Brett VerVoort: Cool and Consistent

December 6, 2021

Photo Credit

Daniel Solano

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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Every time a pre­vi­ous guest returns to sit with us again, we con­sid­er it a home­com­ing”. In this case, that con­sid­er­a­tion has spe­cial mean­ing: the first time a return­ing guest has actu­al­ly been in one of our homes, phys­i­cal­ly. (For those read­ing this in the far future, there was this thing called a pan­dem­ic”. Look it up on the inter­net, if the inter­net is still avail­able in your rav­aged wasteland.)

If the pres­ence of a guest in Valerie Lopez’s home is its own form of a notable hap­pen­ing, it’s but a shad­ow of the events tran­spir­ing in return­ing guest Brett VerVoort’s life since she last spoke with Lopez in 2018. With open­ing for For­tune Feim­ster at Para­mount, then Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val per­for­mances open­ing for Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez and Maria Bam­ford, fol­lowed by the New York Com­e­dy Festival’s Tall Tales of Com­e­dy finals com­pe­ti­tion, and that’s all in the span of 3 months —just to name a few — it’s clear that Ver­Voort has kept beyond busy. 

The future is packed for Ver­Voort (a name that she calls the sound you get when you start up a dead car”) as well, with an appear­ance at the ven­er­a­ble San Fran­cis­co Sketch­Fest in 2022, and her own new month­ly show High Tea at The Ball­room (for­mer­ly known as Spiderhouse). 

High Tea cre­ates a unique­ly inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence for com­e­dy fans, with a tra­di­tion­al standup seg­ment, fol­lowed by audi­ence sub­mit­ted ques­tions for the three per­form­ers. Ver­Voort describes it as a real­ly fun time because it gets to show the comics as them­selves”, and that audi­ences love hear­ing their ques­tions asked. It makes them feel like they’re a part of the show, which I think is real­ly great.“ In a way, the for­mat is itself a metaphor for VerVoort’s share the spotlight”/inclusive nature when cre­at­ing and performing.

If my job is to make people laugh, and I consistently deliver on that promise…that's great!
Brett VerVoort

VerVoort’s onstage pres­ence (which Valerie has referred to in the past as a mom vibe”, but now describes as a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sion­al”) has con­tin­ued to evolve. I’ve kind of become this like, Girl Fri­day Old Reli­able,” Ver­Voort jokes, not­ing a (well-earned) rep­u­ta­tion for con­sis­tent­ly deliv­er­ing. If my job is to make peo­ple laugh, and I con­sis­tent­ly deliv­er on that promise…that’s great!”

In the com­e­dy busi­ness, con­sis­ten­cy is hard-fought, and worth the price, espe­cial­ly dur­ing a time when the rest of the world was any­thing but. Inter­rupt­ing the abil­i­ty to per­form is its own painful blow, but the pan­dem­ic also had Ver­Voort dis­cov­er­ing how much com­e­dy was a bal­anc­ing ele­ment holis­ti­cal­ly in her life. When shut­downs became per­va­sive, she real­ized how much psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly you need­ed all these things, to keep your­self busy, to dis­tract yourself.” 

With­out those diver­sions, Ver­Voort found her­self dig­ging deep to deal with some of those pre­vi­ous­ly back-burnered chal­lenges (like the seem­ing­ly omni-present Imposter’s Syn­drome so many of us face), and feels all the bet­ter for it. Tri­umphs like open­ing for her per­son­al idol Maria Bam­ford cer­tain­ly didn’t hurt. There’s pho­tos on my phone where I’m smil­ing so big, I could unhinge my jaw and eat a turkey,” she reflects, and when Bam­ford com­pli­ment­ed her skill with writ­ing and words it meant so much that it was like it became a suit of armor” she could wear into the world. 

Of course, when we speak with some­one so gift­ed at word­play (and so con­sis­tent!), the ques­tion of an album always comes up. Ver­Voort says she has been con­tem­plat­ing it, but doesn’t yet have the tra­di­tion­al full hour” of mate­r­i­al ready just yet. I could do a lit­tle EP,” she says, jok­ing that it could be like me, very petite!” 

We humbly beg to dif­fer, as one of VerVoort’s sig­na­ture tal­ents is pack­ing jokes with enough lay­ers of details that mul­ti­ple re-lis­tens are essen­tial­ly guaranteed. 

I feel like I was able to do my job better, because I had those tools that the pandemic gave me
Brett VerVoort

Whether or not the EP (or is it a triple-album?) sees the light of day, Ver­Voort will con­tin­ue to be a grow­ing fix­ture in the com­e­dy scenes local and nation­al. With the new show, and gigs like head­lin­ing the Vel­ve­ta Room, she’s def­i­nite­ly re-found any foot­ing she may have felt was lost dur­ing the ear­ly COVID days. Return­ing to con­sis­tent per­form­ing, she says of the inter­ven­ing events that I feel like I was able to do my job bet­ter, because I had those tools that the pan­dem­ic gave me.” The re-opened stages have had to make room for a new influx of come­di­ans to Austin, and — as in any busi­ness — that means there’s an inher­ent com­pet­i­tive aspect to who will stay (or become) the big names”. 

For Brett Ver­Voort, who man­aged to prove (and improve) her stay­ing pow­er, while the world stayed at home, we’re sure she’ll be _​consistently_​a name peo­ple flock to see. 

Fol­low Brett

Brett can be seen and heard:

  • High Tea - Her month­ly show at The Ball­room — next one is Decem­ber 20th at 8pm
  • She per­forms reg­u­lar­ly around town, fes­ti­vals, and you can even see her open­ing at The Para­mount The­ater (like she did for Bob Saget!)
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Brett VerVoort