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March 23, 2021

Katie-Ellen Humphries

Katie-Ellen Humphries

This week's guest on Friendless is competitive swimmer turned standup comedian, Victoria's own Katie-Ellen Humphries!!
We talk about theatre kids only being vulnerable when drunk, the superstars of Kaleidoscope Theatre, using performance as coping mechanism, athletes dreaming of being artists, turning my butt into a Pink Floyd prop, how to not be so goddamn precious with your terrible art, and so much more!
Be sure to check out Katie-Ellen's website HERE
Her podcast Horny Off Main - HERE
Her comedy album "Ladyfinger" HERE
Her Twitter HERE
and Instagram HERE
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Transcript

Oh my sweeties welcome back to a brand new episode of friendless, the only podcast about how to lose all your Facebook friends, one hour at a time. I am, as always your host, James Avramenko. And this week, I have competitive swimmer turned comedian Victoria's very own Katie-Ellen Humphries on the show. We talked about theater kids only being vulnerable when drunk, the superstars of Kaleidoscope theater, using performance as coping mechanism. Athletes dreaming of being artists, turning my butt into a Pink Floyd Prop, how to not be so goddamn precious with terrible art, and so much more. Katie Ellen is just the friggin best. I love chatting with her. And you know what, you're gonna love her too. Or else. there's a couple really fun updates to talk about regarding the show, but I'm gonna stick all that at the end of the episode. So stick around for that. But as you well know that is that and this is now so for now. lay back get comfy and enjoy my interview with Katie-Ellen Humphries here on friendless. So this week on Friendless I have a long lost dear friend of mine from Victoria from the the Halcyon atomic vaudeville days, dear friend Katie Ellen Humphries, how the hell are you today?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I'm very happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

James Avramenko:

So I want to come to I want to come to the to the podcast no pun intended for this show. But first to get us to there. I'd really like to backtrack to I really like to start the interview with how the guest remembers how we met. And I will say I will caveat that with. I have absolutely no memory of how we met it was you're one of those friends who like one day I didn't know you. And then the next day, I knew you really well. And I loved you. Like, I've no idea where that happened, right?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Totally. I feel I'm on the. I'm on the same page. And even, you know, one of your questions was a Do you have a standout memory? And I'm not to jump ahead. And there's photographic evidence of the memory that I now have of us. But my first instinct was to say no, I don't have a single definitive memory of James Avramenko. I only have a feeling and that feeling is nothing but positive association. Not a single detail. Right. I can't even I can barely even place it in a location aside from I knew that. I know that we performed a Victoria Event Center. Um, but outside of that no part of this is that we were in our 20s. Yeah, I did. Also, you know, I drank a lot more than And I often would not first encounter I wouldn't encounter Intel I was well into my cups.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. Well, and that's just it right there too. And that, you know, I mean, first I want to say thank you. I feel like I feel like being told that all you evoke in someone is general feelings of positivity. Like that's like, I mean, that is that's a compliment and a half, you know,

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

but absolutely, yeah, we should take it that way. I thought something when I when I thought I thought oh, how lovely.

James Avramenko:

I it's very much that thing of like, like you say, I'm right there with you where it's like, you know, we're probably in the event center. It's probably after a show, like, you know, and I was definitely one to, you know, because like when I was doing vaudeville, I was still in school. And so I was still really, like nervous around, you know, the people I perceived as like, so professional and like, working active comedians. And so I would, I would show up as stoned as I could be, just to like, be able to be in the room. And then I would drink all night so that I didn't become too reclusive within my like weed paranoia.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I relate so hard because I you're in the theater program. And I don't come I didn't come from any training background. And so I had come out of sport into performing. And I felt that way around all of the Phoenix people, you know yourself included. And even if we you know, if it wasn't Event Center, then it maybe would have been at a at an after party from one of the main stages or something. And I would very specifically not show up to those until well into them. Now, of course, they started late because they start after the show and all those things,

James Avramenko:

and you have to do the like, you have to do the dumb, you have to do the like tech parity and you have to do the like the photos of the God closing parties are a nightmare.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Right? But so you guys are at like, you know, you've done all that and then you've gone to someone's house. They don't start probably until past midnight or whatever. But I'm always sure of course that I also wouldn't show up until one or two. Because I felt like such an interloper. I'm not part of this program. I'm not an artist, even by my definition, like I don't I just want so desperately to be part of this world. And I felt like an interloper.

James Avramenko:

That's so funny cuz I definitely would clock because there was like a there was definitely like a time of night when like, Katie would show up. Oh, shit, that it's that part of the party now.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Where I'm confident enough that everyone there will be drunk enough that they'll be happy to see me.

