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By Luke Troxell
Stu McCallister, an HBO and Comedy Central comedian, performed at the Cats Den for students on Wednesday night.
McCallister has been doing comedy for about 10 years now. He got his start at open mic events in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I was going to open mics at the comedy clubs in Grand Rapids,” McCallister said. “I just saw the guys getting on stage there, and thought I could do just as good as these guys.”
The idea of comedy only piqued the comic’s interests at first. He never thought he would actually make a living out of making people laugh.
“I was actually just a fan of comedy at first, as opposed to ever actually thinking I was going to do comedy,” McCallister said. “Then it just kind of developed, so here I am.”
McCallister sacrifices time away from home to go out on the road and make people laugh. But according to him it’s a sacrifice he is willing to make to be able to do something he loves.
McCallister says being on stage takes some getting used to. Although, after some time it becomes easier, and he becomes more comfortable doing what he does.
“I was nervous when I got on stage the first time, because you don’t know how the crowd is going to respond,” McCallister said. “Now I don’t get too nervous, as I’m starting to become a show headliner I get more time, but I also get more nervous about the show than actually performing in front of people.”
McCallister develops a goofy on-stage persona, and he feels like that’s a comfortable and accurate representation of himself. Also, he believes this helps him be funnier on-stage to be himself.
“My on-stage persona is pretty much me, but exaggerated,” McCallister said. “Whatever you see on stage from any comic is them times 10. It changes a lot, but right now it’s goofy. I’m definitely goofy.”
McCallsiter not only enjoys making people laugh on-stage. It’s something he has enjoyed all of his life, and something he is thankful to do for a living, he said.
“If you didn’t enjoy making people laugh you wouldn’t be on stage. A lot of comics say that they want to make people forget about their struggles, but for me it’s all about me,” McCallister said. “I feel better when people are laughing, because I am doing something that other people can’t do.”
His biggest advice to anyone who wants to pursue comedy is just to go for it. He doesn’t think there is another way that you can mold the craft that is stand-up comedy.
“Just get on stage, that’s how you get better. No matter how much you write, even if you think it’s funny. You’ll never know until you actually try to make people laugh.” McCallister said.