I recently had the privilege to sit down with UCB NY performer Vincent Moore. Vincent is a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater who currently performs on the Harold Team “Higgins”. You can see them perform Tuesday nights at the theater’s Chelsea location in Manhattan.
Christian Roberts: How long have you been a performer at UCB? What made you want to perform?
Vincent Moore: I’ve been taking classes since the summer of 2011 and began performing regularly at the theatre in the fall of 2012. I first started getting into improv during my freshman year at Trinity College in Connecticut, where I performed as a member of the then short-form group, The Moveable Joints!. Though I majored in religion, I was active in theatre as well and took acting classes as well as performed in a few plays. Before I graduated college, a couple of my good friends, who were also improvisers, moved down to New York to continue pursuing comedy. They told me about the UCB and how great it was and encouraged me to move down and check it out. After school, I did exactly that and they helped introduce me to the community and the city and everything. Since my initial training at the theatre, I’ve performed as a member of the teams Huxtable, Never Never, Sherlock & Cookies, and I currently perform on the Harold team, Higgins.
Roberts: What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
Moore: Initially, my first obstacle was mostly just getting involved in the community and learning how it works. I was new to the city and didn’t know too many people at the beginning. But after seeing a few shows at the theatre and loving it and seeing how much my college friends loved it, I felt like this would be a great place to be and so I just had to get in there! Soon after I moved, I was fortunate enough to get an internship at the UCB’s offices, which was awesome because I not only got to see shows for free but that’s where I would meet performers off stage as many of them work for the theatre. It was an amazing experience working with them and getting to know the theatre through this vantage point and made me feel like a member of the community very quickly.
However, a more general obstacle that I’ve come across as a performer and creator is learning how to get out of your own way. When I’m writing or making something, I’ll sometimes second guess myself, doubt the quality of the material, and maybe even abandon the project before seeing it through. It can be difficult at times for me to create without placing my own judgment on it. But I’m finding the more I create, the less precious I’ve become with what I make. I try not to hold my work to too high of a standard where I’m hesitating before I even begin.
Roberts: How long have you been doing Points of View your YouTube series?
Moore: Points of View is a fairly new project. I started shooting in October of 2014 and releasing episodes in November. It’s been a really fun experiment so far and I’m still figuring out all of the things I can do with the premise. The beginning of the project coincided with my purchasing of a GoPro camera. I had been intrigued by watching videos online of skaters, surfers, base jumpers, and all that and thought that this would be an interesting tool for comedy. Buying the camera gave me the push to go and do it and figure out something that I could make with it. And given its portability and size, the camera allowed me to do a bunch of shots that I never thought of doing before, which eventually gave me the idea of doing POV angles. Even now, I’m still seeing what else I can do with it and seeing what other perspectives I can explore.
Roberts: Has creating content been helpful for your artistic endeavors?
Moore: Absolutely! Projects like Points of View and New to the Area, which is a silent web series I made with Matt Dennie, have contributed a great deal to figuring out what my sense of humor is and what it is that I like to make. Constantly producing things and trying things out is a fascinating, though hard, part of the process that has given me some content that I’m really happy with and want to share. Overall, it’s been helping me find and develop my voice as a comedian.
Making your own content also seems like a very important thing to do if you’re interested in having a career in entertainment right now. Its possible for a web series or video to garner enough attention that it could lead to professional opportunities for those making them. A show like Broad City, which originally was a web series, is an example of this happening recently. And it’s also not uncommon for people to sustain themselves solely on their YouTube channels. It’s a very different climate than what we might be used to and sometimes hard to navigate but, at the same time, you can make whatever you want for the most part for anyone to see, which can be pretty liberating.
Roberts: What’s some advice you can give to someone hoping to become an actor?
Moore: For acting, or for any artistic pursuit, I’ve been finding it helpful to surround myself with people that inspire me. It gets me to try new things, think differently, and move beyond my comfort zone and break routine, which makes me much more aware and present in what I’m doing. That’s what the UCB community has done for me over the past few years and continues to do so now. Everyone involved is immensely talented and driven, which makes me want to do and try as much as I can, sometimes too much. But having a community that supports you and pushes you is a great resource and I’d recommend finding that for yourself where you can.
I would also recommend keeping in mind that it’s okay to fail. Its something that I’m still working on myself but something that’s invaluable to know when you are taking risks and exploring what you are capable of creatively.
You can follow Vincent Moore on Twitter @Moore_Vincent, via his YouTube Channel, or his website. Be sure to check out his Harold Team “Higgins” that takes the stage at the UCB Chelsea Theater on Tuesday nights!