Both comedic master minds gave us a bit of time for an interview.
We start in Columbus with Erik Tate-
Special Interview by Writer Cherie Blondell.
Erik’s path to comedy began when he was in middle school. One of his classmates had parents who were a pair of jugglers and comedians and on Fridays they would come to the school and teach the kids how to juggle. Eventually this schoolmate’s father, Scott, took Erik under his wing and together they started putting together an act. It was around this time that he also became interested in magic. “The Lennart Green performance on World's Greatest Magic is what got me interested. It's one of the greatest performances with a deck of cards ever”, he says.
Erik earned a degree in Comedy Writing and Performance and graduated top of his class with honors at Humber College in Toronto, where he lived for several years. Additionally, he was awarded the Comedy Green Room Directors Award for “His Contributions to the Art of Comedy” from the college. Erik counts performing comedy at the 2nd City Toronto stage and performing magic at the Magic Castle “before the age of twenty-five” as major accomplishments. Recently he released a comedy album Nerd is the New Black, on iTunes.
When asked how he would describe is comedy/magic/hosting style, he gives it a thoughtful few seconds before answering, “Aggressively witty. I don’t know... it’s kind of hard to describe yourself.” As of late, Erik has been focusing more on producing his own shows. One of his big projects is The Quiz Box, which he hosts with comedian, Nickey Winkelman at Shadowbox. The Quiz Box is a panel style quiz show, where comedians are asked trivia questions and if they get those questions correct, the audience wins real prizes. Because of the show’s success, he hopes to turn it into a podcast sometime in 2015. The next Quiz Box show is on February 9th, 2015 at Shadowbox. Erik Tait has become one of Columbus’ shining stars, and he’s not ready to slow down. In addition to The Quiz Box and his numerous comedy, magic, and hosting gigs, he has many big plans going forward. His 5-year plan includes releasing a second comedy album, but mostly, as he puts it, “I just hope that people still want to listen to me talk. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years and I just hope that people still want to hear what I have to say.”
“Being able to tell jokes and hearing a wave of laughter from the audience, there’s just no better drug than that.”
Where you can find Erik Tait: Website: www.eriktait.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/delusionmasters Twitter: @ErikTait To buy his Magic DVD: http://magictricksdvd.biz Buy his comedy album on iTunes: Nerd is the New Black
Interview by Staff Writer Bella Sin
Ramon Rivas II has been named One Of Cleveland's Most Interesting People 2015 and is one of the forces responsible for The Accidental Comedy Festival birthed in 2012, Rivas has hosted over 200+ shows a year with Chucklefck and not to mention toured around the midwest opening for acts like Steve Rannazzisi, Hannibal Buress, Dave Hill and more.
RR: I've been told "self deprecating with swagger" and I don't know if that makes sense but it sounds good. I'm pretty transparent so most of my material is mined from
my life rather than conjecture on a topic.
OBF: What are your other hobbies other then comedy?
RR: Everyone always refers to comedy as a hobby. I'm pretty focused, I enjoy eating good food, hanging out with chill people, touch butts and in warmer weather ride my bike.
OBF: How long have you been performing and what are the memorable places?
RR: It'll be 7 years in April. I've done comedy in a lot of places, from the CTA in Chicago, lots of cool venues around Cleveland. I guess my favorite performance to date would be when I got hired to perform at a high school graduation party over the summer in someone's backyard. There was a cupcake and ice cream sundae bar, and after the show all the young kids were in the front yard in line for posters I have of me smoking a joint riding a sandwich, and the adults were all in the backyard talking about all the drugs they used to do.
OBF: What is your definition of comedic genius ?
RR: That's hard to define. Someone who works hard to stay relevant, who mines for material in places most people would overlook and who take audiences to a place that they would not have gone on their own. My comedic pillars would be Brian Regan for his likability and ability to perform in from of 5000 people half adults half children and destroy, jerry Seinfeld and Hannibal Buress for their work ethics, Patrice O'Neal and Big Jay Oakerson for their ability to ride an audience from moment to moment, and Richard Pryor for his transparency.
OBF: What do you think defines Cleveland Comedy from other cities?
RR: People appreciate comedy in this city. It's been cool to see the city really grow to embrace the art form in a way that's starting to slowly blend comedy into part of the cities Identity, the same way comedy is synonymous with places like Chicago. Comedians from here are generally well grounded because they are doing it for love of the game, and there's a lot of great comics developing voices as unique and varied as what you'd find in a NY or LA. I'm excited to see what happens when Clevelanders realize the depth and level of talent working here and embrace it the same way they do athletes for our sports teams.
OBF: You were just named one of cleveland's most interesting people 2015,
How does this affect your career?
RR: I don't know, since it just happened. Maybe more companies will hire me to perform at their company functions and pay me before they realize it was a weird idea, maybe more venues signing on to host a chucklefck.com show, or being willing to host a comedy show produced by another person from Cleveland. Maybe I'll get free food from places or have a sandwich named in my honor.
OBF: How did you come about the accidental comedy fest?
RR: It happened when I started running a comedy stage at ingenuity fest in 2011 and had a few other chucklefck.com shows in the week leading up to it, so I filled in the dates in between and called it accidental comedy fest. It happens in the fall and is entering year 4. Comedians that come from around the country leave with a great perspective and narrative from their time in Cleveland and it helps pique more people's interest about what's going on in the city.
You can find Ramon RIvas II on www.twitter.com/blazerramon or instagram.com/blazerramon.
In January he will be featuring at Hilarities 1/21-1/25, The documentary Jim Tews and He will shot about what it's like to pursue a passion in the middle of nowhere. It will be released for download on 1/20 at Makefunmovie.com it follows several performers from the city thru a series of vignettes and a live performance.
He will be traveling a bit more in 2015 but he will always have a Cleveland shirt on my back and represent the 216. Elsewise I'll be anywhere with a mic while I'm home in Cleveland.
Or any sports game I get free tickets to.