Becoming a Comedian

12 December 2018

As I step up to the mic and glance at the audience, a cocky grin emerges on my face. A grin that I have come to know will only lead to failure. I quickly wipe it off. It’s easy to make people laugh, right? You do it all the time with friends. But right now I’m being challenged by my predecessors who have stepped on this stage before me. I can’t help but think that I’m standing in the same place, holding the same mic that Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld once did. The real question is how did I end up here on this stage in front of all these strangers?

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Rewind: Fall, 2010. I had been writing jokes and watching comedians long before then, but this would serve as the catalyst to an unexpected undertaking in my life. The phone rang and I answered, greeted by an aggressive yet persuasive man trying to sell my parents tickets to a new comedy club.

“So, do you think your parents would be interested in tickets to a comedy show this weekend? I can promise you it’ll be the best show around, the funniest comedians they can possibly see. They will die of laughter!’”

I told him I didn’t know if my parents would want to go to the show, and then without regard to the ­advice of the angel on my shoulder, I followed my instinct as a risk-taker and listened to the devil on my other side.

“Ya know,” I said. “I’m funnier than any of those comedians you’ll have at the show.”

Intrigued by my audacious response he asked my age and challenged my egotistical bluff, “Let’s hear a joke then,” he said. The funny thing is I don’t remember what I said, for all I know it could have been the least ­humorous thing ever. Nonetheless it made him laugh and despite being too young to perform, he made an exception and I officially landed my first stand-up gig.

After a successful first night, I became infatuated with comedy but quickly realized that in this industry no one was going to do me any favors. I had done one show and proved to myself I could stand on stage and make people laugh. Now came the hard part: booking a second show. I called countless clubs and emailed various bookers until finally a few gave me an opportunity to perform at new talent shows.

Since then, I have continued to push for bigger and better shows, bigger and better clubs. I was just filmed for Comedytime TV, but I won’t stop there. My ultimate goal is that one day a young comic will be standing on the same stage that I’m on right now and think to himself, Man, I’m standing on the same stage where Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Jeremy Leder got their start.

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