by Ryan Meehan
Damien Lemon’s comedy career began from his seat in the back of public school classrooms and continued at his college alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, where he fine-tuned his ability to make people laugh until they choke. With a standup act that can be best described as an all-inclusive bug-out session, Damien has worked at all of the top comedy clubs across New York City as well as many of the top clubs across the country. He was chosen a “New Face” of 2013’s Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival as well as a featured performer on Whitney Cummings’ Gala show that aired on HBO. Damien has been featured on MTV 2′s Hip Hop Squares and performed stand-up on Russell Simmons: The Ruckus on Comedy Central. He is a series regular on MTV’s Guy Code, Guy Court, and the upcoming Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. He was also featured in The Amazing Spiderman from SONY Pictures Entertainment and is the creator and star of the hit web series D. Lemon in the Morning. We are stoked to have him as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: When you first told your parents that you were interested in getting into comedy, what was their initial reaction? If you hadn’t chosen this career path, what do you think you’d be doing for a living?
DL: My parents are dead, so they didn’t have any reaction. If I hadn’t chosen comedy I would most likely be Dean of the Parallel Parking School at West Chester Community College.
RM: A few months ago on Twitter, you posted “Being broke and thinking broke are two different things. Thinking broke can kill you…” Could you explain how one has to toe the line between having confidence that they can pick themselves out of financial problems while still being frugal and conservative with their money? Can “being frugal” sometimes be a byproduct of “thinking broke”?
DL: When you are broke, you can always come up. When you think broke, you keep yourself down. If you immediately say you can’t afford something before knowing the cost you are thinking broke.
RESPECT YOUR BUDGET. Don’t spend more than you make, simple as that. Pay your bills, save money and buy a Suze Orman book with whatever you have left over.
RM: How was the recent Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin different from some of the other festivals you’ve been a part of throughout your career?
DL: The biggest difference is it’s in Texas. Austin to be exact, and that city has its own vibe to it. The venues were dope, the bars look like saloons, people wait on line at 8 in the morning for BBQ ribs like it’s normal.
RM: You had an appearance on Power 105.1 where you discussed getting booed at the World Famous Madison Square Garden. Which show did that happen at? Did you actually specify a dead rapper or did they just turn on you the second you mentioned that topic?
DL: Hot 97 April Fool’s Comedy Show 2013. No specific rapper. But be honest, who’s your favorite dead rapper?
RM: Do you have any strange pre-show ritual that most people wouldn’t be aware of unless they have worked with you before? Do you drink before you go on stage?
DL: I don’t put my shirt on until right before I hit stage. As for drinking, it depends.
RM: You’re doing some shows with Chris DiStefano at Cobb’s in late June…What’s the best part about working on the road with Chris? Do you guys always follow the Code when traveling?
DL: He’s a good dude, funny comic, and a friend. The name of our tour is “Salt N’ Pepa’s Back!”. Now, that might be breaking Guy Code, but it’s hilarious!
RM: What does it take to be a “professional shit talker”? Is talking shit something that you are born with, or can it be taught in the same way that improv is?
DL: I’ve been talking shit since at least the 6th grade. Most people refer to it as being funny…I was just talking my shit, when people started to pay me for it I became a professional. You can learn how to talk shit but don’t look to be taught, just pay attention.
RM: You said in a recent interview that you believe rap is similar to stand-up comedy…In what ways do you think that being a comedian is unlike any other job in the entertainment industry; and why?
DL: In every other job being funny is a plus, as a comedian it’s the bare minimum.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
DL: I have a Comedy Central Half Hour premiering at midnight July 11, and I’ll be on tour this summer with Chris DiStefano, besides that just pay attention here: @dlemoncomedy
Official Website: http://damienlemonforblackcomedian.tumblr.com
Damien on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/damienlemon
Damien on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dlemoncomedy
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