Day 57 - Chris (1st person I approached)
February 26, 2014 - Today’s story couldn’t possibly get any more Vancouver focussed! Chris is what I call a ‘double rare’ Vancouverite. He was born and raised in Richmond, and went to one elementary school and then one high-school for his education. One impact of that which is extremely special, is he has friends in his life that he grew up with, and that he has known for his entire life. Chris has an older brother, and a younger step brother.
After graduating from high-school, Chris went to Kwantlen College to prep and upgrade with the intention of studying Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
“I made it to the middle of the second semester at UBC and realized that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to continue, and so I left,” Chris said.
He has always had an interest in writing,
“I started writing when I was a kid. My younger (step) brother and I would write sketch series, and we’d record them on audio cassettes. We had recurring characters, and we’d play the tapes for our family. I remember vividly doing stand-up routines for my father and step-mother in our living room. I’ve always known I wanted to be a comedian.”
At the age of 22, Chris started to pursue his life-long goal of being a stand-up comic, and now makes a living as such.
“I get pretty bad nerves and anxiety before I go on stage, but I feel great once I’m there. I just came back from a trip to Kelowna about two weeks ago. I was doing a showcase there, and had an interesting realization while on this trip. My girlfriend is also a comedian, and she opened for me, so we did this trip together. When traveling as a comic, and you’re only on stage for 45 minutes, you spend a day and a half, or two days traveling there, in the hotel and then the next day travelling home. And if 45 minutes of that entire trip are all I spend on-stage, the majority of the time prior to that, I’m anxious about going on. I realized that I’m far more comfortable staying here at home. So no more road trips for me. I just signed as a regular with YukYuk’s Comedy Club, which will allow me to stay put.” (FACT CHECK: http://www.chrisjamescomedy.com/home)
Chris is working on a number of projects right now, including writing a play.
“I’ll be working with a Vancouver actor and playwright, and that will happen in May at Little Mountain Theatre. I’m really looking forward to this project.”
He is also putting together a showcase that will be presented at YukYuk’s Comedy Club.
“It’s like a talk show, and done in front of a live audience. I always record everything, so I’m not sure what will happen with that. But I plan on sourcing local talent from Vancouver. There’s so many great musicians and performers here. I really want to highlight local talent,” Chris says excitedly.
When I asked Chris if he is close with his siblings, an older brother and a younger step brother, he told me,
“I really admire my older brother. We get along very well, He’s smart and interesting, and he’s a writer. He started a magazine called The Dependent (FACT CHECK: http://thedependent.ca/) which is all about events, culture and artists from Vancouver. He’s a great guy and we are really close. My younger brother is a musician, and he has been in a couple of bands. He put together The Big Joy Festival (FACT CHECK: http://bit.ly/1lm4r4y), an event highlighting experimental music that is all local. He likes experimenting and plays weird stuff and is a very gifted and creative person. I definitely appreciate both of them because they do things I can’t. When someone can do things that I just don’t see myself doing, I have the greatest admiration and respect for that. We get along really well, they’re both great guys.” #notastranger