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Livia Scott

By Gary Wien


When we checked out the performers for this year's Sketchfest, one group caught our eye immediately - Meat. Comprised of Elizabeth Ellis, Reggan Holland, Becky Poole and Livia Scott, these four women write extremely interesting and often hilarious sketches that are on the dark side. How dark? Well, their show at the festival is named "Camp Blood" - that should give you an idea. Ihad a chance to speak with Livia Scott about the group, her career, and what she loves about sketch comedy.

You originally studied to be an actress, how did you get involved in sketch comedy?
I trained as an actor. I went to NYU and majored in acting there. I studied with the Atlantic Theatre Company - David Mamet's company - and I took master classes with him. He was actually very encouraging of me. He said, "I could watch her all day!" Very nice...

So I kicked around New York theatre for a while, but I always loved sketch comedy. My parents were academics and nerds so we would go on these cross country road trips just listening to Monty Python sketches and acting them out. It's kind of funny that I've come back around to sketch because that's really where I started. It's the first thing that got me interested in performing in the first place. It's more fun. I discovered that I can write and it's just very gratifying to write your own work and to make it happen.

I still do some acting, but I'm primarily focused on comedy at this point in my life.

How did Meat come about? Who started it?
All of us. Everybody from the beginning.

You're all from very different parts of the country.
Yeah, we're a very diverse group. We all write and we all have our own, very specific voice.

Would you say the writing is dark or kind of sick?
I would say dark - not really sick. Not to be a snob, but I think sick is like excessive swearing. It's a crutch, I think, for when you don't really have an original idea or you don't have the confidence to take something that is seemingly simply and make it really provocative. If you have to go the sick route you're probably not very imaginative.

As somebody who has done both stand-up and sketch, do you notice a difference in the audiences?
Oh yeah! It's totally different.

So there's sketch afficionados?
Exactly. People who go and see sketch specifically and know what sketch is and love it... I would say they are more intellectual in some ways. It's never really occurred to me before, but people who really love sketch comedy are people who are familiar with Monty Python or Kids In The Hall or with Beyond the Fringe. There's a great tradition of sketch comedy that has been in existence for a long time. Sketch fans tend to have a more sophisticated sense of humor. People who go to see stand-up are sometimes sophisticated, sometimes not.

I think stand-up is much harder to do than sketch because at least with sketch you have a team with you; there are people to catch you if you fall. But I think in terms of the audience stand-up is a more easily accessible medium. You'll find all sorts of walks of life in stand-up while sketch is something different.

What is it like during a sketch festival? Is it just a huge gathering of sketch fans together or are some seeing sketch for the first time?
I think it's a mix. The sketch fans and sketch afficionados definitely come out because it's such a huge experience to have all of these incredibly talented groups from all over the country. These people are top notch. The audience becomes like a wave. The people who are out there who aren't that familiar with sketch are going to be swept up by the people who are. And as the show goes on they're going to be on the same page with all the people who really know sketch.

Did Mr. Mamet ever see you do this?
No, I doubt he'd even remember who the hell I am, but he did like me when he saw me back then.
v


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John Mulaney and Pete Davidson To Perform at BergenPAC
(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) --  Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) presents comedians John Mulaney and Pete Davidson on Sunday, March 24 at 7:00pm. The tour has been selling out in venues across the state, so don't miss out. There is no age limit for the show, but parental discretion is advised. Tickets are $49.  
The Capitol Steps To Perform At Axelrod PAC
(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- What better way to celebrate Presidents Day weekend than with political satire at its best.  The Capitol Steps will visit the Axelrod Performing Arts Center on February 16 at 8:00pm to celebrate American political theater. From Washington, D.C. to Off-Broadway, The Capitol Steps continues to make “Make America Grin Again” in the historical and hysterical Trump era.
John Mulaney & Pete Davidson To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Comedian John Mulaney and Pete Davidson will perfom at Count Basie Center for The Arts on Sunday, February 17 at 10:00pm. Tickets are $49.
Russell Peters To Perform Two Shows at NJPAC
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Emmy and Peabody Award-winning comedian Russell Peters will leave no cultural stereotype unturned when he brings his brand-new Deported World Tour to NJPAC’s Prudential Hall on Saturday, February 16.  Due to popular demand, there will be two performances: one at 7:00pm and another at 9:30pm.  Tickets range from $49 to $99.
Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix To Perform at MPAC
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Sit! Stay! Get ready to howl! Johnny Peers and his personality-plus canines are coming to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 3 at 1:30pm and 4:30pm. Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix is a slapstick comedy act like no other. Johnny leads over a dozen dogs through challenging and hilarious tricks as Johnny plays the straight man role in this wonderful show. This event is for the dog lover in all of us stars mostly animals rescued from shelters or pounds.Tickets are $12-$15.


A Look At 2 Guys From Jersey
In issue 50, New Jersey Stage gave readers the opportunity to learn more about the writers who contribute to the magazine and the daily site. We’d like to give you the opportunity to learn more about the two shows that are featured in our magazine each month.  One is a podcast called 2 Guys From Jersey that runs a new episode every Wednesday. It involves Dr. D, Rocky, and Erin (a recent addition to the team) trying to settle trivial bar arguments that have plagued mankind for centuries.
"Legal Immigrant" Alan Cumming Brings His Cabaret To State Theatre New Jersey
It was the fall of 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected president. And Scottish-born actor Alan Cumming was sworn in as a citizen of the United States.
“Hysterical!” Gallagher LIVE! at The Strand Lakewood
Gallagher is joking with patrons in the lobby of Lakewood, NJ’s historic Strand Theater this Thursday, May 24, 2018 evening. In his audacious style, he’s grabbing cameras out of the hands of patrons who want to take great selfies with him, while also taking the time to sign T-shirts for stand-up comedy fans waiting for him at the merch table.
So You Want To Be A Comedian?
“I feel I have the kind of life where people think I’m making things up all of the time, but weirdness is kind of attracted to me,” said Jess Alaimo, a comedian from Monmouth County.  “So, I just go with whatever happens to me.”
The United States of Russia
Rutgers alum, Ben Rosenfeld released his third comedy album in January.  Entitled, The United States of Russia, the album was released by Comedy Dynamics and continues the Russia born, American raised comedian’s style of mixing tales of his immigrant parents and outsider childhood with topics ranging from millennials, terrorism, politics, and adjusting to life as a newlywed.  We caught up with Ben to talk about the album.






Event calendar
Sunday, Jan 20, 2019


MUSIC

The Brook Orchestra presents Fire & Ice @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 3:00pm

Bay Atlantic Symphony: Mozart & Verdi @ Stockton Performing Arts Center (StocktonPAC) in Galloway, Galloway - 2:00pm

Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Annie Jr. @ The Oakes Center, Summit - 2:00pm

Auditions: Born Yesterday @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 6:30pm







KIDS

American Girl Live @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


MISC

WWE Superstar Braun Strowman @ iPlay America, Freehold - 11:00am

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