by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
LANE MOORE & FRIENDS
BROADWAY CENTER FOR
THE PERFORMING ARTS
PANTAGES THEATER (TACOMA)
She's an up and coming comedian with a hilarious show that's making its way around the country. If the name Lane Moore doesn't ring a bell as a performer, perhaps you remember her byline as a former writer for The Onion. Or maybe you saw her appear in season 5 of the acclaimed HBO series 'Girls.' She's also a musician and member of the rock group It Was Romance. She's done a little bit of everything, but what the Brooklyn-based entertainer does best is make people laugh, especially with her touring act that pokes fun at Tinder profiles and the people behind them. 'Tinder Live,' created by Moore, is being staged at Tacoma's Pantages Theater (901 Broadway, Tacoma) on October 27. For tickets, go to www.BroadwayCenter.org.
By phone, I spoke with Moore a week ago to get details on her upcoming performance and find out what it was like to work on the set of 'Girls.' This is what she had to say to Seattle Gay News.
Albert Rodriguez: Have you performed in the Seattle area before?
Lane Moore: No, I am so excited, I can't even begin to tell you! I've wanted to go to Seattle my whole life, I've never ever been.
Rodriguez: So what are you looking forward to doing, or experiencing, while you're here?
Moore: Oh my goodness! Is it going to sound really dorky if I say, 'I want to go to all of your thrift stores and eat a lot of vegan food?' I've just heard that it's so beautiful there and I have a lot of friends who are from Seattle, and coming from New York where we don't have a ton of nature, I just heard that everything is really beautiful in Seattle. So I think I'll just want to sit outside and eat some food and be in a city where some of the best music has come from.
Rodriguez: Can you tell us about your show - is it entirely standup? Are there any skits, do you share the stage with anybody else?
Moore: It's entirely improvised. The show starts off with me doing my Tinder shout outs, which are like my all-time favorite Tinder profiles, which I guess that has a standup element to it, for sure, because I'm going through these profiles and telling my jokes about them and giving the audience an idea of what happens on the show and it's super interactive, so they're a part of it. And then we go on 'Tinder Live' with my special guest panel and from there it is a totally improvised show. Anything can happen, I have no idea what's going to happen; we're all experiencing this like a once in a lifetime wonderful thing. So, the panel comes out and they help me analyze the profiles and then I throw it to the audience and am like, 'All right guys, am I swiping left or right on this person?' and my fate is totally in the audience's hands. They decide who I talk to, who I'm going to match with and then once me and another person match, then boom!, we have a conversation live on stage and you're watching all of this unfold. It's kind of what a lot of people do with their friends in bars, you're all looking at each other's Tinder profiles, except it's live on a stage with a professional comedian.
Rodriguez: Have you ever done your act with Grindr?
Moore: No, I don't know that Grindr would work as well. It might, I get asked that a lot. I just feel like on Grindr, from what I know, there's not a lot of chit-chat (laughs); it's like, just dick. From what I understand of Grindr, it's pretty much dick, dick, dick, bio, here's my dick, conversation, 'Do you want my dick'? I feel like there's not a lot of room to play there, but with straight men there's different ways they can try to communicate in their profiles, for better or worse. I can message with this guy on Tinder for ages and keep the ball rolling and make it more and more hilarious, but I feel like guys on Grindr are just like 'Do you want to fuck, or not?'
Rodriguez: I interviewed someone years ago who guest starred on 'Desperate Housewives' and he said the experience was disappointing because it 'was not a happy set'; the actors weren't speaking to each other and everybody just wanted the show to end. So, I wanted to ask what your experience working on 'Girls' last season was like, because we've often heard of feuds happening on that set. What was it like, was there good energy, did you feel welcomed there?
Moore: Oh yeah, dude! It was the best possible energy. Everyone was so nice, everyone was so chill, everyone was so thrilled making the show. I'm not just saying that; I felt so lucky because it was a role so made for me and it was on one of the best episodes of the whole series; it was an incredible episode. It was amazing! There wasn't any part of that experience that wasn't great.
Rodriguez: I feel like there's a difference between East Coast and West Coast comedy, similar to East and West Coast rap. There are certain comedians who break through early in New York, like Sarah Silverman, who don't establish a West Coast following until years later. Have you found it difficult to break into the biz outside New York?
Moore: Well, if that is a thing, a really big plus for me is that I actually started standup in L.A. [Laughs] So I started doing standup, improv and sketch writing in Los Angeles; that's where I started out; and then I moved to New York. I'm from the East Coast originally, but I was on improv teams and I was doing standup at the Comedy Store and Laugh Factory, and all these different places, on the West Coast. So I'm in a lot of places, like when I'm on tour I'll have shows in the Midwest in the middle of nowhere and the South. I feel like it's all pretty universal because a lot of the things I do and talk about, it's about how we're trying to connect with each other. It's about how we're all a little bit lonely, but it's not cool to be lonely, and we're trying to connect, but it's not cool to connect. I just feel like there's something about what I do that is universal.
Rodriguez: How do you deal with moods? How do you make people laugh when maybe they don't want to as a result of tragic events like the Orlando and Las Vegas attacks?
Moore: I mean, I think that's when we need laughter most. To be perfectly honest, most of my life has been so painful and hard and intense - I've just been through so many things, where the only thing that's gotten me through is that I do comedy and I make music and I create art. I feel so honored that I get to have people come out to one of my shows for an hour and a half to have that weight lifted off them. One of the things that all the press who've written about the show have said is that I work real hard to make it so that it's not a mean-spirited show, I don't punch down, or anything like that. I don't go for cheap shots, I don't talk about people's appearances, I really want to make it a place that's safe, happy and fun. I'm going into these audiences fully aware of the world that we live in. I don't know what kind of day they've had, they may have had a horrible day. In 2017, especially for an LGBT person, everything you see in the news is the most depressing, or for a person of color, or a woman. So I walk into every single show thinking like 'I can't wait to make you feel at least a little better, if not a lot better.'
Rodriguez: Do you include politics or world events in your shows, like what's happening in Charlottesville or North Korea?
Moore: The show is based on my Tinder conversations, so that's not really going to come into play. If it was a standup act, maybe.
Rodriguez: Who were your early comedic influences?
Moore: Janeane Garofalo was huge, and I actually have her on the next New York City show on November 18, so that's gonna blow my mind. She was huge, huge, huge for me! I really loved 'Daria,' she was a huge influence; that show was huge for me. 'Upright Citizens Brigade,' the TV show was huge, Amy Sedaris' 'Strangers with Candy' was huge, Margaret Cho, and I really loved Mo'Nique. I actually started doing standup in my Sunday School classroom as a kid. Every Sunday, my teacher would give me ten minutes to tell jokes and funny stories, so I've been obsessed with comedy my whole life.
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