Tell us about your routine.
My stand up routine asks the age-old question, “does Blake get enough sleep?”…
I like telling stories and I’m a big fan of calling back upon the memories/faux-hardships that every 9 year old boy goes through – finding and exploiting the absurdity in them. Example: When we would cheer for the bus driver to speed up while driving over “the bump”, relating to your pet gerbil when your sent to your room (#cellmates), and of course famous “breakfast for dinner”….
What inspired you to begin stand-up?
What inspired me to do comedy? Simple. I HAD to put bread on the table to feed my 8 irish catholic kids, and my dear poor wife. Times is tough. A former pro-boxer can’t get no honest wages down at them docks….
Actually, I began seriously working in comedy while at Rowan University. My buddy Ricky Ryan and I created a sketch comedy show called Socially Awkward, where would write, produce, star in our own sketches – then air them on the campus tv network. We liked crackin’ eachother up – and wanted to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Funny enough (pun) other’s dug it, and so when the professional Stand Up comedians would come through to perform for the school, we would ask to open for them. That was my first stab at Stand Up.
How much of an influence has your Queens upbringing had (I need to ask this to make the article relevant to LIC) on your routine?
I live in Astoria Queens now, and I love it. The people are genuine, everyone is hustling towards their greater artistic goal – it’s a creative atmosphere buzzing with constant talent and positive energy. I’ve performed at QED a couple times and it’s awesome that there’s a comedy venue in the area. I sip cold crusiers at Mccanns, I snack on fancy fried chicken at the Pomeroy, get my “hair did” at Crush Studio, and shop for dope threads at the ever stylish Stonework – if Ditmars Blvd had a Prince…..I’d be his unfunny cousin, who smells like pre-packaged lunch meat and doesn’t know when to leave…
Who are your favorite comedians?
My favorite comedians are of course Johnny Bannana-Hands, Chuck “Pie-in-the-face” Mulletson and of course Rodgero Goroposki of the Goropski Brothers. Those are all the undergound jokesters that people probably haven’t heard of……yet.
But I’m in favor of anyone who can pull off sketch comedy – so naturally Chappelle is up there. Bo Burnham’s previous special called “What.” is one of my favorite perfomances. I’m always a fan of larger form bits, “out-there” unconventional stuff. For better or worse – I used to try some really bonkers long form jokes; dance routines, song parodies, printing out a lifesize diagram of the human body and telling the audience how much each organ would cost in Iran…..(true story). These type of jokes are extremely difficult to pull off, and if they’re not connecting with the audience you’re stuck – 8 minutes committed, no matter what. So any comedian who goes for that type of commitment on stage is worth watching to me.
Think about anything else you’d like to add.
Once a week I CoHost an Astoria based podcast called “The Cold Read”, where Ricky and I write an original screenplay – invite actors, comedians, artists etc to be special guests – and have them “cold read” the scripts on the spot. Absurdity follows. Original stories. Once a week. Read Cold. = total blast. Give it a listen.
Our sketch comedy show Socially Awkward is being pitched to networks by my new fancy pants Manhattan talent agent Dave Marken. It’s cool to see how tv packaging/sales works. Do I know what I’m doing yet? Not really. Is it cool to get feedback from television networks? Yes.
I got scripts for days – very excited about a new dark comedy pilot based off my stand up routine called “Special Days”. I’m lucky to have an incredibly talented group of artist/buddies who I get to punchup scripts, and spitball material and ideas with. Those killers are Lyons George, Paul Schissler, Hunter Hoffman, Keele Howard-Stone, my older brother Porter Rice and of course Ricky Ryan. We’re the bad boy heart throbs of Astoria.
My directing/screening writing debut in the film To Whom It May Concern, shot entirily in queens – has been selected in over 7 International Film Festivals (Including Queens World Film Festival). In theaters this fall – screening at Atlantic City Cinefest Oct. 13-th and Fort Lauderdale Intl. Film Festival Nov 3 – 19th.
*****Headlining the Triad Theater – Saturday October 14th at 7pm. Tickets available at triadnyc.com