Underdogs get another victory in a couple of weeks. On September 20th, Los Angeles-based comedian, Brock Wilbur, will be recording his sophomore effort at the performance paragon known as Lost Weekend Video’s Cynic Cave. It’s completely free, twice the word over: there is no cover and after this show, the material will be thrown in to the ether for Wilbur to start anew. Catch our mini-interview with the ambitious jokester below.
Do you have a title for this upcoming recording?
There’s a short list. I had one picked out and last month I killed the bit that contained it, although maybe that means its the right choice. Like jazz, it’s the nonsense I don’t say.
You have a lot of pots and a lot of fingers. What inspires your ambition?
I wasted a couple years, mostly planning to do things, and then not doing them. I think a lot of people have that period, where the idea of the thing collapses under the pressure of just doing the work. I’d get really excited about a song I was working on or a script or a book, and then I’d out-think, freak out, and I’d wind up playing video games instead, cause video games tend to not be disappointed in me. Then I finished something. And I liked that feeling a lot more, so I decided to chase that instead.
How has 2013 been for you creatively, professionally, and emotionally?
2012 was supposed to be the apocalypse, and so the entire year (even if you thought that was bullshit) felt like a go-for-broke leap. 2013 has been a lot like waking up and realizing the asteroid has passed. My life hasn’t got that scale, but it does have that sense of figuring out what sustainability looks like. I failed harder and bigger and shittier this year than I ever have before. I also got to tour the country, release a movie, and fix my life. So how am I feeling? No idea.
What scares you the most on stage?
Sometimes I forget to get an audience on board with me before I take off on a journey, because I’m too excited to get to the ideas, and especially in shorter showcase sets that can backfire on me immediately. “I do not know who this gentleman is or why I should listen to him but he’s already shouting at me about rebranding Socialism to bring down Syria with the power of weaponized Fugazi b-sides. There was never an on-ramp for me to merge with this. Good day, sir.”
What’s your opinion of “28 Years Later” with a year of retrospection?
28 Years Later did everything I wanted it to do. I could kill off every idea from my entire first year of comedy, and start fresh without sacrificing some ideas I really loved. I think it is a good album and a fair representation of me as a performer, but the point in doing a new album each year is to force myself to evolve. In that way, I’m dying to get the new one out there because there are parts of the 28 Years Later performer I don’t recognize at this point, and that’s a good thing. I know it’s an ambitious (maybe stupid) approach, but I cannot stand repeating material. I don’t like watching a comic who is doing the same jokes I saw him doing two years ago, and I don’t want to be that guy. The alt scene in LA has been awesome for providing opportunities to experiment on that scale. I also have a few bits that are personal (or legally actionable) to me on such a level that I won’t perform them until the night of the recording. There are a couple of those on 28 and they’re some of my favorites, just because they lived in my head until the last possible moment, and the reaction on stage was the first and last reaction they’ll ever get.
In a world of unlimited free comedy, what’s your motivation for producing an album?
Cash Money. That’s why 28 is pay what you want at http://brockwilbur.net
I’m doing the album because I have an idea, and an overarching theme, and a year that I can only excise from myself in this form. To me it makes perfect sense that these stories and experiences should be collected together in an hour. The taping is on my birthday again this year, and its a goddamned beautiful way to say goodbye to another 365 of questionable decisions.
Are you going to record an album next year?
If I don’t, I worry that I wouldn’t have the same motivation I have now. I thrive in knowing I only have X number of weeks before a joke has to die, whether it’s ready or not. There’s rarely a “crunch time” in comedy, and I think forcing it on myself makes me a better performer to follow.
Boxers or briefs?
Who wears pants? This is the future.