13 year professional (I travel & get paid) stand up comedian, My TEDxSaltLakeCity talk on dark humor and joking about trauma made it on TED.com earlier this year, and I'm celebrating my 1 month moddiversary of working on /r/RoastMe

Proof
TEDx Talk

Note: Due to the sub rules I'll comment on dark humor or joking about trauma in general but not any specific topics that would break the sub rules.

Comments: 143 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

Ninjaturtlethug39 karma

Does your milkshake bring anybody to the yard? I never like to assume it brings boys to the yard, so I just want to know if it brings anyone to the yard. #endsexism #milkshake

collin300025 karma

I lack a yard but I the milkshake have did manage to have a couple guys offer to be my sugar daddy. So I guess the quantity of boys brought is > 2

Ninjaturtlethug7 karma

That's a solid quantity but the quality is what really matters.

West_Zookeepergame-6 karma

[removed]

truh3 karma

Are you a fucking bot or why do you copy paste my comment?

collin30005 karma

Smells like one of them Russian bots to me

ArezkiSs30 karma

Do you consider any topic forbidden to joke about even in dark humor? If so, which?

collin300046 karma

Topics: No. Although there's lost of sensitive subject removing them from the "joke table" shuts down conversation instead of creating it. The approach to the subject is what matters. In the talk I cover pretty in-depth why banning a topic for joking could be negative.

truh22 karma

Do you have the thread of you getting roasted handy?

What did you need a rootkit for and did you manage to get one?

collin300013 karma

Just started a roast for the moddiversary Here

The rootkit was to make sure my promo video would stay on custom USB flash drives I was handing out to potential comedy bookers. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything I could find that would do what I was hoping (reinstall the video on the drive after format) without breaking any actual laws and being actual malware. I basically wanted like a read-only DVD but for the 21st century. Someone needs to invent one of those.

bubbdong17 karma

Who's your pornstar ex?

collin300023 karma

I can't say who specifically to avoid her having any doxing issues. But she was a mid level (IAFD says 40-50 titles) girl that worked for about 3 years in the earlier 2010's. All her money came from adult work since she did cam work when she wasn't shooting

AndyBouy-6 karma

I wanna name dammit!!!!!!

collin30004 karma

Ashes. Although that was her stripper name not her porn name. But if you went to Little Darlings in Vegas during 2011-2012 you might know who I'm talking about

Robot_Death_Speech9 karma

What happens after we die?

collin300023 karma

They bury our body and we are none the wiser since our consciousness dies with the body

PM_ME_YOUR_KINKAJUS9 karma

What’s it like being a mod on r/roast me?

collin300028 karma

Different then I thought. I never thought I'd spend 1/2 my time trying to figure out if boys were 18 (must be 18+ to post). It has created a fun new game for me though where I walk up to other comics and go "Does this boy look 18 to you!?!" those that didn't know I was modding roastme gave the weirdest looks. It's fun

LowestKey6 karma

I would suggest a sting working in a liquor store, but three years on the job just taught me that I can't tell the difference between a twenty year old or a thirty-five year old so I should just ask for ID regardless.

collin30004 karma

Yeah considering liability issues I err on the side of caution. So far only about 25% challenge the underage call and of those most are only just 18 so I think I'm doin alright so far?

Celerycheesepeanuts3 karma

I’ve worked with 5 comedians in the country I live in twice (once a duo, once a trio). It was not something I wanted to do, but the place I worked for just assumed I wouldn’t mind being on TV because everyone wants to be famous- right? Though I did what was wanted for the cameras I was obviously not comfortable.

Anyhow, I was amazed that when the cameras stopped rolling how ‘dark’ all the comedians were irl. They apologized to me for the ‘BS’ and basically implied that they were being forced by their agents to do certain things.

So, my questions to you are: are you in total control of your comedy routine or do you have other factors you have to take into account?

Also, when you are not in the public spotlight do you feel you are pressured to be funny/cheerful because of your job?

collin30003 karma

There's a reason most comedians don't open by telling people their comedians when they're off stage. Although a lot of us are naturally funnier what we do is usually contextualized to a stage and refined. It's a lot of pressure going to get that same level of funny randomly improvised.

