Ben for TBB: Does it affect your performance?
Jared: It absolutely does. When you get to a point where you want to compete at a professional level, you want to be fresh and have energy. When you get older and you’re smoking a lot or overeating or drinking too much, you don’t have that extra energy. If you and the guy that doesn’t drink are sitting down to write your writing packet for the Jimmy Fallon show, the guy that drank all night before is gonna be like oh man, I gotta sleep. The guy that didn’t is gonna get it done. You can get away with a lot if you eat right and exercise. That sounds so basic and ridiculous but it’s something that’s taken me a long time to get through my damn thick skull.
Ben for TBB: How much do you prepare for a show, even if it’s just in your head?
Jared: My preparation is done at shows that aren’t high profile shows. If I’m traveling somewhere to do comedy I’m not traveling somewhere to experiment usually, I’m gonna do my best stuff so that people that only get to see me every once and awhile are sure to enjoy it. My preparation is done in weeks and weeks and months of shows that a lot of people don’t see.
Ben for TBB: How long did it take to build 30 minutes of material?
Jared: People will tell you that they built it really quick. It depends on the audience, a guy that is clever and funny that’s been doing it one year who goes up in front of his college class, he might kill the whole time for 30 minutes. But in my mind, knowing what I know now about what a killer set is, it took me three years. But that’s just a guess based on how I feel on material now. It varies for everybody and some people are just geniuses, and they have it right away.
Ben for TBB: How much of your act has come from spontaneous stuff that’s happened on stage, versus prepared mental notes?
Jared: One of the things I’m known for in New York is talking to the crowd, doing crowd work and a lot of great jokes come out of that. I really love it but here’s what makes me sad about crowd work…. it’s an extremely hard thing to do. I would say less than half of all comics can do it well. It will never get you on TV, or a show, never get you an acting job. It’s never useful anywhere except on a standup comedy stage. Because of that, nobody in the industry respects it, even though it’s an extremely difficult skill to be good at. I wish I could find a way to take crowd work and show it to everybody and have them appreciate it because it really irritates me that the industry doesn’t respect it.
Ben for TBB: You’re from West Virginia. Do you know about the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia?
Jared: Yeah. I saw the documentary. It’s amazing. They do crystal meth at the grandma’s birthday party. The grandma is like 80 and they’re all shot gunning crystal meth out of each other’s mouths, brothers and sisters.
Ben for TBB: Did you experience that stuff growing up?
Jared: Absolutely. Not crystal meth. My mother is a nurse and says that the drug problem in WV is out of control. Drug problems are always going to be out of control where people are poor. It’s just funny now that urban drugs have made it to backwoods West Virginia. The biggest drug she says right now is heroin. I was 16 when I moved away; I was a good kid, never saw a lot of drug use. But I definitely saw a lot of ridiculously backwoods people. I was riding the bus with kids named Denzil who were missing a finger. Why are you missing a finger? I don’t know.
Ben for TBB: Did you have fun at Comedy Gold?
Jared: Dude it was a blast. It was amazing. Incredible crowd, awesome venue. If people are there… and listening… and that attentive… and laughing that hard, I got no complaints. I had a blast.
Ben for TBB: Any tips for up and coming comics?
Jared: Yeah, here’s the annoying tip that people in Atlanta are gonna be like “F- you dude. You can’t stay here” Are you getting laughs? It’s time to go. You gotta go to LA, you gotta go to NY. I went to Chicago for 5 years. Chicago is awesome. Screw Chicago. Go to LA. Go to NY. You gotta go if you’re serious about it. What people that live in the Atl, or Chicago or cities like Portland don’t understand is, you can do it for a living, and so much of it is really committing to it, and waiting out all of the people who quit. Because so many people just fall by the wayside, and that sounds mean but it’s true. You gotta really commit, and that means going where the jobs are. So you gotta go to NY or LA.
Ben for TBB: Thanks man.
Producers Gilbert Lawand/Jake Head say the next Comedy Gold show will take place June 9th in The Basement of The Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta and will be headlined by hilarious up and comer Mark Norman. For more information on upcoming shows please visit HERE
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://atlanta.thebackstagebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/benpalmer.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Ben Palmer is a stand up comedian and writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He performs everywhere in Atlanta and writes humorous stories at DeeperInside.com. He has a dog named Saydee that he loves very much. She is a good girl. Yes she is. Does she want a treat? Does she?! [/author_info] [/author]