This week at Inspiring Stories we meet Anthony Ramos, CMTer and stand-up comedian from Los Angeles. In this section, we introduce many inspiring people from all around the world, but Anthony has a special place among them. He’s the living example of our motto “Working Smarter than Harder”.
Every day people with CMT are requested to compete in a merciless society without the proper tools. If they fail, they are often blamed for “lack of will” or for “not being strong enough”. Thus, they work harder (damaging their body) or they quit (damaging their soul).
Not Anthony. He decided to be a stand-up comedian, a job that requires a minimum amount of physical strength but a sharp mind. When the competition moves from the body to the mind, CMTer proves to be the best. Indeed, their mind is trained every day to solve problems unknown to the majority of the population.
Not everybody can be a stand-up comedian. Many of us love to work in a more traditional way, or they are forced to do so. Still, whatever is our job, we can all use a bit of “smarter than harder” attitude in our life. That’s why I love to interview someone like Anthony Ramos, I am sure you will enjoy his story as much as I did.
Hi Anthony! Could you shortly introduce yourself and your connection with CMT?
My name is Anthony Ramos. I’m a Stand-Up Comedian and Host of the amazing Rolling with Ramos video podcast filmed at Universal CityWalk. Which can be downloaded (free of charge) from iTunes or watch the full shows on YouTube or ustream.com. Again, that’s Rolling with Ramos. (What a shameless plug)
I live in Burbank, Ca with my incredibly supportive and talented wife, Sara. I’m 41 and I have CMT. I’ve worn leg braces and have been battling CMT since I was 13 years old. And I’ve been kickin’ its as*, I might add. Yeah, I said it. Suck it CMT!!
How did you get started in comedy?
I officially began doing Stand-Up in 1996, 4th of July weekend at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. I moved to L.A. from San Diego in early 1997 and began pursuing Comedy and Writing full-time.
I’ve performed at a lot of great clubs like The Comedy Store, The Improv and The Laugh Factory. I’ve Worked for Power106 radio station in L.A. as a writer and voice over actor. Thanks to Stand-Up Comedy I’ve been able to travel internationally performing for U.S. troops, I’ve met and performed with incredibly talented entertainers and I fell in love with the most amazing woman I could have ever imagined, Sara.
How did you get started with your own show?
In June of 2012, I was asked to bring my wit and humor to a new podcast. And for the next 7 months, I Co-Hosted a weekly video podcast filmed at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club and Podcast Theater.
I learned a lot about working in a studio atmosphere and really began to enjoy performing in the podcasting format. The show’s success actually led to an offer from the network to produce my very own show, Rolling with Ramos.
I leaped at the offer … okay, I didn’t leap at it. I’m disabled. So, I got up as quickly as I could and hurried towards the offer. Anyway, with my wife and show producer, Sara, I was able to develop a video podcast filled with laughs and a more relaxed and unorthodox interview style with Celebrity guests, Actors, Musicians, and Comedians.
What would you suggest to other people with a disability, who are thinking about going into show business?
Don’t start a podcast. I’m already doing that. I’m joking. I guess the answer for me was self-acceptance and honesty. Don’t lie to yourself or let others lie to you. I began producing my best work when I learned to accept what kind of performer I really was. I focused on my strengths and weaknesses as a comic and a writer.
I had to figure out where I, realistically, fit into the world of show business. And what my story or point of view is. It’s easier to get people interested if you really know what you want to say or do. Think about how to best use your talents and disability to get what you want.
Yes, I said USE your disability. Own that sh**. I try to be the funniest comic around with CMT and even devote part of my Stand-Up act to talking about disabilities in general. And I don’t do it in a politically correct way. My comedy is an extension of who I am. I can be funny, caring, insensitive, loveable, outspoken, charming, smart, stupid, and a little bit of a dic*. But I own it.
But, advice can be tricky. I’ve always asked anyone seeking advice from me to take only what can help them and ignore the rest. What I mean by that is, if I babble on for an hour about writing jokes, but have only said one or two things that make sense to you and can help you, focus on that. Ignore the rest of cra* I was saying. Use and apply only those things that’ll work for you.
What are your plans for the future, if any?
I’d like to perform Stand-Up Comedy more frequently and find a new network to continue my video podcast, Rolling with Ramos. I’d also like to start (and finish) the children’s book Idea that’s been rolling around my head for ten years. About a boy with CMT and the wonderful world he lives in.
My dream, though, is to start a production company which focuses on projects developed by persons with disabilities. Music, Film, Theater or whatever great projects I can find.