Standup Troy Walker has experienced the proverbial meteoric rise. After doing comedy for nine years, the Denver native is headlining clubs across the country and living in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Colorado, Walker started doing standup in college. “I always thought it was really fun to watch, like those old-school Def Comedy Jams, all that kind of stuff," he says. "I loved it, and when I turned 21, I started hitting all the dive bars that had comedy shows, and here we are.”
Walker wound up going to law school, but never practiced law. “I wanted to do prosecutions,” he says. “I did my internships at in a couple of district attorneys offices, and I liked being in the courtroom. That’s probably what I would have been doing if I hadn’t pursued comedy, but I don’t know.” Just out of school, he took a job at a financial firm working on money laundering detection.
A chance to perform at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal led to a management deal and trip to Los Angeles. “They had me come out for pilot season, and I sort of never left.”
At first, though, Walker wasn’t sure if he should quit his day job back in Denver. “My job was pretty flexible and I said, ‘I need to be gone for like seven to nine weeks.’” They suggested he resign and be placed on a rehire list in case he did return. “So it wasn’t like a ton of risk, but what happened was I went out there and did The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and I got a commercial, and I was doing all these auditions. I thought about going back, but my reps were like, ‘You want to move back where?’”
His first commercial was for PetSmart, in which he starred with Jane Lynch. “That was surreal. I’m acting in this commercial and there’s Jane Lynch. It was amazing.” To this day, he’s still blown away that during the course of his day he might have to go over to Disney or the Sony studios for a meeting. “It’s just unreal that I’m there on those lots.”
In L.A., when he’s not out on the road, he tries to expand his opportunities. “I’ve done some sketch work,” he says, “because you always have to diversify out in L.A. You take acting classes and audition for sitcoms and write your own stuff and audition to host shows. You try and do it all.”
None of those things are out of his comfort zone, though. “It’s new. Standup is the thing I’ve been doing for years and years, so learning these new crafts is fun. I’ve always been a person that’s liked learning. I don’t have a problem digging in and trying to get to where I need to be.”
IF YOU GO:
Acme Comedy Co.
708 North First St., Minneapolis
8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10:30 Friday and Saturday
For more info, call 612-338-6393 or visit www.acmecomedycompany.com