Steven Scott is best known as a comedy headliner who performs at many of the top comedy clubs from NY to LA and has traveled to all 7 continents; performing for corporate events, cruises, colleges, festivals, roasts, military bases and showrooms everywhere from Atlantic City to the Las Vegas Strip. As a comedian, actor, and host he has made numerous television show appearances and has lent his multifaceted voice to a number of commercials, films and video games.
Steven can currently be seen in the hilarious Off-Broadway show "The Fartiste," written by Charlie Schulman, with music and lyrics by Michael Roberts. "The Fartiste" plays at Sophia Downstairs Theater in NYC (221 West 46th Street, between 7th & 8th Ave). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? A.D.D.! I get paid now to do exactly what used to get me in trouble as a kid!
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Oh there's way more than just one, I could probably make a huge list. In general, I love working with talented people who raise my game. And it's always a big compliment when I get to work with someone whose work I've always admired and then they get to see me, and compliment my work. That's really cool.
3a. What attracted you to "The Fartiste"? The smell! But seriously folks..5 years ago I became involved with "The Fartiste" when it was first appearing as part of the NY Fringe Festival, where it went on to win for 'Best Musical.' What' attracted me then was actually a random and rather unique and fun audition, a very persuasive and supportive director, a true story, a brilliant score, an opportunity to design a roll, all topped off with a very talented group of people who I really enjoyed working with. This still applies the same today with our Off-Broadway production which still has many of the same people..plus some terrific new additions.
3b. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing "The Fartiste"? Most of all, I hope they come away with the feeling of being 'thoroughly entertained'..'moderately inspired'.. and even a little bit moved..(in the emotional, non-gastric sense of the word). Fortunately I find this to be most often the case with people who see it..and then tell me so afterward.
I also find that many people are also coming away 'very pleasantly surprised.' Oftentimes, based on the title, folks will come in either not knowing what to expect or with the notion that our show is just some big fart fest showcase.. but then after they see what it is they come away realizing it's something far beyond their expectations and way more special. I call this the 'Dirty Dancing' Syndrome. 'Dirty Dancing' is a great movie with a great story that's moving, has depth and resinates with so many people even after so many years and yet it's title doesn't quite sell that..it makes it sound like a soft core porn ya might find on 'Skinemax' at 3am. But once enough people saw the film and the word got out about how good it was, people quickly got past the title and saw it for what it was..a huge hit. I feel it's like that with "The Fartiste"! I hope people who see it will get the 'buzz' going.
4. What is the best part about playing "Vocal Effectiste" in the show? Well, again, I get paid for doing the same exact stuff that used to get me in trouble as a kid. Also, in addition to performing the roll I've also designed it which is cool. As a designer, l get to create sounds for the show, and being a designer allows me to bring something that I already do as a successful part of my stand up material, and make it fresh and adaptable to a different medium.
5. What made you want to do impressions in your comedy routine, especially those of musical instruments? How did you discover this talent of yours? Since childhood I have always had a good ear (two actually) and a penchant for imitating what I hear and so that turned into doing funny voices and imitating family members and evolved into impressions of cartoon characters, politicians, actors, and eventually the sounds. I was always musical. I used to play trumpet when I was younger in school..and I think I actually imitate the trumpet with my voice far better than I ever played the real thing.
6a. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a comedy show together? Creating something from nothing by using life experience and whacky talents.. just the same as an artist uses brushes and paint to create a painting or a musician uses instruments and notes to make music. Then to see that creation payoff onstage and make so many people laugh is a great reward.
6b. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Creating and developing something from nothing but while also collaborating with other creative people..and being part of a team. The difference would be, as a stand up comedian I'm more like the figure skater out there all on my own and in an O/B Musical I'm more like a Hockey player out there working with members of a team. In either case I'm skating on thin ice and can fall on my ass anytime. So that's where practice makes perfect.
