We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathan Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I didn’t want to do anything else. I was in remedial classes at a community college in Oakwood Georgia. My original plan was to be a basketball coach or get into sports talk radio. I did one semester of college and hated it so much. I thought there was no way I could do this for 4-5 more years, then probably 3 years of an internship just for the chance at one of these jobs. I thought about what ridiculous dreams I could try being in my early 20s and stand up was one of them. I had no idea you could just sign up and do it. Open Mics made no sense to me. I wrote what I thought was 6 minutes but turned out to be maybe 4 of very bland material. I drove the hour into the city and got on stage at Relapse. I don’t know why I kept doing it, when you start stand up you’re so bad at it, and you just have to keep being bad, you have to keep telling bad jokes in front of much funnier people. It’s gut-wrenching, but I was too stubborn to quit and now I’m so glad I didn’t because it’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart is hopefully uniqe jokes that stay relatable. That’s the goal as I write my next hour is wanting to crack the code of writing jokes that make people nudge the person next to them. Those have always what made me laugh the hardest.
Lesson’s I’ve learned in stand up is that being funny will fix almost everything. Most issues anyone is having can be fixed by being funny on stage and nice to people off stage. That’s where I want to get, just consistent, loud, undeniable laughs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spot in the city is currently Red’s Beer Garden in Benteen Park. I run a monthly show there and it’s the best show I’ve ever run. People love this place and these owners and come out for comedy to support them. Food is amazing, beer is amazing, and they love comedy. You can’t ask for a better place.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Muppets were my first comedic influence. My earliest memories are VHS tapes of the Muppet Show. My parents set me up for success in that way. I was blessed to be introduced to the greatest comedy team of all time as a toddler and then my parents were gracious enough to give me full but probably reluctant support when I started doing my own comedy.
There’s no way I’m still doing stand-up without my podcast co-hosts. Dan Duncan, Damon Sumner, and David Perdue. They’ve housed me, made me part of their families, given me tough love, written with me, encouraged me, set me up with my wife, it’s incredible. There’s not enough space to truly and sincerely do justice to their impact on my life and career.
Brain Regan Live was the first comedy album that made an impact on me. I still remember an upperclassman burning it on a CD for me when I was 15 or 16. I had never laughed at comedy like that, never heard comedy like that, and it was the first time I thought stand up is the greatest thing in the world.
My wife Libby is so supportive. Stand up can be tough on relationships so finding someone who’s willing to deal with that can be difficult. Someone who’s ok with fights being turned into jokes, date nights being canceled or cut short for stage time, and the constant anxiety around jokes or shows.