Jordan Garnett, Rising 22-Year-Old Boynton Beach Comedian, to Open for Jen Kirkman This Weekend
For a 7th grade book report, the class had to pick something on someone who "changed the world" so classmates picked people like Mother Theresa or presidents. Garnett chose Chris Rock and showed up to class mimicking his set. In March of '09, Garnett hopped on stage for the first time ever, part of him enraptured by the idea since seeing Never Scared, at an open mic night at the Palm Beach Improv and killed. Enough so that Tony Rock (Chris's younger brother), also backstage, told the kid he was crazy funny -- and crazy young.
Garnett shuffled through many odd jobs -- delivering light bulbs, working at Publix, cleaning pools -- to pay for his addiction to stand-up, but it was a losing proposition for almost six years. He was "negative $129" in the bank account and struggling to get booked enough before Rene Harte, the owner of the Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Tempe, Arizona improvs, pulled him aside.
"She sat me down in her office one day and was like 'I would love to start using you more -- you're funny, you're so young, you're great -- but you're so immature. I realized I was hearing that from all outlets -- immature, immature, immature -- so I stopped posting stupid shit on Facebook. I didn't delete the YouTube videos but I just stopped posting stupid stuff. I stuck to standup. And I'd just never say no to a gig."
His parents -- his mom is a beautician and his dad works for an internet advertising company -- were supportive of his dream and hopeful things would turn around, but they hit him often with "we know you love doing it, but it's not a real job."
Still, Garnett wasn't having it and, he says, he never contemplated throwing it away to appease anyone.
"Hell no," he says. "Never thought about it. I swear I've never thought about quitting. If I lost comedy, I'd have no reason to live, man. That's the only thing I think about."
Jordan Garnett opens for Jen Kirkman on Friday, August 1, at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at the Palm Beach Improv, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 250, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $20 plus fees. Two-drink minimum. Call 561-833-1812, or visit palmbeachimprov.com. He also opens for Mark Viera at the same venue on Saturday at 7 and 9:45 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $17 plus fees. Two-drink minimum.