By Laura Medina
After losing her job, being dumped then being nearly homeless, run over while biking, and having her grandma died, Andrea Fletcher was living a country song's lyrics...in Toronto, Canada's blistery weather.
So, chatting with a scribe on a perfect, California sunny day out on a restaurant patio seems like a dream come true.
Andrea met up with this scribe to chat her new, emerging web series, "Adventures with Angie," about a single woman searching for love in the City of Angels.
In a mere year and an half, she had been here, she peels off the veneer of "fun in the sun" to shine a light on...and make fun of the challenges of dating and mating that is unique in LA.
Following the lead of Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler, "I identify with that strong female voice, but also with that element of comedy, to be able to laugh at yourself because that's all you can really do, especially in L.A."
"I think L.A. is more challenging because it's more spread out, therefore you are forced to meet people in the same area. In other words, it's more challenging to date someone in Hollywood when you live in Malibu. It's almost a long-distance relationship because it's so vast out here; and also, I find that, because of that, it makes people more aloof. It's all done electronically, the text messages, the emails..;and they're not as personal; and I find people to be more flaky out here."
Andrea puts a finger on the pulse on why dating in L.A. is challenging...
Commenting on L.A.'s mating and dating scene, Andrea notices a class system. It's not like the Established East Coast of New Money versus Old Money. According to her, in L.A., it's the Newly Arrived Transplants being snobbed by Established New Money...
"I do noticed is there is a large percentage of people who reached a high level of success; and because of that, it does give them a very negative air where they do look down on people who don't have what they have. It's really sad because that's not what it should be about. It should be about basic human decency. It's definitely lacking out here, at else. I haven't found a large majority of people to be (decent)."
"I haven't given up hope. So, I think there are nice, decent people out here; and they just needed to found."
Then this scribe asked Andrea how this particularly L.A. class system affect online dating...
"Absolutely. Someone can seem so nice in profile then you meet them in person. You can also feel, that sense that vibe. Just the way they talk about themselves. Their mannerisms. You can be a better judge of a person by meeting them in person rather looking at their profile and reading a few text messages."
This L.A. Class System Dating Ritual is the basis of her comedy web series, "Adventures with Angie."
"I haven't given up hope, I still believe in love. Like my character in my show, that is her driving force. She is that Old School Dreamer who really believes in true love."
Andrea and this scribe both how career priorities rules over personal endeavors and commitments.
She absolutely feels that the thirties are the new twenties...
"You look back in the 1950's. If you were in your twenties, that's when you were getting married and having kids. Now, the times have changed. You have more options. We don't have to be wives and mothers. We can actually have a career and have the option to have kids later in life in our forties. I think that's great, very liberating; or you don't have to have kids or don't get married at all which is perfectly normal now a days."
As for where you can watch Andrea's "Adventures with Angie," she has partnered up with Mechaniks, a production company based out of Venice, CA.
"They partnered up with me; and we're about to shoot the pilot, so that's really exciting."
What Andrea is doing is reminiscing of what Chelsea Handler is doing immediately, moving onto NetFlix.
"Yeah, there's where it's going right now. A lot less people are watching cable TV or network TV. If they do, it's all online. I definitely think it's cost-effective to have something on the web. I don't know if what I do compares to Chelsea Handler...I write more of a situation-sketch comedy. I used to do stand-up comedy but not so much anymore; but, definitely (Chelsea Handler) she's a strong female voice I do look up to. I guess our shows are completely different but similar if this makes any sense."
"Each webispode, I've written 10 episodes for a little over a season. Each episode runs between 5 to 10 minutes. We're still polishing off the scripts...start small. Eventually, if we start having a following, then they can be longer, depending where it goes."
From transiting from writing for stand-up to writing for a 5 to 10 minutes web sitcom, what's the difference?
"I think you have more freedom writing for a sitcom because you can take the characters then develop them. You can actually build your audience, to actually have a relationship with the characters. Stand-up is completely different because the audience is right there in front of you. You have a mic for 5 minutes or whatever, the time you're allotted. You have to perform. You have to get them right away. Stand-up is definitely more challenging. At least with a sitcom, you have that opportunity where you can build your audience through your characters through their situations."
Andrea absolutely thinks it is important for women comedians to do stand-up.
As for young girls who want to be comedians, would Andrea recommend they should try and train in stand-up comedy, "Absolutely, yes. How would you know unless you try?"
"When I started doing stand-up, it wasn't because it was hilarious. It was actually more of therapy. I went through serious stuff, horrible things. One awful after the next. I lost my job. I got dumped. I was on the verge of being homeless. My grandma passed away. I got hit by a car when I was riding my bike. Horrible things that happen in a span of a couple of weeks. I was super depressed. One day, a friend of mine took me out to see her perform; and I just started laughing. I thought, 'You know what, you can control the good things in your life. You can control how you react to it."
This is the turning point where Andrea learned the basic thing about comedy, turning lemons into lemonade...
"So, for me, I love the fact you can take control. I write about all these awful things happening. I started turning them into jokes. A week later, I got up on stage, I did my first comedy set which killed. For me, it gave me that confidence to just continue on, get out of my depression and write. It's a real powerful thing to be able to laugh at yourself, to be able to laugh of those horrible things happening. It's easy to become a victim, to be down and depressed, 'why me?' but take that and spin it then turn it into something positive. It's very empowering; and it's definitely I recommend anyone tries."
After surviving all these mishaps, Andrea, surprisingly, on a restaurant patio on sunny California day, is really grateful that all those things happened or else, she wouldn't be here where she is today.
Actually, those incidents can become a show, joking.
Some of my favorite comedians are female. A lot of them do come from Canada."
What is it with Canada and so many comedians from there?
Jokingly, "We're slowing taking over L.A. We love the weather. It's nice to get away from the cold."
"The thing with Canada is...actually Toronto...part of the reason why I left Toronto is that I found it is a city that is filled with ridiculously talented people and not enough work opportunities."
"At least, out here, (in LA) it's a much bigger pond with more food to go around. I think the talent can rise to the top. If you don't have talent, you'll learn pretty quickly you will crash and burn pretty quickly out here. So, this is why so many people are attracted to L.A, for the opportunities."
When Andrea first moved here, obviously she missed the comforts of home. She discovered the Redondo Beach Cafe, http://redondobeachcafe.com/, a Canadian restaurant owned by a couple of Greek-Canadian brothers. It's home away from home for her. "I'm a big Toronto Maple Leaf fan, love hockey." They show all the hockey games. For every Canadian holiday, they throw a big party. They have their own mini version of Britweek, it's "Canada in California." It's a really cool spot in the South Bay.
As a Canadian, how does Andrea feel about the L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup?
"I am beyond excited. I became a Kings fan, see I love hockey and I love rooting for a winning team. The fact they won the Cup is super exciting. I was really grateful to follow them through each game and the play-offs. I was actually lucky enough to go to some of the play-off games which is the dream come true for me, having never gone to a play-off game in my life."
She believed if the Toronto Maple Leafs did what the L.A. Kings, they would had shut down the whole city. Los Angeles isn't as big hockey as Toronto is.
"The L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup...I love it!"