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8 Questions with…………writer/director/comedian Chelsea Devantez

Its 11:06 pm
dark/rainy/writing

Welcome to 8 Questions with…….

Recently I had a chance to review a wickedly funny short film called “Basic” which was written and directed by our next guest,Chelsea Devantez. Oh yeah,she also starred in it as well. While Chelsea has been compared to Tina Fey and Amy Schumer,I found myself thinking she is like Chelsea Devantez. I found Chelsea to be warm,witty and very gracious as well as very funny.
Of all the different acting genres in today’s world,I have to say that comedy is the hardest. It takes a lot of blood,sweat and tears to work your way up through the ranks of being a good comedian. Chelsea has done that and more. Be it working with the famed Second City comedy group in Chicago,to co-hosting a podcast and now becoming a comedy writer on TV where Chelsea is rapidly becoming well known for her own unique take on what comedy is .  It hasn’t always been easy but then again,when has comedy in its many forms ever been easy.
While Chelsea has been compared to Tina Fey and the late Gilda Radner,I don’t think that is right…I think Chelsea is her own woman with her own voice and she can do whatever she sets her creative heart on.  You can see her writing talent on display in the hit comedy “Bless This Mess” which stars Lake Bell and Dax Shepard and airs on ABC.
Now it’s time to ask 8 Questions with the multi-talented Chelsea Devantez…..

 

 

 

 

 Please introduce yourself and tell us about your current project.

   What’s up! My name is Chelsea Devantez, I am a writer, director and comedian. I made a short film called BASIC that was set to screen at SXSW, which of course got cancelled. Now you can see it online at www.shortoftheweek.com and it’s also a Vimeo Staff Pick and a Lady With Lenses pick! 
CD6
What three things drew you to comedy?
  There’s an old adage that comedy comes from pain, and that’s very true with me. I had so much pain inside me that it never even came out as pain, it tipped into comedy and that’s been the way I’ve been able to express myself. I find comedy/sadness is like a water faucet — the water can be really hot but then you turn it a little more and suddenly it’s cold again. I came up in comedy at The Second City, Chicago which specializes in satire. Satire is about turning an unfair situation on its head, heightening it, and putting the punchline on the abusing power, in order to shed light on the underdog. So I found comedy was a way to get people to listen to a political opinion they might otherwise not be open to, or an opinion people would have if they just had all the information. It was also a way to get people to listen to me at all, being a woman, ha! Finally I just love to fuck around and I love to laugh and have fun and now I sound like a Tinder profile. 
CD3
What is a “comedy troupe” and how does one get invited?

   A comedy troupe is an ensemble of comedians whose comedy comes from working together — either writing sketch shows, or doing long form improv, or short form improv, or making videos etc… You don’t have to be invited — you can just create your own if you want. My journey is that I took improv classes from every single improv theater I came near. I met friends in those classes and we formed our own shitty comedy troupes that would perform in basements of sandwich shops. Then as I got better I auditioned at iO for a Harold Team and for The Second City in Chicago and got my first job performing for them, and then I worked my way up at Second City where I eventually did three Mainstage shows. 

CD4

What is a “Writer’s Room” and how does it work?

  A writer’s room is a room of writers who work on one specific project — literally a room that everyone sits in, with hopefully other smaller rooms and offices you can break out into. A showrunner runs the room, and pitches out stories, themes, characters, basically the show they want to make. And that room of people helps them break the stories and create the season, from making episode outlines, to writing episodes, to pitching jokes. It can be a very serious place where you spend 16 hour days meticulously mapping out a story, or it can be a place where people are standing on chairs competing for who can do the best impression of Lindsay Lohan dancing in Mykonos as two other people eat shrimp cocktail and someone naps in a corner with a glass of whiskey. 

CD10

Do you write for a character or the actor who plays the role?

  I think you write for character first, and then as soon as it’s cast, you write towards this new character that the actor created when they embodied them. 

