amber schaefer is a jane of all trades: writer, actor, performer, director, cat owner and comedy genius

The Vermont born, Brooklyn based gif making genius began writing comedy after hosting a public radio show after she graduated college.

Although for some, multi-tasking can be a hard task, Amber utilizes all the parts of her brain, to not only produce, write and direct comedy shorts but also co-hosts a comedy night at the iconic New York venue Max Fish, which she started as a reaction to seeing one too many comedy nights with not enough women – Sunday Roasted  doesn’t exclusively book women – but makes sure that New York’s funniest girls and trans women have a platform that welcomes them with open arms. With her deadpan humor coming from an early age, “I remember sitting on the stairs one day as a child, deep in thought, and my dad asked me what I was thinking about. I said “well I guess I just realized that life is sort of like a joke that you don’t get but you laugh anyways,” she says. In the spirit of the “rule of three rule,” we’ve asked her for nine tips for good comedy practice.

Where do you start with your writing and directing process?

Dialogue. Throwing a ton of garbage ideas around and seeing what sticks. And then noticing what makes me laugh…and eventually what makes my editor laugh.

What are your comedy rules?

Don’t perpetuate cycles of structural inequality….And commit to the bit.

What are your production rules?

1.Hire as many women, queer folk, and people of color as possible.

2.Don’t feed your crew garbage.

3.And always make a rain contingency plan.

How important is collaboration to you? Does it come naturally or do you find working on your own easier?

I am a natural born collaborator, there is nothing I love more than building something I believe in with my friends. That said there are some things that are easier to do on my own, like masturbate.

How do you balance working for brands and not compromising yourself?

Sometimes you get a dream client (Giphy!) and you can make something really cool and avant guarde that pushes boundaries and tells a story. But mostly making content for brands is making content for brands. So I prefer to make money doing commercials to fund my own personal projects, where I have more freedom, and am not spending hours trying to convince the client to include one shot where the lead woman isn’t smiling.

My hope is that eventually I’ll have my own show and I’ll be able to make entire SCENES where the lead woman isn’t smiling.

How do you take an idea and make it work as an visual and sensual thing?

Storyboard.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to produce / write / direct / laugh?

To quote comedian Kate Berlant: “embrace terror.”

What’s your comedy M.O?

Nothing makes sense if you think about it long enough, what else can we do but laugh?

ambermakes.tv

This Week

making images: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes at photographer Harley Weir’s journey in capturing five women from around the world as well at a number of other creators defining the image of today in documentary filmmaker Chelsea McMullan’s Making Images video. 

Read More

making codes: behind the scenes

Take another at director Liza Mandelup's Making Codes video, a look behind the scenes at digital artist and creative director Lucy Hardcastle's piece 'Intangible Matter' that features producer Fatima Al Qadiri, artist Chris Lee and a host of more leading digital artists.

Read More

making films: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes in director Eva Michon's Making Films with Alma Har'el video: a look at the making of JellyWolf and the current state of play within the film industry through the eyes of female filmmakers championing diversity, and Alma Har'els Free The Bid initiative. 

Read More

making movement: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in filmmaker Agostina Galvez’s Making Movements: a look at the making of The Pike and the Shield: Five Paradoxes with ballerina Nozomi Iijima and other leading movers and shakers from the world of dance including choreographers and dancers Holly Blakey, Aya Sato and the duo Project O. 

Read More

making exhibitions: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in director Christine Yuan’s Making Exhibitions with Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel: a look at the making of Just A Second: A Digital Exhibition Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, inspired by CHANEL Nº5 L'EAU, and a look at other leading curators and collectives from the art world including BUFU, Rozsa Farkas, Fatos Ustek, Angelina Dreem and Yana Peel.

Read More

seeing sound: in conversation charlotte hatherley & carly paradis

Two of London’s most sought after figures in visually-shaped music meet.

Read More

lizzie borden: feminist trailblazer

As her magnum opus returns to UK shores, Lizzie Borden – the visionary artist behind Born in Flames – talks rebellion, feminist artistry, and her nostalgia for 70s NYC.

Read More

rebecca lamarche-vadel's
just a second

Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is the Paris based curator for the Palais De Tokyo. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art she puts on large scale exhibitions that span installation, dance, sculpture, photography and spoken word. For The Fifth Sense she created a digital exhibition based on the transformative power of CHANEL’s Nº5 L’EAU.

Read More

reba maybury: she’s got the power

We sat down with the editor, writer and dominatrix Reba Maybury to discuss her taboo-breaking publishing house Wet Satin Press, her latest novel Dining With Humpty Dumpty and what it means to be a woman in control.

Read More
loading...