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Monday December 22nd 2014

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In Interview: Dax Jordan

‘SUBWAY: EAT FRESH COMEDY TOUR’ BOASTS HEARTY TALENT
By BUBBS HARRIS

The “Subway: Eat Fresh Comedy Tour” is making its way to Pensacola, and the laughs will be just as hearty as those succulent submarine sandwiches. Two of comedy’s best, Auggie Smith and Dax Jordan, both bring a surplus of talent to the stage, as well as years of experience. If you aren’t familiar with them yet, no worries; You soon will be. Both funny men are quickly on the rise and have many projects lined up for the future. As for now, though, they just want to make you laugh. Dax Jordan was good enough to phone up for a quick interview before splitting some sides in Pensacola.

IN: You’re on the “Subway: Eat Fresh Comedy Tour” this summer. Is that the first tour you’ve been on with that kind of corporate sponsorship?
JORDAN: With that kind of major branding? Yes. I’ve done regional tours that were named after the region or something like that, but I’ve never done one that had a big name sponsor like that.

IN: Just don’t mess it up, or you’ll have to answer to Jared.
JORDAN:…and nobody wants that.

IN: Are you excited to be touring with Auggie Smith?
JORDAN: Absolutely. I’ve known Auggie for about 11 years or so, and he’s a really good guy. He’s been like a friend and a mentor to me. In fact, he was a groomsman at my wedding, so it’s good to be on the road with a guy that I know and get along with very well. Auggie also brings a lot of fireworks to the party, so it’s fun to watch him do his thing each night. He has kind of an aggressive comedy style, which matches up well, oddly enough, with my more relaxed brand of humor. It makes for good comedy shows.

IN: You’ve been a touring comedian for over a decade, but how long did you grind it out before you got to that point?
JORDAN: Well, I’m 35 now. I started going to comedy clubs around the age of 21. In Oregon, you can’t get in anywhere to even see comedy until that age. It started with open mics, and after a couple years, I started getting some gigs of my own around the West Coast. So, I’d say I’ve been really hitting it hard on the road for about 11 or 12 years.
IN: You are jumping into a few other projects, including a sitcom. Am I right? Are you soon to be the fresh face of evening television?
JORDAN: It’s really hard to tell where you’ll end up on that side of the business. I’ve always enjoyed writing for television, and I have a lot of friends who are in that field, so it’s natural to want to dip into that a bit. Knowing those people has also gotten me more opportunities to meet with casting agents and directors. As far as the sitcom thing goes, you never know. There is a script that has been written for me, but that doesn’t mean that it will go anywhere. I’m hoping it works out, but it could end up in television purgatory. I am just now getting to see more of this other side of the business, and all of the politics involved. It’s a tough world to break into. That’s for sure.

IN: You’ve also done a little bit of film work. Obviously, stand-up is your bread and butter, but are you pursuing more roles in movies?
JORDAN: Sure. I love doing that stuff. It’s fun to be on set and in the moment, you know? I also like the improv aspect of it a lot. In stand-up, you are pretty much saying the exact same thing each night. I’ve always liked doing a bit of improvisational comedy with improv groups, and a lot of that translates into acting. When you’re on the set, sometimes you can stray away from the script a little bit and really bring your scene to life. Acting is fun.

IN: Do you prefer the university scene, theatres or clubs? Comedy clubs are dying out at an alarming rate, so the other two are more of a solid option at this point.
JORDAN: You’re right. A lot more comedy clubs are shutting down, but some are popping up in places that are really begging for them. As for my preference, I like to perform for a wide variety of people. I will be doing more college showcases this year, but it really doesn’t matter to me where I perform, as long as there are people to make laugh.

IN: There is a burgeoning comedy scene here in Pensacola, with a lot of talented comics coming up and looking to take things to the next level. Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for up-and-coming comics, not only here, but all over?
JORDAN: Just be patient. Nothing happens overnight. There is also no guarantee that you will make it. It takes years of honing the craft and hopping on as many open mics or opening slots as you can before anything comes of it, if ever. It took a good three or four years before headlining gigs started becoming available to me, and that is relatively quick. I got lucky. All I can say is, don’t rush it.

‘SUBWAY: EAT FRESH COMEDY TOUR’
WHAT: Auggie Smith and Dax Jordan
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 3
WHERE: Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox Place
COST: $23
DETAILS: pensacolasaenger.com