Meet the Billenials- Alejandro Morales
“Give it up for me, everyone! Give it up for me!” Alejandro Morales says as he takes to the stage.
The crowd who has come out for the open mic event , mostly 20-somethings, seems a bit listless. Alejandro on the other hand is anything but . He makes quips about Donald Trump, his aunt who says everything twice in English and Spanish, and about how he “wished he looked more ethnic for you people.”
It slowly dawns on me that this entire comedic bit is specifically designed for me, or rather, for AL DÍA , or what he might think AL DÍA is, or perhaps even Morales’ own Latino self-consciousness.
And I loved every moment of it.
Whatever the reason, it seems I’m enjoying it a lot more than the people around me . The room is full of would-be performers, and many appear preoccupied with thoughts of their own three minutes on stage.
I met Alejandro for the first time before the show . He and his fellow comedian friends tell me I’m brave for coming out to open mic Monday, a statement that makes more sense to me as the night goes on.
Comedian after comedian sweats it out for a somewhat lackluster audience, and I soon realize a simple fact: comedy is hard.
Talking about comedy is almost as hard. The day after the open mic, Morales came to the AL DÍA office .
We talked about how his parents came from Chile, his comedic influences growing up, the recent-ish Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage and more . There's no scientific way to talk about what makes for a laugh. And as the writer E.B. White said, “analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies.”
Nevertheless, certain topics seem to recur while talking to Morales, the most salient of which is the importance of identity in his act.
For Morales, this means that he talks a lot in his stand-up about being gay and being Latino.
Being gay and Latino are of course far from mutually exclusive identities. And where the post-Stonewall LGBT community and the immigrant Latino community intersect, Alejandro says, is awesome.
But he also admits that finding a date in his parents’ native Chile is just a tad bit hard.
He also contends that it’s hard for him to find gay guys that see his shows, saying that, in general, gay men tend to prefer sassy women as their go-to comedians.
But hopefully more gay men, Latinos and anyone else with a decent sense of humor, manage to catch Morales’ comedy shows and convince him that there is a much larger demand for comedians like him in Philadelphia and in the world.
Morales is producing his first fringe festival show September 18, the first show at the festival made by comedians, so be sure to check him out then.