James Avramenko:

Works like a charm or

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And now with maturity, what I can clock that as as well as like, it's not that people would have been not happy to see me. If I showed up earlier. It said they would have been anxious and nervous themselves. Yeah. Because I'm, I don't, I'm not an intimate friend. And they're all weird theater, introvert artists weirdos like myself.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, well, we've got that weird interlocking thing. And then there's also like, like, that's your 100% with it. And it's something that I am constantly trying to explain to people who aren't from the sort of theatre, you know, bubble is like, is like, they're not not talking to you because they think they're better than you. They're not talking to you because they're terrified of you. You just have to remember you always have to like it's it's it's been a life lesson for me everywhere since then, is like, you always have to take what you think somebody is doing. And then flip it and be like, that's actually what's happening.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, well, in that thing that you learn also, them as you grow up, and I have to relearn it all the time. Is that, you know, no one is thinking about you.

James Avramenko:

Bingo. That's exactly.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

They're worried about their own shit. Everyone thinks that they're the weirdo. Yeah, well, I shouldn't say not everyone. But like, 80% of people think that they're the weirdo and they are the weirdo and then 20% of people will never have that concern. And psychopaths.

James Avramenko:

Well, they're the real weirdos. Those are the ones who I have no trust anybody who anybody who went confidently to a party in high school and university is an absolute psychopath. And and, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, yeah. But you're probably not capable of that emotion.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, right. Exactly. Yeah, yeah. Let me let me Yeah, I can't even describe that emotion.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Even we've talked about this so again, sorry, you're gonna mention on our podcast but so I host the podcast with my closest person in the world person who I you sort of qualify as my life partner nonromanticly who I also met at those parties. Right? And who I connected with very early on at those parties. Only drunkenly though and I thought like we again we talked about when we were talking about our meet cute. And though I remember very specific night with him where I 100% was like, oh, I've met my heart's match in another

James Avramenko:

Awww

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

But then the next time I saw him on campus, was like I was a stranger. Not even Hello. Nothing is like perhaps I misread that. It's not it's just that he wasn't drunk

James Avramenko:

He was just so nervous that well that he didn't have the liquid courage there. Right You know?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Well, because we had been very vulnerable or and particularly he had, which is how we connected and now he wasn't, you know, in a place where he wasn't feeling that way. And now he's just a person that he's been vulnerable in front of. You can't stomach that

James Avramenko:

it's fucking terrifying. That's the scariest thing in the whole world.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I suppose specially when you're young.

James Avramenko:

yes. Yeah. Well, yeah being 20 invulnerable is very different from being 33 and vulnerable. So actually, so Amitai, Amitai Marmorstein, your your co host. Yes, actually. He's an alumni alumnus of Friendless from years and years and years ago, it feels like forever ago. You mentioned your your you went to school through athletics, and I'd love to hear a sort of like You know, I don't want to I don't want to be rude by being like, condense that for me. But like, but like, I'd love to hear your the story about how you how you got that, you know, I know you talked about in in your in your comedy album about going to school and scholarships for athletics and so what gets you from there to doing comedy? And then luckily meeting Amitai?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, I mean, in the in a real sort of Coles notes version I think ultimately I always wanted to perform, that's what I wanted to be doing. I wanted I would watch Youth Theatre, you know, Kaleidoscope theater programs when I was a kid. And that's what I was like those kids are superstars. And that's who I wanted to be. And, but I was already in swimming, and I have older brothers, and they were in swimming. And that's just what we did. And also just once I'm doing a thing, and, and the longer you do something when you're younger, of course, it becomes your identity as well. And that became a point. And I was so far along in swimming, that I just was Katie, the swimmer. And it was inextricable, and I had no other sense of myself. And so even around High School, which is where I got the worst, because then it was about grade 11 and 11. So I was in the year 2000. So that's the Sydney Olympic year. So training was in saying that year all of my, all of my friends, everyone is insane. Now, I was not an Olympic hopeful i just i will clarify. I wasn't, but my closest friends were. And I was training with them. And I was doing the exact same workouts and everything all the training regime that they were doing. Yeah. And for what was at that time, this was sort of our first 17. So this was going to be the first Olympics where my peers were contenders, you know, so it was just wild. And that was also when my connection with the sport was breaking down. But I'm 17 at this point, I have like one more year of high school I have literally nothing else. Who am I? And I also was drawn to intense sport, where I didn't know this at the time. But looking back I can see was also like trauma cover kind of because it's so intense. And you can't you know, I in the album I joke that I was hiding underwater.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, but like no room, there's no room to think about anything else.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Nothing else it exhausts you physically and mentally it takes up an enormous amount of time. And literally I was underwater, you can't talk to me, I don't have to look at you. I was I was literally hiding it.

