We had the good fortune of connecting with Neil Charles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Neil, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
I am a parent. A step parent, and I think one of the most important things I’ve tried to teach is to not be a follower. People love to follow the crowd these days and love their “safety nets”. It’s ok to be different and have an opinion about something even if it’s not of the hive mind.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a comedian I think the art of storytelling is what helped me in my career. I always felt passionate about telling stories and being able to bring them to life in depth. If you add some humor and punchlines to that recipe and a captive audience you have a well curated live performance. I definitely started out in New York City which is the premier place to do stand up comedy. I’ve learned that there’s no shortcuts for hard work and talent. In entertainment there are shortcuts, but you have to have talent to back it up or you won’t be around long. Stand up is one of the hardest things you can do, if anyone tells you that it’s easy they either don’t take any risks or have no idea what they’re doing. If there was a formula to become a great stand up there would be an abundance of them. Everyone’s story/ journey is unique and success can’t be duplicated. I might have a killer ventriloquist act, that may not work for you. I definitely don’t have one, but I think that you should be genuine have at least somewhat of a perspective to share with your audience. I don’t think anyone can know EVERYTHING about comedy because it’s always evolving and you’re always learning.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m assuming we’re talking pre-pandemic. If we’re going to check out a comedy show then I would probably check out the Hollywood Improv. The Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory are also good, you can’t go wrong but the Improv has always had a chill vibe in my opinion. If you want a drink you can’t throw a stone without hitting a bar in Hollywood. I would go with The Three Clubs on Vine Street. It’s pretty chill for the most part and the outdoor eating are isn’t bad. If we have some time to kill I would probably drive to Palm Springs and go to Lulu’s. If you can stomach the desert heat it’s worth it. If I want a vibe that reminds me a bit of home I’d go to the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. Malibu isn’t too shabby either, of course all of this is null and void in the Pandemonium.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Bronx Fatherhood Program, and the Fathers First Initiative of Far Rockaway Queens of the Visiting Nurses Services of New York. Through the mentorship and friendships I’ve built from these programs I attribute a lot to my work ethic and who I am today as a man and a parent. There are men that are fathers that do everything they can because they want to be the best they possibly can for their children. They taught me a lot, they are the real MVP’s.
Karyn Jenius, Martin Chavez, Mindy Tuker, MALIKA