The Basement Lounge
The Basement Lounge

Season 1, Episode 23 · 3 years ago

"Have You Met Mike?" - EP #23


While we break for the holidays, I'm giving you guys a chance to get to know me a little better with some smaller episodes.

This week, I'd like you all to meet...ME! I'm re-introducing myself to all of you and telling the story of how I got to where I am today!

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Melissa Shea

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Hello, which is lady Sarah, and you are listening to the Basement Lounge. Hey, guys, it's Mike Is. Wanted to let you know that I've once again been nominated for best local comedian in Dayton Ohio, and right now you guys can vote for me by going to Daytoncom and clicking the best of Dayton banner. Vote for me, but the best comic of two thousand and nineteen here in Dick Ohio. I appreciate your vote and I'll see you guys soon. Hey, guys, this is Mike Shay and I want to talk to you about anchor. Yes, anchor is the brand new free way for you to get your podcast career off and running without any cost to you. Simply download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM to get started. Anger is the easiest way to make a podcast to give you everything you need in one place for free. You can use it right from your phone or your computer. Their creation tools allow you to record and edit your podcast so it sounds tolay magnifeek without having to worry about all the costly set up. They'll even distribe get your podcast for you so it can be heard everywhere. spotify, apple podcasts, Google podcast, stitcher, all of that, and you can easily make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. They sent you up with awesome sponsors. All you got to do is record a script, kind of like what I'm doing now, throw it onto your show and start making money once again. Download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM and get your podcast career often running right now. Just do it already. Hey guys, this is Mike and Before we get the show started, I wanted to let you know that you can now join the basement lounge team by supporting the show on Patreon. Right now. We have a one dollar tier that is so full of cool rewards you'd be a fool to pass it up. Just go to patreoncom Basement Lounge pod to sign up right away, and now on with the show. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and settle it, because you're in the basement lounge. What's going on,...

...everybody? Welcome to another episode of the Basement Lounge. I'm your host, Mike Shay, and this is the show where normally we introduce you guys to rising stars in the entertainment industry, be they comedians, actors, podcasters, musicians, what have you, and we're kind of doing that on today's episode. We're still kind of in a break until we get started again here in February, and we've been doing these fun little kind of filler episodes where we talked about things I learned about myself and the previous year talked about some of my goals for the New Year, and now I decided it was a probably a pretty good time to reintroduce myself to all of you, because a lot of you followed me over from the old show, from Mike talks funny, but I'm sure there's plenty of you who maybe weren't worth a fan of me, weren't a listener of mine prior to this. So what I've decided to do is introduce you guys to my to me. Myself going to reintroduce myself to everybody, because when we started this show it was just going in and talking to guests and haven't had a lot of time for you guys to really get to know me. So that's what we're going to do today. So sit back and relax and enjoy this conversation with myself. Really just going to talk about some key points of my life, things I'm involved in, how I got involved in them, and let you guys decide for yourself if I'm somebody you really give a shit about. So, to start things off again, my name is. My name is Mike Shay. I go by Mike Usually, you know, Michael, occasionally, never Mikey. I currently live in Dayton, Ohio. It's a small town smushed between Cincinnati and Columbus. You may have seen Dayton in the news this past year. We we had a hell of a year. On Memorial Day we were pummeled pretty hard with some tornadoes and then we had a shooting in downtown Dayton, in an...

...area called the Oregon district, at a bar called Ned peppers, where nine people lost their lives. We also had a KKK rally here earlier this year as well, and then the death of detective George Garcia, or George our George, cause you're George del Rio. That happened a few months ago. It's been a rough year for Dayton. We've we've had a hell of a year, but that's where I live. I live in Dayton. I have been doing stand up for it'll be fifteen years this October. Fifteen years started in high school as a teenager and I originally got into doing stand up just because I, you know, like a lot of people who've become Comedians, I was bullied a lot in in school and it was at first it was a way for me to kind of get out in front of the bullies. I would tell jokes, making fun of myself, because I figured if I was able to laugh at myself before they had the chance to laugh at me, it would disarm them. I know it's kind of weird, but that was my thinking. Also, I just there's just something about being able to make people laugh that I really love. I love the idea of having an idea or a thought and sharing it with a room full of people and they get a laugh out of it, because I've always enjoyed entertaining. Even before I was doing stand up, I was always in theater, acting in plays. I always love doing that kind of thing, and so stand up was a way for me to do that on my own. I didn't have to wait for the next big production to start. I could just, you know, write my own stuff and put on my own little one man show. As kind of how I saw it. You know, I got into stand...

