Interview with stand up comedian Travis Boyce

Travis Boyce

Travis Boyce is a 23 year old stand up comedian born and bred in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. In 2014 he graduated from the Human Services program at NBCC. He now works as a casual Educational Assistant for the Anglophone School District South, where I’m sure he’s plotting and gathering more material. Travis’ inspiration and big push into comedy came from a six week workshop called “Stand and Deliver”, taught by comedian Ken Bolton.

Be sure to check out Travis on Youtube: TransomeTrav

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Travis Boyce, I’m 23 years. I live in Quispamsis, NB. I have a strong affinity for food, movies, comic books, and pro wrestling. I enjoy playing basketball, long-boarding, and beaches, thus I’m miserable 3/4s of the year. (Kat: #CanadianProbs) I love to make people laugh; be it in standup or sketch form.

2. How did you get started as a comedian? What were the initial hurdles you had to overcome?

My uncle Sandy was running these alternative courses through UNB. We were actually at a Shane Koyczan show together when he introduced me to Ken Bolton. Ken’s been a comedian for 20+ years, and he was teaching a stand-up comedy course. Trying stand up was the #1 thing on my bucket list. Needless to say that course caught my interest pretty quick. 
My biggest hurdle would have been overcoming my shyness to even start. So I consider myself very lucky to have had that comedy workshop available. I still may have never tried it, if not for that workshop. Most comedians don’t get an opportunity like that before they start.

3. How do you come up with your ideas? What inspires you?

I take a lot from my own life. They say comedy is routed in misery, and that’s very true. I like to take my flaws, and insecurities and put a funny spin on them. Sometimes the silver lining of a bad day is that I know it could make some great material.

Other than everyday life, pop culture and media will always be a big inspiration. Some news stories are so ridiculous, the jokes write themselves. Couple that with the fact that there are so many outlandish celebrities out there and you can have a field day. My head is full of useless, trivial facts about movies, music, sports etc, and that can help when coming up with jokes

4. Are there any routines or sketches you’re currently working on?

Yes, I’ve written some jokes about growing up with a mother from Newfoundland. I’m excited to try those out. There are also jokes about my job that I’m working on. 
As for sketches, it’s been over a year since I’ve done one, but I’m recently thinking about one that would poke fun at Facebook a little bit. (Kat: Do it!)

5. What is your favorite part of being a comedian?

Being able to tell people ”you should come see my show.” I thought that was something only musicians got to do. However, instead of Wagon Wheel covers, its dick jokes.

In all seriousness making a room full of people laugh is an incredible feeling. The best high I’ve ever experienced.

6. What comedians inspire you?

My biggest comedic influence would be Jim Carrey overall. Not even in stand-up, but just day to day life. Since I was four I would mimic his faces and voices so much, it’s ingrained in me.

Dave Chapelle is another one, especially when it comes to sketch comedy. Louis CK, Jason Rouse, and Ralphie May were very important because they showed me nothing is sacred in comedy. If it’s funny, say it; who cares who gets offended. Other favorites are Sam Kinison, Ricky Gervais, and Chris Rock.

7. What were you like when you first tried stand up? Any bad or good jokes you’d like to share?

I’m still very new to the scene. I would assume I’m pretty similar to how I started.

On my very first show my opening joke was about community college, basically saying those who take human services actually need the most help. That joke tanked because if you aren’t familiar with the course, it’s not that funny. It was a good lesson to be a little more broad with my topics. Luckily, the rest of my set killed.

In same show a guy’s phone went off, and I called him out on it. He said, “It’s your girlfriend.” To which I replied, “Oh, so your mother? You might not recognize her. I shaved her back.” That got a great reaction.

8. How have you progressed over the years?

I’ve only been doing this since May. I look forward to doing it for many more years.

9. What does stand up mean to you?

Laughter is the best medicine, and I get to prescribe it. Comedy is also incredibly therapeutic for me.

My whole life I never felt good at anything. Couldn’t play any instruments, couldn’t do any cool bike or skateboard tricks, couldn’t draw, and I couldn’t sing or dance. I made the odd sports team, but was never really an impact player or a starter. Top it all off I got mediocre grades. I sometimes joke that when you’re not smart or good looking, you learn pretty quick how to be funny

With this, I feel like I have a real talent, and I can’t stress how important that is.

10. What advice would you give to other aspiring comedians?

Try it. Just try it. You’re never too old to start. If you bomb, get back on the horse and try again. Someone somewhere thinks you’re hilarious, and it’s up to you to showcase it. All the aspects that make one reluctant can be turned into fuel for humor.

11. Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for doing this Katherine.  Anyone curious to see my old skits can check out TransomeTrav on YouTube. Anyone who would like to see me perform, I’m doing a show at KV Billiards on November 7th

 Also be sure to check out Travis’s sketch video below. It is my personal favorite!
A big thank you to Travis for taking the time to answer a few questions! You can find him on the Youtube links provided or at his show on November 7th. Thanks for reading!
Stay classy internet!

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