"Call Me Adam" chats with comedian Mike Lemme about his one-man show Where I'm From which will be making its debut in New York's Frigid Festival from February 20-March 8 at UNDER St Marks Theater (94 Saint Marks Place). Click here for tickets!
Where I'm From is a coming-of-age, stand-up comedy show about struggle, survival, and scoliosis. Lemme talks about using what he learned growing up in a highly dysfunctional suburban family to navigate life in New York.
For more on Mike be sure to follow him on Twitter!
1. From February 20-March 8, you will be performing your one man show Where I'm From in NY's Frigid Festival. What made you want to have this show in the Frigid Festival? It's a great opportunity to try something new. I feel like New York City is all about finding new ways to challenge yourself. Having the chance to do 5 shows in a theater, in Manhattan? Why not go for it?
2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Where I'm From? I just hope they have fun. That they enjoy the show, maybe find humor in something they normally wouldn't.
3. What made now the right time to premiere this show? I've been getting anxious. I knew I had a story to tell, it was just hard to believe that I could actually make it happen. After three years of living in New York, I feel like I'm finally starting to get out of my own way...starting to reach for opportunities instead of waiting for them.
4. Where I'm From takes a comedic look at your life from being the quiet kid in school to your weight to your scoliosis to your mom's suicide attempts. When did you first realize you could poke fun at these heavy issues? What was it like to hear people's reactions to your comedy? I realized I could poke fun at heavy issues when my friends started making fun of them before me. They had some great suicide attempt jokes! Just kidding!
I don't really know the answer. My favorite comedians are the ones who talk about their lives and experiences. So I think I've always tried talking about those topics, but the jokes didn't start to do well until I became more comfortable on stage. When I first started performing, people felt bad for me but that's only because I didn't know how to set the jokes up properly, and I was only on stage for 5 to 10 minutes. Those topics are hard to get to in that short period. Doing longer sets and learning how to build a relationship with the audience has led to my most emotional jokes getting the best reactions.
5. What was your favorite part in creating Where I'm From and what was the hardest part? I did a run through of the show at this great art gallery in Cambridge, MA called Gallery263. A lot of my friends from college were able to come through and it was just a fun experience getting to show them what I've been working on.
Hardest part is promoting the show. Scheduling podcasts, interviews, trying to figure out how to Facebook message some people (women) without them seeing the last thing I wrote them.
6. How did revealing these truths and making fun of them help set you free? It's very therapeutic. I spent my whole life being ashamed of these things and now they might help me get closer to my comedy goals.
7. What do you like best about being a stand-up comedian? The freedom to express yourself. Being able to say whatever you want and getting instant feedback on it.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian? I have a high tolerance for pizza and cookies.
10. How do you want to be remembered? You should've ate less pizza and cookies.
11. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Flying. I want to start traveling more, but I'm always either too broke or can't find the time to plan the trip.
12. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what would the ingredients be? I'd find a way to mix kale, avocado, with that birthday cake vodka and call it "Putting my future kids through college."
13. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers, only because I need to do laundry.
Mike Lemme started performing stand-up as a teenager. Since then he has been featured on PBS, written for Nickelodeon and Second City, warmed up audiences for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and was part of the production staff for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and CONAN. Mike can be seen performing every night in New York City right before he goes to sleep on his air mattress.