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Interview with Joe Nay

Joe started performance comedy late in life and is making up for lost time by simultaneously pursuing improvisation, stand-up and sketch writing. Joe opts for primarily a clean show, both in content and delivery. The variety of places he has called home, jobs he has held and hobbies he has pursued provide a rich source of material. Joe’s ambitions are modest, simply to write and perform that which makes others laugh. The closest he will come to fame is when he is mistaken for John Goodman.

Joe Nay

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy at such an advanced age?

I got started in Improv through my son and there was a connection from the Improv to the Comedy Shack hosted by Fasil Malik. The guest comics at Comedy Shack got me interested in the Stand-Up comedy (Jon Levine was the first guest that he saw).

 
2) What’s your secret to writing witty material?

I get some from Improv and I keep trying stuff out. I tried a lot that bomb and tried some that I thought wouldn’t work, but it ended up getting laughs. Write what you think is funny and figure out what really is.

3) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Locally: There are so many talented comics, but if I had to choose my favorites it would be Darius Culpepper, because I think he does smart jokes and he has this awesome delivery combined with perfect timing.  Jon Levine, because he’s honed his act, has a great voice to him and comes across the audience as being very personable. Nico Prada; he can do something that I can’t. Talk rapid fire for his entire set without missing anything. Nationally: Gary Gulman, he had clever material and even though he was telling one long story it was filled with twenty or thirty small jokes along the way. It was really good.

4) What type of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

For those of you that have seen a picture of me. It’s easier for me to tell you what food I don’t eat. I don’t eat sushi.

5) What do you love most about doing stand-up comedy?

The laughs. I do it purely for the laughs. This isn’t a career choice. I am doing it fully for the enjoyment and to prove to myself that I can write something that is funny to people.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with (Alive or dead) and where would you take him or her?

George Washington, I would like to get his idea of the context of the constitution given the current world. To Washington DC to show him what it turned out to be.

7) What do you hate about stand-up comedy?

Having my set time cut right before going on stage. Especially if you had been waiting all night to go on.

8) What is it about you that makes you awesome?

That I try to find the best part about every comic’s act.

9) How does doing improv help you with comedy?

Improv helps me prepare to be on stage in front of people and it also has generated a lot of my bits about 10-20% of my jokes. When you do a scene it gives you an idea for a premise on a joke and I work on it from there.

10) Why should comics want to perform at your Spotlight Key Party room at Just the Funny Theater?

It’s an intimate and friendly atmosphere where you can perform in front of a friendly crowd and because it is a short 45 minute show with only 4 comics per show so you don’t have to wait around all night.

Interview with Michael Cintron

Born in NYC, Michael Cintron started performing stand up comedy after graduating college. With a twisted combination of real life stories and his opinion on society’s ills, Mike brings raw honesty in the form of hysterical humor. He has won both The Boca Raton Comedy Festival Contest and National Lampoons Underground Comedy Contest, and appeared on several radio stations / podcasts. Mike has also featured for such names as Tom Segura, Christina Pazsitzky, Sugar Sammy, Flip Shultz, and Dave Siegel. Always keeping the audience on their toes, Mike Cintron is sure to leave them surprisingly snorting with laughter.

For the last few years, Michael Cintron has been booking comedy shows at the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery, DADA in Delray Beach, he runs New Faces events at the Improv and other venues in the Palm Beach area. The Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery located in Boca Raton, is rated as one of the top 100 craft beer brewery’s in the world! DaDa, located in Delray Beach, a very popular restaurant and lounge with a comfortable, home-like atmosphere, and one of the longest running open mics in South Florida (+5 Years)!

You can follow him on Twitter @MikeCintron and Instagram @latenightmikeshow

Michael Cintron

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I got arrested at the Palm Beach International Airport. I would hang out with my friends at their garage, smoke pot and watch the 30 minute special. We are looking at each other and my friends were saying that “Mike you are way funnier than that guy”. I loved getting people to laugh. When I was getting bullied I would make them laugh instead of getting bullied. I went to Orlando for college and there was this girl that worked at Universal and she wasn’t funny. Once she was passing around open mic flyers; in my head I was thinking that she’s not funny as she’s already. If she can do it then I can do it. I didn’t start doing stand-up until I was arrested and while I was free I wanted to seize the moment and do stand-up. So did New Faces; Will Watkins was the host. I was the first one to go up. Ramon was running it and I asked Ramon what he thought. He’s like you did three minutes on stage; come back with five. It made me want to work harder, come back with different material and prove myself.

 
2) What’s your secret to running successful booked comedy shows?

You have to love what you do, have a passion for it and care about the people that you are working with. If you are going to do it; you can’t do it for the money. You have to do it for the love of the art. Make sure the people, comics and audience members are having a good time. It’s not all about dollars and cents. It’s about the experience.

3) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Locally: Blake Woodrow; He’s fresh and he seems to want to take it serious. He hangs out and is a student of the game. At 20 years old I find that kind of amazing. Hennessy Williams is another person that is really bringing the fire every time, he has a strong work ethic and he has some funny stuff. Fasil Malik (how does anyone not him at this point); I like his one liners, how he brings something different to the game, he’s clean and has a really strong work ethic. Nationally I enjoy watching Hannibal Burress because of the courage that he had to call out Bill Cosby and was able to bring it out in a funny way, Bill Burr and Dave Chapelle; his timing, storytelling and facial expressions are amazing. I could watch the Dave Chapelle show once a week and it would be as good as it was the first time that I saw it ten years ago. Plus there’s only one Dave Chapelle.

4) What type of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

Chicken wings, potato skins and fried food. I also want to eat more salad. I love junk food. Roosters has the best chicken fingers on the planet.

5) What are things that upset you?

People that are conniving, backstabbing and how more than one comic has attempted to go behind my back to book a comedy show at the Funky Buddha. What they don’t realize is that when you do that you don’t only disrespect me, you are also disrespecting the Buddha.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with (Alive or dead) and where would you take him or her?

My dad and I would take him to watch me perform at the Improv.

7) Which actor or actress would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?

Adam Levine, because a lot of people tell me that I look like Adam Levine.

8) What is your advice to being an amazing host?

Have fun and remember that you are the audience’s friend. It’s not so much about the material. It’s about making the connection. My advice to new comics is to remember why you got into being a comedian; you wanted to make people laugh. Always hold onto that as long as you do stand up and don’t let negative things get you down.

9) What are things that you would tell people not to do if they want to get booked by you or the Improv?

When you are late, if you show up drunk, if you show up as if you don’t care are things that makes me not want to book you. Being booked is a job. Just like a job you act as if you care about it. You want to succeed. Matt Bellak is a great host. He shows up early; he goes above and beyond to help out. His attitude and passion are there. When he shows up he’s ready to help.

10) Why should people check you out the Funky Buddha Summer Festival on August 13th at Funky Buddha in Boca?

It’s great for comics to compete in, because it gives them exposure in front of a different crowd. You get to work on your 5 minutes for an upcoming contests. If you look back on past winners; it elevated them and got them noticed on the scene more. Even if you don’t I still watch these acts and I will contact them for an upcoming booked show. Audiences should check it out to support our local arts. You don’t get a Dave Chappelle or Rich Prior unless you support your local arts to see them develop. It’s a great time. You have 30 comics performing where I guarantee that one of them is going to make you laugh. The feature Willonius Hatcher is fun to watch as there is never a dull moment and he has a best-selling book.

Interview with Jordan Garnett

Jordan Garnett is one of the youngest and most talented comedians to come out of Florida in years. Jordan first took the stage at just seventeen years old, where he won first place in a county wide competition. Now, only at the age of twenty two, he has appeared on CNN, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and opened up for some of the biggest headliners in the game. He continues to win competitions, festivals and regularly performs at clubs and colleges nationwide. Just recently, Jordan was selected Top 10 out of 200 comedians in The Ultimate Miami Comedian Festival and was flown out to Los Angeles to meet with MTV executives. Not only is Jordan an admirable comedian, but also has quite a demanding following on YouTube with over 3,000 subscribers and two million views. Jordan Garnett has the ability to win over any audience. His high energy, clever writing and perfect delivery will have you begging for more every time!

You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram @jordangarnett
Jordan Garnett

1)  Why did you start doing comedy at 17?

My main dream growing up was to be a football player. I went to a Christian private school. They held us to a higher standard. I kept getting into trouble, I was able to entertain and make people laugh. I wanted to play in the NFL (I played middle linebacker). I saw that  saw the Chris Rock special “Never scared” in middle school and I knew then it would either be football or comedy ultimately football didn’t work.

 
2) What is your advice to new comics?

Don’t be jealous. Jealously will kill your soul and eat you alive. Be proud of what you do. Worry about you. Successful people never worry about what other people are doing.

3) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Locally: Trey Maddox, he’s a real person on and off the stage and knows what it takes to get to the next level. Dylan Starr; he’ll always have your back, he has great premises and is not afraid to tell them on stage. One day he’s going to break out and he reminds me of myself when I first started and Ramon Garcia is a big mentor to me. Chris Rock; Early 2000 Dane Cook, Bill Burr, Orny Adams, Tony Rock (He’s unbelievable different style than Chris) and Daniel Tosh.

4) What types of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

Homemade nachos.

5) What do you love most about stand-up comedy?

