Elias Fennell serious about comedy
Call it slightly unhinged or determined, 25-year-old Elias Fennell has been hitting the comedy stage despite only recently starting to do comedy, five weeks ago to be exact.
Though he has some stage experience as a MC and online vlogger for his Ask the People video series, comedy is uncharted territory for the university student, and it wasn't always smooth sailing.
"It wasn't good the first time," Fennell told THE STAR. "It was a big flop the first time, they had to take me off the stage." At the time, he said, his jokes were too conservative and didn't land as intended. But he kept trying, and now says that not only is he getting much better feedback from the audience; he is also writing and trying new material. He said advice from comedians Dale 'Diego the Cross-Eyed Villain' McKay and Christopher 'Johnny' Daley helped him to improve his skills.
"They told me to lean into what people will expect from you. Based on my image, people would expect that I'm a rich uptown bwoy; you know, get $5,000 a day fi guh school, wear Louis Vuitton, all of those things," he said. "They said that I should work wid dat, lean into it and kinda give them what they want, and that's what I did. As you can see, I'm from Olympic Gardens and that's not necessarily the case, but I have this image that people think I'm from a certain background."
Fennell is currently enrolled as a student at The University of the West Indies, where he is studying psychology. He is also a peer navigator, doing HIV testing and counselling. But he's still holding on to his comedic ambitions. Outside of Daley, he said he is inspired by Dufton 'Duffy' Shepherd and McKay, calling him his mentor.
A year from now he hopes to have much more exposure, experience and shows under his belt.
"This (being a comedian) is the first thing I wanted to be when I was very young," said Fennell. "But I kinda buried that dream [and] aspiration because of society and expectations of what you're supposed to become. In that case, I leaned into what other people wanted."