Always have something “new” to excite you. A new joke, a new project. Something to keep you creatively grounded and not focused on business or networking. You need to keep the little kid who played in the mirror alive even if sometimes its basically just a life support system like ET was on there for a minute.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Will Noonan. Will is a comedian, actor, podcaster and writer. He travels the Northeast doing stand up and is seen often in television commercials. His podcasts and columns have also gained popularity across the world.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always loved stand up comedy as an art form, but I was too chicken to try it. I was an actor and training in NYC when I got a job hosting karaoke nights at bars to pay my bills. A lot of slow nights meant a lot of me talking alone on a microphone. I loved it, and as soon I tried real stand up, I knew that was it for me. Also karaoke dj’s have a hard job. Take of care of them. Their ears hurt.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
— I certainly have many by now but to me one of the most interesting was working on an acting gig that became an exhibit in the Atlanta Aquarium. It was funny for my comedy fans to randomly see me talking about sea lions in a lab coat.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
— I was giving a guy an intro one time when I first started and I was all “This guy is so nice, he has taught me so much,” blah blah and brought him on and he had a bad set. He came off and was like “You made me sound like a nice guy, but I’m a jerk on stage and you ruined my set.” I was more careful to just give people solid normal introductions after that and not be such a softie.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
— I’m working on a movie right now and it’s pretty exciting. The stars are all tweens so I may be working with the celebrities of the future which is a big responsibility, I plan to teach them about the hazards of vaping and tax law.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
— I recently met long time baseball play by play broadcaster Joe Castiglione and it was really cool. He kept talking about how stand up comedy was hard and I could not believe the greatness of this guy. He was the coolest.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
— Always have something “new” to excite you. A new joke, a new project. Something to keep you creatively grounded and not focused on business or networking. You need to keep the little kid who played in the mirror alive even if sometimes its basically just a life support system like ET was on there for a minute.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would make everyone drink one cup of coffee, meditate and smoke pot at least once a day and I think we’d all get along better. Also, I would make fire hydrants taller so cars could park in front of them.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Just go to the open mic. Sitting around writing for months won’t make you a great comedian. You need to be on stage, often, to get good. It begins only when you start going on stage.
- Be nice to everybody and everybody will be nice to you. Same goes the other way.
- Enjoy the process. It’s easy to always focus on the climb but looking back, I sometimes wish I enjoyed the time hanging out at open mics more instead of wishing I was doing something else.
- Read a lot of books. All the best comedians do.
- Dress well for gigs. Like you’re on a date. You will be shocked at how much work this gets you. Like, 10 times more than a guy who is funnier than you but smells like cheese.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?”
— I’m big on quotes. I always have them tacked around. One of my favorites right now is from running but it applies to everything in life “The first mile is a lie”. Things are always so sluggish in the beginning, they feel hard and insurmountable, but if you stick your head down and power through, you will warm up eventually. I’m also big on “you snooze you win” because sleep is important.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
— There are so many people I could thank, but two guys, John Tobin and Ryan Cott from Nick’s Comedy Stop and Laugh Boston. I have given me so many breaks and opportunities along the way. I think they saw something in me and gave me the right gigs at the right times and I’ve really grown as comedian over the years working for them. There are no two people I trust more in this business and they’re both like family to me. Trust me. I really stunk when I first met them.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
— — I would love to meet Gordon Ramsay. That dude would probably know a great place to have lunch as well.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
— I’m @willnoonan on twitter and @willnoonanthecomedian on instagram