How it makes you feel, it makes you forget all of your troubles in the world and it gives you a special connection with the audience. Almost like hooking up with the chick of your dreams.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with (Alive or dead) and where would you take him or her?

My grandmother on my dad’s side since she’s never seen me do standup comedy. I would take her to my first stand-up comedy performance ever (Mar 24, 2009 New Faces at the Palm Beach Improv).

7) What is your secret to doing amazing crowd work?

I was running my own rooms and starting out I didn’t have enough material to entertain the same audience every week. So as the host I was forced to talk to the audience and get to know them. I used to be afraid of the audience and now I enjoy doing it, because anything can happen. Crowd work can back fire sometimes (People that try to make jokes and gives fake answers) and the way that I handle that is to move away from them, but it’s a great skill to have and it takes a while to develop that skill.

8) I heard that you had a chance to be on an MTV reality show, but you turned it down Is that true?

Yes, the name of the show was “Are you the one”. Sometimes I regret the decision, but ultimately I don’t. Reality shows don’t usually last long and I don’t want that. I want to get my fame off an actual craft.

9) What is your advice to comics trying to get a hosting gig at the Improv?

Be yourself; don’t get caught up in all the drama. There is so much negativity in this business. Don’t feed into the negativity. Be funny and play your cards right. There are certain comics that are bitter and trash others. Bookers know who those people and they tend to not get booked. Stay away from those people. Also don’t care what other comics think.

10) Why should people check you out at the Palm Beach Improv?

You are going to see a star in the making. Ha ha ha. It’s one of the best venues ever and it’s my favorite place to perform.

Interview with Ethan Moore

After studying philosophy and world religions in college and graduate school, Ethan toured the world for several years as a philosophy & religion professor and marketing consultant for overseas universities, eventually becoming dean of academic affairs for a private college in Vietnam. After returning to the United States a few years ago, Ethan decided to bring his writing and public speaking talents to bear as a stand-up comedian and broadcaster. Since beginning his career in comedy, Ethan has shared the stage with hilarious people like Aaron Berg, Wendi Starling, and Hannibal Buress. Today he produces and hosts one of South Florida’s most popular podcasts, Sex on Kava, and is a regular performer at the Villain Theater, home of Miami’s finest improv comedy.

You can follow Ethan on Twitter or Instagram at @ethanisnotfunny or check butchandfemmecomedy.com for tour dates.  Listen to his podcast, Sex on Kava, on iTunes or at sexonkava.com, or listen to his other podcast, Jesus Christ, That’s Funny!, on iTunes or at jesuschristthatsfunny.podbean.com.

ethan mic promo 1

1)  Why did you end up quitting your big time corporate/academic job in Asia?

I didn’t feel fulfilled by it. I made a lot of money and theoretically, it was a perfectly satisfying career, but I could never quite shake the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something else with my life. Sometimes I would think about doing comedy but there were no opportunities to learn to do stand-up in Southeast Asia.  I quit my job, left Vietnam, and moved to Florida since I have family here. Within a couple of months I was addicted to stand-up comedy!
2) Where was the most interesting place that you ever traveled to? And why?

Adam’s Peak (also known as Sri Pada). It’s a mountain in a remote jungle in Sri Lanka with a Buddhist temple on the top. People make pilgrimages there and it’s revered by several religions.  There are steps cut to the side of the mountain but it still takes about eight hours to get to the top. I climbed it with my girlfriend and when we got to the top, we rested and looked at the temple while these giant butterflies came and landed on everybody.  It was beautiful.

3) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Locally, David Stebbins.  One reason he inspires me is that, like me, he’s an addict in long-term recovery.  I can really relate to his material about addiction, but more than that, I love that his style is filthy, energetic, and unabashedly confessional. He will say anything as long as it’s true and funny.

Another local comic I enjoy is Kat Toledo; she has this style of comedy that’s different than anyone else around South Florida. Her jokes are very abstract/esoteric; sometimes she’s saying things that you can tell are only funny to her, but the way she uses her voice to sell it makes her material work.  She’s just a great performer, magnetic stage presence. I am a very difficult audience, I have a hard time liking standups. I am not an easy laugh, but Kat can crack me up onstage
Finally, a local up-and-comer I really respect is Artesse Lector (AKA Hennessy Williams III)  He’s got a strong stage presence, really commanding, and he’s got a very analytical mind, just quick-witted and very deep. His writing is amazingly strong for someone so new on the scene…. Just great premises and an ability to find the best punchline quickly seems to come naturally, which also makes him great at dealing with hecklers.  Also, he’s got a serious vocabulary that encompasses everything from academia to business to urban vernacular.  You get the feeling he’d be equally comfortable giving a serious presentation to the board of Apple Computer, or shooting the breeze with a wino on a street corner, and he’d probably have something interesting to say to each of them.

