|Interview with Suzanne Westenhoefer
posted by Alejandro Morales
on Oct 21, 2010 00:00am | comments
| | | @AlleyHandRow
Alejandro Morales is a local comedian, event producer, writer, director, and wearer of other hats that hide his baldness. He is a co-runner of the weekly "Laughs on Fairmount" open mic Mondays at Urban Saloon, co-host of comedy showcase "East Coast Power Nap" at the Trocadero, producer of the quarterly "Cutie Pie Comedy Club" at the Venture Inn, director of the webseries "Dates," and has appeared in numerous shows in Philadelphia, DC, and New York. He was the recipient of the Philadelphia Rainbow Award for "Community Performer" in 2012, he was named "Comedian of the Year" for 2013 by GPhilly, and he is the proud owner of a certificate for "Best Toothless Lipsynch" from the Dumpsta Players. His writing can be seen regularly on Craiglist Missed Connections.
First off, thanks so much for giving this interview! We're big fans of yours. Could you tell us about the beginning of your stand-up career? I recently saw an interview where you said you began working Provincetown early in your stand-up career. What was that like, being a new comic on the scene?
Thanks! I started standup in July of 1990 and was in P-town by fall of 1991. As a new comic, it was fantastic because there were only a few of us doing openly gay stand-up and we all felt connected. We would sneak into each others' shows and hang out after. I miss it some days, but it sure is fun to have so many open comics out there now.
There's a lot of focus on GLBT bullying lately. When you were deciding to come out of the closet, did you face hostility from your peers?
I was never in the closet. Once I knew I was gay, I told everyone and helped start a gay group on my college campus. We got bullied and harassed quite a bit, but I had the arrogance of youth and gave back as hard as they could. I was raised to be proud, and I think that's what is missing for many teenagers today. They know so much more but they aren't getting the support at home. When you know your family is behind you, it's easier to face ignorance.
Your "Totally Inappropriate" tour is described as being mostly unscripted. How do you go about preparing for that kind of show?
I don't have much ritual before shows. I do like to be quiet for the day and chill and then go right out on stage and just let it all blast away. Hard to explain preparation... I would say you'd almost have to be there with me. Which would be fun, but odd. ;)
You've been appearing on the web series "We Have to Stop Now" for two seasons now. Tell us about the experience of working as part of an ensemble as opposed to writing material for your solo performances.
Acting and stand up have little in common. Both are performing, but acting is being someone other than yourself and yes, working with other actors. There's a script that may have nothing to do with your life. You are a character. Stand-up is real and naked and just me alone. I love them both, but you can't blame anyone else if your comedy doesn't work... it's all me.
You're from Pennsylvania originally. Have you spent a lot of time in Philadelphia? Any favorite spots?
I am from Columbia, PA, a small town on the river, and we almost never went to Philly because it was THE BIG CITY! Later, I was seeing a woman from Hatboro and she took me everywhere downtown... I loved it all. It's an old city and the buildings have soul. I always love it too because I never feel alone or unsafe. Philly people talk to you.
Who are your favorite comedians?
Right now I am obsessed with a black comic, Katt Williams. He works very blue and his shows on TV are edited like crazy but he's smart and very intense... he sneaks in very important messages and you don't see it coming. I admire that.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions! Let's end with a silly one. If you could ask any person in the world, living or dead, a fantastically inappropriate question, who would it be and what would you ask?
I would ask Hillary Clinton when she last had really good sex. I worry about her that way.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
8:00pm - 11:00pm
The Colonial Theatre [227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville,, PA]
More info HERE