And since unlike singing, basketball, etc "funny" is a talent you can "do anywhere" casually. So if you're on TV or a panel and trying to establish that you're a good comic there is pressure there to be at the very least engaging if not entertaining.

I don't know what type of show you were on but most comics I know aren't forced to do anything dickish (unless it's their brand). However, dick is an easier way to go for laughs from an observing 3rd. So the apology may have been for being "on" (like comedy is a switch).

I personally wish I could say I was completely in control of my content but sometimes you have to do shows that pay vs what doing the show you want. And since a lot of people do 0 research before seeing a standup show a lot of comedy bookers want comedy that's both mainstreamly not offensive, but also not mainstreamly generic (it's a fine and infuriating line).

I currently have 2 sets of tour dates I do because of that. The normal, generic-ish, billboard outside says "comedy tonight" show. The other one is my dark stand up show which is 100% what I want. The only way it's edited is for time or if I choose to. So for instance. in August I was doing a fundraiser where I knew there was going to be lots of people in the audience from the 2nd largest mass shooting in US history. So I opt'd to cut my material on mass shootings out of respect. But I was doing what I wanted.

It's much harder to make a living doing what you want though because the more money there is the more "golden handcuffs" there are. Even when it comes to creating your own content since Youtube can/will demonitize "offensive" videos with little to no due process.

As for comics day to day life. For the TEDx I ended up conducting what became the second largest international survey on comedians mental health in the last decade (n=496). 74.3% of comedians have mental illness or strong undiagnosed symptoms. 72.4% have experienced severe trauma, and 69.8% have seriously contemplated or attempted... let's say "drastic measures" to stay within the sub rules.

There's a theory that part of the reason many become comedians is because they are so depressed they have to learn to find the joke to cheer themselves (and others) up. But like you said. Once the camera stops rolling and we can "turn off" we're a highly depressed bunch of people.

HazedFlare2 karma

Any joke that was too dark even for you / or you refrain from triggering the audience? When I'm joking with my friends it's usually recent events that stop me

I like the TedX talk by the way.

collin300016 karma

surprisingly/unsurprisingly right now the biggest thing that will trigger an audience is a Trump joke. The Trump fans don't look at context and get pissed and it's harder to get them back from that then from making a school shooting joke the day of.

There is an old saying of comedy = Tragedy + Time which is one of the reasons current tragedy usually doesn't land as well. And I would generally recommend that a new comic never make a joke about a tragedy the day or week of since they're usually not great at tact/joke construction. But with the right people and a well-crafted joke sometimes that dark humor is exactly what people need for the moment to provide some levity.

Eddie Izzard had some great advice that also helps with the "too soon" and that is to expand out what you're looking at. What you're seeing exists in a larger reference (ie authoritarians exist across time. Don't talk about your authoritarian. Expand the scope) and going to that larger reference lessens the effect of the recent tragedy while also giving you material that is timeless

HazedFlare8 karma

Oh, I didn't think about that (I'm from Canada)

But funny enough, my dad works for the largest north american producer/distributor for laundry bleach and while we live in Canada he travels to the US frequently since majority of business is there.

He tells me all the time how he can joke with his customers about family members etc etc, but saying ANYTHING about Trump is like illegal. Pretty funny imo

collin300019 karma

Yeah ironically it turns out the people that love to call people snowflakes are the biggest snowflakes. I know comics that voted for and still support Trump that have had people turn on them for mentioning his name on stage even though the joke wasn't going to be negative.

Ickyfist1 karma

Probably too late but what's a Trump joke you told that had this effect?

collin30002 karma

"Some of my white friends are like 'I'm so afraid to live in Trump's America'. And I'm like 'Really? YOU'RE afraid to live in Trumps America?' Try having someone hate you cause you're muslim. Then you have to 'go actually I'm not Muslim'. Then they still hate you cause you're Mexican... Then you have to explain that you're actually 1/2 black. And they still hate you. Have you ever had someone hate you for 3 different reasons in 30 seconds? Have you ever felt a 'Hate Turduken'?"

