Tulsa native Josh Fadem has stayed busy in Los Angeles doing a variety of stand up, sketch comedy, video shorts and movies. He has been a regular performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade since the Los Angeles theater opened in 2005 and has appeared at the Blue Whale Comedy Festival in Tulsa for the past two years. He has also written for Adult Swim, is a regular contributor to Funny or Die and has appeared in television shows including 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Better Call Saul. He was recently in Tulsa for a showing of his movie Freaks of Nature at Circle Cinema, and Oklahoma Magazine sat down with him at Chimera Café in downtown Tulsa to get his thoughts on…
I moved away from here in 2000, and I was 20. The only thing I was doing around then was hanging at the Central Library and renting videos from a fellow named David Nofire, who programs the midnight movies at the Circle Cinema. So I spent a lot of time walking around the Central Library and checking out video selections. I had a friend or two in Los Angeles, and I had a large interest in movies and maybe wasn’t ready to admit I had a large interest in comedy. Because, you know, when you’re 20 also you’re like, “I don’t want anyone to know what I really want to do.”
I started doing a lot of comedy theater, improv and stuff, then I eventually found my way into stand up, and then I found my way into more acting. And then the business kept moving along, and there were different comedy booms, and Upright Citizens Brigade came into town and I found myself there on day one and part of a scene.
I like acting, but I also like doing my own stuff. I like sketch comedy a lot and stand up a lot. I don’t know, it’s all kind of the same thing. It’s using different muscles but working toward the same goal.
You got to look at it like it’s a workout. I think, other people might have a different answer, in order to maintain your sanity, you have to find a way to do it even when someone’s not asking you to do it. If you are an actor, and you’re like, “No one wants me to act,” you got to find a thing to act in, whether that’s writing your own thing to act in or coming up with a character to act or bugging people, saying, “I’d love to be in your thing, I’d love to work with you, I love what you make.” Some days you don’t have as much motivation, and then the next day you get it back. You have to really want to do it. I got all these little mantras that say, “Keep going, keep going, don’t stop, keep making the stuff.”
I’m trying to get off Facebook. I hate that place. I hate the stuff on my feed, everyone fighting about politics. I don’t want to hear about that. Everyone posting about their dead relative or animal. It’s sad. It’s a bummer. And you get hooked on it. You say, “There’s got to be something else underneath here.” Isn’t it awful? Get me off of there. I got to get out of there, but I’m stuck.