Mike Merrill
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Mike Merrill

Pasadena, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Pasadena, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Comedy Comedy

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The next two Saturdays will determine who will become the newest headliner at the Riviera Comedy Club. In recent weeks, the hotel has been auditioning comics from around the country in a contest with a prize worthy of a TV talent show: a gig on the Las Vegas Strip.

A total of 226 people from across the country submitted videos of their funniest material, from which 16 people were chosen to compete live on stage. The last of four finalists will be selected during a show that begins at 10 p.m. Saturday. Those four -- including Mike Merrill of Panorama City -- will then go head-to-head at 10 p.m. April 20.

The winner will receive a week’s contract as a headliner at the Comedy Club. In years past, such exposure at the Riviera provided early boosts to the careers of several comedians including Jeff Foxworthy, Billy Gardell and Rita Rudner. - Los Angeles Times


HBO, the founding sponsor of Film Life's American Black Film Festival (ABFF), will once again have a major presence at the premier urban event, which will be held for the second consecutive year in New York City on June 11-14, 2015. Following tremendous success in New York City last year, ABFF and HBO will continue the original goal of supporting aspiring actors and filmmakers in urban landscapes such as NYC.

"HBO has a long-standing tradition of discovering, supporting and cultivating new and diverse talents," said Dennis Williams, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility, HBO. "ABFF is the perfect platform to shine the spotlight on the many creative talents within the Black filmmaking community."

This year, HBO will present two key events:

The 18th Annual HBO(R) Short Film Competition

Saturday, June 14th, 8:45 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

AMC EMPIRE 25: 234 West 42nd Street

HBO's prestigious award, which has been part of the ABFF's competitive film program since it was established in 1998, will honor the writing and directing talents of up-and-coming Black filmmakers. This year's event will be hosted by Harlem native and host on Bravo's Fashion Queens, Bevy Smith. A special screening will showcase THE FIVE films selected for the final round of competition:

1. BLACK CARD, directed and produced by Pete Chatmon

In a culture requiring an ID card and commitment to the code, an African-American couple is about to find out just how far the boundaries can be pushed. [14:07]

2. CHAINING DAY, written and produced by Chris Bailey, directed by Dominic Haxton

A young boy commits an accidental murder, causing a stir in the community and forcing him to choose between his loyalty to the gang and saving what's left of his innocence by turning himself into the police. Inspired by the true story of Robert 'Yummy' Sandifer, a tragic event that was featured on the cover of Time magazine. [11:02]

3. FIRST DATE, LAST DATE, directed by Derege Harding

A drama about finding your soulmate at the worst possible time - the end of the world. Sara and Michael are on their first date when all hell breaks loose just outside their window, but they manage to suppress their fear as the world crumbles around them. [06:34]

4. JOY, directed by Solomon Onita Jr.

A Nigerian middle-aged woman living in America, struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter. [15:00]

5. STANHOPE, directed and written by Solvan Naim

Stanhope, a teenage inner city kid from Brooklyn, NY gets caught up in a web of violence as a paid assassin. [18:23]

A $10,000 grand prize will be awarded to the top winner during the Best of the ABFF Awards Ceremony on closing night.

The 3rd Annual ABFF Comedy Wings Competition

Friday, June 12th, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Hilton Grand Ballroom: 1335 Ave of the Americas

Four finalists - Chastity Washington, Dino Vigo, Kareem Green and Mike Merrill - will compete for the ABFF Comedy Wings title. Hosted by HBO, the competition is in partnership with the ABFF to create a pathway to opportunities for rising comedic talent across all mediums: film, television and the web. Serving as the master of ceremony is Rickey Smiley, actor, comedian and host of THE RICKEY SMILEY SHOW on TV One. The grand prize winner will be awarded $2,500 at the conclusion of the competition. - Broadway World


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Somebody decided that Comedy biographies were supposed to be written in the 3rd person. Well, my biography is written in the 1st person because I’m the 1st person to think my thoughts and do what I’ve done. If I’m stuck in traffic and someone cuts me off, I might want to slap the hell out of them. If I write ‘he wanted to slap the hell out of someone’, you might be confused about whose face was about to tingle. I am a professional Stand Up Comedian, and some people think this means I tell jokes for a living. I do not tell jokes for a living, I sell laughs for a living. The difference is that the joke is the process, the laugh is the result. People do not pay to see me perform a process, they want to experience the laughter which is the result. It’s important to remember that laughter is necessary, it can keep you from crying, depression or even from cussing someone out. I believe that if you ain’t laughing then you ain’t living, and advice like that usually only comes from a fortune cookie. The beauty of Stand Up Comedy is that there is no other profession where someone compliments you by telling you they laughed so hard they almost pee’d.

I’ve had opportunities to perform all over the world in places I can’t pronounce with languages I don’t speak, eating foods I would’ve thought were pets. I’ve had these opportunities because people laugh when I hold a microphone and share my thoughts and observations. I perform in front of crowds of all colors, ages, and levels of attractiveness, I don’t discriminate. I’m a “regular dude”, I’m not sexy and I’m not ugly, I am sometimes a woman’s second choice if things didn’t work out with her true love. I’m also regular because I’m not tall, I use my tippy toes at the grocery store but I’m not short enough to get a handicapped sticker.

I was raised by a single mother and never met my father. Sometimes people feel bad when they find that out, but I tell them not to. In my neighborhood, you stood out more if your real father lived with you full time. Finding kids who lived with both of their real parents became like finding the last Easter Egg on a hunt, it was possible but it took a while. Most of my friends grew up with ‘bad cell plan’ fathers. They were free on most weekends but the rest of the time they ran out quick. These fathers were absent every day that ended in “day”…holidays, birthdays, Thursdays so on and so forth. Kids with two parents were the first minorities I came across in my life and I saw how hard they had to work just to get the same opportunities that the rest of us had. They always got picked last in kickball, always hard to turn the jump rope. We convinced these kids that life was better for us because we didn’t have to spend money for Father’s Day. We told them that two parents was out of style and they should try to get one parent like the rest of us before stores ran out.

My high school was nothing like my neighborhood, the only person as dark as me was my shadow. Having both parents was the norm at this place, and that made me wonder whether or not these people were crazy. But being somewhere where I was the only one, also gave me opportunities to learn things that I otherwise wouldn’t. I became bilingual, I was already fluent in Ebonics, but I also learned to speak Job Interview English as well. The exposure that I received at this period in my life helped me to become comfortable around all different types of people and unfamiliar situations. High school also became the place where I first took Comedy to the stage.

The number of acronyms Comedians can list in a biography tend to be extremely important to the Comedy industry. These acronyms usually represent a small group of television networks that occasionally display Stand Up Comedy programming. I’ve performed for some of these networks and performed Stand Up on national television multiple times. However these ‘résumé’ points are valued more highly by the Comedy industry than the people that come to the shows. This biography is written to my fans and fans of Comedy. True Comedy fans understand that sustainable business always follows the art and not vice versa. I’m not here to perform a process or follow the expectations of an industry, I’m here to sell laughs.