What made you want to get into stand up comedy?
I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. I’ve been involved in doing theater since I was a kid. I was in a rock band for a long time when I was teenager. So I’ve always loved performing. I had dabbled in stand up over the years, but I got really serious about it around seven years ago. I was in a dark time in my life. I had just gone through a really bad breakup and was still recovering from a serious back injury that plagued me for years. So I started doing standup mostly as a way to deal with all the pain I was going through. I also used it as an impetus to get into physical therapy and overcome my back problems. So standup comedy really did save my life; both mentally and physically. And in both regards, I’m a much better person today.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about stand up comedy that they may not already know?
I think they should already know this, but that it’s all jokes! Some people take the stuff I say way to seriously. I’ve caught flack for sketches I’ve written and bits I do, and I just find it ridiculous. I’m definitely in the camp that think people get offended way to easily these days. At the absolute worst all a comedian is trying to do is make you laugh. If you take issue with something they say or don’t agree with a point they are trying to make. Great! Get over it, and a maybe you’ll enjoy the next joke. Stop taking comedy so seriously!
How has the local comedy scene grown over the years?
I mean honestly, I don’t know if it has. That isn’t to say it hasn’t improved, but there’s only so much growth that can occur in this town. Because it’s a college town and not a place that’s renowned for producing comics, most comics that get their start here eventually move on to somewhere else. It’s definitely a healthy comedy scene. Free Comedy Night at Birds has been going on for over seven years! That’s a really long time for a weekly Open Mic to keep going and still be drawing big crowds. The fact that it’s a college town also means there’s always new people wanting to try standup and new fresh crowds coming in to enjoy it. So the nature of this town has its good effects and bad effects on the comedy scene. There has been some branching out recently. We’ve recently started doing a monthly show every third Thursday at Birds By The Bay in Crawfordville that everyone should come check out. (Plug)
What’s the craziest thing to happen during a set?
Aw man it’s hard to narrow that one down. I’ve had some crazy experiences with hecklers. Recently I was MCing a show at Birds. It was ridiculously crowded, I mean I was having to shove and elbow people out of the way just to get on and off stage. And then I see this girl just go and sit down on the stage and start eating her hamburger. I went over and politely asked her to move. I told her sitting on the stage and eating a hamburger was incredibly disrespectful to the performers. She refused to move. So the next time I was on stage I pretty much verbally eviscerated her and made her so self conscious and embarrassed that she retreated from eating her hamburger on stage. I always say when it comes to hecklers: How many times in life can you call someone out for being an asshole, give them a verbal dressing down and have a crowd of people cheer you for doing it? I love hecklers.
What brings people out to a show?
I’m still trying to figure that one out. That is hands down the hardest thing about putting on a show. Inviting people on Facebook, handing out fliers, just trying to get word of mouth happening. Sometimes it seems like its all just a shot in the dark. When people can sit at home in their comfortable easy chair and have access to every form of entertainment on their TVs or Laptops or their mobile phones it is hard to get them to come out and see a comedy show. I’ve often thought that it must have been great to put on a show in the olden times. “Hey you can come out and see this show… or you can stay at home and just sort of stare at your wall. Your choice.” I personally feel that variety is a big draw. Scott Peavy runs the Crummy Comedy Show at the Crumbox in Rail Road Square on the Second Saturday of the month (2nd Plug) and that show features some Burlesque as well as the Comics. I try and feature a good deal of variety in my own sets; jumping between commentary, silly impressions, and even sillier songs. Hopefully doing this interview will get more people to come out to more shows. Particularly the show at Birds By The Bay which is on the Third Thursday of every month. (3rd and final Plug)
What social media do you use?
I guess I’m pretty weak when it comes to social media. I really just use Facebook. Is YouTube considered Social Media? Cause I do have a lot of stuff on YouTube that people should check out. (Aw Crap one extra plug for YouTube) I’m also hoping to start a podcast about Pro Wrestling soon. I am on Facebook a lot. I often use Facebook as a bit of a joke tester. I’ll post a joke or something I think is funny, and if it gets a lot of likes and a general good response it will usually find its way into my act. I just view Facebook as another medium to make people smile and laugh. I have a Twitter account, but I always forget about it. I know. I really should tweet more. Sad.
Describe stand up comedy in 5 words or less
I am funny for you.