Dread Archie Jr.
Comedy is his passion during the night hours. Working at the Mortuary is his job during the day. To me, I find both jobs to be fascinating and comedic at the same time. Here, you would find out the roads, he is taking to become a famous comedian. Dread Archie Jr. is….. A Comedian On The Rise…
SKII: A comedian by heart, but also has a day job. How did you get started in this business?
Dread: I started beat boxing as a Hip Hop artist when I was around eleven or twelve years old. I began doing shows at this place called Hip Hop USA in Queens. More accurately, in Jackson Heights – when the arena was called USA then changed it to Hip Hop USA. I started to do contests every week after this guy named, Javon came to my house and grabbed me by my collar and dragged me on stage! A lot of cats like Biz Markie, and Dougie Fresh, but I didn’t get to the contest on time. So, Javon and I got together. At that time my name was Prince DMX, (that was a b-box thing, at the time) because back then they had a machine called a DMX, like a rolling 808 and then they had the sp 1200, and so on. When I was younger and playing with matchbox toys at the age of four or five, I was doing sound effects. I’d never thought anything of it, but my parents used to always call it out saying what sounds I was making. But, again, I never thought anything of it. I heard a group called, the Fat Boyz and they’re who inspired me to want to get into beat boxing. Then I saw a movie named, Beat Street! Then I saw Dougie Fresh. But, what really triggered me to notice that I was a little bizarre kid, watching this TV series called, White Shadow – they zoomed into the house of this show where you’d see Michael Winslow staring and talking to himself – It sounds weird, but it amazed me. Then groups like the Temptations influenced me. I used to make doo wop sounds, only I’d put water in a glass then make that sound. I’d also imitate car sounds while using the top of a pot. No matter how many times I tried rapping at the age of ten, I was horrible so people used to tell me that I’m a comedian, and not a rapper.
I landed a commercial deal with Wrigley’s Winter Fresh gum and that’s how I got into the Screen Actors Guild. I realized then that I belonged in this game. I did a movie, Scratch with legendary DJ Red Alert! In 2005, I decided to go to acting school.
I’ve been doing comedy for about ten years, now. I love it when people say it’s easy. Some do say it’s hard. But, I love talking crap, I love talking the truth.
SKII: So, did you finish school? Did you graduate from high school?
Dread: I went to The Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. I graduated from there. I didn’t go to college. I began working as a doorman at Trump Place. I worked for them for thirteen years and I was number one there. It was a great place and a great environment. It’s a family business. I used to work there when I was seventeen, but then stopped and now it’s money for my pockets at the funeral place. I started working there, October 2014.
SKII: How old are you?
Dread: I’m Black and I was born somewhere in the seventies.
SKII: So tell me about your gigs and different jobs you did? I know you did a big lease commercial, explain please.
Dread: I did a gig with Dule and it was cool. We did a show at this place called the Wetlands, which is no longer there, but it was fascinating. It was an Aids Benefits, and I met Jerry Lewis so, it was pretty cool. I also did All My Children, twice, as a messenger. Also, did a movie back then called, Colors of Rage with Pepsi Riley Redman. Did, another movie called, Off the Hook which was pretty cool, and I never thought that I would be doing stand-up comedy. Pretty much, comedy chose me.
SKII: When did you realized you can do, what you do?
Dread: When I was in acting school the first year, that’s when I realized something was missing, so I called a friend and explained how I needed to get back into comedy. I was doing shows like four or five days a week as I experienced the need to become better. Any great comedian started off by getting a lot of stage time. I was getting a lot of standing ovations and cheers and pats on the back explaining how I did a great job. Being funny in this game is great, but when you learn how to take the good with the bad that’s when you know your growing and becoming wise at what you do. I did comedy with Richard Prior’s daughter. She was great, but in her mind she felt like she’d done badly. Comedians could be their worst critics, and have a lot of pain. So, as comedians our job is to make people laugh through their/our pain.
SKII: Who’s your favorite Comedian past and present?
Dread: Richard Pryor, of course! I remember as a kid listening to his album – very inspiring! Now, Mike Epps is my favorite, because he is a person that’s just being himself and he reminds me of Richard Pryor.
