Slow Children Crossing is an African-American sketch comedy group consisting of three women and two men: Alem Sapp, Brett Butler, Destini Meshack (BET’s “Played by Fame”), Saudia Rashed (“The New Guy”), Tiffany Thomas (“The Boondocks”). Their electric energy has been compared to “Kids in the Hall” meets “In Living Color” and as vibrant individuals, they each possess a unique voice in world of comedy. Due to growing popularity, they have performed in front of sold-out audiences.
And at the end of every comical show, SCC has the audience bursting with laughter. In fact, their willingness to make fun of themselves and the world around them creates an welcoming and lively atmosphere. Evil Monito sat down with the creators of SCC to discuss the evolution of the group and its positive impact on the community.
EM: How did Slow Children Crossing get started?
SCC: It started in January 2007 by Brett Butler. It was a collaborative effort and we all ended-up working together pretty well. Our ultimate goal is to have 30 minutes on cable network. Right now, we perform in front of live audiences, but we are working on a reality series in addition to “SCCTV” which shows webisodes mixed with live and filmed material. In Jan. 2007, we started in the local theater Complex, which has grown immensely over the years. We started out as strangers at first, but we’ve all shed tears and grown to love one another since.
EM: Does everybody in the group have the same collective vision?
Everyone brings their own perspective. There are dancers and singers; there are different political views, energy, honesty… it’s a unique mix.
EM: How has hip-hop played an influence in the writing of your sketches?
There are sketches about hip-hop. We were all raised in hip-hop so it’s a way of uniting all of us together. It’s also what the people want- we speak to the masses.
EM: Does Slow Children Crossing travel and perform world-wide?
Yes, we perform worldwide-we’ve been to L.A., Texas, N.Y., Chicago, Miami, Montreal, Germany, Seattle. But we basically go where the public wants us. It is amazing to see that the audience is all ages and varying backgrounds from middle-aged black couples to art-techie white boys.
EM: What changes have you made when transitioning from live performances to television?
We have a 30 minute pilot. We have organic humor that is unique to our style, but we still have the same intensity and authenticity.
EM: Has your group ever considered collaborating with other artists and comics?
Yeah, we’re always open to new collaborations. We’ve done collabos with Gregory Lemerett, Mya Shwartzer, Dave Cyrus from grannypunch.com, Miles Coletrain who’s a jazz musician. I’ve noticed that artistic conversations bring people together and that’s what we want, to bring people together regardless of their race or background.
The group composed of three women and two men with different perspectives. Destini was the youngest, but she was a writer and producer and even though she was the youngest, she took charge and did her thing. There was definitely good chemistry between all of us but at the beginning, we just sat down and started making good conversation, making jokes and eventually, we all got to know each other. At this point, we’re like an old married couple.
EM: You mentioned your group’s style of humor as organic. Can you explain further?
Organic humor organically grows; it is a suspension of humor. We have assorted flavors, a little bit of everything like a one-stop shop.
EM: What are the main issues you talk about in your sketches? Does everyone have a theme they try to stick to or does each person cover different topics? How does that develop?
We definitely touch on politics, social issues, economic issues. Our style is in your face but there is also a subtlety between the subtext. We’ve had emails and audience members come up to talk to us- which we always love. We’re still on the rise so it’s great to get our names out there. Ultimately, people want to feel a personal connection when they come watch us.
EM: How often do you perform? And how do you develop new ideas?
We perform every month, sometimes three times a month. But in general, we are a very active group. We get new ideas and new sketches all the time. We all throw around ideas and we do this on a consistent basis.
EM: As a group, what is the overall objective or message you would like to carry out to your audience?
We try to keep it fresh for the audience. We have our own tech person and everything was initiated by the people in our group. We love the creativity and diversity in our group because it allows us to be organic. As our group expands and becomes more well-known, we’d like to keep the core as it is. The original center/element should keep going and should always be there because that’s what makes us the group we are today.
Check out www.slowchildrenxing.com for upcoming shows, dates, and stay updated on their blog.