Q&A With UCBT Sketch Student Bill GrandbergMar 17, 2015
UCBT: We hear you're leaving the UCBT scene for greener pastures. And we hear rumors that a sketch class you took with us helped out. Where are you headed and how did UCB help?
BILL: I'm off to Austin, TX, where I will be in a MFA Screenwriting program at the University of Texas. I'm one of seven people in the program, and plan on using my studies to segue into a job writing for television. One of the supplemental writing samples I sent in with my application was a Curb Your Enthusiasm spec script that I wrote for Curtis Gwinn's sketch 301 class. I am completely confident in the fact that this class, and the script it produced were instrumental towards my acceptance into my program.
Curtis' distinct knowledge of the both the formatting and process of outlining a spec script, and his insights into the industry were invaluable. His clearly explained process of taking ideas, organizing them into clear plot lines, and writing a scene by scene outline gave me the chance to put my creativity into something presentable as a piece of a portfolio. Because of his experience, Curtis taught us a lot about the television writing industry, including submitting to agents, shopping around, and producing exactly what is being looked for. Over all, Curtis was a solid teacher who knew a lot, and obviously cared a lot about what he was doing.
The other great thing about this class was the fact that it forced me to produce something. By having deadlines I had no choice but to get down to it and get shit done. That's one of the things I like the best about UCB in general, in the fact that it forces students to get out there and either perform shows or write sketches.
UCBT: You've taken a number of sketch and improv classes at UCBT (and are a member of indie team darling Chantico Warfare). How do you feel your training in this style of comedy has helped your pursuits in television writing?
BILL: This comes back to the whole "shit or get off the pot" thing I was talking about earlier. UCBT is great because it not only teaches concepts and principals of improv, it has the students go up and do a show in front of an audience. I can't tell you how much my performances, especially the bad ones, really taught me about my own personal style of comedy, and also a more universal one that will appeal to an audience. So, to answer your question, UCBT classes have really shown me that a) I have to trust my own sense of humor above all; b) concepts such as game are time tested methods for present that sense of humor; and c) the only way to get better at anything is to get out there and do it (and fail).
UCBT: Austin's a notoriously cool city. Are you planning on sticking around there for the long haul, or re-joining up with your comedy compatriots in NYC after school ends? Or are you heading straight to LA?
BILL: I'm really excited to be here out in Austin, and I definitely plan on taking advantage of its culture, especially its great improv scene. As far as my future plans go, I don't really know yet. Many factors including career, love life, Grateful Dead reunion possibilities, etc. will make up my decision.
Click Here To Find Out About UCBT Classes > > >
TITS & GIGGLES: A Fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer FoundationMar 17, 2015
All proceeds go to National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Curtis and John
Monday, October 2
Bro'in Out @ Joe's Pub - December 7Mar 17, 2015
Featuring Zach Galifianakis, Paul Scheer, John Oliver, Todd Hanson, The Wrens' Charles Bissell
For the final show of 2006, The Onion has joined with Upright Citizens Brigade for a special presentation of Bro'in Out hosted by Leo Allen and Tony Camin. Special guests include Zach Galifianakis, John Oliver (The Daily Show), Paul Scheer, and Todd Hanson (The Onion).
Special musical guest: The Wrens' Charles Bissell.
Bro'in Out is somewhere between The Dick Cavett Show and After Dark with Hugh Hefner. Your hosts Leo Allen and Tony Camin, along with stage-side bartender Jawnee Conroy, welcome celebrity guests in a live variety talkshow with booze, swearing, sketches and music.
Buy tickets now or purchase them from the Joe's Pub box office. Table reservations can be made by calling (212) 539-8778.