Friend a Day – Ben San Del
Fringe week continues!
I’ve known Ben for a few years now. I think I was introduced to him when I first mounted a show at the fringe in 2007.
Ben, like a lot of my comedian friends, is always thinking about the philosophy of comedy. It isn’t enough to write a funny joke. It is more important to understand the nature of what makes jokes funny. We had him on Geeks Without God earlier this year and he talked about how one approaches telling certain types of jokes to certain types of audiences.
While Ben has written some very good plays, he primarily identifies himself as a stand-up comedian. He did a stand-up show at the fringe three years ago with a lot of material about being an atheist. The way he was so open about that part of himself got me thinking about how writers and performers integrate their beliefs into their work.
Ben is in Jumpin’ Jack Kerouac with me and I think he views it through a similar lens. We both feel completely out of our element as dancers but we enjoy the challenge. We are both also very happy that we are only going to be doing this once.
In rehearsing the show, I’ve gotten to hear some of Ben’s writing about being social. The thoughts that go through his head are similar to mine. He lives in his head all the time.
Whenever I talk to him, I get the feeling there are two layers of conversation. One is the actual conversation we are having and one is the internal dialogue he is having with himself about the conversation.
I guess we all do that but with Ben, I can actually watch it happen.
All of this analysis results in one very important by-product. It makes Ben a very funny and insightful writer.
Ben also once told me that he thought I was in my mid 30’s and not my mid 40’s.
For having said that, I think he is one of the best people ever!
In addition to Jumpin’ Jack Kerouac, you should check out Ben’s other Fringe show: Fiddlestick Conundrum!