TMLS 5: Comedian Yassir Lester on Knowing Your Material
Yassir Lester is our star guest on The Marketing Lifestyle Show today. I’m grateful for my obsession with another standup comic, Chelsea Peretti, for introducing me to him. When Chelsea brought her hilarious act to Columbus, not only did I rush to get tickets, I sat in the front row. Her opening act was Yassir, who had the crowd laughing their asses off before Chelsea took the stage. Yassir and I have stayed connected thanks to this awesome night and social media. In this episode of The Marketing Lifestyle Show, he looks back on his three days in art school, his three-episode Internet talk show and how it all led to hitting it big in the stand-up comedy world.
LISTEN: Yassir Lester, The Marketing Lifestyle Show ep. 5
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With anything artistic, you like it for a moment, then you hate it, then you make peace with it.
“We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut
Today our guest on TMLS is comedian Yassir Lester. Yassir followed his dream from his hometown of Marietta, Georgia, to Los Angeles when he turned 21. A chance encounter with actor Seth Green at a Best Buy store led to an internship on the animated series “Robot Chicken.” From there he made it on stage at The Improv comedy club, started performing with the biggest names in the industry, and now tours with Chelsea Peretti, all in just six years as a professional comic. His irreverent style has been described as “the perfect mix of juvenile and genius.”
A First Thing:
One similarity between stand-up comedians and business professionals is they both have to repeat the same material several times. Yassir tells a lot of the same jokes to different audiences, but he doesn’t ever want to sound too rehearsed. Otherwise his routine sounds like a presentation rather than a show. Like Yassir’s act, your elevator speeches, sales pitches and speaking engagements should always sound like you’re speaking them for the first time.
A Big Thing:
Though he doesn’t do much self-promotion and shuns any kind of social media strategy, Yassir owes a lot of his success to social media, particularly Twitter. One of his funny tweets got retweeted, which got the attention of Chelsea Peretti. She started following Yassir and the two corresponded regularly on Twitter. That led to an invitation for Yassir to perform with Chelsea, which ultimately led to him being her opening act on a nationwide tour.
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