You wake up around 9:30am, stroll to your computer, check a few things, e-mail a few people, and finally get to your morning coffee around 10:30am. Sound like your perfect weekend day? What if I tell you that it can be your work day, every day? Don’t believe me? Ask Ethan Fixell, comedian, writer and envy of all morning-haters.
“Oh man, I think if people knew my actual day-to-day, they wouldn’t talk to me — either out of jealousy, or disgust. I try to wake up every day by 9:30 at the very latest — I feel like any later and I can never quite catch up on work. I mosey on over to my computer and fire off emails to editors, agents, etc. and make my daily coffee at around 10:30. I try to do as much “work” as possible until 1PM, but most of this time is usually consumed by distractions: Twitter, online shopping, and gchatting with friends. After lunch is one of my most productive times, usually when I get a big chunk of my writing done, until around 5PM, when I go to Pilates class like a 45-year-old post-pregnant woman…with half a dozen 45-year-old post-pregnant women. I come back and mess around on the computer until dinner, after which I watch TV with my fiancee to remind ourselves that we exist. And then, from 10PM until bedtime (like, 1 or 2AM?) I have my biggest creative burst. This is always when I get my 1st drafts done, and the afternoon is when I edit and refine them. As Ernest Hemingway supposedly said, “Write drunk; edit sober.””- says Fixell, but this “perfect” schedule didn’t happen overnight, and it’s definitely not by luck of the draw.
Fixell, a young, energetic and hilarious (obviously) comedian/writer from New York, shares with us his triumphs and tribulations that have gotten him to where he is today. Fixell began his career when he and Dave (a lifelong buddy of his) decided to team up, post an ad on craigslist (along with a YouTube video) asking girls to double date them. This led to the guys quite a few (almost 200) double dates, the birth of a video series on YouTube (http://youtube.com/daveandethan), a live show, a tour, and last but not least, some appearances on The Tonight Show. Sound easy? Didn’t think so.
While Fixell may be at the top of his game, like everyone, he’s struggled with getting to that happy place. He shares with us some inspiration about those hard times by telling us, “For every success, I’ve probably had 10 disappointments, which I think is a pretty common ratio in the worlds of showbiz and writing, if not a pretty decent one. I’ve had plenty of deals or potential gigs fall through… and sometimes an employers plans simply change. The fourth time Dave and I were scheduled to perform on the Tonight Show, our segment ended up getting cut due to a time constraint. Of course it was a let down (especially for my mom, who was sitting at home shouting at the television, “WHERE IS MY SON??”), but we totally understood, and there were no hard feelings on our end whatsoever. You have to know going into it that if you want to make it in the world of entertainment, you can’t possibly take things personally. Ever.”
Currently, Ethan writes for MTV’s Guy Code, Askmen.com, Gurl.com, and Food & Wine magazine. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for the future, and we will leave you with a few Q&A’s so you can get to know him better. Don’t forget to follow Ethan on twitter at @EthanFixell and check out his work!
Binge: How did you get involved with writing? Has it always been a passion?
Ethan: “Writing has always been a passion since I was a kid. (I self-published my first book, “Melvin Moves Away,” in middle school. It sold two copies. To my parents.) In college I was an English major with a creative writing concentration. I veered away from writing a bit after school, touring in a rock band for 2 years and working at the Apple store and in real estate (ugh) for extra cash…But the bass player in my band, Alex Moore, is the Editor-in-Chief of Death +Taxes Magazine, and he gave me a shot at my first professional freelance gig. I built a portfolio from there!”
BM: Who are your biggest inspirations?
EF: “DAVE!* (*He paid me $12 to write that.) Otherwise, Steve Martin was probably the first comedian I really connected with as a kid. I used to watch all of his stand-up, movies, and SNL appearances. Woody Allen was a huge influence as well — especially the fact that he did so much amazing writing (a lot of which doesn’t get nearly enough credit). Later in his life, Steve (I call him Steve) has done a lot of brilliant fiction AND non-fiction writing, too. I love comedians who craft their words carefully and meticulously on paper.”
BM: How do you keep on your feet? Staying creative is hard!
EF: “My brain is wired so that I can’t turn the fucking thing off. As long as I continue to write and perform on a pretty regular basis, I can pretty much surf an endless creative wave. It’s when I stop for too long that I get in trouble.”
BM: If you weren’t a comedian/writer…what do you think you’d be doing?
EF: “Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a comedian. Except for one year (when I was 7) that I wanted to be a magician. But I guess if I had to pick an alternate dream job it’d be rock star. (Are you sensing a theme here? Clearly I need attention. Look at me. Look at me.)”
BM: Do you have favorite magazines/tv shows? What are they?
EF: “I read GQ, Esquire, Time, and New York Magazine pretty regularly. I love beer mags like Draft and Beer Advocate, too. TV, I watch stuff like Mad Men, House of Cards, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, the Wire…. And The Bachelor.”
Also, a huge congrats to Ethan on his upcoming wedding (THIS WEEKEND!) We, at Binge Magazine, wish the new Mr. & Mrs. Fixell a lifetime of laughs and happiness!
(credit to Eric Michael Pearson Photography- ericmichaelphotography.com)