There must be something in the water at New York University, because, like Chappelle, Michael “Mikey” Gleason is also an alumnus. Gleason has channeled his comedy into his own YouTube channel. He blends live storytelling to filmmaking and thus, expands his reach.
A Salesianum grad, Gleason studied screenwriting and worked at Current TV and MTV before returning to Delaware. He hosts the West Chester Story Slam and the Philly Improv Theater, and was also a finalist in LOL@TheGrand.
Gleason has written and produced videos, namely “Everything You Need to Know to Give a Great Political Speech,” and “An Open Letter to Snapple.” He knew this viral strategy was effective when film director Judd Apatow re-tweeted a link to Gleason’s film school video, which bumped it to the front page of funnyordie.com. Recently, Gleason developed a hilarious Webisode series with his girlfriend, entitled “A Couple of Idiots Live from Delaware,” which can be seen on YouTube. His facial expressions alone are worth the viewing time.
“The Web gives us comics the potential to reach further,” he says. “I have a reach with the Internet that I would not have had 10 years ago.”
But viral success stories and active Twitter feeds don’t provide enough inspiration for comics. It’s the immediate feedback from the live performance that feeds their souls and helps them improve.
“The only way to get better at comedy is to do it and do it often,” says Gleason. “The only way to really do it well is to try it out constantly. It’s the repetition. Comics lose faith in their jokes quickly. It helps to get in front of an audience.”
Gleason has found many ways to reach those audiences and he’s got the drive to keep trying to find us.