Whitmer Thomas, on Stand Up, Power Violence, & New Hulu Show - Stone Quackers.

October 6, 2015

 

 I’m from a small coastal town called Gulf Shores Alabama. It’s where the Jimmy Buffet obsessed divorcees move to get away from their families.

 

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First Entertainment Gig

 

I got a small part in a movie written by these cool guys Morgan Krantz and Eugene Kotlyarenko.

 

The movie was called 0s & 1s and it was about a kid who loses his laptop. Eugene and Morgan have since gone on to make some really cool stuff.

 

I was two hours late on my first day of shooting because I didn’t understand how military time works.

 

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Inspiration

 

I’m most inspired by movies. Every bit I write, I fantasize about how it would play in a movie.

 

There’s two great cool director fellas I love named Joey Izzo and Andy DeYoung. They inspire the heck out of me.

 

All of my pals in the comedy scene inspire me. Everybody is so dang funny and weird right now.

 

Also, without skating and music I’d be a boring, sad guy.

 

Basically, if it’s a person trying very hard at something and not EVER being cold to anyone, i’m inspired.

 

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Why Comedy

 

I like the ability to perform whatever I want whenever I want.

 

Before I started doing standup, I was just acting and being miserable. Standup gave me an outlet every night to be whatever I wanted and do and say whatever I wanted.

 

My best pal Clay was real into comedy stuff. I guess that’s how I got into it.

 

We were really obsessed with Zach Galifianakis and would go see him all the time when we first moved to LA in 2006.

 

At the time, I didn’t think I could do comedy, but I’d still write jokes and bits and save them for a script or something.

 

It’s rare anybody gets worse at standup. That’s why i’ll continue to do for as long as I can.

 

I feel like I’m just now starting to make sense on stage.

 

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Power Violence

 

PV is group/show that we started in 2011. We being me, Budd Diaz, Rodney Berry, and Clay Tatum.  PV is essentially about being friends on stage together. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

Clay and I have wanted to start something called PowerViolence since we were in High School.

 

We hope to eventually turn it into a production company and make cool movies and shows with friends.

 

I’d recommend everybody google POWER VIOLENCE LA PIZZA and POWER VIOLENCE WETMAKERS.

 

Those are most recent videos. There’s 6 of them.

 

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Stand Up

 

Stand up is my favorite way to perform live. I had a real hard time with it. I’d bomb 90% of the time for a solid year.

 

There was really no reason for me to continue trying to do it, but I was obsessed with it so I forced myself to get okay at it.

 

That’s the exact trajectory acting and writing took and even music.

I’ve never really had natural talent for anything…. maybe other than doing funny voices and faces. I’ve always been a good funny voices and faces guy.

 

I like the instant gratification with standup.

 

I also like honing a bit until it’s solid. Getting off stage after having a not so hot set and writing notes next to jokes that flailed is cool.

 

Standup doesn’t compare with anything because of that instant feeling it gives you. Making a movie is great and you feel amazing when it turns out good, but it feels best when you watch someone watch it, and that’s the feeling you get every night doing standup.

 

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Technology's Impact on Your Field

 

I really don’t think it’s any harder. It’s easier probably. I don’t know. I’ve only been doing stand up since 2011, so there has always been YouTube and Twitter and things. I’ve never had much of a presence on either, and I’m doing “okay." It’s cool to like a person and be able to follow them online.

 

I don’t have any gripes with technology unless you are the type of person to leave your text tone sound on all the time. Then I hate you, and you need to grow up.

 

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Experience in Television

 

I made a cartoon show called Stone Quackers (Watch Here), last year with Clay and our pal Ben Jones. It was fun. It takes a long time to figure out how to make a show.

 

I think we got the hang of it with a few episodes. I think that’s why the second season and on of most shows is better than the first.

 

There are a lot of challenges.

 

I think having a clear tone/voice is the biggest one. Having things make sense.

 

Also, just having a fun time and making sure everyone is having fun. I’d say that’s the most important part.

 

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Advice

 

If you want to do it, just do it all the time.

 

Have that be the thing your thinking about doing while delivering pizza or whatever it is.

 

Don’t sleep too late. Don’t wear a fedora. And go to shows every chance you get.

 

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Stone Quackers

 

We were so naive making Stone Quackers. We would sit at a table and come up with ideas, then go record. Ben had an idea for how everything would look and we just trusted that.

 

I’d record something and not know if it was a temporary thing or a real thing or often what episode it was even for, but then we’d see it and go “Oh wow, okay, I get it, the pie filling looks like clouds.”

 

With standup and other acing stuff, things are more planned.

 

I’ve written a joke and I'm trying desperately to make it funny or I’m trying to seem sincere or what have you. There’s not as much confusion. 

 

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Challenges

 

Stage time is always the most difficult part.

 

I’m just another white man. The comedy scene doesn’t need me. I have to ask people to book half the time and that’s the worst, but it’s part of it.

 

I often find myself in ruts with material where I’ll go “Oh no I just did ten minutes of jokes about how singers and celebrities sound."  

 

I’ve been making an effort to be more vulnerable on stage and try to tell jokes that make me and hopefully the audience feel more.

 

 

 

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Preparing for Performance

 

I usually figure out a posture or voice and try to root it in some sort of honest place. 

 

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Social Media 

 

Social media had been okay to me. I’ve never done anything that’s gotten a lot of views or has made Billy Hollywood knock on my door on the internet.

 

It’s only ever been from live performance. I’m proud of that and bummed that I CAN'T GET THOSE CLICKS.

 

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Top Memories in Entertainment

 

- The time Zach Galifianakis did set at Power Violence

 

- Opening for TJ Miller at Just For Laughs in Montreal.

 

- The first time I saw Paul Danke perform at Holy Fuck in 2010.

 

- The time Josh Fadem and I spent an hour talking about stand up with Jim Carrey.

 

- I just did my own “An Evening With” at Meltdown and all of my friends I’ve met since starting comedy came.

 

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What is Something About Your Career People Might Not Realize?

 

I currently have 27 dollars to my name. If I saw myself now when I was 18, I would no doubt think I was rich. That’s not how things are.

 

When I quit my day job, it was for a job in comedy that paid exactly the amount as my job delivering groceries.

 

There have been financial breaks here and there but it’s still a struggle.

 

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Career Prep

 

I studied acting very seriously for 5 years. While I was doing that a took every class at UCB and working delivering groceries and pizza.

 

Delivering food is was gave me my first jokes.

 

At the end of the day, that’s what made people notice me. I’d hate to think delivering groceries was the most important step in the right direction for my career I ever made, but it might be.

 

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Mentors & Shout-Outs

 

Paul Danke, Johnny Pemberton, Cornell Reid, Nick Routherford, Babs Gray, Erin Lampart, the WOMEN boyz, Dave Venhuizen, Sean Patton, and whoever else helped me a whole hell of a lot by telling people about PV and performing on the show.

 

The time Josh and I talked to Jim Carrey - Jim said that all he wanted to do when was our age was make EVERYONE laugh.

 

That’s what I want to do. I want to make everyone laugh.

 

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Projects

 

WATCH “MY DAUGHTERS BOYFRIEND” on vimeo. It’s a cool movie I’m in directed by Joey Izzo.

 

Watch STONE QUACKERS on Hulu.

 

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Learn More

 

 

Instagram @whitmerthomas

 

Twitter @whitmerthomas

 

whitmerthomas.tumblr.com

 

 

 

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