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Buds in the Fields

Massive Fraud's Mix of Stand-up and Film Sells Out Indywood

On Thursday night, Elysian Fields saw two players in the NOLA arts scene re-emerge,  revamped and reinvigorated. Local comedians Andrew Polk and Joe Cardosi premiered their third show, a hybrid of stand-up and short films at the newly renovated Indywood Movie Theater.


The show, entitled, "Karatefight: Film + Stand-up," filled the seats, with a crowd standing at the back. Along with Polk and Cardosi’s outfit, Massive Fraud, comedy groups WOMEN and Drunktoons contributed short films. Local comedians Chris Trew, Scotland Green, and Mickey Henehan (pictured) performed stand-up routines.


After a couple of "test-run" shows, Polk and Cardosi were relieved that the final product played to a full house.


"Tonight was like the first polished show where you had tech and stuff," Polk said.  Cardosi observed, "The first two, it was within two weeks. This time we had a month, so it was more of what I actually wanted it to be."


Cardosi notes that his "Ross and Rachel" partnership with Polk works because his background is stronger in sketch comedy, while Polk's is more stand-up.



For Indywood co-founder Hayley Sampson, the show culminates a theater remodeling project that has spanned the past several weeks.


"We are just trying to create a space where local filmmakers can show their stuff," she says.


She recalls that when they opened Indywood five months ago, saying, "It was just a really, really raw space." With their landlord's help, they redid the ceiling, painted walls, and installed a new projector and sound system.


"I think the space looks comfortable and professional now," she says. (In case you're curious, they found those unique red and white seats with at a hotel liquidation store.)


Polk and Cardosi loved the space even before the renovations and wanted to take their comedy there. Polk remembered, "We came here one night to see Least Favorite Love Songs. I was, like, 'Wow, this is a great venue.  There should be something else here'." The duo found Sampson immediately supportive.  


Cardosi says, "We're going to continue to try to grow this show, and make it: 'come early; get a seat; and enjoy'."


Filmmakers interested in participating in the next Massive Fraud show can submit short films for consideration. Polk cautions that the event is not an open mic. "Obviously, we want to keep it local and funny. We just want to reward hard work around here."


Sampson, meanwhile, is preparing for Indywood's next event.


"We're going to have a New Orleans vs. the British Spiked Tea Party on July 3." Sampson says people dressed as the famed pirate Jean Lafitte will get in for free. 


Indywood's continued success at the 632 Elysian Fields location doesn't mean, however, that every resident has forgotten the building's past. "It was a wash/dry/fold." Sampson says. "We still have people coming with their laundry to ask if we can do it."


To find out more about Indywood Movie Theater (which doesn't offer laundry services), see  Andrew Polk and Joe Cardosi have open mic shows Fridays at 7pm at the Beatnik and 8pm Sundays at the Hi-Ho Lounge.  They can be reached at

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