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Dear Electricity & Gas Providers,

I’m writing to you because I’ve been given your name by a mutual friend / saw your stuff and really loved it. I’m currently looking for someone to heat and light my house, and was wondering if you’d be interested in doing it?

Unfortunately, there is no pay at this time, but it’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor as in the future I hope to be heating and lighting ever-bigger houses. It’s also a great chance to showcase your work to the sorts of demi-celebrities I spend much of my life with. 

You’d be boiling the tea for Darren Strange who was in Parents on Sky1. You’d be powering the phone calls I make to all sorts of household name comedians, all of whom would be exposed to your work that way. You’d be powering tweets that are occasionally retweeted by Josie Long and Mark Thomas!

While I understand the remuneration might not be quite what you’re hoping for, I hope you’ll be excited by the opportunity to be a part of the incredible project that is my household. It’s going to be huge!

I can also offer you drinks if you’re ever in town, and tickets to an exclusive viewing of the work you do in our house next time you come to check the meter.

I know you’ll be as excited by this as I am!

Thanks,

Nathaniel Tapley

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This is why Bill Murray is always watchable. (Well, some of why…)

You have a lot of lines in this one that get tons of laughs I doubt were on the page. It’s all in the rhythm, the delivery. How do you pitch something like that? How do you make something out of nothing?

I have developed a kind of different style over the years. I hate trying to re-create a tone or a pitch. Saying, “I want to make it sound like I made it sound the last time”? That’s insane, because the last time doesn’t exist. It’s only this time. And everything is going to be different thistime. There’s only now. And I don’t think a director, as often as not, knows what is going to play funny anyway. As often as not, the right one is the one that they’re surprised by, so I don’t think that they have the right tone in their head. And I think that good actors always—or if you’re being good, anyway—you’re making it better than the script. That’s your fucking job. It’s like, Okay, the script says this? Well, watch this. Let’s just roar a little bit. Let’s see how high we can go.

But you asked how you get the comic pitch. Well, obviously a lot of it is rhythm. And as often as not, it’s the surprising rhythm. In life and in movies, you can usually guess what someone is going to say—you can actually hear it—before they say it. But if you undercut that just a little, it can make you fall off your chair. It’s small and simple like that. You’re always trying to get your distractions out of the way and be as calm as you can be [breathes in and out slowly], and emotion will just drive the machine. It will go through the machine without being interrupted, and it comes out in a rhythm that’s naturally funny. And that funny rhythm is either humorous or touching. It can be either one. But it’s always a surprise. I really don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth.

The rest of the interview is also well, well worth your time. Get over to GQ, and read it…

The new episode of ITG is out. A very silly and quite horrible episode this month.

Starring: Ruth Bratt, Sally Chattaway, John Hopkins, Emma Powell, Lizzie Roper, Darren Strange, Nathaniel Tapley

Sound design & production: Raoul Brand

Written & directed: Nathaniel Tapley

Download this episode (right click and save)

For more In The Gloaming goodness go to the website or the podcast archive.

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