January 2019 - Make 'Em Laugh: Zach Abeyta
If you haven’t witnessed Zach Abeyta live on stage, you are missing out on one of the funniest comics gracing the comedy arena. With every kick, every swivel of the hip, Abeyta will bring down the house at every show. We had the opportunity to talk about his inspirations, how his grandfather plays a role in his set, and what piece of advice he would give to a new comic.
Who or what inspired you to do comedy?
In some way, I’ve always been a fan of comedy. As a kid, I fascinated with Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, and Robin Williams movies. By the time I was ten years old, I remember listening to Denis Leary tapes in the car with my Dad. It felt cool listening to Leary blare out obscenities over the radio and laughing along with my Dad. Looking back, we bonded over those moments. At my Mom's house, I can recall her watching the Chris Rock specials almost weekly. By the end of middle school, I brought stand up specials by Jim Brewer, was watching Comedy Blend, and began to obsess with The Chappelle show. It was comedy all the time. I didn’t realize for a long time that comedy is what I wanted to do with my life.
I know that your grandfather is part of the inspiration of one of your set. Tell us about that?
I wrote the story bit about my grandfather for a few different reasons. I was close to my Grandpa. Growing up, he was my mentor, my wise man, my Yoda. When he passed away from cancer, it was by far the hardest thing I’d went through. I had written stories about him in college. It would help in remembering him and working through his loss, but, writing a joke was a lot different. I figured if I could tell a joke about the most difficult time in my life, it would really help my abilities as a joke writer and performer. It took me awhile telling the story over and over on stage while adding in tags and punch lines as the bit developed. Now it is one of my favorite bits to tell on stage and to close out my longer sets.
What do you feel is lacking in the comedy scene here in Albuquerque that you provide?
I would have to say finding the balance of originality and relatability. It’s important to be original, which can be hard when you first start out. A lot of people are still finding their voice on stage. It is equally as important to be relatable to your audience, so they feel like there is a connection to you and your material. I try and find a good balance of these two on stage, so I can talk about the things on stage that I want to say, while the audience can find a common point and relate somehow in what I went through.
What shows do you have coming up?
I just hosted the Essie’s New Mexico Cannabis Awards Show on December 2nd for the second year in a row. On December 22nd, Maverick McWilliams and I had our show at Canteen Brewhouse with one of our best lineups yet. I’m already starting to book out 2019, so check my Instagram and Facebook for schedule updates.
What piece of advice would you give to a new comic?
The advice I would give to someone who wants to start out is work every room possible. A bodybuilder is in the gym every day for the one opportunity to step on stage to show off their work. An athlete practices every day to play one game. So there is no reason you shouldn’t be getting your time in every day on stage, that way you are always ready for a big show and consistently developing new material.