TRIXX Shatters Taboos and Brings Worldly Perspective to Ottawa's Absolute Comedy
TRIXX is a comedian with a unique mission -- he doesn't want to make everyone laugh. Instead, he aims to leave every single person of any race, gender, age or background in hysterics. For him, it's about creating an inclusive environment where anyone in the audience can relate to his original jokes and never experience the same show twice.
"When you look at the audiences at Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle shows, everyone is there -- black or white, young or old and that's the kind of career I want," says TRIXX. "I want an 80-year-old lady dying from laughter in the front row. I love bridging the generational gap. I don't do gay or religious jokes because I don't want people to feel alienated, I hate that."
Kicking off a Canadian-U.S. tour, TRIXX is now performing at Ottawa's Absolute Comedy Club until March 2. Taking inspiration from daily observations of the world around him, from public transit and parks to airports and night clubs, TRIXX says he constantly switches up his material to stay fresh and relevant. This ensures audiences never get bored or see the same show twice -- even in the same city. It challenges his writing and keeps him on his toes, he says.
"I'm just an observational guy who goes outside and comes up with a joke. I tend to gravitate to places where there's different types of people all interacting with each other. I don't look for anything, I just have my eyes open."
Starting off his career as a DJ also helped TRIXX develop his observational skills. He recently played a set at Ottawa nightclub Living Room.
"I always knew what it was like to be in front of an audience and djing really taught me how to read people," he added. "You have to gauge whether they like a particular song or not. Now as a comedian, I like to walk into a room and know who I'm playing for. Comedy and djing do go hand-in-hand because I love that adrenaline feeling in the club when everyone is dancing to a hit track and also the applause and laughter from an audience. In both, you give what you get."
That talent garnered TRIXX the winning title of the 2013 Just for Laughs' JFL42 Big Break competition as well as sharing the stage with some of the best acts in the business including Russell Peters, Tracy Morgan, Mike Epps and Damon Wayans at comedy showcases. All of these famous comedians were 'very cool' he says but advice from Peters has been the most valuable, like writing for a broad audience.
"One of the coolest things Russell said to me was that I should never beg anybody to do anything, just become really good to the point that they regret never using you for their act in the first place," said TRIXX. "He also taught me how to perform off the top of my head and to never make a set list because then your material will always be fresh and new. I like this because you're also interacting with the audience more and you gain their respect immediately if you include them in your act."
The idea of being inclusive and creating material that is relevant to a varied audience is perfectly illustrated in his travels, where some cities have been more receptive than other.
"Every city is completely different," he said. "I find Torontonians aren't easily impressed, like they've seen it all and you really need to make them laugh. Las Vegas is super interesting because you aren't performing for locals but people from all over the states -- tourists. This is why I don't have a set act, you can't be naive in thinking one city will find the same things funnier as another."
Newfoundland and the east coast cities in general have the audiences with the greatest energy, he adds. People there just enjoy having a good time. TRIXX has also performed in Jamaica for locals where he says it's important to do your research about the island because if you don't know what you're talking about, they will turn on you quickly.
"Traveling is crucial because it forces me to think broadly and always write new content," he said. "Ottawa audiences are great sports and they really get hyped when the material is relevant and that you go out of your way to research things about their city."
TRIXX is now performing in Ottawa at Absolute Comedy Club until March 2. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ottawa.absolutecomedy.ca.
All photos by Paul Couvrette. Julian Armour, Artistic and Executive Director of Music and Beyond a...
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