New comedy with Anne Heche! Series Premiere, Thursday 8/7c. Preview now.
Fill us in on what you've been up to since your season of LCS ended?
I have been doing a LOT of live stand up comedy! The first two years were pretty crazy, touring almost nonstop. I wanted to get to every fan that I could, put on a show and thank them for voting for me. I'm still touring now, but at a more managable pace, mostly at comedy clubs, colleges/universities, corporate shows, and casinos. The colleges are great: they love my performances and they are full of energy - very responsive and positive crowds.
I took a short sabbatical in San Francisco for a couple months, but then took on a new manager. Now I've returned to Hollywood and am starting a big push in the TV & movie biz. I just shot "Spring Break '83" and have several projects lined up, including a LIVE DVD that we just shot, and possibilities with some prominent directors like Timothy Bui, and award winner Ham Tran. I also have a team of talented pros that together we're going to produce "Yellow Fever" and several other full-feature films. Look for some Dat Phan releases in 2008 & 2009.
Check out www.datphan.com for the latest updates and more info on those projects. You can also see my tour schedule and when I'm coming to your city soon!
How did LCS change your life?
Last Comic Standing was a tremendous opportunity for me as a comic. I got to showcase my talent in front of all of America. People got to see me in their living rooms, and now with that exposure and popular demand, I'm able to travel all over and see tons of fans in person! I try to keep in touch with them all through my website, and through MySpace and Facebook, but it's very hard to keep up. Anyway, I do comedy for a living now, and I love it!
What's it like being on the road? Is being a professional comic all it's cracked up to be? No pun intended.
You know it's funny, sometimes you meet someone who says something like "Man, you have the easiest job in the world! You just travel around and crack jokes on stage for an hour a night, I could do that!" Sure, I love what I do, and it beats putting tar on roofs or farming. I really respect people who work tough jobs and support their families, and luckily a lot of times those are the people who come to my performances and I'm fortunate to be able to make them laugh for a while.
There's a lot to being a full time comic that the public doesn't see though. Try making three roundtrip flights in a week and being fun and funny everywhere you land. Try finding a real girlfriend that is understanding about you being gone three weeks out of every month.
Otherwise, it's fantastic! I've performed in 46 states and have seen America in ways I never could have without comedy.
Tell us a funny LCS story that fans never got to see happen on air?
Actually, on the night of the Grand Finale of Season One, the production crew was talking to us and warning us about the pyrotechnics that they had scheduled to go off. It was a whirlwind of activity and I thought, "That's silly, why would anyone back up into the fireworks zone? Silly!" We get to the final announcement of America's votes and I'm thinking Ralphie is probably going to win, but to my surprise Jay Mohr announces "Dat Phan!" I'm in shock! I couldn't believe it!
And sure enough, I start stumbling backwards a little bit - then they light off the pyrotechnics and I almost roasted my keister! I almost had a Micheal Jackson moment there. Anyway, the lesson is: listen to the production crew carefully. They're there to help you put on a good show for the audience, but also to save your butt from danger!
Any parting words of advice to would-be comedians?
For the first year, enjoy it. Do it because you love it. If you're serious after that, work hard at it. Make a career plan, make your goals, and work hard to get there. Record your set, study it and find out where the holes are. Close those gaps and fill them with punchlines. Find constructive ways to improve your comedy, and treat it like a business. Oh, and if the production guys say watch out for the pyrotechnics, listen up!