In the latest installment of TA interviews, Bwog oldtimer, Carolyn Ruvkun, returned from
the dead retirement to chat with with Upright Citizens Brigade Artistic Director, Reddit meme, and Columbia sociology PhD candidate Nate Dern. Also, we may have Google stalked him and found his hilarious Tumblr.
Bwog: How’d you end up here as a PhD sociology student?
Nate: Over the last ten years of my life, my main goal has been not to have a 9-5 job. And I thought, “Aw man, if you’re an academic, you get to think about social science questions all the time.”
Bwog: What are you researching?
Nate: How people cooperate, specifically new media technology to facilitate group collaboration like crowd-sourcing. And I’m also making a documentary film about the New York City improv comedy community, of which I’m also a part. And that’s kind of my other double life that I lead when I’m out of Columbia. I’m based out of the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre.
Bwog: That’s awesome, how’d you end up at UCB?
Nate: It is! I’m very honored to be part of the community. So I took classes there, and after a year I was lucky enough to get placed on an improv team, and I work there now as Artistic Director.
Bwog: Sounds important.
Nate: In our little world, yeah. I choose our schedule basically, I run our auditions, and I’m our industry lisason, so if CBS wants to cast someone for the Louis CK pilot, they’ll send me an email.
Bwog: Do you have a signature bit?
Nate: I have a pretty good bodega man character. He’s just worried that people will try to buy his cat and he wants to make it very clear that the cat is not for sale.
Bwog: And you’re a Reddit meme? I love Reddit, and that’s a form of internet collaboration!