James Avramenko:

I'm always almost dying here.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And the team that I trained with was or was associated with the university swim team. So I'd already been training with those coaches from the time I was 1415. And I was very mature, also, physically and mentally when I finished high school, partly from you know, the arrested part of having spent all the time in sport. So going to university to be on the swim team was actually it was less of a choice and more of a not. It was more like not choosing anything. I didn't have to think about it. It was just a very natural progression. My life changed almost not at all. between high school and university. I you know, I was already I was born in Victoria, was already training for them. If anything, my school load just got less between high school and university

James Avramenko:

right now. You don't have to worry about fucking chemistry.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

totally. Yeah, I was like, I'm still working this I still work two jobs. They're the same jobs. I still train 30 hours a week with the same coaches in the same places with the same people, mostly. And I just go to a different school kind of And so but again, I Oh, and I didn't feel like I really fit. And the older I got, the more this pole of what I wanted to be doing art and most athletes. This is of course, a broad generalization, but most athletes are sciency. Like most people who were in Kinese programs, they're just it's a left left brain, right brain kind of thing. Doesn't breed a lot of creativity, particularly swimming. It's one of those, you know, there's nothing subjective. It's not like figure skating or something. There's nothing we're like, oh, there is some there's artistic merit or things like that you like, yeah, you either finished faster than anyone else you didn't. And so if your brain is comforted by that type of thing, that's the type of brain that likes mathematics. That's the type of brain that likes equations that will have an answer. Where's I am over here reading poetry like this, what I'm doing in my degree. I like a close read of this john wilmont poem of these four, I'm going to write 500 words on four words. That's where my brain was going. So I also felt like a weird fit. And I knew I'd sort of look over the artist kids to me like that's, I mean, that's me. But I was already in a lane. And that's how I am and I come from people who are just like, well, you're already doing the thing.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. So what skips the tracks for you? How do you like did you did you graduate full on out of university with like, did you...

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yup.

James Avramenko:

you did Wow. So you literally just got as far as you could good and then that's why you stopped

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, it was actually like it's almost like the it's almost sitcom-y the ending of my swim career or like movie of the week kind of style because I had eventually I was so checked out of school that I even also was well into almost done really an English degree, when when I really wanted to do was writing. And I didn't even know there was a writing department. That's how checked out of my life I was

James Avramenko:

I mean Now to be fair, at UVic that was outside of Ring Road, so it basically didn't exist. It's a whole other world over there. Right man, anything outside the ring is like it's like a different school.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Well, in that way, again, it was writing theater and visual art, right? We're outside of there, which is turns out to be the world that I wanted to be in that I did not know existed. And in high school, I didn't go to I went to a school, I went to like a very trades, very blue collar, high school, and almost no one from my high school goes on to went on to secondary, So I didn't. And in high school, English and writing are one thing. I just kept taking English classes being like, yeah, this one's also just literature reading.

James Avramenko:

Just eventually, one of them's gonna teach me how to write

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Right, ask me for some. No, no, never. So then I finally figured out well, like third year, I figured out there's this whole other department. And you have to be in that department to get any of the good like to get into workshops, because they're competitive. Yeah. Yeah. So I find I do transfer. And in my final year of university, I'm now in second. I'm done an English degree, but I'm in I'm like, in my last year of English, but my second year of a writing degree. So I'm, I'm in workshops, finally. And I write, I write a one act play, and it gets accepted into the find fest.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, okay. I remember that.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, which is a festival that sort of coproduced between the writing department and the theatre acting department. And so the acting majors act in these plays that are selected and the the directing students direct them.

James Avramenko:

And it's super cool. It's, it's really fun.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Well, that's how I met Amitai. Also, he was my lead.

James Avramenko:

Oh, awww

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

it's too adorable, too. Because I wrote this, I wrote this play. And I was struggling, at first to write it because I assumed having not written anything, or performed or anything. And I was so so afraid of anyone knowing anything about me. And I was writing it was semi autobiographical. But so my lead was a young woman. And I wouldn't let them do anything. And this is this. This is something that writers struggle with, I think sometimes in this idea that any character that is a proxy for you, you won't let them, you know, you won't let them do embarrassing things or say bad things or hurt themselves or things like that.

James Avramenko:

They'll talk about, they'll talk about what a victim they are, they'll talk about how bad everything is to them. But that's it. That's all they do.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, well, and they'll never, you know, hurt a friend's feelings or do those things they want they would the interesting things that you want to read about.

James Avramenko:

Exactly.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

So I was really struggling. Because Yes, I would. There was things I wanted to express, I think, but that I was deeply, deeply deeply ashamed about. So I wouldn't let the character do them. So the way I wrote around that was I just changed the gender of the character. And literally nothing else. Not their name, not anything, what they said, none of the behavior, just pronouns.