As for nationally known comics, my biggest influence is definitely Norm MacDonald.  I used to watch him on Saturday Night Live doing Weekend Update when I was just a kid, so his style really got into my brain early and influenced what I think comedy should be.  My favorite thing about Norm is that doesn’t believe in cleverness.  He never goes for the clever, witty punchline; he goes for the obvious one.  The one anyone can understand.  So it never seems like he’s talking down to the audience.  He plays a dumb guy on stage and that’s my goal in comedy as well.  I spent my life and career before comedy trying to prove to everyone that I was smart; as a comic I’m looking to connect with people instead, and I think the dumber I am, the easier this is.
Another comic that inspires me is Russell Brand.  Not so much his material, just his attitude towards life and his career.  Watching him taught me that you don’t have to be some kind of depressed nerd to be a standup comic– you can have a positive outlook on things, and enjoy life! And of course, that you can be a great performer and stay clean and sober.

4) What types of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

I am a really healthy eater; I hate processed food, and I cook all the time. Umm, I make a lot of brown rice and lentil curries; I also enjoy making grilled cheese sandwiches with Ezekiel bread.  I eat a lot of plain yogurt with fresh fruit, which is my go-to snack when I’m writing, or late at night after I’m done performing.  And one of my all-time favorite things to make is Caesar salad (for which I always use my own recipe for the dressing:  vinegar, olive oil, and lots of anchovies!)

5) What do you love most about stand-up comedy?

Connecting with people on stage!  I’ve also made some great friends in the scene and I love hanging out with those guys and writing with them.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with (Alive or dead) and where would you take him or her?

Socrates, because I want to know if Aristotle or Plato got it right or maybe neither. We would go to the local bar and I would order him some wine to get him talking! I’d probably have a Diet Coke, my all-time favorite drink.

7) What don’t you love about stand-up comedy?

When comics aren’t true to themselves on stage and I have to watch them. When new comics come on stage and talk about politics, hacky racist stuff, and how dumb they think women are (this last one is usually male comics).  I’m not saying you can’t do jokes about these topics.  I’m saying that most of the time, when comics, especially new comics, get on stage to tackle these topics, they end up doing terrible, boring jokes that have the ring of falseness. Everybody seems to want to show their brilliant insight on big social issues on the first day.  Here’s a hint: Focus on your own flaws, and you’ll be funnier.

8) If you could have any actor or actress play you in the movie of your life then who would it be? And why?

Scarlett Johansson, because she would really be able to bring out my feminine side and I think she’s just as pretty as I am.  Everyone would finally understand why I’m the femme in the Butch and Femme Comedy Tour.

9) What is your advice to New Comics?

Don’t do social issues right away. Talk about yourself, your own life and your own experience. Cheer up when you’re on stage and remember that you’re performing for people, you’re supposed to be entertaining. So don’t hate the audience, don’t give up on your material.  Care that you are up there on stage!

Most of all though:  Do comedy.  There are stages everywhere; go on stage as much as you can.  I hate it when people say “I can’t put gas in my car so I can’t make it to an open mic”.  That’s not an excuse.  When I first started, I didn’t have a car, so I rode a bicycle to open mics all over South Florida.  You CAN get there.   I suggest anyone starting out hit 10-15 stages every week and write in between every time you’re onstage.  You won’t be able to avoid getting better.

10) I know you do a lot of podcasting and you’re doing some touring now.  What’s the Sex On Kava podcast and what’s the the Butch and Femme Comedy Tour?

The Butch and Femme Comedy Tour is a regional standup tour I founded with the hilarious and beautiful Anna Lepeley.  We met this past winter and had this natural chemistry (probably because she’s a butch lesbian and I’m an effeminate heterosexual dude).   We knew we both had limited credits but figured they’d be good enough to get us booked in smaller cities, which turned out to be right.  So we’ve been hitting up cities throughout the Southeast; we co-headline these shows, and we finish with a comedic song.  It’s a deliciously raunchy show and we have a lot of fun with it.  Check out butchandfemmecomedy.com for dates.

As for Sex on Kava, it’s a weekly podcast that I started over a year ago with my buddy Rich Kennedy, proprietor of Awa Na Kava Lounge, the weirdest bar in the world!  A couple of years ago, I used to sit there at the bar, drinking water, and talking to Rich about all of his strange customers.  It’s a kava bar, so they don’t serve alcohol, but somehow all the strangest people you’ve ever met find their way there.  I’d go there after doing comedy all night to decompress, and would usually end up laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe at something happening in the bar, or Rich telling a story about something happening in the bar, and finally we just said: “We have to start recording this stuff!”  So we started the podcast and called it Sex on Kava (because half of the funny stories are about sex). We interview the hot chicks and the weirdos in the bar, and we also bring on local comedians which gives them a chance to be funny in a non-standup setting.  There’s drama, fighting, sound effects, very real moments, confessions, relationships, beautiful people, and several lunatics who regularly get on the air!  It’s a lot of fun; listen on iTunes or at sexonkava.com. And write us a review and a 5-star rating on iTunes! (Trying to get better at reminding people to do that.)

