Zach Muhn

24 Karat Goldapps Present The American Songbook

Cameron Goldapp and Lindsay Goldapp Imagine a simpler time, such as the 1950s, when duos dominated the air waves. Sounds refreshing, I do say. If you do say, too, then come out to the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) on Thursday, June 4, to see 24 Karat Goldapps perform a show featuring classic American standards and dancing.

One half of the duo, Lindsay Goldapp, sat down with me at her computer for a Gchat to tell me more about the show. And because it's instant messaging, we talked about other things, as well (edited, though, for grammar, punctuation, and clarity).

Lindsay Goldapp Hey, we're just Gchatting and not video chatting right?

Jason Hensel I'm back...had to make a Smoothie King run. Yeah, just Gchatting.

Lindsay Goldapp Oh good. I look like a total scumbag.

Jason Hensel Don't you know? Scumbag is the look of the year.

Lindsay Goldapp You can't fool me, Jason.

Jason Hensel Speaking of fooling...tell me about this show.

Lindsay Goldapp It's just this dumb thing we're doing, and we're gonna be so stupid. I was chatting with Zach Muhn yesterday, and his exact quote was, "I love stupid shit, and you guys are the dumbest. This is going to be great."

Jason Hensel What makes the show the greatest, dumbest, stupid thing ever?

Lindsay Goldapp I know that doesn't actually tell you anything about the content of the show, but I just think it's high praise. So I started in music. I have this musical family. My dad's a bluegrass musician, and they're all great blah blah blah...I'll tell you that story some other time. But the point is, I started in music, and I've done musicals my whole life and I have this deep, abiding love for campy musicals and trite old-fashioned plots and the idea of there being "a simpler time." Cameron and I both love the American standards and all of the old crooners—Frank, Dean, Ella, Lena, so on and so forth. So we just really wanted to lampoon that time and that style (lampoon/pay tribute/honor/satirize...however you might see it).

Jason Hensel Kind of like a vaudeville show?

Lindsay Goldapp Yeah, I think so, but one that knows how absurd it is. I have this running list of dream shows that I want to write/create and this was one. My husband is the best, so he was on board.

Jason Hensel Meta vaudeville.

Lindsay Goldapp Sure, let's coin in that.

Jason Hensel Done. What are some of the songs you'll be singing?

Lindsay Goldapp “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Mack the Knife,” You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Fever,” that sort of thing.

Jason Hensel I love all of those songs! Will y'all be in costumes?

Lindsay Goldapp How could anyone not!? They're America! We will be. I'm a big stickler for production value, so no matter what kind of project i'm doing—big or small—I like to commit 100 percent.

Jason Hensel I hear ya. I like when a show has put some thought into the overall experience of the show.

Lindsay Goldapp Like it could be a 15-minute improv set in a nursing home, and I'd be like, "No jeans, and we need an entrance." Same here. I guess it's especially true with this stylized show, because we're asking you to be a part of this ridiculous universe.

Jason Hensel Will there be audience singalongs? Also, will there be live music or will you sing to pre-recorded backing tracks

24KGoldappLindsay Goldapp I won't spoil the show by revealing the content. And no, we have a musical director. A good musical director is so important, and Colten [Winburn] is a gem. Also my dad thinks "canned music" (his phrase) is an abomination.

Jason Hensel Anyone else in addition to you, Cameron, and Colten involved in the show?

Lindsay Goldapp Zach Muhn is our director. He's a national fucking treasure.

Jason Hensel We should encase him in the National Gallery.

Lindsay Goldapp Finally someone agrees with me.

Jason Hensel Can we get a show where Cameron and Zach just stand on stage and vape for 30 minutes? Tyler [Simpson] can run side commentary, and they can react to his play-by-play.

Lindsay Goldapp SUBMIT IT NOW.

Jason Hensel I'll submit it, and then everyone will be too busy to practice.

Lindsay Goldapp Cameron and Zach together, onstage, in any capacity is pure gold. Hahahahaha yes. Wait did an emoticon just pop up and laugh? Because I typed hahahaha?

Jason Hensel Little animals pop up.

Lindsay Goldapp Jesus Christ. Gchat has jumped the shark.

Jason Hensel Some unlisted number just called me from North Dakota on this Hangouts program.

Lindsay Goldapp Bizarre.

Jason Hensel Yeah, and it happened right when you typed hahahaha.

Lindsay Goldapp That thing overestimated how hard I laughed, I think. Anyway, this show.

Jason Hensel Hahahaha. Yes, the show. Y'all did this show in Chicago, too, yes?

Lindsay Goldapp We did not. We did a different sketch show together.

Jason Hensel Ah, gotcha.

