Matt Bellassai is a social media star and icon. He is bringing his “Drunk and Alone Tour” to Seattle for two shows only this Thursday. He took some time from the sweltering heat in New York to speak with us about the show, his work and life in general. Get your tickets for the late show here.
Earle Dutton: You have had a big year. How does it feel to be out on your own and traveling the country?
Matt Bellassai: I know! It has been a crazy year! It has only been about six months since I have been on my own. It still feels like I am getting my “grown up” life in order a bit. I am having a lot of fun, though. I don’t think I anticipated having this much fun. I get to meet so many people while traveling all over the place. I like this world of getting up on stage every night. It is so much different than being behind the camera. The interaction of getting the audience to laugh in front of you is great. It is a lot of fun. I am enjoying while I can.
ED: Do you find it hard to stay on schedule and get things done on your own?
MB: It is a little more difficult to be my own boss. I am not really equipped to be my own boss. When you work at a big company, you have all these people doing different things that allow you to focus on being creative. When you are on your own, you have to worry about a lot more than just being creative. You have to worry about managing your schedule, making sure you get to places on time and so much more. I obviously have a lot of people to help me on those things but there is just so much more. I don’t think I understood the entire scope of the challenge when I was deciding whether or not to go it on my own. I have managed not to screw it up entirely in the last six months.
One of Matt’s newest videos:
ED: Could you tell me a little bit about your upcoming book?
MB: Yes, it is going to be sort of a collection of essays and humor. I think that a lot of people know me by this character I play in the videos which is very similar to myself but there is also a real person behind all of these rants and opinions. There is a story behind the person who drinks at his desk or makes videos drinking alone. I want to have a little fun with it. I am hoping to give people a little insight into my life. I want to give them some really great stories as well.
ED: So I am guessing that you drink during the show. Do you just stop at the liquor store on the way to the venue or send them a list?
MB: I am surprising low maintenance. I usually just arrive and tell them that I will take whatever cheapest red wine. At this point I just drink whatever is put in front of me.
ED: How does it feel going from a podcasting alone to performing on stage in front of sold out crowds?
MB: I never really thought of myself as a performer. I am from Chicago and then moved to New York to be a writer. I was a writer for a few years here before I started to do the videos with Buzzfeed then on my own. I sort of fell into doing the videos and got comfortable on camera. I started to really enjoy it and the response was so great. It seemed so natural and logical that my shtick of getting drunk and complaining would lend itself to performing live. There were a couple places that wanted to book me and I was all about trying it out. My first show was in Long Island. I wrote out a set and talked to the club owner. He asked about the length of my set and how long I usually go up on stage. I had absolutely no idea. I told him we were going to find out that night. It could be twenty minutes or even two hours. We are going to learn this together. It has been sort of a work in progress and I am still learning. So far the response has been awesome and almost all of the shows have sold out completely. The most gratifying part is that the people at the shows seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. I think the transition from video to stage has been so much easier because the audiences have been so great.
ED: Could you tell me a little about the show you are bringing to Seattle?
MB: Well, it is called “Reasons I Will Be Single Forever”. It is a lot of humor about me and my kind of disgusting life. The choices I make on a day to day basis that I believe might render me without a loved one for at least a good while. There are a lot of jokes in there about those issues.
ED: Do you feel that people relate and see themselves in some of the things you joke about?
MB: Definitely! It is gratifying on one hand. A lot of the places I am performing are comedy clubs. People are getting drinks and food while tending to be very chatty throughout my set. I have discovered that people actually turn to their friends and ask if they remember that time when you did that sort of thing. It sometimes resonates too well with people. They just won’t shut up when I am on stage talking about stuff. It is a good thing and bad thing all at once.
More about Matt Bellassai
Matt Bellassai is the first social media star to pop from Facebook, Bellassai muses on pop culture, the Internet, and the struggles of life as a single, gay, would-be adult living in New York City. Most recently, Bellassai was the writer, producer, and star of BuzzFeed’s Whine About It, a comedic web series that drew an audience of more than 3.5 million viewers weekly. With more than 1.5 million followers on Facebook, Bellassai also has a robust following on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, where his content has been viewed more than 125 million times in just the past six months. Matt is also the recipient of the 2016 People’s Choice Awards winner for Favorite Social Media Star.
**VIP ticket includes a post-show meet & greet. Get your tickets for the late show here.