James Avramenko:

amazing.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And, yeah, then this kid walks in to audition. And he's holding the script. And he said, He's like,

James Avramenko:

You're like this character isn't 12 years Hey, I old. Get out of here kid.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

He's like, I gotta tell you this. I mean, this character just is me. And then I was like, oh, that well, that's crazy. Cuz I just invented it from nowhere. how utterly Not me, I could

James Avramenko:

I'm just such I'm just so observational about the human condition.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I mean, I just know what I read a lot about I can just read a young man just spot on. Cuz it's me. And yeah, I was like, and then yeah, so very cute that then every week we came up, that he is my hearts match in another but right at that time, so we then we done auditions in a had been cast. And I had been to my first rehearsal. I left I left practice, like at the end of practice. So we were practicing on campus, rushed over my wet hair. I'm a little bit late to the first read through rehearsal. And I do my first read through and then the next day, I traveled to Vancouver for what would turn out to be my final soulmate. And because I had had some health problems and things that I hadn't automatically yet qualified for, would like University nationals that year, which would be a foregone conclusion for me in any other year. But again, I'm like, really, what's happening is the sign the wheels are falling off of this. It's like I'm, I'm done. I am done doing this. Yeah, and my last race was a 200. Was 200 butterfly, which is a grueling, it's truly a grueling race

James Avramenko:

and a very deceptively named two hundred butterfly?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Oh my god. So it's Yeah, that's the longest. It's the longest butterfly race in a sanction event and butterflies already just an insanely grueling stroke. And I'm, this is my last chance to qualify for finals, which would mean and if I are yeah qualify for nationals which we're going to be in like two or three weeks or something. Yeah. And all I'm thinking about all weekend is this reading and how exciting it was, and how I was finally part of this world that I wanted to be. And I couldn't wait. And I couldn't stop thinking about these actors and what their lives were like, and I, you know, I get up on the blocks that I go to do this race. And it, it's done, and I don't make it. I don't make the time. And I cry, but I know I'm not crying about not making the time I'm crying because my friend who is already she's graduated with something is the manager of the team and had meant a lot to her to have someone that there was like a peer of hers that had to go so they could hang out and I was just apologizing to her. And I was so happy. I was like, Oh, it's I'll never undo You know, I think there's some grief about like, end of an era things like that. But I knew like, I'm literally never gonna get on those blocks. Again. I've been doing this since I was nine. I'm like, 24 I'll never step on the Xbox again. I'm fucking free. I mean, I think I also needed I needed it to I needed to not make that call, I needed to not qualify, because I wasn't strong enough to say, I don't want to do this anymore. My heart is already in this other thing, which it has technically been my whole life. Yeah, I want to be and that's what I want to do. So I needed it to be external. I needed that decision to be taken out of my hands. So and who knows, like subconsciously also like, obviously, I'm making that it's, you know, you could argue that I'm making that choice. I'm the one that didn't qualify. Sure. Um,

James Avramenko:

but there's I mean, 200 butterflies is a lot of butterflies, so

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

many butterflies.

James Avramenko:

So many butter. And it sounds very gentle. But apparently it's not

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

so painful. Like, oh my god, it's crazy.

James Avramenko:

And so what how do you is it through Amitai? That you start meeting up with vaudeville? Or how do you? How do you sort of cross paths with those guys?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, I mean, there's a lot going on there. I've been like start I was starting to put the building blocks together of becoming a performer in high school. I had done some improv. Don't, sorry to brag.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, I know what a tableau is.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And someone that I had done that with, I ran into around town and they let me know about some improv classes. And this was at a time in Victoria. There was no stand up comedy. There wasn't a club that's really like I wanted to do stand up comedy. And there wasn't a club. There's nowhere to go watch that. I didn't know anyone that did that. So this was sort of Okay. Yes, improv classes. Great. And also Yeah, classes is thing you can sign up for and you're like, this is definitely for beginners, I can go do that. It's way to kind of, you know, dip my toe and things in through that I started to get to know, other performers in Victoria. I joined a different sketch comedy group, non atomic vaudeville, but I started putting in some time there. I also I didn't know I had atomic vaudeville on such a pedestal. Yeah, I genuinely did not understand that they had an open door policy. Yeah. Anyone who wants to be in that show can be in that show. I really thought you had to, like, you know, audition and be just like cream of the crop.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. I mean, I mean, now that you know, the likelihood of you getting anything good for a while is a whole other totally, but like