...up at a weird time where it wasn't exactly a popular form of entertainment. You know, the the S and s were big for stand up and then he got into the s and it the the fire for it kind of went down a little bit and the early S, which is when I started, there really wasn't a buzz for it at all. What was kind of the kick in the pants was two things. One was that was about the time that Dane Cook was was really becoming a superstar and he had really made he was one of the first people in like twenty something years to really be a household name as a comedian. And then also that was around the same time that the blue collar comedy tour first first premiered and that you know that. We all know. That one off like a like a lightning in a bottle. It was it was it was crazy, and so that kind of resparked a lot of people's interest in stand up and for me that was the first time I'd ever really been introduced to it. You know, I had seen some of the comedy central specials of the guys on stage like Greg proops or Brian Reagan, you know, telling jokes on stage, but I never really understood what it was. I didn't understand that that was like a job you could have just telling jokes and being funny. You know, that's not something they do. They talk about it career day in school. And so it wasn't until things like Dane Cook becoming becoming popular and the poodcock comedy tour that actually my parents saw how much I was enjoying it and they introduced me to like Robin Williams live on Broadway and, you know, George Carlin and Sindbad and things like that, and that's that's where my initial love and inspiration for stand up came from. But it was it. But it's always been very deep seated and just in my love for entertainment. Again, you know,...

I got my start acting in school plays and community theater and I still I still like, I still enjoy acting. I've done a little bit of it in the last few years, usually in things that I've put on myself. My brother Jason is a photographer and a videographer and a bit of an amateur filmmaker himself. He well bet he start. He started long before I did. He started making short films in high school and I got to act in a couple of them and it was a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun making those and he's he's made some really good ones over the years and he's done music video work. He's done commercial work for like local law firms. He does a lot of photography and video. His girlfriend is in a dance group but he shoots photos of them and does headshots, and so he was kind of a I hate to say inspiration because I didn't start getting into that side of things until way later, but he was all but he was somebody that I that was something I could have a shared interest with him in and because I always loved acting and loved entertaining, it was great because whenever he needed somebody kind of on the fly, he could know. He knew he could always ask me. I was always a was always handy, and so I do saw acting. I haven't done a whole lot of acting the last couple of years. I've kind of moved away from acting because as I've gotten into filmmaking, I've found that I enjoy writing and directing more than I do actually acting on film. I've directed myself in a couple and I kind of promised myself never again, never again. You know, I'll act in somebody else's but I won't direct myself in my own. It's just it's too much the the I've so I've made a couple of films the last few years. The first was one called the cross at the gem, which was a sort of well, we'll get to that in a second because there's...

...there's a bit of a story there. So I I went to school. I got my degree in Mass Communication From Lander University, which is in Greenwood, South Carolina, tiny little town in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina. I actually went to two other schools prior to that, winthrop university for my freshman year and then I did some time at Midlands Tech, which is a little community college in South Carolina. Was Living in South Carolina for a number of years but I ended up finishing my education at lander and I had an amazing experience at lander. I was only there two and a half years by the time, by the time everything was setten done, I went in to finish my degree there, but I had the most amazing experience there. I met people that I'm still friends with to this day. That I my writing partner and producer for this show, Travis diffender. If I met him my last year college at Lander. Paul Crutcher, who was my my adviser and my boss at the radio station on campus, has continued to be one of my dear friends and mentors in life. I made great connections to people, I developed a lot of skills and I it's also where I developed my love for film, because it just so happened that my first semester at lander they were doing the Second Annual Lander University Film Festival and I just happened to be walking past the meeting and Paul was there and he said my him in kind of thing. I was like, I it's not really my thing. He's like, I just come in and see what you think, and I went up just giving it a shot and I had so much fun with it that for the next couple of years I entered every single year and it was never with anything good. It was stuff that I just kind of made and and, you know, just had fun slap it together at the last second. It wasn't anything special. But after I got out of college and you...

