10 Aug

Chicago’s Comic: Brian “Da Wildcat” Smith

Q: What inspired you to start stand up comedy?

A: I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. I used to crack jokes to make my mother laugh not knowing all that she was going through raising 3 children basically on her own. The feeling that I received knowing that I could make her smile inspired me to pursue a life of comedy. The inspiration to pursue a career in stand up comedy also has origins in the freedom that came along with the career including the ability to travel, set my own working hours, and the sense of security knowing that I did not have to punch a clock in order to provide for myself or at the time, a family in the future.

Q: Describe your first performance.

A: My first performance occurred when I was about 11. While spending the week-end over my grandparents house, my auntie Elrita Smith decided to put me on the spot after my grandparents went out of town. I cracked jokes about getting disciplined, growing up in Harvey, Illinois (which at the time was considered the suburbs), and respectfully roasted my father’s side of the family. As a professional, my first performance was at the age 21 at a venue in Matteson, Illinois with Chicago legend Damon Williams. The performance was a hit and it allowed me to gain access to all the local comedy shows in Chicago. At the same time, it left people wondering was this my first time on stage or was I lying about my performance experience.

Q: Do you have “pre-show” rituals? If so, what are they?

A: My pre-show ritual has changed over the years. As a young comic, I would practice my jokes and facial expressions in the mirror imagining myself in front of a large crowd. As the years went by, I began to meditate before shows allowing myself to clear my mind and focus on the future. I often listen to music, review audio, or video of my previous performances, and allow time for a last minute review of my selected material for the night.

Q: Where in the world is your favorite place to perform stand up? Why is this your favorite place?

A: My favorite place to perform is overseas because it forces me to relate to the audience’s experiences or bring them into my world. Even Americans living abroad will have a different perspective of the world because perspective is all about demographics and geography. It brought me great pleasure to perform for the troops in Germany, Belgium, and Holland while selfishly satisfying my desires to see the world.

Q: What shows, podcasts, blogs do you produce or co-produce?

A: I am currently a part of producing a podcast called “BYOB” where we talk about current topics, infuse new material, and enjoying a classic alcohol of our choice. I am also in the process of partnering with some local investors to open a comedy club in the south loop district of Chicago, Illinois.

Q: What are three of your favorite things?

A: My three favorite things are my 3 children Brian Jr., Malachi, and Phoenix Smith. They are the reasons I wake up everyday and subject myself to the constant scrutiny that occurs in the entertainment industry. I want them to understand the importance of entrepreneurship and the pursuit of happiness. They give me the constant reminder that life is all about legacy and continuing the purpose of promoting God’s kingdom.

Q: What is your favorite sammich?

A: My favorite ‘sammich’ is called a “BBQ Twist” from a local store called The Soul Vegetarian Restaurant located on the south side of Chicago.

Q: What’s one thing people assume about you, that is or isn’t true?

A: For years people have often assumed that I am married, but I am not. Unless you would consider my marriage to comedy. Their assumption is often derived from my laid back personality and lack of interest in “groupies”. A lot of comedians, both male and female, are excited by the attention of fans before and after their performances. Although love can be found in the club, my focus has always been to be the best I can be and only focus on the fact that the check clears the next day after the show.

Q: If you weren’t a comic, what other job would you love to do?

A: If I wasn’t a comedian, I would probably have a career in the automobile industry. I have always had a love for cars especially classic cars and the process of keeping up the maintenance of the vehicles.

Q:What are some comedy goals/dreams you have on your To Do List?

A: My goals associated with comedy include getting more into the acting industry which will allow me to obtain rental properties and start to receive residual income.

Q: What quality, trait and/or body part do you really like about yourself?

A: My mind is the most favorable element of myself because it is truly my gift and curse. My mind allows me the perfect amount of freedom while at the same time my thoughts running wild forces me to live in a box of endless possibilities. In addition, I think my eyes are kinda dreamy… lol.

Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you? [or anything else you’d like mentioned, i.e. your education, personal life or mission statement]

A: I would like for people to know that I am an educated man with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications, a proud parent, and a person who doesn’t mind not fitting in with the masses.

Q: How will you know you “Made It?”

A: In my mind, I’ve already made it because I am my own boss. I wake up when I want to, take vacations without requesting off times, and walk to the beat of my own drum. However, I will know that I’ve made it when I solidify my relationship with God and can make more decisions without finances being a deciding factor.


COMING UP

  • 8.11.2018: “Back 2 Tha’ Roots” — Batesville Civic Center in Batesville, MS
  • 8.12.2018: “Arvin Mitchell & Friends” — Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, MO
  • 8.26.2018: “THE FIRM Barber Expo” — Chicago Marriott O’Hare

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