CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW I DID WITH COMEDIAN CHRIS ROE WHO HAPPENS TO BE YOUR FEATURE FRIDAY'S FEATURE!
1) What made you get into comedy?
I always was a comedy-head. I constantly had comedy central, or comedy network on TV., even when I wasn't watching. First channels ITurn to are comedy movie channels. My mom had records (I'm 38) of Bill Cosby, Smothers Brothers, etc. we constantly listened to.And when it came out, I'd constantly listen to Pandora stand up comedy stations. But I started because I was on an Improv email list and saw an ad for comedy classes. For my business, which was financial market analysis, I had a weekend long seminar to present at and although I had given a large number of live presentations in the past, they were a couple hours at most. This was 2.5 days. So to brush up on presentation skills, I took a comedy class to be more quick on the draw and because I needed something in life besides work and family. So as soon as I did a set, it was the greatest feeling ever. So I was "bit" and I went out several times a week for a couple years after.
2) When did you realize that you had the comedic gift?
I was always called the funniest kid in school, or wherever. My household growing up was absolutely nuts and - you know how some families are short, others are tall, others have big noses or whatever? My family was born without frontal lobes. I was also a middle child. Sister was the baby... dad left when she was 6 months old... I was just the class clown. And every one of my friends growing up were hilarious. Most of the people I grew up with.. or pretty much all of the people I grew up with except one or two were raised by single parents. I think that might make people more outgoing or confident or self sufficient. And nobody had money. I grew up on Queens NYC. Which is an exceptionally unique place. Most people were confident and aggressive so to stand out in that group, it took a lot. So confidence was in our nature and that goes well with the desire to make people laugh. So if that's what you call a "gift" then that's the answer.
3) Who are your top 3 comedians that influenced you?
Although those are the 3 I'd rattle off if you put a gun to my head and forced me to give only 3 comics. This answer probably disrespects so many great comics. Murphy, Burr, Louie, Jim Norton, Stanhope... they each influenced me in different ways for different reasons. I mean, Norton, Jeffries and Schumer made me see myself as a comic as they remind me of people who could have lived next door to me.. Maybe not Jefferies since the one nationality we didn't have in Queens was Aussies, but the life view.
4) How was your VERY first time performing?
My very first time performing was awesome. I did 13 minutes and 3 years into it I watched the recording and I still think it was pretty good for someone in his first year. And it's better than a lot of people I see 3 years deep. Not to be a dick. That was a loaded crowd because it was the "graduation" of the class where 100 of the newbies friends were in the crowd. The next time on stage was this open mic At the Funky Buddha in Boca (my favorite place to this day). I had a heckler fucking with me and the mic cord kept getting wrapped around one of the front wheels on my wheelchair. It was horrific but I went into the place expecting to be horrified and in a weird way desiring horror. I remember telling some other comic there that I wanted to get my ass kicked and of course he turned it into a sexual fetish thing but what I was saying was I wanted to get the fear over with and out of the way so I could stop feeling it. Little did I know I'd feel that nerve wracking anxiety 10 minutes before going up on stage for years following. It doesn't just go away. It was a very slow process.
5) How long have you performed?
You ask how long I have performed. It's been just over 3.5 years. If you meant how many minutes I can do then the answer is about 35 – 45. Depending on the vibe with the audience. I can probably do an hour or more if it's a great vibe. But as far as written material goes, I can do 45 of scripted. Only about 3 of it is good though. The rest is dog shit.
*************** By the way a continuation of one of my answers - I said I needed something exciting in life besides work and family. It should be said that I am a major workaholic. And I'm from NYC and only knew one or two people in SFL besides those who I worked with and the family I created. I love both. But all my friends were pretty much back in NY. But when I get into comedy, it opened the door to meeting literally hundreds of people who were, in one way or another, like me. In fact I met a lot of people from the 5 boroughs who also moved to FL. Then I created a network of friends in several states because of it - other comics and bookers. What's great about a huge network of people in the business is if they get on stage and keep trying to improve, even if you don't like the person, you still have respect for them and a huge common bond that nobody on earth can possibly understand. I respect that strength and confidence.