We at TheThings were lucky enough to chat with comedy team Jay & Eytan for an exclusive interview recently. Jay Wells L’Ecuyer and Eytan Millstone are professional comedians who released their second comedy album, So Busy So Tired on August 10th. The pair has already received glowing feedback on their sophomore album which is perfect for fans of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
But it turns out that recording comedy albums is just a tiny part of their skill sets. These two perform live regularly, have created an award-winning web series along with shorts and if that's not enough, both Jay & Eytan are writers and filmmakers. Jay is also a dramatic actor and Eytan is a producer. Wow!
Since both Jay & Eytan are not just filmmakers but award-winning filmmakers, we wanted to know if they had always known they wanted to be involved in movie-making since it seems clear that comedy is so near and dear to their hearts.
"There is definitely an ultimate goal, however far down the road, of having a story up on a giant screen and viewed by huge amounts of people," they told us.
They went on to say that they can never see themselves getting tired of being in front of a crowd on stage as they are when they perform their stand-up routines but they also know that seeing a project through a complete process (conception all the way through to post-production and ready to be viewed) can be extremely rewarding.
As they put it, "Writing a 2-minute sketch is already a difficult task, so the challenge of writing a 90-minute movie is definitely something we strive for."
Both agreed that acting and filmmaking, two important aspects to their lives and careers, do not exactly go hand in hand.
"Some people have a real skill at telling a story through a lens, but put them in front of the camera and they freeze up," they said. "On the other hand, there are great actors that can transform into a character, but they will be the first to admit that they have no idea how to direct an entire movie."
In 2015, Jay played the character "Tommy" in the action/crime thriller The Closer which Eytan produced. The movie is about friendship and betrayal between three old time friends. It has to do with the Brooklyn real estate market during an extremely stressful economic time. We couldn't help but wonder what the transition was like for these two natural-born comedians going from making people laugh to a serious project such as making a thriller.
"We learned a lot on that project," Jay & Eytan said. "A big lesson was that whether it’s comedy, drama or even horror, each genre tries to follow through with its intentions."
They told us that while the goal of a comedy show or movie is to make the viewer laugh, the people making the comedy hope to pull it off and similarly, the goal of any action/drama show or movie is to put the viewer on the edge of their seat. In either case, they explained to us, they hope to pull it off and achieve the intended result.
"The common thread was definitely timing is everything," Jay told us. "The set up [or] punchline for a laugh is a lot like a dramatic pause before an abrupt gunshot [or] fight scene for a thrilling effect. Since we mostly do comedy, it was pretty cool to be out of our element. Watching Eytan and the director take on the action was awesome, and getting to play a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and getting my head blown off was by far the coolest role I’ve ever had."
Don't forget to check out So Busy So Tired (out now!) by this very talented duo!