Check out this video of Kannapolis comedian Ryan Davis who organizes local comedy showcases and has another one coming up on May 16 at El Patron in Concord.
For more information visit the event page:
And here is an interview with Davis, and fellow Kannapolis comedian, Nelson Santiago:
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Comedians sometimes have to explore the darkest recesses of their minds and hearts to come up with funny material, and Kannapolis comedian Nelson Santiago is no exception.
“Most people that do comedy do so because humor is a coping mechanism. A lot of comics have bits that are based on real experiences, and though the actual events may not have been funny at the time, what we present on stage is hilarious,” Santiago said. “It’s not easy going down memory lane, but sometimes for a comic, the worst experience can become comedy gold.”
One sketch Santiago is currently working on started from him writing a journal entry about his relationship with his daughter.
“I don’t have much of a relationship with her. She lives in New York City with her mom. It’s a long story,” Santiago said. “I was writing about missing her, and I started to tear up. But the next day, as I read what I wrote, I thought about how she’s at an age that she can come see me do comedy. She could come out with friends and see me perform. But how horrifying would it be if I bombed in front of her and her friends?”
It’s a scenario that Santiago can now build on to create a comedy sketch. He can often be seen at various open mic night events and he is a regular emcee at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte.
Santiago plans to share that humor as part of a comedy showcase organized by a fellow Kannapolis comedian, Ryan Davis. Davis, who performs in Charlotte, has organized two comedy showcases, in his, “Finally … Something to Do in Concord” series.
His latest comedy showcase in Concord will be 8 p.m. Friday, May 16 at El Patron Night Club, 363 Concord Parkway, Concord, N.C.
“I’m trying to bring something new to the area,” Davis said. “Being that I’m from here, the only things to do in the Concord/Kannapolis area are eat, bowl, skate and watch movies — and that’s it. And if you’ve done that, you’ve done that by the age of 12.”
The first comedy showcase that Davis organized was at the Sundae Art Gallery, over the Cabarrus Creamery on Union Street. That show was Dec. 6 and drew more than 120 people.
“It was very encouraging,” Davis said. “I had no idea what to expect.”
Santiago has been impressed with the crowds Davis brought to his shows, including the second one at El Patron.
“This man is standing in front of stores, approaching people, selling tickets on the street, selling his product, talking to strangers, really pushing it. He’s bringing a different level of promotion to us amateur comics,” Santiago said. “He is showing that even an amateur comic, with the drive he has, that if you want it you can make it happen.”
BECOMING A FUNNYMAN
Davis, 26, may be driven, but he is still a relative newcomer to the comedy industry. He’s always loved comedy and in about 2012 he started posting videos on YouTube. A 2005 graduate of Northwest Cabarrus High School, Davis went on to attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. While there he created the comedy video, “Community College.” It hit 1,000 views pretty quickly, and encouraged Davis to make more videos.
Davis switched to standup after he went to the Comedy Zone with some friends and watched comedians in a competition. Davis’ friend told him, “You know, you’re funnier than a lot of them.” His friend pushed him to compete in the next open mic night competition.
His first performance was in July 2013 with a competition where the audience decided how long a performer stayed on stage. They could stay on stage for up to seven minutes, but only if the audience was digging the comedian.
“My first time doing it, I was up for the whole seven minutes,” Davis said. “That was probably my greatest experience. I smiled for probably a month straight. That’s when I knew, ‘Maybe I had something. Maybe I was meant to do something like this.”
Davis and Santiago met through the Comedy Zone competitions and Davis remembers the first time he saw Nelson Santiago.
“I like laughing, but I don’t like it when I’m in a competition when somebody is funny. I remember not liking Nelson that night,” Davis said with a laugh.
Santiago first began performing standup in 2000 when he lived in New York. He stopped for a while after his family moved to Cabarrus County in 2003. He already had some family in the area and moved here to escape the high cost of living in New York.
Now, Santiago balances standup comedy with working as a Spanish language interpreter. He has only been back in standup for a little bit, after he was fired from his job as a Spanish language interpreter for a laundry company in Charlotte.
“It was the best thing that could happen. It was the kick in the (butt) I needed to get back into doing standup,” he said.
Since then, Santiago has been building his repertoire and performs about four to five nights a week at various venues, including the Comedy Zone. Now, he’s adding performances in Concord, thanks to Davis’ work.
“He is doing something unique because he is focusing on Concord, which was very smart,” Santiago said. “He’s in an area that this is not happening in. In Charlotte, you re competing with a lot of different forms of entertainment.”
For more information or to purchase tickets for “Finally … Something to Do in Concord” at 8 p.m.May 16 at El Patron Night Club in Concord, e-mail Ryan Davis at email@example.com or call 704-907-8729. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.