Ickyfist1 karma

That's pretty funny, i like the tur-duck-en punchline.

I think the reason it bothers trump supporters isn't that they are really offended but rather annoyed that the joke works on a faulty premise that trump supporters are racist. I can imagine they would hear that and think, "Oh okay another person who knows nothing about us that thinks we're evil." To them it is a stereotype about them that has no truth to it but which is very prevalent among those that dislike them. They are tired of the left having such prevalent misunderstandings about them and that can instantly turn them off from your routine because the joke lacks understanding and truth from their perspective and that is something they deal with very commonly so it's old to them.

It's like if there was a common racial stereotype about asians really liking apples and someone told a joke about that, an asian person might be like..."Ughh I'm tired of people thinking we are obsessed with apples, where does that even come from?"

collin30002 karma

That's a whole nother debate about racism. But some of the racists that are hardest to change are the ones that don't and even refuse to believe they're racist. They're also ironically the ones who get most upset when their racism is pointed out. I say that as someone who's gf voted for Trump and GF's dad supported/supports him (wavering lately).

And similarly using your own example. That group is always willing to laugh at racial stereotype jokes. Meaning at the very best they're not willing to laugh at themselves. Only at everyone else.

offthemike722 karma

Do you see a difference between being a humorous lecturer on the subject of comedy and being a “comedian”?

I don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to devalue what you do, but I think you’re using “comedian” as a broad term like when someone calls Bradley Cooper a “comedian” because he’s been in comedies.

collin30001 karma

One of the differences would be format and Laughs Per Minute (LPM). So the talk I linked to isn't stand-up, improv, or sketch. It's a talk with some jokes thrown in where I deliberately kept jokes minimal because I had a time limit and needed to cover lots of points.

When I'm doing stand up there is a target of 4-6 LPM or at least 20 laughs every 5 minutes for bits with more extended setups.

I'm personally even a little more picky when it comes to ascribing the title. As I generally don't think of someone as an actual "comedian" in my mind unless they're doing 12 booked shows (not open mics) a year. Before that I'd usually refer to them as an open mic'r. But if you can consistently do 5 minutes with 20 laughs you're probably at least getting 12 booked guest spots a year and would pass that open mic'r bar.

After that I put the bar of "working" or professional comedian is 12 feature (or more ideally headliner) spots a year while increasing your work/bookings and persuing it as a primary career goal (you'd be surprised how many hobby comics there are).

In the case of actor "comedians". The ones that we usually call comedians versus just actors have a comedy background in stand-up, sketch, or improv. And not only are they delivering funny lines and delivering lines funny (yes there is a difference) but they could write or create their own successful laugh-packed comedy without others feeding them lines. With the ultimate toper being that they know how to "chase the joke" and that's their instinct that they fight against.

offthemike721 karma

Did you see Anthony Jeselnik’s new show where he goofed on the antiquated mentality of placing importance on laughs per minute?

collin30001 karma

I saw... most of it. My GF is a huge Jesselnik fan so I waited a week to watch it with her. And she left half way through. Cause she was calling out the punchlines before he said them even though she'd never seen it.

He tried to over produce content and overly curated audiences turned him into a caricature of himself. His new show "Good Talk" shows that special was just a temporary misstep though.

offthemike721 karma

I’m making sure to word this as questions because I genuinely find your subject matter interesting and I enjoy the different paths that comedy can take us, but do you see any inherent harm in speaking in absolutes or mistaking opinion for fact? What’s your opinion on “comedy police” who define rules or equations like laughs per minute to define “comedian”?

I’ve had quite a career (made a living solely from it for many years) in comedy, but realized very early that laughs per minute was only one way to steer creativity.

collin30001 karma

I actually live for nuances but the nuance can exist in more than way. Bone Hampton used to have a great bit about how you can buy a music cd and be like "I love tracks 1, 4, 8, and 12. This the best CD Ever" but with comedy every track has to hit. Without laughs it's not comedy so laughs is the defining metric.

