I’m at it again, trolling Twitter. This time Matt Trupia caught my eye. A writer and performer with sketch comedy group The Backrow, Matt also boasts a presence on the Chicago literary scene, having contributed to online literary magazines Hobart and fictionatwork.com. However it was his endlessly witty Twitter feed that sealed my deal. (That sentence sounds like the result of a computer program designed to generate clumsy and inaccurate sexual euphemisms.)
Here’s a sampling (of Matt’s tweets, not of clumsy and inaccurate sexual euphemisms although the phrase ‘Matt’s Tweets’ sort of sounds like a clumsy and inaccurate sexual euphemism. But now everything kind of sounds that way. Like when you start thinking about breathing and suddenly you’re aware of every inhale and exhale and then you think maybe your throat is beginning to close up. Am I still typing?)
“I find the angle at which the mailman approaches my mailbox to be a little too confrontational for my tastes.”
“Spring: When it becomes 70% harder to pretend your neighbors are dead.”
Does two count as a sampling? Maybe just a samp.
Regardless, after a brief perusal I knew I’d found April’s Chicago Crush!
Full Name: Matt Trupia
Hometown: Nyack, New York
Profession: I design and write online training courses for a software company by day. But by night...I am probably doing some laundry and catching up on "Breaking Bad."
Hobbies: I write for a blog with some great Chicago writers and performers on http://bitcity.tumblr.com. I write fiction when I can, and sketch comedy with the group The Backrow. I also tweet under @Tamalehawk, which is great because you can do it fully prone on your couch. What else...judging people? Is that a hobby? Really feels like it.
Our Town When did you first realize you were funny?
Matt Trupia Maybe like college. I started doing improv, sketch, and writing plays. College is a great microcosm where you can feel confident and accomplished without having really earned the right to feel either.
OT How has becoming a parent changed your sense of humor?
MT Kids are pretty naturally hilarious in my opinion. They think and say really direct and random things, which I find kind of mirrors the nature of a stand-up comic. They are always trying to get you to laugh or convince you of something. It’s opened up my sense of humor some. I have to try a little harder to stay spiteful; an interesting challenge.
OT What’s the secret to good sketch comedy?
MT I look for the mix of emotions you can pack into a sketch. Moments when a character is being sincere, or earnest, or really driven often create the most memorable sketches. I hate when characters are just boring vessels for jokes and have no real or relatable point of view. Also editing. Trying to make every line either really necessary or funny--ideally both.
OT Worst improv experience?
MT One show a random guy was sitting in with us and he jumped on my friend's back with no warning and they both fell onto the leg of a person in the front row. I think I just straight up apologized. And then of course, plenty of deafening silences that make you want to unzip the earth and crawl into the void. But that kind of thing makes the good moments that much sweeter, right? Please say right.
OT Get writer-ly with me, why write in second person?
MT I think that comes from my sketch comedy background, where you are usually aiming for a faster pace and impact. So I wind up trying to write fiction that has a performative quality. The first and second person can have an immediacy that is fun to read out loud.
OT You’re reading April 2nd at The Whistler. What can we expect?
MT You can expect to see three other superior writers: Amelia Gray, Tupelo Hassman, and Lindsay Hunter. It's a Featherproof Book release show for Amelia's terrific new novel, Threats. I will have something new written for that. If I had a poster for my reading, though, it would probably read “More Of The Same!” I’m really into my comfort zone these days. Maybe by 2015 I’ll be using multiple characters and basic narrative structure. Baby steps.
OT Describe your perfect day.
MT Definitely an open weekend day with my family. A languid breakfast that seamlessly transitions to an interesting and easily-assembled lunch, with frequent animated discussions about dinner. Seeing some friends and avoiding strangers. Not standing in any kind of line. Concluding with butterscotch.
OT Favorite Pick-up line.
MT “Do you like to distrust people on sight, and then require that they pass a complex gauntlet of secret tests before you approve of them? Me too!”
OT Relationship Deal breaker.
MT If you can’t handle being made fun of in any capacity, that is really off-putting. Like your humility is some kind of prized orchid on a shelf when it should be more like a weed, always accessible and resilient when stepped on. I think that plant metaphor worked out ok? Kind of nerdy but functional. Also, you kind of have to be into getting appetizers and dessert at a restaurant.
OT Who was your first crush?
MT When I was 10 I had this incredible poster of Christina Applegate I got at the mall. She had a python wrapped around one arm, and on the other arm she was wearing a huge leather glove with a falcon on it. I remember thinking it was unfortunate she had to wear the glove because it kind of ruined the effect that she was a mystical animal summoner.
OT Why are you crushworthy?
MT I will eat any food any time of the day and can comfortably order off any menu.
OT Any questions for me?
MT What’s for dinner? Always, always looking for local food recommendations. I
will store away friends’ recommendations for years until I get the chance to try if for myself and determine if they are liars.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," (Soft Skull press) is available for pre-order here. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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