Dava Krause is a talented comedienne who keeps busy doing both stand-up and television work. The “House, M.D.” actress recently stopped by to talk about her role on “House, M.D.,” the passing of Greg Giraldo and why eating guacamole without a shirt on is not an option.
Q – How did you get involved with stand-up comedy?
A - I started doing Improv and The Improv Olympic and The Second City in Chicago when I was going to Northwestern. It was great. Chicago is the world capital of Improvisation and Del Close had just died so everyone I learned from was teaching his method and talking about what a genius he was. So many people I was in class with are now in LA including The Mission Improvable guys who now own a Theater in Santa Monica where I do stand-up frequently. After 3 or 4 years of class and performing I formed my own group of IO and Second City graduates and started doing monologues at the beginning of every one of our shows.
Q – Back in the ‘80s there was a comedy explosion. Then in the ‘90s there did not seem to be as many comedians working. Now, with YouTube and cable outlets, it seems as if everybody is doing stand-up. Do you think the market is oversaturated with comedians and is there enough room for the art?
A - I think that YouTube and all that is a great way to get your name out there if you know what you're doing and can get a video to go viral. I don't have that magic talent and so I haven't really built my fan base off of that. That being said, it's one thing to have a million hits on your YouTube and it's quite another to be comfortable on stage doing 45 minutes of material all over the country. That comes with hours and hours of practice and there's no substitute for it. That's the art.
Q – I’ve interviewed and seen hundreds of comedians. A lot of my friends are club headliners or feature acts. The disparity between the two is pretty apparent when it comes to material. When you go from feature to headliner, how do you know you are ready for it material wise?
A - I don't think headlining is a material thing. You can have an hour of material and not be a headliner. I think that comes with experience. To know how to take a room to the top and close out the room is a skill you develop over time. If you are featuring and the headliner struggles to bring the audience to another level then you know you're a headliner. Also, whether or not you can headline is relative to the room you're in and the other comics on the show.
Q – You also are an actress on the FOX show “House, M.D.” How did this role come about?
A - 5785 casting workshops and auditions. I was brought in for a co-star and after I shot the first episode the writers kept bringing me back!
Q – Many comedians make the transition to acting. Is acting full-time something you’re striving for?
A - I want to work in television. Being on it, writing for it. But that's not necessarily the END goal. It's something I'm very interested in doing because I think I'm good at it and because it fills a creative niche that stand-up can't. But I think I'll always love stand-up no matter what I do and I'll always do it.
Q – This year we lost two funny comedians in Robert Schimmel and Greg Giraldo. First of all, what was your reaction when you heard this news? Secondly, does news like this make you change how you approach your career, give your more inspiration, etc?
A - Well, I worked with Schimmel once and I thought he was a super nice guy and I've never met or worked with Greg. But those deaths, along with my mother’s, which was two years ago, do impact my life and my outlook. In the face of death some people say- "see, life is short. Follow your dreams." And I think that's great. You should. But in LA and in this business where we are SO focused on achieving career success and following our dreams that we often forgot about how important it is to love those around us and to have meaningful relationships. Those deaths reminded me that no matter how successful you get, the only thing that really matters when it comes down to it is the love and connections you've created. Greg's kids didn't lose a great comic. They lost their dad.
Q – Your bio says you love guacamole but when you eat it, you spill it on your shirt. Have you considered eating guacamole naked?
A - That is a very frightening image for everyone.
Q – Thanks for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?
A - Thanks for being interested in my ramblings. I had a friend new to stand-up ask me for advice recently. I said, "I don't know anything more than you. Just do your thing. You can teach me something." We're all just bozos on this planet trying to figure shit out!
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.