Rant Pack: Comedian, Eric Stallings
Have you ever felt shy? Have you ever had a hard time coming out of your shell in front of an audience or even just the people, students or colleagues around you?
Maybe comedy is something you would like to try!
Comedy is a form of art through and through. It definitely falls into several of my categories of art and you will see what they are soon - let’s begin the rant!
RANT PACK 1:
ERIC STALLINGS - COMEDIAN
Who is Eric:
Eric is awesome. I was lucky enough to have met him while we were working on cruise ships (He was working for Second City, I was in the Art Gallery) and it soon became my goal to make him laugh as much as possible. (This is because I felt that making a professional comedian laugh verified to me that I am, in fact, quite humorous. SUCCESS!)
Eric is originally from Virginia, currently living in LA, BUT he also lived in Chicago for 6 years! He moved there to continue studying Comedy and, did I mention that he began when he was in High School?! I won't tell you how old he is now, but it's an impressive feat. He originally got involved with comedy because it ended up being a great way to break out of his shell and become more outgoing.
Eric believes in Comedy and has built his life around it, however, it has come with it’s own set of challenges. Eric explained to me that one of the biggest obstacles is the fact that his main competitors for jobs and gigs are his close friends. The comedy community is tight knit because you’re so genuine with your comedy. It's easy to jive with people really quickly and create deep friendships bonding over emotional reactions, humor, laughing and more. It’s a supportive community, but that doesn’t make the struggle any easier. “This too shall pass” is a quote that he has returned to it regularly since his first breakup and reminds him that life goes on.
Above all, these collective experiences and obstacles have reinforced to Eric that there are a million ways to achieve your goals. He’s experimented with different comedic forms, acting roles and more in order to continue to make people laugh.
It's an emotional roller coaster for those involved with comedy, however, I believe any comedian will tell you that their art is completely worth it.
WHAT MAKES COMEDY AN ART FORM?
1. Emotional Reaction / Communication
I think this one is pretty self explanatory, but, this wouldn't be a rant if I didn't expand a bit.
Comedy is known for generating emotional reactions and communicating happiness through creation, expression and experience. Comedy = laughter. Most of the time. Sometimes Comedy = crying, but mostly that is because of laughing so hard.
Comedy has always been important to me. I have always enjoyed making someone laugh or when others make me laugh. If you know me, you will know that I regularly break into tears from laughing. After you’ve been around for one of my laughing episodes, it soon becomes common knowledge that “I’ve been lost” but I’ll be back in the next 5 to 10 minutes.
ERIC HAS CAUSED LITERALLY DOZENS OF THOSE LAUGHING EPISODES. If we weren’t great friends I would think he was trying to suffocate me with laughter. Luckily for him, he is a professional, bonafide comedian so he has a good reason for making me laugh (and has a air tight alibi. HAH see what I did there, air tight? From me losing air from laughing! I crack myself up.)
2. Public Consumption
Comedy is funny between friends, but it’s even more satisfying and exciting when a group of people are all laughing and understanding the same humor even if they are strangers. How awesome is it when you’re at a movie or a theatre performance or, for example, a comedy show and the whole room bursts out in laughter? You feel so connected and unified! It’s a wonderful experience and comedians THRIVE off of this. After a few short classes in comedy with Second City in Chicago it’s very apparent that improv and stand up and all other forms of comedy need an audience to survive and enjoy their work! Bringing happiness to many people at once is so rewarding.
3. Expression of Passion
To be a comedian you must be passionate about making people happy and being comfortable in front of an audience. Sometimes during a performance you’re alone, sometimes with one other person or maybe a group of people but a lot of the reaction of the audience relies on your ability to think quickly and deliver well! It's also more exciting and difficult when you're working with more people because you don't have full control over how the performance is built. It's interesting and thrilling but can also be frustrating if you and your team don't see eye to eye. Also, these comedies have to be approachable across a wide range of people. Therefore, passion is a key driving force into the success of a comedian. You gotta love it! The laughs, the cricket moments, the popular gigs, the flops, the one time shows and everything that comes along with the crowds including the hecklers and the ones who don’t stop laughing even when you’re not making a joke. Passion is necessary.
You’re an artist, ERIC. Thanks for Ranting with me!
So, who wants to be a comedian now?
Let me know what you think comedy as an art below!
(Or if you have any stand up comedians or shows to recommend, I am a laughter enthusiast!)
QUIT STALLING AND CHECK HIM OUT ON : Twitter & Instagram @Ericstallings
*I stole that joke from you, Eric.*