Meet a New Face of Comedy: Calise Hawkins
Calise Hawkins was selected as one of the New Faces of comedy at Just For Laughs Montreal 2012. We had the chance to chat with Calise for a few minutes about JFL. Truth be told, we videotaped the interview and had all intentions on running said video of the interview. But the camera guy musta been nursing a hangover and the video is pretty terrible. Rather than perform an injustice to a lady as lovely as Calise, here’s the text version of our terrific conversation about her journey to become a New Face of the festival and some projects she’s currently working on.
How is it breaking into the new shows and into Just for Laughs Montreal for the first time?
It’s really exciting. This was my fourth year trying to audition to be here. How is it breaking in? It was my fourth year auditioning, and I was just so excited. By this time, I was just so excited and ready, when they asked me to audition, I was just like, “yeah, I humbly accept my fourth annual anniversary audition for the prestigious festival.” Because I was like, “aw, I probably won’t get it again,” and that’s why it’s so exciting to finally get it, and I have a couple of friends here that I’m really good friends with and I care about their careers, so I almost feel like I had to come here with them. I had to get it this year so I could be there for them.
Good for you. Congrats.
It’s not true.
They’re not really your friends?
No, they’re really my friends. I didn’t do this for them (laughs).
What is the audition process like?
There’s a couple of auditions. There’s maybe three rounds. They’ll see people they don’t know, they’ll see people they remember from the last four years… oh, sorry if the bitterness leaked through. No – I’m happy to be here. And then you have a third round, that’s when they really decide who’s ready, who they feel will be a good showcase. They they want to look good and I hope I did that for them.
Well, you definitely got the good look, you have that.
Aw, thank you.
Did you change up your material this time? Or did you stick with kind of the same guns and hoped it sticks this year?
There’s a lot of new material for me. Even since I auditioned, I have maybe…my set is one third new material. Is that stupid of me?
Because things keep changing, exciting things keep happening; some of my newest material gets some of my biggest laughs, because that’s true now. So I like to keep it fresh.
We’ve interviews lot of comedians and some are really religious about writing – at 6am they’re writing their work and then they’ll party the rest of the day. Others will just let it flow. Do you have a regimen?
I’m a “let it flow” kind of comedian. I’ll text it to myself so I could remember it and then I’ll try it on stage as soon as I can. I’m really good about following up on things that are exciting creatively, so it’s not about how I need to organize my thoughts, I need to hound it out. It has to happen naturally, because all of the stuff I talk about is very personal. I don’t make up anything, so it just have to come about, and then I just comment on it.
What’s coming up on the rising for you? Besides this… this is mecca of the comic festival.
I don’t know.
Sort of winging it?
No. I got some really solid ideas that I want to work on that are my own creative ideas, I don’t really want to talk about it right now. But yeah, that’s what’s coming up. I just finished a 13-week writing thing for MTV. It was a hidden camera kind of sketch-formatted prank show, and that was fun. So I’m hoping to move on with that. I want to write more, and I’m submitting for Fallon…I’m trying to get all of that stuff out.
Excellent. And you see the value as an actress and a comedian and a writer?
Yes, I love writing. Oh my God! When I was there and I wrote something down I was like “alright cool,” and then they set it and everyone came together and we dressed them like we told them to, it was like, I just made something real.
That’s awesome! Any plugs you want to give out there? Anything you want to plug for yourself?
The show that I was writing for is called Totally Clueless. Me and Jonathan Blitt, we wrote it. It’s going to be on MTV in September, so I can plug that. Amazing actors, amazing acting, staff, amazing editor.
We’d like to thank Calise for her time. You can follow her on Twitter @CaliseHawkins to learn about her appearances and events.