Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Perkins.
Mike, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of New Jersey! I started doing stand-up comedy five years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles in 2014, and before that I graduated with a B.A. in Radio / TV / Film. While back on the East Coast after college, I did have the amazing opportunity to produce a couple of independent films that went on to get National DVD and Digital distribution. Our most recent documentary called “I Am Santa Claus” was released Nationwide and Internationally on DVD, Digital, and was also streaming on Netflix!
Going back more into my roots, when I first moved to LA, I signed up right away for classes and joined The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and fell in love with everything about improv comedy! I completed the entire core improv program and I’m always proud to say that I’m a UCB Alumni! During my time there, and still falling in love, I met some of my best friends to this day and we formed our own improv team named Hat-Trick, which I’m happy to say we’re still together and performing regularly all over town! As many improvisers know, that’s a huge milestone for a team to be together that long and still love each other… but hey, when you know, you know!
I think the main trick about LA is being able to break out and do your own thing instead of just waiting around for that “big break” to happen… just make it happen yourself and do what you love in the process. I started producing my own comedy shows in early 2016, and that definitely took my comedy career to the next level. I started out by hosting and producing monthly shows with my team Hat-Trick at The Clubhouse in Hollywood and that got the brain flowing to other ideas and avenues by networking and believing in myself, which leads into my home club and one of my favorite and best places in the world, Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank. It’s one of the best comedy clubs out here and they’re always the most supportive to every single comedian whether you’re brand new or a seasoned headliner. I recommend them to everybody I meet and hey, they also have the best food out of every comedy club you’ve ever been to!
Flappers was the first place in town that gave me a chance to grow as a comedian, and jumping ahead to right now, I’m a Featured Regular and House Emcee at the club that you can see perform every week, and I’ve also been a Featured Comedian at their Burbank Comedy Festival for the past 4 years in a row! Along with all of that, I know that’s already awesome right, I’m one of their top independent producers at the club! I came up with the idea of hosting and producing a monthly show called “Eat, Drink, Improv!” which brought the first and only exclusive stand-up/improv comedy show to Flappers! We had an amazing 2-year run with incredible teams and headlining comedians seen all over the country and on TV from Netflix, America’s Got Talent, Late Night Talk shows, you name it!
So that’s basically the roots of moving to LA and how I got to where I am today, meeting amazing people and best friends along this ride. I’m constantly writing and filming different comedy sketches with my improv team and other comedians and the past couple years too I’ve been featured all around town at different shows and venues like The Comedy Store, The Ice House, and as I said Flappers and other independent venues. I’ve been featured in other comedy festivals like the LA Indie Improv Festival for the past four years in a row and the Ventura Harbor Comedy Festival. I’ve also featured and have had the honor of opening for and touring with one of my best friends I’ve met out here, Brian McDaniel. We performed at comedy clubs, private events around town, and back on the East Coast in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and New York City!
Since March 2019, I’ve been producing and co-hosting a weekly comedy podcast called “Reviewing Reviews” with another comedian and one of my best friends, D.J. Demers. It’s a podcast where we review the reviews and bring a nice comedic twist talking about crazy reviews that people write for different places or products on Yelp, Amazon, and all over the internet. We release new episodes every week and they’re available on all your favorite podcast platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher! We also love interacting with our listeners and when they have a favorite place or know of something crazy, we always tell them to DM us @Reviewing__Reviews and we’ll feature that place or product in an upcoming episode!
My new main comedy show that I’m producing, called “Another Late Show Tonight! With Mike Perkins”, has been an idea and dream of mine for a while that’s now coming all together with the help and experience of all these amazing people that I’ve met along the way. It’s a LIVE Comedy talk show that I host and it’s a night filled with LIVE stand-up comedy and interviews with headliners that you’ve seen on TV and from touring around the country, fun audience games, comedy videos, cartoons, comedy sketches, and of course LIVE music from up and coming singers, musicians, and bands! You know, pretty much all the fun you could ever ask for all in one night!
I’ve been hosting, producing, and writing sketches and monologues for this show since February 2019 and we’re now moving to an amazing new venue in North Hollywood! “Another Late Show Tonight!” is now going to have a residency and be a featured show at the award-winning Loft Ensemble Theatre, which is an incredible theatre company founded in 2007 and led by their Artistic Director Adam Chambers, another one of my best friends out here who’s an amazing actor, comedian, singer, you name it! He’s also part of an amazing musical comedy duo called “The SHOW with Adam & Sean” and they’ll be featured every month as the exclusive house band for Another Late Show Tonight! Loft Ensemble itself is also just moving to this new home in the NoHo Arts District as well, and this move gives us all a chance to grow and build an incredible place and comedy community together.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Easy… wow…. when is anything ever easy in comedy, you have to roll with it and live in the moment baby! My first year out here in LA was really rough, I ended up working three jobs, charging up my credit cards like crazy, and managing to have one full day off a week and the rest was mostly double shifts and long hours. That one day I did have to myself though I stuffed it with everything comedy the entire day! During the day I would do my improv classes at UCB for a couple of hours, then right after we would have our team practice with Hat-Trick for 2 hours, then either do a show and watch the shows all night, and not forgetting to hit up an open mic if there was still time at the end of that night. I’d also try to find time after my work shifts during the week and weekends to try and get stage time, book some stand-up gigs, or write and film sketches.
