We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Grant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
The two P’s have helped me succeed in comedy and in life. 1) Prayer… Before I make any decisions or perform I have to find myself in alignment with God, I don’t do it in order to have things go my way… I do it so that my outlook and my attitude can be right throughout the process. God gives you a peace that will see you through disappointment and keep your ego under control during times of success. 2) Professionalism… No matter what the opportunity is I make sure that I am grateful to the people that gave it to me and I show that by being on time and being respectful to all the staff or crew involved. Here is some game for live performers: The club/theater staff has tons of influence over who gets booked continuosly, so if they find you to be a joy you will find yourself booked.
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.
Stand-up comedy is a long and lonely professional path. Just getting to a place where you are good at it is one phase and the business of it is a completely different phase. I have learned and continue to learn something new about both phases every single week of my 15 plus year career. A breakthrough I had recently was to not set goals outside of my realm of influence. Meaning, my goal woouldn’t be to “Get a TV spot” as it might have been earlier in my career. Instead the goal would be to “Tape and edit a one-three minute set that I feel good about submitting.” A goal I have for this year is to audition for SNL but I have little control over getting seen but what I made my goal was to create an audition tape that I feel showcases my skillset the best. This approach has led to good results and a healthy thought life because my accomplishment system is self contained. One thing I want others to know about me is how resiliant I am… I get told so many nos. I have been boo’d, failed and been told I am not good enough so many times but I won’t go away. I feel like a punch drunk journey-man boxer in the later rounds. I have an amazing chin. My strategy is to let the business punch itself out until it yields because my heart and toughness come from God’s never-ending well.
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.
If nothing else shows you that I am a very boring friend the following list will…first, assuming my friend arrived on Sunday and in a post lockdown society, we would go to my church home Oasis in Koreatown to get lifted up in the spirit. Monday night we would swing by the Comedy Store on Sunset and I would make my friend watch me do a Friends and Family Spot on Potluck. Then we would rush over to Santa Monica so that I could do some longform improv with my Westside Comedy Theater House Improv Team. After we gotta hit a Taco Truck and pass out at my crib in Hawthorne. Throughout the week we would be hanging in various comedy rooms all of which I love; The Haha Comedy Club in North Hollywood, The Pack Theater, The Rec Room in HB and maybe catch a show at The Improv, Groundlings, or The Laugh Factory. If the homie wants a good outdoor workout we would head out to The Culver City Stairs or The Griffith Observatory. Of course gotta get an In and Out Burger just to say they had one and see Venice Beach and do the Walk of Fame thing for them. The thing that excites me most about LA is opportunities so I have very little to offer as a tour guide. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many…. I’ll start with my mentors early in life. My Great-Grandmother Daisy who showed me strength through a relationship with God although it took me many years to get it. My parents Kirk and Patricia Baker who gave me structure. My first show business mentor was two time Def Jam Poet, the late great Will Da Real One. Will taught me to “Be humble, yet explosive.” I took that to mean be on great behavior when I walk in the venue and when I’m chillin in the green room but when I hit the stage try to make the foundation shake with crowd laughter. Also gone but not forgotten is my show business brother Abayomi Bamiro. Before cancer took his earthly form he imbued me with a determination that continues to push me. Spiritually my journey has blessed me with evangelists such as Joel Osteen, Ekhart Tolle and others that brought me to the door of enlightenment and teachers such as TD Jakes, Toure Roberts, Devon Franklin, Julian Lowe and Creflo Dollar who feed me scripture on a weekly basis.