To Dress or not the Dress… That is the Question.

Posted: April 14th, 2006 By: | No Comments »

Rodney Perry

Should a comedian dress up to perform? Some say yes. Some say no. Still some of us just don’t know. So here we go. We must first consider what is dressed up for you. Is it a white T-shirt with creased Khaki’s or is it a pair of the latest jeans with your flyest tennis shoes. Lets all agree that although T-shirts and Khaki’s can be considered fly, stylish and current that aint dressed up and while you stand to spend as much or more money on the new hot pair of jeans and those fresh out of the box sneakers than on a suit that aint dressed up.

Comedian/Actor Jay Phillips (Gary Poole, McDonalds commercials) and I recently had a conversation about comedy and how our styles had evolved. Jay spoke of his BET Comic View choices of wardrobe. His first couple of performances he wore shorts and T-shirts, then he rocked a denim look and just last year he blazed the stage with a blazer, jean combo with a fly shirt and a matching hat. Jay’s look was hardly a suit but he said that the blazer gave him a since of GrownMan and that’s what he wanted to convey.

The Kings and Queens of Comedy definitely raised the fashion bar for all comedians. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity speak with both Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer on this subject and the general consensus is you dress up (in suits) mostly out of respect for your audience. These shows are events. People prepare for months getting their best clothes together and it is your duty to at the very least present your best.

When I wear a suit on stage I hit the stage with a since of pride. Although , I once had an manager tell me not to dress up for a showcase, he said that I should look like I wanted to make it, and not that I already had made it. I said to myself that sounds like some B. S. I wore my suit and proceeded to be completely ignored by powers that be…Maybe he was right.

My good friend Comedian Joey “J-Dub” Wells. Is at home on stage with a pair jeans and a designer T-shirt. Joey is completely devoted to his hip-hop look. Even Joey has begun to make the suit transition, he has been sited on stage recently suited and booted, cufflinks and all.

The question is…Do I dress up? Do I rock a suit? Yes, IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE, yep that’s the answer your comfort is paramount. Personally, suits is my thing, but one of my contemporaries Roland “Lil Duval” Powel is a beast onstage with an oversized T-shirt and some sagging’ jeans on. What you wear onstage is a personal choice and when making your choice consider these three things: 1. Your Audience – dress to impress them (your way) 2. Your Comfort – if you are not comfortable you are not funny 3. Your evolution – as you grow up on stage so does our individual look.

This is Rodney Perry and right now I am typing this in my draws. So much for dressing up.

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