Interview with U.S. comedian Liza Treyger
Thank you to Liza for this interview. Liza is set to embark on her debut tour across UK and Europe with her latest stand-up, including a performance at Bloomsbury Studio, London on 24th September.
Out of everything you have done in your comedy career so far what have been the highlights?
I think the number one highlight is being able to do this full time and all the prizes and cool things along the way are extras. I obvi loved taping my comedy specials for Netflix and Comedy Central and doing late night with Seth Meyers and Chelsea lately. I’ve enjoyed doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Fringe Fest in Edinburgh. Being on tv and film sets. But the highlight is truly not having to go to a day job and just enjoying that as much as I can since you don’t know how long anything will last. OH I know a highlight; performing while Demi Moore was in the audience. For sure.
How do you ensure that your material is fresh and has not been done before by others?
I just talk about whatever I want and then if I see someone has done it I don’t do it. I think my perspective and opinions are unique enough though on most topics I don’t have to think about what other people are doing. One of my friends and I do have similar backstreet boys jokes so we decided whoever gets on tv first gets to keep it, but we don’t care if we both do it live for now so I did break my own rules.
What are the biggest challenges of travelling and being on the road?
Staying healthy and sleeping right and stuff like that but I guess I have problems with that when I’m not on the road too. Oh, the obvious biggest challenge is selling tickets and having people actually come to the show. I think that’s the biggest surprise is like how truly hard it is to get people to see you. Unless you get famous from something or a whiz at social media it’s a fucking grind. I don’t care if there are 12 people or 20 or 200 but the people paying sure do so it’s like working on promotion and fame to get people to see me. And if you’re not selling, they paper the room and then you’re performing for people that are there for free and it’s great that they’re there, but they can truly hate you.
Do you have to alter your act for different parts of the world?
I don’t have to alter my act just certain words. So, gear means cocaine not merchandise out here or it’s not shark tank but dragon’s den. Little things like that make a huge difference.
What and who makes you laugh?
I just watched the roast of Alec Baldwin and omg it was so funny. Roasts make me laugh. Dark and mean jokes make me laugh so hard. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long ass time. Dave Attell always makes me laugh. He’s the funniest comic around and his special Roadwork is my favorite of all time. I’m a huge fan of memes. I’m on Instagram laughing at memes most the day. The teens are crushing it. Veep and BoJack Horseman makes me laugh too and Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang’s Instagram.
Do you think that there can be too much exposure of the same comedians on the television i.e. panel shows, chat shows, sitcoms?
No I do not. I think if you’re lucky enough to work take every fucking gig you want to do and feel good doing. Very few people are watching all the things and will see you everywhere so get as big of an audience as you can!!! I think sometimes press gets obsessed with someone and it’s always the new queen and king and it’s like can’t we all be around.
What advice would you give to a school pupil that wants to be a comedian?
Go to open mics every night for years and do every show and you’re not too good for any room. Perform as often as you can and get good. Worry about getting good not famous or attention or getting the prizes but focus on being good and enjoy the journey. If you don’t enjoy going up every night or being on the road, like don’t do it, right? The journey should feel worth it.
Can being funny be learnt?
I don’t think being funny can be learnt but not everyone that’s funny can do stand up like it is a skill that you have to do to get better at. Like the funny guy at the office isn’t going to crush at stand up, you have to do it for decades to get great. But some people are just not funny and years of stand up doesn’t help them either and it’s grim to watch.
Is it harder to write comedy than perform it?
YES!!!!! Writing sucks for me and I hate to do it and when I work on stuff outside of stand up like creating tv or things I always like to collaborate and work with people and I’m strategic and work with people that have the studious amazing skills I don’t. I don’t know grammar or spelling and I write ‘like’ a lot. I hate sitting and typing and I just like working stuff out on stage it’s my favorite.
If you want a great day then what 5 things do you end up doing?
- Workout class.
- Hanging out with friends eating, drinking, smoking weed and hopefully it’s near a pool or roof top.
- A new episode of a tv show I love.
- Performing a gig or a couple gigs like running around New York with 4 sets in a night is my favorite.
- Spending money!!!! Shopping or buying art or a present for someone.