I have had a front row seat to observe Darren's success over the last few years and never fully knew the keys to his achievement. He has unselfishly revealed his secrets with The Compound Effect so that others can learn from his success. In my eyes, it is more valuable than gold!
Everything creative is somewhat collaborative. If you're a painter and someone stretches your canvas, it was collaborative on some level. Ultimately I'm the writer for me, but also anytime one of my friends gets stuck with a bit, they can call me and I'm pretty good at helping them get there. I think we all work together on some level, but for the most part, we're on our own.
The arresting officer-who I had literally known all my life, you know what I mean? This guy lived four doors down from me in a town of less than 400 people. We've met. Anyway, at the station, he asks me if I have any aliases. And I was just being a smartass and said, "Yeah, they call me... Tater Salad." Seventeen years later, I'm handcuffed to a bench with blood coming out my nose, this cop comes up to me and says, "Are you Ron... 'Tater Salad' White?"
I did have a deal for a little while a cigar company that never really materialized that much, except that I ended up with 100 boxes of my own cigars with my signature on them. Which is great, they are wonderful cigars but they never really fulfilled out so now I'm out of it. I can sign up with somebody else or go pick a blend or whatever. I probably will, there is no sense in not doing it.
The biggest piece of advice that I give young comedians is: If it's your goal to get where I'm at, go do something else. Because you'll never get here. Never. The odds are so bad. Because not only do you have to be a really, really strong comedian but you also have to be lucky. And most people don't get that combination.
Years ago, while I was watching a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers, I remember staring in awe at Cal Ripken. I realized during this game that 'you don't have to be flashy' or have 'power numbers' to be great. It's about the simple things that are the hard things. It's about leadership, work ethic and commitment.
I only like the live audience. I don't even like to do standup where it's being filmed. Because it affects the way the audience responds to what you say, because it makes them uncomfortable. You have to perform in a light room, and I prefer a dark room. But I love to perform, and I don't really see myself doing any television at all.