Comedians are generally known for a certain quality that makes them stand out from one another. Amy Schumer is known for being open and honest about EVERYTHING and has no problem shutting down any body shaming trolls they try and get in her way. George Carlin is known for telling it like it is and not giving any shits while doing so. And as for Drew, well he’s known as “the guy who stutters.” And for winning over the judges hearts of America’s Got Talent. In October of 2011, Drew was involved in a very freak softball accident. While playing with his company teammates, he was hit in the throat by a ground ball. Doctors were certain that he would make a full recovery and the stutter would go away, but 5 years later he still lives with it. Sure he’s had some hardships after his accident which made it difficult for him to get gigs. But since then, Drew has made quite the name for himself. I recently got to know Drew a little more, and he is probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met! Check out our interview here:
Jessica: So what made you decide to get into comedy? Have you always been the so called, “class clown”?
Drew: I wasn’t a “class clown” necessarily, but I did like to joke around with my friends in school. I was really bad at sports and pretty much everything, so I would pull attention away from that by trying to be funny. I got into standup specifically because I had a sports injury which caused me to start stuttering. I started doing jokes about my stutter as a coping mechanism and it gave me something to talk about honestly onstage.
Jessica: Do you write your own routines?
Drew: Yes, I write all my own stuff.
Jessica: Where do you get your material?
Drew: I find it’s easiest to start writing about things that are frustrating rather than trying to write something funny. When I start complaining about things, that’s where the honestly sets in and you can build a joke from there because it’s grounded in emotional truth.
Jessica: Have you ever done a show and had people NOT laugh? What do you do in that situation?
Drew: I’ve had so many shows where people didn’t laugh, didn’t pay attention, laughed at the wrong things, talked over me, etc. In those moments I try to remember all the successful shows I’ve had. The times where I felt validated as a person and an artist. Comedy is filled with ups and downs; so one night you can be performing for a sold out theatre of 2500 people, and the next night you can be in a Korean barbecue where the grill is louder than the microphone and only the cook is laughing.
Jessica: Where did you come from? What type of family did you grow up in?
Drew: I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana, but I grew up in Vegas for a little while too. I have a great family. My parents are still married. Never really struggled financially. I have a brother and sister who are both younger. And I have an adopted sister as well.
Jessica: In your opinion, who influences you the most? I know you’re friends with Dane Cook. How has his friendship helped you in a positive way?
Drew: Louis is brilliant. I admire everything about his style and his work ethic. He doesn’t hold back what he wants to say. He forms ideas that are disguised as jokes. He motivates me to work harder.
Jessica: What makes your stand-up comedy unique and different from other comedians?
Drew: I think my situation is unique and that might be why my style is different. Yeah, I talk about my stutter, but I also want to talk about other things. I don’t want the stutter to define me, even if it’s how people know me. I don’t use it as a crutch. It’s nice to be evaluated just as a comic, funny or not. But I think laughing at myself gets me through it, and hopefully lets other people feel okay about their problems.
Jessica: What has been your biggest break so far?
Drew: America’s Got Talent was by far my biggest break. It was the perfect show that let me tell jokes and my story
Jessica: How many times a day do you hear, “Say something funny?”
Drew: I try to avoid telling people I’m a comedian. There’s this misconception that just because I do it for a living, means I’m just hilarious all the time. I always try to be nice, but I’m not one of those guys that’s “always on” and I think there’s certainly a time and place for comedy. And it’s not at 6am in an airport terminal. But I’m always appreciative and humbled by every person that stops me to say hi.
Jessica: What can people expect from you when they see you perform?
Drew: Honesty. I think that’s where all great comics start. I try to make every show different. Different order, different ideas, or different audience interactions. I want them to know they’re getting what’s exactly on my mind in that moment. Even if that thought isn’t as polished as it can be, I’m happier with myself if I let them in on it.
Jessica: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Drew: My biggest challenge has been finding the balance of work and play. I forget sometimes that comedy is supposed to be fun. That was the whole point of getting into it. There are people who think I’m the luckiest guy on the planet to get to do comedy, and I sometimes look at it like a nine to five because I’m too focused on a goal. I have to constantly remind myself that this can’t consume my life. There’s a story-line. Working hard is great but if you forget to live your life, you miss the point of what you’ve been working for.