About Omar Tarango

I am a father, company manager, and a stand up comic. Being a stand up comic is the least funniest of the three.

You Have to Freakin’ Work Clean


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This past weekend, I had an opportunity to perform at the Sun Ray Casino in Farmington, New Mexico and at The Bridges Gold Club, sponsored by the Canyon Creek Bed & Breakfast in Montrose, Colorado, and I had a blast. I was performing with another fellow comedian from my hometown who works almost as clean as I do , and guess what? The show did not suffer one bit because of it.

Many people starting out in stand-up feel that they have to be edgy or dark to be funny. “That’s just who I am as a comic.” Blah, blah, blah. It is career suicide to think like that. “But you’ve got comedians like Doug Stanhope and Bill Hicks who made a living off of that stuff!” Yeah, well, you’re not Doug Stanhope or Bill Hicks. You’re an open mic’er, who has yet to make a name for themselves. Even the great Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope had to work clean at one point in their careers.

In an interview with Scott King, Doug Stanhope had this to say:

When you were an MC did you ever have to adjust your material or style for a headliner? I can’t picture Doug Stanhope doing that.

I don’t remember a lot of it. I just wouldn’t get booked. If that was going to be the situation, I already had an act that they just wouldn’t have booked me. If I was featuring, I was featuring with someone else dirty. They’d go, “Oh, we can’t work you with any clean guys.” So there’s not a lot of times I remember headliners giving me shit, but I’m sure there were occasions where they said, “Don’t say fuck,” and I’d have to pull different jokes out. I don’t know anyone that’s played by their own rules one hundred percent for their entire careers. I get lots of emails from comics saying, “Dude, take me on the road, nobody will book me cuz I’m too dirty,” and ninety-nine percent of the time… “Click on my link man. Look at my Youtube stuff.” And they’re saying you’re too dirty because no club owner wants to say you’re not funny, you’re not right for the room, if you’re dirty that gives them a perfect excuse, but they’re really saying you’re not funny. Most people aren’t funny, most people that try to do comedy aren’t good at it. That’s why open mics aren’t popular.
For the entire interview, click on this link.

At our gigs this weekend, the majority of the audience approached us to tell us how much they enjoyed the show and how much they appreciated that we worked clean. Keep in mind, neither of us is 100% clean, but our jokes are well structured and have a purpose. We say things that sound dirty, but they’re not. We let the audience’s imagination take it any direction they want to take it; let them take the blame. One audience member said, “We are always so hesitant when we come to these shows. We want to laugh and have a good time but sometimes, the comedians are over the top and we have to sit there while they perform to absolute silence. We’re pulling for them, but they never turn it around.”

If you’re starting out, you won’t get any comedy club bookings without help from another headliner, or some TV or movie credits, so you’re really left with working for booking agencies who book casinos and monthly shows in rural areas starved for entertainment. if you don’t write clean, you won’t be working very long. If you don’t understand comedy structure and what triggers laughter, you will always be an open mic’er. There are a ton of books that teach you stand-up and if you haven’t invested in them or read them, you’re wasting your time and more importantly, the audiences’ time.

Here’s a list of a few terms you should know if you’re pursuing stand-up. If you don’t, quit now and save the embarrassment for your druken family parties.

  1. Incongruity
  2. Specificity
  3. Ambivilance
  4. Bit
  5. Chunk
  6. Release
  7. Configurational
  8. LPM
  9. Hammocking
  10. JOKE (Learn this definition. It’s not what you think)

 

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Taking a Break From the Stage


Today is March 27, 2014 and it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve performed stand up comedy on any significant stage for the exception of a 20 minute set with El Paso Underground Comedy a few months ago. It’s been a tough stretch but a necessary one. Without going in to too much detail, my unemployment wages stopped coming in and I had to get myself a job. After 9 years in stand up, I am just now scratching the surface of the business but have not had the opportunity to take it full time. Soooo, off to work I go! I have had to take a job working graveyard hours. Unfortunately, that type of work schedule is not conducive to the night life of stand up comedy. This is only one of the few road blocks that a stand up comedian has to go through before they are able to further their comedy career.