I have another podcast, which I co-host with a Presbyterian minister.  It’s called Jesus Christ, That’s Funny! (JCTF for short) and it’s sort of a comedic take on religion, relationships, and the meaning of life.  My co-host, Pastor Dwayne Black, is sort of famous; he was in the news a lot last year, getting arrested for feeding the homeless in Ft Lauderdale. JCTF is probably the most personal media project I’ve ever done; I talk about my moral, spiritual, and relationship problems; sometimes I forget there’s a microphone in front of me and start really revealing my deepest, darkest secrets! Then Pastor Dwayne usually ends up telling me what I need to change to be a better person! Then I make a series of jokes.  I really like working with Pastor Dwayne; He’s (obviously) religious and I’m not, but we end up finding a surprisingly large amount of common ground.  And of course, there’s a lot of irreverent humor but I think that helps us connect with people.  We’ve gotten great feedback from listeners so far.  Listen on iTunes or at jesuschristthatsfunny.podbean.com.

Interview with Ridiculous

Ridiculous was born on April 23, 1988 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he found the microphone back in 2010. Since then he has performed with comedians/celebrities like Brandon T Jackson, Michael Blackson, Comedian Shawty, Esther Ku, Damon Williams and many more. His style of comedy can be summed up in one word, Ridiculous.

 

Ridiculous

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I was depressed & I wanted someone to make me laugh. I happened to be the funniest person around.

2) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Marvin Dixon; He would make me laugh as a kid. My sister used to work at the Mayfair (Which was close to the Miami Improv); I was 16 I sneaked into the show, met Eddie Griffin & Marvin Dixon. Marvin made me laugh. Jett Wilson is also a comedian that I enjoy watching because he has a lot of confidence in himself and he’s one of the rare comedians that I know that would bet a $1,000 on himself. I also enjoy watching D.L Hughley & Dave Chapelle.

3) What types of food do you enjoy cooking when you have time to eat?

Hennessey Pancakes and breakfast foods.

4) If you could either be any superhero or super villain who would you choose?

Someone who’s hard core bad as the Punisher. He does bad stuff for the right reasons.

5) What do you love most about stand-up comedy?

Ability to connect with strangers & make them laugh by taking my pain and making it funny.

6) What don’t you love about stand-up comedy?

Other comedians. My dreams & expectations are different & just because you can’t make it to the stars doesn’t mean that I can’t make it.

7) If you can be with any person alive or dead; who would it be?

The 8 year old version of me; I would tell myself that everything is going to be ok.

8) What is it about you that makes you awesome?

I don’t back down.

9) What is your advice to New Comics?

Be honest with yourself. If you write a joke for the first time, say it and it doesn’t make you laugh then don’t say it in front of an audience.

10) Why should people check out the Donnell Rawlings & Ridiculous with the Hard Hitters of Comedy show on 08/31?

I am from Ft. Lauderdale. It is in Ft. Lauderdale; No one is going to go harder than me. If they go to this show they’ll be a part of history when they see me make it and it will be the greatest show ever!

Interview with Noam Manor

Noam was born and raised in Israel and has somehow consistently found herself on a stage. She has always been involved with theatre in high school but stopped performing shorty after graduating. Noam started improv classes with sick puppies comedy in 2013 because it was cheaper than therapy. Improv has reawakened Noam’s performance bug ever since she’s also gotten involved in standup. You can follow her on both Twitter and Instagram @NoamAlaska

Noam Manor

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I was doing Improv regularly. I was going to star in Guffpunch and in order for me to be in the movie I needed to do stand-up so I ended up doing it as a New Years resolution.

2) If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

Teleport and take people with me so I can travel for free.

3) What type of comedians do you enjoy watching (locally and nationally)?

Locally: Obviously Joe Dewayne; I saw him perform at the Buddah and I thought he was funny. His attitude was self-deprecating and it worked. I like Awni Issa; when watching him it almost feels that what is naturally part of him. He just has it in his blood. Leah Jay; I’ve known her since we were twelve; her jokes are all part of her personality. I love how filthy she is. Nationally; I love Robin Williams because his brain works a different way than a normal human. It’s ten times faster. He can go off on a tangent then come back full circle to talk about the thing that he was previously talking about without skipping a beat.

