Trussville native succeeding as standup comedian
By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Martin Morrow just kept going with it.
A 2006 Hewitt-Trussville High School graduate, Morrow enrolled at Auburn University after high school to study radio, TV and film. He started doing open mic nights at local places. And he just kept going.
Morrow moved to Chicago in January 2011. He’s been there since, except for a six-month stint back in Birmingham. He’s a regular standup comedian at the Laugh Factory in Chicago, part of the collective The Lincoln Lodge and 100 Proof Comedy. He’s performing at shows in Philadelphia and New York this month. He travels to Iowa next month.
Morrow lived in New York City for six months in 2010. He had been doing a little bit of standup at that point.
“I think that’s what really made me pursue it as a career, was living in New York,” Morrow said. “It was a tough scene.”
He decided about a year ago to make standup comedy his full-time career. What made Morrow stick with it?
“I think because I struggled with it and I still kept doing it,” he said. “A lot of times people would give up. I just kept at it, got better and had more fun with it and enjoyed myself. I knew it was something I wanted to do from there.”
Morrow involves the crowd for most of his routines, talking to the people about music, growing up in Alabama, where they’re from, what they do and more. Morrow used to write out his full set in preparation for a show. He stopped doing that in the last year. Now, he writes his opening and closing, and jokes with the crowd in between.
“Whatever happens in the middle just happens,” he said. “I never really have a set plan. I just go in, have fun and make sure everyone else is having fun.”
Morrow has written for actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy. He’s been an opening act for Kennedy, Tony Rock, Dane Cook, Tim Allen, Eric Andre, Natahsa Leggero, Amy Schumer and others. He’s performed in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Las Vegas. His work has been featured on The Huffington Post and he was also a finalist in the seventh season of the “Impress These Apes” comedy competition.
He used to get nervous before a set, but not much anymore. He had nine shows during the last week of January. He wants to be able to travel more and maybe write for a TV show someday. He also tells people about Trussville.
“I’m in a good position right now,” he said.
Morrow will see where this career takes him. He may move to Los Angeles at some point.
“I’m a firm believer in going somewhere where they want you, not when you think you (should) just go out there,” he said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.