Try To Stop Saying These Things


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Have you ever had a conversation with someone and all of a sudden, you begin to notice some of the repetitive words or phrases they continue to use? For example, you continuously keep hearing the other person starting their sentences with the phrase, “I mean”. “I mean, that’s how I feel about it. I mean, am I wrong? I mean, what would you do?”

Is it me, or is this not noticeable to the masses? Does any sentence need to start that way? If the thought is going to your brain, then to your vocal cords, then to your mouth, then audibly out of your mouth, I believe the assumption is that this must be what you “mean”, isn’t it? Must you preface your statement with the phrase, “I mean”? I mean, right? It seems like such a waste of words. Is this perhaps, the comedian side of me thinking this way? After all, brevity in comedy is everything. The shorter the distance from the set up to the punchline, the more laughs per minute I’ll get. I feel this way about the words, “Well” and “So”, or “Look” to start a sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I do this too, but I annoy myself every time I do it. I think I need help. I mean, do you think I need help?

How about this one? “In my opinion…” I hate using that one, but I use it a lot. I think it is fair to say that anything I say, that is not backed up by discernible facts, is my opinion, so why state the obvious? Maybe it needs to be stated so that the other person doesn’t fire back with, “Well, that’s your opinion.” Of course it’s my opinion! It came out of my mouth and originated from my very own brain, thank you very much! And why do you have to start your sentence with, “Well”? Just tell me it’s my opinion and be done with it.

Well, I’hope I’ve confused you all enough. Look, I only say things to entertain. I mean, that’s what I do, right? So, I guess that’s it? You can stop reading now.

I’ve Been In Three Fist Fights


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I’ve spent most of my life trying to keep fit and remain athletic, but that doesn’t mean I know how to fight. Maybe I’m a little wiser now and might be able to handle myself better. After all, I was 13 years old the last time I fought anyone, so who knows what kind of power I harness now?

I remember my first fight, which turned out not to be much of a fight at all. I was twelve years old and joined the rest of my 7th grade friends at the school gym, preparing to sign up for the upcoming football season. It was just a bunch of us boys waiting for the coach to make an appearance to tell us what we had to do to try out for the team. The anticipation was palpable and was evident by the noticeable excitement of all of the boys in attendance. One kid in particular, had begun tackling people randomly and knocking them to the floor. Those that were tackled simply got up and accepted it as a playful thing and didn’t do much in retaliation. I knew this kid, but I wasn’t friends with him. I didn’t think we got along well enough that he would want to goof off that way with me. He did anyway. Before I knew it, he blindsided me by rushing towards me and knocking me down to the gym floor. I was wearing my back-pack at the time, with both straps draped over my shoulders, so when I hit the floor, I fell back-pack first. The weight of the books in my back-pack momentarily kept me pinned to the gym floor like a turtle turned on it’s shell. I just teetered there for a few brief moments. Rather than let it go, I got up and rushed my assailant, who quickly went into a boxer’s stance. I hadn’t even reached him before he threw a jab at me and knocked me to the floor. I still had my stupid back-pack on so again, I teetered there like a cockroach who had fallen on its back after attempting an ill advised leap. I got up again and ditched the back-back and again rushed towards my aggressor. Again, he throws a jab and I hit the ground. I get up again and repeat my vain attempt at a counter attack, but it only brings back mental images of Rocky Balboa going up against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV where Rocky gets dropped over and over again and they’re only in Round 1! By the time I get up for the fourth time, the other kid loses interest in me and stops the assault. I gather my things, walk out of the gym and head home, never joining the 7th grade football team.

