Dante stripped for 10 years.
“I was so entrenched in the stripping world, I didn’t think anybody would take me serious as a comic,” he said.
So when he stopped stripping, he didn’t immediately hop on stage and dive into comedy.
He took his time to learn the skills, build up a foundation and begin a process.
His fundamentals needed to be impeccable. So when he went up on stage he wouldn’t look like an amateur, but a comedian who knew what he was doing.
He became technically sound. He mastered the microskills. And this made him better than comedians who’d been doing it for for 10 years.
This is what has made him a successful comedian.
“You need to learn those fundamentals,” Dante said. “And what I find is that most comics don’t understand the fundamentals of comedy in the first place.They’ll constantly be doing new bits. Whereas, if you have just one comedy set, you’ll work till you’re bored of it. And you’ll start to explore the kind of esoteric elements about comedy.”
It’s like Jazz. You’ll begin to understand the ebb and flow.Once you have the framework you can go in so many different directions while still keeping your persona and basic principles.
Dante taught me that once you learn all these microskills then you can throw the rules out the window. Then you have the ability to do whatever you want. You now have the poetic license. It has nothing to do with having a fan base, it’s about having your fundamentals perfect.
But there’s always room to grow in comedy. You’ve never quite completed all the levels. Ever.
“When you think you got it, you don’t have it. Something smashes you in the head,” he said.
Dante Nero gave me some great advice. But there’s still so much I have to learn.
I’m afraid I’m going to be addicted to it for life.
“You will. You probably will,” Dante said.
Links and Resources
- The Beige Phillip Show – Dante’s podcast
- Follow Dante on Instagram + Facebook + Twitter
- Movies and Shows Dante’s appeared in:
- Eddie Murphy’s Raw
- “Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life” by Steve Martin
- Stand Up NY