ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue43

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mistah Wilson interviews Comedian Key Lewis before performance at Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, CA

Mistah Wilson: Yo, Key Lewis! It’s truly an honor to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! How ya’ doin’?
Key Lewis: Spectacular, loving life! Dreaming about the dream!

Mistah Wilson: Before we go any further, can you give us a quick background on yourself?
Key Lewis: Certainly

Mistah Wilson: How was life growing up in Sacramento, CA?
Key Lewis: Grew up on the South-side, Oak Park, Meadowview, the early days of my childhood was a little rough, living with my grandmother till I was five, not knowing my biological mother. I was one if those kids that wanted attention, being silly, and always the center of attention, helped me deal I think. My pops was dealing with some demons, I ended up being a ward of the court and fostered from about eight to twelve. My father after he got me back, was my rock, through it all he has made sure I am alright, I love that dude for that!

Mistah Wilson: Can you tell us a little about what led you to become a comedian and how you got your first start?
Key Lewis: Always loved old Pryor albums, but Eddie Murphy Delirious is what really made me love stand up. Eddie is my generations Pryor.

Mistah Wilson: So, you’ve been quite the busy person! Tell us about the Marlon Wayans Funniest Wins show. How did you get involved?
Key Lewis: It's about relationships, surrounding yourself with good people, a friend of mine Julio Gonzales posted the show on my page, I hit up the casting director, I told my story, she cried, and the rest was history. It was an amazing experience, I learned so much, it helped my act, I started to develop a muscle, I did not know I had. The cast was amazing, and Marlon Wayans is one of the realist, he educated, coached and corrected us. The dude knows his shit. 

Mistah Wilson: You’ve rubbed elbows with some of the industry’s finest! Gabriel Iglesias, Katt Williams, and if I’m not mistaken, even Kevin Hart! Who are some of your comedian influences that motivated you to pursue a career in comedy?
Key Lewis: Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx, Robert Hawkins, David Arnold, Joe Klocek, David Letterman, my father, on and on, right now, I really am digging Louis C.K. Tony Roberts, and of course Kevin Hart.

Mistah Wilson: Tell us about some of the experiences you had while on tour. What were some of your favorite venues to perform at and where would you like to perform in the future?
Key Lewis: Every time I am on stage good or bad is a great experience, I am a big fan of all comedy clubs that will have me. The Ice House has by far been my favorite club, Jan Smith has given me some great opportunities, Comedy Time, I shot Starz Staann Dup there, it's a great club with great people.

Mistah Wilson: In your “Half Black, Half White, Looks Mexican” clip, the line where you said,” I use to steal stuff and take it back,” was classic lol. How do you come up with your material?
Key Lewis: I write material when it happens, or if something comes to me from the past, I love the everyday situations we can all relate to.

Mistah Wilson: You’re the winner of quite a few competitions. How far do you plan on going with being a
comedian?
Key Lewis: Can't stop won't stop, don't know how far, just can't stop, I love it, it's a part of my make up now, sick when I am not doing it, upset when I can't do it and always driven to do it! I truly just want to be as good as God intended me to be.

Mistah Wilson: You’ve opened up for big names from old school to new school. Jon B to Keysha Cole. What was the largest audience you’ve physically performed in front of?
Key Lewis: 5000, it's small but big. 

Mistah Wilson: I remember reading on your website that you said,” Know your audience.” This is such a crucial factor when performing. What were some of the things you had to learn the hard way when pursuing a career as a comedian?
Key Lewis: That you have to balance your family life, if you don't have that core support you will struggle, expecting people to help, don't wait, get after it!

Mistah Wilson: Have you done any performances overseas (outside the USA)?
Key Lewis: I am currently deployed with the GI'S Of Comedy Land & Sea Tour over Seas, I will touch Italy, Jordan, Egypt, and Israel.

Mistah Wilson: We hear that you’re coming back to the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, CA! How was your first experience?
Key Lewis: Great, the crowd is the best around, they laugh when you do well, and are very supportive of the talent.

Mistah Wilson: What are some things you love the most about your job?
Key Lewis: Bringing laughter to a stranger, or just making someone's day better, laughter is healing, it's so necessary!!!

Mistah Wilson: What are your views on the state of comedy in America?
Key Lewis: So much competition, so much talent, so much in-between, everyone that loses their jobs thinks comedy is the answer, if your not funny, please just get another job.

Mistah Wilson: Has it gotten easier or harder for aspiring comedians to catch a break?
Key Lewis: Very hard, it really comes down to the hustle, who you surround yourself with, your work ethic, your talent level, and your ability to be shot down.

Mistah Wilson: What inspires you to be the best at what you do?
Key Lewis: My kids, my father, my wife, no smiles in an audience I don't know!!!

Mistah Wilson: How important is giving back to the community for you?
Key Lewis: Very important, at the end of the day you are nothing without the support of good people, you have to stay humble, love, and touch as many as you can with your comedy. 

Mistah Wilson: Yo, Key Lewis, thanks for stoppin’ by for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! It’s been great! I know you’re a busy man so I appreciate the time you took to complete this interview. I look forward to seeing you at the Ice House Comedy Club on December 17th, 2014. Got any shout outs, let’s hear em….
Key Lewis: Shout out to you all for the spread, my girl Nichole Choice for the insight and hustle, and the Ice House and Jan Smith for letting us produce the show, it's gonna be fantastic, got some special guest comics to be announced, you don't want to miss it!

Key Lewis



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

3 Former Foster Youth share experiences with Transitional Living Program

Three former foster youth share their experiences with Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services Transitional Independent Living Program. The program provides housing, job training and other support services to help former foster youth transition into successful adults.

Bing Bing attends Hathaway-Sycamores “Celebrates Children” with Western Theme Gala

For those who may already know, Bing Bing spent most of his childhood & adolescence in foster care. After emancipating from the system, he's received much help and resources from Hathaway-Sycamores Children & family services, a well respected organization that helps former foster youth transition to independent living. Today, Bing Bing is an alumni who has made a personal commitment to the advocacy of his fellow foster sisters and brothers approaching emancipation.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Grimstyles & Bing Bing #NeverGiveUp

"Music is a beautiful thing. It brings people together regardless of race or religion. Let's continue to bring it together," says Bakersfield rapper Grimstyles, who's been inspired by the #BringingItTogether movement. Grimstyles performed at The Element: Hip Hop community gathering in Pasadena and took this picture with Bing Bing. Artists also in attendance were Imani Akil, J. Byrd, RD Peace, Maca, Speaker Creatures, Big Lyrik, and more.
You know what they say, if it's cliche, it's probably because it's true. Grimstyles birthed the #NeverGiveUp tag on his journey battling cerebral palsy and still managing to become the great artist he is today.