Actor and YouTube personality Jordan Doww dishes about taking his online comedy to the big stage
By BANU IBRAHIM
Jordan Doww isn't letting YouTube fame get the best of him. The Michigan-native makes one thing his top priority: his fans. Whether that be actively replying back to comments or meeting up with nearby followers over a cup of coffee, Doww is as real as it gets. So it's only fitting that his off-screen persona matches his on-screen one.
If you've always wanted to experience the YouTube extraordinaire in real life, here's your chance. Doww is revving up for his first ever live comedic performance titled HollyWEIRD at the legendary Hollywood Improv this coming February. The best part? Jordan is making sure fan favorite sketches and characters make an appearance. It's music to the ears of his over 95,000 followers.
After his February 6th performance, Doww will be hitting the stage again in Michigan and hopefully moving forward with an US tour.
While you may have to wait a few months to see the YouTube star up close and personal, you can get the low-down on HollyWEIRD from the man of the hour himself. We spoke exclusively to Jordan about his onstage antics, biggest comedic idol, and more!
It is such a unique situation to go from performing online on YouTube to performing on a stage. How did the whole concept of the show come about?
Way back in middle school I did a lot of musical theater. Then moving on to high school I started to get into improv and joined a local comedy club with one of my best friends. Fast forward to the year before college and I enrolled in classes at Chicago's Second City. It was one of those moments when I realized I was passionate about comedy and improv. Granted, I wasn't always the best but it was, at the end of the day, something I really did love doing it. I just have always loved the stage and loved being in front of an audience because you can feel their energy. You get the sense that you have a connection with them.
So being on YouTube and starting from Vine way back in 2012, I used that as a platform to expand my crazy self and comedy or spreading positive messages. But as I moved on up in this YouTube world I started to notice that people do shows and they do tours. I've seen Miranda Sings maybe five times. She's the perfect example to why I want to do a show being a YouTuber. I love the fact that these performers can be themselves on stage and have a chance to establish a real connection with their fan base. This upcoming show really has been a lifelong dream that's finally coming true; it's really surreal.
I think Miranda Sings is a really interesting example because a lot of her stage performance is very reminiscent of what she does on YouTube. How similarly do you plan on aligning your stage comedy with your signature characters?
My show is literally going to be exactly what people know me to be. So it will focus on topics like me being always late, being addicted to Starbucks, my story about Hollywood or will feature all my characters that I've recently used. Then it's even going to show the real and vulnerable parts of my life like stressing out in LA and trying not to get lost in this big city, and also my coming out video. It will bring people on a little emotional roller coaster!
Would you say the show is more aligned to sketch comedy or stand up?
Sketch comedy for sure.
So how far along are you on the show itself?
I have everything mapped out in my head. But come January, we'll get the ball rolling on rehearsals and writing.
What's it like taking your writing from YouTube and then transforming it into a script?
It's very weird because in YouTube videos, I kind of just hit bullet points. But for live shows I have really have to be strategic about what I write or I'll just be lost. But that doesn't mean it's all going to be scripted; I'm keeping space open to do a little improv or go on a rant.
I remember reading that 'SNL' was such a big part of your life growing up. Is that something you still hope to do? Is branching out beyond YouTube something you foresee?
Yes. I guess I would say I'm actor first, so I would hope it branches and have a job doing all aspect of what I love.
How has your skyrocketing social media career effect what's happening to you off of the camera?
I would honestly say that everything I've done in the past year was mainly because of what social media opportunities have gave me, like going to 'The Trevor Project', getting to make that coming out video, or having a chance to do my own show. It's really surreal. It's so funny because I'm in Michigan right now for the holidays and I haven't seen my family in about a year. So when I was talking to them and had to say "I have to go do this interview really quick" and they're were just like, "What? That's so crazy!"
How is that going back home and running into people you've grown up with and after becoming such a social media sensation?
It's so weird! These are the people I knew way back before I was even on YouTube. It's nice because they are the ones that helped form me into who I am today. But crazy because in my hometown everyone knows everyone. So when I got here I went to a Steak n' Shake and the first person from Michigan I saw came up to me and asks "Are you on YouTube?" And then all of elementary and middle school kids know me now, which is the weirdest thing ever because I'm friends with all of their older siblings.
What do you think is your most memorable fan experience you've had so far?
I don't want to single anyone out, but when people message me and say "You're such an inspiration and you've helped me come out or stand up for myself" that is honestly the most touching thing that I will ever hear. It's a moment when I get to realize that I'm doing something for them. But there's one or two people individually that I've become friends with; we go get coffee together and hang out. But regardless, I always make it a point to reach out to everyone.
Who would you consider as your comedy idol?
There's two people in particular: Miranda Sings and Kristen Wiig. I think Miranda is brilliant and I think what she's made is the most phenomenal thing ever. I love that she can post whatever she wants and it will always be hilarious. And it's inspiring because sometimes you get too caught up in trying to be funny. But her comedy just comes so naturally. So during my daily vlogs I'll try and tap into that, and I'll just film whatever is on my mind and not overthink things. And with Kristen Wiig, her characters are so brilliant. And while I don't copy them, I think that every character I come up with myself is really like 20% Kristen Wiig.
If you could collaborate with any star who would it be?
Probably Kristen Wiig. We would definitely end up doing some sort of a comedy short or a song and dance.
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