AB+L Radio and Comedy Hype teamed up again to bring some insight to the world of comedy. This week we are featuring, Von Roburts, a comedian, writer and actor based in Los Angeles, CA. He has been performing comedy for seven years. Von describes his style of comedy as vulnerable, open and smart with a strong point of view.
How did you get started with telling jokes professionally?
Hanging out in barbershops, truthfully. Friends heard me talk crazy every time I was there and they were like, "You got to do stand-up comedy, man". So they set up a show for me. It was a paid gig and I did well.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I tap into my feelings on a vast number of topics and the inspiration comes as I dig deeper. I am a truthful comedian, meaning I don't fabricate things to make them funny. I really go inside the darkness of the situation and show you the comedy.
And it's in the darkness of situations where Roburts shines. In his comedy mixtape he cleverly covers looking for love (and failing), realizing his hairline is "depreciating in value," and escaping reality through porn. This level of honesty is usually something the average person avoids, however, Roberts manages in this space of openness well.
"I just want to make people laugh. But I also want to connect with them so that even if our perspectives don't match up, they can respect it because it makes sense, like there's a sense of logic behind it. Even if they don't agree with it, they still respect it. Like, I want them to know that what I'm saying is genuine, and that I'm not just saying it because it sounds funny. My dream is to have the same respect as my predecessors...Pryor, Seinfeld and Carlin."- Von Roburts.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for a creative?
My biggest obstacle as a comedian, personally, are networking and branding. Because when you start branding, you start focusing on a certain group of people in order to make money. But I feel like I can connect with everybody, so it's hard for me to narrow down who I want to talk to specifically. I tend to like being a loner. I don't like fake friendships. I'm not gonna call you or go hang out with you anywhere - if it doesn't connect with work - if I met you through work. I don't know, that's just me.
What have you learned along the way? Any advice that you would give to anyone pursuing an art career?
What have I learned along the way? Hmmm.... be strong and flexible with your journey. Know your goals. Stay the same and your routes will change.