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{a chat with} Kevin White

August 10, 2012

Comedy is a rough gig. Go ahead and use the tough crowd excuse, but maybe you’re just not that funny. Certainly not the case with this man. I’ve personally seen Mr. White fill a room with laughter.

A recent Chicago transplant, this St. Louis native has a pretty solid resume when it comes to turning those frowns upside down. Appearing at festivals, in showcases, even putting on his own comedy show, Kevin says it’s taken him a while to get to where he is.

“It’s like this: starting out, you’re like ‘oh this is funny, but I cant express myself.’ It’s like learning how to paint and you think ‘oh that giraffe doesn’t look the way I want.’ And then a couple years down the line you get better and try to draw the giraffe again. It ends up looking more realistic. I’ve just become a stronger writer. I’ll take old premises, re-write them and come up with things I hadn’t thought of before. I just understand the craft so much better now.”

On the topic of growing as a comedian and fine tuning your own craft, White says “it’s now easy to understand what a good idea and a bad idea is, as opposed to starting out where you just throw everything against a wall, hoping some of it sticks. I’m much more confident in my voice.”

Kevin’s biggest project is Bare Knuckle Comedy. It’s stand up comedy peppered with sketch comedy in three acts and can currently be seen in St. Louis at Cicero’s on the 2nd Sunday of every month. Bare Knuckle Comedy, formerly Punch Drunk Comedy, was started out of a banning of sorts. “I was not allowed on at the only place I could do stand up, so I wasn’t going to get any stage time. Someone said ‘make your own stage’. I thought if I was going to do something different, what kind of show would I want to see?”

Co-founding Bare Knuckle Comedy with like minded comedian, Christian Lawrence, the duo wanted to create a show where people wouldn’t be afraid to try something different. “Nobody wanted to be too crazy for fear of not getting time. The goal was to make a place where you can bomb at the show, and I won’t think you suck. You can take a risk. We almost never tell you who is going to be on the show. We’ve had some bigger names drop in, but the whole point is everybody is equal.”

Kevin has got big things happening for him in the world of comedy, but doesn’t let all the giggles go to his head. “One romanticized idea about why I love comedy is because it is an escape; you can make somebody happy. A guy could have the worst day of this life; he lost his job, his girlfriend broke up with him, he got a bad haircut, he stubbed his toe… he can show up to a comedy club and for the split second he’s laughing, he doesn’t have a care in the world.”

See Kevin in person this Sunday at Bare Knuckle Comedy, on the Retox Tour in Dallas, or in Denver’s Too Much Funstival. And keep up with him on the interwebs here, here and here.

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