Comedy Is All I Ever Wanted to Do

This is the first time in a long time that not only did I miss Caribana (it’s still what I call it) I wasn’t even around for any of the pre Caribana (it’s still what I call it) build up.

If anything was going to drag me out of Toronto it was the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal…the mecca of comedy. For as far back as I can remember stand up comedy has been all I ever wanted to do. I’ve been a student of the art form from even before I told my first joke onstage. (While others were studying reading writing and arithmetic I was studying.)My teachers were Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and most importantly Eddie Murphy. I always dreamed about going to Just For Laughs and telling my jokes but the real joke is I didn’t tell one. I went as a writer, no not as the writer of the unbelievably hilarious and life changing RumShop Chronicles but as a writer for Russell Peters (yeah that Russell Peters) arguably the biggest international comedian in the world. To say that I felt a little pressure having to write his festival Gala that would not only be seen by 12,000 people over 2 days but, recorded by CBC for a one hour special would be an understatement. There I was this boy from Trinidad and Tobago in Montreal (where they actually say my name better than me) trying to put together something creative and beautiful.

Monday is this, Tuesday is that, Wednesday we go here…you get the picture. For as far back as I can remember comedy has been all I ever wanted to do. I’ve been a student of the art form from even before I told my first joke onstage. Now that I’m at the Just For Laugh festival for the first time and it is the same week as Caribana (it’s still what I’ll call it for) It makes me feel like I’m actually sacrificing and giving up something fun for my artform. Even though I’m surrounded bysome of my favorite comedians as well as comics that I ‘m just genuinely fans of their material. Guys like Bill Burr, Dom Irrera, Deon Cole, Craig Ferguson. I always wanted to go to JFL but I wanted to go as a comedian I never expected that I’d get to Montreal writing for the biggest international comedian (Russell Peters) in the world on his Festival Gala television special

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Results are out… Streets are cleared… Masqueraders are rested. Caribana’s officially over. And I missed it all. You know the pre-Caribana hype you look forward to every year? Yup, missed that too. Why? I had to work. And I actually didn’t mind. I guess I really am growing up.

For as far back as I can remember, stand-up comedy has been all I ever wanted to do. I’ve been a student of the art form from even before I told my first joke onstage. While others were studying reading, writing and arithmetic, I was studying jokes. My teachers were Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and most importantly Eddie Murphy.

As a young comedian I always dreamed about going to Just For Laughs. After all, it is the mecca of comedy festivals….To make my Ha-Ha-Hajj so to speak. So, when I had the opportunity to go to the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, it was a no brainer/ not a difficult decision – even if it did mean missing Caribana.

In a twist of fate I didn’t go to the festival as a comedian. I went as a writer. No, not the writer of the unbelievably hilarious and life-changing Rum Shop Chronicles. I went as a writer for one of the world’s funniest and most popular comedians – Russell Peters (yeah, that Russell Peters). There I was, this boy from the little island of Trinidad and Tobago, writing for a festival gala that would not only be seen by 12,000 people over two days, but recorded by CBC for a one-hour special to be aired on national TV. It was arguably one of the most humbling/proudest moments of my life.
I thought my mind would have been torn between work and all the partying and liming taking place in Toronto. But, my “work” week went by faster and was more fun than I expected. Ironically, Just For Laughs was more like Caribana than you’d think. It had all the elements that Caribana has, from tourists coming into town, daily events, people in costumes, late night drinking, bumping into friends you haven’t seen in a while and even a big finale on the Saturday.

So with the sense of being in familiar surroundings I was like a kid in a candy store. I got to hang out and rub shoulders with some of my favorite comics of past and present. Comedians like Bill Burr, Dom Irrera, Deon Cole, Louis C.K. and Gary Shandling.
I have loved comedy since I was a kid and knew it was my destiny since I was 12. When people ask me why I wanted to be a comedian I give them all the same answer- because Comedy is free. You can be short, fat, ugly, broke, bucked teeth, no teeth, even keep your teeth in your pocket, but everybody is free to experience the joy of laughter.

I know this RSC may seem a bit on the unfunny side but I want people to know how serious I am about comedy and give you a little more insight into your friendly neighborhood s#*t-talker. Even though I missed it, I truly hope that everybody had a great Caribana this year. But just remember next year will be even better because I’ll be back on the road with you. Unless, Just For Laughs falls on the same date…but let’s not even joke about that.

I know it seems like my mind would have been torn between work and all the partying and liming taking place in Toronto but ironically Just For Laughs was more like Caribana than you’d think. Well for me at least it was. It had all the elements that Caribana has. From tourists coming into town, daily events, late night drinking, bumping into friends you haven’t seen in a while to a big finale on the Saturday.
I was like a kid in a candy store, I got to hang out and rub shoulders with some of my favorite comics of past and present. Comedians like Bill Burr, Dom Irrera, Deon Cole, Louis C.K. and Gary Shandling.

Even though I’m surrounded bysome of my favorite comedians as well as comics that I ‘m just genuinely fans of their material. Guys like Bill Burr, Dom Irrera, Deon Cole, Craig Ferguson.

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