Zhivago Blea doesn’t have hobbies. He has obsessions. He went pier fishing once and bought a book on tying knots just to be prepared. He’s been a working DJ and a clown (he taught himself to juggle and make balloon animals).
His career in comedy started the same way.
“I just get into stuff. And when I get into stuff I really get into it,” says Blea, a Los Angeles based comedian, who’s been featured on Gabriel Iglesias‘ “Stand-Up Revolution.” Blea headlines a comedy show 9 p.m. tonight at Bottoms Up Nightclub, 4113 W. Swift Ave.
He didn’t jump into the business without doing his homework — quite literally. He started by working bits into casual conversations. When those got laughs, he tracked down and took a class in stand-up comedy. After graduation, he started looking for stage time, making connections with other performers — but he only performed once a month of so.
“And then people want to start paying you,” Blea says. He always told them to watch his set before they made that kind of commitment. He has to remind himself that this is sort of his job now. “I just keep doing it and doing it and realize I’ve been at it for awhile.”
And he’s still building his show and waiting for the day when he can pull a Dave Chappelle and do five hour of material and kill it the whole time.
That’s the dream, he says. He’s having fun in the meantime.
“I would rather be on stage for $50, than playing songs for $500 at a quinceañera. I like the camaraderie. I like to hang out in parking lots and smoke out.”