By Tammy Scileppi
A lot of cool stuff happens in Astoria. So why not a comedy web series about a struggling, food-obsessed real-life Astoria couple?
“Doing stand-up comedy is such a loner activity that we thought collaborating together in a web series would be a great way to spend time, let alone doing what we love,” co-creator Amy Jans said. “We really wanted to make fun of the fights that couples have that are so unimportant.”
Out of that, came “Babe and Bave.” Jans is Babe and her significant other, Dave Rosinsky, is Bave. The title is based on the offscreen nicknames the two comics have for each other.
As a young couple in love, Jans, who is in her mid-20s, said she and Rosinsky, in his late 30s, were “always playing and having fun, goofing around.” So, sharing their funny shenanigans with YouTube audiences seemed like the logical next step on their comedic journey. “Babe and Bave” launched in January and new episodes come out every Friday. If you need a good laugh and a temporary break from all the craziness of everyday life, you should check it out. It’s like free therapy.
“We chose food as the first set of themed series, as we find it so funny how many fights in any relationship — mom, dad, sister, brother, best friends, co-workers, boyfriends/girlfriends, kids, adults, etc. — comes from the topic of food,” said Jans, who brings curiosity and wonderment into a character she describes as a hopeful dreamer. They say opposites attract, and the assertive and direct Brooklyn-born, Staten Island-raised Rosinsky proves to be the perfect sparring partner, with his character’s sharp, quick joke structure.
“Food truly does connect everyone, and everyone can relate to overreacting due to being hungry or disagreeing due to taste,” Jans said. “Food can be the ultimate unity, or ultimate separation at times. The funny thing is down the line, it’s just food!”
The series is based somewhat on the couple’s personal experiences but “only a small ounce,” according to Jans. “We may take inspiration from something we experienced, but then bend it out of shape and stretch the situation to be exaggerated and entertaining.
“We have so much fun playing around with writing… the places we both exaggerate to, it cracks us both up. We just love to have fun while filming. We play from a super exaggerated version of ourselves, so there is a big cushion-y space between the reality, but there is always an acorn of truth.”
The motivation behind the duo’s joint endeavor is a familiar one to many comics, who feel a burning desire to express themselves beyond their creatively limited comedy club scene gigs.
“I took a digital storytelling class at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology); our class project was to create a web series. [It] is a perfect project for a comic to invest their time in because it allows you to get content out in a world that is permanent, which is complimentary to doing stand-up, as you could do a ten-minute set, and that’s it… it’s over,” Jans said.
“As for the birth of ‘Babe and Bave,’ I knew I wanted Dave to be a part of it. He is one of the funniest New York City comics, yet is ‘anti-social media.’ Being ‘anti-social media’ in the entertainment industry can hurt your career, as agents and managers will only give you the time of day if you have a following.”
Jans, a New Jersey native, says she created the series on a waitress’ salary.
“Being on a budget in real life, but still wanting to create content with a web series, I realized I would have to edit and film it myself. So, I bought a DSLR camera and learned an editing program. We shoot at locations that are public, like a lake, or just film in our apartments.”
The comical couple thought about crowd funding, but said they always felt “weird asking for things.” Also, by not crowd funding, they said they’d have more freedom to experiment, so they could find a more focused series down the road.
“Series develop over time. We are doing ‘Babe and Bave’ by having fun and filming and learning with each episode as we do it,” says Jans. “The low stakes definitely give us a nice platform for learning and growing on our own terms.”
When the couple first started dating, Jans recalled that she loved coming out to Astoria where Dave had his digs so much, she ended up moving five blocks from him.
“The food is amazing; the family energy, the park community, the special events, like the Fourth of July fireworks and the summer movie series in the park, are so special,” she said. “Living in New York City but having a family community feel is really special. It’s a truly great neighborhood.”
These days, you can catch Jans doing stand-up, mostly at bar shows around Manhattan (Karma Lounge, East Village), Brooklyn (Legion Bar), and sometimes in Queens. Rosinsky, who also does freelance legal work for a law firm, performs locally at times, at Q.E.D., and at Gotham and UCB in Manhattan.
As “Babe and Bave” continues to entertain YouTube audiences every Friday, with new episodes centered around food drama, Jans said she and Dave plan to take it from the focused theme of “Food Fight” to “zooming out to just ‘Babe and Bave.’”
They’re also excited about a once-a-month live stand-up comedy show, which is in the works, as they search for a venue either in Astoria or Manhattan.
Like all couples, Babe and Bave bicker about the little things. They always have some kind of zany misunderstanding to iron out, and in their case, it’s usually food-related.
When you watch the series, you may wish to ponder this question: Is this just about eating… or is there something else going on?