All Photos: Alan Mercer
With just under a decade into stand up, Nick Guerra has won over crowds from all walks of life. Whether it is performing from clubs to colleges to any place with a stage, Nick has shown that dedication and continuous work has paid off. His style balances all topics. Current events, relationship humor, and personal stories have become his arsenal when given a microphone. Many times the crowds never knew what to expect with Nick but were never disappointed.
Nick was an audience favorite on NBC’s 'Last Comic Standing' (Season 8). He was a writer, asst. director, actor and story producer for the Mun 2 reality show 'Pitbull’s La Esquina' (2nd season), performed on Comedy Central’s 'Gabriel Iglesias Stand Up Revolution' (2nd season) and Nuvo TV’s 'Stand Up & Deliver' (2nd season).
Nick is destined to be a major force in the comedy world. I met with him on an afternoon in Dallas, where his career got started ten years ago.
AM: Nick I can’t imagine being on a TV Comedy contest. What was it like for you?
NG: The experience was great. I loved it. The hardest part about doing a contest is the pre-screening where they want to see your act. If you’re a joke writer, it’s always funny, but if you’re someone like me who is more performance based, it doesn’t read funny. You have to see it. So they had to see me on stage before they were able to get it. I loved doing the show. I got a standing ovation on the first episode. I don’t know if they showed it because I never saw the actual episode. If you focus on just doing your show you can forget about the cameras and the competition.
AM: How long have you been doing your act?
NG: I’m ten years in now.
AM: Did you know you were funny at a young age?
NG: You don’t know it through your own experience unless you have a really big ego. You don’t live in the third person. It was always other people who told me I was funny. I was told I would always sing songs and try to make people laugh when I was a small child. I don’t remember that, but I do remember always trying to get people to laugh. Everyone in my life has told me I was funny.
AM: What gave you the confidence to go professional?
NG: Going professional just snuck up on me.
AM: Did you have any other intentions or aspirations in your life?
NG: I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for comedy right now. I didn’t plan on this. The funny thing about comedy is there is no real route. There is nothing to tell you, you are advancing. If you stay in it long enough you get fans and clubs get to know you. It’s been gradual for me and that’s exactly how I want it. More people recognize me since being on ‘Last Comic.’ It keeps you natural when it’s gradual.
AM: Do you notice the laughs are bigger now that some people know who you are?
NG: Yes, it helps a little bit. The people who may not know me will laugh more because the other people are laughing.
AM: Do you come from a big family?
NG: I have a huge family, but my immediate family is just two sisters. I have cousins, aunt and uncles everywhere! The last show I did in Houston had seventeen family members in the audience.
AM: Does family make you more nervous?
NG: No, I grew up performing in front of family. At this point they’ve been warned.
AM: You don’t have so much adult material.
NG: No I don’t. At this point it’s just growing up and I’ve gotten tired of such graphic material. Back when I started I was a little more blue.
AM: I think it’s smart to not be so graphic so you can be on television. You have to be funny on network TV.
NG: Yes that’s true. It’s so much easier to be vulgar. But often when a comic is vulgar they don’t have a point to back it up. I try to relate to the audience and let them know this is what I’m going through.
AM: So your work is based on honesty?
NG: Yes as much as I can.
AM: I see you on television on a sitcom. Do you want that?
NG: Yes, it’s always an interest. I’ve got a lot of things coming up this year that will probably help with that. That will also be a gradual step. I do come in under the radar. I’ve always known that. When I get on stage, people don’t expect me to be funny. I don’t look funny. If you see my picture I don’t pop off the page. I have to take my performance up a notch so I CAN stand out. I give it my all. I’ve never acted before so we’ll see how that goes.
AM: Do you know Cristela?
NG: Yes I know her very well. We both came from the same place and both started here in Dallas and moved to LA. It’s very difficult to produce a Latino based comedy for ABC. They have to be so careful. They want it to be nice and non-offensive. That’s what every show does on the first season.
AM: Do you have any idea what the concept for a show for you would be?
NG: Oh man, it would just be me getting mad at women for 30 minutes. I do have ideas. Mine would be about my bad romantic life. For some reason that is something I’m good at. I love to pick up on couples interactions. I have to force myself to write other topics otherwise my act would be an hour of relationship talk.
AM: Do you write all the time or is it more spontaneous?
NG: It’s both. I always have comedy in my head and I’m always thinking of ways to improve a bit.
To learn more about Nick Guerra visit his web site http://nickguerra.com/