...know, I wasn't focused on school anymore, so I was able to start really focusing on the creative side of things. You know, I was working and living with friends and just started writing more and then, finally, once I'm once I did move to Ohio after leaving South Carolina. Eventually did move to Ohio to be in your family, because my parents had moved from South Carolina back up to Ohio, where we had been living before my last year college, and I actually opted to stay behind because I was twenty two. Sorry. Oh Yeah, I was twenty two and at that time, you know, I had had kind of a bit of a rocky relationship with my parents, mostly because I was a shithead teenager and, you know, just was rebellious and I kind of wanted to just live on my own and do my own thing for a bit. I didn't want to go live with mom and dad anymore, so I tried making an honest go of living on my own. I got out of college, moved in with my Buddy Jeff and his then wife, now ex wife, and live with them. I went up getting a full time job at Walmart, which was the worst job I've ever had in my life. They will never sponsor the show because I will talk shit about Walmarts of the day I die. And was doing that and eventually got my own place with with a buddy from high school. I just kind of did my own thing for a couple of years. What ended up and eventually happening was so I lost my job at Walmart. I got another job working at a call center, but I was just miserable man. I was constantly broke, I was always struggling. I was basically living off credit...

...card. So I was drowning in credit card debt and I had come back up to Dayton a few times to visit my family and you know, I could, I can see that. You know some my dad at that point had developed an autoimmune disorder called my Stenia Gravis, where basically his anybodies were attacking his muscle tissue. It wasn't in the best of health and I was I was worried and also it just came down to missed my family. You know, in the three years I lived on my own, I probably saw my family two or three times and and that sucked. I missed my family. So when my lease on my apartment was up in two thousand and fifteen, right when my best friend Vince and his wife were getting married. I made a decision I was going to pack up and move back to Ohio in August, which is what I eventually did. It just so happened that right near the end of my lease I met I met a I met a girl and we started dating and we try to make an honest go of the long distance thing. I mean we almost made it a year after I had moved away and I went back to visitor a few times, you know, helped her move out of her dorm when she graduated college and really got to know her family really well. It was actually it was a really it was a really good relationship for a while, but you know, when you're that far apart, and we started to find that there were some things in life that we have fundamentally just disagreed with and, you know, we tried to work past it and we had some other issues happen and then we wound up just fighting all the time and one thing led to another and that relationship ended pretty ugly actually. But at this point, you know, two thousand and fifteen, I've moved back up to Dayton and a found a job with it. Within within a couple weeks of moving here, I found a part time job... a English tutor was as a as an act prep tutor at a local testing center. And you know, I tutored kids in English and reading and science because, you know, look, I'm a smart guy. I think I'm a pretty smart guy. They actually had me take a practice act before I even had my first interview. And you know, my English, reading in science scores were really good. My math and not so much. That's not my thing. But I ended up actually getting along really well with with the guy in charge, guy named Gil Gil O'Brien, who to this day is one of my one of my very close friends. I love that guy to death, I really do. He's wonderful man, he's a wonderful human being, as Smart Guy, he's funny, he's creative, talented musician. I'm so glad I got to meet him. But then within a week of that job I actually got hired at a local TV station as a master control operator. Now, all throughout college I worked it in FM radio and college radio. I had, I had a lot of years of broadcasting under my belt by the time I got up to Dayton, and so the whole time I'd been living in South Carolina I was trying to find jobs in broadcasting, be at radio or TV, and they just weren't there and it was just by complete luck that, you know, within a couple weeks of me moving to Dayton Ohio, I found this job at this TV station and I'm still there to this day. It'll be five years in September that that I've had this job and I've I've I still worked the exact same schedule, which is bizarre, but I you know, I got promoted at the end of last year. I'm now the shift supervisor. You know, I got five, almost five years experience it on my belt. It's the longest job I've ever had. I've made some good friends work in there. I've learned a lot work in there, but I got this job and it's a good paying job.

