Getting awkward with Adam Ray
“Growing up in my neighborhood, people were chill and accepting,” Ray says. “And I had really funny friends around me growing up. I surrounded myself with people that made me laugh.”
Along with his standup comedy, Ray produces a slew of short comedy videos for his website, and released his debut CD “In Your Boobs” last year. Ray’s TV credits include ABC’s “According to Jim” and MTV’s “Human Giant” – and this summer he’s staring alongside Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat.”
The Scene recently caught up with Ray in advance of his first set of headlining hometown shows:
SCENE: If you had to describe your act in two words what would they be?
Adam Ray: Awkwardly personal?
SCENE: What inspires your “awkwardly personal” act?
AR: I pull a lot of my material from my own experiences because it’s more exciting to talk about. I feel like the best comedy is when the comedian is excited about what they’re taking about. It’s kind of challenging to make personal experiences relatable to an audience… but I take pride in being able to do that, and being able to share that with audiences.
SCENE: You dabble in several mediums – making videos and podcasts, acting and doing standup. What do you enjoy most?
AR: I came down [to L.A.] to do acting, so I consider myself an actor first. That’s what I want to do more. Standup up keeps you busy. And the more you do it, the more you hone your voice. Standup is great because it’s so raw – anything can happen. Standup is kind of my live fix; I did a lot of stage acting in school and [standup provides] that live audience fix I miss from doing plays.
SCENE: How was working with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat” (in theaters now)?
AR: It was incredible. They’re two of the coolest people I’ve ever met, in addition to being some of the greatest actors we’ve seen in a long time.
SCENE: Do you think being from Washington makes your comedy different from other comedians?
AR: Yeah. I think everybody – that’s one of the great things about standup – you get people from all walks of life. People from Seattle are really open-minded – so that’s beneficial in standup.
SCENE: What’s it like performing in your home state? How is it different?
AR: There is a flavor of acceptance in Seattle. People like performing [here] because it’s an incredibly open, smart audience. I use my words a lot, I’m not a one-liner comic; I tell stories. It’s nice to perform in a place where people listen – and don’t just want to here dirty stuff. I mean they’re pretty cerebral, they want to hear smart jokes. But they’ll also love when a dwarf gives someone a lap dance for 10 minutes.
SCENE: What can audiences expect at the Parlor Live?
AR: There’s gonna be a lot of new material – and definitely a lot more Seattle-based stuff, with the passing of marijuana laws and the NBA stuff going on. I don’t ever get too controversial about stuff; I like to have a point of view, but I’m still a comic. I feel I provide a pretty lighthearted view on things. A lot has happened in the last year that provides for good material.