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Episode 2: Comedian
Is there a blunder or a mishap that comes to mind that you experienced while doing stand-up?
Mendrinos: There have been a few, but the one that stands out is when I was MC’ing on stage in a club, I got a note from a waitress and the note says, “Do five more minutes, and please bring Robin Williams up to the stage.” I was stoked! So I performed my ass off for five minutes, and then I went into the introduction–I’m mentioning all of the movies and TV shows he’s done, and then I just totally blanked on his name.
Now, I remembered every credit and I mentioned more and more until the audience finally shouted out “Robin Williams!” and I go, “YES–Robin Williams! When he got to the stage, he said, “Forgot my name, huh?” (laughs).
What advice would you give to someone who would like to make their way in comedy?
Mendrinos: The best advice I could give you is that “He who does the most stage time wins.” It really is that simple. If you get on stage over and over, you will eventually get all the crappiness of a new comic off of you, and you’ll get good in a hurry.
What was it like working with Richard, and did you have any preconceptions of him before you guys met?
Mendrinos: When they told me I was going to be working with him, I went online and noticed that he was so comfortable in front of the camera. I knew I would have a lot to work with because getting someone comfortable is the hard part. And then when I met him, it was totally the opposite. He was so afraid speaking in front of an audience with that level of expectation that I almost had to start at ground one on “Okay, the audience is your friend. They want you to do well. They’re on your side.” I think with Richard has a lot of talent, it was just more psychological coaching, you know, like a football coach getting players psyched up for the game.