This week on the Digital Millennial, we're featuring a UGA grad, an all around great guy and a true risk taker -
Jeremy Pinsly is ballsy. He's the type of guy who won't take no for an answer (unless you mean it in which case he'll totally respect your boundaries). He's a stand-up comedian and writer, he pushes boundaries and he's our featured artist this month. Check out his stuff HERE.
After growing up in Nashville, TN, studying finance at the University of Georgia and working in marketing in Dallas, Jeremy realized there is more to life than helping State Farm sell insurance, so he quit his corporate job (like a boss) and moved to New York to become a comedian. Through countless hours of grueling labor and an endless supply of Tony Robbins DVDs, he made himself a regular at clubs all over the city and sells out venues across the country from Zanies in Nashville to Second City in Chicago.
He's a writer for Funny or Die, a 6 time roast battle champion, and he currently runs NYC's best monthly charity-based comedy show, "Stand Up and Save the World" at the New York Comedy Club. So yeah, he's basically a hero.
Some of you might be wondering why Jeremy is being walked off by security guards. When Jeremy worked in marketing, the CEO bet him $1,100 to slide head first into second base from their seats in centerfield...so he did. After getting thrown into baseball jail, the CEO contacted the owner of the team and bailed him out with no charges. The Texas Rangers won that game with a walk-off hit in the 9th, and Jeremy got a check for $1,100 the next day. He then used that money to start his comedy career.
Here's Jer's take on his Creative Process -
My creative process is broken down into 8 very simple steps…
Step 1. – Get stoned
Step 2. – Read
Step 3. – Think
Step 4. – Write
Step 5. – Perform
Step 6. – Critique
Step 7. – Eat Ice Cream*
Step 8. – Repeat
*By far the most important step
When I first started comedy, I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote what I thought was funny (boobs) and talked about it on stage. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but the most important part was I learned from every experience and never stopped. Who cares if you looked like an ass-clown the night before? Make some changes and try it all again the next night! In the words of Billy Madison,"you get your ass out there, and you find that f***ing dog!"
You have to fail a lot in comedy. The first time I bombed on stage, and I mean fall on your face, question all your life decisions bombed, I was at Caroline’s Comedy Club in 2012. There were about 200 people in the crowd, including my friends, and I decided to go up on stage with 6 minutes of untested material all about Taco Bell (genius).
My set was the entertainment equivalent of a monk setting himself on fire. When I got off stage, the host made a joke about me, and the audience - including my friends - erupted with laughter. It was the only time in my life I missed working in marketing.
But that type of failure is what separates the men from the boys (and the women from the girls). If you can trudge through the tough times, the good times are sure to come. And even if they don’t, the illusion alone is enough to keep you going. It’s hard to explain exactly what drives us to the stage every night, but for me, it’s about discovering my best, most funniest self. You can only learn through doing so why not try?
In the words of Lucille Ball “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”
My POV has changed dramatically over the years. Now, instead of Taco Bell and General Tso’s chicken, I talk about my family, feminism, and of course, Toby Keith. Anyone can tell jokes, but no one can replicate your unique perspective of the world.
I started talking about Feminism because I didn’t understand its importance until I looked back to my past as a southern frat boy and realized wow, maybe I am an entitled white male douche.
I used to think it was cool to brag about “hooking up with chicks” and that in order to be a man, you had to be tough, stubborn and emotionally unavailable. Turns out we’re just good at being hard headed. Feminism is not about the mass castration of men, it’s just a heads up that dick pics and Harvey Weinstein are not the answer.
It took writing what some might call a “misogynistic” article for a college website to realize that my POV was deeply flawed. I was about to go on a Tinder date, but she cancelled last minute because she read my article and was really offended.
At first, I thought she was being way too sensitive, but after I re-read what I had written, I realized she was right. I was being an ignorant asshole. Did that girl make the biggest mistake of her life by turning down a date with me? Yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that sometimes it takes looking in the mirror, challenging your beliefs, and losing a Tinder date to become a better human being.
Truth is, the jokes are shiny objects to keep your audience entertained, it's that strong perspective that keeps them truly engaged. As you grow, your comedy grows, and hopefully your audience grows with you.
My advice for fellow creatives out there? Stay true to yourself, dig deep, embrace failure, question everything, be bold, be honest, be patient, be kind, ignore the BS, eat lots of ice cream, and most importantly, never stop laughing. That’s what I’ve learned in my 7 years of being a stand-up comedian.
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