For comedian Dwight Simmons, nothing is off limits. His comedy style pulls in all aspects of life, from a recent break-up to his hometown of Indy. His natural ability to get laughs–stemming back to his childhood days–has won over audiences in Indy and the Midwest, helping him to snag the title of 2012 Indianapolis Performing Artist of the Year from RAW: Natural Born Artists, an organization providing resources and exposure for artists and creatives on the rise. Simmons gave us the scoop about his comedy career so far and where we can catch his performances this year.
Your website mentions making people laugh was a way for you to get through difficult times–like a move to Carmel in 6th grade–growing up. When did you realize you wanted to pursue it more seriously?
What was the learning curve like going from making classmates laugh to making jokes in front of an audience at a comedy club? What was your first performance like?
In class, there was never any pressure to make people laugh. It was easy to just live in the moment with your friends. On stage, you’ve prepared material and you are hoping to connect with people through it. You are hoping they accept you. It’s fun. My goal is to get back to that carefree child-like presence on stage. That’s when I’ll be happiest.
Being from Indy, you get to perform for hometown audiences at local clubs like Morty’s and Crackers. Do you find you have to tweak jokes for audiences outside of the area?
On top of being the RAW Performing Artist of the Year you’ve won other awards like Battle of the Comics. How does it feel to get to take home these titles?
One of your goals is to participate in more comedy festivals and take your comedy to more cities. Is there a dream venue or city where you want to perform?
I’m extremely excited to participate in the Limestone Festival in Bloomington this year. They have a CRAZY good array of talent. Looking forward to meeting Pete Holmes, Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro & a bunch of others there. I don’t really have a dream venue…It would be nice to perform at the Playboy Mansion. I think I just want to be funny enough so that I don’t have to try with women anymore. That’s the dream.