Posted by StreetWise in Vendor ProfilesStreetWise Vendor Louis Hale is a comedian in all senses of the word. “I would make people laugh out on the street [while selling my magazines] and they would say, ‘You know, you should get into comedy,’ Louis said of his customers’ reactions to his personality.
So Louis did just that. After meeting a man who teaches improvisation classes at Second City, Louis went and signed up and has been honing his comedic skills for nearly a year now.
Today, Louis is not only continuing his training, but has also been working on various projects with his other comedically-inclined classmates. “I want to [write and film] two- to five-minute skits of me and others to practice our abilities. Also, when I’m practicing on Saturdays, I really want the camera in there because you never know when you’re going to have an Oscar-winning moment,” Louis said.
Writing, directing and filming his own material is the next step towards achieving his goals as a comedian and actor. “This is what I need to do to take it to the level that I want to go. I do need to continue to practice and learn, but at the same time, I need to do. And by doing, I’m going to get more out of it,” Louis said.
On top of exploring film and composition, Louis is also hoping to expand his acting abilities. “I want to improve on my acting skills. I think I’m naturally funny, but I don’t want to be some silly clown all the time. I want to do some dramatic work and see myself on film and find ways of improving,” Louis said.
Even though Louis does want to explore other avenues of the stage, his heart is still partial to comedy. He’s especially fond of one of the characters he frequently portrays during improv called the Reverend Cleophis. “Cleophis is a Southern preacher and his thing is he smells the devil. He says, ‘Oh, I smell something stinky in here!’ Then he says he wants to wash the devil off of you. He says, ‘I gotta wash the evil off of you!’ He believes he has the power to wash evil off with a bar of soap,” Louis explained, with a wide grin.
Some of Louis’s influences include Eddie Murphy for his ability to play a wide range of characters and Richard Pryor for his bold jokes. “He was bold enough to say some jokes that sometimes people didn’t like. But that’s part of being a comedian. You can never be the comedian you are unless you keep it real. If somebody were to offer me a lot of money to do performances their way, I wouldn’t want to be that type of person, the ‘yes man,’ because I wouldn’t be the true comedian I am,” Louis said.
And improv has done so much to improve on Louis’s life. “My social life has really taken off and I have something that I’m working towards and that I enjoy and that I’m a success at. This is part of my life. I will have done two shows this year, I will have made different films and I’ll be making more. And I’m going to be doing a lot of auditioning,” Louis said.
Looking back on all his accomplishments, Louis thanks not only StreetWise, but also his customers. “More and more each day, I definitely realize that I would not be in the position I’m in without my customers. I would be nothing without their feedback and support. Truly nothing,” Louis said. “And I need their continued support, because theire’s a lot to look forward to for this upcoming year.”
Written by Brittany Langmeyer