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Meet Katherine Biskupic and Leah Frires of Pure & Weary in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katherine Biskupic and Leah Frires.

Katherine and Leah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Katherine: We met as students in 2008 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and bonded over live music and non-dorm food.
Leah: And kamikaze shots!
Katherine: Mmmm college.
Leah: We moved to Chicago separately to pursue comedy, training at Second City-Chicago and The Annoyance Theatre. We joined forces about four years ago.
Katherine: We started writing two-person comedy shows and toured comedy festivals around the country. At the Dallas Comedy Festival, a manager saw our set and helped us make the move out to Los Angeles.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Leah: A lot of our challenges are similar to what we faced before we banded together. We were in Chicago doing shows separately and our ideas were rarely taken seriously. We could play the dumb blonde and busty slut in shows written by others but we were not offered many opportunities to write for ourselves.
Katherine: We started our duo to write well-rounded, female characters under relevant, hilarious themes. Those struggles prepared us for a lot of the obstacles out here.
Leah: In meetings, we’re often asked, “What makes you two different from Broad City?” but we know that’s only because they don’t have enough references for what funny women in supportive friendships look like.
Katherine: Eventually, those basic story elements won’t be so out of the ordinary and it is getting better. The challenge of opportunity eases once you realize you can create for yourself. We’re very lucky that our creativity and work ethic just clicks.
Leah: And we both like whiskey and the blues!
Katherine: Yes, we’d never be able to write without that in common.

Please tell us about Pure & Weary.
Katherine: We write, perform and produce comedy but we thrive most collaborating.
Leah: We write our two-person shows a couple of times a year working with directors, musicians and theatre companies — mostly Second City-Hollywood and the Comedy Central Stage.
Katherine: We also host all female variety nights which has been great for meeting a ton of talented people.
Leah: Whether it’s our live or filmed content, we like to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to keep doing what they love. There can be a lot of competition out here which is great in some ways, but we try and stay rooted in good ol’ Midwestern kindness, dontcha know. Sorry, I’ve never said that before in my life. I’m from Cleveland. But I’m still nice!
Katherine: I’m from Wisconsin. I’ve probably said that.

What were you like as a child?
Leah: I was a ham of all hams! Once I got my first laugh, I never stopped.
Katherine: We’re both middle children who needed attention. I was a little more reserved but loved performing. I once sang, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” off the balcony to passing cars when I was six years old.
Leah: That’s when she knew.
Katherine: That’s when I knew.
Leah: I watched SNL growing up and looked up to Ana Gastyer and Maya Rudolph.
Katherine: I loved Carol Burnett. Leah actually got us tickets to see her in Chicago which was incredible.

Contact Info:

Pure & Weary are performing at the Comedy Central Stage on Wednesday, June 26th at 8pm. Tickets are free but reservations are required here https://bit.ly/2M8UZqk  or at https://www.comedycentralstage.com

Image Credit:
Leslie Hassler, Sophia Lee Borazanian, Aaron Alpert

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