My two subsequent fights were not as eventful and don’t even bare recounting, but here we go anyway. I fought a kid by the name of Joel, (which, by the way, is the name of one of my sons now). He was a chubby kid who, for some reason or another, picked a fight with me by taking my back-pack (freakin’ back-pack), and throwing it up a tree. I faced him head on and took on a boxer’s stance, much like the one I saw that school gym kid take with me. I threw jabs at Joel, striking him several times on the shoulder. He didn’t fight back. He literally stood there and absorbed my punches. After about six or seven punches, I realized, “This kid’s not gonna fight back? I think he’s in shock?”. I stopped throwing punches and grabbed my cursed back-packed off the tree, and walked home.

My third and last fist fight of my life happened at the age of thirteen, on the school playground. My friends and I had begun teasing a much taller older kid about his slanted eyes, constantly referring to him as “chino”, which was quite a racist, derogatory term typically used to describe anyone of Asian origin. And the kid wasn’t even Asian! He just looked Asian! Anyway, having reached his boiling point, he attacked the closest of his instigators which just happened to be me. He threw a few punches, which I successfully dodged and countered with a punch of my own, one of which grazed his forehead. Feeling he was wasting his time, however, “chino”stopped throwing hay-makers and walked away, leaving the victor of the fight in question.

That’s it. Those are all of the fights I’ve ever been in. I’ve shied away from a couple of other fights, but those are left for another blog.

 

 

Stereotypical Basketball


This comedian totally stereotypes the game of basketball and the audience lets him get away with it! Even if you don’t like sports, this guy NAILS it!

The Resurrection and Stand Up Comedy


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There are plenty of Christian comics out there and the material they perform is often times, squeaky clean and non-controversial and there are other Christian comics out there whose material isn’t quite as clean. Although I don’t use curse words in my act, some of my material can be interpreted as less than Christian-like.

When I decided to do Stand Up, I decided to share the good, the bad and the ugly with my audiences. As a follower of Christ, I admit that I am a sinner and need salvation. In fact, for those of you that think that churches are full of self righteous people, allow me to give you the right perspective on that. I’ve heard it expressed this way before, “The churches are all filled with sinners.” I’ll add to that, Biblically, you cannot come to a faith in Christ unless you’ve admitted that you are indeed a sinner and are in need of a Savior, who has taken your place in the punishment that was supposed to be yours to bear, but has been paid in full by Jesus. This does NOT mean that you STOP sinning! It only means that you recognize that fact and that as you strive to live as He would want you to live, every day He helps you deal with all of your weaknesses.

I will not get into a sermon but, I wanted to express how I could say the things that I say on stage and still consider myself a Christian. As a comic, I’m putting it ALL out there! Humor comes from the reality of life and some of my experiences resonate with audiences because they too can relate. I’ve decided to reach deep inside my life and take out all the garbage and put it all out on display in a way that we have no choice but to laugh. I’m not proud of some of the things I do or did in my life but, the humor that results from it not only makes people happy but, keeps me grounded. I will never claim to be more ‘Righteous than thou!”, but I believe that one day, my life will serve as a testimony to others that Christianity is more than just dressing up in your Sunday best, going to church, singing some praise and worship tunes and tuning out the Pastor’s message as you contemplate what you’re going to eat at Furr’s Buffet!

When people discover that I am a Christian and then question my faith because of what they see on stage, I can confidently say that I will have an answer for them. I’m prepared:

1 Peter 3:15

… Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

Who knew that Stand Up would be a springboard to getting a deeper message across?

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

Omar’s Patreon Site. Pledge your support!

https://www.patreon.com/omarcomedian?ty=h

Here Are The Things That Make Me, Me…


 