When you say "comic" or "comedian" I think standup is generally the first thing that springs to peoples mind which is why I'd use LPM when talking about most comics. If you go below a certain amount of laughs either the jokes weren't good so the audience didn't laugh. Or you were telling a story with some jokes thrown in versus a comedic story.
But there's also variance in laugh power. 1 super good long rolling belly laugh will top 3 short bursts. Christopher Titus described it as "keeping a feather afloat" a really big laugh gives you a lot of time to get to the next one with a few tiny puffs along the way. In standup with rare exception have I seen a story with minutes long setup and no punchlines along the way end in that huge belly laugh. Not that an experienced comedian can't be an exception to the rule. But most people trying that are not the exception and haven't learned how to work within the rules to then know how to break them. Hence why you get an LPM generalization/recommendation. Especially for newer comics.

I would add on engagement and attachement as another important metric though. Once you have enough laughs going that it's a solid set. I honestly think a comedian who has 4 LPM over a an hour but a better attachment with the audience will be more successful at building fans than a comic with 5.5 LPM over an hour but nothing that truly engages the audience. You can see that with guys like Mike Birbiglia who are relatively low LPM but connect well.

That's just standup though. Other forms of comedy exist that don't need the same standards. For instance you can get away with lower LPM in Improv (I say as a 14-year improvisor). Because first the expection isn't as high. They understand there will be setup for the payoff so the "feather" falls slower. And the laughs usually end up becoming bigger because the audience is engaged more. Since they're "in" on the joke feeling like the helped create it. while truly understanding this is "unrehearsed" brilliance in the moment.

Sketch similarly doesn't have to have as high of a LPM rate to be good because you can get deeper laughs by combining the dialogue with great visuals (something that can also help improv). Explaining Monty Python's dead bird sketch will never be as good as watching it. Because of what the visual ads. Something hard to achieve in standup unless you are Carrot Top

Going even further beyond that we can delve into things like comedy writers and comedic storytellers. The expectation is lower since we're going in for a funny story not "jokes". David Sedaris can take a minute or two to build a beautiful picture as long as it's engaging. His LPM is lower than most standups but he's one of the best comedy writers of our day.

So back to the generalization. I definitely think to be good standup most people need to hit a minimum LPM or be so experienced with being able to hit that LPM that they can play with the rules (George Carlin's late work). But there's also nothing wrong with being a comedic story-teller. An improvisor. A sketch comic. Or any other subset (as long as you're good at what you do). But since the general public tends to think "stand up" when you say comedian that's why LPM gets ascribed such high importance to the specific word

_kagasutchi_2 karma

Who's the pornstar ex?

collin30002 karma

Since my identity is so open and it would be easy to trace her through me I don't disclose her stage name. But if you were a brazzers, score, or FTV subscriber from 2011-2013 then odd are you've seen her face (and much more)

Chayden1532 karma

Have you ever told joke that drew a lot of backlash?

collin30005 karma

Performing live. Yes. For fun on an unimportant show I decided to see how far I could dig myself into a hole and then get out. So rather than opening with an actual joke while in Utah I opened with "fuck the Mormons, fuck the Utah Jazz, the snow here is shit". There was a lot of very very audibly unhappy people. Took me till a minute before the end of that set until I'd won them back

Online - Yep 3 times come to mind.
1 A joke I made during a live interview about the pregnant woman I was talking to potentially losing her baby.
2 An April Fools day video I had where my GF was drinking in the background and then the video cut off right before we were "gonna have sex". People didn't like the idea of me sleeping with a drunk girl. Funnily enough it was her idea to be drinking. My original sketch she was just asleep in bed behind me.
3. A reddit shitpost I made that people took as not a shit post. That was really just a hacky joke.

willyoumassagemykale3 karma

No. 1

BIG OOF

collin30001 karma

Yeah it turns out sleeping 3 hours a night and trying to improvise coverage of a weekend event leads to a few mistakes

LausyKid2 karma

What’s something you wish you had known just starting out in comedy? I’m just starting out in comedy and have been to about 5 open mics, none of them have gone great. Any other tips you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

collin30009 karma

There's a fantastic FB group called The MaxWell Method Of Standup Comedy that is a wonderful and supportive advice group. And some of the guys in there giving advice are people like Lue Deck who booked the Comedy Store back in the Robin Williams days. That group will offer more then I could quickly give in a tip here.

