Park School alum Ben Rosen remembers his first attempt at a joke. He was five, and his family was exchanging one-liners so he wanted to join in: "The house . . . was red!" he said, cracking himself up. While it wasn't comic gold, the quip made him realize he wanted to be a comedian. He began studying Steven Wright and George Carlin, but it wasn't until 2009 that he mustered the nerve to get behind a microphone. He entered a talent show and came in first, beating out 17 other comedians. "The trick with comedy is to pursue your initial instinct," he says. "If you overhear something funny in a bagel shop, don't forget it. Polish it and put it into your material." After being named Baltimore Comedy Factory's funniest person of 2010, he decided to pursue a career in New York City. Rosen now has a job at Gawker Media and performs at comedy clubs on open-mic nights. "I'm almost back to square one," he says. "You have to get them to see you on stage, which is no easy task." He's already performed at Gotham Comedy Club and Comic Strip Live and, this month, will play the renowned Carolines on Broadway. "When you're performing with some of the best guys in the world," he says, "it gives you a good sense of where you need to go."
Ben Rosen is taking his comedy to NYC
Issue date: August, 2011