Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comedy Central

Months ago I had one of the biggest opportunities in my life which I am very proud of. I was nominated to apply to this tough selective internship. In this internship I would intern as a comedy writer and got paid to do it. It was a long process of writing, and recommendations. I did not land the internship but I am very honored and proud I was nominated. It shows my hard work is paying off. The story behind why I didn't get the internship is a long one itself showing how rude the industry can be. I will explain the story in my next post, telling you the process of getting nominated, me finding inspiration to write and everything leading up to the final decision. I had to dig deep when I wrote "Why I wanted to become a comedy writer". I wanted them to know how much comedy means to me so I gave them a piece of me in that letter. I decided to share one of the letters. I hope who ever read this will be motivated or inspired to keep chasing their dreams.  You have to have tough skin in this industry and the only way to build that is by taking these hits. Like I always say you keep hitting and I'll keep chasing. So here is the first letter I wrote.

Ricardo Herrera
1-    Why do you want to become a comedy writer?
A few years ago on a cold night in Brooklyn, my friend José Quinones was shot to death just before Christmas. I realized we all have choices. Comedy has kept me from engaging in a lifestyle that could have a negative impact on my life. Growing up in the projects made a life of crime more accessible than becoming a comedian or writer. The ability to make someone laugh is fascinating to me. When I discovered I was able to do that to people, it was something I wanted to keep pursuing. Comedy is like my big brother, it got me out of a lot of situations. The bullies stop bullying me because I was funny. The girls started noticing me because I made them laugh. I get a great sense of joy entertaining people, whether performing or writing my sketches. I quickly learned that comedy is one of the most serious businesses in entertainment; it’s more than just telling jokes on a page or a stage. You basically succeed and fail in public. I need to constantly practice and write. I was attracted to the discipline of writing comedy and performing. There are factors that you need to consider before you grab the mic on stage.  It’s like you’re in control of your own destiny. The moment I performed standup for the first time I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a part of the comedy world, writing, entertaining and performing. John Vorhuas wrote in his book The Comic Toolbox, “Comedy is pain and pain is comedy.”  I took the worst days of my life and made them the funniest. Writing and performing is therapy for me, it’s my escape from everything. Before doing stand up or being accepted to the Television and Film Arts major, which is a selective interdisciplinary program that accepts 15 students per year, my family and when I say family, I actually mean my Mother and sister; because my father left me when I was seven to become a fulltime dead beat dad. We were the second Hispanic family living in Van dyke projects located in Brownsville. Brownsville was a predominately African American area, so we quickly learned how to eat fried chicken with the best of them. Also the film Brooklyn’s Finest was shot in my town for its beautiful cinematography of violence, blood and dark gloomy buildings. My friend Carlos, from the only other Hispanic family in the neighborhood and I, would always joke around, write funny ideas and perform for our friends at school. We then became known as the funny white kids. Growing up poor and in a crime-ridden area made me who I am today. Comedy took the misery in my life, and turned it to laughter for others to enjoy. I am 23 years old and I have done things that I never dreamed of doing. Interning at the television network Bravo in the summer of 2010 was one of them. I sent three hundred letters to television networks in New York requesting informational meetings to learn about the entertainment industry. I expected to get one interview, but with my persistence and focus, I ended up with nine; at networks like, MTV, Vh1, and Bravo. At Comedy Central, I was fortunate enough to meet with Sam Grossman, V.P. of Programming. In the end, I had internship offers from Vh1, Bravo, and MTV. I chose Bravo, and I also told myself I will be meeting with Comedy Central again in the future. One year later I’m here writing this letter to you.


  1. You are awesome baby carrot!! Keep taking the hits & pushing forward! You're gonna make it big one day!! :-)

  2. Love it! Every time you give others the opportunity to laugh is just another notch on the belt that has beaten the temptation to take the other road more traveled. So proud of you!