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Besides the FAQ’s below, here is a recent Interview
Is the Tourette’s painful?
No, I know I look like I might be in pain, but it does not hurt whatsoever. Occasionally I pull my neck if I jerk too hard, and that hurts, but that’s not too often.
Do people with Tourette’s actually curse?
Yes, but only like 10% or less of people with Tourette’s have the cursing type, called coprolalia. It’s a misconception that all people with Tourette’s curse.
Most people with Tourette’s say other words, make noises, have bodily twitches, or a variety of other tics that even include singing. It’s a whole spectrum of severity as well, many people go completely undiagnosed.
Have you always had Tourette’s?
Before I was 18, I had a mild form of undiagnosed Tourette’s. I would clear my throat and twitch my head fairly often, but I just assumed these were just nervous tics, as opposed to Tourette’s. I likely developed the mild form of Tourette’s when I was 7 or so. When I was 21, I developed the more severe form of Tourette’s.
So you just suddenly developed severe Tourette’s out of nowhere at 21?
Basically, yeah. Over the course of several months I slowly started shaking randomly and initially thought I might be having mild seizures. I went to a doctor who said it was likely Tourette’s and that I should see a neurologist.
By the time I went to the neurologist, I had already started cursing, so at that point it was obviously Tourette’s. I’ve got some different ideas as to why it got worse, but I’m still not sure.
Do you exaggerate it on stage? You mostly only curse between jokes, that’s seems too well timed.
Right so, I don’t exaggerate it, but I do let it happen. I can hold it for short periods of time, but it’s like a tension that builds up and gets worse when I do finally release it. So I actually do try to purposefully let it happen between jokes so that the tension is released, and not an issue then when I am actually telling the joke.
Why don’t you hold it while you are on stage?
It’s like blinking. Most of the time you just blink without thinking about it, but you can hold your eyes open if you want to. When you try to hold your eyes open for an extended period of time, you feel the tension build up like you really need to blink. Then when you do blink, you have to do it a bunch. Imagine you tried to hold your eyes open the entire time you are on stage telling jokes, it’s extremely difficult and you would probably break part way through.
Are you always cursing and shaking off stage as much as you are on stage?
No, my Tourette’s is usually not as severe off-stage. There are different things that make it worse. For me, some of those things are anxiety, stress, nervousness, emotional excitement, a change in sexual arousal, caffeine, sugar, adrenaline, embarrassment, etc. Being on stage in front of people telling jokes is a very nerve-wracking experience that heigh.
I saw a video where you didn’t have Tourette’s, what’s up with that?
My Tourette’s didn’t become severe until late 2015 when I was 21, so any video from before that, I will not have severe Tourette’s. (You may have come across those cheesy alumni networking videos? Or old improv footage?)
Do you have Tourette’s in your sleep?
According to my friends, I twitch and kick in my sleep, but I don’t have vocal tics.
Why are there two mics in your video?
The handheld mic was for the live audience, lapel was for audio capture.
Where are you from?
I’m from Blue Bell, which is a small suburb outside of Philadelphia.
How did you get into comedy?
I joined the Drexel Improv Team my sophomore year in fall of 2013. Improv was rad and made me more interested in actually performing on stage in front of people.
Every year at Drexel, there’s a comedy competition for stand-up, and I just tried it one year, fall 2014. I bombed terribly, but it was still a blast. From there, I spent a lot of time writing and watching comedy, and I fell in love with stand up.
December 2015 is when I started doing it in the city. Since then, I regularly go to different open mics and occasionally do actual shows.
Who are your main comedic influences?
Mitch Hedberg and Bill Waterson (Calvin & Hobbes)
Did you go to school? What for?
I went to Drexel and studied how to Dougie.
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