Comic Nate Jackson preps vocal pipes for Vallejo show

By From page B1 | May 16, 2014

FAIRIFLED — Comic Nate Jackson felt comfortable in his own skin at a young age.

“I was an independent spirit,” Jackson said. “I spent a lot of time by myself. I had a lot of conversations with myself and identified with my own voice.”

His siblings were 12 and 16 years older. That gap made him more wise than his peers, he said.

The age difference is noted in his sense of humor.

“My dad says all the time he wanted a boy,” Jackson said. “He would tell me he just had to ‘wait for your mother to let her guard down.’ He’s been telling me that since I was 10.”

Jackson, who is coming May 24 to Vallejo, was seen earlier this year as a featured performer on Bounce TV’s standup comedy show “Off The Chain” and Black Entertainment Television’s revamped “ComicView.”

He discovered his knack for comedy in college, hanging out after classes in the campus student union building. Cracking jokes and having a good time were what it was all about, he said.

A friend asked if he could win a comedy competition. Jackson felt he was up to it. At the time his friend mentioned it, he didn’t know the friend was looking at a big banner, hung behind Jackson, announcing an upcoming student-only comedy competition.

He had about a week to prepare. Jackson said he fared well. The friend who suggested he enter, took home the top prize.

Jackson continued to participate in the semiannual competition and took home first place during his remaining years in college.

“It’s like a bug, you get bit by it and you get bit hard,” Jackson said of comedy. “I wasn’t the kid who watched thousands of hours of comedy.”

His introduction to comedy was Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious.” His mom made him turn that off.

He looks forward to the Vallejo show and working with comedy producer Monique Ranae. He praised her work on behalf of black comedians in the Bay Area.

“She’s got the biggest heart,” he said. “I just wanted to do the most for her.”

Jackson won the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in 2010. Prior winners have included Jamie Foxx, Katt Williams and D.L. Hughley.

He describes his comedy as “high energy” and “happy.” Jackson also sings as part of his routine. As he jokes about singer Frank Ocean, he sings a Frank Ocean tune.

“I grew up in church choirs singing tenor,” Jackson said.

A request from his mother persuaded him to include singing in his routine.

He’s known to talk about how long black people sing at church and how black and white people sing the national anthem differently.

Jackson has worked with Don ‘DC” Curry and Bill Bellamy. He’d love to share the stage with Steve Harvey, for two reasons.

“I think he’s a phenomenal comic,” Jackson said. Both are also members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Jackson has two featured videos on his website. The first features Russell Simmons. The second is a dramatic snippet of his first big-time production, “Marvin Road,” a drama about two lifelong friends who end up on opposite sides of the law. There are good and bad traits in both, he said.

It’s a natural progression as much comedy comes from tragedy, Jackson said. He’s written enough for a full season of the show, which will be seen on YouTube and his website.

Jackson gets a lot of his chuckles from his mother.

“My mom is hysterical,” he said. “She doesn’t say a lot of jokes. But when the moment presents itself, she has the perfect punch line. She has timing.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

‘Off the Wall Comedy’

  • Nate Jackson
  • Jason Lucas
  • Cheryl the Soccer Mom
  • 8 p.m. May 24
  • Artiszen Cultural Center, 337 Georgia St., Vallejo
  • www.offthewallcomedy.brownpapertickets.com
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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