South-Shore native Steven Crowder is probably the next big thing in comedy. Though he is still very young, Crowder already has an impressive resume. He will be performing at Concordia tomorrow night, so we thought we would have a chat with him to see what he’s all about.
The Concordian: When did you first want to become an actor or comedian?
Crowder: I can’t really remember ever wanting to be anything else. I think we all went through our phases when I thought I wanted to be a boxer, or I thought I wanted to be a policeman. But then I realized that I can’t take a punch. My mom was a costume designer for Just For Laughs when I was a kid- I was six or seven at that time- and they needed a little kid to dress up in a sailor costume on a tricycle as part of a sketch. I did that and was in front of I don’t know how many thousands of people at the St-Denis. I got to watch all the comedians work that summer and I really knew that’s what I wanted to do.
The Concordian: Did you want to be more of a comedian or an actor?
Crowder: I’d say comedian, because I’ve always liked to make people laugh. I’ve always liked to perform but the stuff that makes me laugh is acting. Cracking jokes like knock-knock jokes never made me laugh, but a situation or picture that is painted in your mind made me laugh. I guess a hybrid.
The Concordian: Do you get nervous when you get up on stage?
Crowder: Yah, I still get nervous before every performance. I think that’s the same thing for all comedians because you never know how your stuff is going to work. Even with Seinfeld or George Carlin or any of the greats, they can do something that will really kill one night. The material is always good but sometimes the audience isn’t as responsive and that can affect the energy. You have to go in and do your comedy no matter what.
The Concordian: Where do you draw your inspiration for your jokes?
Crowder: My sick, twisted little mind. Obviously, I draw a lot of stuff from life experience, or it comes from frustration. But to be honest I’m no philosophical comic; I’m not going up there with a political agenda. I’m going up there and talking about Rudolph and Power Rangers. I started writing down the way I looked at life and people thought it was funny.
The Concordian: There are a lot of comedians out there right now. Do you think it’s going to be harder for you to make a name for yourself?
Crowder: I definitely do. I think there are a lot of comedians out there, but very few of the work it. It’s always the 80-20 rule: 80 per cent of people don’t really do much and the 20 per cent who do work really hard. I’m doing it full time; I write a lot, make phone calls every day and it’s really all I work on. It’s hard, but everything worthwhile is and I don’t think that many people go after it, so I’ll take my chances.
The Concordian: Do you think your young age is something positive or negative?
Crowder: It depends. There is the whole hierarchy thing in comedy, but also my young age makes me much more relatable to colleges and draws in a younger crowd, which hasn’t really been touched on in comedy until guys like Dane Cook came along. That’s now a market that’s been really opening up.
The Concordian: What are your career goals?
Crowder: My goal right now is to try and accomplish things as one of the youngest; to be one of the youngest to ever be on Letterman or one of the youngest to get on Leno or be on Saturday Night Live. Just really take everything as far as I can take it and know that I’ve explored every territory and stretched every limit and I’ll be happy.
The Concordian: What can people expect to see at your show?
Crowder: They should come and see! [laughs] I don’t want to beat my own drum so just come out and see for yourself.
For more information on Steven Crowder visit www.stevencrowder.net or join the CCGA (Crowder Comedy Groupie Alliance) at www.myspace.com/stevencrowder.
Steven Crowder performs tomorrow, Thursday February 9 at Reggie’s. Show at 10 p.m. Admission is free.