Today we’d like to introduce you to Derek McFarland.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve always loved to make people laugh. Even as a kid I was a class clown and would constantly get sent to detention for goofing off. When I was young we moved a lot so I was constantly changing schools and had to make new friends all the time so being funny was a quick way to do that. I was exposed to a lot of domestic violence and drug abuse as a child so comedy also became a coping mechanism. When I was 16 my mother was on drugs really bad so I ended in a youth homeless shelter. Living in that shelter taught me how to take care of myself, but more importantly how to create my own opportunities.
Please tell us about your art.
I produce comedy shows and I perform stand-up comedy. I love performing and I also love putting together a great show. My dad is a working musician and he’s made a living from performing for over 50 years. I like to go with him to his performances because it’s fun and I learn a lot. I watch him set up, perform, break everything down, pack up and go home. It truly is a lot of work. My dad has taught me about lighting, sound, performing and being a professional. I owe a large part of any success I’ve had to him. He’s my inspiration. My art work is meant to provide people with culture, laughter and maybe a different perspective from time to time. When I first started comedy, it was really difficult for me to get stage time and I became frustrated, so I created my own stage time and started my own show with one of my best friends, Glendon McGee. The idea was to provide ourselves with a home base to get stage time every week and to provide stage time for all comics who wanted to get up so that nobody would be left out. We also had a desire to bring a little culture to an area that inly had DJ nights and karaoke. We felt that people should have live performance art.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
HIT OPEN MICS! Get as much stage time as you can, that’s how you get better. Don’t worry about money or fame. Those things come with time. Perform because it makes you feel good. Be professional and never burn bridges. Stay humble and always be grateful that you have the opportunity to be a comic. Don’t change your set every time because you think your jokes are old, they’re not. You are new and you need to practice and lock down a tight five-minute set. I struggled with this and my dad gave me some really good advice. He said, “Even if people have heard a song a thousand times, sometimes you still want to hear a good song because it’s good. If you have good jokes that people want to hear, give them what they want. Sometimes as a musician you may get tired of playing the same old songs every night, but people love those songs.”.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I run a wonderful show at The Sic Sense Theatre at 1902 E McDowell Rd every Sunday at 8pm. You can get tickets and information for my show and tons of other great shows there by going to www.thesicsense.com. The owner of the venue, Bill Dyer, is wonderful to work with and shares a passion for performance art. You can support our art and hard work by coming to the shows. That’s why we do it, we want people to come and enjoy the performance.
- Website: Www.thesicsense.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Castaway_Comedy
- Facebook: Derek McFarland
- Twitter: @derek_mcfarland
Derek McFarland, Liz Bradley