Matteo Lane Will Perform On Saturday
For Matteo Lane, comedy is a calling.
“Comedy — it’s not an easy life,” the comedian said.
“Comedy, for me at least, I wasn’t consciously planning on doing it. I fell into it realizing that’s what I was supposed to be doing.”
Lane has other artistic endeavors as well. Lane studied painting, and for years, he said, was storyboard artist for TV commercials. The New York City-based comedian also is a trained opera singer who has a six-octave voice.
“I was working professionally already as an illustrator. But I was doing comedy at night, and when I started comedy it was like ‘This feels right.’ I am always excited by comedy, so you just fall into it, and when you do, you learn about that world, and just keep going.”
Lane said new material sort of finds him. “I pretty much just sorta keep whatever feels natural to me. I don’t think about it that systematically. I don’t look for material. I don’t try and test out material. I don’t sit and write for hours and hours at coffee shops. Something will hit me when it hits me and there are some moments where a lot is hitting me and there are some moments where it’s not.”
Because Lane has a background as a singer and a painter, he said he can see a clearer picture of the process of art making.
“Art making is not supposed to be forced. You just have to let those waves come at you. I still go on stage, even if I didn’t write a new joke for a week, I’m still going on stage and honing the material that I already have. So, I have plenty to work on. I sort of allow it to come at me. I don’t dictate whether it’s personal or observational. I just sort of let happen as it happens.”
His influences include Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Ellen DeGeneres and his Aunt Cindy.
“She’s a funny woman,” he said of his aunt. “When I hear her talking and telling stories, it blows me away sometimes. She has no idea that she is a natural performer. For comedians it takes that little something else to want to be on stage. She is naturally that way.”
Lane said he comes from a very funny, comedic family. “We’ve got natural timing. A lot of my timing comes from my family,” the comedian added.
Lane said when going on stage there is always a prepared set of jokes with room for improvisation. “No set is the exact same, but no set is completely made up,” he noted. He said comedians are usually working on their material. “I don’t know any comedian who just goes (on stage) and wings it. They are going up, they have a mission, they have jokes they are working on, They are recording themselves. They are taking notes on what they are doing. They are completely aware of what they are doing. The hardest part is making it seem like it is coming out of our heads for the first time. It’s like any art form,” Lane said.
He related how opera is the most difficult act one can do in terms of singing, but opera singers make it look so easy. He said the last level of achieving one’s highest state of artistic merit is being able to take something very difficult and make it look very easy.
“That’s why comedians are constantly going up (on stage) every single night as much as they possible can because that’s how we hone our craft,” he said. Comedians, he said, don’t rehearse in front of a mirror because comedians need the audience to give them a response to let them know what is working and what is not.
“When you hear a laugh. It’s working. When you don’t hear a laugh. They are not getting it,” Lane commented.
Lane will be performing Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the Tropicana Room, 2 W. Third St., Jamestown. For tickets or more information go to comedycenter.org.