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I didn't understand. Yeah, and again, I also come from I come from such blue collar people have said, like, work your way up, apprentice. Get a trainer. Work your way up. Yeah, that that is what I did. I loved that show so much that I just offered to volunteer for them. And I ran front of house and I did I sold ad space because I was interested in marketing and stuff. But uh, yeah, I'm cold calling people my literal. I can't think of anything that I dread. More like a literal hellscape for me. 200 people per night occur through Hirsch. Would you be interested? That's what I'm doing, just to be part of this world. And I do that, well, I'm doing this other sketch i'm doing i do that for like a year before. They're like, Hey, are you in a sketch? group do you write and perform sketch comedy? You want to do that for us? And even when I joined, I kept running the door,

James Avramenko:

Jesus, then there's me just like Bumble budding my way up. I just like show up one day avatar invites me and they're like, so will you be naked on stage? I was like, Yeah, sure. And they're like, well, you're a star for as long as you want to be. Oh, my God, and if that is not the dichotomy of the male female experience. I don't know what is.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Well, there's also, there's also this one picture I love from I think maybe my first vaudeville even. And again, because I had such insecurity, of not coming from the theater. And they everyone on the show, had theater background. And of course, you know, the director is raised in it. Yes. doesn't know any world besides it. Yeah. So I'm walking out and they're saying like, Katie, Ellen, find your light. And I'm just being like, what could that possibly mean? And if you are not a performer, if you don't, if you've never stood under spotlight, it is the most counterintuitive thing. Because if you are in the right place, you know you're in the right place when you can't see anything.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, That's the how you find yourself is that you get blinded.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah. So of course, I would walk until I was blinded, and then I would step back, because that's insane. And they would say Katie-Ellen find your light. And I didn't know what that meant to you. I just had no idea what that phrase meant. And then there's just photo, the photo comes out, you know, after the first performance, and I'm looking at a scene. And there's, you know, Rod Peter Jr. Perfectly lit me his scene partner, invisible. You know, cuz I'm behind him. Not in the light. And then I was like, oh, find your light. and I thought it was so far behind all these people. Of course, getting I was like, and also, yeah, I dedicated 30 hours a week to swimming. I swam, you know, upwards of five hours a day. And then I would just think I was like, What if I tap dance that much? What if I play piano that much? What if I had a skill that I could now demonstrate the way that these people do that they can sing and they can all they can play instruments, and they can do all these incredible things. And I thought I was so far behind. And it's crazy now, because I was like, 24

James Avramenko:

Yeah, you had all the time in the world. And also, none of them were that good.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And that they were my theater education that wasn't going to school. You know, I worked with them for four to five years, the same way someone would in a theater program. And then now I have a bunch of skills that they gave me by them going cool.

James Avramenko:

Totally. Well, I you know, I honestly, you know, like, because when I, you know, went through my, you know, through going to school, like I wasn't in any acting programs, I would they didn't let me in. Right. So like, so like, I almost had the sort of like, I, I would have rather have done what you did rather than like going through this half assed Theatre School of like, Brian applied theater. Yeah. Yeah, yes. I fully learned I'm right there with you. Like I fully learned so much more in the two years that I worked vaudeville than I did in the other, you know, the the five that I spent to You bet.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah. And it really transferable skills to because of what I also learned from them was to be less precious with things that you create, because of course, we would create something beautiful. It didn't totally fit in the show. It's gone. Yeah. Does it mean that it didn't contribute to what else we created? You know, we, we might have not got somewhere else we hadn't created that thing that just can't live. It's gotta go. And a lot of artists struggle with that. It was a great lesson.

James Avramenko:

It's actually really surprising that when you vocalize that, it's like, oh, yeah, that is where that's from, isn't it? Because I've always, you know, I've always wondered why artists struggle getting rid of stuff where I'm like, why would you keep this? This is not what you're trying to say, Get get out of here, you know. And it's totally from vaudeville, being like, and one of the things I loved about them, too, was that the show would open and they'd still change the show. because they'd still be like, Oh, yeah, that didn't work. Get it, get it out of here. I mean, everyone's so like, oh, but it's after opening day. You can't possibly Oh my God. And it's like, Why the fuck not? is the best time to change it. You know, it doesn't work. Because you saw an audience say this sucks. Yeah,

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

well, and oftentimes, you know, we had they developed such a following that lots of audience members were deliberately Come on the Thursday, because they knew it was going to be a mess. They knew it was going to be too long. And it's going to have all kinds of stuff that didn't totally work. And then they would come back, they'd come to the first night and then four or five shows later, they'd come to closing night to see how it all came together. And one of my favorites was, we didn't want on Thursday, and the hosts were like, Andrew Bailey as the Elephant Man and And Kelly Hudson as this kind of almost Tinkerbell ish type character, we did a whole show this. So that's the through line of the show. That's the hosts, they had a whole storyline. And after opening night, you know, Jacob, and a lot of them writers and hosts like us. It just doesn't work at all. Yeah. And so they swapped it, they crap, both of those characters kept those actors as a host. Right? You know, let's make Andrew, a totally different type of Tinkerbell fairy figure. And let's make Kelly, this Elephant Man meets a French schoolgirl thing and rewrite the whole story. And then it worked great. Yeah, but we would have never come up with those two characters on its own if we hadn't watched the inverse of it fail.

