Tue, 16 April 2019
First Draft Episode #187: Will Hines
Will Hines, improviser and actor, host of the podcast, “Screw It: We’re Just Going to Talk About the Beatles,” and author of How to be the Greatest Improviser on Earth joins me to talk about using his Tumblr to test audience engagement; the delicate nature of writing about a community you are a part of; his thorough approach to making the self-publication process as professional as possible; and his next (fictional) book about improv, co-written with fellow improviser Billy Merritt, Pirate Robot Ninja.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
- Josh Simpson, an improviser and teacher at the Upright Citizens Brigade training school in Los Angeles, and co-host of The Meat, an improv podcast
- Jimmy Breslin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and journalist, who wrote The Good Rat, The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, and The World According to Breslin, and more
- The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, the improv group and school founded by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts.
- Will’s Tumblr, Improv Nonsense, which gained traction and has been featured on Vulture and elsewhere
- Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
- “A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room,” by George Saunders, a silly and slightly sci-fi short story that typifies his early writing and is the kind of humor writing that inspires Will
- John Hodgman, author of Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches
- In writing, Will is concerned about what he calls “The Kevin Smith Problem,” where every character sounds the same (a la Clerks, Mallrats, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)
- Jason Mantzoukas, an actor, writer, and seasoned improviser who Will saw constantly improving his craft
- Offset printing, a style of printing on the page that is “the way to make your book look beautiful,” according to Will, but it is more expensive, and requires a minimum print run
- Artist Maëlle Doliveux, who drew the cover of Will’s book
- Chip Kidd, a well-known book designer of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton; Dry by Augusten Borroughs; and Naked by David Sedaris (he also has a hugely popular Ted Talk!).
- Daniel Clowes, a cartoonist, graphic novelist, illustrator, and screenwriter. His work is collected in the solo Eightball project.
- The Pirates, Robots, Ninjas theory, coined by Billy Merritt, a fellow UCB alum and teacher
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Direct download: Will_Hines_FINAL.mp3
-- posted at: 9:14am PST