It's a good job for a big company and it's it's an adult, big boy job, is what it comes down to, and to finally have one of those now at thirty one, where I have a small amount of financial stability, is really good. But the five years here haven't always been stellar. Haven't always been stellar. Dad's Dad's Mg you know, they he went eventually got on the right drugs and the right procedures to kind of get it stabilized and he was living a pretty good, healthy lifestyle. He was eventually able to get on social security because he couldn't work anymore and my mom, at that point had gotten a really good job at at a new company. And you know, my family struggled for a long time. When we first moved down to South Carolina, you know, we were doing pretty well. My Dad was was pretty high up the corporate ladder, my mom was was it, was a professional in her field and you know, my family was, you was. You know, we weren't like independently wealthy, but we were doing pretty well. Unfortunately, my junior year of high school my dad lost his job in a merger and things went south pretty hard after that. My my family struggled financially. I mean we still kind of do. We were pretty bad off for a while. Even after my family moved up here to Dayton, it was still pretty tough go of things. But after my dad was able to get on social security, the government assistants really took a load off of my parents. They were able to fix a considerable amount of their debt and kind of get themselves back above water a little bit. In fact, in January of, well, December of two thousand and sixteen,...

January two thousand and seventeen, my parents were planning a big family vacation, the first one we had done and probably ten fifteen years, hopefully. We were all going to go down to go down or land out of a big weekend, big week long trip to Disney, something that we, you know, hadn't gotten to do in a very long a big vacation in a long time was not something we had gotten to do and it was mostly something for the kids because, you know, when they were my little brother and sister are are you know, we're a blended family, so I'm from my mom's first, first marriage, and then my dad had two boys from his first marriage and then after they got married they had the two little ones, Connor and grace. So big age gap, but you know, the two little ones hadn't gotten to have as many of those big family vacations because about the time they were growing up is when we kind of hit hard times. So my parents were really you know, dad set on on, you know, putting the money to good use, putting some money away for the kids for college and and and doing something nice to the family going on vacation. Unfortunately, in in March of two thousand and seventeen is when my dad was actually diagnosed with flip three leukemia, and that, you know, that put a lot of our plans on hold and for the rest of that year, you know, my dad fought really hard and he went into remission at one point and then came out of it and fought and fought and we all worked really hard. He had one of the best medical teams ever and we worked and worked hard. But unfortunately, on December thirty of that year dad passed away. And this past December marked two years to the day that my dad passed away. And in all this time I've still been living with my in my parents house here and day and been living at moved into the basement. That's why the show's called the basement lounge. I'm in a finished basement and...

...that's where I've been staying. You know, I initially, you know, I moved in initially because I needed help and then that kind of flipped to where then I was helping my parents out. We were kind of you know, they were helping me my giving me a place to live, and I was helping them because I, you know, my work schedule panned out to where I could help take the kids to and from school or to the doctor, help out with the shopping or, when dad was sick, help get him to his his daughter's appointments. And it actually panned out really well because, you know, when I had initially moved out on my own, my relationship with my parents was still kind of rocky, especially with me and my dad. We fought, he and I fought a lot and in the time that I was living up here before he passed, you know, dad and I really got to be buddies again. You know, we kind of you know, rekindled and reconnected and because I was, you know, I work in the evenings, I work for it to midnight, and so I'd be home all day just hanging out with that you know. I'd go sit up in my go sit up in a living room with him and we'd Watch TV and we talk and we'd you know, joke around and we'd have lunch and it was always just just fun spent it. Spending the day with dad was always some of the some of the best memories I'll have are going to going to be just sit in the living room was hanging out with my dad and, you know, taking him to the doctor and keeping him company and just being with him was a lot of fun and I'll always have that. And you know, while I was at lander before, I can't I mentioned the you know, I got into the film festival. So when I started living up here, one of the first things I did was, you know, I got myself a I got myself a video camera and I shot a short film, a a little five minute pseudo documentary called the cross at the gym.

I mentioned them a little bit earlier because Dayton is also well known for having a really bad drug overdose problem and I learned some stories about stuff that had gone down and I did some research and, you know, working at a TV station that has its own news room, you learn a lot just through the the nightly news reports. And so I shot this little five minute documentary and while I was working on that documentary I had I suffered two losses. The first was a CO worker of mine, a guy named bill who actually who I hadn't known very long, but he I became buddies real quick. He was a huge, huge film buff, the nicest guy you ever met, in your life, always whistling and had a smile on his face and he was helping me, you know, write the script and everything and get everything together to shoot this thing. And then it just so happened that the night we were supposed to start shooting, Bill passed away, and then a week before that, a good friend of mine from college, a young woman by the name of Morgan, actually passed away from a heroin overdose. And that was really the initial inspiration to do the film that I did and I was really proud of it and I shot it and it's kind of a noir detective style film. And then what I did the following year was I did another film, sort of sort of a sequel, a spiritual sequel to that. It was called monarch and, instead of being a documentary, though, it was a pure, pure fiction, noir style, FEM fatalel private I story, and I had a lot of fun with that one as well, but I still, you know, it was it was hectic because I was doing the camera work and the writing and the editing and the directing and the acting and the scheduling and it was it was a lot. And so when it came time to do a film for two thousand and nineteen and I...