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  • I used to stare at the sun only because my mom told me not to. I ended up having to go to the eye doctor who proceeded to laugh when I told him why I did it. The real reason was because I thought that if I stared at the sun long enough, I may develop Superman laser vision.
  • I was in an elevator as the door was closing. A woman came running up to the door and yelled for me to hold the elevator. I didn’t think I could hit the button in time, so I let it go. In the process, we made eye contact with each other, kinda like when the mom in the movie, ‘The Good Son’, looked at Macaulay Culkin when she let go of his grip and he fell to his death off a cliff. The other person managed to hit the button on the outside of the elevator and the door opened back up. I looked at her and said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”
  • I faked a leg cramp during my first kiss.
  • I spilled a full party bowl of macaroni salad that a co-worker brought to work. He was way too proud to have me ruin it for him, so I scooped it all back up and never told a soul.
  • When I was 7 years old, I started a fire in my mom’s bedroom. My little brother was the only witness. I told him not to tell and blamed the baby sitter. She had screwed up enough already.
  • I used to work as a prison guard. Scary, huh? Working around all those thieves, drug dealers, and violent offenders. And that was just the other guards.
  • I had extensive schooling and actually attended school for 7 years. It was high school.
  • I started losing my hair at the age of 13. I had long, wavy hair at the time and I got my mom to apply hair relaxer to it, cuz I preferred straight hair. She rubbed it all over my hair and scalp. When it was my brother’s turn, (he was also growing his hair out), she read the bottle aloud, “Hmmm, it says here, ‘Do not apply directly to scalp’.” Thanks, mom!
  • There’s a mugshot of me out there, somewhere. If you find it, I’ll give you $50.

 

 

How Many People Do You Need to Have a Good Stand Up Comedy Show?


The answer to the title of this blog is, six. Yup, that’s all you need. At least, that’s all I needed.  Last night was my Headlining debut at a local El Paso, Texas bar called Coconuts.…

Source: How Many People Do You Need to Have a Good Stand Up Comedy Show?

The Nerve!


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I did it. I opened a Patreon.com site where I seek people that wish to pledge to support me on a monthly basis, to continue in my Stand-up Comedy career. In exchange, I offer Exclusive Content that is created solely by me. Patrons can pledge anywhere between $1-$10 and I have also offered to donate a portion of those monthly pledges to a worthy cause.

At first, I felt really odd about asking for this type of help. I’m not trying to get rich off of this or anything like that? But, I feel that the comedy content I’ve created so far should somehow be rewarded. When you look at the big picture, I am an entertainer, first and foremost. Secondly, I create material that makes other people feel good. For the most part, it is people like me, and maybe even those reading this right now, that have made websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a countless list of other social media outlets, rich. Have you ever stopped to consider that? Every time you post an original thought, joke, or idea on a social network, you attract others to read it. You do this absolutely free of charge! You entertain others with you wit, humor, passion, and then some! I can understand how that is not a huge deal to those that choose to contribute just to pass the time, or just to beat the boredom, but not me, or others like me. We work hard at creating what we do. And I’m not just talking about comedians. There are artists, DJ’s, poets, dancers, authors, all of which work hard at delivering work they can be proud of. You show your support by reading their books, going to their shows, listening to their music, or simply acknowledging their art, but in time, these works of art start to carry some value to them. And their creators start depending more and more on their craft to make a living off of what they do.

That is where I stand right now. I want to do stand-up for a living. I want to depend on my stand-up to put food on the table, pay my bills, pay for gas in my car, and pay for anything else that we should all be afforded. I cannot do that, however, by continuing to give away what I work so hard to create. While I will still provide some of my comedy content freely, I will eventually begin to phase into my new line of work, and when that happens, I’d like to jump on the moving train and not lose any momentum.

The site I created is simply my honest attempt at putting value in what I do. Those that choose to pledge, do so because they believe in me and want to hear more from me. Even those that don’t pledge, I know the support is there, because I see it in all the FB likes, and comments, and pics people post of the times that I’ve made them happy with something I’ve created. I’m not asking for a handout, by any means, rather, I am offering the opportunity for those that have followed my comedy career to see what else I can do. I’m offering Live Feeds on my joke writing techniques, backstage looks into stand-up, a weekly Video Blog, and a bunch more!

Nothing would make me prouder than to one day thank each supporter personally with an equal or greater offering of gratitude!

For those that are interested, here is a link to my Patreon site:

Omar’s Patreon Site. Pledge your support!

Thank you.