Venomous Koala Orgy: Band comedy brings the laughs

by Cait Auer

With a mixture of silly, quick-paced dialogue, comedic timing, and catchy original music, web series Venomous Koala Orgy expertly portrays the hilarious lifestyle of a Bellingham-based band. The comedy show follows three musicians, Shayla, Aro, and Damien, as they stumble along the issues that band life throws at them.
Between writing comedy podcasts, Trailer Wars, and working on a documentary about a Whatcom County-based teenage motorcycle racer, creator Chris Patton passionately generates this project. “Fake bands always make me laugh, like the Monkeys or Tenacious D,” Patton said. “We wanted to make a show that reflected any garage band you’d ever meet based in Bellingham. Nearly everyone’s in a band, anyway.”
The cast met through Trailer Wars, and easily transformed into the three distinctive characters. Noel Abbott, who plays Arlo, studied creative writing at Pomona College and is working as a web-developer in Bellingham. Gillian Myers, who plays Shayla, immerses herself in all aspects of the production of theatre and film, and is an art graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the California Institute of the Arts. Sean Meyer, who plays Damien, has acted throughout his life and makes videos for Trailer Wars.
“Having a backbone for what the show is, and having a cast who is so easy to work with, it’s really fun to meet with them and show them the scripts. It’s very stress free,” Patton said. “It makes me want to do more web series. When you get to the third episode, it’s like, wow! Everyone’s more comfortable inside of his or her character, and because of that, it’s so relaxed and easy.”
Each member of the web series takes extra time to reflect on their character, and the cast and crew’s friendship strengthens the project.  “It was easy to see the actors portray these roles. They stepped into it really well. Sean Meyer is pretty much like his character, Damien. He and I have worked together on a million projects, and he works very hard. He says, ‘All I want to do is play music and work on my project. Nothing else is necessary!’”
While the cast brings the dynamic characters to life, Patton ruminates on every precise detail of the storyline long before the script reaches the set. “I like to think about the characters a lot. When I first wrote the main three characters, I had a really in-depth sketch of each one and what they’re like, but you never know how they’re going be played! That’s a good thing. I have a ton of notes with plotlines for each episode. I pick two storylines, put them together, think about it for weeks, and then write the script out. I require a lot of thought before I write it.”
In fact, their dialogue is so on-point and amusing that it surpasses many of today’s television sitcoms. The colorful trio falls into explosive dilemmas, and their amusing struggles are captivating throughout every episode. As they encounter quirky individuals and dramatic situations, the show maintains a clever satirical quality that causes viewers to appreciate Bellingham’s one-of-a-kind culture all the more.
“You’ll see that they never get around to making music. They say they’re a band, but there’s always something in the way. That’s the situation I thought of—what situations can distract them from playing music? I tried to mix social situations and creative experiences working with people with more absurd elements,” Patton said.
To watch Venomous Koala Orgy, see their website at www.venomouskoala.org, follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/venomousko, or on Twitter at twitter.com/VenomousKO.