My mental image of Paul Strickland is him in the Zanies green room looking over pages of his material that had been typed out word for word.. reading it under his breath, rehearsing the inflections and energy he would put into each line. A few years ago, this process struck me as funny because you just don’t see a lot of comics doing that. Most have scraps of paper or napkins with one or two words written on them that represent each joke.. or notebooks full of scribbles – sentence fragments, punchlines, random words and broken thoughts and ideas. You generally don’t see comics going over full transcripts of their acts, or talking about the “arc” of their set or the “through-line” they’re trying to establish but I associate these things with Paul’s process. I’m assuming it was his background in theater that led to these habits, but whatever it is has worked in Paul’s favor.
From his first open mic in February 2006, Paul already seemed to have a good head for the business of comedy. He was always working on new, bookable material. He put effort into everything he did and treated it like a job from the very beginning.. which is exactly why he was able to quit his day job in 2009. Since then he has written and performed his one man shows and traditional standup all over the country.
Paul says, “I firmly believe that making people laugh at themselves and their world is a good way to help them escape while, hopefully, gaining some perspective on what they’re escaping from, and distracting them from the fact that I just took their money.”
Strickland recorded “Levels of Difficulty,” his first stand-up album, a few hours up the road at the Comedy Caravan in Louisville. It is available to buy right now at iTunes and Amazon.
As a ‘thank you’ to the local comedy fans in Nashville who supported Paul from the very beginning, NashvilleStandUp and Paul are happy to be giving away three (3!) copies of the cd on April 22nd. Enter to win below.
Paul says, “Listen, people laughed when I said the things on this CD and we recorded both their laughter and the things I said. Now YOU can laugh WITH people that laughed months ago AT the same things I said MONTHS ago! Building community, that’s what I’m about.”
[UPDATE: the contest has closed! Buy the album already, cheapskate!]
If you don’t have time to screw around, waiting to see if you win, feel free to go ahead and buy it right now:
For more from Paul Strickland, stalk him online: