While at a Starbucks in downtown Los Angeles…
The other day, I was playing on my iPad and out of the corner of my eye, I notice a guy who sits down next to me. He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a giant bottle of Miller Hi-Life. He says, “My doctor told me plenty of fluids… I said yes ma’am.” There’s only one other guy near us, who is clearly busy on his computer, so, I look to see who he’s talking to. I decide to let out a slight laugh. Now, he thinks I’m interested in everything he has to say, from here on out. He takes a chug of it, looks at me, and says, “why does this make me feel like a low life if it says hi-life?”
Then, he asks me for the time. I tell him its 9 a.m., and he says, “Wow, I’m early for once.” I sorta feel bad for the guy, so, to keep the conversation alive, I say, “I know how that feels.” Just a few moments later, another guy walks in and my new friend yells, “Hey! What is up!?” He gives him a high five and looks at me and says, “That’s my lawyer.” He adds, “He wants me to sub contract as a gangster.” Before I can comprehend what just happened, he looks at me and says, “Excuse me,” and then leaves.
A moment later, a thin, black, flamboyant young man (I’m just painting the picture for you), who appears to be in his early twenties and a white woman, who appears to be in her fifties, sit down next to me on my other side. At first, I assumed that she was his therapist or something, because she asks him, “So, is your addiction more physical or more psychological?”
Their conversation starts out with him describing his past addiction to her, then eventually turns into him explaining to her about how espresso coffee is made. “First they grind it… Etc.” Shortly after he teaches her the history of espresso, he updates her anti-virus on her laptop and then goes onto explain the entire process of the anti-virus to her.
I finish my coffee and leave. I plan to go back to see if this a typical morning at Starbucks in downtown L.A.
Theatre & Standup Comedy
My name is Andy and I like to perform in front of other people. Perform what? That’s a good question. I like to perform standup comedy and sometimes I do accompany myself with my guitar to play my original comedy songs, and other times I like to perform theatre. Either way, it feels good to move people with emotions, whether they’re laughing or crying, either way, I like to move people (That was really deep, huh?). At times, I feel like some people need a new perspective or an alternate view on something, however, at different times, its necessary just to go out and have a good laugh (as opposed to a bad laugh?). With that being said, the laugh doesn’t have to be from any particular view point at all, it can just be plain silly. Silly is a silly word. The word itself triggers at least a minimal response from whatever chemical gets released in my body telling me to laugh.
My first open mic
As a performer, I’ve come a long way but I know that I have a long way to go. Let me be clear, I want to be successful and not necessarily famous. Fame is usually a byproduct. Recently, I moved to Los Angeles to hone my craft. My primary focus at this point is to be a standup comedian. I still have a passion for acting but the comedian in me is in full gear. In 2006, I had my first comedy performance at an open mic in a bar in Des Moines, IA. Let me be very honest… I bombed pretty badly.
I walked in and the emcee (Ben) was on stage. He asked me if I wanted to tell some jokes; I lied to him and said, “No thanks, I’m just here to hang out at the bar.” Now that I think about it, I was by myself, which probably looked pretty weird. Little did he know, I actually DID go there to try out some jokes that I had written but I let my fear get the best of me. After watching a few people go on stage, I finally got the courage to give it a shot. I got up on stage with my jokes on a piece of paper in one hand, the mic in the other, and so it began. I’m proud to say that I got a laugh that night! Hey, that’s one thing that I’ll always remember. As with many things in life, no matter how many there are after, there will always be the memory of that first time. I don’t remember much of anything else that night (No, not because I drank, because I had tunnel vision and a lot of nerves.) but I do remember that particular moment.
Growing as a performer
Over the course of the next few years, I alternated between performing standup comedy and theatre. In 2007, I began doing theatre a lot and put my comedy on hold. After a couple years of theatre, I went back to comedy. I tend to focus on one at a time. I finally started to figure out who I am as a comedian. Recently, I’ve really began to feel the change. It’s a good feeling. In 2011, I put on my second comedy show in Des Moines, IA (My first show was in Colfax, IA where I was living at that time.). I got to do both because of the help and support from many great friends.
In 2011 I had grown as a performer since 2007, and now in 2013, I’ve grown even more. Not everyone goes through this type of process but we all grow differently. No matter what your profession may be, it feels great to grow.
Pictured below are some of my great friends showing their support!
Now, I’m living in Los Angeles and meeting some great people. Of course, many of which are fellow comedians and actors. I owe a big thank you to everyone who has helped & supported in the past and to those who continue to do so! Please check back often as I will be updating any upcoming show. I would love for you to come and see what my comedy show is all about! Thank you for reading this cheesy blog. 😀
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to post them on my blog or email me at: andyhartleycomedy@gmail[dot]com.