“I’m in control of my own destiny.” This is a powerful quote, especially for a comedian. A top priority as a comedian is to keep your momentum going at all costs, no matter how much you get. This is certainly the case with Los Angeles-based standup, Tony Baker. Baker has had a lot of momentum over the past couple of years. He was on the most recent season of Last Comic Standing and has won several comedy competitions since 2010. But perhaps more so he has gained exposure through his viral voice-over videos of animals, on Instagram.
BY TOM ZAPPIA
Tony Baker has been doing stand-up comedy for about nine years and knew he wanted to be an entertainer from a young age, but he actually started as an actor at New Mexico State, where he majored in psychology and performed in theater productions of Fences and Of Mice and Men. He also wrote and produced sketches for fun at this time. Baker knew show business was calling his name so in 2006 he decided to make the move to Los Angeles. He began going on auditions and realized just how competitive it was and thought maybe there was another route he could take to get some recognition. “I thought about actors who were comics first and thought hmm, maybe I should try stand-up,” Baker said. He said it took him about a year to actually get up and do it. His first time was at the HaHa Café Comedy Club in North Hollywood. He did the open mic and got a good reaction, and the rest as they say is history.
When asked about his vision for the future and his inspiration for his viral videos, Baker can’t emphasize content creation enough. He saw a video that inspired him. Shortly thereafter he made the “Raccoon Cookout” in 2013, which now has almost 500,000 views on YouTube. He pitched it to Marlon Wayans’ “What the Funny” but it fell through, so he re-posted it online and it went viral. Basically, this video and several others are simply just hilarious voice overs of animals in different situations with Baker providing the voice over of course.
When speaking with him he mentioned that he would love to do a full-length voice over and that it’s just an enjoyable vision of his and it gained good feedback so why not create more?
Since taking his talents to comedy club stages, Baker is 100 percent dedicated to stand-up and he wants to keep all the momentum he is gaining from content creation outside of standup fueling his act on stage. “Stand-up is hot!” he says. He also stressed the fact that there are so many different avenues now with social media and different formats for content with companies like Netflix. In some cases Baker believes the industry may be pushing certain entertainers on the public but that is okay because the stage doesn’t lie.
What I got most out of my discussion with Baker is that standup comedy is like nothing else and that’s definitely what he wanted to highlight. The momentum you can obtain from stand-up is completely unpredictable. “Standup is a unique beast,” Baker said. “You stand there, bearing your soul, trying to connect with an audience and make them like you. A live audience will tell you the truth.” The art of stand-up is also constantly changing, something that I mentioned to Baker to understand how much it has changed just since he started doing it nine years ago. He talked about less energy maybe making its way to the forefront with less physical acts. He has noticed this a bit more lately. Baker feels that going to see a comedian should be a show. He mentioned Richard Pryor and Kevin Hart as examples. “When you see them, it’s an experience,” Baker says. But he also feels like there is room for both. If you can write great jokes that just need to be told without much emphasis or acting, then so be it. But always keep creating content.
My comedy special is shot. It’s called “Scaredy Cat” and my team @tonyvalentino2 @mrproducerface & @transitpictures and I shot it on the independent tip. No networks or platforms put the money up for this. We are shopping it right now, but if we don’t like the offers, how many of you would gladly purchase my stand up special? Cause this sh*t ain’t about to be free. We worked too hard. PUT YOURSELF ON. Shoutout to @phattony138 on the interview
Tony is prepped to release his first ever comedy special, check out a teaser
Momentum as previously mentioned, is a must, and keeping that momentum up is a bigger must. Standup comedy is a tough job to get into and even tougher to maintain. Clearly, social media has a huge impact on the entertainment world in today’s day and age and perhaps it pushes out entertainers who may or may not be ready for the limelight so quickly. Tony briefly mentioned this in the essence of if they’re willing to book you or give you an opportunity then do it if this is what you want to do. “Stage time is everything and there’s no substitute for it,” Baker said. Tony has realized that any momentum you get as a stand-up comic stems from your need for that stage and you can never forget that. He closed the conversation out with a great line of perspective,“There is always gonna be a need for live entertainment.”
BY TOM ZAPPIA
The post Tony Baker Tells Comedy Hype He Hopes To Create A Full-Length Voice Over Comedy, Talks Momentum appeared first on ComedyHype.Com | Comedy ReFueled.
ComedyHype.Com | Comedy ReFueled
The post Tony Baker Tells Comedy Hype He Hopes To Create A Full-Length Voice Over Comedy, Talks Momentum appeared first on Hip Hop Illustrated.