In 1989 I was 18 years old and a senior in high school the very first time I took the stage to perform stand up Comedy. It was an open mic contest at a small Irish bar named O'Donahues and surprisingly I won. I was so naÃ¯ve and ignorant to the world of stand up that I thought I would be an overnight success; a huge TV star by the time I hit 21! The first four years were the hardest. I'm not going to lie to you, I truly sucked dong wind. I dug up an old notebook and found this gem in the material archives. Let's go back in time now...
Baking Soda. . . have ya noticed they put baking soda in everything now!! It's like the cure all. It's in detergent! It's in toothpaste! Oh and now the other day I saw "New 2000 flushes with Baking Soda" ...Hey!! I'm using the same thing to clean my toilet as I am to clean my teeth. Why not just brush your teeth with your toilet brush?
What I later learned is that one of the most essential elements to being a successful stand up comedian is to know yourself very well. How can you talk about things not truly knowing who you are and how you fit in to it all? At 18 I only knew that stand up looked fun. Today, I have found my voice. I don't claim to have everything figured out, but I open myself to learn everyday.
Around the age of 22 the light bulb came on and I was finally able to translate the way I made my buddies laugh, to the stage. I have never looked back. The only salary gig I have ever had was for a top 40 radio station as a morning show host. I was up every morning at 3:30am working 13 hours a day. I quickly returned to comedy full time. I missed the crowds, the clubs and the immediate response to my comedy. There is nothing better than ending your work day with applause.
Over the years I have had so many unique and wonderful experiences. I have seen most of the United States, various parts of the world and met so many interesting people. I have done some interesting jobs too. For a while, I was a silly character on local car commercials. I even hosted a home town QVC style show called "Shop Baton Rouge." I hawked wicker on local cable!
One of my early highlights was creating, writing, directing and acting in a sitcom pilot named "Barley Makin' It." (Viewable in the VIP backstage area on marcryan.com) It was about three college guys from very different backgrounds forced to live together. It wasn't "Friends", but it was an amazing accomplishment that got the attention of former Paramount Studios CEO and President of NBC Entertainment Brandon Tartikoff. Mr. Tartikoff was a one of a kind man, and I was fortunate to have encountered him. He took time out to share lunches with me and give me guidance and advice. I received my very first check for writing services rendered working on a project for Mr. Tartikoff. A copy of the check hangs on the wall in my office today.
In the past few years since I have lived in Los Angeles, I have returned to television work. In 2001, I made an appearance on Comedy Central's "Best of the Improv." In 2002, I made a guest appearance on the UPN hit sitcom "The Parker's." 2003 made dreams come true with an appearance on the new "Star Search" on CBS hosted by Arsenio Hall. In 2004, I appeared on "Show me the Funny" a HDTV special for the Wealth Network. 2005 has been a wild and exciting ride. I made a guest appearance at the Montreal Comedy Festival and appeared on the "Comcast Comedy Spotlight" at the Boston Comedy Festival. Most recently I taped a special "Pit Stop Comedy" for TBS at the 2005 HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas
Things are very exciting right now and the future looks bright. There's nothing I love more than being one on one with a hot crowd in a dark comedy club. And if you've read all the way to here, there's a good chance you've been in the audience of that dark comedy club. Thank you! Thank you for relating to my world and expressing it with laughter. I hope to see you at a show soon. Do me a favor, spread the word. I would like to own a car with less than 266,000 miles on it before I'm 40.
NOTE: To hear micro-cassette recordings of my first shows as well as the video of that very first performance when I was 18 become a VIP backstage member at marcryan.com. To become a member all you have to do is ask me for the password at a show or buy some merchandise online.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Inappropriate Yelling
3. Answering Machine Messages
4. Phones in the Bathroom
5. Cajun Food
6. Southern Stereotypes
7. My Cousin Buck on TV
8. Who Wants Some of This
9. Maw Maw
10. Gay Redneck Uncle
11. Rednecks Makin' BMW's
13. The Single, The Married and My New Buddy Ralph
14. Grocery Shopping
15. Women's Self Love Technique's
16. First Dates
17. Family Feud
18. The Little Things
19. The Toliet Seat
20. Peein' in the Shower
21. I Don't Care
22. Dogs are Happy
23. The Hitch or The Bitch?
24. The Wal-Mart Greeter
25. On My CD!!!
26. A Military Toast