Meet The Mayor: Sharon Houston

Were all funny adults funny kids? Sharon Houston was. Being funny and super duper likable has definitely paid dividends for Houston. Whether it’s performing stand-up, podcasting, or producing behind the scenes, Sharon Houston has tried it all, and as the “mayor” of L.A. knows show biz like few do.

Where are you from originally, and what has your career path been like?

I was born in Miami, Florida but I’ve lived everywhere: the Midwest, Southwest, South, Northeast, and now the West Coast. When I was moving around a lot as a kid, I hated it. Now I’m glad I went through that because I can easily make friends, I’m not afraid to introduce myself to people, and I pretty much can fit in everywhere. As an actress and stand-up, I can do just about every American accent imaginable, so it’s helped me creatively as well.

My career path has been very interesting. I am really grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and all the things I’ve done, behind the scenes and in front of the camera. I’ve done a ton of hidden camera shows, two specials, three series, and I forget how many pilots.

Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time Sketch on Comedy Central from Sharon Houston on Vimeo.

Showcase at Flapper’s Comedy Club from Sharon Houston on Vimeo.

And I love podcasting! I’ve managed to take the misery of one of my day jobs (freelancing as a producer on daytime court TV shows) and turn it into a brand with my podcast. It’s such a great way for me to reach an international audience that I never would have reached before. Between having my podcast featured on AV Club’s “Outliers” section, being a guest on “Talkin’ Shit with Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft” and a guest on “The Crabfeast with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson”, I have listeners who have turned into fans of my podcast and my stand-up. Living in the future where technology is inexpensive and at our fingertips fucking rocks! You don’t have to wait for anyone to pick you out of the crowd. You can do your own thing and people will find you, they’ll like what you do, and things really open up for you creatively and professionally.

How long have you been doing stand-up, and were you an actor first?

I’ve been doing stand-up a long time, fourteen years? Longer had I not taken three years off! I was a theater major and wanted to act, but only if I could be funny. I always knew I’d be a stand-up, though.

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Michael Black – Editor

Michael Black has been working in Los Angeles as a professional editor for over ten years. Black talks about what it was like going to film school during what he calls “the best and worst time to be studying film”, and how sometimes, dropping out of college is the best career decision one can make. He also shares his experience working on 4D interactive animation and explains what makes an editor great, and not just good. All that, career advice, and more…

Where are you from originally and how did you get your career?

My first job was in high school. I got an internship at a little production studio in Austin where I did industrial stuff and local commercials. I started out as a graphics intern, and learned a lot from this UT (University of Texas) student working there at the time. The first semester I was working as an intern, and by the second semester I took over the graphics role and became the only guy working there in that capacity. I was 18 when I got the job. That’s where I learned to edit on Avid and Final Cut, along with my first exposure to After Effects and Photoshop.

What have been your favorite projects to work on?

It’s been fun the past few years working on these 4D animation projects that have interactive elements, the seats move and shake and they spray water on you, stuff like that.

The project I’m working on now, editing as well as directing, HERO FACTORY, is an all animated TV show. It’s been fun because it’s a style and genre that I like. Getting to work on the LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out was the most fun and most stressful because I cared a lot and wanted to get it right. I’m something of a Star Wars fanatic and getting to work on that and go to Skywalker Ranch for the sound mix was nothing short of a dream come true.

Did you go to film school?

After high school I was accepted into the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I wanted to move to New York the summer before school started, and  looked up production offices/studios in New York.

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