Mark DeMayo @ The River Rock Grill
Mark DeMayo is on his way to becoming one of the best comedians in the country. He was born in NYC in June of 1967. His father immigrated from the Dominican Republic and his mother from Czechoslovakia. They met in an English speaking class. They fell in love and got married. As soon as they could understand each other, they quickly divorced.
Mark's sense of humor can be traced back to his years as a toddler. The first funny thing he remembers hearing was his own name. Mark recalls being out shopping with his grandma (his "abuelita") and he must have drifted off in a store. Mark remembers her familiar voice calling out to him, "Mayobanex, ven aca, Mayobanex, ven aca!" Which loosely translated means, "horrible sounding word, come here." Mark says his first thought was, "why is this lady cursing at me?" He says his second thought was, "Wait a minute, that horrible sounding word may actually be my first name?" Rather than sit in a soiled diaper and cry like a baby, Mark states that he vowed that as soon as he could talk, he was going to change his first name.
Cutting his first name down from Mayobanex to Mayo slightly eased the teasing, but Dominican kids in Washington Heights and Greek kids in Astoria, Queens (the boroughs Mark's divorced parents settled in) all knew how to say MAYO-NNAISE. Mark found a way to fight back. He learned how to "Snap" or "Play the Dozens". "Cracking" on someone not only stopped the teasing, but Mark also enjoyed making his classmates laugh.
The attention Mark received from getting laughs filled the void, from his home life, but made him disruptive in school. Soon, Mark was kicked out of Public School and shipped off to Boarding School. Mark says that being the "Class Clown" in Boarding school hurts literally! The Nuns and Headmaster were given free reign to beat the funny out of him. As Mark puts it, he was paroled at that end of eighth grade and went to St. John's Prep High School in Astoria Queens where he found a new way to be the center of attention and that was "Break Dancing" in a crew. Break Dancing may have come and gone (and come back again) but Mark's desire to be an entertainer never dulled. His ambitions turned to acting. He studied acting at the famous H.B. Studios and The School for TV and Film. He then became a member of "The Thirteenth Street Theatre Company" where he starred in many plays and countless performances. Mark made his television acting debut as a guest star on a show entitled, "Della Ventura" on CBS and, following that, he got steady work on the Soap Opera, "As the World Turns."
Following an acting teacher's advice, Mark got involved in Improv Theatre as a way to stay sharp between acting auditions. It was during a performance with an Improv Troupe called, "Los Banditos Chocolates," that Mark got something he hadn't gotten in a few years -- a big laugh for one of his ideas... After that show, Mark received a few compliments from cast members as well as one life-changing suggestion.. Nat Turner, the troupe founder, said, "Hey man, you should do Stand-Up comedy". Mark said "The thought of doing Stand-Up Comedy, scared the crap out of me, so I knew that I had to try it."
As a new comic floating around NYC trying to get stage time, Mark dared to go where most novice comedians are too scared to perform, "The Urban Rooms" (Comedy shows where the audiences are composed of predominately African American and Latino people). Mark recalls, "Every Monday night, the Palm Court in Brooklyn had a great show", I'd go there and get the "New Jack Spot" (new comedian, no pay), then he'd hang out and watch, great comedians like Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Tony Woods and Talent Harris do their thing. It was a tremendous learning experience for Mark and, somehow, Mark knew that his destiny was to make people laugh...
It has been 12 years since those Monday nights at the Palm Court and Mark has become a fan favorite. He is what other comedians call, "A BEAST" because he is a tough act to follow. Mark's material is autobiographical as well as topical. He is edgy and very, very funny. He has a laid back style but he still commands the stage. Audiences can sense that he has a good soul so they see through the "tough-guy persona" without getting offended because they know its all in good fun.
Mark performs nightly at the best comedy clubs in New York City and the Tri-State area (NY, NJ and PA). He also travels to perform in comedy clubs and college campuses throughout the country. His stand-up comedy credits include two seasons of Si-TV's "Latino Laugher," Jamie Foxx's, "Laffapalooza Comedy Festival," the DVD, "Comedy Jump Off" and Showtime's "White Boyz in the Hood." He is also a regular guest on 98.7 Kiss FM Radio in New York City on the "Wake-Up Club" and he is also bringing his comedy to a theatre near you this summer in "Stand-Up 360: Muy Caliente."
The Comedy Shoppe @ The River Rock Grill
Corner of Route 70 & Riviera Drive
Brick Township, NJ 08742
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|