6c. Where is your favorite place to write/practice on your own? As a comedian rarely will I force myself to write/practice unless it's for something specific. Typically I prefer waiting until the urge just hits me naturally and then I go into what some might call 'rare form' where something inspires me and suddenly I find myself flooded with a creative rush of ideas and I'll start coming up with stuff. It's best to have my mini digital recorder nearby or a friend to help me remember what I came up with, because it's hard for me to be creative and cognitive at the same time. Sometimes I may run a line or bit by a trusted friend, girlfriend or colleague to get their opinion or reaction..but ultimately the only place to really test material is onstage. As soon as possible, the very next time I'm onstage I throw it in and see what happens. Then I know what I have, if it's worth keeping and what if anything I may need to do to fine tune it and make it better..and then I keep working it from there..onstage.
7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer/comedian? Ooh, this could be a book. So so much. Well, for one thing, doing this for a living is a continual learning process, you never stop, it's an evolution. George Carlin, who was one of the most successful comedians of our time after years of albums, tv specials books and success said that he didn't find his true voice until he'd been doing it almost 40yrs. As a performer/comedian we learn how to communicate and connect with people of so many different backgrounds on such a large scale and find what makes us all the same and what makes us all laugh. We learn what we're capable of handling because no matter how bad something may be, chances are, we've already experienced and endured worse. So most of all, I'd say I've learned how to persevere.. get through it and make it work some how, some way no matter what! As they say.."The show must go on."
8. What do you get from performing your stand-up comedy as opposed to performing in a show/movie? Well for one, with Stand up comedy and Theater too I get instant gratification. The immediate feed back of a live audience lets me know right away whether something is going over or not..and because it's live there's no second takes, it's raw, your out there vulnerable present and in the moment, sink or swim. With movies and some TV that is not the case. There's the whole element of multiple takes "CUT', let's do that one again" from different angles and hurry up and wait and then ya don't find out how it all came out until moths later and hope yer best work didn't end up on the cutting room floor. As a stand up comedian I'm the writer, producer, director, and performer and it's all me. In a show I'm part of a group of people. And in a film I'm dependent on so many other people and steps to know how my work is even going to be presented and received based on how it's shot and edited. But Film, and TV too are world wide high profile mediums that reach out to a larger audience.. so more people get to know you and enjoy your work.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Never accept a 'No' from someone who doesn't have the power to say 'yes'! and "It's always easier to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!"
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? You're assuming I sleep! ;) Hmm..the smart answer would be I dream about 'me with my special someone..the truer answer would be I dream about 'me, with my special someone..and another woman at the same time' ;)
11a. Favorite way to spend your day off? Depends on where I am. If I'm working out of town, traveling somewhere new, I like to see all I can. If I'm home I like to relax, sometimes alone, but more often with a special someone. Whatever takes my mind off stress and makes me feel happy and relaxed, that's my favorite way to spend a day off.
11b. Favorite way to stay in shape? I go to the gym sometimes..but only to watch other people work out. I find that works, I often sit on the side with a soda and a bag of chips, screaming "yeah, that's it baby, go for the burn!" and then after about half an our or so of that I feel pretty good and go home. ;)
Ok, I'm kidding about the gym part, but really I don't work out at all. There are few things in the world quite as boring to me as that. I know nothing about it. I once got on the treadmill for half an hour and found that pretty easy until the guy came over and told me I had to turn it on first. Honest, I'd rather just go get a good massage, that's the best. I've tried yoga, because everyone swears by it, but I didn't get it..that shit hurts. They wanted me to 'clear my mind and focus'. I have ADD so that's not an option for me. And heck, If I really wanna 'find my center' I can stay home and do it for free! ;)
But seriously though, I've learned how to stay fit simply by trying to be mindful of what I eat and how often. I try to stay active in someway.. that's half the battle, moving around even onstage counts. I don't really drink, never smoke or do drugs, so that helps. I make people laugh for a living and if laughter is the best medicine well I get a good healthy dose of that pretty regularly. And most importantly I've learned the best thing to do to stay healthy is to mitigate stress. Stress is the worst, it creates belly fat and that's the kind that kills ya. So there ya have it for staying in shape!
12. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs!
13. Favorite website? www.StevenScott.tv (sorry, that was too easy, I couldn't help myself), but my favorite website that has nothing to do with me is probably Wikipedia..they know everything!
14. Superman or Wonder Woman? Men, we all think we're 'super' and Women always make ya 'wonder'! I'm going with 'Bat Girl'.."Meow-yeah baby.. oh beehaave!" ;)