James Avramenko:

So this is a really fun one. I actually really love this question, because it always sort of jogs my very foggy, foggy memories. What is your most vivid memory of our friendship? I know we sort of talked we touched on it a bit, but but if there's like a specific one that you think of?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, well, I think my most vivid memory of our friendship is me drawing a cartoony animated face on to your butt.

James Avramenko:

When I was the judge, I was the judge in The Wall, right?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, I remember there was like a Yeah, Pink Floyd connection. But I couldn't remember why. And I knew that kind of like an Ace Ventura, he talks through that whole thing that very high.

James Avramenko:

Very, very high art I am. That still remains one of my absolute favorite bits. Was that whole because that was Morgan Cranny's. Vasily,

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Vasily Jokovich

James Avramenko:

And it was he like the number three family band and you

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

had a number of things that started out the Act was that he was a yes. Who's this comedian? Russian comedian. Yeah, and people say oh, Vasily, are you you can you are comic because your name sound silly? And I say no. I'm comic because I sit in first grade. Third row, fourth chair is comic seat.

James Avramenko:

Oh my god. So he, he ended up having a whole, like family of daughters that join him. Yeah. And and they, they would do an interpretive flashlight dance. Yeah, to Pink Floyd's the wall. So they'd all be doing the thing. And then out of nowhere, it would blackout and it would zoom to the couch. And there would be the judge who in the cartoon is a big diggin ball. So there's my butt with, like, my dick tucked through.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And again, I remember very vividly, like shining a flashlight on it.

James Avramenko:

And, you know, you know, it's one of those things that like, like, how do I describe this, you know, when you when you when you talk to younger theater artists now, right, you know, when they're like, kids who are like, you know, 10/15 years younger, and, and there's, I'm about to be a little bit hypocritical about being supportive, but I'm not meaning to be sure. But you know, they'll, they'll, they'll like, they'll kind of come at you like they're being really cutting edge because like, they maybe show a boob on stage or something. And, and they're like, aren't we like, really cool? And I'm like, yeah, that's awesome. I've probably been naked on stage more times, and you've been on stage so so like, let's be cool together. Right? Like let's just be cool together. Let's not let's not get in competition here. Let's just talk about how funny it is to be naked on stage. But um, but like, but like just, just knowing in my back pocket, how many times like how many people in Victoria so my hairy balls the funniest thing in the world to me, thank you for doing that. Thank you for thank you for drawing that on me. I really do appreciate it.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Truly, my pleasure.

James Avramenko:

So So, you know, if we if we open the questioning with what does it mean to be a friend, then we then I like to close with the idea of what it means to be a friend now, you know, where we're in, we're in isolation. You know, it's, it's, it's so hard to see our friends even, like, I even don't find a lot of satisfaction from things like video chatting and stuff like that, I find it more exhausting than enriching. And, and so I'm constantly looking for workarounds from from video calling. I just like, anytime somebody says we should video chat. I don't I don't reply to them. Yeah. I'm like, oh, you're not a good friend. So, so I wonder what what you think it's gonna take to be, you know, to try and be a good friend in in 2021. And then, you know, moving forward?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah. I mean, I think it's a great question. I will say to you, I think even you putting out this podcast is a way to sort of mitigate some of that. I know, like, you know, if I were to listen to an episode that you're on, it's a very, it's like a low calorie burn in terms of I don't have to do anything, but I still get to feel like I'm hanging out with you. And it doesn't demand anything of me in the way that a video jet does.

James Avramenko:

Definitely,

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I think, as I sort of matured, and grew up and I think part of that imposter in the in the same way that I felt like I had to volunteer for two years, with vaudeville before I could say, you know, like, Hey, can I do?

James Avramenko:

I'm actually funny as fuck

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

could I? Could I have some joke, please?

