funniest Person in Austin runner-up result (and ongoing competition appearances), opening for national comics coming through Austin like Jen Kirkman, and a pair of growing children, and you have quite the full slate.
Amidst it all, Magyar still finds time to perform, refine, and, luckily for us, appear on our podcast, along with the two she herself hosts. Thanks Academy pairs a local comedian with an award-winning movie they haven’t seen, and pulls comedy out of the experience (no easy feat, considering Schindler’s List was one of the recent episodes). Weird Brunch brings together comedian Lisa Friedrich and Whitney Lemond to sip on beverages and discuss current, absurd, or just plain weird, news of the week. You can find current and past episodes at CarinaMagyar.com, and, of course, on your favorite podcast sites and players.
Valerie has a gift (some might call it persistence…or stubbornness?) for being able to pin down even the busiest players in the Austin comedy scene, and it was a treat for us for Carina Magyar to carve out time to make this second appearance happen. A day in her life is rarely dull, so we look forward to bringing you even more of her ever-expanding story in a future volume.
Until then, treat yourself and get out and see Carina Magyar’s stories live. She has a packed calendar of upcoming appearances, including multiple shows at Moontower Comedy 2019, Master Pancake, Funniest Person in Austin, and more, which you can find CarinaMagyar.com.
Special thanks to Fallout Theater for hosting our event, Motern Media for the music, and Dustin Svehlak for recording and A/V mastery!