Bill Dawes has played Paul Hornung and Mickey Mantle in separate Broadway productions, and recently wrapped a run as famed Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. He plays a struggling stand-up comedian trying to pitch a TV series in his latest role, the independent movie Before The Sun Explodes, which premiered at 2016’s SXSW festival in Austin. Dawes knows more than a little bit about stand-up, having performed for the military on USO tours, holding down a regular gig for years at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, and even trying to help Tucker Max adapt his bestseller into a feature film.

We talk about that and more, so let’s get to it!