Lindsay Goldapp That one wasn't stylized like this. That was more of a straight sketch show. We wrote the sketches, but we also wrote original songs. We didn't write the songs in this one. We wanted to do the standards.

That was my first sketch show right out of graduating from Second City, and It's something I'm proud of but I'd like to think we've learned a thing or two since then.

Jason Hensel So, this show is a one-time deal, yes?

Lindsay Goldapp Well, stay tuned on that. We want to get it on its feet in front of an audience. We really like to challenge and push ourselves comedically (Gchat says that isn't a word, but I call bullshit), and we're definitely doing that with this show. We've done a lot of sketch, but this vaudeville thing is definitely new territory for us.

Jason Hensel Personally, I'm excited because I love when new, different shows are produced at DCH. And I love the old comedy/vaudeville style.

Lindsay Goldapp Yeah, I'm always jonesing for new stuff.

Jason Hensel For years, I've wanted to do a commedia dell'arte show, but it's never gotten off the ground.

Lindsay Goldapp OMG dude. I used to be in a commedia group. Holler at me.

Jason Hensel HOLLER!

Lindsay Goldapp Fair. I like the idea of exploring where comedy came from.

Jason Hensel Me, too.

Lindsay Goldapp But I also have reservations about how well it would play with a modern audience. So, I don't know if that means you modernize the form or go meta or what.

Jason Hensel I think it would be a fun and challenging problem to work on.

Lindsay Goldapp For sure. I also always worry about doing comedy for comedy people. Like, sure, some comedians know what commedia is and they might appreciate the art but if a regular Joe-off-the-street comes to that show, will he "get it" or find it entertaining? No idea. Again, probably a fun and challenging problem to work with,

But I never want to just do comedy for myself. Like, yes, it should make me tick and be self-expression and what not, but, like, I gotta get dem laughs.

I can't ask an audience to come watch something that isn't funny just to fulfill a comedy dream of mine. They're paying money!

Real money!

Jason Hensel I think it comes down to marketing and promotion. I've been to plenty of plays that are supposed to be funny, for example, that I didn't find funny at all. Still, I didn't mind paying because I knew I was watching a play and not some random show. I invested money, because I knew the troupe/cast/venue invested in the performance, too.

And you have to let audiences know that.

Lindsay Goldapp And I am so glad that you're a person who feels that way and that people like you exist, because I have a hard time sitting through art that I don't thoroughly enjoy. I don't know when I got that way, but I think it was when I had my kid and started thinking, "Ugh, I spent $50 on a babysitter and another $50 on tickets, and I could just be home playing with my kid who will be 18 and move out in the blink of an eye," or "Ugh, I could be asleep."

Jason Hensel I tend more to that second reason, being asleep, more often now, too, just for the record.

Lindsay Goldapp I used to be a "I'll sleep when I die" person, but then I had a kid and didn't sleep for a year, and now I'm a "I'll sleep wherever whenever" person.

Ugh. That kid. He ruined me and saved me all at once.

Jason Hensel I hear that kids are sleep thieves. OK...let's wrap things up with one more question.

Lindsay Goldapp Shoot.

Jason Hensel I just posted a story in the performers Facebook page about comedy's second boom. What kind of second boom do you foresee for the comedy scene in Dallas and the community around DCH?

Lindsay Goldapp OOO, great question.

So, I think Dallas is playing a little bit of catch-up, which makes sense. We're a more conservative community that wasn't full of venues, etc.

I do really think that the comedy here has sort of mirrored the community and its values, and now that DCH has grown and found its weirdos, outcasts, and progressives, we're going to go warp speed. That's also probably a reflection of the city itself. I mean, Dallas went blue in the last election. Liberalism isn't just a political party. It's a forward way of thinking and a culture that invites innovation and exploration and change.

So, I think that DCH, Addison, Four Day, etc., have introduced Dallas to comedy and how to enjoy and explore it. I think the comedy community is going to be further inspired to push themselves comedically (again, "comedically" not a word...psssh).

Anyway, that's waxing philosophical on this topic, but I really do think it relates to the community and I'm so so so so happy that it's all happening. We were so scared to move here, because we were just around so many creative people without any boundaries and we were so relieved to find DCH and its band of weirdos, outcasts, and artists pushing Dallas.

Jason Hensel And we're equally glad y'all moved here to add to the weirdo pot.

Lindsay Goldapp Thanks. We're just stupid idiots who like to get laughs.

Jason Hensel Aren't we all? Last thing: Send us out with a song that could be in your show.

Lindsay Goldapp Man I'm deciding if I want to pooch a joke. No. I don't. So here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIAEAVKcKrs

Jason Hensel Excellent choice. Thank you for the interview, and I'll see you at the show!

Lindsay Goldapp Thank YOU, sir! Make me sound pretty and skinny, OK?

