Joel Ruiz is a renaissance man who is shaking things up in this city with Evatt & Bloom to his area code project 423PK. The Facebook page for Evatt & Bloom says that it “is a video production company that produces comedy shorts, series, promos, and live comedy shows,” and for 423PK it “is the definitive resource for all Chattanooga music. 423PK was founded by David Ruiz of 423BraggingRights and Joel Ruiz of Evatt & Bloom.”
I asked Ruiz a few questions via email the other day…
Nathan Gayle: What is Evatt & Bloom in your words and how did it get started?
Joel Ruiz: Evatt & Bloom is my production company. When I first started it I was just using it to put out web series and shorts, it wasn’t until 2013 that I started to run all of my comedy shows under the name, after Chris Dortch of MES (Mise En Scenesters) suggested for me to do so. The company was started when I filmed my first ever web series, “Back of the House”, and we were trying to come up with names for a production studio, it wasn’t until halfway through filming the 10 episode series that we came up with the name Evatt & Bloom.
Gayle: Where do y’all perform (when it is not on the webs)?
Ruiz: The main venue we use in town for comedy shows is JJs Bohemia. We’ve been running shows out of there for four years now as our main venue. We have a weekly open mic (Wed 7-9 p.m.) and two monthly showcases, the Comedy Buffet where we bring in a national headliner and then the Friendship Explosion where we bring in a group of regional and up-and-coming comics to showcase. We have also put on shows at numerous venues around town like The Office, The Honest Pint, CBC Downtown, Sluggos, and more.
Gayle: What style of comedy is it?
Ruiz: The comedy at our stand up shows has a very broad range. We do book at a 21[plus] venue so we don’t worry about censorship due to age groups. Also, we don’t just book one certain type of comic as far ‘gimmicks’ go, we just like good comedy. Whether it be Nate Bargatze who works 90 percent clean or Doug Stanhope who is known for pushing the envelope as far as he can, we just want funny. As far as the sketches go they vary too. As of now, I am the only writer for it but we are taking submissions this month to build up our writer staff.
Gayle: What is 423PK in your words and how did it get started?
Ruiz: 423PK is a Chattanooga musical database as well musical resource. The project was started with my brother, David Ruiz, in the summer of 2013. Originally, we had planned to start trying to offer band’s EPK videos to make a little extra money. But as we talked more and more about the stuff we’d like to do and how to offer it the idea started to grow on its own, and before we knew it 423PK had become much bigger than any of us had imagined.
Gayle: How has the musicians responses been to 423PK?
Ruiz: The response has been overwhelming. The first day we launched the site we had over 10,000 views and we have averaged a minimum of 1,000 views a day and upwards to 5,000 to 6,000 is very common. As of January 24 we will have posted our 50th band and we feel that there are at least 100 more active bands in Chattanooga.
Gayle: Do you plan on adventuring out into other arts if this works or have you already branched out?
Ruiz: The main focus on 423PK right now is music, it is one of the largest art forms in town and that is why we chose to showcase it first. After we start to feel like we’ve got a hold on the musician and band pages we want to start showcasing graphic design artists, sound engineers, belly dancers, street teams, and other show-enriching elements. Then, after we do plan to move into a form of art and culture around Chattanooga.
As far as Evatt & Bloom goes, our primary focus is producing live comedy shows and shorts. We are always willing to work on other genres and projects with people that need our help or collaboration.
Gayle: Has social media help you get you message out for both Evatt & Bloom and 423PK?
Ruiz: Social media has been a big helpfor sure, we’ve able to connect to a lot of people for both companies to sustain interests as well as increase it in our various projects. Evatt & Bloom’s online presence relies heavily on people being able to find our sketches with ease. 423PK is almost entirely internet based in it’s early stages so we use any service we can to find people in Chattanooga that need our services.
Gayle: What are the social media tags for Facebook, Twitter and Youtube?
Ruiz: E&B FB: facebook.com/EvattBloom
E&B YouTube: youtube.com/user/evattbloom/videos
423PK FB: facebook.com/423PK
Gayle: Is there a website people may visit?
Ruiz: The 423PK site is at 423pk.com
and we are currently working on the layout of the E&B site and hope to have it out some time in Feburary or March after our casting session is done.
Gayle: Who influenced you as an artist?
Ruiz: As far as stand up comedy goes I’d say Louis C.K.was a huge influence. He was one of the first comics I remember watching and thinking that is something I’d like to do one day. For sketch comedy I grew up on Monty Python and Kids in the Hall. As for the video work I do 423PK and other related projects I have been having a lot of fun working with bands to get a feel for who they are and their influences to help shape the outcome of each new project we take on.
Gayle: Wow, those are two huge projects you have going on. How do find time for yourself?
Ruiz: My brother and I are two people that were never comfortable sitting still for too long so that has helped with the hectic schedules we find ourselves in at times. I try to give myself time each week to ‘relax decompress’ as to not burn out. But I still find myself ready and willing to work at the drop-of-a-hat for either of these projects because I truly love what I am able to do in this city and for this city.
423PK is always taking submissions for new profiles All basic profiles are free. All you need to do is go to the link provided and sign up. 423br.com.