4) What types of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

I make a killer hummus. I also love Greek food such as lamb burgers.

5) What do you love most about stand-up comedy?

I love that it’s very liberating. You just go on there; say things that you think are funny to you; you find out that things are funny to other people also. A lot of comedians are kind of weird, because it’s our chance to have a voice and form a community.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with  (Alive or dead) and where would you take him?

Robin Williams; to Tenth Level Tavern so that we could drink beer and he could do comedy for us.

7) What don’t you love about stand-up comedy?

I hate that if you bomb you want to kill yourself. If you bomb it’s so painful. There is nothing fun about bombing. It’s not only that you didn’t do well in something that you love but you did it in front of people.

8) Does Improv have any benefit with stand-up comedy?

Absolutely especially with riffing or crowd work. It helps you to connect with people and think on your feet.

9) What is your advice to New Comics?

Bombing, bad rooms; it’s all a part of the journey.  There’s ups and down to comedy just like anything. You have to keep on doing it.

10) Why should people check out the open mic at Tenth Level Tavern?

Because it’s really fun, it’s very open, a little bit of a difficult room with noise level, audience response. It’s always a fun room there’s always people there to help each other.

Interview with Eric Rosenblum

Eric Rosenblum is an entrepreneur, stand-up comedian, and self-proclaimed “Nice guy”.  Originally hailing from Staten Island his relationship status is currently single after jumping headfirst into the perils of internet dating. He views internet dating as a distant memory as he searches for his first Russian bride. Eric’s love for Saturday Night Live and comics including Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano and Adam Sandler inspired him to delve into the world of stand-up comedy. He draws much of his material from his life-long roommates: Mom and Dad. Eric’s a sucker for soft, plush towels. Catch Eric’s “Nice Guy” act at comedy clubs before he becomes and arrogant prick.

Eric Rosenblum

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I always love the art. When it comes to stand-up; it’s something where there is never something ending to it. It’s always a journey. I love it.

2) If you could be any local South Florida Comic for a day; who would you choose? And why?

David Stebbins; every time I see him he seems fearless and you never know what to expect from him. He formulates it so well. I would like to get into his mind and see how he works it.

3) Where was the most interesting place that you ever did stand-up comedy at? And why?

At a yoga event with Josh Rosen. Josh did a perfect set. I am usually clean, but when I went up there I said something that turned the crowd off so much that the guy grabbed the mic from me in the middle of my set and said that “It was enough”. It was awkward, because people all around from me were stretching and there were dogs all over. They asked me to go back up, but I said that “I am good”.

4) Who is your favorite super hero? And Why?

Spiderman, I like that he seems like the average kid. He’s not very big, but once he’s in that costume he can handle himself to any bully, but he doesn’t try to get into any fight. He’s kind of not a ladies man and he’s humble. He has a low key personally that isn’t constantly seeking attention.

5) What type of comedy are you into?

Jim Gaffigan; he’s goofy/funny, clean (I like to go clean) and I also enjoy watching Anthony Jeselnik, because he goes darker and to the extreme. His punch lines are never safe.

6) How do you write a joke?

I have the punch line in my head first and then I write backwards. I do the whole setup punchline. I don’t really tell stories, but I still make it relatable to others. I make fun of why someone is misspelling my name and then I go backwards.

7) What is one of your awkward quirks?

I have a habit of being robotic. Move my hands around unnecessarily.

8) Why should I not fire you?

Because I am on time, I am clean, I am professional and I would meet any requirements that a booker would set up. I wouldn’t take the job if I felt comfortable that I would be able to do it.

9) What is your advice to New Comics?

Patience; whether you are doing this for a month, 6 months or years. You need to have patience. You aren’t going to make friends or get booked right away. Continue writing, being yourself and being really good off stage. Be a nice person. Don’t try to be phony and be anyone else but yourself (Unless you are jerk).

10) Why should comedians buy from Southgate Design?

I enjoy managing comedians. When you are a comedian you are going to focus so hard on being funny.  Give us a call or send us an email and let us take care of your promotional worries. We’ve been doing it for several years, I know the industry very well and you could focus on just writing and be funny. We’ll help you make money.

Interview with Matt Bellak

Matt is originally from Chicago. He was the host of the Funky Buddha for the last 4 years, he also hosted weekend shows at the Improv and he’s known as one of the best writers in the South Florida Comedy Scene.

Matt Bellak

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I never thought that I wanted to do stand-up comedy. I went to the Funky Buddha all arts a couple of times. A friend of mine encouraged me to go so I said “F*ck it” so I wrote a couple of minutes. It went bad, but I started going it and decided to stick with it.

2) What makes you so awesome?

My boyish charm.

3) Who are your favorite comedians to watch (locally and nationally)?

