Matt Blevins comedy is coming to the Prairie City Chophouse, 610 Central Ave, Nebraska City, on Saturday, Seot. 15 from 9 to 11 p.m. Get tickets at https://tinyurl.com/ya4uwwm9.
Comedy often comes from darkness and, unfortunately, Matthew Blevins has plenty of darkness.
It was the darkness and a little bit of desperation, however, that sparked the Nebraska Citian to pursue his dream and then experience the rewards that came along with the dream.
Blevins graduated from Nebraska City High School back in 1998. After gaining a post secondary degree, he returned to Nebraska City to run S-Systems. In 2005, he took a job as the IT Administrator for Peru State College, a job he maintains today.
Through the years, Blevins thought of comedy. He even crafted a few bits that seemed to have potential.
But he never thought the bits would see a stage. It was a dream that lacked any direction toward actualization.
Blevins said he came to a point in his life where he never felt well. Always nauseated—just sick all the time and in constant pain.
Visits to physicians resulted in 17 prescriptions. There was testing and surgery. And no diagnosis.
Eventually, doctors began to treat Blevins for carcinoid tumors. They weren’t sure he had them. Testing would be inconclusive. But it was the latest attempt to get things turned around.
In 2014, Blevins visited the hospital twice per day for injections. And the symptoms abated to a degree. He would have a shot, feel better, then feel worse, but get another shot.
It was no way to live.
Blevins said he battled depression during a year of those kinds of treatments back in 2014.
Then good news. Insurance approved a monthly shot that erased all those hospital visits.
Blevins said the shot worked and, although he did feel a bit sick in the last few days of every cycle, it was manageable.
The experience had been less than funny but it did produce many jokes.
That’s because, through Blevins illness, he gained the desperation which pushed him to act.
“If I had a dream,” Blevins said. “It was time to do that dream.”
On May 12, 2016, Blevins took to the stage for an open microphone event at Benson.
Turns out, by happy accident, that’s George Carlin’s birthday.
Pretty good omen.
From that point on, Blevins vowed to take the stage whenever and wherever he could.
The concensus among comedians is that it takes performers 10 years to find their voice. Blevins didn’t want to waste any more time.
The continual work resulted in a nomination for a comedy award from the Omaha Entertainment awards.
It also led Blevins to an opportunity to act on stage. He acted in a recent film that will debut at the Prairie Lights Film Festival this October in Grand Island. He also has done work for a civil war piece, part of which was filmed at Mayhew Cabin. He says more scenes for that film are likely.
These days, Blevins has better health. But it’s far from perfect. There are still struggles.
But there’s also comedy and goals with new opportunities sprinkled into the mix.
Blevins would not have had the courage to act without first having the courage to do comedy.
He’s still locked into the comedy. This dream began a long time ago and there’s never been a better time than now to pursue it with a heart full of expectation.
“I have been obsessed with stand up since I was four years old,” Blevins said. “I think I am on the right track. It’s going to be a long road but I love every part of it.”
The process is a grind and the comfort level—there isn’t one.
He doesn’t want to be comfortable. He pushes the limits, tries to never repeat the same on-stage shtick.
He says the work is tough but also says he hasn’t seen a plateau. It’s just straight progress.
There’s a lot to work on of course. Get new material. What works? Deal with hecklers and turn their comments into an on-stage advantage. Develop some great go-to call backs that will help drag a bit out of the doldrums.
Once in a while, fall on your face. But then get back up. Blevins said he has done that, metaphorically of course, and then gotten back up and pushed. It has paid off.
The biggest message from Blevins, however, isn’t as funny as it is encouraging.
Laughing is great medicine for what ails you. And, even when you think the dreams are out of reach—try anyway.
There might be a rainbow with your pot of gold.
Or that might be just more stuff. That’s Carlin’s bit—so we’ll just stop there. After all, a notation connected to Carlin just produced more comedic gold.