Probably as a young kid. I used to do little skits at family gatherings for chuckles. Then I became really shy in my teens for some reason, and some of my relatives asked why I didn't entertain them like I used to. Glad I apparently grew out of (reverted back to?) that.
When did you start doing stand up?
My first time on stage was my freshman year of college in 2005. I did it sporadically, and made a New Year's Resolution to actually give it a real go in 2007. Yup, I was one of those annoying "January Open Mic-ers."
What comics did you watch as a kid?
I enjoyed Mitch Hedberg, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Jerry Seinfeld. When I got into comedy, I fell in love with George Carlin, Rodney Dangerfield, and Dave Chappelle.
Who do you watch now?
Jim Jeffries had one of the best headliner sets I've ever seen live. I think Dan Cummins is criminally underrated. I think my friends Pedro Lima and Ken Miller are two of the best comics in the country, and everyone should check them out if they get the opportunity.
I'm out almost every night working on my stand up, and try to sit down and write at least a few times a week for it. For Twitter, I like to sit down at least once a week for an hour or more and write out as much as I can, and see what ideas I can come up with. Often, if an idea is too big for Twitter, it goes into my act. I love Twitter for that reason. It forces you to write, and constantly produce more and more material. We live in a golden age for entertainment content.
Personally, I hate Reddit because people are much quicker to criticize jokes and tell you exactly how and why you suck. Do you even look at that stuff, or do you just post a joke and forget about it?
I actually really enjoy reading all the criticisms. You can tell when someone is just being a troll, so ignore those. But I think reddit is a great opportunity to see into the minds of potential audience members, and hear their feedback. It's a great place to hear people tell you why a joke may not be working, and give you ideas on how to proceed with it in the future. I don't agree with the vast majority of criticisms I've been given, but I always like to listen to them in case there is a valid one I can learn from. I've also made a lot of fans (and probably a lot of enemies) on reddit, and I'm really grateful for it. Keeps things interesting.
Not too distant future:
I'm trying to do as much stand up as possible. I'm on the road a bit here and there, and I'd like to do more colleges (I just got an agent) and maybe even get a late night set. Management would be nice as well.
I'm a big writer. I've written a few screenplays, and developed a TV spec script. I may be shooting a sizzle reel for it soon, so it'd be awesome if all these things I'm working on came to fruition. Ultimately, as much as I love TV and film, I'd really only like to get big on them just to build my stand up fan base. I want to be performing until the day I die. Hopefully, when I do, it'll be in theaters and not bowling alleys.
Speaking of bowling alleys... this isn't the worst, per se, but it is hilarious. I performed at a bowling alley on my birthday a few years ago. I was the feature act that night. The night before, a bus hit and totaled the car I was driving, so I spent all that day making calls and filling out paperwork. The show itself was in a bowling alley, filled with about 100 people who got in for free and didn't particularly care about stand up as an art form, and the arcade next door was as loud as you were onstage. As I was brought on, my friend who was the MC produced a cake, and made the entire audience sing "Happy Birthday," to which they begrudgingly obliged as I awkwardly just stood there. I then tanked for the next half hour, as everyone felt sorry for me, including my mom, who was in the front row.
Thanks to Nat for spending some time with me, and if you like his stuff follow him on Twitter and look for his posts on Reddit. He doesn't mind if you give him advice, just don't be a dick.
By: Jim Capie