Life After Avatar: Jack De Sena

Starting off a new series I’m going to call ‘Life After Avatar’, we’re going to take a look at what the stars of Avatar and Korra got up to after the shows ended. We start with Jack De Sena, who played the lovable goofball and strategic genius Sokka.

Comedy has been De Sena’s strong point and even before Avatar, he was known for his improv comedy. He was a regular on the sketch comedy show All That and later the mockumentary web series Dorm Life.

After Avatar, De Sena had regular work in voice acting in shows like The Batman, Generator Rex, and JLA Adventures where he played Robin from the Batman franchise. But the best thing he’s been involved with since Avatar is deffinately his new YouTube comedy channel with Chris Smith.

Chris and Jack

In 2015, De Sena teamed up with Chris Smith and began a YouTube comedy channel called, amazingly, Chris and Jack. It’s an eclectic mix of weird, witty, and downright genius concepts.

The sketches are mind blowing at times, taking some ideas we’ve seen in science fiction movies and tv shows and then bending them out of shape. The very first sketch, THE WHITE ROOM, puts a weird spin on the afterlife. Wormhole Monocle sees a scientific breakthrough thwarted by poor naming choices. And the Movies in Space short film is, well, we’ll get to that.

Fellow Avatar alumni Dante Basco also made an appearance in one of their sketches, Perfect-Timing Villain. Basco got to play a suave James Bond style spy while Smith was the evil mastermind trying to nail the “So good of you to join me” line. DeSena plays a hapless assistant to the villain, offering help and emotional support.

One of the most recent sketches, Groundhog Daying, plays on the concept of the time loop popularised by, of course, Groundhog Day. They use the concept to humorously explore a lot of the unanswered questions from the film as well as show of Chris Smith’s incredibly juggling skills.

Movies in Space

The first of their full length short films, Movies in Space, showcases some seriously silly concepts. While being a sci fi exploration of alien cultures, it is also a hard hitting drama about the effects of fame. Well, sort of. It’s also very silly.

An ambassador from earth immerses himself in an alien world’s culture and discovers he has a talent for entertainment. It is actually quite a refreshing take, giving an alien culture a completely different understanding of art and entertainment. So often in science fiction, alien cultures are exaggerated versions of our own, but here it’s something entirely, well, alien.

It should come as no surprise that the film won some neat awards at festivals around the US. “Best Fantastic Short” at Fantastic Fest 2015, “Silver Audience Prize” at Toronto After Dark Film Festival, “Best Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Short” at VORTEX Film Festival, “Kickass Original” at LA Comedy Film Festival, and “Best Supporting Actor” for Jack De Sena at FilmQuest.

Do check out the channel and get a lot of goofs and weirdness. Every month you get a new sketch and some behind the scenes extras, which are always fun.

Links

Chris’ instagram: @tahoejuggler
Jack’s instagram: @jackdesena
facebook: @chrisandjackarechrisandjack
twitter: @chris_and_jack
snapchat: @atchrisandjack

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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.