Despite not knowing any good jokes off-hand, U3 Arts student Joey Haar considers himself to be a budding comedic writer. When he’s not working on completing his English major, he’s writing, creating, and editing videos as the series producer for TVMcGill Student Television (TVM).
TVM, McGill’s channel for student-run television and film media, offers a wide variety of video content. Initially a movie-making club in the 1990’s, TVM became one of SSMU’s official media outlets in 2001 and now covers everything from current news events to prank videos.
Haar’s work with TVM is helping to further his aspirations for his future career.
“I like TV shows, and that’s what I’d like to create, more than I would [want to] write a film,” Haar said. “Right now what I’m looking at is trying to find a way to get into TV writing.“
Having first been introduced to TVM at the end of his second year through a friend who was producing a series at the time, Haar became involved in the club in his third year. He was initially attracted to the idea of being able to write his own video content.
“My interests were [in] writing more than anything else,” he said. “I’m a writer at heart all the way through, so the writing process is definitely my favourite part [….] It’s all very creative and interesting.”
As the series producer, Haar oversees the production of all video content within the “series” category, in addition to coming up with new ideas for projects.
“I’m in charge of my own personal series that I’m doing [called Bits], as well as making sure the other series of my associates get made,” he said. “So they’re checking in with me and making sure that everything runs smoothly.”
According to Haar, creating these videos requires dedication and planning from start to finish.
“I spent all of last semester doing my shooting, so I was taking out equipment all the time and getting my actors together,” he said. “This semester, I’m in post-production so I’m going to just be sitting in the office staring at a computer for hours and hours at a time, but it’s fun!”
Haar’s talent isn’t restricted to the small screen; currently, he is also involved with the live comedy troupe, Bring Your own Juice, which puts out new sketch videos through the TVM website and also performs two live shows a year.
“Last semester I did writing for them and this semester I’m going to write and perform in the show,” he said.
Outside of TVM, Haar occasionally does stand-up comedy, which will be integrated into his series along with other short sketches.
He began doing stand-up after second year having watched a few live shows.
“After I saw it, I thought ‘How hard could that really be?’ Turns out it’s like, really, really insanely hard,” Haar said.
“It’s challenging, it keeps you on your toes, it keeps you interested…mentally [….] It’s like an addictive drug-type experience; you go up on stage and you make people laugh and adrenaline just runs.”
What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
Probably a pizza. Realistically, it’s going to be something low-key.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
The old, big maid from Gone With the Wind.
Breakfast food or dinner food?
Dinner food because it’s pretty much any food except breakfast food, so you have more options.
If you had a theme song that played whenever you walked into a room, what would it be?
My bar mitzvah [torah reading], performed by me at 13 years old.