Locally: Mike Atcherson; he’s always coming up with new material and the kid doesn’t really miss often. Usually when he writes a joke it’s a hit. It’s great to see how comfortable he’s starting to get on stage. Tim Hanlon; he’s one of the best joke writers I have ever seen and he’s really funny in his delivery. You can see him do a joke and it’s fun to see how that joke grows and change. Franco; no one loves stand-up comedy more than him. He calls me at 3AM to improve his jokes. He’s always got something in his mind with stand-up comedy. Tom Segura; not only is he a great joke writer, but I can relate to the things that he talks about. He’s self-deprecating and willing to laugh at himself.

4) What types of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

Whatever leftovers my brother has in the fridge.

5) What do you love most about stand-up comedy?

Before stand-up comedy I would go to a grocery store and be passive. With stand-up comedy I am always looking to see where the joke is.

6) Who is the person that you would want to hang out with (Alive or dead) and where would you take them?

Mike Ditka; he’s just a man. I would just want to have a beer and cigarette some random hole in the wall bar and talk to him about football.

7) How do you write a joke?

I don’t usually write it down as it comes out robotic for me. I want to keep it conversational. It has to be a true experience. A lot of my jokes are stories that really happened. You find the best way of telling a story with embellishing. I write a note in my phone and I will talk it out loud, rant over the original idea for 2-3 minutes and I will pick the key points to see if this is funny and then I will perform it, record every set and listen back to it to notice the finite things that will work or not work about the joke. The audience is always honest. Why did it work; why didn’t it work. It helps me learn a lot about myself and the theme.

8) What is your advice to being an amazing host?

Hosting is a different skill set than being a comedian. The show isn’t about you. When you are hosting you are doing a job. Make sure it goes on time. Make sure they are listening. You have to let them know the rules. It’s your job to bridge the gap between the audience and the performers. It’s not about you; when you are the host you are the liaison between the audience and the show. Be upbeat, positive and always smile. You have to be likable. When you are the host you have to be the person that someone wants to get a beer with. Always put the show first. When I am hosting the night isn’t about me; it’s about the show. I will always put the show above the audience.

9) Why should people check you out at the Improv?

Because it’s one of the best places to see comedy. There is always good shows. You will see some insanely hilarious headliner.

10) Why are you moving to NYC?

To get funnier; It’s good to go to a big market such as NYC to see how you stack up.. I heard that it’s the boot camp of stand-up comedy. LA is great for movies and as far as stand-up comedy goes I heard the NYC is the Mecca. It’s a city where you can hit 50 mics a week. If you can grind and work your way up through NY you can do anything in comedy.

Interview with Brian Coronado

Brian Coronado aka the “Man in Black” is a South Florida native who’s been writing and performing since he was seven years old. The former collegiate athlete and DJ is one of the founding members of “Degenerate Comedy” and best known for his energetic and subversive style. He is the resident host of the Kreepy Tiki, Kelly Brothers and Inkwell Pub. Guest hosting Coconuts, Catskills, Marina 84, Stache Fort Lauderdale and the Funky Buddha. Comedy has taken him from the depths of South Florida to Immokalee, Daytona, St Pete, Tampa, Orlando, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Covington, Mandeville, Lafayette, New Orleans, Atlanta Amsterdam with far more to come.

Brian Coronado

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

I’ve always loved and respected comedians but the day I started really pursuing itwas after watching the A&E special “The Tragic Side of Comedy” Pretty morbid but I have an opinion, I have a different outlook, so I kept thinking,why can’t I do this?

2) If you could hang out with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why?

It’s a tie…. Bill Hicks – Just so I could update him on America, politics, comedy, technology, etc. Andrew Jackson – Because I know he’d challenge Donald Trump to a duel and kill him

3) Who are your favorite comedians to watch (locally and nationally)?

Obviously our Degenerate crew – Matt Bellak – John Hyne Bill Burr / Moshe Kasher / Natasha Leggero nationally I really like anyone that has an unique opinion or point of view and isn’t afraid to show it. Have something to say, stick by it, and stop going for the cheap laughs

4) What’s up with your “Man in Black” persona?

I wore black ever since I was in the 5th grade. It’s the only color that made sense to me. That was before I went goth.

5) What is the most important thing that you still have that should be thrown away?

Hockey jerseys from high school and college. I keep them for the memories.

6) How do you handle hecklers?

I just show no fear and show them this is my show/my time and be more quicker than they are since audience members tend to be more drunk anyways.

7) What is your advice to new comics?

You aren’t going to be good at this for a while and you aren’t going to get paid doing this right away. So if that’s your motivation then you should quit right now and start a podcast. If not, write as much as you can, get up at least half the month, and keep pushing until you find your voice.

8) What don’t you love about stand-up comedy?

