We’re spending the next month or so profiling the comics in the St. Louis scene. We’ll be covering a range of comics from seasoned pros, to open mic comics booking their first shows. Our goal is to give you a glimpse at who you can expect to see, no matter where you experience live comedy.
Rafe Williams is one of the hardest working comics in the St. Louis scene. He’s a touring comic who just recording an album with 800 LB Gorilla, and he still finds time to support the local scene by running a weekly stand up showcase that’s given a lot of stage time to St. Louis comics, and an open mic every Monday night, both at The Improv Shop.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING STAND UP?
DESCRIBE YOUR MATERIAL/STYLE OF PERFORMING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T SEEN YOU
All heart baby.
An effective and engaging storyteller whose ability to be vulnerable both captivates and disarms audiences. He breathes life into characters that pull you into his world, and has a likability that keeps you laughing regardless of the subject matter, as he examines topics with honesty, wit, and social conscience. One foot planted in progressive dissidence and the other in his humble mid-western roots, he takes on the world as he sees it.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING THING, PERSONALLY, THIS YEAR, ABOUT STAND UP?
Recording my debut album was a nice milestone and reinvigorated me to write.
Also, Colin Quinn watched, and more importantly, actually listened to, my set in Buffalo and said something very thoughtful, complimentary, and astute. It was a private moment, comic to comic in a green room, and it meant a lot to me.
“You have a clear voice and point-of-view and you are a strong joke writer, and when you decide to care just a little less about whether everyone likes you, that will be the material that will help you break out and I look forward to hearing it.”
It was kinda like Keith Richards saying you are pretty good at guitar and he likes your sound, and he wants you to make a concept album.
CURRENTLY, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE WORKING TO OVERCOME, IN STAND UP COMEDY?
See above. Figuring out what the next thing is I want to say. Also, Writing a goddamn pilot.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST COMEDY GOAL FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
1. Write a new half hour that I love. That really meets the standard I have set for myself.
2. Make something cool with my friends.
3. Not worry about the gatekeepers of the business or validation and focus on the craft. If I can do that the other stuff will happen on its own.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED PERFORMING?
1. The amount of work you do offstage directly impacts the rate at which you improve onstage, listening, revising and editing are important.
Bonus: No one needs or wants to hear your clumsy takes on hot button issues. Learn to juggle bowling pins before you try chainsaws.
IF YOU WERE A BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Water. Wine tastes great, but when real thirst arises, everyone drinks water.
PICK ANY HORROR MOVIE. HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?
JAWS. I would have stayed in St. Louis and swam at Lake of the Ozarks where the only thing that bites is the Ozark Mountain folks who sneak on your boat at night and it wouldn’t hurt because they don’t have any teeth.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO PROMOTE?
Sep 7 – Comedy Showcase at the Shop – Improv Shop
Sep 12 – Burnside Improv – Improv Shop
Sep 13 – Rizz Show Live – Pop’s
Sep 24 – WSOC Top 101 Competition – Casino Queen
Sep 26 -28 – Triple Feature Weekend – The Loony Bin, Oklahoma City
Oct 11 – Well if it isn’t Comedy – The Rino, Kansas City, MO
Oct 17-19 – Indianapolis Helium Comedy Club
Oct 31 – Burnside does a Scarold – Improv Shop
Follow Rafe on social media and buy his album when it drops! Check back tomorrow as we continue to highlight the area’s stand up comics.