James Adomian is talented beyond your knowledge and/or opinion. If you’ve never heard of him, you lose. If you’ve seen him on Last Comic Standing, you lose. If you’ve heard him on Comedy Bang Bang (nee Death Ray), you lose. If you’ve seen him on stage or screen, you lose. There is no polite way to inform you that you have missed out on a genuinely great comic mind. All that can be said is: catch up. One way to catch up is seeing him this Tuesday, at the Milk Bar, performing at the fiercely independent “Eric Show w/ Eric Barry”. Below is an exclusive interview with Mr. Adomian. If you read it, and fail to attend his rare appearance in the Bay Area this Tuesday, you lose.
Courting Comedy: First and foremost, are there any more available spots in the Enigma Force Five?
James Adomian: The Enigma Force Five has two permanent members, Jesse Ventura and Huell Howser, along with three temporary members on rotation. Those three spots are currently vacant, so there is no quorum at the moment. Gary Busey enjoys non-voting observer status.
CC: Your work is probably very stressful on your vocal chords. How do you rest your voice?
JA: Honey and blowjobs!
CC: Where are most people saying they’ve heard of you from?
JA: Most people are not saying they’ve heard of me. Within the small number of Adomaniacs out there, most probably know me from Earwolf and other podcasts, or my sub-viral videos. A handful of brave and curious souls know me from live standup and character shows, which they regard as transcendental experiences.
CC: Are there any impressions you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t nail?
JA: Frank Caliendo.
CC: How many voice mail messages have you done in your life?
JA: Only three or four, except when I’m drunk, when I record anything people ask me to. And I’m actually the voice you hear when you call up Homeland Security.
CC: You’re rather prolific.
CC: Do you enjoy the grind of performing, creating, distributing new comedy or are you working hard so that at some point you can coast?
JA: I don’t really enjoy any kind of momentum from what I do, so coasting has been ruled out due to sheer physics. Grinding, however, is always awesome.
CC: Do impersonations require a lot of research or are the voices/archetypes a simple catalyst for absurdity?
JA: Active research into celebrity impressions is usually not my thing, though I have taken voice assignments for t.v. and v.o. gigs. My method is way more ad hoc and improvised, feral even. Usually someone strikes me as odd enough — vocally, physically and mentally — to keep them bouncing around in my head until I get an opportunity to send ‘em up, JAdo style. Sometimes I sit on impressions for years and then just blurt them out on stage when I’m riffing. The human mind is truly a remarkable creation.
CC: Is it frustrating to still be considered an “up-and-comer” despite being in show business for some time?
JA: Yes. Thanks for rubbing it in. It seems like I’ll be up-and-coming until they bury me. But I remember how Ghandi put it: “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then they can actually just keep cycling through those, turns out.” (I ripped that from my Twitter page. It fits.)
CC: Have you ever been close to quitting comedy?
JA: My god, sir! Did you go back and find my MySpace blogs? Absolutely, there were a few breakdowns and episodes of despair in my past. Luckily, people kept asking me to do stuff sporadically, so I’m still in the game. After a certain intake of failure, one seems to develop an immunity. Marvelous thing, the human spirit. Oh wait, did you mean to suggest that I look into quitting? Thanks, pal!
CC: How excited are you for the Comedy Bang Bang television show? Is there room for even more sketch comedy outlets?
JA: I am not at all excited to be a part of Comedy Bang Bang, coming soon to IFC!!! As for sketch comedy outlets, I’m not aware of any on TV at the moment, besides that one with the unchallenged monopoly.
CC: Lastly, what would be a dream voiceover job?
JA: The Bhagavad Gita book on tape, narrated by Paul Giamatti!