Damon Rozier is a resident of Spring Creek Towers for fifteen years and is a nationally known comedian. The saying is that “comedy comes from tragedy” and in Rozier’s case, his start in comedy came from his inner strength after a serious accident, which left him a quadriplegic.
In this Question and Answer Community Profile, Rozier discussed with the Spring Creek Sun, his roots to Brooklyn, start in comedy and what he thinks is in the future for comedians.
Spring Creek Sun (SCS): How long have you lived in Brooklyn?
Damon Rozier (DR): I have lived all of my life in Brooklyn (48 years)
SCS: How long have you lived in Spring Creek Towers?
DR: 15 years.
SCS: What made you want to come and live in Spring Creek Towers?
DR: What drew me to the Spring Creek Towers community is the accessibility of the neighborhood, the family environment throughout the community and the easy access to the schools.
SCS: What do you like about living in Spring Creek Towers?
DR: I like the fact that I can get around without any assistance. I can still live my life quite independently from my wheelchair.
SCS: I understand that you were in a motorcycle accident that resulted in you becoming a quadriplegic; can you tell us about that?
DR: I got injured in 1997 while leaving a restaurant. A young lady made an illegal U-turn, which clipped the side of my bike, and the motorcycle went up and landed on my head which broke my neck in two places.
SCS: How hard was that to come to deal with? How did you deal with that news?
DR: It was very hard at first to deal with that I even contemplated committing suicide within the first year of my surgery and obviously I failed, but then I saw if I’d stop complaining about what I couldn’t do, that I was able to accomplish a lot in my current state.
SCS: How and when did you decide that you would like to go into the “comedic business”?
DR: I never saw a person in a wheelchair doing comedy, so I thought how lucrative my life could be if I could take my everyday situations and make people laugh. I have been doing comedy for 11 years now.
SCS: How did you get started?
DR: My first performance came while a friend of mine was doing a monthly comedy show at the local movie theatre. I asked him one month could I go on and perform and he put me on stage and I knew after that show and the crowd’s reaction this was my purpose on earth.
SCS: What challenges did you face and how did you face them?
DR: The biggest challenge that I face is that most comedy show stages are not accessible and therefore I have to get the assistance of building staff or bring friends to help carry me on stage. I overcame this early on by making the crowd laugh at that situation. I’d start by saying “oh no you guys can clap louder than that, did you see what I had to do to get on this stage? They told me the show was going to be accessible, but they gave me two brothers. Now what if a fire breaks out while I’m on stage, you don’t look like the type of audience to help me off this stage. In fact you look like the type of people that’ll talk about me outside like; Did he get out? I don’t know, I didn’t put him up there?”
SCS: Can you tell us where and with whom you have appeared?
DR: I have appeared on National T.V. stationsBET and Bounce with the likes of Kevin Hart, Rodney Perry, Paul Moonie, D.L. Hughley along with a bunch of other comedians all across the country.
SCS: What kind of topics do you discuss in your shows? Why?
DR: My shows are based on my everyday life experiences because at the end of my show, I want the audience to know who DAMON ROZIER is, some of my favorite topics are my dating women, my family (I’m a single father with two sons), my road rage, because yes I still do drive my own car, and using my wheelchair to take advantage of the world’s misconception of people in a wheelchairs.
SCS: What would you say is your target audience?
DR: I have been blessed to take my comedy and story and be able to adjust it for all different audiences as I have performed at schools for children over the years; as well as comedy clubs across the country in addition to being able to perform in front of church crowds and at Pastor’s birthday parties.
SCS: Where can Spring Creek Towers’ residents see your shows locally?
DR: Locally I have two shows at Essence Lounge located at 1662 Atlantic Avenue. On Monday Nights: I do a “Touch the Mic” show where we allow all levels and styles of talent to come out and perform. It is an open mic show for comedians, music artists, rappers, poets and any other forms of live entertainment.
Wednesday Nights: I am there for my “Stress Free Comedy Series”. We actually are approaching my Ten Year Anniversary of doing comedy there on Wednesday Nights in March and have set up a show for February 24, 2016 with the well-known Michael Colyar.
I am also doing comedy at Fusion East, which is a restaurant inside the new Gateway Mall located at 1179 Elton Street. This is a show we have done monthly and although our next date hasn’t been established yet, you can keep up with the information on my website at damonrozier.com
SCS: What advice do you have for anyone who would like to become a comedian?
DR: Write a lot, try to get on as many stages and as much as possible, and don’t be discouraged by failure.
SCS: What do you foresee in the future for comedy?
DR: My ultimate goal would be getting my own sitcom showing the lifestyle of a single father raising two boys in NYC.
SCS: How do you feel that comedy helps people? I know that in the days following 911 people needed to have comedy and music in their lives to help them get through the tragedy?
DR: Comedy helps people by taking them away from what they are going through at that moment and studies have shown laughter is a good healer.
SCS: What is your website/social media contact so readers can “follow” you and get your show schedules?
DR:FB is @damonrozier
Twitter is @damonrozier
IG is @damonrozier45