James Avramenko:

Joke! Joke? I just See, Jacob as the like doller out guy.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

But I think that I used to do that same sort of service. In all of my relationships. I had, like, I only exist, and there's so there's a lot of like, there's self worth stuff there. There's also 90s Arts, women who aren't beautiful, who what is their role? I work for you. Yeah, you know, what can I do? Yeah, and it took me a long time to find and it wasn't even till I sort of moved to Vancouver. So this is sort of late 20s, to find friendships that were reciprocal. So individuals who are putting in for me, as much as I am putting in for them. And me, that's what it takes to for a good relationship of any kind. But and so for a good friendship. And I think, a really beautiful friendship. You can also that can ebb and flow. It doesn't. You don't both have to be putting in the same amount at the same time. If someone is not capable, at one time or another. But there has to have been some history, you have to know that they are capable of it. They can all do it. You know, they can hold you up or do something for you. physically, emotionally, or what have you. And right now, like you say, it's so challenging and sometimes all that is, is liking a photo or sending an emoji. I love emoji so much because I'm emotionally a child. I don't have I am emotionally stunted a little bit. I'm not great. I'm working on it a lot. You'd think I'd be a better communicator given that my vocation is talking.

James Avramenko:

But I find feeling that's why you're so good at it though.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I think feeling challenging. And I love I find emojis very effective.

James Avramenko:

Yeah. I I always feel kind of embarrassed when people sort of shit on people who communicate through emojis and like gifts and stuff. Because that's like my bread and butter. I'm like, oh my god. My favorite thing to do is like see a situation be like, I have a great gif for that

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

people that are good at gifts. I nothing but praise. I give it up. I don't have it. I don't have a great visual sense that but like, Yeah, I love an emoji like I just feel like it puts there like you need to know the feeling that these words or whatever.

James Avramenko:

Totally

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

And right now, sometimes that's the best you got. Sometimes a gift is all you can get.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, it's all you can give But you're spot on. And I think that that's something that has been really, really reoccurring, you know, in a lot of these discussions is like, I don't think we're capable of doing much and I don't think we should be expected to do much. I actually think it's, like, quite problematic to use a word that I have problems with. to, to, you know, be making people go into offices and act like the world isn't burning down around them and act like we're not in the middle of the most traumatic event of our modern era, you know, and yeah, and, and so, you know, you know, my therapist has been saying, like, you know, because I've been fighting my grief responses, you know, he's like, you're, what you're having is, you're having a grief response, yes. Something that warrants a grief response. And so you have to stop fighting that, you know, and, and it's okay to want to do something, but to not be able to do very much. And, and I think that that's what I keep on coming back to is like, it doesn't have to be some john Cusack with a boombox at your window moment. Like you just, if all like you say if all you do is like a photo. Fuck yeah, you're amazing.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

You are telling me, you exist. And I I am saying that you exist.

James Avramenko:

Exactly, exactly. And I actually it's, it's, it's funny that, as easy as that is, and maybe to really bring it full circle, maybe the things I put out just aren't very likable, but like, it's nice. It's nice to get a like, you know, it's like, it's always great to like stuff, and I have to remember that I'm, I'm so brain dead when I'm scrolling, but I just I'll often be like, Ha, and they'll keep scrolling and it's like I got to remember to

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

smash that like and subscribe,

James Avramenko:

right? Exactly, exactly. Um, fuck Katie-Ellen. It is like it is just, it's so wonderful to talk to you again. It's so amazing to catch up with you. And I just like, I can't believe how long it's been like, I don't think I don't think I've seen you since I lived in Vancouver. Which is an ungodly amount of time.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

We also have a friendship that is in that genre of friendship. And I think that's probably also why you elicit such warm feeling. And early on is because we also third party endorsement, right? Of course, people that I loved, loved you. So you know, you're gonna skip, you're gonna skip the line.

James Avramenko:

He's cool.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

No velvet, we're getting rid of that velvet rope. So there's that. But also, we had the type of magical friendship, where we have never nor would we ever when we did live in the same city make plans to see one another. Specifically, we have never,

James Avramenko:

And there's no reason to

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Right. But you are someone who would just magically come into my life through other friends, you would just be at an event that I went to or you know, something like that. And it would and I would be lit up upon seeing you I'd be very happy to see you. And then it's like, yeah, this happy gift and it also takes no effort. It just exactly was.

James Avramenko:

Yeah, that's I almost find myself resenting people who make plans, because I'm like, oh, how dare you? How dare Dare you expect my time.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Come on.

James Avramenko:

I do love that idea of just like just let it happen, right? You don't mean and enjoy it, enjoy it when it happens. And don't don't try and hold on to it too much to make it happen. You know, and I hate to do this. We gotta we gotta wrap this up. God fuck we I just love I love there's nothing better in my life than like, just starting a conversation like this and just having a an hour just melt away. Like it's just the greatest, greatest experience. And I'm just, I'm so thankful for you coming on the show and just being who you are. And before before I unfriend you before we do, we're here to do I do want to say I'd love to hear like where can people find you? I know you know you've got your podcasts you got your comedy what what where where should Where should listeners go to find your good?