That hard work is what makes you stronger though right? To keep chasing after what you love and what you want to do with your life. I’ve always had the dream to move to LA and pursue a career in comedy and film. I did leave a lot behind in New Jersey for that dream though too, I had a full-time job at a Casino making great money with a salary as a manager. I remember that turning point though, the revelation that changed my life and made me decide what to do with it. I was going through a really rough break-up with my girlfriend at the time, living together and then moving out and all that fun stuff you know, and I had just put in for another promotion at the Casino. I told myself with everything falling apart all over the place that if I get that promotion, I’ll stay in NJ another year or so and get more experience, but if I don’t get it, I’m 100%, no excuses at all, moving to LA. I didn’t get that promotion, and that same day I told them I’m moving at the end of the year, and that was that.
In reality though if you think about it, I gave myself a promotion… I made my own choice, set a goal, and followed my dream… and here we are now! I’m just wondering who’s going to play me in my documentary… I guess I have to thank that girl for breaking my heart during that time too… now it’s a romantic comedy baby!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a comedian at heart, I love making people laugh and taking them away from whatever they have going on in their lives. There’s nothing like making someone’s day by making them smile and making them laugh, and to get that laugh on stage, there’s nothing like it in the world. I think all comedians get a taste of that early in their life, like in school as kids, making all your friends laugh while you’re getting in trouble by the teacher but you don’t care because it’s the best thing in the world. Sorry again to all my teachers…but also, thank you.
I feel in the LA Comedy Community, I’m known for being super positive and supportive and just a great person that people can be comfortable being around. I’ve always been that type of person in my life, just to be real with people and be on the same page and relatable to them. That’s what all this comedy stuff is about, being on the same team, rooting and supporting each other and your friends with everything that they do. We’re all here for each other and to grow and reach our goals together as a team, if one person makes it then we all make it baby!
That’s what I love about my new show, “Another Late Show Tonight! with Mike Perkins”, is what sets it apart from anything else that I’ve done or have going on right now. I want to feature all of my friends, comedians, artists, musicians, etc. It’s so unique that people will come for the experience of something different every time whether it be videos, cartoons, stand-up, music… and being able to showcase local talent that the audience may have never even heard of and now they have that opportunity to see all of this LIVE! I’m able to interview all of these guests and the audience gets to be a part of that magic and get to know these people on a personal level. It’s something that people can enjoy and want to build on together and hopefully all relate to. It’s one thing that talk shows on TV have is that most of their guests are already famous and promoting something, but what about getting to know the people that are almost there and still rising to the top.
Also, with our show now being featured and having a residency at Loft Ensemble, it gives the audience and people a chance to come and see great artists being highlighted and promoted in a different atmosphere. All types of comedy coming together and also artists that want to showcase and perform. It also gives our show and Loft Ensemble a chance for people to see local theatre productions and all the hard work that goes into building sets, acting, directing, I mean the list goes on! Attending my LIVE show opens up the door for people to try something new after they leave and want to come back and support local theatre in their community and see these local artists that put so much time and work into their craft. It also gives people the opportunity to see a LIVE event that isn’t just like every other show, it’s interactive and the audience can enjoy something unique and see a little behind the music/comedy if you will and get to know myself and the performers.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I always take in the little milestones that I hit every year. I’ve been accepted into festivals, booked certain roles in films and gigs that were amazing, and even opening nights of my produced shows and taking the stage and just feeling that energy. It’s rewarding when you create something of your own like my own talk comedy talk show and just watch it grow into something amazing and something that your peers and the audience can fall love with and enjoy every time.
Although, I think the one moment that stands out the most and that I feel leveled me up in my comedy career was going back to the East Coast last summer in 2018 and doing some hometown shows in New Jersey with Brian McDaniel. I was on the road for the first time and doing long feature sets to sold-out crowds, you feel like a rockstar. Also seeing friends and family that has never seen me on stage before and that I haven’t seen in so long come out to support me was incredible. It was also surreal to be able to say that I performed and was featuring at a Casino in Atlantic City. I mean I felt like Frank Sinatra doing shows down the shore you know, he played Atlantic City back in the day and now so did I… we’re practically the same person now, each of us with those Angel Eyes know what I mean…
- Website: www.TheMikePerkins.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/MikePerkins_
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TheMikePerkins
- Other: Reviewing Reviews Podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/reviewing-reviews-with-d-j-demers-and-mike-perkins/id1457797812?ls=1&mt=2
Marie Buck Photography, Justin Matheny – Animation / “Another Late Show Tonight!” Logo