Back in August of 2001, I went to Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City and it was here that I met some of the most memorable people in my life! We had a white rapper (shout out to Apollo somebody find him for me he was dope), we had vocalists (yours truly), and we had comedians! I met Jay in the cafeteria where most of the people at school got to know each other over terrible food, and mean girl conversations. He was in the cafeteria cutting up with his friends, now let me just say it’s 10 years later I do not remember who he was with,but they were loud and very obnoxious. Nevertheless, you had to admit the guy was naturally funny, actually he was funny as hell! Atleast to me, and that isn’t saying much because I laughed at everything then. Needless to say, that great thing called social networking reconnected old friends a few years back and he told me how breaking into comedy was the best thing he’d done. Jay seemed like he really enjoyed it, so when I started this blog I immediately thought of him! Truth of the matter is, laughter helps the soul heal a lot quicker and the ability to make people laugh is truly a gift. So I decided to ask my dear, old friend a series of 10 questions and this is what he said.
BiBi: Where are you from and where did the name “El Payaso” originate?
Jay “El PAYASO” Watkins: Originally from a small town called Whitesboro, NJ. Lived in DC and Jersey most of my life. My stage name is actually my middle name, I only use my first name when signing checks. The other name that people know me by is El Payaso. That’s Spanish for the clown. I was given that name from 2 people, my ex used to call me that a lot and the owner of the tattoo parlor I go to was going bananas at some of the crazy things I would say in the shop.
BiBi: How would you describe your comedy?
JW: My comedy is raw truth that either you don’t want to accept as truth or you can relate to it cause you might have experienced what I experienced. Its also fun loving, I have no fear when it comes to topics that others would shy away from, i.e. politics religion and race.
Bibi: Who were your childhood influences? What was your first experience with comedy? What music did you listen to?
JW: My childhood influences were Bernie Mac #1, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Steve Harvey & George Lopez. My first experience with comedy came when I was like 11 or 12. In Whitesboro we have a reunion every year and one year they got some comedian to come out and do jokes. I was in the crowd with my peoples cutting up as always til I was called on stage. I went up there and ripped the stage, got a standing ovation, ladies throwing their undies at me and everything. I’m lying, lol, this comic roasted the dog mess out of me and I promised myself never again will that happen. When it comes to music I listen to anything accept country. To me that has to be the most depressing music ever created. 80’s baby so I grew up on Hip Hop, not this stuff they call Hip Hop, I mean actual real good music. I love alternative music and the slow jams, can’t live without them.
BiBi: Why did you pursue your dream of comedy?
JW: I decided to pursue comedy cause it was always in me and if I died never at least attempting it, no matter how successful I was or am to me it would feel like I wasted my life.
BiBi: What can people expect from your live performance and your overall comedy?
JW: Expect, well I say expect the unexpected. I write on crazy topics daily. Just when you think you have me figured out, I throw a wrench in your thought process and confuse the hell out of you.
BiBi: What would you describe to be your biggest break in comedy thus far?
JW: My biggest break thus far would be this industry show (Industry guest comes in and evaluates you in hopes of using you for tv) I did in February for this promoter called Laughing Buddha. In January a soldier in my unit died and I wanted to dedicate and represent for him. I believe I did good and the crowd loved it. I have a lot of new things coming up so I will say the biggest and best is yet to come.
BiBi: If signed, how much creative control would you want over your career?
JW: I would love to complete control over my own career. I mean I live my life without anybody telling what I have to do, it’s just instinct that I know what needs to get done. Just like my career, I would know what needs to get done like the hard word, long traveling, shows for exposure and not pay, taking a chance networking with people who could be for real or real sleaze balls. I know as time go on in the industry, I may get help from writers but even that I would like to have control over who helps me with that.
BiBi: Thinking back what are some life changing events that help influence your comedy?
JW: The death of my grandfather, the incarceration of my father, the backwards love my family shows me (still to this day), my suburban upbringing, my military life and my ever changing love life experiences.
BiBi: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JW: Five years from now, I see myself on your tv screen. I don’t work hard for fun, I have a story to tell and I think some people can relate to my story and others will just be in awe and amazement. When I get on stage that’s my therapy and the crowd is my doctor listening and analyzing everything I say. Telling me I have mental issues, which I know already, and they couldn’t believe I spoke so freely about certain things in my life.
Lastly, fill in the blanks.
10) Without Comedy I would be in a mental institute or locked up.
Comedy is life, it’s therapeutic. If you ain’t laughing you ain’t living.
My comedy makes me feel like I am releasing a heavy weight off my shoulders. I spent most of my life taking crap from people and now I am just releasing in my own way.
I write jokes because my life is entertaining. Instead of me keeping it all in, I am releasing it so the world can be entertained with me.
Support my comedy because why not? Everybody likes to laugh, I was given a gift to provide that laughter for you so why not support me. Plus I am an equal opportunity person, support me and I will gladly support you.
~El Payaso, Ya Tu Sabe~
And there you have it, my guy seems like he has it all figured out! We wish you the best of luck! Check out his next performance:June 1st in Somers Point, NJhttp://www.youtube.com/JDMGE
Check him out, you never know he might be the next to blow…….