Rion Evans has been making people laugh for fifteen years. Initially, he did not pursue comedy, it found him when he accepted a job as a D.J., at a comedy club in Los Angeles. His position afforded him the opportunity to rub shoulders with numerous comedians who headlined at the club; and to his enjoyment, made them laugh! It was then, Evans realized he had a gift. Even as an amateur, his talent was formidable. “I started to realize I could obtain that same power they possessed on stage.”
Since this realization, Evans has steadily climbed his way to headlining and appearing at some of the nation’s top comedy clubs, networks, and festivals: BET’s One Mic Stand, Laugh Out Loud Network, Bill Bellemy’s Who’s Got Jokes?, and the Mo’Nique Show to name a few. “Being undeniable” and “making laughter the only option” are two philosophies Evans lives by. Evans continues to entertain, inspire, and delight audiences around the world.
What top three tips would you offer to young comedians who are just starting?
Be selective about what advice you listen to. Always be wary of somebody who tells you “you need to listen to me.” The fact remains that you’re on the stage by yourself. Listening to others’ opinion is good, but you don’t have to listen to anything.
Always remain humble. If you don’t, something or someone else will humble you. Comedy is an unforgiving business. People may “boo” you right there on the spot, and not care! They will walk by you while you’re teared up in the corner. So, you must realize you are very small; even when you’re big, you’re still small. Know that you’re nobody in this business until you can teach the next.
What are some challenges you face as a Black comedian?
There are challenges in life, period. And this is my life. I haven’t been sprayed with water hoses while performing or anything like that. But, it’s always hard on a Black comedian. White comedians never have to come to places like Compton to perform to get their names on the map. But I would have to go to their world to gain exposure and to be considered. That is a challenge.
I live in Denver and every room I walk in, I find that I’m the [only] Black guy. This can be exciting and work to my advantage because I’m the only person that can bring them my brand of talent, style, and unique viewpoint.