Jake Schick pursues stand-up comedy in Brooklyn

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Jake Schick pursues stand-up comedy in Brooklyn

Jake Schick performs a comedy routine at EastVille Comedy Club.

Jake Schick performs a comedy routine at EastVille Comedy Club.

Used with permission from Jake Schick

Jake Schick performs a comedy routine at EastVille Comedy Club.

Used with permission from Jake Schick

Used with permission from Jake Schick

Jake Schick performs a comedy routine at EastVille Comedy Club.

By Mac Bechtol, St. John's School

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The house lights of Eastville Comedy Club, one of Brooklyn’s most popular venues, dim to signal the start of another performance. The audience sits around the stage, perched on wooden stools and snacking on peanuts from the bar, preparing for the next act. Jake Schick (’17) steps up to the mic and cracks a joke about Olive Garden to begin his comedy routine.

Schick, a sophomore at New York University, is majoring in dramatic writing, which, according to him, “is film with a focus in screenwriting.” When he is not in class, however, Jake tries to make a name for himself in the comedy clubs of New York City.

In high school, Schick ran for Student Affairs Council, using his speech as a way to practice stand-up for a specific audience. Schick’s comedic style revolves around experience-based humor, taking what he notices during his day and turning it into something funny.

“It’s mostly observational humor, like funny little stories or encounters that I have,” Schick said. “If you know who Demetri Martin is, it is similar to his humor that he uses in routines. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from him recently.”

The current political climate and government is the subject of many comedy routines on Saturday Night Live and other late night TV shows. However, Schick prefers to keep his material on a more personal level.

“There’s comedy in everything, but I would much rather talk to an audience about something funny that happened to me at Olive Garden than about what Trump is doing,” Schick said. “When I see comedians say some blanketed statement like, ‘So Trump’s an idiot,’ and the crowd all goes, ‘Yeah!,’ I don’t find that to be entertaining—I just find it cheap and kind of annoying. Comedy can come from anywhere, but I think only jabbing at politicians is sort of ridiculous.”

In high school, Schick’s aspirations did not always indicate his future in comedy. In middle school and the beginning of high school, Schick intended to run cross country and study nutrition in college.

“The first time I saw Jake’s routine, his comedy style reminded me a lot of Brian Regan, who he has said he draws a lot of inspiration from,” Pete Bechtol (’16) said. “Jake and I always watched Regan’s comedy skits when we were on long bus rides for cross country.”

Schick recently started a website, which he uses to notify viewers about upcoming events and post his work. Every Sunday, Schick also posts comedy or fictional short stories about love, New York City or anything else on his mind. Schick has always loved to write and joke around with his family and friends, but had never considered that the two passions he had previously thought of as hobbies could become his job.

“I chose to follow my passions to learn more about the crafts that have always inspired me,” Schick said. “Laughter has given me an incredible amount of meaning, and I strive to make something new to let people laugh and enjoy it the way I have.”

This story was originally published on The Review on January 24, 2019.