FAIRFIELD — Rodney Perry headlines “LOL,” a night of comedy at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts that expects its audience to, well, laugh out loud.
Perry is no stranger to Fairfield, but hasn’t been to the Solano County seat since 2012 when he performed at Pepperbelly’s, which suffered a catastrophic fire in 2013.
“Man, I was so good I burnt the place down! I was on fire that night!” Perry said, in jest. “I’ve always loved that area and I miss Pepperbelly’s. It was one of those spots I would come to every year.”
While he takes his stand-up act all over the country, Perry also has appeared in several movies, including “Madea’s Big Happy Family” and “Johnson’s Family Vacation.” He co-hosted BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show” and is currently the host of “Off the Chain,” a Bounce TV original series featuring young comics.
Perry also shares his insights into comedy with others in a workshop setting. Right now the course is available only in Atlanta, but he is looking to branch out and take it around the country.
“In addition to actors and comedians, I have also had other people who just want to get on stage, like a 911 operator,” Perry said. “At the end of the class we put on a show. Now, you are either funny or you’re not; I can’t teach that, but I can teach you to trust your improv choices and that will inform you on your journey.”
Keeping his act vibrant and relevant is a natural process for Perry.
“My comedy comes from my life, and we are all in a constant state of evolution as human beings. So even though my show five years ago was also about my family, well, now my family is different. My daughter is a college student. My son, who was a crazy teenager, is now a 21-year-old man,” Perry said. “I am less of a great writer and more of a great reporter. I just pay attention to my life and continue to report what’s going on.”
Perry keeps in touch with his fan base through various social media and recognizes that to stay in the public eye in 2014 requires both diligence and a certain level of tech-savviness. Still, he keeps his eyes on the bottom line.
“I enjoy Twitter and Instagram and all the social media. It gives you unprecedented access to your audience, but it can also create a false sense of security for a comic who has an Internet following without a really good act,” Perry said. “There are comedians (who) are popular on Vine and on YouTube, but you still have to be good live. If you are in a comedy club where people can talk back, that’s when you find out if you are really good.”
Perry’s future plans include the development of a game show now in its infancy and doing anything he can, up to and including taking some time off from his stand-up to do more movies.
“Right now I am working on a horror film. I want to do more movies because if you really want to get into the collective consciousness of America, you’ve got to get on that big screen,” Perry said.
Though the Fairfield location he will be performing at has changed since his last visit, what hasn’t changed is what locals can expect to experience at the show.
“People can look forward to the Rodney Perry brand – a fun night out – but with a whole new set. We are going to bring the noise,” Perry said.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].
LOL w/Rodney Perry
Featuring Speedy, Big Chuckllz and RT Steckel
8 p.m. March 1
Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, 1035 Texas St.