Interview Stand UP Comedian Ryan Brauth at Comix Mohegan Sun
Ryan Brauth is the house comic at Comix Mohegan Sun. He’s been heard on Sirius/XM Radio, featured in the Boston Comedy Festival, and regulars opens for Josh Wolf, Paul Mecurio and April Macie. He also produces the Comix Craft Comedy Series Shows where he takes over regional breweries for hilarious nights of live comedy and craft beer.
What do you wish someone had told you about show business before you entered it?
That i would drive more miles than i got paid in a calendar year
What was your process in developing this special?
No special or album yet, just trying to develop the best set i can for when the time comes to do a special
Do you think your stand-up has changed a lot over the years?
I am definitely finding my voice and getting more comfortable as i approach year 3 of doing stand up. Most comics start out dirtier and don’t always cater to all audiences, so its been a real goal to write material that can appeal to everyone.
What happens if they don’t laugh
Hopefully that is never the case. Stop doing the joke is the easy answer. If its a joke i know works and has gets laughs regularly, I like to tell the crowd they should have laughed more at that, or something like that. Impromptu lines usually get a reaction. If its a newer joke that i am trying out and it falls flat, I think acknowledging it and letting the crowd know that was new, or needs work, or a witty apology for doing it usually gets a good laugh so u can recover. Audiences appreciate honesty
How often do you perform comedy per week?
I get on stage a minimum of 3 times per week. Its usually more. I try to do 5-7 shows over 4-5 days.
What are you favorite comedy clubs that you perform at?
CT- Comix Mohegan Sun
RI- Comedy Connection
MA- Cabot Street Pub
NY- New York Comedy Club
How often do you write jokes?
Not as often as i would like. I don’t think people realize how hard it is to write a good joke. I am always writing down notes, observations, and tags to existing jokes. I like to try out 1 or 2 new ideas each week. I have lots of regulars that see me perform so i try to give them something new each time they come out. I also do a lot of crowd work, so that keeps it fresh and different.
When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?
I still don’t. Comedy doesn’t pay the bills yet. I have day job as the club manager at Comix. It’s nice being around comedy all the time. I think i am fortunate to have gotten the opportunities i have received this early in my career and i try to take full advantage of them. If comedy were like baseball, i am minor leaguer playing every day and getting noticed by the big clubs, but not ready to make the jump to the majors.
How did you know you wanted to be a comedian or did it just happen?
I wish i knew this was a career i could do when i was younger. I bartended at a comedy club for 3+ years, saw every show, and felt i was funnier than people getting paid to perform at the club. I wrote jokes and built up confidence for about a year, then just started doing it, and haven’t looked back since.
Who would you say are your influences in the comedy world?
I think seeing Bert Kreischer and Big Jay Oakerson live was the real inspiration for me getting on stage. Different styles, but they both make it look so effortless on stage while having so much fun. I saw that, and said thats what i want to do.
What is one of your more embarrassing memories from childhood?
I can’t think of anything. I must have blocked it out
What are the most important rules you live by?
Always do the right thing. I think if u are a good person, good things will happen to u. This is a tough business, and people don’t forget things.
What was your favorite book as a kid, and what does that say about you?
The Outsiders, and i watched the movie. It says i like movies more than books.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t get discouraged and keep working hard. This is a tough business. Its a long road to get to the finish. Keep working hard and stay positive. If u get bitter and jealous, u will be miserable.
Given your feelings about the state of our culture, how do you avoid despair?
I stay away from politics and current events. My sports teams suck so that is depressing.
What three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
A boat, someone who can drive the boat, and a wind resistant lighter
Do you have any quotes that you live your life by or think of often?”
How to handle hecklers from the stage?
I will address them. They usually just want their 30 seconds in the spot light. I try not to attack them, but if the situation calls for it, i am certainly not shy
What advice would you give your younger self?
Get a real job that pays a lot of money and just go watch comedy shows
What most important lesson you learned in comedy?
Don’t get frustrated. Its a grind. Take advantage of every opportunity u get on stage. U never know who is watching. I gotten some great work from someone seeing me at a shitty bar show in front of 12 people.
Advice to your younger self just starting in comedy career?
Start earlier. I didn’t start til i was over 30. I feel i wasted more than a decade
How long do you spend developing new material?
I am always developing new material. I will usually try a joke 5-7 times in front a real audience to get an idea if it works. By then, u can tell if its crap and should be thrown away or if there is something there and to keep working on it.
Why is there so much sadness—depression, addiction—in the comedy world?
For as fun as this business can be, its also very lonely and competitive. Its lots of traveling by yourself, staying alone in hotel rooms or in your car. Its not a regular schedule or routine. U are in new places not knowing anyone. U see other people getting things that u think u should be getting and u get bitter. The highs are the reason people do this, but the lows can get to u if they occur more than the highs.
What’s your drink of choice?
I don’t drink. Just don’t like. But when i did drink, it was Crown Royal
Greatest cartoon of all time?
This is tough, i think i have to say The Simpsons, but i do love The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Family Guy and South Park
Let’s say you could live the life of any animal in the wilderness for one day: What would it be?
Velociraptor. They are so bad ass in Jurassic Park
So the stereotype of comedians being horribly depressed and neurotic is true?
I am not depressed. I don’t think comics are depressed. I think a lot are socially awkward and just crave attention
Do you ever get tired of being a comedian?
No, its not for everyone, but i can’t see myself doing anything else
So at the end of your day, what’s your ultimate goal?
Who doesn’t want to be a movie or tv star and be rich and famous. That’s the dream goal. I will be happy if I am able to support myself and my family while enjoying what i do.
What would you say troubles you the most about the world today?
People are too critical of everything. Social media overreacts to everything. I say let the people who know what they are doing, do their jobs. Bitching on Facebook isn’t changing the world, it just makes people hate u.
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