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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 30, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 18
Laureen Weedman tells us why she won't shut up
Arts & Entertainment
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Laureen Weedman tells us why she won't shut up

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

No & You Shut Up
April 28-May 8
Richard Hugo House


Lauren Weedman is a face you will recognize. She's been on The Daily Show, Reno 911, I Love the '90s, and even Showtime's The United States of Tara and HBO's series Hung. But before she did television, she was a stage performer, and for two weeks she brings her one-woman show No & You Shut Up to the Hugo House stage. The Seattle Gay News caught up with the funny lady in preparation for her show.

Eric Andrews-Katz: What comics inspire you?

Laureen Weedman: No one really from stand-up, I don't do comedy like that. I'm usually influenced by theater folk because it's more performance pieces that I do, so my influence came mostly from Patton Oswalt and Danny Hach, who does monologues in different characters.

Andrews-Katz: Where do you find your inspirations?

Weedman: From personal trauma. When I write shows they are based on anything that has obsessed me or hurt me. Anything that has pushed me to the edge and has affected me is fair game.

Andrews-Katz: What was your first stage job?

Weedman: It was in Amsterdam. I was in a play playing "crazy lady under the bridge." The first time I got commissioned to write a show was at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Andrews-Katz: Is there a theme to your show, No & You Shut Up?

Weedman: It's about families. I tell a story about never feeling a part of any family; I'm more like a visitor to others. This show is about creating families and broken families, new families and newly formed families. It's also about my son and about tattoos.

Andrews-Katz: You've worked on Reno 911 and The Daily Show, among others. Tell me about your Oxygen Network series: Our Bodies, Myself.

Weedman: That was a web series and those installments are only on the web (www.funnyordie.com/lauren_weedman). They are a parody of self-help from a woman who needs it the most.

Andrews-Katz: What are some of the challenges of doing comedic television?

Weedman: Getting parts that are written and then being cast for them! The best success I have is from doing a cable TV series opposed to a network. Networks want a type: skinny, pretty, popular. & Every time I go for an audition for cable TV, they want acting more than type. It's about being a character instead of hitting the punch lines. I loved doing Hung on HBO. I get to play a part called "Horny Patty." How can you not love a job like that?

Andrews-Katz: You've been defined as performing "confessional comedy." Can you explain what that means?

Weedman: I tell a lot! There is nothing off-limits in the "personal realms" of my life. I use myself, so I can't make anything up. I'm always trying to base my characters on someone I know. But my goal is to work it into a play & and not just me confessing stuff on stage.

Andrews-Katz: How many one-woman shows have you written?

Weedman: About nine, and No & You Shut Up is the latest. I first wrote it in 2009 for a theater in Boise, Idaho. I wasn't happy with it, and after an artist retreat and workshops, I slowly worked on it. I had a baby in the meantime, and even that helped the show.

Andrews-Katz: You've done internships with Empty Space and have worked with other theaters in Seattle. Do you find Seattle to be a theater town?

Weedman: Seattle is where I got started. I was here for five years and that was vital for getting my voice. This is a great community because the people who want to see shows see them. There is tons of support. Even though I'm from Indianapolis, Indiana, I always think that I am from Seattle because my favorite people are here.

Laureen Weedman's latest show No & You Shut Up will be performed Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. The Richard Hugo House is located at 1634 11th Avenue, (206) 322-7030.

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