May 12th at the Zoetic Theatre
Sometimes it feels like we’re in the renaissance of Hamilton talent. We’re well known for our music scene, the culinary world is blossoming like never before, local art shows are popping up all across the city and yet there’s an almost underground comedy scene that runs across venues in the city that some people might not even know about. Local Hamiltonian Eric Johnston might be the one to change that. Eric is currently preparing for his next big step, the taping of a comedy special called “No Bull” at the Zoetic Theatre. I sat down with him to find out exactly what led him here.
Q: How long have you been doing this for?
A: I’ve been doing stand-up comedy full time for the last 8 years. I like to do at least 4 shows a week so that adds up for sure. I have been an entertainer my entire life. My father was a Canadian Professional wrestler and watching him perform nightly made me realize at a young age that I wanted to entertain somehow. At age 6 I started with dance and musical theatre and transitioned into theatre acting and film and television shortly after.
Q: What have you learned from time spent on stage?
A: I think the biggest thing I’ve learned about being a comedian over the last couple years is that there is no finish line. In comedy, there are just little victories. Sold out shows. Touring around Canada and the US. Television appearances. These are all just little victories. When I first started I made a large to do lists of things that I wanted to accomplish. Without realizing it, I’ve already accomplished the majority of them. I still have some major ones to check off (which I’ll keep a secret for now) but this stand up special was a major one on my list and I’m very excited to check it off.
Q: What’s your approach with hecklers?
A: Thankfully, I’ve been very lucky in terms of hecklers. I think audience members look at me and think I know how to fight or something. The reality is a strong wind could fold me like a deck of cards. I think doing stand-up in Hamilton has taught me to command the audience’s attention and not give them the chance to attack. That being said, one time I had a former Chechen Warlord try to rush the stage who I assume was going to kill me with his bare hands. Thankfully I had 6 friends (and it took all of them) to hold the guy back.
Q: Tell me about the amazing moments along the way.
A: I’ve done a lot of cool stuff for sure! I even had the chance to work with some personal heroes of mine. Two of my biggest comedy influences are Russell Peters and Sebastian Maniscalco and I’ve had the opportunity to open for both of them. I have also performed at The World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles two separate times. This is the stage that comedy royalty past and present perform on nightly. To even be in that building was a dream of mine so performing there was insane. I actually cried tears of joy in the parking lot after and I’m pretty sure Joe Rogan saw me.
Q: Tell us about your special taping.
A: “No Bull” is an accumulation of over 20 years of hard work. I’ve traveled close to 100,000 kilometers practicing my craft (8,000 in 2018 so far!) I’ve worked for countless hours both on and off stage creating this hour of material that I’ll be performing at The Zoetic. This taping is more of a celebration than anything. I want to celebrate in my hometown with all my friends, family and fans! I am proof that if you set your mind to something and work hard you can make anything happen. It could end up on Netflix (here’s hoping) but for me, it’s a little moment in time that I can capture and share with you all. And that’s NO BULL!
After speaking with Eric it really hammered home how important it is to support local talent. The fact that he was able to take a dream and turn it into a reality goes to show what’s in this city’s water. Come out on Saturday, May 12th and support one of our own.
ERIC JOHNSTON: NO BULL
Saturday, May 12th
2 Shows: 7PM and 10PM
The Zoetic Theatre
526 Concession St. Hamilton, ONT.
$30 + SC / TAX
Instagram / Twitter: @ericjohnstonwho
Facebook Page: Eric Johnston