CD5

In your opinion, why is it easier for a comedian to do drama rather than a dramatic actor doing comedy?

   Man, I really tried to articulate this, and I’m not sure I can, even though I do agree that’s true. I personally think more people can be taught how to be a dramatic actor because it’s human to have emotions like sadness and joy and love, and you can tap into them. But comedy doesn’t exist in every single human, there’s only so much it can be taught, and it definitely can be taught, but only to a certain degree. Someone truly truly funny has it inside them.
CD2
If offered a starring role as an actress in a show, would you take it and why.
  Hm. Really depends if the contract would allow me to still be able to make my own work. I love acting and love being able to take on a role and just focus on that, but I do always need to be writing and making my own stuff, for my own heart and mind to be happy and survive this business. There are stories and points of view that are really important to me to tell and I hope I get to tell them all one day.
CD9

What do you like about making films?

   So many parts are my favorite. I think the moment everything is set and you’re on camera or other actors are and they improvise a magical moment, is always my favorite. I also love the moment in editing that you realize you made something great. I find that every time I look at the first cut I’m just horrified and regretful and it seems like it’s all garbage. And then there’s always a certain point as you revise and move everything around where suddenly the film you imagined emerges, and it’s a great feeling. 

CD7

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

   I’m a weirdo and I love working. For me, making art is the joy and the fun I pursue. Being onstage and writing a script are my favorite things to do. I also love to just LOUNGE. My boyfriend Yassir Lester is also a writer and actor on Black Monday and Duncanville, so when we get a break together we love to read, watch movies, hate watch terrible shows, and go to dinner with friends. I also love to play Mario Kart on switch and we just fostered a dog and we’re walkin’ his ass all the time. 

Aggies or Lobos?

Hahahhaa you looked up New Mexico sports! This makes me so happy. But I’m gonna have to say LOS Lobos — the band.  

The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide, what are we doing?

   I live in Los Angeles but my family is still in Santa Fe, so I’ll pretend we’re there. You gotta go to the farmers market and join the African dance class in the community center. Tomasitas is phenomenal for classic New Mexican food, order your enchiladas Xmas style — both green and red chile, you’ll have to fight through tourists and locals for a seat though. Harry’s Roadhouse is a great little diner and their coffee cake is to die for. Ten Thousand Waves is where you get your hot spring on, and then make sure you walk Canyon road for the incredible art and then stop at the Teahouse and get the oatmeal. Go see a healer, there’s so many of them and then get a burrito and watch the sunset because it’s just like the post cards.
  I like to thank Chelsea for taking the time off her Covid-19 lockdown to sit down and chat with us.  I’m looking forward to seeing “Bless This Mess” and taking a chug of iced coffee whenever we see her name in the credits. Chelsea’s star is one to watch and hopefully we’ll see her name on a big studio feature right after this flu gets done with wrecking havoc on America.

You can can up with Chelsea by various means….like her own personal website.
Read other reviews and stories about “Basic“. (where is our review,cheri?)
Join Chelsea on her InstaGram page.
Follow Chelsea on her Twitter page.
And see what Chelsea has upcoming by following her IMDb page.

Thank you for supporting Chelsea and the other folks that we have chatted with.
If you are new to the “8 Questions” interview series,you can catch up by clicking here.
Feel free to drop a comment or three.

7 thoughts on “8 Questions with…………writer/director/comedian Chelsea Devantez

  1. I love it–she really IS funny!
    “Finally I just love to fuck around and I love to laugh and have fun and now I sound like a Tinder profile.”
    LOL
    Or the writer’s room….”or it can be a place where people are standing on chairs competing for who can do the best impression of Lindsay Lohan dancing in Mykonos as two other people eat shrimp cocktail and someone naps in a corner with a glass of whiskey.”
    Hahahahaha.
    She’s great. The short was HILARIOUS. I love comedy. I like this lady a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: “8 Questions with……” list of interviews | The Inner Circle

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