Adam Weightman Can't Resist Comedy

December 7, 2019

Photo Credit

Kathryn Lane

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

Listen

If you like your comedy a bit on the absurdist side, have we got a treat for you. Adam Weightman launched his time with me and bonus co-host Travis (aka Jeff Jefferson as he's known on stage) with an auditory assault on our ears. Don't worry, no profanity ensued, but it was mayhem from the second we hit record. Weightman was a great (and quite memorable) guest, but he let us know from the onset that my conventional interview rules would be largely meaningless.

Weightman is what I like to call a multi-hyphenate, he performs stand-up, improv, has written extensively for Daily Dot, was a radio DJ, was a slam poet, and currently performs for The Dinner Detective. But the reason my son sat in on this interview is that Weightman comprises 50% of the performance art group The Lavaca Street Boyz (Doug Heinz rounds out the remaining 50%). The LSB are a mix of performance, improv, stand-up, crowd-work, and general insanity on stage. If you haven't seen them perform at their namesake theater's street address (Fallout Theater), it's time to right that wrong.

Given his prolific background and experiences, you'd be (perhaps) stunned to learn that rather than the typical migration to LA or NYC that we cover with other guests based in Austin, Weightman hails from LA and made the choice to move to Austin to improve his comedy chops. At every turn, Weightman surprises us and the rationale for the move makes you realize that everything he does is done with calculation and measure. He observes "All the most successful people that I know in Los Angeles are not from LA." And it's certainly a fair observation that the comics I've talked to who now live in LA, didn't get their start in LA. Given the strong siren call made by the LA and NYC comedy scenes that draws so many of the Austin comics we talk to, you wonder why anyone lucky enough to already live in one of those scenes would choose to leave for a smaller scene. As you'll hear tell in the interview, we're glad Austin won out over other candidate scenes, and he's glad too.

All the most successful people that I know in Los Angeles are not from LA.
Adam Weightman

LA is an amazing scene - if you've been lucky enough to watch comedy there, you know there are dozens of choices on any given night. But what he found about the LA scene was "It didn't make me a hard worker. It made me not focus." After all as a young performer, you need that focus to hone your skills. If you don't focus, if you don't hone those skills, you will never make it in LA or NY. So why not make a counter intuitive move if it means you'll be that much better when you do make the move to a bigger scene? That's the calculated gamble that Weightman made, and it's paid off both on stage and off.

(of the LA comedy scene) It didn't make me a hard worker. It made me not focus.
Adam Weightman

There are no rules of thumb in comedy and it's clear that Weightman doesn't perform according to any conventional rules. To be honest, I wasn't sure how many of Weightman's stories were based in truth vs created for comedic effect for me and my son. They certainly created a fun and lively interview. But, if you think he's not genuine in sentiment, you'd be completely off the mark. One of the most honest moments Weightman shared is the importance of having someone he loves in his life. Circling back to the concept of focusing on performance, Weightman proclaims "now that I have someone that loves me and supports me, by my side, I can focus in and try harder." Clearly one bonus of the move to Austin is meeting someone who he could share life with off-stage. And while Comedy Wham doesn't endorse any mail-order bride/groom situations, it is an observation we've made that those comics we sit with that are in committed healthy relationships tend to have comparable success on stage as well. There's a confidence gained from knowing someone will love and support you off stage even if you take great risks and make an absolute fool of yourself on stage. We're lucky that even as Weightman is willing to make a great fool of himself on stage, the payoff is always a happy and laughing audience.

Weightman has played a big role over the last few years following a non-traditional comedy path. A chance encounter and pairing at Moontower Comedy Festival several years ago led him on a path of being an Associate Producer of The Comedy Resistance, a comedy movement grounded in political activism and increased voter turnout with some of the country's best comedy voices. Locally, Weightman hosts showcases featuring local and touring comics and brings in the message of political involvement to ensure that our government reflects our voices. Paired with this important and serious mission, Weightman has spent the last few years working for Austin's edition of The Dinner Detective, an interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show with weekly weekend performances. And we'd be remiss if we didn't point out the archive of Weightman's articles on The Daily Dot where he interviewed nationally renowned comics.

While talking with Weightman, you realize you're talking to someone completely comfortable with the absurd and someone willing to carve a unique path for himself because the norm doesn't apply to him. It's a recurring theme in our conversation and we see it as a recurring theme to his life. We're excited to see what's next for him. We know it'll be different, it'll be noisy (or maybe whispered), and perhaps it'll be unbelievable. But we'll be here for it - who are we to resist?

Catch Adam Weightman at these upcoming shows:

  • The Comedy Resistance - Monthly showcase at Native Hostel. See nativehostel.com for event dates.
  • The Poetry Brothel - Immersive literary cabaret fusing poetry, advocacy, burlesque, vaudeville, live music, visual art, magic, mysticism, and poetry experiences. Launching in Austin with an event on Saturday February 15 at The Infinite Monkey Theorem - thepoetrybrothel.com/Austin
  • The Dinner Detective - the biggest live murder mystery show in the US. A dark comedy based on real life cold cases. Weekly on weekends - Dinner Detective - Austin
  • The Lavaca Street Boys and TV Party (improv groups) - Keep an eye out for upcoming performances at Coldtowne Theater, The Institution, and Fallout Theater

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