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, so the best place to my favorite place to be followed is on Twitter and I met Miss Katie Ellen on Instagram is the same although there's a it's Ms. Katie underscore Ellen on on Instagram and there Yeah, I'll

James Avramenko:

post about one of them. You're a divorcee.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yes, yeah, that's right. And, yeah, so there I'll post about all the kinds of things that I have coming up the thing that I'm enjoying the most right now in my these COVID time Because, of course I have lost as everyone has live performance. Yeah, and I am doing a monthly zoom comedy variety show. Which if you had told me, you know, nine months ago, I would have thrown up on my mouth. And even, you know, six months, even into pandemic, I was still like, I'm not ever doing zoom comedy. And I'm doing it and I actually love it. It was really lovely. And one of the things that it provides, you know, the entertainment and the acts that I have on are great, but you will get to hear people who are not in your house. Laugh, it's more about the other people on the line and is about the performance, like the performers are listening the laughter and things but you forget how valuable that is. You have anyone else's energy, doing anything.

James Avramenko:

It's I mean, it's it's the thing that is missing in all this I so so they don't have people muted kind of thing. Like, I

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

don't want my show and I choose so I let everyone know, you know, the audience isn't huge, maybe 50 people sure I'm proud of it. But

James Avramenko:

so that's been, that's amazing.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, I think 50 for zoom is pretty great. And the so I give everyone the option. So if you come in, you can you can come in with your cameras and your mics on if you want, you know, providing you have like a dog or you're making popcorn or something really loud in the background. You can have just your mic on if you want. And then also there's lots of people that turn don't have either of those things on because they they're not ready. They don't want to have that part of it. They don't want to put in they don't want to be part of it in that way, which I totally understand. And that's also really beautiful to me. I have a friend who rides her stationary bike while she watches it and you could never do that. Yeah. Like I just I truly love it.

James Avramenko:

And you're bringing your peloton bike just multitasking

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Okay, yeah, but I like to have people turn their mics on for that reason. That's the part that I want. I want to have people's I want to hear their feedback. I want people to be in the chat but I mostly Yeah, the laughter is the big thing but there every day the second Saturday of the month and the show is called show off go off.

James Avramenko:

And then last but not least you also have a podcast going on with Amitai

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yes I have a podcast called horning off main with former podcast guest of this show Amitai Marmor tein and yeah where we discuss o we discuss stuff that make you horny not sexually. Yeah, o we we want to know what yo are capable of getting excited bout at this time. So things that yeah, that you have the opt mism to desire. We're really into that and then also things that you've been off main abo t so which is just to say stuff that you've maybe felt a certai way about sharing about yourse f at different times, but then y u've worked through which for h and I both was horniness, hich we're deeply ashamed of and yeah we have yeah stand up c medy album that came out this year lady finger which is you ca get you can get on these stre ming platforms or wherever yo get and Spotify or any of hose things and you can check al all of this stuff out at Katie llen.com

James Avramenko:

amazing and I will have I will put all that in the show notes I will add all that yeah for for listeners to to click through but before they can click through they have to first review the episode give it a five stars they have to like it all and then we have to do one last thing too. So yeah, I'm gonna pull up your Facebook account here.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

bro.

James Avramenko:

Oh my god. You have the Brave Little Toaster.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

I know i 's gonna be tou

James Avramenko:

Buddy. My little buddy. Got the little electric blanket. Oh my god. All right, here we go. Katie-Ellen Humphries. We are no longer Facebook friends.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

feels right.

James Avramenko:

It does. Right. It's like one of those like, I don't think it was ever appropriate for us to be Facebook friends.

Katie-Ellen Humphries:

Yeah, I hink if we had not, if we hadn' met in the early aughts, there'

James Avramenko:

and that's it. Thanks once more to Katie-Ellen for coming on the show. I just adore her and I want nothing but the best for her. Check out her comedy album lady finger, her podcast horny off main and her comedy night all through the links in the show notes. If you liked this episode, don't forget to review it. Give friendless a five star and you can pretend like you're Rita repulsa you're making my monster grow to the bucket not deep enough. Now should either way be sure to follow friend list on all the social medias, I found this pod, check out my other show raised by the movies. This week we're doing a review of Aladdin. And let me tell you, we have some things to say about those cut abs and hammer pants. As always, the links for that are in the show notes as well. But that's it for me this week. So I'm gonna sign off with and I love you. And I hope you look in the mirror this week. And I hope you think Damn, that person smiling back at me deserves all the love in the world. There is no limit to the amount of love that that person deserves the bottomless abyss of love and acceptance. Like your Nietzsche you're staring into the abyss but that abyss there and back is super into you and just wants to shower you with love and light. Nice. I got a little sidetrack there. Anyway, I will catch you down the line with another great interview on friendless but as always, that is that and this is now. So for now. Just remember you're amazing and I'll see you soon. Fun and safety