Personality Plus is the often overwhelming collaboration of Grace Blakeman, Michelle DeMattina, and James Hamilton. Always wholesome, religiously sparkly, and accidentally sexy, Personality Plus takes on various forms from sassy moms and awkward strippers to youth group pastors and mustachioed fishermen.
Mike Breese recently sat down with them for an impromptu interview!
Q. So what force of nature brought you all together to form Personality Plus?
Identical twins Grace Blakeman and Michelle DeMattina met at summer camp, unaware that they were sisters. Their identical appearance initially created rivalry, and they continually pulled pranks on one another. Eventually, their mischief ruined the camp dance. As punishment, they had to live together in an isolated cabin for the rest of the summer. After both admitted they come from broken homes, they soon realized they were twin sisters and that their parents divorced shortly after their birth, with each parent having custody of one of them. James Hamilton was a camp counselor.
Q: How did the idea for a sketch show come about?
We (being Grace and Michelle) bonded over our love of slice-of-life characters and began putting together loosely scripted character pieces for TNM’s Block Party. It just seemed like the logical next step to put those characters, as well as some new ones, into a collection. Also, we love costumes and props. We realized that we needed a guy in the mix pretty early on, so we asked our most talented and favorite boy-next-door, James Hamilton.
Q: Is there a central theme to Journey to the Center of Attention?
Journey to the Center of Attention is really about getting to know the people you encounter briefly in life: your airline stewardesses, that date’s weird roommate, people waiting in line behind you. We love finding real people who entertain us, then creating a whole world for them to inhabit.
Q: What separates your sketch show form all the rest?
Our show is meant to be joyful. The Personality Plus brand of comedy is an extension of our delight in the ordinary and the frumpy. We’ve thought about every moment of our show to make sure it’s special. One audience member lovingly clutched his heart after the show. That’s the reaction we wanted…as long as he wasn’t having heart failure. But we think it was charming, nevertheless.
Q: What Disney movie best exemplifies PPlus?
If we had to pick ONE Disney movie (Yikes! This is like Sophie’s Choice!), it would be Newsies. We’re just a scrappy bunch of kids with a dream, ready to “Seize the Day.” We know how to do a jazz square AND get things done. You might have just expected dancing, but you got a whole lot of heart to boot.Side note: James can wear the hell out of some short pants.
Q: What are you most looking forward to for Hell Yes Fest?
We are looking forward to hearing new and unique voices in comedy. We are, of course, excited to share our show with new audiences. Basically we are here to delight and be delighted.
Personality Plus performs Thursday Nov. 8th at 7:30. Buy your tickets here: