KP: How did you first get involved with Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell?
HZ: I just auditioned for it. As an actor I think a lot of people think we all sit and I have a pile of scripts and I get to just go through shit and be like, “This one’s great, this one’s going to hurt my reputation”. But no, you just take whatever is fed to you like a seal. Then like a seal we’re trained to perform with electric shock. I went and auditioned for the show. I actually auditioned really early and I didn’t hear anything for two months so I figured it was over. Then I got a call back in LA. I walk in and it’s the first time I’m in a room with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. I go in and I meet Chris Kelly and Dave Willis (the creators) and we just kind of hit it off. I started going off script and they liked that. I knew the vibe they were going for which is Aqua Team vibe, which is really insane circumstances with really casual banter, humor. I just picked up on that and I was just lucky. This is just the type of show that if I saw another dude doing this show I’d fucking kill him in his sleep and take his place.
KP: Did the show always have this heavy satanic vibe to it?
HZ: Obviously, it started out heavy on the corporate comedy side in the beginning. Heavy on the office comedy side and just blowing out the stakes of an office comedy. Things got a little more evil as we go. Partially it was them watching how we reacted to the material and having humans in the room. They weren’t really used to having humans in the room, they were used to having cartoons so they could fix and change whatever tone they wanted. Now they see a bunch of people coming in and interpreting what they put down and they realize this stuff is really fucked up. As it goes on it becomes more of an evil Laverne and Shirley.
KP: What I meant is I’ve seen a lot of Satanic subtext and symbolism in the show.
HZ: Well that’s because one of the guys that does the artistic design, Shane Morton, he’s a for real deal Satanist. He got me into Satanism. We’ve all talked about magickal thinking and layering symbols into the background. It’s partially about hypnotism and it’s partly about making our show into a gigantic magick ritual like all the time. Dave and Casper don’t really like hearing that because Dave has family, he has shit like that where he doesn’t want to talk about it. There’s definitely a magick thing happening.
KP: What do you mean by a magick ritual?
HZ: How do you describe it? First of all putting on the make up you become a different person. You’re donning an identity like what the shamans used to do, they used to put on a mask to reach other levels of consciousness. When I am in paint as Gary I am a different guy. I am more free to be as stupid as I want to be, inappropriate and that’s kind of the idea. It kind of lead to me becoming a more free performer as me as Henry. But the magickal ritual, the human mind works very easily with symbols. All magick is, as far as magickal thinking is kind of self hypnotism. If you can so completely believe something and change your perception you can change your reality, you can make something new, you can make something real. Part of the self perpetuating motion of YPFIGTH is in it when have this self repeating mantra of “five seasons and a movie”. We’re going to openly ask the universe for it and a part of it is sort of pinging the universe with symbols. Using pentagrams, using stuff that’s common and kind of accepting it, that we’re thinking with magickal thought. Cause that’s a part of it, accepting that you’re thinking magickally and you can kind of get your will out into the universe.
KP: Do you keep journals about this stuff?
HZ: Yeah, I have a synchronicity journal that I try and keep up with and I have a dream journal. I think dreams are really important to get to the heart of because I think it’s your brain trying to tell you something.
KP: Have you ever mixed psychedelics with your sigils? That’s how I usually do it.
HZ: Things can kinda happen...more happy accidents when you’re on psychedelics. The problem is the last time I did my sketch group Murderfist, we used to do a 420 show. It was a secret show and back in the day when it was new to smoke weed and do a show. Now Doug Benson’s made an entire career out of it. We did it every 420 for three years in a row and I was like, “I’m so sick of smoking weed and doing a show. It’s so low energy, it’s a boring performance drug. Why don’t we just do mushrooms?” So we got a guy to go out and get us mushrooms and the guy came back with them. We’re eight people in the sketch group and he came back with eight fucking caps. We were like, “Alright, we’ll eat it, it will be over and it won’t mean anything.” I eat this mushroom and I lose my mind. The venue becomes an amphitheater where I’m performing for the gods of comedy. I left everybody, ended up at a bus stop for a couple of hours and since then my brain just hurts thinking about it.