by Ryan Meehan
BT was born and raised in the wonderful settings of Muskogee, Oklahoma. He jokingly refers to himself as “a black redneck with a rock star attitude”. He left the university of Oklahoma with a degree and dreams of show business. After living in Chicago for some time, BT finally settled down in Los Angeles. He has performed in over 43 states, three countries and seen in numerous television shows from the Sy-Fy Channel’s “Black Scorpion” to the critically acclaimed HBO movie “Suckers”. BT has been on MTV, BET, VH1, and his Jerry Lewis style energy is a favorite in the nationally touring comedy show “Sellout”. He has carved a niche for himself in comedy as a high-energy act with the style, substance, and material to match. To see BT is to experience life through the eyes and energy of one of comedy’s brightest stars, and we are very happy to have him as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: When you see yourself on video, what is the first item of self-criticism that you tend to gravitate towards? Do you think that aspect of your performance is something that you will ever be satisfied with; or do you think no matter what adjustments you make to that detail it will still get on your nerves?
BT: I hate seeing myself on video. You never look or sound the way you think you do! I talk to fast, my clothes never look as “hip” as I think. I basically look like a well-kept Homeless guy who’s amusing! Never satisfied. Something is always missing, but that’s why you HAVE to watch yourself!
RM: What was the best part about the “Black and Blue Comedy Tour” that you recently did with Mike Merryfield? Why do you think that you two seem to get along so well?
BT: Best part of The Black and Blue Comedy Tour is when Mike and I are onstage together and he does “Boys N Da Hood” the entire movie onstage and he slips the “N” word in and keeps going!! I love that about Mike!! Fearless and Funny!! Ironically, I think he’s The Black of the Tour. We get along so well because Mike is REAL!! No fakeness, just a real dude who talks to you like he’s known you forever and we both “Get it” in the sense of where we are in our careers!!
RM: I read an interview with you in the Phoenix New Times where said that you got into stand-up comedy in junior college and you’ve “been broke ever since”…Why is that comedy fans and those who work outside of the industry assume that the life of a stand-up comedian is one of lavish benefits; and that the profession has led them to financial prosperity?
BT: Because that’s what they see on TV! Not realizing those are the 1%’ers!! The rest of us who aren’t brilliant are grinding at any place that has a sign that says “Comedy Tonight”! TV makes everything seem real!!
RM: What’s the most uncomfortable thing an audience member has said to you either during a performance or after the show? What was it about that interaction that made it so awkward for you; and how were you able to steer the mood back to the comedic vibe that exists in the club setting?
BT: When I was talking to the crowd about stereotypes and someone White screamed “Watermelon”! Don’t know how I did it but I righted the ship after hitting that “Racist Iceberg” and I sailed it into a nice finish without punching anybody in the face! I think the most awkward moment came when I jumped off the stage in West Virginia to fight this guy and luckily the bouncer jumped in between us! I finished the show and managed to sellout of all my CD’s!!! I’m good in bad situations!!!!
RM: Do you believe that to an extent certain people can be taught to do comedy; or that the genuine control that needs to exist on stage in order to do this correctly is something that an individual has to be born with?
BT: It can be taught but…..what are you teaching them? Will they become robots? Personally, I think getting onstage and “finding” it out for yourself is how I would do it but if a class can teach you how to write, make a living out of it and keeps you from doing a South Dakota run in February, then maybe it’s done its job! To each its own!
RM: Other than BT, which celebrity are you mistaken for the most when you are out on the road doing shows? I feel like I have to ask…Have you ever had someone say you look like Byron Allen from “Comics Unleashed”?
BT: LOL…Byron Allen? NEVER! Let’s see, The Tae-Bo Guy (Billy Blanks), Wesley Snipes, Deion Sanders, and pretty much any Black Guy with a Bald Head!
RM: Where are you at right now when it comes to discussing race in your act? Additionally where do you think America is currently at when it comes to overall race relations when you consider we have now seen several high profile cases in which African-Americans have been killed at the hands of Caucasian cops?
BT: I’m always at odds on whether I should discuss it or not. It’s almost like you’re having good time with a person at a party and they ask you “Have you accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?”! Then you realize you have to somehow leave and leave fast, or slit your own wrist! Depends on the mood I guess! As long as I feel I’m not preaching, I’ll mention it.
I think we’re seeing America getting more hostile at police brutality, which ironically is not really a race issue but the media portrays it that way!! As far as race relations, on the surface it’s a lot better, but down deep, old traditions ring true, just not as upfront, at first. Checkout a Youtube or Twitter post….It’s always gonna be there!
RM: What’s up next for you in 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that I should know about?
BT: 2015 will be the Year I return to LA, I do two Different Podcast, one about my love for MOTOGP and MOTORCYCLES and hopefully movies!! After that I just gotta keep grinding!
BT on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bea.tea.18
BT on Twitter: https://twitter.com/funnyman6869
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