Robert Segovia: More of Everything

June 7, 2019

Interview by

Lara Smith

Article by

Lara Smith

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Some peo­ple are just des­tined to enter­tain peo­ple, in what­ev­er form it takes, per­for­mance is a dri­ving fac­tor. I think it would be fair to say Robert Segovia is one of those peo­ple. Born in Indi­ana, but grow­ing up in South­east Texas (yes, my neck of the woods), Segovia had the cool par­ents that would let him stay up late. He points to that as a com­mon thread of cre­ative peo­ple and I have to agree. He remem­bers hav­ing only one major rule in his house. Any sub­ject was open for dis­cus­sion with his par­ents, just don’t be dumb.” Edu­ca­tion and cul­ture was pri­or­i­ty. I can attest to that as his moth­er was my beloved high school the­atre teacher and took that same approach into the classroom.

Watch­ing Car­son and Sat­ur­day Night Live at a young age, Segovia remem­bers doing an open­ing mono­logue to warm up the imag­i­nary crowd for his cousin named, you guessed it, Johnny.

As with so many teens, music began to take more of Segovia’s inter­est. Grow­ing up a Mex­i­can kid in a pre­dom­i­nant­ly white area, Segovia says, there seemed to be peo­ple who looked like me who were doing it [music].” So for the next almost twen­ty years, play­ing and fronting bands became his focus. Segovia saw much suc­cess with his Austin band, La Snacks. But after ten years with the band, Segovia grew weary of the toll the lifestyle was tak­ing on him. Now in his 30’s, com­e­dy began to creep back into his life.

Music has critics…comedy doesn’t have that, so I think that what tends to hap­pen is that peo­ple tend to become their own crit­ics.” Robert Segovia

Segovia attrib­ut­es his return to com­e­dy to the desire to still be on stage, with­out hav­ing to rely on a band. He decid­ed to do an open mic at Cold­towne and despite it going real­ly well, he didn’t try stand up again for two years. Segovia was actu­al­ly book­ing a show for SXSW and look­ing for comics when friends Rob Gagnon and Joe Faina both inde­pen­dent­ly sug­gest­ed he do com­e­dy. Recent­ly, he just cel­e­brat­ed his fifth year of get­ting back into stand up. 

For Segovia, he enjoys improv, but admit­ting it’s not his strongest tool, he seems to pre­fer sketch and stand up. Hav­ing taught work­shops and class­es, Segovia has spent a good amount of time in all three. The draw of stand up was that it doesn’t rely on any­one else, unlike music, sketch, or improv. The chal­lenge to stand up: being your­self. In sketch he could hide behind char­ac­ters. When he first start­ed writ­ing sketch­es, Segovia admits,”I would write them for…the white peo­ple because I’d only seen white peo­ple on TV, and I didn’t real­ly think there was an expe­ri­ence that I would have as a mixed per­son that would be an expe­ri­ence that any­body would want.” That made it a chal­lenge to write for him­self and find that voice in stand up. Some­thing sev­en years into sketch and five into stand up, he seems to now feel com­fort­able with.

Robert Segovia hosts The Com­e­dy Batch — cred­it Com­e­dy Wham

Segovia offers an inter­est­ing take, hav­ing worked in music and com­e­dy, as to why come­di­ans are so crit­i­cal of them­selves. Music has crit­ics,” adding com­e­dy doesn’t have that, so I think that what tends to hap­pen is that peo­ple tend to become their own crit­ics.” Point­ing out that pub­li­ca­tions such as Com­e­dy Wham may write about com­e­dy, but there’s no Roger Ebert of comedy.” 

There’s anoth­er aspect to Robert Segovia, the enter­tain­er, we haven’t touched on and that’s behind the scenes. Almost two years ago, when The New Move­ment fell to con­tro­ver­sy, Segovia went to an emer­gency meet­ing, in hopes of find­ing a way to save the space. From that meet­ing, Segovia and oth­er inter­est­ed par­ties came out of it with a lit­er­al vest­ed inter­est. Segovia is now part own­er, as he and four oth­ers pur­chased and saved the space. The Fall­out The­ater,now a lit­tle over a year in, is a thriv­ing space down­town. As evi­dent by their much larg­er pres­ence at Moon­tow­erthis year. With this addi­tion­al role Segovia has learned more about the busi­ness and with it the desire to expand pro­gram­ming at The Fall­out The­ater.Now mov­ing into cor­po­rate work­shops, oppor­tu­ni­ties seem to abound for the flour­ish­ing space. 

This, paired with wind­ing down Horse Milk, his sketch group, plan­ning anoth­er stand-up tour, and run­ning The Com­e­dy Batch*, his month­ly show at Batch Craft Beer & Kolach­es, is keep­ing Segovia quite busy. You would think own­ing a the­ater, run­ning shows, and plan­ning a tour might be enough, but Segovia keeps say­ing he wants to do more of every­thing.” We’re excit­ed to see what that brings. Let’s just hope we can keep up!

*You can catch The Com­e­dy Batch the sec­ond Sat­ur­day of every month.

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