But the best quick suggestion is write all your jokes out word for word (don't just wing it) then go through the written versions and see if you can use 1/2 as many words to say the exact same thing. If a detail doesn't need to be see if you can make a joke off the detail. If you can't then cut it out.

billdb2 karma

How long does it take you to make an ingression video? Got any plans for more?

What is your #1 "dream addition" you would want to see added to Prime, apart from the generic "bug fixes/more contrast" requests?

collin30003 karma

The average late stage ingression video was about his long breakdown-wise

Collecting Data for Episode: 3-8 hrs
Testing Data to make sure it was accurate: 2-8hrs
Writing: 2-3 hrs
Shooting: 3 hrs
Editing: 12-16 hrs

A few were shorter. Several were longer because I'd have to go back to the shooting or data collecting stage after Niantic would change something. I always wanted to make sure my information was as accurate as possible so I'd never cover something I hadn't researched. I'd put about 60hrs research into the MUFG/Quantum capsule when they changed it. So then i put another 40hrs in. Then they changed it again. Ultimately I scrapped the MUFG/WQuantum episode cause it was such a time suck.

I actually have Prime 103/104 shot and was going to shoot more, but it seems like every time I get excited Niantic makes a decision that kills my excitement. I have huge huge depression, and what used to be something to fight the depression now has continually become a source of anxiety due to the changes.

We'll have to see if I can get my excitement back up again and whether it can stay long enough without something else happening.

For right now my dream addition to Prime would be underlying game change dynamics to increase accessibility for more casual players starting out and for rural players. When Ingress very first launched BGAN type fields weren't a thing and a BGAN field messes up the game for newbs who can't even toss links cause they're own team has a field up that they couldn't touch if they wanted. Although Ingress is a game of dedication putting a $1000 entry cap to take down a field makes it kind of pay-2-win

MystiDuck1 karma

What's often your inspiration for dark humour? For me it's probably stupid people. Like antivaxxers.

collin30002 karma

My life. I have/had a real shit one. Tons and tons of abuse as a child. Then I dated lots of crazy people and plenty of my own mistakes. I don't have to look past my doorstep to find an inspiration for needing a joke in a dark time

NinjaJLego1 karma

Have you ever decided to let someone you know isn't 18 but looks close enoughbget roasted?

collin30003 karma

No. The opposite. The problem is purely a liability one and it's why Reddit admins raised the age to 18. If some underage kid gets roasted. Complains/sues then the whole sub could have to go. It's not worth potentially losing a whole sub for one person.

If the international law was 13 or 15 or 16 I'd be down for allowing people at whatever age the law was to submit. But changing international law is way above my paygrade.

platinumandgoldand1 karma

Can you tell me a joke?

collin30003 karma

"I bought a parrot and the parrot talked, but it did not say I'm hungry so it died" - Mitch Hedberg

For some of my jokes here's a short showcase set I recorded last month

officialraidarea521 karma

Have you ever thought any of you"re jokes have gone too far?

collin30001 karma

Yeah. Looking back at when I was first starting comedy there's lots of jokes that make me cringe. Back then I'd basically say anything that got a laugh. Which led to saying some things I disagree with. I say things I don't agree with now but it's deliberately sardonic to point out that/how they're wrong.

There are also lots of jokes I will say improvised in the moment or in conversation that are not well thought through and that I will regret later on. Or a joke to a person that didn't realize something I was saying in sarcasm. Or there's just the occasional straight fuck up. I messaged someone an apology a few months ago because my brain got ahead of my mouth and my mouth skipped saying a sentence to a group. The friend I was speaking too knew what I meant, and no one complained but I tracked down one of the other people later on because I personally wasn't okay with the words I said vs what I meant.

