Anya Volz is a rising star in the world of comedy and you can see her live in “Thirst Trap” a popular standup variety show which kicks off Thursday July 11th at Gemini & Scorpio Loft in Brooklyn.
Produced by Patrick Terry, creator of the awe-inspiring WONDERSHOW, Thirst Trap was developed to showcase a new generation of comics in hip venues such as Caveat and House of YES. Each month, Anya is joined by a special guest co-host and together they play games that get to the nitty gritty of social media, pop culture and current events. Every show features a diverse lineup of hilarious performers you’ve seen on HBO, Netflix, Comedy Central and more! Past guests have included Aparna Nancherla, Myq Kaplan, Ophira Eisenberg and Joe Zimmerman, among others.
Anya’s ultimate goal is to quench peoples’ thirst for jokes and her honest, cynical yet friendly, style has earned quite a following in Brooklyn and beyond. By offering audiences the chance to experience an eclectic roster of today’s top comics, as well as hilarious curated segments focused on social trends and current events, Thirst Trap is timely and fluid; always changing yet consistently entertaining. Thus, you can come each and every month and have a completely different, yet equally enjoyable experience.
Anya recently discussed her evolving career and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your knack for comedy and why do you focus on the standup comedy per se?
Anya Volz (AV): I’ve always loved laughing and being silly with my close friends and family. I come from an outrageously funny family, it is truly a problem how hard it is to get through a conversation without an extremely inappropriate joke being made, including if not especially at the most serious family functions. I always knew I loved comedy and in seventh grade I fell madly in love with Sarah Silverman’s special Jesus Is Magic. That’s what really put standup in particular on my radar. I also got really into memorizing Mitch Hedberg jokes and reciting them to my family on our long drives from Vermont to Michigan in the summer. In eighth grade my homeroom was filled to the brim with jock dudes who made fun of me every day for being weird. I preferred it to being outright ignored and dismissed by them– any publicity is good publicity! But I realized in the other classes I had with each of them individually, I had the powerful tool of making them laugh. One by one I turned each of them into allies and even dated one of them by the end of the year, not sacrificing an ounce of the weirdness that originally alienated them. That was when I realized humor was something capable of changing and shaping my life. I decided pretty soon after that, that I wanted to be a standup and I’ve never thought about doing anything else since.
MM: What experiences do you most draw your inspiration from and which themes get you the biggest laughs?
AV: At the moment I am most drawn to discussing topics surrounding gender and sexuality on stage. I think in general people want to hear a fresh take on the things that affect us all every day, we all see ourselves reflected back at us in the stories of other people. So even in my more unique perspectives regarding my own gender and sexuality, I have found a lot of audiences connect with those jokes regardless of where they fall personally or politically. A less convoluted way of saying this is that everyone laughs at p*ssy jokes if you have the right spin on it.
MM: What prompted you to start playing gigs in NYC and how have audiences received you?
AV: I started doing comedy in Vermont four years ago and moved to New York a year into doing comedy. I did a couple shows in New York before I moved here but I mostly jumped into the deep end and have been clawing my way up the imaginary ladder. It’s up to the audiences to say how they received me, but I have yet to feel discouraged enough to pivot career paths. It’s just an honor to be invited to the table in this beautiful concrete jungle echo chamber.
MM: Which venues have you played and which have been the most memorable?
AV: I have performed all over the country and all over this city, so that’s a tough question to answer, at least comprehensively. The most memorable venue at least recently was our first edition of Thirst Trap which we held at House of YES. I love that space and I love what artistic spaces like that stand for. Usually the best rooms for comedy are the ones built with comedy specifically in mind– low ceilings, intimate, good acoustics for speech and laughter. Basically, the opposite of a warehouse nightclub in Bushwick. But that space is so special, it didn’t matter. It felt perfect.
MM: What are your ultimate career goals?
AV: My ultimate career goal is to make a comfortable living creating things that genuinely make me laugh. I could say I want to write feature films, or write for a TV show one day, or be a show-runner, or tour as a headliner. And those things are all true right now. I do want those things. But ultimately those are all different names for the same thing: just being lucky enough to make a living off of being funny. My ultimate goal is to quit my day job without sacrificing what makes me want to do comedy in the first place.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon?
AV: I co-wrote and co-starred in a short film coming out later this year, for which we are currently in post-production. My writing partners for that short, Zoe Camina and Sherm Jacobs, and I are currently writing a feature and looking forward to getting started on that. In July I am flying to Austin to work on writing a comedy pilot with a group of writers. I have some exciting shows and festivals coming up in the coming months where I’ll be performing standup. And, of course, I am so excited to continue working on and growing my monthly standup variety show Thirst Trap with Anya Volz at Gemini & Scorpio Loft. I am really proud of what the show is becoming and I hope our audience is, too.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about?
AZ: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@AnyaVolz) if you want to see me answer the question “Is there anything else that you would like to talk about?” on an hourly, unrelenting basis.