Icing: Emily Maya Mills And Kiran Deol Share The DIRT

Somebody is always watching us. With everyone so willing to share every aspect of their lives via social media, it feels like there are no secrets left. Comedians Emily Maya Mills and Kiran Deol would argue otherwise. DIRT: A Fully Transparent Comedy Show, started this past summer and features comedians reading and riffing off of anonymous texts sent in by you, yes YOU, the audience member before and during the show. I managed to make contact with the hosts via a secure chatroom and I asked them the scoop on how DIRT got started, what kinds of secrets are still out there, and what to expect at their next show on October 6th. Proceed with caution…


CAKE: What’s DIRT all about?

KIRAN DEOL: The idea behind DIRT is that we live in an age of heavy surveillance and dwindling privacy. So the only way to take back your power is to reveal everything–which is exactly what we ask comedians to do onstage. Comedians talk about their DIRT–stuff they don’t usually talk about onstage in their act. The audience is encouraged to do the same by texting in their own dirt to a burner cell phone onstage, which comics riff and improvise off of as well. It’s edgy and fun and sometimes there are dick pics.

CAKE: How did it get started?

EMILY MAYA MILLS: Kiran came to me with an idea for a show that I thought sounded really cool. As a comic, I like a little challenge every once in a while– a show that squeezes you, forces thinking through some parameters. And since I was a full blown conspiracy theorist as a teenager, working with the idea of surveillance (the show was originally called Pry-vacy), was right up my alley.

CAKE: We are so used to sharing everything nowadays, are the only secrets left embarrassing ones?

EMILY: Not necessarily. I like the idea of using your data trail as a jumping off point for a weird story. A credit card receipt that reflects a day or an item that calls for more explanation. A high school transcript or an arrest record– those could be stories of badassery. But audiences do like the ones that make ’em blush.

KIRAN: If you want to find out more, come.

CAKE: What’s some of the most wild confessions you’ve received from the audience?

KIRAN: You gotta send us a secret to hear one, man! There’s a good smattering on Twitter @Dirt_Comedy.

Kiran Deol & Emily Maya Mills
Kiran Deol & Emily Maya Mills

CAKE: Any tips for people hoping to leave anonymous confessions for comedians to riff on?

EMILY: Try to go beyond butts and boogers. If you really come up dry… sure butts and boogers are funny.

CAKE: Do you feel like the anonymous confessions encourage the comedians to tell juicy secrets themselves?

EMILY: Yes. It’s like knowing everybody at the party is pants-less.

CAKE: The next show is October 6th. Any secrets you can spill about the upcoming show?

EMILY: It’s a really wild mix of voices and styles so I can’t wait to see what this line up brings. Also, we’ve been incrementally adding some production elements and last time that involved a male underwear model.

KIRAN: This time, we’re trying something new…a google number to text your secrets into anonymously. You can do it right now. Send us a secret. We want to hear from you. Might even make the cut October 6th… 818.253.1036.

CAKE: Are there any secrets either of you are hiding from the government right now?

EMILY: I haven’t told the story of my 1996 trip to Cuba for fear of repercussions. But now that the embargo is lifted…

You can catch DIRT: A Fully Transparent Comedy Show at the UCB Theater on Franklin October 6th at 11pm. The lineup includes Melissa Villaseñor, Joe DeRosa, and Al Jackson.

Mentions: Grab your tickets now! Follow DIRT on Twitter. Check out more DIRT on Tumblr. Follow Emily Maya Mills on Twitter. Follow Kiran Deol socially, as well.

By Kee