We had the good fortune of connecting with Phil Korz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phil, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from Newark Delaware, small town in a small state. Besides being the first to sign the Constitution, tax free shopping, and some nice beaches, Delaware doesn’t get a lot of credit. In fact, most people I have ever met either tell me that they have never been to Delaware, they have only passed through on 95, or they reference the scene from the movie Wayne’s World when they say “Hi I’m in Delaware” in the most melodramatic boring tone of voice. I believe that Audrey Plaza and I are the only two people who have ever left the state. Delaware isn’t a comedy mecca by any means but it is, on the other hand, a unique central location. From my home town you are basically one to three hours away from major cities such as; Manhattan, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Baltimore. When I started Stand up, I could drive to all these locations for shows with no problem at all. Some nights I even performed in multiple cities for multiple shows because travel was so convenient. I also grew up in the most loving and caring environment. My parents raised me to be kind, respectful, and generous to everyone in my life. They also taught me to live with passion and pursue exactly what makes me happy. Most Comedians come from broken homes or are extremely depressed in their daily lives. As therapy for themselves and to make light of their own situations, they use their source of pain as their material. I am the opposite that. I am generally a very happy and positive person. I believe that humor and light are everywhere if you allow them both into your life. I too have experienced much trauma and devastation, but my message never lies within that particular tragedy. Instead, all my stories stem from love, misadventures, and silly moments in my life. I believe that this has helped with my success because my energy and excitement on stage matches how I live every day, even when I am not performing. I am always looking to put a smile on someone’s face and change their day around by being personable and gentle to everyone I meet. The way I was raised has taught me to live life full of love and passion. With that, the right relationships, the right moments, and even an abundance of money will come. Even when life gets tough, by sticking with your core values you can thrive through any hardship!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being able to Perform standup even once has been a dream come true for me. I have continued this path for five years now and It still feels like a dream. It hasn’t always been the easiest road, however, but I have learned an incredible amount along the way. The key is to stay relentlessly positive and persistent. Through the struggle, missed opportunities, and pain, always know that you are better because of it. There have been moments in my career in which I have felt completely broken and defeated. It’s easy to quit when things are tough, but know that there will always be more tough moments ahead. It’s the tough moments in life that will allow your true character to shine. When I am experiencing hardship, I am constantly forced to make a decision: Do I quit now because it’s hard or do I keep pushing through and become great. The world is full of people of gave up and I don’t want to be a part of that statistic. My goal is to continue to spread hope and joy to all those who need it. I also want people to know that anything and everything is possible when you believe in yourself. By continuously pushing myself, I have had many successes and proud moments in this career so far. I have performed on a Carnival Cruise Ship, a five-star resort in Montego Bay Jamaica, and I have done Standup in some of the most iconic clubs across the country. I have had an opportunity to work with Jerry Seinfeld, George Wallace, Drew Lynch, any many other celebrities. I have been on several TV shows such as Disappeared, Six Degrees of Murder, and Even on Law & Order SVU. (It was only for 15 seconds at the end of the episode and during half of it I was a blur… but I know it was my blur!) I know 15 seconds on Law & Order doesn’t necessarily qualify me a prosperous actor, but I count all of my successes, big or small, as great accomplishments. With that attitude, I know bigger and better moments are in store. I think it is still very important to cherish even the most minor feat because that teaches you to appreciate every moment. Then when the bigger moments parent themselves, you can embrace them fully. Of all the things I have got to do so far, one of my proudest moments was when I got to headline Caroline’s on Broadway and I filmed my second comedy special “Who Am I to Say No.” I had my picture in Times Square, four professional grade cameras, my own dressing room, and an audience full of laughter and excitement. Every joke I had endlessly rehearsed came out exactly the way I wanted and I got an excellent response from the crowd. I will remember that night forever and I am counting on many more in the future. I want the world to know that I am here to stay. You may not know who I am now but eventually you will. I want to be relevant for the long haul and not just a one trick pony. I know that I still have years to learn this craft and I am willing to put in the work. I love this career and this life. I am very grateful for everything I have gotten to do and see, but this is just the beginning for me!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend is coming to visit and I want to make sure they have the best time. First, we make our way to the heart of LA into Hollywood. Hollywood Blvd is the first place I saw when I moved to LA and I absolutely loved being surrounded by the movie magic. The Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, and the Roosevelt Hotel are all spectacular places to see. Since we are in Hollywood, we have to see some comedy shows. Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, and the Hollywood Improv are the three most iconic clubs in that region and is a MUST to watch some of the greatest Comedians of all time perform at those clubs. Next, we would have to make our way to Paramount Studios or another big-name production studio for a back-lot tour of all the sets. Anyone who has a love for movies or TV would enjoy seeing the enormous buildings and all of the props surrounding them. Not only is Hollywood known for film making,but it also has some of the best hikes in the area. We would have to spend the day hiking Runyon Canyon and get as close to the Hollywood sign as possible. The fun doesn’t stop there. We will need a full day at universal studios to ride some rides and then we will finish the day with a special dinner at the Magic Castle. You have to be invited by a member, but if you can get in, you will experience much more than just a fancy meal. You will see some real magic. From self-playing pianos to shifting walls, it is a place that you can really let your imagination run wild. The last few days of the trip has to be spent at some of LA’s beaches. We will make our way to Venice first so we can workout with the meatheads on muscle beach. Then we will make our way to Santa Monica for a nice relaxing day on the pier. As the sun sets on that final day of vacation, my friend will look over and say, “Damn that was the best trip I have ever been on!”
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Hillary Hutson. She is the Executive Producer of Broken Drift and Big Pine Comedy Festival. I met Hillary in Flagstaff at Big Pine in 2017 when I was one of the selected Comedians to perform at the festival. The way my schedule was that year, I was only able to attend for one day because I was supposed to officiate a wedding right in the middle of the festival (on the opposite side of the country.) I reached out to Hillary beforehand and declared that I did not want to miss a chance to perform at her festival, but I did not know if it would be worth it to come out for only one day. Not only did Hillary promise it would be worth it, she also booked me for three extra shows during the week in Phoenix, so that it wasn’t such a quick trip. After the festival and spending the week in Arizona, I wanted to be more involved. I thought it was an absolutely incredible experience and I would volunteer or do whatever I could to be a part of their team. I started making videos to promote Big Pine and I would just put them on social media, whenever I wore the Big Pine T-shirt they gave me. After several months of promoting on my own and communication with Hillary, the next year she asked me to be a full-time producer. Day after day I watch Hillary work for an unprecedented number of hours to make sure everyone is happy and that her festival and production company are running smoothly. Hillary will bend over backwards for anyone who works with her and ensure that they are well taken care of. Hillary has given me a home, endless support, supreme motivation, and an abundance of love. I have not met anyone in my life that lives with as much passion as she does. Everything she does, she does with the mindset that others can benefit from the opportunity and not herself. She selflessly leads a team with a kind and determined heart. Without Hillary, I wouldn’t even be close to where I am now. She has given me more opportunities to advance in my career and I am so grateful to be friends with her. Hillary has changed my life and I bet if you met her, she would change yours too!
Other: IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8710354/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2