The interwebs have been good to Joe Moses.
His first round of internet fame came from playing Severus Snape in Team Starkid's online parody sensation, "A Very Potter Musical." Then he went viral with his follow-up YouTube project, "The Potion Master's Corner."
For the past two years, he's been performing a sketch and improv comedy show called "The Joe Moses One Man Showses" (#JMOMS), which featured himself and a rotating cast of guests. But for a five-city live tour—which kicked off Saturday in New York City—he added Curt Mega (Nick on "Glee") and Tessa Netting (from the Broadway production of "Billy Elliott") as permanent tour cast members. And since it was no longer a one-man show, he changed the show name to simply "The Joe Moses Showses."
He took to Twitter to break the news. "For the sake of honesty and our poor confused Jewish mothers trying to get a date," he tweeted on July 11, "I'm gradually changing #JMOMS to #JoMoShow." On July 13, Moses staged a streaming Twitter promotion for #JoMoShow that trended worldwide. We called the L.A.-based actor—as he arrived at Comic-Con International in San Diego—to find out more about the show, internet fame and his relationship with social media. And herewith, Moses discloses.
His description of himself in less than 140 characters: "Well, I have a rote answer: 'Actor, writer, robot fighter.' I'm an actor, a writer, improviser, a comedian, voice actor. Everything I can do, basically, I will do. I just love to perform and I've been doing it my whole life and social media has been really, really quite a gift to me and to all of StarKid, finding an audience and communicating with them directly."
If he were stranded on a deserted island with access to only one social media platform: "The best one is the one you use the most, right? Twitter is the one I use most frequently. But! The one that has the most ability to communicate information and be creative is actually Tumblr, but it's still less mainstream. It's a little more mainstream now that Yahoo has purchased them and they've been in the news more recently. But it's definitely the best one. I can put pictures, videos, text—everything you want, you can put on Tumblr. You can answer questions directly. So Tumblr's the most thorough, but Twitter is probably the most popular."
On the #JoMoShow Twitter promotion: "I've never personally had anything trend on Twitter before. So I just thought it would be a lot of fun."
How he made it happen: "I emailed and called a bunch of my friends that have a following of their own on Twitter and sort of secretly put the word out to them. And then a couple days before, I put it out on my Twitter—'Hey guys, at noon Pacific Time on Saturday, we're going to try and trend it.' And all my friends really came through for me. It's a very cool little community of people I'd met through various things and became friends with for whatever reason. Not only StarKid but people like Jackie Emerson from "The Hunger Games" and [comedian] Grace Helbig and some people who have a very strong online presence. [Disney princess parodist] Jon Cozart contributed as well. It's hard to trend something on Twitter worldwide. [Laughs.] But it came through! And I was so happy everyone chipped in to help me. I was very, very excited about that."
The importance of a virtual community: "We're going to five cities to start out with. If everything goes well, we'll expand and go to more cities. But this is something that everybody can participate in. And that's really important to me. That's something I really enjoy—that everyone can have a voice in it. And it definitely was the case, 'cause it was trending in the U.S. first, which makes sense 'cause we're going to U.S. cities. But then shortly after that, the U.K. and Australia started contributing and that really bumped it up to worldwide. That was so cool. [Laughs.]"
The lowdown on the Chicago show: "It's hard to describe in one word; I try to call it Panda-tacular. Basically, it's sketch comedy, improvisation, music and parodies all in one. What's new about this show is we're having even more audience interaction than we've ever had before—it will be very interactive."
The top-secret interactive components: "We're keeping it a little bit under wraps, but we always interact with the audience during an improv segment called 'Joe Moses Supposes,' where I actually take live questions from the audience and answer them and then if my co-host doesn't like the answer, they ring the bell and I have to come up with a completely new answer on the spot. That's something we've been working on. But then in particular for this show, at the end there's a segment of 'quote-unquote' musical improvisation and we're actually going to bring up a volunteer to be part of our final musical number."