Stand-up comic Rob Gleeson first started hitting the open mike scene in Denver at age 18. He honed his craft quickly and now travels the country, performing his natural and witty act on a variety of comedy club and college stages. He also recently released his first CD, "Getting Normal." I had the chance to talk with Rob about stand-up, how his 'normal' has changed since starting comedy and how he deals with cougars.
Q - How did you get involved with stand-up?
A - I started in improv when I was in high school. When I got to college I started stand-up because I thought it would impress this girl I had a crush on. So, I started hitting open mikes and hanging out at the clubs. It totally worked. She was so impressed that one night she brought her boyfriend to one of my shows. Awesome.
Q - Can you describe your comedy style for those unfamiliar with your work?
A - Observational and light hearted. I'm just trying to share funny experiences that crowds can relate to.
Q - The title of your debut CD is "Getting Normal." Since recording your CD and traveling around the country performing stand-up, how has your "normal" changed?
A - Normal is relative, especially when you're on the road. I called the album Getting Normal because being able to get up on stage and relay a story an entire room of strangers is probably the least normal thing one can do. It's so unnatural it's almost painful to think about: you, bright lights, a mike and strangers. But I love it. There's nothing like it in the world. And after awhile, it becomes normal.
Q - On your album, you talk about dating mishaps and being attracted to cougars. What unique challenges do stand-up comics face when it comes to dating?
A - Because of my act and being younger, I definitely get approached by a lot of cougars. They LOVE to come up to me after shows and talk. I tell a couple cougar stories but for the most part my poaching days are over. The biggest challenge for dating a comic (any comic) is the road. It's hard to maintain a relationship while you're touring 30 weeks a year.
Q - While you’re on tour, how do you occupy yourself when you’re not on stage?
A - I love to explore the town I'm in. Every city has something that makes it unique: the food, the culture. the people. I should have a show on the Travel Channel (wink, wink). I'd be like Anthony Bourdain but without the drinking problem.
Q - Who are your favorite comics, and who influences you?
A - The comic that I grew up watching was Ted Alexandro. His “Presents” was the first one that I would watch over and over. His writing is so tight and his delivery is terrific. He's undeniably funny. I've worked with Jim Breuer a couple times (just read your interview with him) and he couldn't be cooler; he's got great energy.
Q - What’s next for you? What can fans expect from you in the future?
A - I just finished filming my first feature called The Ivy League. I play a character that reconnects with some friends from his high school days and comes to realize that they're still the losers they were in high school and maybe he is too. It's a coming of age film. It's a comedy and is honestly hilarious. We literally just finished filming so it'll be a while, probably a year or so, before it comes out.
Kate Brindle is a stand-up comedian from Ann Arbor, MI. For more information and for tour dates, visit her at http://www.katebrindle.com/.