David Lee Nelson gives us a personal status update



I recently caught up with actor/stand-up comic David Lee Nelson, CofC graduate and star of Status Update. His one-man show is a touching and hilarious account of the year he stopped drinking, stopped doing drugs, and split up with his wife (not necessarily in that order). It’s been one of my favorite shows of the festival. Here’s what he had to say.

City Paper: How do you keep performing this emotional show over and over? Is it cathartic or depressing?
David Lee Nelson: The show is emotional and cathartic. The creating of it was cathartic. I did a video for every month I was married — 3 and a half hours worth of video — so just the act of doing them and then watching was a very intense experience. I think the show was a very productive way for me to deal with all the emotions I was feeling — especially in the absence of drinking.
This is the first time I’ve run the show, so I’m really learning what it is ... I sometimes feel like I’m doing a stand-up comedy tragedy, which is pretty cool and unique I think.

CP: Has your ex seen the show?
DLN: My ex has not seen the show. We still have a very good relationship, but I’m not ready for her to see it. Once the papers are signed perhaps.

CP: Have you scaled back on Facebook?
DLN: I have in no way scaled back on Facebook. I still try and write a funny status update every day, and build more friends. It’s just such a great way to promote yourself and a place for people to find me.

CP: What are your thoughts on Twitter?
DLN: I don’t Twitter personally. I prefer Facebook and the interaction it gives me. I don’t understand the whole @ thing. But Twitter is a pretty amazing thing. At its worst it's an outlet for people to tell you what they had for lunch today (even though I find that stuff fascinating) but at its best, as a few months back in Iran, it is a way for on-the-ground unfiltered information to make its way out to the public. Anything that allows people to stay in contact and keep me close to people who like my work, I’m all for.

CP: When you visit Charleston, what are your must-see places?
DLN: When I’m in Charleston I always hit Kudu Coffee. I was a big Clara’s guy when that place was still open, but Kudu is serving me well. I love having late dinners outside at Vickery’s. That’s one of my favorite things to do. Also Burns Alley is a place where a lot of my theater friends hang out and they give me free club sodas, so big ups to them.
But my favorite thing to do here is walk. Just all over the place. One walk I’m becoming more fond of is down Smith and Pitt streets south of Calhoun. It feels really tucked away back there. Also Anson Street from the Market to George Street is one of my all-time favorite stretches as well.

So there you have it: Where to find David Lee Nelson if you want to be more than Facebook friends. His current status? “Charleston is the most beautiful city in the world.”

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