No humans are perfect. So crucifying someone for one joke isn't fair if it's not representative of the majority of their work or what they believe. And I try to remember that and look at the scope of someone's work whenever a news story drops about someone saying something shitty.

dagoodvybe1 karma

Would you help me decide ? https://youtu.be/GFnWVdfhSjY

collin30002 karma

Not a fan of camo or jeggings. Go w the yellow hoodie

cltlz3n1 karma

What was it like watching the videos of your ex while you were with her? Was it a turn on? Or the opposite, or neither? Would you be with someone in the industry again?

collin30001 karma

I didn't watch many videos of her while dating. Primarily because I didn't need to watch the video when I could just walk into the next room and sleep with her whenever I wanted. Watching her fuck other guys wasn't a turn on cause I got to pick her up afterwards and hear her bitching about how "the guy came in her hair and he wasn't supposed to do that". It really is just a job.

That being said I wouldn't specifically seek someone in the sex work industry. If someone was a sex worker I wouldn't care. But a lot of strippers, porn stars, etc are not the type of people I'm normally intellectually attracted to so that wouldn't be a "search parameter" on a dating site for me if it existed. Who they are would be a far more important factor. Their job is just their job

cltlz3n2 karma

Thanks for the response! I watched your TED talk and thought it was a pretty fantastic!

If I may, one thing I always liked about comedic actors is that they play drama extremely well. All the greats Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, extremely intense and authentic drama actors. I also noticed in your TED talk how you were able to leverage those same tools to captivate your audience as well as get your point across. All this made your talk more immersive and authentic. Thank you!

collin30001 karma

And a thank you to you. I always like a good roller coaster since comedy is breaking tension and building the tension through drama can make that joke hit extra hard.

tifutrw1 karma

What is your ethnicity? And what is your genetic background?

collin30003 karma

1/2 black 1/2 white.

I have a black mother and a white father. But my dad is super white. Like his DNA test was 98.7% northern European and 1.3% "other Europe". Up until my mom there wasn't a drop of color in his bloodline. And since my mom is "African American" she's not 100% black because there was a lot of raping of slaves that occurred and diluted the African bloodlines. So like most African-American's shes only like 75-85% "black"

jpw_41 karma

which pornstar was your ex? how was her action compared to others?

collin30002 karma

I don't say her pron name to prevent potential doxxxing of her but she was mid-level bookable. Her premiere was with a well-known company and another well-known company paid her extra for exclusive first shooting rights.
Over 40 titles under her name in the IAFD but she burnt up her career by gaining lots of weight which hurt bookings. Otherwise, she probably could have done around 100.
As far as her actual capability in bed. Scenes are way different from real sex. She was mid level enthusiasm in scenes for sure and not the biggest go getter (no Megan Rain or Adriana Chechik level enthusiasm). At home I didn't have any major complaints though

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

collin30003 karma

Glad to hear your sisters doing better. To keep with sub rules I won't fully answer questions aside from saying Lyft is usually cheapest

PTguy7771 karma

What is the best accent you can make?

collin30002 karma

I used to do lots of different voices before standup and I still use them when doing improv. My Obama was probably my most refined but I could also do multiple members of Family Guy so I would have them talk to each other on long car rides.

BYOBKenobi1 karma

How is having a website "proof" you're a working comic?

collin30006 karma

Previous and upcoming schedule dates. The fact you could buy tickets to my next Public Shows in Houston next weekend. Link over to my tours website with reviews/previews from TV, and newspapers in multiple states. The talk on TED.com that references me as a comedian.

Or once you know that's me and my site you can Google "Comedian Collin Williams" for more

FlamingJenga026 karma

Why do you keep mentioning TED when it’s TEDx? Different platforms with very different standards and I feel you’re being misleading.

collin300011 karma

The event was TEDxSaltLakeCity but the video is on TED.com. It's a small margin of TEDx videos that make it on to TED.com. But of the top 5 "TED Talks" of all time 2 were from TEDx events. There are differences and some lines which is why I stick with the correct wording of "a talk on TED.com" which differentiates it from the many talks that didn't get on TED.com but also isn't saying it's a TED talk.

vanduran51 karma

What's your defense against people who claim you shouldn't joke about trauma?

collin30001 karma

I usually drop them a link to my talk on TED.com. If there's still discussion after that that I usually like to follow up and figure out why they are against the specific topic. Usually people are against some topics of trauma but not others. From there I basically rewalk them through the reasoning points covered in the talk (it's actually prevents healing, is an art-specific bias, shuts down conversation and could lead to more trauma) but from a personalized standpoint using there specific objections.

