Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The journey begins here

I want to tell the true story of how my comedy career began. When I was younger, I always enjoyed watching the HBO and Showtime comedy specials. One in particular caught my imagination. It was one of Rodney Dangerfield's specials that he used to showcase other comedians that he liked. On this night, he had a woman on by the name of Ellen DeGeneres. At this point, Ellen was unheard of. She was a road comic at the time trying to get noticed. She had some very good jokes, but one struck me and inspired me to be a comic. It was a joke about eagles mating habits. The joke itself was pretty good but my only thought was how did she take the mating habit of a bald eagle and make it funny? Where did she get the idea? Years later I realized how easy that joke was. It had sparked a love for comedy in me that I wouldn't consider for many more years.

So, fast forward to Feb 2006. I met a comic at the Comedy Zone in Knoxville by the name of Drew Thomas. He was very kind to me and answered a lot of my questions about getting into comedy. He invited me to come to an open mic in Atlanta at a venue called the Twisted Taco. After years of telling my wife I wanted to begin stand up comedy, the opportunity was now at hand. My wife and I headed to Atlanta the following week. The club was in downtown Atlanta, and to be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable with the location. We headed into the club and to my surprise there were a lot of black people. Now, don't get me wrong. My problem was that I had heard horror stories about black audiences being rough on comics, and this was my first time. I was nervous to say the least! The time came and the emcee called my name and I headed to the stage.

Like most new comics, I tried the shock and awe approach. Incest, and a lot of cursing. It did not go over well, and a black lady stood up and yelled "You ain't funny you need to kill yo'self" to which I promptly came off stage and slumped down in my seat! The emcee wasn't much help either cracking on me for another 5 mins after that. The experience made me realize that I needed to do some studying and writing if I wanted to be any good at this. That's what I began to do, and now almost 6 years later I am still studying and writing jokes.