Joél James; A Familiar Face in the Comedy Scene.

Joél James; A Familiar Face in the Comedy Scene.

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews (1-25)


Joél James; A Familiar Face in the Comedy Scene.

Joel comp

Photos courtesy of Joél James

I recently interviewed Joel James, an entertainer, business owner and prominent figure in the city. I asked Joél a series of questions. Here is what we discussed.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

I’m from Rochester NY, I like to call I’m “HoodBurnban” I grew up in the Hood of all Hoods and then moved to the Suburbs of all Suburbs. I graduated bottom of my Class from John Marshall High School. I was Prom King also, I’m very proud of that.

What inspired you to be an comedian/ entertainer? Early experiences worth sharing?

I started out in acting, at the age of 16 I joined an Acting Troup called the Enterprise Zone with the Geva Theatre, I did that for 6 years and then I started doing Stand-up comedy. Going on 10 years.jame 4 comp

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

I mean I’m a stand-up comedian every time I step on a stage I am facing adversity, most of the time I “kill” (do very well) but there are those time when you don’t do so well. And it’s the worst feeling in the world. lolJames 1 comp

What do you believe sets you apart from other comedians/entertainers?
I think what sets me apart from other comedians is my diverse upbringing. I just offer something different that someone who was only raised in the hood or only raised in the suburbs. My point of view is very unique and wide ranging. Also, by having starting in theater, my stage presence is different.

James 2 compDo you have other interests or hobbies?

I looooooove food! I love cooking spicy food and I also have a Meal Prepperation company. Called Preppy Prepping or Preppy Meals.

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

So much. I’m excited about a New Web Series I’m working, I think I’m titling James 3 comp“Uncle Joel.” I’m traveling and performing in New York City and LA. I’m also starting my Podcast “Entitled Opinion.” So excited about that.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

Starting a family….Can‘t wait to have little brown kids…

What advice can you give to aspiring comedians/entertainers?

Get the book “The Comedy bible” best advice I was given by a Comedian Friend Cory Fernandez

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
@JoelJamesComedy  on everything.


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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