First off thank you for taking the time to get involved in this interview for our readers.
I first saw you when you MC’d the Chiang Mai SEO conference and we have briefly spoken at that event. I was super impressed, you’re a funny and entertaining guy, the perfect antidote for presenting what can be quite a dry and nerdy subject!
Since checking out some clips of your stand-up online I found out you also produce very unique art that’s been used in everything from paintings to toilets.
But that’s not all, just last week I discovered you actually have a book too!
So, I am very excited to find out more about your story, a guy who also has a super cool first name too. Thanks again Adam – let’s jump straight into this with my first question.
- 1 1. Can you give us a little background information and your back story? For example, where you’re from, where you grew up.
- 2 2. You’re both an artist and a comedian. What came first and which one do you find you spend most of your time?
- 3 3. I am a keen fan of British comedians, in particular, Jimmy Carr, who is known for his one-liner put-downs when being heckled (often referring to their mums!). Being a stand-up being heckled comes with the job, how do you deal with hecklers any particular approach?
- 4 4. You spend a lot of time traveling around the world both doing stand-up comedy and painting murals and artwork. Where do you most find inspiration and are most influenced? Two sides of the same coin, really. I get to meet local people running businesses, schools, shops, offices, bars, barbershops, tattoo shops, restaurants, cafes, etc. And I get to paint their walls while creating relationships with these people. Work leads to other work so involving myself with these people I meet around the world accesses several different networks. Same with comedy. Luckily, if I’m in a new city meeting the local stand-up comedians, there’s a good chance I’m hanging out with the funniest people in that city and getting international perspectives from the comedians as well as studying the humor and joke styles really helps me write more international jokes more efficiently. Really both of these end up feeding each other in this lifestyle. I’m very fortunate to have a business that forces me to meet new people constantly. I really can’t express enough how important networking is to the success I’ve had at curating the life I enjoy. 5. When I check out your Facebook page you do seem to paint an awful lot of toilets. How many is it now and what’s with the stall painting fetish?
- 5 6. How do you get your artist and comedy gigs? Is it word of mouth or do you actively put yourself out there?
- 6 7. Your painting style is really unique and has thought this would work really well on merchandise. Have you thought of going the e-commerce route? There are plenty of guys that can help you out with SEO and paid traffic 😉 (psst…a few may even sell you some links…)
- 7 8. I am keen to know more about your book, “TeeLee and the Opportuni-tree” a business book aimed at kids. What inspired you to write this and what’s it about?
- 8 9. What’s next Adam? You have many talents, so I am keen to know what’s next on the horizon.
1. Can you give us a little background information and your back story? For example, where you’re from, where you grew up.
I’m from Syracuse, NY but left when high school and I “broke up”. I have since lived in NYC, Seoul, Brooklyn, Ho Chi Minh City, and have spent the last two years on the run around the world. In 2010 I moved to Seoul, Korea for a teaching position where I also rather quickly became a beatboxer for a hip-hop improv comedy group called the Space Rhyme Continuum. In July of that year, we were the final act in the Stand-Up Seoul monthly comedy show that lead me to start wiring jokes and performing stand up comedy.
After three years in Seoul, I moved back to Brooklyn to pursue comedy and painting full-time. I would create and sell artwork on the street and at night do stand up. It didn’t work out great. While I was on stage a lot and began producing several shows, the painting wasn’t paying the bills as I hoped it would. Off to Saigon!
I took another teaching position while producing comedy shows, art exhibitions, and attending Dynamite Circle conferences. After figuring out ways to perform stand up, paint murals, and work on my books, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a network that allows me to travel and work and perform at events such as Chiang Mai SEO and DCBKK.
2. You’re both an artist and a comedian. What came first and which one do you find you spend most of your time?
Art came before comedy. I had some good friends who were very talented painters (still are) would let me paint with them when they let me crash on their couch when I was on break from college. They were my first inspiration and really made the artist lifestyle appealing.
After college, I was teaching in Brooklyn just near Pratt University, a very prestigious art school. Students were constantly throwing away supplies and canvas so I began bringing trash home (which roommates love!) and began painting in my spare time.
A couple of years later, I had my first exhibition in a bar in Brooklyn, which I couldn’t even attend due to having a back injury. LIFE!
Coming up on my ten years of stand up, I try to write every day, and have several different notebooks for different steps in my writing process. It’s hard to say which takes up more time, as physically the art takes longer but stand up ends becoming a 24-hour mindset. Everyday conversations can be an extension of comedy and there’s not much of an “off” switch, for better or worse (waaaaay fuckin’ worse).
Sneak peek of Adam Palmeter in action from 2017
3. I am a keen fan of British comedians, in particular, Jimmy Carr, who is known for his one-liner put-downs when being heckled (often referring to their mums!). Being a stand-up being heckled comes with the job, how do you deal with hecklers any particular approach?
Generally, if a heckler says something, I’m pretty on top of it and can make a quick joke about them or the comment, but I really don’t let it throw me off and over address them. I like to keep it moving unless I see a clear path to something really funny on the fly.
Usually, they just want attention, fine, people need attention, especially drunk ones. But if they get too familiar sometimes you make them look like a clown.
If it comes to that, then I’ll extend a quick olive branch in the name of professionalism and move on with my show. If a comedian goes too hard on a heckler, you seem aggressive, so it’s better to just diffuse those situations with a light heart, then you are simply more likable to the rest of the audience and will just add to better show experience for everyone.