Just Shut Up and Write, an interview with comic Nicholas Anthony

Breaking into the comedy world isn't easy, and it takes dedication to writing and performing to truly perfect the craft. For anyone aspiring to become a comedy writer or stand up comedian, professional comedian, Nicholas Anthony, was nice enough to share his process and writing tips.

Nick has headlined shows all over the country, and in Los Angeles, he has performed at legendary venues such as The Improv, The Comedy Store, UCB, Ha Ha Cafe, Jon Lovitz, Flapper's and The Icehouse in Pasadena. He also produces The Secret Show at The Blind Barber. For tickets, please email: BarberSecretShow@Gmail.com

TL: Thanks so much for the interview. I think it's awesome that you make a living doing standup. What was your first big break as a comic, and how did it happen?
NA: I won the Las Vegas Comedy Festival when I was 22. That was a pretty big deal for me, and it was all based an opportunity that I gave myself by driving 7 hours from Minnesota to Chicago for a 5 minute audition. I took a chance and it paid off.

Nicholas Anthony
TL: Since you're an artist, you don't have a 9 to 5 kind of day. What is your typical day like?
NA: I try to get up early and work out. The key word is try. After that my biggest obstacle is getting into a rhythm. If I can get finished with all my e-mails and other errands then it's time to write. If I can get 4-5 hours of writing in it's a good day. My goals are changing a lot recently though. I hope to start allocating more time for my writing.

TL: What's your process for writing jokes?
NA: I gather material and then I sit in my room by myself and try to organize it as best as I can. The next step is to take it on stage. I record everything on my iPhone and then back to my room for my critique. I repeat that process over and over until I have a polished bit. Lately, I've also been writing out jokes in long form on my computer, that seems to be helping with specific wording.

TL: You’ve written produced scripts. What advice do you have for aspiring screenwriters?
NA: Write. Write. Write. My biggest problem is that I just don't write enough. The more I write the better I feel. For me expressing myself creatively is the only thing that truly makes me feel alive. So just shut-up and write.

TL: Thanks so much for stopping by. To end our interview, can you tell me 3 books that you think every aspiring comedian should read?
NA: Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-Up Comedy by Franklyn Ajaye, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.