AJ Finney is pretty fantastic. He’s high energy…that doesn’t come close to describing that! He’s a manic ball of comedy energy and instantly likable! I’ve gotten to work with him once, but I saw him again earlier this year at the Detroit Comedy Festival. He’s a super awesome guy who just released his new CD this week! He was nice enough to let me bounce some questions off of him. Enjoy!
I think over the years I’ve gotten more comfortable letting the audience see me for all my internal disorders. Were most people hide their insanity with medication, I embrace my eccentricities and employ improvisation as tool wrangle my ADHD. That’s not saying that my chosen lifestyle over the years hasn’t also intensified my already overactive imagination and anxiety issues.
You do well with audiences and your peers respect you a whole lot too. Are you planning on staying in the midwest or do you have plans to make a move to one of the coasts.
I will always consider the Midwest home, but I will go where I need to in the future. Right now I’m enjoying all the experiences the road has to offer like interesting conversations with strangers, canned beer, black outs, sleeping in my car, radio interviews, hecklers, art museums, hipster dive bars, waking up naked in a hotel lobby, malls, strip clubs, Canada, who’s in my bed…wait this isn’t my bed, all for 30-60 minutes of stage time, to battle for laughs and I love every minute of it.
You’re new CD is coming out this week…unless I’m mistaken about that! Tell me about it!
The CD is titled “AJ Finney My Brain Don’t Work No Good” which was recorded live at Stanford’s Comedy Club in Kansas City, and is being released Tuesday July 26th on Uproar Records. It’s an explorative experience about how I interpret the world through my rusty bucket of wiggle worms, interlaced with stories of love, loss, rum, and my intense obsession with green beans.
You have a lot of festivals under your belt. Do you have any advice for people who are maybe doing one for their first time?
Submit to as many festivals as possible. If you don’t make it, hey apply next year or attend anyway as an audience member. If you get in have as much fun as possible. I’ve actually gotten more work from fellow comedians that I’ve met at competitions than I ever have by winning one. “Networking is the name of the game”
I find with the auditioning process for a festival or any big thing I tend to get in my head and psyche myself out. How do you stay level headed when you go out for things?
With festivals and auditions, do as many as possible, the more you do the easier it gets. Always perform with confidence. My opinion is they aren’t judging you’re material as much as they’re judging you as a person, do they like you?, can they sell you?..etc.
I’m proud of the fact that newer comedians read my site and I have access to picking the brains of some great comedians like yourself. What advice do you have for the newer people?
First off thank you for the compliment Mike. My advice to anyone starting off is to become completely obsessed with the art form itself, the history, the artists, the formulas, everything comedy. Realize your career choice is a marathon not a sprint, it takes time to develop your voice as an artist.
Where can people find out more about you?
AJ’s CD: “My Brain Don’t Work No Good” is available on Amazon and iTunes right now.