For a comedian who's only four years into his career, Lance Patrick is doing exceptionally well for himself.
Lance's first time on stage was opening for Gabriel Iglesias in front of 2,000 people. Lance had been working with Gabriel as his director of online marketing. “I went out on the road and started gathering video footage for Comedy Central and in that I just kept making him laugh and making the other comedians laugh. It was a little bit weird in that I was this clown that was there to entertain the comedians,” Lance explains.
“Gabriel turned to me and said, 'you've got to let me put you on stage'. And I said, 'ok'. And he goes, 'you've got two weeks to write to prepare five minutes of material', aand I was like, 'ok great'. I've never even written a minute of material let alone five; and for your first time, five minutes is an eternity. I started writing and I came back to Gabriel like a week later and I said, 'hey, do you think this is funny?' and he goes, 'you'll find out soon enough'.
“I was terrified, I didn't even know the venue at the time, what date he was going to put me up or anything like that. So he calls me on the day of it and says, 'today's the day'. And I'm like, 'wait, this is a sold-out show with 2,000 people', and he goes, 'you going up and opening a show for 2,000 people for your first time is like losing your virginity to Pamela Anderson. No pressure, whatsoever',” Lance says with a laugh.
“My nerves were beyond shot, but I went out there and did it, I tried it and had some fun and surprisingly did ok. Gabriel was happy and he continued to put me up after that. After that big start, I did have to go back, doing spots at clubs and working out material; paying dues if you will.”
Despite his initial nerves when performing for the first time in front of a large number of people, Lance feels more relaxed with bigger crowds. “Mentally, I think it's easier to do a bigger crowd than a smaller one. If you make half of 5,000 people laugh, that still sounds like a lot of people, whereas if you make half of 10 people laugh, you feel like you're dying. If the number doesn't intimidate you, you'll do fine,” says Lance.
Lance had a slightly unorthodox introduction to the world of stand-up comedy. Moving from Tennessee to California to pursue a career in comedic acting, Lance could not afford acting lessons at the time and applied for a job at the world famous Comedy Store. “They wouldn't hire me. I didn't realise they only hired comedians because it's like an artist's colony. Jim Carrey used to answer phones, Sam Kinison used to work the back door, Robin Williams used to feed people, they used to do that in trade for stage time. Mitzi Shore the owner, (Pauly Shore's mom) would give them some stage time in exchange for stuff like that,” elaborates Lance.
“Way back I did some nursing assistance and Mitzi was getting up there in age, so they said, 'dude, you have a nursing assistance background?' and I said, 'yeah' and they were like, 'ok, you're hired'. I was so confused at the time. So they hired me to move in with Mitzi Shore and take care of her. However, she wouldn't accept nursing assistance help, she would only accept help from comedians at the Store. So they had to trick her into thinking that I was a comedian,” says Lance. “Mitzi would come to the Store for showcase night to watch new comedians and she would lean over to Pauly and Dean, the manager at the time and say, 'put Lance on stage'. And they're just scrambling, trying to figure out an excuse as to why I should not go up on stage.”
Lance said his time at the Comedy Store was definitely an eye-opening experience. “I saw some open mic-ers, then I saw some great comedians that were just unbelievable to where I was like, 'you know what? I don't have to try and be better than those great ones, but I know I could be funnier than these open mic-ers', some of them were horrible, so I'm just going to squeeze right there in the middle. That's what gave me the confidence to start and go for it,” explains Lance. “It's an art form, it takes a lot of time, hopefully I'll learn to find my voice and manage who I want to be in it. Normally they say it takes five to eight years to even find your voice, I've been doing it for four years. I have fun doing it but we'll see. I can definitely grow, there's always room for that.”
Lance will be touring Australia with comedians G Reilly and Martin Moreno, all of who have appeared on Gabriel Iglesias's show 'Stand-Up Revolution'. Lance says of G Reilly: “he's absolutely hilarious with his observational humour. He'll tell you the kind of stuff you're thinking about but never really say, whereas Martin will tell you the stuff you probably wouldn't think about because it's just kind of like, out there. He tells you the stuff that I would be afraid to say because I don't want to go to a dark place after I die, he already knows he's going to a dark place, so he just says it,” Lance laughs. “With Martin, I always put it this way: if you have daddy issues, you're going to love him.”
When it comes to describing his own act Lance says, “My act is just silly. I talk about everything. I make light of bestiality, we have laws in our country where bestiality is legal in 23 states. I make light of silly things like that. I like to keep it light. If you think of me it's probably the idea that your humour stops maturing at 12-years old. That's me.”
Lance also takes advantage of his New Zealand heritage whenever he's in Australia. “I'm half Kiwi as well. My mom was born in New Zealand, she was born in Rotorua but she doesn't smell like that city by any means,” jokes Lance.
With a handful of Australian tours already, Lance is looking forward to returning to our shores. “I feel great, it's always a good crowd. Honestly, it's one of my favourites as far as performance wise. It's always a great response down there when we visit, so I always enjoy that and you guys know how to have a good time.”
However, his first trip to Australia wasn't as idyllic. “One of my first times in Australia, I think I was maybe 12 or 13-years old and I went up to Brisbane, I had family in Surfers Paradise. It was funny because I got stung by a jellyfish up there in the face. We had it on a boogie board and we flipped it and it hit me right in the face and just rolled down my body, my whole face swelled up and they sent me to the lifeguard. This lifeguard, some Aussie guy, was telling me that if they peed on my face that would be the best thing to help with the sting. I was absolutely terrified that these guys were about to pee on my face. I enjoyed that humour coming from an early age with Aussies picking on me.”
Lance Patrick 'Revolution' Tour Dates16 & 17 April – Sit Down Comedy Club (Paddington)
19 April – The Comic's Lounge (Melbourne)
21 & 22 April – The Comedy Story (Sydney)