Rob Gagnon & Ariel Greenspoon Redefine the Art Form

August 9, 2019

Photo Credit

Rob Gagnon & Ariel Greenspoon

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

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This inter­view marks a lot of firsts as far as Com­e­dy Wham inter­views go: 

  1. First time inter­view­ing comics who are mar­ried to one another
  2. First time fea­tur­ing spe­cial guest co-host, Travis, a bud­ding com­e­dy fan
  3. First time where the project to be pro­mot­ed is an art show
  4. First time fea­tur­ing exces­sive use of a flat­u­lence sound effect machine”

Valerie Lopez inter­viewed Ariel Green­spoon 2 years ago when she was still a fiancé and inter­viewed Rob Gagnon ear­li­er this year. Both have had impres­sive com­e­dy back­grounds and if you don’t know about their respec­tive ear­ly starts even before arriv­ing in Austin (sep­a­rate­ly), we rec­om­mend you take a lis­ten to their pre­vi­ous Com­e­dy Wham inter­views. They’re a delight­ful appe­tiz­er to this slight­ly more feisty one. 

Of how her rela­tion­ship to standup con­tin­ues to evolve, Ariel specif­i­cal­ly notes Me get­ting up as a char­ac­ter, I feel more pow­er­ful, and I feel more capa­ble and more con­fi­dent.” Which might explain why she took a break from standup and focused her ener­gies on improv groups, and notably Garage, the week­ly all-female improv show at The Fall­out The­ater. Recent­ly how­ev­er, she’s enjoyed per­form­ing standup again as her own con­fi­dence in her­self (despite a deep-seed­ed hatred, appar­ent­ly) has grown. 

Me get­ting up as a char­ac­ter, I feel more pow­er­ful, and I feel more capa­ble and more con­fi­dent.” Ariel Green­spoon

Rob mean­while, has con­tin­ued to dili­gent­ly encour­age fail­ure by way of his exper­i­men­tal com­e­dy show, Sand­box, while also con­tin­u­ing to co-host Stoned vs Drunk vs Sober and a num­ber of oth­er shows. Standup has always been his core skill and yet, he finds him­self redefin­ing the expres­sion of art form (more on that in a bit), and per­haps, his standup will change as well. 

On a per­son­al note, I’ve grown to love Rob and Ariel as unwit­ting men­tors to my son — who they met at one of Rob’s shows, Laugh, Dar­nit about 2 years ago. Over the last few months how­ev­er, they’ve tak­en Travis under their wings with grace and kind­ness and a LOT of fart jokes. Rob is well-known and high­ly regard­ed for host­ing Sand­box, an exper­i­men­tal com­e­dy show at The Fall­out The­ater that wel­comes fail­ure (and suc­cess, mind you). In my own efforts to find some suit­able sum­mer dis­trac­tions for my son, I asked Rob if he’d be open to hav­ing Travis and me do a sketch. Rob nev­er says No” to any­one, so we were in. Ariel often does a per­for­mance of her own on Sand­box, so we’ve all spent time togeth­er, shared a sand­wich or two and got­ten to be friends. And after four appear­ances on Sand­box as the Jeff and Kathy Chit Chat Show”, you can hear the easy cama­raderie in this inter­view between the 4 of us. And that easy cama­raderie is exact­ly what we’ll miss about Rob and Ariel as they make their way with the brood of cats and Win­dows 95 to the cool­er and more polit­i­cal­ly open-mind­ed state of Col­orado, and specif­i­cal­ly to Fort Collins. Fort Collins is home to a grow­ing com­e­dy scene and with­in reach of Den­ver’s rich com­e­dy scene and Ariel and Rob have con­nec­tions of their own, so find­ing spots to per­form is not going to be dif­fi­cult for these tal­ent­ed per­form­ers. If you’re curi­ous about Fort Collins, you can lis­ten to our chat from the 2018 Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val about the growth of the scene with Jacob Erd­man. When I asked what it means to leave behind a com­e­dy scene at the top of the sand pile for a much small­er com­e­dy scene, Rob jumps in to answer with a sparkle in his eye it’s good to have some of these cre­ative restric­tions because they force you to use dif­fer­ent tools to become, a lit­tle more well round­ed or try some­thing new, new fail­ures.” No doubt that as they’ve done here in Austin, Rob and Ariel will cre­ate some beau­ti­ful moments for their audi­ences. We can’t wait to hear about how Frank and Hat are received! 

It’s good to have [some] cre­ative restric­tions because they force you to use dif­fer­ent tools to become, a lit­tle more well round­ed or try some­thing new, new fail­ures.” Rob Gagnon

As anoth­er sign of new begin­nings (in lieu of fond farewells), Rob is shar­ing some­thing very dif­fer­ent with us — his art. In fact, this week­end, you can see Rob’s exper­i­men­tal, and – based on the inter­view – fair­ly cathar­tic, art on dis­play. And we’re assured that Ariel will have a small cor­ner as she, her­self is an artist and has been explor­ing works on larg­er and larg­er can­vas­es. Why art? Rob says of the need to express him­self through art Art is like food, and we need to be eat­ing every day, we need to be breath­ing every day.” 

The day is near­ing that Ariel and Rob will pack up the belong­ings and make the long dri­ve to Fort Collins. If you have a grad­u­a­tion, bar mitz­vah, album release par­ty, wed­ding, or oth­er momen­tous occa­sion, they’ve assured us they will come back to vis­it for it. I’ve already secured a posi­tion on the cal­en­dar for a mid­dle school grad­u­a­tion in May, so you may want to get your cal­en­dar invites ready so we can keep them on a reg­u­lar vis­i­ta­tion sched­ule to Austin. Good­byes are so hard. It’s gonna be hard not to miss Rob and Ariel.… I dare you. Their final appear­ances in Austin include: 

  • Final Sand­box at Fall­out The­ater — August 132019

Twit­ter

Rob Gagnon — Ariel Green­spoon Valerie Lopez Com­e­dy Wham

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Rob Gagnon
Ariel Greenspoon