The paparazzi. I hate those guys….

9) What is it about you that makes you awesome?

My cat.

10) Why should people check out your open mic at the Dive Bar in Ftl the first Tuesday of every month?

Cheap drinks, good room and it can get pretty colorful. The first show of every month is a themed booked show and this month’s is called the “Get off my lawn” show with older comics.

Interview with Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a standup comedian, emcee, actor, and podcaster from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jon has performed in a multitude of standup shows across the country as the host, guest, and featured comedian, as well as numerous corporate and private events. Jon has been the emcee at Belushi’s Comedy Club in Fort Meyers, the Comedy Zone Sunny Isles Beach, and the Improv in West Palm Beach. Additionally, Jon is the co-host of the Coming Up Short weekly podcast and Tuesday morning guest on the Wake Up Late with Dougie radio show.

Jon’s comedy is smart, clever and timely. He covers subjects from current events, to dating, technology, society and more.

Personally, Jon is 42, single, and live in Fort Lauderdale with his dog Nickel and cat Mr. Cheese. He’s been a grocery bagger, a movie usher, a waiter, a bartender, a producer, a reporter, a sportscaster, an internet entrepreneur, a director of marketing, and now, a comedian and actor.

Jon Levine

1) What motivated you to start doing stand-up comedy?

It has always been there. I had always been a performer whether in front of the camera when I worked tv news and even younger when I did commercials as a kid. I always felt that being a standup comedian was a different skill than just being funny in front of your friends. When I heard there was a class at the Improv I thought I’d take to see if it was different or if I could be as funny on stage.

2) If you could hang out with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why?

Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein; someone that is very scientifically minded.  I would take them somewhere they can marvel in the technology that has come along since they died. Things that we take for granted that they would be amazed at. I think a place like a modern airport would show off many of those technologies. From the jets to the wireless internet to the full color touch screens and more. I think 30 minutes in an airport would blow their minds.

3) Who are your favorite comedians to watch (locally and nationally)?

Locally: Matt Bellak; he’s a brilliant joke writer and is able to create a joke from a story and communicate it to the audience so that everyone can relate to it without making it long and drawn out. Perry Sak; he’s very dynamic and there is a lot of energy that comes off the stage when he’s on plus he is fun to watch. Bill Burr; he’s brilliant and his stories have a lot of jokes in it and Bert Kriesher is hilarious and John Mulaney.

4) How did you pull off getting into the World Series of Comedy and what did you learn from it?

I sent in the tape last year and I didn’t get selected. I tried again this year and got selected for it. I learned that there was too much ‘intro’ in my first tape and it was too long before I told my first joke. I cut that down in the most recent tape I sent that resulted in me getting selected. I also was sure to put my very best performance in the second tape that was well shot, with great video and audio.  As far as what I learned: you really need to take into account where you are performing when deciding on what jokes to do. I didn’t take that into account at all and I put together a set of what I thought were my best jokes. I realized a few minutes into the performance that those jokes weren’t necessarily were the ones that would work  there. I should’ve taken into better account where I was telling the jokes before I selected what jokes to tell.

5) What types of foods do you enjoy eating when you have time to cook?

I’ll eat a lot of fish especially since there is an abundance of it since we live in South Florida. I enjoy eating healthy, even though I don’t do it all the time, and I am a big vegetable eater.

6) You do commercials and acting; what is your motivation?

My goal is to make a living by performing. I found that the acting and standup go hand-in-hand. When you look at the amount of money that you can make doing standup comedy (which is barely above zero) I felt I had to do other things to supplement. I feel that acting could help me further my goal of being a performer for a living and so far it’s definitely helped.

7) What is your advice to new comics?

Get up on stage as much as you can. Don’t worry about all the nuances and trying to be perfect. Write what you think is funny and get up and perform it. The more you do it the more you will learn what do. Make sure to record everything whether audio or video, listen to it and learn from it.

8) What don’t you love about stand-up comedy?

It’s not as much of a meritocracy as I thought it would be. I always thought it would solely be about talent and that alone would determine if you advanced. Unfortunately, like many other things, it’s not just about talent. Relationships, who you know, how long you’ve been doing it come into play a lot more than I thought they would.

9) What do you love about stand-up comedy?

I love being on stage and entertaining people and I love the feeling of accomplishment when you are able to make people laugh from a joke that you wrote. I also love the social aspect of the comedy scene and that I met a lot of new friends since becoming a comedian. I enjoy being around a lot of other people that are fun to be with.

10) Why should people listen to the “Coming Up Short Podcast”?

It’s good insight into the South Florida comedy scene and I think it’s entertaining from the standpoint of getting to know a different comic each week. You get to learn who they are, why they got into comedy and what do they want out of it.