Life takes all of us on our own journey, for a Toronto comedian it took losing a job to give him the push he needed to pursue his true passion.
For stand-up comic, Thomas Calnan, he took a bit of a non-traditional route into the comedy industry, as he was a late bloomer to launching his own career.
“My career began when I was in my thirties, as opposed to most comedians who get started while still in their twenties,” Calnan said. “At that point of my life, I had a lot more life experience to call on when I got started, as opposed to your average twenty year-old that would take to the stage.”
Calnan pointed out, that he studied music for many years. “I think I just wanted to entertain, and finally figured out that I was just much better at comedy than playing an instrument.”
The interest in comedy was always in his DNA, but Calnan was always too shy to take the plunge. Eventually, it took losing a job, for him to have the courage to get up on the stage at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club in Toronto.
He went through a period of just attending comedy shows at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and not trying to get on stage, but sticking to taking it all in and observing, before heading home to fine tune his own stand-up routine.
“From my first time on stage, I was hooked,” Calnan said. “Fortunately, my first night went really well, as I don’t know if I would have kept up with pursuing my dream if it hadn’t. My first night I was a hit, but unfortunately I went through a rough patch for a while after that.”
When asked to describe his comedy style, Calnan explained that “if Brian Regan swore, honestly that would be me.”
Currently, Calnan has found his niche in the Absolute Comedy clubs throughout Ontario. His goal is to be headlining in many of those clubs in 2020.
He is also a regular visitor to the Comedy Nest in Montreal and was just there a few months ago back in February. One of his primary goals is to appear on Just for Laughs in Montreal, and has auditioned for them for a third time this year.
Calnan is looking forward to headlining in Windsor this weekend, from his familiarity with the city, along with winning the 2016 Comedy Festival has made Windsor a special stop for him.
Calnan shared that he has been finalizing this headlining set for close to a year. It is no longer a work in progress and is letting Windsorites know that he plans to bring his best 45 minutes of his comedic material to Haddon’s Comedy Club this weekend.
“There is no city that I have had more fun than in Windsor over the years. Beginning with my performance at the Windsor Comedy Festival to hitting the stage at the Comedy Quarry. I really love making the trip to Windsor, as I have been very well received during my visits.”
In terms of honing his craft, the opportunities to improve your stand-up routine in the Greater Toronto Area are right there for aspiring and seasoned comedians. Between different venues and shows, it has helped Calnan, along with other comedians to make improvements and try out new material for audiences.
He is quick to point out that a comedian could actually through sheer will, hit the stage approximately two or three times a night in the GTA.
In the big scheme of things, besides making it to Just for Laughs, Calnan’s goal is to have one of his sitcoms accepted by the CBC or another network.
Be sure to check out Calnan and see what he has been cooking up for his trip to Windsor, this weekend, May 17 and 18, at Haddon’s Comedy Club in Windsor, Ontario.
Tickets are only $15 available at the door or online.