We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erik, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I am Stand Up Comedian. I am a husband. I am a father of two. Balance is definitely tricky, but when you have a wife and family that supports you, it definitely gets easier.
Don’t get me wrong there’s some trial and error, I don’t want anyone thinking I’ve got it down to a perfect science. You are going to miss stuff on both sides – date nights, Little League games or shows that you wanted to do. You have to be willing to sacrifice for the greater good, it’s not always going to be easy. I’m sorry this answer isn’t funnier, I feel like I’m letting people down that I didn’t have a joke here.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Stand up comedy has been quite a journey and has led me to some cool opportunities. I am the creator and host of the Laugh Factory’s “Brown-ish” (the only Latinx showcase night in Los Angeles at a major club). I know how tough the road is for Latinx comedians, so I’m excited to have this platform to help spotlight other Latinx comedians that the world may not know of.
Last year during the pandemic I took one step closer to helping bring representation to television. Amazon Studios is developing an adult animated comedy I co-wrote with two other writers from Netflix’s “Mister Iglesias”. The development process has kept me sane during all of this, since live stand up comedy became non-existent. Seriously don’t know what I would have done, I was probably a few drinks away from performing in front of my family while holding a hairbrush for a microphone.
Lastly, I’m currently pitching a single camera comedy based on my stand up comedy, I’ve teamed up with showrunner Jay Dyer (HULU’s “Woke”). We are pumped to talk about issues that sometimes may seem taboo within our culture like mental health and family boundaries. None of this is easy, the best advice I can give young creatives is keep creating. Just because you have one killer idea doesn’t mean you stop there. The last thing you want to happen is to get into a meeting where you pitch this idea and they respond with an unenthusiastic, “what else you got?”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d be dumb if I didn’t take this opportunity and say the night ends at “Brown-ish”, hosted by yours truly, at the Laugh Factory. So let’s Quentin Tarantino this thing – if you come to Los Angeles for a weekend there are definitely places that should be on your “Must See” list like – The Getty, Venice Boardwalk (I like people watching and there are definitely some interesting characters there), Hollywood Reservoir, Griffith Observatory. I’m a big coffee snob, Los Angeles has some dope coffee shops you got to try – Alfred’s, Verve Coffee Roasters, Philz (ask for the cinnamon filter, it’ll change your life) and BLVD Cafecito are my go to places.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d definitely “SHOUT OUT” my wife. She has been in my corner through the ups & downs, and trust me in this industry there are some DOWNS. She stood by me and was there to help me get back up and dust myself off. I’ve been married now 10 years and when other people ask me for advice I just tell them, try to find someone who makes you the best version of you. That’s what my wife does for me – she pushes me to do better and be better. Oh, also someone who can take a joke – definitely someone who can take a joke.
Matt Misisco (yellow background photos) Brad Barnwell (picture with face mask)