It was a cold summer night in the northside of Downtown Los Angeles at 9 p.m. as I walked into the Cathedral High School auditorium. The room was full of alumni from years past. On stage was my friend comedian Rudy Moreno bringing talking about, “Why what happen?” A hilarious bit about growing up as a latino child in Lincoln Heights and questioning everything your parents had to say two months prior he had requested for me to perform at this fundraiser for him and I was happy to oblige. The procedure meant to help the students for seeking funds to go to college. It was very heartwarming to see the turnout as I walked into that Auditorium. There was deliciously catered BBQ ribs, mixed drinks and silent auction items displayed throughout the back. It felt great to be a part of this. Rudy introduced the next comic, looked me in the eye, gave me a big smile, shook my hand and told me I was closing out the show. In the past, that might have had me worrying and second-guessing myself but luckily I’ve had a few years of experience under my belt and I was ready for the challenge. Most of the show was nothing but crowd work and this crowd had so much to offer seeing as how they’ve been there since about 6 p.m. the show is over and a few people started clapping some of them even started getting up. All in all it was a great time had by all. I’m so glad and I could be a part of such a noble cause. Had the best time sharing the stage with hilarious comedians like Lamont B Sharpton, Rudy Moreno, Andre Kelly, Retha Jones and George Wang. Huge thanks to Cathedral High School for allowing us to be part of this event.
Last night, while standing beside a concert stage on the USS Iowa Battleship waiting to perform for a jam packed and amped out crowd of both retired and active american troops celebrating Labor Day with the USO. About to follow a KISS cover band that was crushing it. Their closing number was a sing along called, “I wanna rock and roll all night!” The lead singer grabbed the mic and yelled, “Thank you San Pedro! Good night!” Somebody in the crowd yelled, “Two more songs!” then everybody started chanting it. The Emcee went up and said, “Sorry folks but we’ve got to keep the show going…Your next act is a comedian and a magician”. A few people started to Boo, then somebody yelled, “Kill the comedian!” and that was my introduction. The next 15 minutes that followed were what I consider to be Magic. I had to convince them to stay, watch and cheer to keep the show going for the next band. Where some might consider it work, I consider it doing what I love. Winning over an audience is not easy but I learned long ago, to show no fear, go up there with a lot of charisma and have fun. I’m honestly not sure when I got them on my side but in the end, I had everybody chanting “Thegreatomar…dot com!” As I walked off stage feeling like a rockstar…and that’s my battleship labor day story.
6 years ago, I was invited to be the featured act for an entire week at a Comedy Club in Texas for a total of $500. Although the pay wasn’t so great and travel pay wasn’t covered, I accepted the gig. Making the best of it by deciding to chalk it up to experience. I hopped onto my 4 door Sedan and drove for 10 hours straight. Soon as I made it into town, I checked into my free room then sped over to the club. I made it just in time for the first show and knocked it out of the park. 5 days and 10 shows later, I made a few dozen fans and drove back home satisfied with my choice to experience the road comic scene. Fast forward to today, a fan of mine left me 5 of the kindest most heartfelt messages.
In short she said, “My boyfriend and I were on our first date when we saw you perform in Texas…you really made our night. Afterward he pulled out a $100 wedding ring which was all he could afford at the time and asked me to marry him. All of his friends laughed at him but I thought it was the sweetest thing in the world. We’ve been happily married ever since and I just want to thank you for everything you did then and everything you do now with your funny posts and inspirational videos”.
I was seriously in shock, because here I am going through my own trials, searching for something to shake it off and she sends me this heartfelt testimonial. This is exactly what I needed to hear. That trip to Texas was one of the best choices I could have ever made. Congratulations to the happy couple, may you celebrate 60 more years of happiness and prosperity. Salud!
4 Years ago, I was contacted by the Make A Wish Foundation to perform magic for a 2 year old little boy named Giovanni who was fighting cancer. I felt honored to offer my talents to bring joy to somebody in need. When I showed up, the audience was Giovanni, his 3 year old little brother and their mother. Honestly, I was worried they would not understand what I was doing. But he understood every single joke and was very responsive. After the show, his mother was beyond happy and walked me out. Realising this might be his last birthday, I put away my props, sat down in my car and started to cry. Watching this clip always cheers me up because it reminds me of a time I made that little boy laugh.
I remember when I 1st began street performing at Santa Monica promenade, through the struggles of gathering the crowd making and getting an honest donation. I learned a whole lot about being likable and still being myself.
After a few successful shows, I thought I was in the right track until I overheard that a childhood “friend” said some seriously negative things about my aspirations in entertainment to another friend. At the time, it really affected me. How could this person wait till I wasn’t around & then say this not to me but to other people around me? Then I realized they were teaching me a valuable lesson, “You can’t please everybody”. So Cliché but so true. After this realisatiion, I began to focus on performing for people who were interested in watching me perform rather than focus on trying to please those who didn’t. As a result, my crowds grew bigger & suddenly I was booking more private work and I received my 1st $100 tip while street performing in Huntington Beach.
Since then I’ve been privileged to perform regularly all across the L.A. Comedy Club scene, met some fantastic individuals, traveled across country and even opened for a band I’ve listened to since my childhood. I really wanna thank this person for opening my eyes and teaching me a valuable lesson. If not for them, I’d still be the gullible little ox I was once. lol. What does the future have in store for me? I don’t know.. but I’m sure ready for anything that comes my way…
ACCEPTANCE, PERSISTENCE & APPRECIATION!!
Thanks for reading. 🙂