2016-06-01 / Features

A Stand-Up Guy: Blake Winston Rice

BY JUDY CLOSE


Blake Winston Rice 
Photo Chris Carroll Blake Winston Rice Photo Chris Carroll The Gazette recently caught up with a young, dynamic talent making the show business rounds and the nightlife scene in Queens. We interviewed Blake Winston Rice over a year ago for a “Local- Express” column, as a promising stand-up comedian, actor, writer and director who moved to Astoria just a few years before, from New Jersey. His comedy career began in college, where he created an award-winning sketch comedy show, “Socially Awkward,” with co-creator and writing partner, comedian and fellow Astoria resident Ricky Ryan. Since Blake crossed the river, he began doing open mic nights at local clubs while auditioning by day.

Blake likes being an Astorian, and specifically, nightclub, Q.E.D. “Q.E.D. has something new and exciting happening every night and some of the best talent in the city stops by to perform.” He also has hosted a show there with his best comedy buddies: Drew Morgan, Keele Howard Stone, Joe Welkie, Ricky Ryan, Lyons George and Paul Schissler. He loves Greek food and the many bars and dining venues popping up locally, but says, “You’ve got to check out The Pomeroy, definitely one of my favorite new spots. The drinks are amazing, the staff is drop-dead sexy and the food is fantastic. They sell fried chicken, like fancy fried chicken. DON’T tell them Blake sent you, you might get kicked out!”

He told us his big news: “I will be headlining my first stand-up show at an Off-Broadway venue, the Triad Theater, W. 72nd Street, Manhattan, on June 11 at 7 pm – my biggest show so far. The program will feature two opening acts (t/b/a), and the evening’s host is well-known New York City funnyman Paul Schissler,” says Blake.

“The Triad is a super cool venue and I’m very excited and lucky to be performing there. In fact, if I walk out onto the stage on June 11 and Martin Scorsese is NOT in the front row, the show’s a total loss,” (he declares, tongue firmly in cheek). “I’m also very excited about a short dramatic film I just wrote and directed, “To Whom It May Concern.” Just like the Triad Show, this film is a very big step for my career. We shot all over Astoria with an amazing cast and crew, and now that we’re almost done post-production, we plan on premiering the project at film festivals this spring and summer.

Blake vows to keep pushing forward within the next few years. “As long as I’m still able to be creative – filming movies, telling jokes, acting, writing, whatever, I just don’t want to be stuck at a job somewhere doing something that doesn’t challenge me. Ideally, one day I’ll be in a jacuzzi eating fine, stinky, French cheeses while Margot Robbie (my future main squeeze) tells me I can throw a football 60 yards,” he muses, flashing forward to a favorite personal scenario.

We asked him if he worried about being typecast only as a comic, rather than as an actor/performer. Explains Blake, “I don’t worry about typecasting. At this point in my career I worry about casting – ha ha. I’m not very picky with the roles I’m being offered as an actor – so I’ll go in and read for all the frat star Chads, Brents, Chents that they call me in for.”

This summer, catch this rising young star, Blake Rice, a stand-up guy from Astoria.

Follow Blake on his website, Facebook and Twitter pages: www.blakewinstonrice.com, www.facebook.com/blakewrice and www.twitter.com/blakewrice.

For ticket information visit www.triadnyc.com.

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