VERNON - YouTube sensation Ian Fisher got his start writing comedy sketches and goofing off as Mage the Street Magician in Vernon.
That was back in Fisher’s teen years at Seaton Secondary. The Toronto-based actor has now moved on to bigger projects like The Party Show, but he'll never forget his earliest ventures.
“No matter what I do, I don’t know if I’ll ever live up to Mage the Magician,” Fisher, 24, says with a laugh. “It was the first video I ever uploaded. I played a magician who ran around doing magic, kind of a David Blaine spoof.”
At that time, YouTube was just starting to catch on and Fisher didn’t know anyone who’d ever loaded a video before. For a group of budding comedians, it was the perfect medium to connect their work with an audience.
“YouTube was new and exciting and you could share it with people,” he says. “We had our own T.V. channel.”
Fast forward several years, and Fisher has scored roles on shows like Between, Covert Affairs, Beauty and the Beast and Reign — but he’s still making his own YouTube videos in his spare time. Along with two friends he met through acting, Rockland Picard and AJ Vaage, Fisher’s latest project, The Party Show, was born. The concept is simple: in each episode three guys head to a different party. Beyond that, you never know what to expect during an episode.
“The episode itself, whether a toga or karaoke party or bachelor party, it’s not as important as what the actors do against the template. The fun part is how these guys interact with each other and the world,” Fisher says.
While the characters share the same names as their real life counterparts, Fisher says “they aren’t exactly like we are in real life — thank god.” Watch the show, which contains some adult oriented subject matter harkening to The Hangover or HBO's Girls, and you’ll see what he means.
“There are some situations that come up in real life where we’ll go, that’s got to be an episode of The Party Show,” he says. “Rockland and I were at a party recently, it was basically writing itself.”
So far, the trio of friends has released a trailer and two roughly 20 minute episodes of The Party Show, and fans are anxious for more.
“We got bombarded with requests for the second episode, and after that was released, it was nonstop,” Fisher says. “The problem is having a show that takes place at a party, you pretty much need to throw a party.”
Each episode requires luring around 20-30 acting and production friends out with delicious food, beer and the promise of hilarity, and Fisher says it’s never been a problem gathering a crowd. With friends donating their time, talents, and filming equipment, the shows themselves haven’t cost more than $1,000 out of the creators’ pockets. While the ultimate dream would be to have a television network pick up the series, YouTube affords the writers freedom to air whatever they want.
“It’s a blank slate to create the kind of show we want to make,” Fisher says. “We’re not limited by a studio that would tell us you can’t make a joke about (something). If we find it funny, we’ll make the joke.”
Co-creator Rockland Picard, 28, says working with Fisher and AJ has been a great ride. The television buff and comedy writer says some of the group’s favourite shows — such as Parks and Rec and Community — are reflected in The Party Show. He predicts the entertainment industry will soon be moving towards more Internet shows.
“We’re going to be right there partying away,” he says.
*Viewer discretion is advised*
Credit: YouTube/ The Party Show
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.