AB+L Radio & ComedyHype.com have teamed up to bring you the hottest new comedic artists on the rise. First up is Jim Dancy
Jim Dancy/ Observational Comedy: Atlanta, GA
Professional career : 7 years
(IG & TW): @jimmyisnotfunny
CH: How would you describe your work?
"My work can be described this way: I am a life reporter with a funny perspective that everyone can relate to. While I'm on stage, I’m giving you a way to forget about your week, a way to forget about your kids who are with the babysitter. I want you to laugh until your cheeks hurt because if I can't deliver that, than I have not done my job as a comedian. Being consistently funny for a solid hour or more is f**king difficult. You can’t short change comedy because there aren't any shortcuts for timing or knowing your crowd or when to plug in your next bit. It takes years of failing at bars filled with cigarette smoke, being booed or ignored, and driving three hours away to make $50 to tell jokes to a crowd of 30 people, who didn't know it was comedy night at the "Grown and Sexy" club (aka, the 35 and up club). You have to fail some many times in order to just be mediocre."
CH: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
JD: All of my inspiration comes from past relationships I have been in, things I go through as I get older, and my family. These are all things people deal with on a regular bases, I just see the funny in it all. I have an uncle who's a pimp. He brought one of his "hoes" to my high school graduation because he didn't want to lose any money that weekend. My ex carved "F#%& YOU" into the side of my car because I wanted to watch Kobe Bryant's final game instead of cuddle. So I get a ton of inspiration just through living life and I report it to everyone who comes to see me.
CH: What do you think is the biggest obstacle for a creative?
JD: The biggest obstacle for a creative is the creative themselves. Everything we do, we never think is good enough or can be better. Being a creative always comes with a great deal of scrutiny, either by those viewing your art or by the scrutiny you put on your own work. I never think any of my jokes are funny and I cringe whenever I see tape of myself performing. Like, "Bruh... that was sooooo bad". Coming up with new jokes is even worse. I have to go through a TON of jokes I think are all bad, before I try to work out the best of the worst at an open mic or show.
CH: What is the lasting impression you want to make on others with your comedy?
JD: The impression I want to make on others is, "I'd pay to see that guy again" or to get a "You're hilarious". Comedy is like a drug man. The high I get from crushing it on stage is like an orgasm that lasts 45 minutes. If I can talk about something deep inside you that you don't share with anyone, like me enjoying biting my toe nails off with my teeth, and you tell me about how you do the same thing after the show, then I've done my job. I want you to know that I spoke the truth and said some things out loud that the everyday person might not be able to say. Things like living with a woman and finding tampons in the trash after trying to figure out what that big wad of tissue is with the string hanging out.
CH: How did you get started with telling jokes professionally?
JD: Before I started doing this professionally, I went through years of telling jokes to people who didn't care to listen at open mics. What got me into telling jokes in the first place was listening to comedians on Pandora while stocking shelves at Trader Joe's and thinking to myself, "These people really aren't that funny." I was 25 and depressed because I wasn't living the life I had dreamed. I hit that quarter life crisis and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So I hit an open mic and the rest was history. I am very self-aware so I knew I was not terrible at this. So I kind of just stuck with it and it was not only a life saver, and I truly mean that, but also the best decision I have ever made in my life. Stand-up comedy really saved me.
CH: As an artist, why do you create?
JD: I create because it allows me to express myself. I worked two corporate jobs before doing stand-up professionally, and jobs like that sucked the soul out of me. I felt like I was wasting eight hours a day to make someone else money and to make myself less happy.
That "9-to-5-to-stay-alive" was killing me on the inside.
Once I was able to express myself through telling jokes, that spark of life came back to me. I felt like I had something more than just a future of having two weeks off a year for 40 years and only being able to enjoy the last twenty of my life. We all want to be heard or seen in some way, and comedy is my way of doing so.
CH: What do you think the role/responsibilities of an artist is in society?
JD: The responsibility of an artist in society is to create and put their creation into the universe for people to see, hear, taste, etc. I think every person is an artist in their own way. We just have different mediums in which we express that. Artistry evokes emotion. It builds empires, sparks revolutions, creates renaissances, and contributes to cultures. These creations last a lifetime. Without any form of creation/expression, life is not work living.
CH: What is your dream accomplishment as a comedian?
JD: My dream accomplishment as a comedian is just being on the road doing shows man. I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life. Nothing beats getting paid to travel the world and bring people joy. I’ve been a comedian all my life. Now, I am also getting paid to do it. Do you know what is like to make people who are different that you culturally or don’t speak your native language laugh? That’s powerful.
Come to think about it, during my first performance in Australia was a HUGE accomplishment. I found out that I am universally funny. That meant the world to me. Just knowing I can go anywhere and make people cry with laughter because they can relate was an awesome feeling.
CH: What have you learned along the way? Any advice that you would give to anyone wanting to pursue an art career?
JD: The advice I have for anyone trying purse a career in comedy is to STOP. STOP RIGHT NOW. Chances are you are not funny or do not have what it takes to really do this for 5 + years before being able to make maybe 15K a year while being a 35 year old who still has roommates lol. Stand-up comedy is rough and there is nothing glamorous about it during your early years.
If you can stomach all of that and still want to pursue it, BE YOURSELF. If you think about all of your favorite comedians, there is something about that person that you like. It really has nothing to do with the jokes. Richard Pryor, Tony Roberts, Bill Burr, all of these guys offer their personality and personal stories. That is what makes them unique. They are true to self. Be true to who you are, not a character trying to be a comedian. AND DON’T STEAL JOKES.
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