This week's Chicagoan: Trevor Burke, stand-up comic, age 11 | Chicagoans | Chicago Reader

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This week's Chicagoan: Trevor Burke, stand-up comic, age 11

"I'm not looking to get paid or anything, but I would accept the money. There’s so many cool things to buy. Video games are pretty cool."


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A first-person account from off the beaten track, as told to Anne Ford.

"I hated Cub Scouts because when I used my knife to cut a little spear out of wood, they took my knife away, and I was like, 'Fuck this.' My dad's like, 'You gotta do something. Do you want to do sports?' I was like, 'No, I hate every sport alive.' Mainly the problem with baseball is, the game is superboring and the people who play it are superboring.

"One time I was playing baseball with other kids. I got a home run, I went to high-five everyone, and no one looks up. Then this kid catches a double out, and everyone rushes to pick him up, and I'm just standing there. I'm thinking, 'What the fuck?' Sorry for language. I have hated baseball ever since.

"So I told my dad, 'I want to be on TV.' He was like, 'You want to be an actor?' I was like, 'All right.' I got the first one, so I felt like I was going to win every single audition. I was wrong. I ended up having the second one fail. OK, that's all right. Then I failed the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. Now I fail three, get one, fail four, get one.

"In my third-grade days, there was a talent show at school, and I told some jokes. Everyone laughed, and I've been hooked on it since. My stand-up act is all about the view of an 11-year-old in a grown-up world. And of course that's usually a naive look on it. What's cuter than not knowing what stuff is?

"My favorite bit is the magician, because that gets some of the most laughs: 'I think my mom used to be a magician. She told me that when she met my dad, she was doing tricks. My dad's first name is Joe, but around the house she keeps calling him John.' That's a good one.

"I just don't get stage fright. I don't know why. I'm a little bit nervous at the beginning. Then once they clap or laugh, it just stops. If I make at least half of 'em laugh, then I know I'm having an effect on 'em.

"I pretty much write my own material. It just comes to me. I can't really explain it. I'm not looking to get paid or anything, but I would accept the money. There's so many cool things to buy. Video games are pretty cool. I'm a gamer, but I'm not a Call of Duty gamer. I don't really like Call of Duty because I got tired of dying every five seconds.

"You would not believe my favorite TV show. I'm what they call a brony. A brony is a boy who watches My Little Pony, usually from ages 15 to 20. Like, I've seen 50-year-olds watching it. I'm not gonna go that far. But I just enjoy the show. It's not actually that girly, once you get past the intro. It's a really good show. And the only reason people hate on it is they haven't seen it before. I'm not ashamed of it. Welcome to the herd."

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