Friday, February 26th 2010
Carol Hartsell is a writer, producer, director, booker, performer and pants-wearer. She got her start in comedy when she volunteered for an elementary school piano recital, even though she didn’t know how to play (she assumed she would figure it out when she got there). Since then she’s been dedicated to making people laugh uncomfortably.
As the founder of Drink at Work.com, Carol has helmed the site through numerous iterations and designs, always with an eye on creating original comedy as well as drawing attention to the great work of other comedy artists. With that goal in mind, Carol created The Drink at Work Show in 2005, a live showcase of some of the best comedians and musicians in New York. The Drink at Work Show was a downtown favorite for three years, and then spun off into The Shark at Work Show, a powerband-style partnership between DAW and another downtown favorite, The Shark Show.
Since then Carol has created, booked and/or independently produced various other stand-up and sketch nights, including her current weekly shows Lasers in the Jungle (co-hosted by DAW partner Sean Crespo), Motel Luca (one of the best open mics in the city for up-and-coming comedians) and Punch Up Your Life (hosted by Joe DeRosa and Jared
In 2007, Carol, along with Sean, joined forces with Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show), to develop a live weekly show lampooning the morning news called Wake Up World. Featured by The New York Times, CBS, MSNBC and Time Out New York, Wake Up World ran weekly in New York for two years and traveled to Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and St. Paul, Minnesota as counter-programming during the Republican National Convention. Carol filled numerous positions on the WUW staff, from technical director to segment producer to writer and performer. She appeared in recurring segments on the show as two different characters: self-help author and life expert, Dana Levan, and President of the 24/7 news network, Gwenevere Cornell-Brown.
In 2008, Carol joined the production team behind the ECNY Awards, which celebrates the comedic performing arts in New York City, serving as it’s technical director and sponsorship coordinator. This year she will move into the position of Executive Producer of the awards, and she didn’t have to kill anyone to do it.
In addition to her work with live comedy, Carol has established herself as a talented producer and director, creating videos for Lifetime.tv, NBC’s DotComedy.com, Comix New York — where she was the Director of Video Production from 2009-10 as well as Programming Director — and, of course, Drink at Work.com.
And to pay the bills, she’s been a graphic designer/art director for over 10 years.
Most recently, Carol has over seen the redesign and relaunch of DAW, has become a contributor for the Onion, and is now also the proud parent of two kittens and one puppy. But if they get in her way, she will crush them.