by Megan Radke
It’s almost that time again! Obviously, the most wonderful time of the year, Dallas Comedy Festival (DCF) kicks off on Tuesday, March 22. To help you put together your festival schedule, we want to make sure you get to know as many of the fabulous out-of-town acts as possible that will be dropping into Dallas Comedy House.
Heckle Her, an Austin-based production company, creates not only comedic (and sometimes musical), but also bold works for both stage and screen. Adrienne Dawes, director, producer, and badass lady behind it all, told me all about Love Me Tinder, the sketch revue she, along a troupe of talented performers, is bringing to Dallas for DCF!
Describe what your show, Love Me Tinder, will be like.
Love Me Tinder is a fast-paced, musical sketch comedy revue about dating and relationships in the digital age. We have a deep dish Chicago influence but are all Austin-based performers, writers, and musicians. We aren't affiliated with any specific theater or training center (WE BELONG TO NO ONE). I put together this ensemble because I wanted to see great comedy and great music in the same sketch show . . . with a diverse ensemble. There was nothing like it in Austin at the time, so I made it myself!
OK, because of the nature of your show, I have to ask – any fun (maybe fun isn’t the right word?) Tinder/online/digital dating stories you’d be willing to share?
I'm only on Tinder for the trollin' and celebrity sightings. It amazes me the level of misogyny and racism that men believe will attract women. It's pretty rare that I swipe right . . . even rarer that I've actually messaged with someone . . . the rarest, I've met someone in person. There's just too much opportunity, I think, for the crazy, racist, misogynist sh*t to reveal itself . . . and I can't with that. I don't care how often you Crossfit or pose in tuxedos at your friend's wedding or hold tiny teacup puppies next to a rainfall. You can't be a dumb a**hole. End of story.
Switching gears here. Your plays delve into a variety of genres. What/who inspires your work?
I think again I'm inspired by making the stuff I want to see . . . and the stuff that would make my friends laugh. The title of our show, for example, came from goofing around with friends who are not comedians and are just naturally VERY FUNNY. I'm the one in the friend circle who is like, "Hey wait, that's a great idea for something. Let me go make that . . ." Everyone will laugh and keep drinking but six months later, I will have actually made the thing.
The variety of genres, I think, comes from a place of wanting to always feel like I bring something to the table. Like maybe one day I'll be a part of something really big and the producer will go, "SH*T we need someone who can direct musical sketch AND an improvised paranormal horror Web series AND write experimental drama AND can play various musical instruments at a beginner level AND is amazing at Excel!" And I'll be like, “YO I GOT THIS!” Versatility is such a strength. I try to cultivate that as much as possible.
Your production company, Heckle Her, is holding auditions soon. What advice would you give to anyone planning to audition, whether it’s for you, or for anything else?
I think one thing you've probably all heard teachers and coaches/directors say over and over is, “FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT.” Auditions are nerve-wracking and very rarely "fun," but if an actor walks in the door and looks like they are in incredible pain and suffering SO GREATLY just to be in the room with me right now . . . what flips on for me isn't, "Oh someone's nervous," it's like, "HOW DO I HELP THIS POOR PERSON . . . GET OUT OF THE ROOM AS FAST AS POSSIBLE?!?!" We can feel your discomfort and while I absolutely empathize, it takes away from your fair shot at showcasing what you can do and how awesome you actually are. For that very reason, I try to recruit as much as possible seeing live shows. I want to see people when they are all confident and shiny and know they "GOT THIS." If you do feel the nerves, if you are sweating from every possible pore on your body, just try to listen and focus. Give it your best. Pretend you're in a play and this is your big audition scene, but you're playing a character who's GOT THIS. Afterward, let it go. Walk it off. Go find something else fun you love doing. Maybe you'll hear back. Maybe you won't. Life moves on.
Also, remember auditions are also your chance to sneakily interview the director. If you don't feel the vibe, if the director seems flakey or unprepared, or if they make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, get the hell outta there. I know we all feel like we need as much visibility as possible but do you want to be seen in something sh*tty that makes you feel like crap!? HELL NO.
What are you most looking forward to about DCF? Anything else we should know before you make the trip North from Austin?
This is our second comedy festival ever and first one outside Austin city limits SO WE ARE PUMPED. We can't wait to play, see some Chicago buddies in the fest, and check out all Dallas has to offer. Always great to meet new people - especially people also interested in musical sketch. Say hey!
See Love Me Tinder on Thursday, March 24, at 9 p.m. with Bad Example. Get your tickets here!
Megan Radke is currently a Level 3 student at DCH. She is a copywriter and social media manager by day and an essayist and mediocre musician by night. She is a constant consumer of books, music, film, and all things comedy. She is also great at racking up copious amounts of credit card debt with spur-of-the-moment travel.
(Image: Shelley Hiam)