...was going through some old hard drives of mine I actually found a script that I started back in like two thousand and fourteen, that I never finished, and so I sat down and I just kind of got to work and just wrote and wrote and I wound up churning out something like I was really proud of. Now, in the time since I had moved here, I had met some really talented people. I Have Travis Foltz and Matt Silver, who are two extremely talented photographers and videographers. I had met actors, I had met musicians, I had met people who were other filmmakers, and so I kind of amassed like this little, not to use his term too much, but lightning in a bottle of talent here in Dayton to where I did a new short film called vanishing point. It was kind of a horror thriller, which is not something I'm usually too into when it comes to film, but for the first time I got to focus on just the writing and the directing. I didn't have to worry about the acting or anything else, and I scouted locations, I had a casting call. I you know, I had two amazing can't cinematographers. I had a friend who did the SCOO did an amazing original score for it and I cut this thing together and I sat back and I watched it and I was I was blown away, blown away with how it turned out. I'm usually somebody who hates everything I do, but I was blown away with how well this thing turned out. In the film wound up winning two awards at the film festival that year, one third place for best overall, third place in the open division, and Andrew Medicitis, who is who was on the old show, who I'm a very good friends with his a good buddy of mine. He won a best actor award and he did an amazing job it. I I sit here now, in January of two thousand and twenty, with the with this year's film festival on the...

...horizon, and I have no idea how I'm going to follow what vanishing point. But what it all comes down to is I never would have been able to make something that good without being here in Dayton, and I love being here in Dayton, I really do. I love this town. The comedy scene here is vibrant and growing. I guarantee in the next year or two. We're going to have like a new wave of big, huge new wave of comedy coming out of the Midwest. It's insane the talent we have out here. But my my future, I believe, lies elsewhere. I very much am trying to find a way to get out to Los Angeles. Travis, our producer, who's my writing partner and one of my longtime friends. He lives out there with his wife and he and I both very much want to work in the film industry, in the entertainment industry. That it's our goal, and so my goal is still to get out there, is to find a way out there, find a job and really get working in the industry. It's what I want to do. I love it here in Dayton and I know that if, for whatever reason, to California thing doesn't pan out, I can come back here because there's an amazing scene here as an amazing entertainment seen in the Midwest out here. But I really want to get out to Los Angeles and make an honest, hard go of the stand up and the and the filmmaking because this is what I love to do. It's what I love to do. But again, I but I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge everything that I've had happened out here in Dayton with my filmmaking. This is now the second year in a row I've been nominated for best local comedian. I got to participate in the wild's fireworks competition last year, which was a blast that I had one of the best sets of my life. I've made some amazing friends here and it's a great area out here. But you know, I'm thirty one years old and I've got I got to chase my dreams. I got at least try, and that's that's my...

...goal for this year is to is to is to really try and make an attempt of a to make a go of things out in Los Angeles. But until then I've got a good thing going here. I don't have any reason to worry. I have a good job, I have my family, I have my friends, I've got stand up out here, I've got filmmaking here, I've got I've got stuff to keep me satiated until I do eventually make it out there. And that's me in a nutshell. Guys, not sure what else you need to know about me. I love movies and Sci Fi, I love heavy metal, I love Pizza, I love Coke Zero, I really love root beer is. You know, I'm a pretty simple guy, but that's me and that's that's where I'm at now and that's how I got here. So I hope you guys have enjoyed this. Will be back again next week with another fun filler episode. I'm really I've really been enjoying these and hope you guys have to. And remember, you can always hit me up on all the social media at Mike Shay comedy on twitter and Instagram. Follow this show on Instagram, Basement Lounge pod follow us on twitter, t ebl, underscore pod. Go to the Website Basement Lounge podcom hit me up, guys. I always want to hear from you. Until next time, as always, live well, rock on, take care and buy. Bye.

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