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Meet Sampson McCormick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sampson McCormick.

Sampson, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always been very creative, open-minded and loved theater. I also come from the church, so there are a level of theatrics I have an affinity for. Coming up in school, I was always in theater and loved Performance, but I wanted to be a singer.

I’ve always been better at talking (delivering monologues and engaging an audience) than singing though and started realizing it. It wasn’t until my theater teacher demanded that I start going out to comedy clubs that I discovered, “hey, this is what I’ve been missing!” It stuck and I haven’t looked back. I was 16 then, I’m 33 now.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth road at all. First, I grew up in an abusive household, mental and emotional abuse, physical abuse, and we were poor. That caused me to grow up, with many emotional and mental challenges, still confront them sometimes, but I push ahead as best as I can. I’m also not just black, but also gay. Those two identities come with their own challenges in the world and in the entertainment business. Although I manage the strength to do what I need to do, it can be tiring. I have strong will and strong faith, as well as belief in myself and some good folks around me, and it helps me get through life.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I’m a stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and filmmaker. I enjoy using humor and the art of storytelling to bring people together and help us all sort out all the crazy things that make us feel like we are more different than we actually are, alike. I was one of the first black, gay stand up comedians in the country, and without knowing it, helped to pioneer a space for us in this business. I’m most proud of the films, (“A Tough Act to Follow”, “A Different Direction” events and concert specials (“That B*%@# Better Be Funny”) that I’ve created from scratch, and after all these years, still am full of dynamic ideas. My level of love and gratitude for humanity and ability to connect with folks in my own genuine way is what sets me apart from others, and the fact that I’m just me—Sampson. I do things my own way as the individual I am, and it works.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are so many people who have chipped into my journey and contributed to the big puzzle that makes me up that deserve credit. Of course, there were people I watched growing up, Redd Foxx, Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Pryor, shows like “In Living Color”, and I could go on.

But the real heroes in my life have been folks I know and love who show their resilience in their own lives, my best friend Wayne who’s been a real steady rock in my life, my mother who through her own issues did manage to raise me and did the best she knew how to do. The people in my neighborhood, in the churches, a couple of past loves, the women we called Aunties in our neighborhoods, they were old, black women who sat on the front porch smoking cigarettes and talking shit about people.

And my 2nd-grade teacher, Ms. Diane Walters who taught me at Shadyside Elementary School. I really hope to see her again one day. She loved on and pushed me in a way that I still hold on to and use to demand excellence of myself.

Pricing:

  • Performances $1,500-7,500

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.sampsoncomedy.com
  • Phone: 510-751-9369
  • Email: bookingsampson@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @sampsonmccormick
  • Twitter: @officialsampson

Image Credit:
Don Harris, Adam McMath

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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