Have you ever thought: What has Ryan Conner been doing since he was last in DC, crushing at Poonanza 5? I asked myself that question and then I asked Ryan. That is how I do. Enjoy!
Since leaving DC for the dream of being a famous comic in New York City, Ryan Conner has performed at such notorious clubs as The Comedy Cellar, Caroline's and Comix. He can also be heard regularly on XM radio.
Ryan returns to DC this weekend to feature for Dennis Regan (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday Nights) @ The DC Improv.
Also, Crucial Element, a fake rap group that he is in will be performing at DC9 with Larry Poon and Jimes. Get tickets on the DC9 site. They're only $8.
What have you done since leaving DC?
Hm. I got a new iPod, an 80GB. It was a huge upgrade from a Generation 4 iPod. It's not technically HD, but it looks close enough to me. I'm also on the verge of becoming "very good" at guitar, after being "pretty good" for a while. I can do more pull-ups than I've ever done in my life. In middle-school and high-school, I would have got the Presidential Physical Fitness t-shirt every year, if I could do more pull-ups. I think I only go the shirt once, or maybe twice.
[Hit the jump for the rest of Ryan's interview, plus a video!]
How long were you performing in DC and what were your favorite rooms?
I performed in DC for three years before moving to DC. Aside from the Improv, my favorite room was Dr. Dremos. Every Wednesday, for well over a year, it would have a packed crowd that was ready for comedy. Topaz was either really good or really shitty each week. I had the same routine for both shows. I would go to Rory's house to hang out for a while before going to the shows. When I arrived at his house, he would either be jerking off in his room, or trying to make me think he was jerking off. About once per week, he would try to trick me into looking at his mangina. He only got me once. Those were erotic days. Anyway, Curt Shackleford's rooms (Dremos, Topaz, Shula's and Comedy Spot) were Crucial Elements (marketing) in my development.
This is going to sound crazy, as I think I'm the only person who would say this, but I really liked Murky Coffee in Arlington. It was a coffee shop open mic, run by Paula Dellert. The crowds were small, but attentive.
Soho was great for two years. And for the last year I was there, I had to be talked out of killing myself every time I left that place.
When did you decide it was time to move?
I didn't really have a choice. Someone referred me for an audition at the Comedy Cellar. A couple weeks before the audition, I got lucky and the GM of Caroline's saw me and passed me. Then I went for my Cellar audition, probably more nervous than I was before my first show, and had a strong set. Seconds later, I was told I passed the audition, and that I could start calling in my avails. That changed everything. If you pass the Cellar when you've only been doing comedy for two years, you move and figure everything else out. I was unable to actually live in NYC until Feb 07, but I called in my avails at the Cellar every week as if I lived in NYC starting in Feb 06. I drove to NYC for 15 minute sets each week until I moved.
How did your time in DC prepare you for performing in a bigger market?
There's industry in NYC. DC doesn't prepare you for industry sets, which are short and cheesy. DC prepares you to be a good, original comic, which I think is more important than doing a killer 7 and getting TV credits left and right, which is what NYC and LA prepare you for. But I don't look at NYC as a bigger market. A show is a show. It doesn't matter what the city is, or how many people are in the crowd. Sure, some shows are great, and some suck. But most are just shows. You just do your thing regardless of the circumstances. To quote Magic Johnson, and I think DCComedy4Now is due for a good Magic Johnson quote, "Basketball is basketball." And while we're at it. "Everything is everything." -Lauren Hill
What are you now able to do that you couldn't do in DC?
I can spend two hours traveling as little as three miles. That's the walking speed of an old, fat person. It's also the speed of a car in NYC, and public transportation. Greatest city on earth. I also have the privilege of going outside, closing my eyes, inhaling and thinking that I'm in a landfill, or a piss garden. Other things? Let's see... I'm able to allow complete strangers be a complete asshole to me for no reason. Oh yeah, I get to park a little over a mile from my apartment too. Parking over a mile from my apartment is my favorite.
Pizza is good.
And performing at the Comedy Cellar is great. Performing at other places is very good.
What do you miss most about DC?
I miss being able to determine my own comedy schedule. In NYC, I'm at the bottom of the food chain. So, I take whatever shows people can give me. Sometimes, people don't have shows to give me. In DC, everyone who runs shows has been very good to me and given me stage time whenever I'm around. Also, I really enjoy hanging out with comics in DC. Many DC comics are some of my closest friends. In NYC, it rarely feels like you're hanging out with people. It usually feels like people are networking. Not always the case, but often. While I'm mentioning NYC comedy, here are some comics there who I find funny, who you might not know about (in the order in which I type them): Kurt Metzger, Kevin Williams, Sean O'Connor, Jeremy Schachter, Vince Averill, Jesse Popp, Gabe and Jenny, Craig Baldo, and other people.
Word to your mothers.
A few jokes (early versions)
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