David Cross Talks About What Projects He's Most Excited About

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Answers by David Cross, Performer, writer & producer; w/ Bob and David, Mr. Show, Arrested Development, on Quora.

Well, my latest tour, "Making America Great Again," is going to take up half of the year and it's been six long years since I've been out so I am very excited about that. It's exhausting (especially now that I am an old man) but it's soooo worth it. There's truly nothing better than stand-up. When the tour is done, I will finish up working on a show for Sky in the U.K. that I am really enthusiastic about.
It's a bit different for me in that it is more dramatic and serious than anything I've done to date. It still has a lot of comedic moments, but nothing broad or farcical in any way; very much grounded in reality. I am working with two GREAT writers on it. I can't give anything away but it's a really great idea. And like a bunch of stuff that I find myself participating in, or just watching, has a complicated story of a world unraveling. I know that's vague but I'm afraid that will have to do for now.


A: I don't really have a routine, per se, but if I'm writing by myself I do tend to get more work done within about an hour of waking up. I write until I don't want to anymore. Then the guilt from not finishing/working more will drive me back to the script (or whatever it is) when I find myself reading about Kanye West on Huffington Post and realize how much I've been wasting my time.

The way I select my projects, much to the consternation of my wife who wants me to write something for the two of us to work on together, is that I don't select anything. I wait for the idea to come to me. I've never approached the creative process with any kind of manufactured necessity. If I come up with an idea that I like beyond the initial beating it out process, then that's my next project. Sometimes I have a backlog of two or three or even four major ideas ready to go, and sometimes I got nothin'. For months.

I always outline. Then I quickly try to get a first draft down. I overwrite on purpose too, knowing full well that at least half, if not much more, will be trashed as I start re-writes. The hardest thing is actually starting. Once you've got that going, the rest starts to fall into place.

I am never finished with a project. I work until the very last second or penny spent. And then I slink around knowing that it could have been better if "only this, or that," etc.


A: Effortless, really. Bob and I had been meeting very informally here and there when we could (we live over 3,000 miles apart), and would pitch ideas and write and re-write for a couple of months as we were trying to get the format and deal for the show in place. Then came the time to "try to get the band back together," as it were, and get as many of the old (and I do mean "old") writers back together as could make it. Almost all of them did and that was the first time we had all sat in the same room like that in roughly sixteen years. It was fucking magic. We immediately fell into the same roles and give-and-take comic riffing. I hadn't laughed that hard, that continuously, since I saw the movie "Rent."

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