Jeff McEnery is a comedian and actor with aspirations for the bright lights of Los Angeles, a career path he’s currently in the midst of fulfilling. What was the inspiration? Find out in today’s Notable Young Professional profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m a stand up comedian and actor. During the week, I write material, go to open mics and attend auditions for commercials, TV shows and movies. On the weekends, I perform for Yuk Yuk’s, either at their comedy clubs located across the country or at their fundraising events or bar shows.
What was the inspiration for this career route?
I saw Mike MacDonald’s comedy special “My House, My Rules” on CBC when I was a kid and fell in love with stand-up comedy. Then when I was in high school, I had an amazing drama teacher who encouraged me to try improv. I’ve been performing comedy ever since.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
There’s no better feeling than when you’re killing on stage and you just know that everyone in the room is thinking, “Man, I wish I was that guy.” That’s the best. Then as soon as I step offstage I go back to being the awkward guy who can’t make eye contact with waitresses.
The most challenging part of the job would be the loneliness of the road sometimes. It’s hard to go from performing in front of a large group of people straight back to your hotel room. A lot of comics end up with addictions because of it. Thankfully, when I’m on the road, I’m only addicted to pizza and Netflix.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In L.A., writing or acting on a television show.
What does success look like to you?
For me, it’s the whole fame thing. I want to be famous. I want to be Carol Burnett. I’d love to be bawling my eyes out on TV and have people in Des Moines, Iowa, who I’ve never met, bawling right along with me.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It will most likely be performing at the Just for Laughs Festival this year. It’ll be my second appearance at the Fest. The first time I went I was part of a competition so I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy myself. This time I’m friends with everyone else on the show and it’s going to taped for TV so it should be a blast.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Stay your own worst critic. People who say “You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself” are just happy losers who probably won’t amount to much. I think that’s an excerpt from Eat, Pray, Love.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Does lending money to my uncles count? I don’t at the moment but would love to in the future. I would love to raise money for the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph. They’re a compassionate group of people who lend people a hand in their hour of need.
What to you is notable?
Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in “A League of Their Own.” Go ahead and watch the movie. You won’t stop smiling for a month.
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