First Draft Episode #219: Janet Varney Janet Varney, Emmy-Nominated actor, comedian, writer, producer, and podcaster. She has appeared in dozens of TV shows, including You’re the Worst, Take My Wife, Burning Love, Stan Against Evil, and Fortune Rookie, and the voice of Korra in The Legend of Korra. She is also the co-founder, creative director, and producer of SF Sketchfest: the San Francisco Comedy Festival (now in its 19th year!), and hosts The JV Club podcast. Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode Take the First Draft listener survey! David Owen and Cole Stratton were in a sketch group, Totally False People, with Janet Varney. Together the three of them founded SF Sketchfest, and continue to run the annual month-long comedy festival to this day Totally False People got asked to perform at the Aspen Comedy Festival, and Janet was scoped out by Mad TV Bruce McCullough, one of the members of influential sketch comedy group Kids in the Hall, is one of Janet’s closest friends. They met in Janet’s capacity as producer of Sketchfest One of Janet’s earlier roles was on Love, Inc., a Busy Phillips project about a matchmaker Janet was able to craft her character on Burning Love with the blessing of Ken Marino and Erica Oyama, creators of the movies Janet plays “Janet Varney” on her IFC show, Fortune Rookie Janet (and I) went through the Upright Citizens Brigade improv school, which is focused on “game” as opposed to iO West and The Groundlings, where comedians create broad characters. Matt Besser is one of the four founders of UCB. Janet was the voice of Korra in The Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender (not for nothing, but I interviewed Michael DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar, and you can listen to that conversation here). Much like with Korra, I have read that the cast of Adventure Time recorded the show all in a room together. Janet’s podcast The JV Club is amazing! Check it out — you can start with my episode, if you like! Doug Benson’s podcast, Doug Loves Movies, and Jimmy Pardo’s podcast, Never Not Funny, were two comedy podcasts that were around when Janet started her own Pete Holmes’s You Made it Weird and Marc Maron’s WTF with Marc Maron are two long-form interview podcasts that inspired me to start First Draft Memento was a wildly original movie, but Janet argues that level of uniqueness should not be the standard all creators hold themselves to. Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder is a great shorthand guide for a formula to write a screenplay. I want to hear from you! Have a question about writing or creativity for Sarah Enni or her guests to answer? To leave a voicemail, call (818) 533-1998. You can also email the podcast at email@example.com. Subscribe To First Draft with Sarah Enni Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent; Linda Holmes, author and host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast; Jonny Sun, internet superstar, illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight! and author and illustrator of Everyone’s an Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too; Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; or Rhett Miller, musician and frontman for The Old 97s. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works. Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. It’s free! Rate, Review, and Recommend How do you like the show? Please take a moment to rate and review First Draft with Sarah Enni in Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Your honest and positive review helps others discover the show -- so thank you! Is there someone you think would love this podcast as much as you do? Please share this episode on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or via carrier pigeon (maybe try a text or e-mail, come to think of it). Just click the Share button at the bottom of this post! Thanks again!