Q and A with Colby
LA is a place of wonder, intrigue, and greatness; depravity, weirdness, and all-around craziness. Who is Colby Dant and which noun(s) listed above categorize this salt and pepper haired funny man? Dreamer Loop questioned this comical Wu-Tang loving son-of a-gun during an unforgettable joyride through the city of angels. Read and be amazed as he describes his life as an aspiring comic and screenwriter.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Where were you born and raised? How old are you?
Sure, my name is Colby Dant I’m a comedian/writer/actor. I was born in Washington D.C. and I was raised in the DMV area. I’m 32 years old and I have plenty of grey hair. Perhaps it’s a Clooney inspired thing.
When you were a child, what did you want to become?
As a child first I wanted to become a professional basketball player I think haha. But I was always interested in movies thanks to my dad and I started making little short films with friends around eleven or twelve years old. Last year my mom read to me a journal entry of mine from when I was eleven and it said something to the effect of “When I’m older I hope I’m living in LA, writing movies and making people laugh.” Somehow that became true lol. I don’t remember writing that but she has the copy of it.
Here’s Colby performing at the popular comedy club The Improv.
What sparked your interest in comedy?
My dad always had a great sense of humor. He got me into Peter Sellers, Richard Pryor, John Hughes, Mel Brooks etc. at a young age. So I’m guessing that was a huge influence on me wanting to pursue comedy.
What inspired you to start script writing?
I started screen writing because I thought I had some great ideas and visions for some short films with friends and once I started doing it, it became pretty addicting. I started to pay attention to every movie and the writers.
What comedians did you find inspiring when you started?
Well I was raised on Carlin, Pryor etc. When I was a early teenager I remember watching Eddie Murphy, Sam Kinison, Denis Leary, etc.
What was the pilot TV show that you did for Agenda Pictures? What was it about?
It was about two best friends in their late twenties or early thirties that were lowlifes. They had no ambition in life besides get drunk and have fun.
When did you start doing stand-up comedy?
December 10th, 2003 I did my first open mic. It was uh forgetful haha, but at the time I thought the material was funny. It was s*** in hindsight.
What was your first performance like? What happened? Where was it?
It was at some comedy club in the basement of this hotel in Tysons Corner, Virginia. As for the performance, uh it was pretty awful haha. Luckily some friends of mine came out and supported so it seemed better than it really was. Still pretty awful though. I was terrified.
This is from a bar show he did.
What do you like about doing stand-up comedy?
There’s nothing like having a live audience and the pressure of making them happy. The best thing about it to me was it was the one thing that I could control. If I fail, it’s because of me 100 percent as opposed to working on a film or short or whatever. You make or break it all alone.
What do you like about script writing?
I love creating man. In screenwriting you build your own world and that’s always so awesome to me. In a sense to quote another writer friend of mine. “You are playing god.”
Where do you usually do stand-up comedy? How often do you perform?
I normally do stand up at your local s*** hole haha. I mean I perform all over. At the moment I’m taking some screenwriting classes at UCLA so some of my nights are occupied so I’m not doing as much stand up as I want or need to, but when I’m done with these classes I will be trying to go back in one hundred percent.
How do you come up with new material?
All depends. My most recent bit came from being drunk with some of my childhood friends and being stupid lol. It just kind of happened naturally and all of us were like write that down. I had to polish it but that’s how it came up. Other times I just note stuff or sometimes me and my brother will list ideas of things that we find funny and we go from there.
What do you do to refine your craft?
In stand up or screenwriting? Regardless I think just keep practicing. Even if it’s s***. S*** can be good for you.
Have you ever faced rejection? If so, how did you overcome it?
Well, I’ve been turned down by a woman before if that’s what you’re asking haha. But I think you’re asking art wise. Yes, I can remember several shows of crickets. One time, I did this Yacht Club in Brooklyn that was basically an old folks home and I died hard. It was pretty hilarious how bad I died. One time in Westwood I performed in front of one human being because everyone else left lol. They left before my set though so it’s not like [I] drove them out but perhaps I would have.
Here he is at the (now closed) Jon Levitz Comedy Club in Universal Studios Hollywood.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep writing, creating and to keep performing. I have no plan B for my career decision so f*** it. In fact I don’t even look at it as a career decision. I’m an artist. If there was no money in the world I’d still be doing this.
What advice do you have for aspiring comedians?
Keep being creative. Its a long run.
Why do you think it is important for people to follow their dreams?
This is your life. The only one I know of. So do what the f*** you want to do. I have friends who hate their life and they’re very successful financially. I know some people who for the most part, their life is already written (perhaps they don’t see it that way). I think life is meant to be a dice roll if that makes sense. I think the unknown is great. Am I still going to be a broke comic and writer in thirty years? Who knows but I’m looking forward to the work I’ll be creating then if I’m lucky enough to get there. Thanks for reaching out man.
Check out the teaser for Colby’s unreleased sit-com Low Life’s!
Photo credit: Dreamer Loop