Brett recently caught up with actor and comedian Tone Bell (one of his all time favorites} to chat about this last year, career talks, his approach to writing, and so much more. This was an amazing conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Brett- This last year has been crazy for everyone, especially comics whom a large majority had to come up with creative ways to perform, or get content out. What were some of the things you did to stay creative, and keep the comedy juices flowing?
Tone- "We all know the creation of the Zoom shows, the outdoor set-up and the weird IG sets...and most of us dabbled in them all. Needless to say, not the most fun or authentic but it definitely keeps our steel sharp. However, I did have the opportunity to join forces to perform and help produce one of the best and most innovative virtual shows in the world, InCrowd Entertainment. A real stage, with a live virtual audience that we can actually see and interact with, which was the closest thing I’ve seen to being the best of both worlds."
Brett- When you are writing new material, say for an upcoming special, what is your process, do you write things down and then perform, go to the clubs and just improv, or maybe a combination of both? What is your secret sauce? Haha.
Tone- "It's definitely a mix of both but it's all trial and error. I typically wait until something happens in my life that I just can't let go of and then I try to work it out enough to completion. Or ideally, what’s the cap of this story? what's the final thought and if I were watching from the audience, would I be satisfied? So, it kind of starts in my mind, makes its way into the notes app on my phone, then into my "comedy diary/journal." After that, I just beat it up until, personally, I can't punch anymore. And there's always the moments of having friends in the game that listen and have an idea or three after they watch it and give you some food for thought... that's the sauce! "
Brett- Looking back at your long and iconic career, at what moment did you know this was something you could do, or wanted to do full time?
Tone- "Ha... I have a long way to go, and often still feel like a baby in the game. I try to treat every year in this game like it's still my first so my hunger doesn't diminish. There's a point, I think, where the game chooses you as much as you want to choose it. I was offered a promotion at my corporate day gig, at the same time as I was laid off... which always felt like the Matrix, blue pill x red pill moment. I left the blue pill in Dallas. "
Brett- The comedy game is massive and there are a lot of fish in the sea so to speak, what keeps you motivated and drives you to clearly be one of the 'hungriest" comics in the room?
Tone- "The game is vast, and the water is full of funny fish. I tend to not be in competition with my peers because it's dope to watch them swim too. Swimming next to them, witnessing the growth, witnessing them get big and be a fan of their work. Who wants to swim alone? I love what I do and love what they do. We all have our own goals so it's beautiful to see them manifest. The good thing about the comedy waters is that there are big waves and there are small waves and the best part is with the work...we all get to ride them both."
Tone, thank you so much for spending a few minutes with us today on the blog side of things! Its been a pleasure and honor talking with you!