When opportunity knocks, it’s probably a good idea to answer. For stand-up comic Andy Benedetti, who stands at about 6 feet 8 inches, going through that door sometimes requires a bit of maneuvering.
Benedetti is a 25-year-old father, husband, and longtime Santa Clarita resident. When asked exactly how long he’s lived in the SCV, Benedetti replied, “I was born, raised, and I died here.”
But after having his child at the age of 23, Benedetti had a realization.
“I thought, ‘It’s now or never.’ I was (either) going to be the dad who never made it and embarrasses his kids, or I was going to be the dad that embarrasses his kids with his stupid jokes.”
Since then, Benedetti quit his job to pursue his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian, and has been a regular performer for the local Garage Chronicles standup comedy series.
Although Benedetti has only been performing stand-up for a little over two years, he’s had his fair share of eclectic encounters. While performing at an open mic in Northern California, Benedetti was interrupted by the host immediately after starting his set.
“He says, ‘I don’t mean to stop you, but this guy wants to say something right now.’ Then, he’s like, ‘You can just sit down in a chair behind him on stage.’”
A Caucasian man with dreadlocks then proceeded to take the microphone from Benedetti and tell the audience that he was originally from Spain, but was kidnapped while working on an illegal marijuana farm. He then started to beg for his life, and asked if someone in the audience could give him a ride to the airport.
“A woman in the audience eventually stood up and said, ‘Javier, enough!’ I guess it was his girlfriend. After they left, I had to perform stand-up,” Benedetti said.
Aside from rogue men with dreadlocks interrupting his set, there have been other obstacles Benedetti has faced while chasing his dream.
“First, you’ve got to find the time. I have a family, and I go to college. I am a stay-at-home dad, so I’m taking care of the house while going to school and doing comedy,” Benedetti said. “Then, you have to go there and you have to try. You have to connect with strangers who came out to laugh, or bar patrons who just wanted to drink and are now being forced to listen to comedy. Most of the time, its open mic-ers waiting for their turn to talk.”
Still, even through time constraints and unruly audiences, comedy remains one of the most important parts of Benedetti’s life.
“I want to make a living doing stand-up comedy,” Benedetti said. “I really just want to be a master at this.”
Benedetti will be performing at Green Tower Games at 10 p.m. July 28, and he will also be headlining at the Pasadena Ice House