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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Comedian brings ‘life’ into spotlight at Kingsport show

Xavier Hall’s Friday performance at Rascals is being filmed for a future DVD release.



Life is what you make it, the old saying goes. For comedian Xavier Hall, life is his job — the conversations, situations, accusations and deliberations — and he takes it to the stage for your entertainment.
“That’s what I do. If I can take you and get rid of that stress or whatever you’re going through and make you laugh and have a good time, that makes my day and I’m glad to do it,” said Hall. Hall, a 1992 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, has been touring the country with a troupe of comedians that have been featured on BET’s “ComicView” and are currently on a holiday hiatus until January, enough time for him to make a second visit to Rascals in Kingsport for a comedy concert.
“I just see it as a way to pay homage to my hometown, a place where I got my inspiration from good folks who urged me to go and cut up on stage instead of at gatherings with friends,” said Hall, who drew more than 300 people for his July appearance in Kingsport.
The Kingsport show, which is being filmed for a future DVD release, is scheduled for Rascals, 125 Cumberland St., on Friday, with opening acts Roxy and KinFolk beginning at 8 p.m.
Hall’s brand of comedy, which he labels as PG-13, draws from everyday life, and Hall says he wants audience members to feel like they are involved in a conversation.
“You have to just take a look at what has happened in your life, and sometimes those experiences can be the ones that will make you fall down in the floor and laugh,” he said.
“It’s real life. You’ve done it and didn’t realize until somebody put it in that context, and then it hits you. From funerals to a roller coaster ride you can’t believe you got on, you’ve talked about it or done it.
“Like going on this ride with my work buddy, Harold. He is over here going ‘who-hoo’ and I’m thinking why are we ‘who-hooing’? I don’t have any business being on a roller coaster after turning 19 years old, but you got to do your man things.”
Another reason Hall’s comedic material runs through the course of life is his core audience.
“I’ve got pastors and people of the street in the crowd, and everybody paid their money to come in and laugh, so I’ve got to give everybody something,” he said.
“Things and ideas for your routine hit you daily, so I’m constantly writing and remembering what I’ve seen. Sometimes it’s hard to plan because you never know what kind of audience you’re going to get.
“Comedy changes, and it sometimes depends on where you are. Down in the South, people are a little more easygoing, so engaging them takes time but it happens. Up North, you’ve got to earn that laugh, and I have been blessed to make a lot of people laugh.”
During that first concert at Rascals earlier this year, more seats were needed for the crowd, so a call went out to a local church in downtown Kingsport.
Hall was ready to go and lift seats until some friends told him that he needed to go and prepare.
“That’s just who I am. I work for everything, and they had to tell me, ‘Hey, this is your show, we’ll take care of you. You go get ready.’ It just means a lot to me that people care enough and enjoy my show that they came out, so I am working to make that show one they will laugh about in the car on the way home and at work the next day,” said Hall.