An Interview with the Stand-Up Comedian Dan LaMorte
Written by Kaitlyn Murphy
I was lucky enough to get time to sit down and grab a beer with the fast rising comic and good friend of mine, Dan LaMorte, just a few days before the release of his first comedy album, Not Enough Pieces.
After a great discussion on his rapidly rising career in comedy I felt a sense of confidence and modesty from him. As a 23 year old woman, I am way beyond Dan’s years as he just turned 22, and I can see that this guy has a good head on his shoulders filled with humor and kindness.
We started off on the basic question “When did you first realize you wanted to do comedy.” And lucky for us he shared some stuff he says he’s never shared with anyone before, so you heard it here first people! Dan first learned he could be funny “off the cuff” at a young age from a program offered by his school called “Odyssey of the Mind.” From grades 3-6 he participated in this program, which he described as being somewhat similar to improv. As my feelings of jealousy increased since my school did not offer such a program I wanted to know more. He says that the school would give the students supplies and a premise to produce a skit/show and would then further onto the “World Finals” in which they would be judged for their skit. But what really opened the idea of comedy to Dan was when he was judged in the section they called “Spontaneous.” This is where he found he had a sense for quick humor.
But he didn’t truly begin to explore comedy until he was 19, due to a major injury that ended his college baseball career. Dan wanted to find something to put his energy towards since baseball was no longer going to be a part of his life and alas, Dan’s comedy career was born.
His first time performing stand up was the summer after his freshman year of college at a local open mic. When I asked him how it went he said “It was brutal. I was so scared. I was in the bathroom hyperventilating. And then I went up and bombed, didn’t get a single laugh.” But what he said next is what makes him a true comic; “I went back and I didn’t get a any laughs again. So I decided to just go to an open mic at Eastville Comedy Club because I knew NYC was the best place to do comedy. And after that set the host of the open mic pulled my dad and I aside to say ‘you have to let your son quit college. He has what it takes to make it.”
A semester and a half later with the support of his parents Dan dropped out of college and began his endeavors in comedy. When I asked him how his parents felt about him doing comedy he said “My parents love it. They’re so supportive. I’m an only child so they really have no choice. So they have to support me regardless.” Quite the average comment you’d hear from an only child, stand up comedian; something self centered and bratty. I’M JUST KIDDING. (for proof, continue reading)
Dan is confident in himself and his parents support, but that doesn’t stop him from giving a word of advice and/or encouragement to a friend. Every now and then someone who knows of him will reach out to his mom via Facebook to ask if he can talk to their kids about comedy and he immediately tells them to give him a call. “If someone really wants advice I have no problem giving it to them.” And I can personally say that in the past he has taken time to sit with me and give me advice in areas of this business that I was lost in. I was so intrigued by his rapid success, and most performers don’t want to give away their “secrets” but Dan had no problem lending me a helping hand. He says “It’s a business where you don’t have to help one another but it is definitely a nicer thing to do. It’s always good to have more people in your corner than against you.” With his album that reached No. 2 on the iTunes charts, it’s safe to say that Dan definitely has a good amount of people in his corner.
The release of any comic’s first album is an exciting step in their career but I was extremely interested to hear how Dan, only 3 years into comedy, was feeling as I caught him for this interview just 4 days before the album release. I asked if he felt a sense of pride and in typical Dan form he did not brag but he described that the album is a good representation of who he was from the ages 19-21. “It’s nice to have the time period saved in a moment and a good moment at that. Whether the people generally receive the album well or not, the 200 people who saw it that night loved it. And that’s clear on the recording.” Dan said that if anything, he wants the listeners of the album to take away the fact that both him and the audience enjoyed themselves. And at the end of the day that truly is what comedy is all about.
Keep an eye out for Dan this summer as he and comic friends Usama Siddiquee and Chike Robinson will be hitting the road for the national “Not Enough Pieces” Comedy Tour.