Friday, January 18, 2008

INTERVIEW: Anton Shuford

Besides featuring weekends at Helium, local comic Anton Shuford has been working on a new web show called "Illanights" for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation's website ("you wish you knew"). We caught out with Anton in the end of 2007 at Helium to find out what it's all about. The first episode debuted this week.

What happens on the show? Where do you go?

Basically we'll go out to different bars in Philadelphia, different restaurants. And the camera follows me around and we'll see what kind of trouble we can get into, but pretty much we highlight different bars and clubs in the city.

How many episodes will you be doing?
We're going to be doing eight episodes. It's a web show, five minute episodes but because you have to go out and party, it takes all night to do it.

How did you get involved in the series?
The production guy saw me do comedy once and we formed a friendship and we played cards together a few times. He pitched the idea seperate from me, but he pitched the idea with me in mind so once the company seemed like they were going to go for it, he asked me if I wanted in and made sure I was on board.

How is it different than stand-up?
This is much easier than any stand-up you have to do because stand-up is an art or a skill that requires immediate response. This doesn't really require that, it's just you going out, you want to be funny, you want to meet people but you just got to be fun for this project. Where stand-up you have to be funny. [With the show] you just have to smile a lot and be friendly and that makes the show go. There is some hosting in the sense that I tell people where we're going, what we're doing and why we're here.

Are you trying to make jokes too?
You do some jokes, some timing, but because the show is a mass amount of film that has to be cut down and edited down, whether it's funny or not is really up to the editor, not up to me. Where as at the time it's really up to me to make things happen. The editors, they have to judge what they think is funny and want to use, it makes it a little more PC.

So you're not part of the editing process?
Maybe, I might be part of the editing, we'll see. I'm lobbying to be part of the editing.

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