UrMomGaexD1 karma

I saw you on r/RoastMe how are you here!?!?!?!?!?!?

collin30001 karma

I have 32GB of RAM in my laptop which means I can have up to 3 tabs open in Chrome at the same time

AssassinPlaysGames1 karma

What was the best roast that you saw on r/RoastMe ?

collin30001 karma

I guilded a few The best Jay Leno joke was "Sanjey Leno" Best under rated was "this dude look like he the lead singer for blink one eighty vindaloo"

SpaceGuy991 karma

What would you say to a person like my mother, who believes jokes should never be made about sensitive subjects?

collin30001 karma

I usually use the same points covered in the Talk . Figuring out what she is "okay" with other arts. Showing the similarity between what shes okay with and joking about it and pointing out a double standard. Covering how shutting that down could stifle discussion on the topic. And presenting real world examples like my own where there's a quite serious chance that 2 children were molested because my the method of communication I felt comfortable with was shut down.

GenerallySomething1 karma

When did you decide you wanted to do a ted talk? was it hard or easy to do?

collin30001 karma

It was actually one day before the submission deadline. I was chatting with someone friends one of whom was studying for his psych PHD. They had seen my special dark stand up show and mentioned it would make a good talk. I checked for local TEDx's and TEDxSaltLakeCity had their deadline for submissions the next day.

I submitted a written broad idea of what I wanted to cover. Next week I heard from them that out of the 300+ applicants I'd been selected for a next round of screening. Then I had to make a 90 second video describing the idea. After that there was a 3rd round in person interview and I made the cut for being one of the 13 people selected.

From there I had to submit drafts. Go to speaker workshops where they brought in specialist for training in speaking and movement. Easier for me but for some others (scientist types) it was a lot more work. In total I had to write revise (based on speaker team feedback) and submit 7 drafts of the talk.

Alone the way I also ended up having to conduct a survey of comedians mental health to get some data I needed that current research papers didn't have. That survey accidentally ended up becoming the 2nd largest international survey of comedians mental health this decade and I'm still in the middle of turning it into it's own paper.

But even after all of that selection and refining. And taping with 5 cameras in a 2000 seat theater the talk doesn't just end up on TED.com. There's over 500 TEDx events internationally. All are recorded and end up on the TEDx YouTube. And from there there is a stricter vetting process.

Luckily TEDxSaltLakeCity is one of the highest quality TEDx's and finally after about 6 months of the video being online they finally got the letter saying it would be viewable over on TED.com instead of just Youtube.

So it was a very very long and hard process with dozens of people working for free purely to spread an idea they (and the rest of the group) feel is that worth sharing.

ThatWoodCD1 karma

What is the downside of being a comedian?

collin30001 karma

No defined career path. Oversaturated market (3000 comics each week for 500 spots). Pay that hasn't risen since the 90's and in some case went down. And the industry of live entertainment is dying on a whole beyond stadium tours thats to tons of on-demand streaming content. Doing one-nighters in small towns with crappy motels or sleeping in your car. Paying to work under the guise of doing a "festival".

You're either lonely traveling alone or hanging with other people with massive depression/addiction issues. Hard to maintain romantic relationships with lots of travel. Way fewer groupies than any other art.

