It all started with an open mic night in 2007 and Ben Garcia-Reyes, 29, was hooked.
“It began as a means of dealing with depression,” said Garcia-Reyes. "I'm a people pleaser and enjoy when other people have a good time."
Garcia-Reyes is a full-time comedian and constantly performs in Chula Vista and National City.
"I can't fix the world’s problems, but I can communicate with others whether it’s YouTube or Facebook. I can mingle or ask questions with others, even texting isn’t too impersonal. I bring live entertainment to San Diego where we don’t have the same opportunities as say, up north. I mean, where else would you want to be happy but home?" said Garcia-Reyes.
Garcia-Reyes creates jokes in both Spanish and English to please his audience.
“I can be funny in both languages,” he said.
In order to prepare for a show, Garcia-Reyes checks the news and his previous comedy acts.
“I constantly like to check out what’s going on in the news and write jokes on that. I recite things out loud, I record it and hear myself. I also watch old videos that have been recorded of me and see if there was a mistake. I try to eliminate communication flaws. I also have to get happy, people don’t want to see someone sad up on stage,” said Garcia-Reyes
His jokes for his comedy act vary depending on the type of audience he has that night.
“It depends; I have jokes from marijuana patients, to news, relationships, kids, sports, politics, border issues, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach,” said Garcia-Reyes. “It depends on the audience, I don’t like to put anyone down so I stay pretty positive and forward with everything I say.”
Garcia-Reyes has been performing four years now and has established himself in the on-line community through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Tumblr, Myspace and his own personal website.
“I advertise myself as much as I can with the Internet, aside from all the social media sites, I pass out flyers as well as going out and talking to people themselves,” he said
Garcia-Reyes hopes to take his comedy to the other side of the border one day.
“I haven’t performed in Tijuana yet, I’m trying to find a venue. They have stand-up but it’s not the same as here.
Maybe I can appear at a concert with some jokes in between,” said Garcia-Reyes.
In the end, Garcia-Reyes plans to continue being a comedian.
“I’m going to continue doing comedy, probably till the day I die. It’s helped me by helping me gain perspective. I heard somewhere that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react, not sure if it’s accurate but, if something bad happens, I’d rather laugh it off then (I) write it down,” he said.
Ben Garcia-Reyes is scheduled to appear at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 and Feb. 22 at Comedy Night at Buster’s South Bay in National City.