SKII: How long have you been in Staten Island?
Dread: Been on the Island since, 2003
SKII: So, name a few Venus you’ve performed at?
Dread: One Mic Entertainment was one; Gothal Comedy Club, in Manhattan, and now, every other week, I’m hosting a show in Sommerset, New Jersey.
SKII: What would you tell a younger you?
Dread: I would say to be a lot more focused; don’t take anything personally; have really thick skin; and, to love what you do. Believe in what you do and always keep God in your path, because the devil is out there, but God is always working, as well.
SKII: What are your aspirations in life?
Dread: Honestly I would love to help other artists and give people ideas: play writers, films, and acting (I did go to school for it). I’d love to write and tell my story, and help younger kids who’re thinking of this business (or any business) so as to help them achieve it and teach them how to do it.
SKII: What does DOA means? Is this a name you used before?
Dread: Yeah, that was a nick name when I first started in the game. It stands for Dread Odester Archie. That’s my actual birth name and I wanted to use it for a Wendy’s commercial, but then I couldn’t really use it in the industry like that, because [they said] it meant something negative in the real world. So, I decided to just use Dread Archie.
SKII: What are your aspirations in life? What do you see yourself doing in the next two to five years from now?
Dread: I already see myself writing for short films and movies. I haven’t gone to school for that. I went to school for acting. But, I would love to take that up, and I also see myself helping others by giving them advice and guidance in the business. I love writing and see myself doing plays, as well. I just see myself more behind the scenes than out in front. I love to see that magic happen, because I don’t really care about the limelight. I can deal with the limelight, because I love performing on the stage and I think that I would do stand up til the day I die. It’s something that I love doing I’m not trying to be big like Kevin Hart, but if it happens that’ll be God’s doing.
SKII: Who inspired you to be the person you are now?
Dread: Honestly, my mother and my father! They both gave that support I couldn’t get from anyone or anywhere else. My father was a musician he was down with this group called the Manhattans and took off before they got signed. My mother was a singer from Philly.
Muhammad Ali inspired me also. He’s my idle, because he was more than just a boxer. He was also a man that believed in the impossible and made it happen. Richard Pryor is the biggest inspiration to me, because he was the most creative and realist comedian I’ve ever seen. And, he was always about the truth; a great story teller. Everything was about what he’d seen, or had done in his life.
SKII: What would you tell a younger you if you went back into time?
Dread: Get to know the business first. Before anything, go to college. Make more connections. Change your circle of friends and the people you involve yourself with. Stay focused. Surround yourself with the right circle of people. Basically, people with the same goals who are making something of themselves. Definitely keep God in your life that’s the main ingredient you need in your life. Continue to have faith in yourself and believe that you can finish anything you put your mind t
SKII: What would you tell a younger you if you went back into time?
Dread: Get to know the business first. Before anything, go to college. Make more connections. Change your circle of friends and the people you involve yourself with. Stay focused. Surround yourself with the right circle of people. Basically, people with the same goals who are making something of themselves. Definitely keep God in your life that’s the main ingredient you need in your life. Continue to
o. My biggest thing learned is to LISTEN to your parents or anyone that’s been down the same road; or, has experience in life. Just LISTEN.
SKII: How do you feel about bullying? What message would you give someone being bullied?
Dread: There are so many different levels of bullying someone, but once it gets to a physical altercation you should separate the bully away, or apart from the victim. There are different things you can do to help others in that situation. Most bullies are lost, looking for something, or trying to find somewhere to fit in. Before the bullying even gets to the point of its worst stage, there should be some type of counseling to figure out what they need or what’s missing in their life to fix the issue. Hating, or disliking someone to the point of wanting to harm or belittle them is preposterous. Report it by putting the details on paper. And, always stick up for yourself.
SKII: What would you tell a person who is trying to get in the same business, as you? Acting, being a comedian, etc.
Dread: Nothing comes easy, so don’t expect it to be although, some people do get blessed early in the game. Just love what you do. Have fun with it. Enjoy it! Always have something to back you up…such as a degree. Never stop your education too early, never give up on your dreams, and always keep God first.