Regional Gatekeepers; where pissing off just 5 people (comedy bookers) can literally destroy every major opportunity to work for a 2 state radius. Your art isn't as good when repeated so you can't make "greatest hits" and just tour with those for 30 years. You've got to constantly write new good jokes to play the same rooms again.
But despite all that comics keep persuiung comedy. Which should say a lot about how much we love it.

dirkberkis1 karma

Do you think comedy has any influence on what becomes a norm? By that I mean the more we joke about something, the more desensitized we are to it and thus less responsive.

collin30003 karma

Yes and No. Jokes can give us a new perspective on things and cause us to discuss and contemplate issues but there is a certain limit to what they can achieve. For example, we can joke about murder all day every day but that doesn't mean that we will become less responsive to it. There are certain things that are large enough that they are not movable by jokes alone. The things that are changed by jokes are usually things that we hadn't actually thought through and the joke causes us to then think about it.

thehotmegan1 karma

Do people actually laugh at your jokes?

collin30002 karma

Sorry for the first reply. commenting from inbox I thought this was on the roast post.

Assuming you meant to post this here as an actual question and not as a roast the short answer is yes.

Longer answer is that audiences vary and although there's occasional softer laughter shows even in my darker standup I wrote it with LPM's (Laughs Per Minute) in mind or more specifically LPM's avg over 5 minute period. Although I'm clearly not the top comic in the world one the better signs of whether you're good is if a comedy booker will rebook you after your first show. I can say that's almost always been the case and I even had one club owner offer to write a recommendation letter for my current tour.

GumbyExe1 karma

Have you ever gotten into any serious scandals and or trouble because of you humor? E.g Recognized and ridiculed in public.

collin30002 karma

Not really. I remember Brian Regan telling a story about how he can finish a show at a 3000 seat theater. Then go to a Starbucks the next day and have to wait in line cause no one knows who he is. I can't fill a 3000 seat theater so it's even more rare someone recognizes me randomly in public outside of the state where I started or at certain special events (I was huge in the Niantic community because of my video series).

Even then since most of the jokes I tell are controversial on topic level but the joke itself, and approach aren't bad there's never been a "scandal". The closest was an incident I mentioned in another comment where at a Niantic event - while making videos on 3 hours of sleep - I made a joke about a pregnant woman possibly losing her baby. A few people took mostly friendly jabs at me and one of the event organizers was like "please don't do that again" at the next event. But that's about it.

PM_Me_ChoGath_R341 karma

Are there any Comedians that you prefer to watch or listen to?

collin30002 karma

I will always see Christopher Titus live any chance I get and Mike Birbiglia is also great at creating through-lines to a show. Mitch Hedberg was one of the original reasons I got into comedy and is legendary. Him and Gred Giraldo dying were huge losses to comedy. And Mulaney is the #1 comic I'd show to a mom/grandma to enjoy together (Ryan Hamilton is another good option for that).

Kyle Kinane is probably one of the best relate-able modern blue collar story tellers out there and always wonderful. He's right up there with Jackie Kashian.

For more deep cuts of comics less well known outside comedy nerds but that you can still find online. Myq Kaplan, Tommy Johnagin, Jessica Kirson,

DarkDerekHighway1 karma

Probably too late, but what do you think of Anthony Jesselniks hobby/tradition of one liner tweets of tragedies the day they happen?

collin30001 karma

Jesselnik has a very distinct branding which is part of what helps with his Tragedy vs Time dynamic. If you show up at a Quentin Tarantino movie you don't get shocked when the movie has blood. Jesselnik also has the advantage of being a skilled comic and so his jokes usually aren't just poorly thought out.

And as he pointed out a couple specials ago "victims aren't on twitter the day of a tragedy". The people reading his tweets are coming into his "house" (his twitter) by following him. They know his brand. And they aren't the victims.

EGOtyst1 karma

TITS or GTFO?

collin30002 karma

A video where I'm topless with pasties is buried in the roast. Find it for your prize while I stay online

eHM-1 karma

Tyler1? Your hair transplant went well I see

collin30001 karma

I actually need to save up for one of those. I tried Rogaine and Propecia and neither worked. Both my uncles and Grandpa were bald so it's hereditary. What you see now is the the hair fleeing the head (and going down the back)

IContiSonoInutili0 karma

Why do you think anybody would be interested in you?

collin300012 karma

Primarily spillover to prevent people asking questions in the roast. Which I think is where you meant to post.

IContiSonoInutili-6 karma

you need a girl friend

collin30004 karma

I believe you meant to post this over in the roast. In that roast you can find comments (and roasts) from my girlfriend