of a new voice in this never ending with government
In the interview below, Lee Camp talks about how
he discovered his activist voice and you can watch
it on Youtube where he has his Moment of Clarity
let's cut to the video: a million things you can do to
change the world:
Checkit: LA record
LEE CAMP INTERVIEW – BY DREW DENNY
May 5th, 2013 · No Comments
… How did you get involved with Occupy? Were you already an activist? Was activism always a part of your comedy?
I was activist well before Occupy. In fact I was asked to make videos calling for a move-your-money day and occupation several months before Occupy started. The first attempt didn’t draw enough people. But the second one became Occupy. I was there on the first night. It was incredible. So yeah, I’ve been an activist for awhile now. But no, activism was not always part of my comedy. For the first four years of doing stand-up, there was not a lot of politics in it. And I think that was good. It was important for me to learn how to be a good stand-up before I learned how to make people laugh at the dark truths of our world. What’s the expression? You gotta walk before you can fly? Or you gotta spread your wings before you can keep reaching for the stars? Or something. I don’t know.
… What influenced the “Rant” as opposed to any other delivery style? Do you yell often in your personal life?
My comedy has always had some anger and sarcasm in it, but as it has gotten more political, it’s definitely gotten angrier and rantier. And I used to avoid cursing on stage. I didn’t want to alienate anyone with cursing. But once I was talking about the bullshit destroying our way of life, being “clean” didn’t ring true anymore. It’s not the way I talk in my regular life, so why was I avoiding it onstage? So I kinda let loose, as it were, and that was when things started to pick up for my stand-up.
Another factor that impacted my performance style is that I’ve never really liked jokes that have clear punch lines, and the comedian sits there with a smile on his face as everyone laughs at the punch line that has been said. For some reason that seems old to me. That’s the way comedy used to be done. I’ve always liked comedians that seemed like they were talking, and there weren’t obvious set-up, punches. You know? So I eventually decided I was going to stop pausing for the audience. I kinda figured, “I’m gonna say what I want to say, and if they want to laugh, they’ll have to keep up. I’m not gonna sit around for them.” And there still needs to be some pausing, but I don’t pause much. I like to keep going. I want the audience to feel exhausted afterward.
And to answer your question about whether I yell in my personal life – For the most part I only get that angry if I’m in a heated political argument. And that doesn’t happen that often. Basically my “performance” is simply me in the middle of a heated debate, except with stand-up there’s no one on the other side arguing back.
… I definitely hope to do more on-the-street stuff, more activist pranks (or pranktivism as I’ve termed it). I’m a big fan of that, and would love to do it.