I’ve always been a big fan of comedy and I recently had the pleasure of speaking to comedic duo Megan Hayes and Trent Ward, the witty and brilliant minds behind MegaTrent Comedy. You may recognize Trent from his band Scuzz Twittly or Megan as the morphling that saved our beloved Peeta Mellark in the second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire. I got to catch up with the duo and pick their brains on what inspires them, their upcoming projects and more!
I’ve seen a few of your skits on YouTube, I’m a big fan of the Jon Snow parody.
Megan: Yes! Are you a big Game of Thrones Fan?
Yes! A friend of mine actually sent me that video awhile back and then in preparation for our interview I came across it again and got so excited!
Megan: Do I do Ygritte justice?
It was absolutely hilarious. How did you two start working together?
Trent: We met about a year ago through a mutual friend, an actor friend of mine.
Megan: He’s actually in the show!
Trent: We did shorts together, we did the Game of Thrones spoof and decided to do a stage show.
Megan: Basically because I harassed him until he made it happen [laughs].
Those are the best kinds of best friends!
Megan: Yeah you know the dog in Looney Tunes? The big dog with the little dog next to him being like, “Can we Spike, can we? Can we Spike?” [laughs] that’s me!
That’s awesome, so you mentioned your friend is in the show as well. How many other actors are involved?
Trent: There’s six in the cast.
Megan: Three men and three women.
Trent: Yep, I’m directing and I’m a bit in the show.
What do you guys like about doing sketch shows? How it differs from other filming a movie or a television show. What about it sets it apart for you guys?
Trent: I like seeing what works instantly with a crowd. You never know with a video. With a live audience you get instant feedback.
Megan: The audience is key when it comes to doing live sketches. To me, doing anything live, the audience becomes another character, developing a relationship with them because no audience is the same.
Does your current show have a lot of audience participation?
Trent and Megan: Just a bit!
I have a love/have relationship with audience participation because I’m always the one that gets picked!
Megan: We don’t really pick on people but there’s involvement.
Trent: We have a game show sketch, so people are encouraged to get involved. It’s a, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ kind of thing.
Megan: But if you came to the show and you wanted us to pick on you, we totally could!
What can audiences expect from the show?
Trent: It’s pretty edgy, a little offensive maybe [laughs].
Megan: Yes, there’s laughing and discomfort!
Trent: Discomfort is the perfect way to describe it. There’s satire, which you don’t see a lot of these days. A lot of laughs.
Megan: And fun! It’s a fun night, it’s a fun hour.
Trent: And there’s action. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’s better than Cats!
Who are some of your comedic influences?
Megan: I think we both love Mel Brookes and Carol Burnett for sure.
Trent: George Burns, Neil Simon, SNL.
Megan: I’m a huge fan of Steve Martin and I love Lily Tomlin. Gilda Radnor, I love the whole old crew of SNL, Belushi and all that.
Trent: In Living Color, the Wayans family, they’re a big influence too.
Very cool! So sometimes, when doing a sketch, I know things don’t always go as planned, how do you keep up your composure to get through the rest of the skit?
Megan: I think it’s all about forging ahead but also, have awareness that something has happened. You can’t pretend that something didn’t happen when it did. But it’s all about just keeping the action going and forging ahead. This is of course my experience with it, I’ve totally broken character before and laughed in a sketch [laughs].
Trent: There’s those Carol Burnett moments that are funny but generally I like it when you keep it together. I don’t want to Jimmy Fallon a lot of sketches [laughs].
He does do that a lot now that I think about it!
Trent: It’s his trademark.
Do you guys have any funny stories from when either of you have broken character?
Megan: I usually don’t, that’s one of my things. Once the show is up and going I rarely break character. But opening night there was this one time, I play Spock in this Star Trek sketch and I got a cheer [from the audience] that just threw me off and I was smiling and we all know how often Spock smiles [laughs].
Trent: There was a woman laughing hysterically throughout and I was just wondering if Megan was going to be able to keep it together.
Megan: [laughs] Well at one point she shouted, “Yeah Spock!” I mean how can you not giggle at that?
When you guys aren’t doing comedy, do either of you have any side projects?
Trent: I have a band called Scuzz Twittly. It’s a comedy country act. So I’m producing that and we have an album that hit #3 on the comedy charts last year with one of my albums and I’m working on another album, music videos and shooting shorts. I’m a big shorts YouTube fan.
Megan: Yeah, Trent’s always got something that he’s working on.
Megan: Well more like ten things [laughs]. He’s always busy! And I’m actually going to be in Max Steel which opens this month in theaters.
How was shooting that?
Megan: It was awesome. I got to drive through a simulated wind storm, it was so much fun.
That sounds like a lot of fun!
Megan: It’s funny, when acting you have like all the things you’d never want to happen in real life, happen!
When did you realize that comedy was what you wanted to do? Do you remember the first time someone told you were you funny? When did you realize this was what you wanted to be doing?
Megan: There was a very specific moment for me, I knew I wanted to be an actor in high school, I wanted to be a very, very serious actress at first. In high school I had my first musical that I auditioned for in tenth grade and I wanted to get cast as like the vampy, sexy lead. And at 15 I didn’t get cast as the sex, hot lead and so I got cast as the comedic lead! [laughs] I’ll never forget that first moment with a live audience and somebody laughing at something I said and I was like, “That was it. This is for me.”
Trent: I was always the class clown but never really considered it as a career until I went to college and went through several different programs and nothing quite fit. Then I went to film school and just concentrated on comedy. After that I went to Second City in Chicago and pretty much decided then that, that was what I was going to do.
Megan: I love that you were the class clown. I was the opposite, I was super-duper shy and the stage was my outlet.
Trent: Yeah I think it was definitely being at Second City but I was about 30 by then when I decided that’s what I wanted to dedicate myself to doing.
That’s awesome. I know your show is wrapping up soon, do you guys have any plans to collaborate after?
Megan: Yeah, well the whole thing about this show was doing shows seasonally. So next up will be a Halloween show! A Halloween sketch show.
I wish I was in LA for this!
Megan: You need to come out! Trent’s already written some hilarious stuff for the Halloween show
Trent: I like the dark humor and horror in comedy.
Very cool, Trent is it just you writing or are you both involved in the writing process?
Trent: We both write sketches for the show.
Megan and Trent’s current show runs through this weekend with two shows at 8PM and 10PM on both Friday, August 14, 2015 and Saturday, August 15, 2015 at the Working Stage Theatre in LA.