Find someone who will make you laugh – the age old (well, at least older than us twentysomethings) relationship advice given by every one and their mothers.
Twentysomething couple Stephanie and Travis took that advice when they met each other, and now they’re turning their comedic talents into careers. It all started when the couple, both grads of the University of Georgia, was looking for a fun creative outlet aside from their real jobs. They began taking classes at Automatic Improv together, and loved it so much that when they ran out of classes to take, they formed an improv troupe of their own named Church Socks.
Church Socks is comprised of other local comedians they met while taking classes and now meets once a week for a couple of hours with a coach. The troupe has moved from short games and workshops to longer, more technical scenes and gigs once a month. While improv is what brought out the couple’s love for comedy, they realized quickly that they each enjoy different aspects of the industry. Stephanie thrives most in writing sketches for film and online media while Travis enjoys creating and performing stand up routines.
Stephanie currently works in film production. Since before graduating college with degrees in Mass Media Arts & French, she has worked on film and television projects. She has moved vertically in the level of administrative and logistical jobs in the past 2 years, from Office Assistant for indie film “A.C.O.D.” with Amy Poehler & Adam Scott to currently Assistant to the Executive Producer on a Vince Vaughn feature film. She has also worked on Christopher Nolan’s new film “InterStellar” and Academy Award nominated “Prisoners.” She hopes to take on more producer roles in the future.
For now, she gets lots of practice while producing her sketches online and onstage with Church Socks. While the troupe has grown out of just doing workshops together and is performing more gigs, it still serves as the perfect creative outlet for the couple.
“Honestly, it is such a relief for me to just sit down and start writing,” Stephanie said.
The couple believes their sketches will help them have a competitive advantage with the plethora of comedy out there right now, especially in Atlanta, which was recently named one of the top funniest cities in America.
“Everyone and anyone has the ability and the medium to share what they do with the world,” Travis said. “You have to make sure you have a unique voice.”
Part of that is reflected in their edgy style, which overflow into Travis’s standup.
“I also realize that every time I do standup in Atlanta, I’m just one of 12 white guys with a beard who walks onstage,” Travis said. “I have to develop my own unique style to stand out.”
Travis makes a point to engage with the audience through conversations before or even during his routine. He also includes Stephanie in his creative process to help find the balance in what is natural and funny to him and what will translate to others.
“Whenever I think up a situation or joke I think might be funny, I bounce it off Stephanie and she is able to tell me if its just funny in my head or not,” Travis explained. “Of course, sometimes we both agree on a joke and still doesn’t go over well with an audience. That’s just part of the process.”
Stephanie’s dreams for the future include following in the footsteps of many SNL comedians, writing and acting on the show before being the showrunner of her own show. She is reading all of the recent autobiographies of female comedians, like Tina Fey & Mindy Kaling, who have done the same.
Travis also wants to be able to eventually make a living out by doing his comedy full-time, though right now he is satisfied with his day-job in marketing and his frequent gigs at comedy clubs and bars in Atlanta. He has hosted several comedy festivals in the past year, including the recent Black Box Comedy Festival, performs gigs on average three times a week, has been featured in Aaron Chewning‘s first Braves video, and even headlines at shows now and then. He has recently gotten enough material for a killer 30 minute show (according to Stephanie, who has seen his routines and jokes many times), and hopes to be headlining more in the upcoming months.
When asked to give a piece of advise to their twentysomething peers, they both agreed that taking advantage of your twenties decade is extremely important.
“You don’t have to have it all figured out,” Stephanie said. “We’re so afraid of failure sometimes that it makes us afraid to do what we really want. If you love it, just do it.”
Stephanie described the panic she faced right before graduating college because she didn’t have it all figured out with her career or her future. Looking back, she sees that the panic didn’t help motivate or move her forward at all, but her going out and taking action propelled her to more opportunities than she could have dreamed.
“Now is the time to do things,” Travis said about about the twenties decade. “I see people who are just starting standup comedy at 38, and that is great, but they missed so many years of doing what they love. I started at 23, and I still wish I had started years ago.”
May 10th: Down in the Basement Improv Show at The Basement Theatre (Show at 8:00)
May 1st: Stand Up (Hosting) at “No Cover Comedy” at The Pointe in Conyers (Show starts at 9)
May 7th: Stand Up at Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown, Atlanta GA (Doors open at 7:45)
May 8th: Stand Up (Hosting) at “No Cover Comedy” at The Pointe in Conyers (Show starts at 9)
May 13th: Stand Up (HEADLINING) at Laugh Your Balls Off at The Cockpit in East Atlanta (Show starts at 8:30)
May 17th: Stand Up – Opening for the Pretty Late Show with Salon du Shoguns show at Village Theatre (Show starts at 10:30)
Producer’s Assistant, Writer & Comedian • 24 • Atlanta, GA
Travis | Website
Account Manager, TwentySix2 Marketing & Comedian • 25 • Atlanta, GA