Photos of the Berlin Comedy Open Mic Scene

When I perform in small rooms, I like to take photos of the other comedians with my phone. I love catching intimate moments of pure concentration, anticipation and also introspection, solitude as well as joy and tender interchanges. Before they metamorphose to onstage personas.

The moments before a performance, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, have something ritualistic, sacred to it. Comedians going over their notes look like they are praying.  Writing their new jokes on hands becomes a ceremonial tattoo. Nervously trembling back and forth looks like a walking meditation. The donation boxes taken from some apocalyptic church. 

And next to documenting the performer, the photos reveal the atmosphere of show room architecture and German interiors. Jazz cellars, East German pubs turned hipster cafes. Lastly, my goal is to document our comedy Avantgarde before we are all rich and famous (fingers crossed). Here are some snapshots I took last night at the weekly open mic Kottikomedy at Monarch, directly at Kottbusser Tor in Berlin.

Edit Sept.5: I was proud of my shots so I sent them to photographer Sergey Sanin for feedback. He edited some of them and now our church of comedy looks even more intense.

Paul Salamone (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin
Aurel Mertz & Thomas Kornmaier (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin
The donation jar (c) Ingrid Wenzel
Maria Clara Groppler (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin

Good to Talk at Kantine am Berghain

Summer is going, new shows are coming. As always, I post my dates on here ingridwenzel.de/termine and all mics and small shows in Berlin on Insta. Here’s a gig I particularly want to invite to: Good To Talk at Kantine am Berghain September 28th 2019 starting at noon. An interdisciplinary approach to talking about art. I will perform and speak about art and comedy together with my illustrations. I will update this once I know my time slot, it will be splendid!

You can find more infos on Good to Talk’s website and on facebook. See you there. Oh and one SAD announcement. I was supposed to do a solo show in Kassel September 21th. Unfortunately, the venue has closed for good. If you got tickets already please contact the venue, I will come another time, another place.

Other than that, I hope you all had a great summer, got new impressions, read a good book and refueled energy for the rest of the year.

(c) Good to talk website
(c) Good to talk facebook
(c) Nadja Ramsaroop (original shot) /Ingrid Wenzel

How to make Cold Brew Coffee

When I stayed in California, I had this ritual. Every morning, I would walk up to this coffee shop, I forgot the name. I would order their iced coffee and start my day. I would take a walk, sit down on a bench, read and draw a bit under a tree, take a nap at the botanical garden and at night perform at an open mic. And then I already awaited the next day to repeat my ritual. Those were the happiest days, and they started with cold coffee. I was bewildered how they make it taste so smooth. The bitterness of coffee kept to a minimum, leaving no trace of brown coating on my tongue. Just gulping down brown, tasty water. How did these magicians do it? Today I know. It’s cold brew! It’s tastier than drinking cooled, old, bitter coffee from the day before. Today I make cold brew myself. It’s super easy! And cheaper than running to the coffee shop every morning, though I miss that ritual. That’s why I illustrated this autobiographical recipe for you from the first time I ever made it:

I refer to this first batch as the Cold Brew Disaster. From then on I never strained it as thoroughly ever again. I dump the coffee mix through a rough strainer, that’s it, and remind myself to stop drinking before I hit the viscous goo on the ground of my cup.

I drew this illustration with the app procreate. I can’t stress enough how much I love this app. I uploaded the time-lapse video of my drawing process here:

 

Animating Illustrations with After Effects

I took baby steps this month. Remember the time when your brain had to think about which foot to move where? I do, mentally, because I took an animation class. Animating a character taking step after step was hard! I’m an artist, no programmer. We follow rules only to break them. If I feel like it, I stick a pool cue in dirt and paint on a mattress. But with animation, every frame, every time cue, every movement has to be on point. You can’t conceal a computer program with a wet brush. I have so much respect for animated movies now.

I wanted to learn Adobe After Effects to elevate my .gif making skills but what I also learned was how to suppress my anger. If this had been an online course I’d be yelling at the program but I sat with other people in a class who didn’t know how lucky they were that I can contain myself.
We first started out animating a ball, which was so much harder than I could ever imagine. To keep my spirits up I gave my ball a funky face, as you can see below.
Getting deeper into the mechanics I actually had fun, because now I understand how to use it for animating my own illustrations. You can look at my experiments, my baby animation steps, right here. I’m partly embarrassed by the simplicity and at the same time so proud of them because now I know how complicated simplicity is. 

And here are some links to the program, if you are interested to check it out:
https://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects.html (I’m just wondering why their featured gifs look so much more elaborate than mine, ha!)
https://ed.ted.com/series/?series=animation-basics (good basics!)
https://aescripts.com (more advanced stuff to see what’s possible)

The major eye roll gif above is pimped with a special jitter effect that I think is cool.
This next gif is part of a series of animations, partly taken from this After Effects tutorial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgBo-00_GWc (I have to reduce the file size and quality, so my website won’t blow up):

 

Plus me as a fruit fly, possibly my best work of art ever:

Yes, there’s more. A classic horror story:

Okay, why not, lastly, here’s a video of a pig doing a make up tutorial when suddenly realizing they don’t need all this superficial crap to be happy:

 

 

As always, I’m happy about feedback. Do you like this? What AE tutorials did you enjoy? Which effects come in handy? Do we need more animations or do you prefer my analog drawings? I try to learn more about it now. Let’s see how long it takes until Pixar hires me, because I think my animated fruit fly is basically movie ready.

 

 

 

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