Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Has influence your comedy?

Here is part two of the Comedy Central story for those who are interested. I decided to put up the second  essay I had to write to them. The question was What has influence your comedy? I wanted to show them that I was a student of comedy as I watched and studied from the greats. Also talk about people that made a difference in my life. So here is the essay! my next post will be on how I found out about the decision, the things that was going on in my life around that time, and how I took that hit and kept moving forward as it made me stronger and wiser.

Ricardo Herrera
2- What has influenced your writing and how?
As a student of comedy; people, shows, experience and my environment have influenced my writing at different stages of my life. Growing up without cable TV, I watched “The Wayans Brothers”, “Mad TV”, “Full house”, and “Family Matters”. These shows played a part into molding my comedic humor. I would try to imitate specific characters from those shows for friends and family and go to my room to write a funny story. When I was ten, I was fascinated by the tapes I found in my brother’s apartment, and surprised they weren’t porn. I found episodes from the television sitcom “Martin”, and a stand up performance from Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious”. I wanted to do what those guys were doing.
From that day on everything I watched was comedy; from Mel Brooks, to Woody Allen, to “Dave Chappelle’s Show” and Andy Dick. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, that I realized majority of shows were scripted. I thought everything was improvisation and all you had to do was write an idea. After High school I started a book of ideas and wrote stories about them.
My Second year of college was the most influential on my writing. I met with Jeff Hirschberg, the Director of the Television and Film Arts Program at Buffalo State College. Jeff taught me about the format of storytelling and scriptwriting. He guided me through the process of turning ideas into stories. I bought a book on scriptwriting and started taking classes in the major before I was accepted into the program. In the scriptwriting class, I wrote my first short film script about a pimp in a wheel chair named Mickey “Slap a ho” Daniels. This was a great moment for me because I finally wrote something that was presentable and professional. I incorporated what I learned about storytelling and used it on stage. In the summer of 2009 I was born as a comedian and was obsessed with the art form. I started doing standup in New York and continue doing my routines as a student at Buffalo State. I travel by bus two hours each way to perform in comedy shows and to attend my classes. I am still influenced by comedians I see who are part of the day-to-day grind of the business. It was interesting how difficult it was to write a story, as well as presenting it on stage and television. I learned that a script is a living document and doing revisions is a must. With research, I discovered the history of comedy as well as the comedians before me like Lenny Bruce, Freddie Prince, Dick Gregory, and John Leguizamo. I wanted to learn everything about comedy and who influenced whom. Recently, I visited the Paley Center of Media and I spent hours watching old shows and stand up performances. I realized that comedy became a turning point in my life, and it dictated direction of my future. I don’t regret the good or the bad that has happened in my life. I took everything for what it is, and use that as motivation to chase my dream. 

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