Jason Hensel Of course. I'll only quote from the waist up and shoot from above.

Get your tickets now for 24 Karat Goldapps Present The American Songbook on Thursday, June 4, at the Dallas Comedy House.

Troupe Talk: The Rift

The Rift This week, your favorite interviewer (Oprah and Ellen WHO) tackles some more team talk with the Dallas Comedy House home teams. Up this week is The Rift, who all wore hats to spill the beans about comedy, nerves, and each other.

You are all wearing hats for this interview! Thanks, Rift, for dressing up all fancy and wearing the hats! Describe for our readers what you’ve chosen:

David: Probably a baseball cap. Something pliable, non-descript and worn out. I picked this not because of any funny reason, but because I love realism above all else. Ashley: I've chosen a fancy lady, floppy church hat in lilac. It has a propeller atop for function. Zach: I'm wearing a boater festooned with patriotic ribbons and a "Vote for Taft!" button. Tim: A Mossy Oak camo snapback. Laurie: I am wearing a sombrero.

Congratulations on the Dallas Comedy Festival. Do you guys still get nervous when it’s time to go on stage? If so, how do you deal?

David: I tend to get stressed out for a show a couple of days or a week before it's set to happen as I fight through a mental battle of wanting to do well but also knowing that preparation of any sort leads to a terrible show. Come the day of the show, though, especially once I get in the green room and see some familiar faces, I'm good to go. Ashley: I used to get so nervous that my arms would go numb during shows. Now I just get excited without the bodily nervousness, but I do always have to pee before I go on stage. Always. Never fails. Am I allowed to say pee? Zach: Sure, I still get stage fright, every show. I just close my eyes and think of England. Tim: Yes, I get nervous. I recite the line from Dune about how fear is the mind killer, and then I remember how dumb that is and I try to get David to make me laugh. Laurie: Yes, everytime. I throw up in the shower.

The Rift is also a 2012 movie where "After radar anomalies start appearing all over the world, strange rifts are starting to form in the sky. There is something hiding behind these rifts. It's moving….” and a 1990 movie where "An experimental submarine, the Siren II, with a very experienced crew is sent to find out what happened to the Siren I, mysteriously disappeared in a submarine rift.” Are you guys also mysterious and creepy? What’s your comedy style?

David: I hope we're not mysterious and creepy! I'd like to think we're all pretty approachable. And I'd say our comedy style is just people that like each other getting together to do dumb stuff. Ashley: "An experimental submarine with a very experienced crew." I'm going to watch this movie now. I'm a fan of anything odd and unexpected. Zach: I would say our style lands somewhere between "elegant heiress with a secret" and "deranged sea captain holding a knife in his teeth.” Tim: I'm pretty creepy. I stare at people a lot. I'd call my personal comedy style "dumb" and "juvenile." I'm sure "purposely offensive" and "quasi-racist" could also apply at different times. Laurie: I have no idea what you’re talking about. So, very. Each one of us is so damn creepy. All of us together is a Hitchcock film on acid. Anything goes.

The Rift

So speaking of comedy— what are your favorite improv rules to apply in real life?

David: Actively listening. Also a fan of the conversational callback. Ashley: Actively engage in the moment and listen. Like, actually listen so hard that you can't hear your own thoughts. Zach: "Don't spit on anyone.” Tim: Repeat the last thing said to you in your head, and don't bring a preconceived notion of how things should go to a new conversation. Laurie: Stay out of your head.

The Rift took turns saying something nice about everyone in the group. Here’s what happened when I meshed together all the nice things they said about each other.

David is: a sublime and rationally wit gentleman with a warm smile that knows how to cardigan himself. His brain used to take up an entire room at MIT but has since been streamlined. Tim is: a zany, relevant, and sneaky brain. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were standing right behind me. Zach is: very present and energetic—probably an ancient god who hopped into a mortal body just to try out modern American life. He has mysterious, old world charm mixed with sexual napalm—an orgasmic waterfall for the female audience member. Cameron is: a smooth, detailed performer who plays the reality of the most absurd. He smells like fluffy pancakes, rocks a well-groomed mustache, and has all the merriment of a drunk elf, with twice the sexual prowess. Laurie is: full of brassy energy and fun to watch—hotter than a firework fuse. She would do great in a knife fight. She brings the LOLs. Rob is: A living beacon of kindness and comedy. Average height, above average personality—he's patient, a great listener, extremely smart—the strictest definition of a cool man. Ashley is: great, organic, versatile—a master of interaction betwixt humans. She makes Mother Teresa look like a fart,and has a giggle better than all the bluebonnets in Texas.

The Rift perform at the Dallas Comedy House on April 24 at 10:30 p.m. with Photobomb.

Tori Oman is a level three student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.

(Photos: Jason Hensel)