Twenty-year-old Chris Silio grew up in Miami and has lived in Kendall all his life. He remembers wanting to be a professional comedian from a very young age. "I would tell my elementary school teachers I wanted to be a standup comic and be on Comedy Central," says Silio. "My mom was listening one time and I felt bad because I didn't want her knowing I watched Comedy Central."
His dream faded away after a while and it wasn't until high school where he started to take comedy seriously.
Part of the reason Silio gave up on his dream was because of his vision. He's had issues with his eyes since the day he was born. Basically, his retinas detach themselves. The first time he lost sight completely in one eye was when he was in seventh grade. Twenty-nine surgeries later, and Silio is still unable to see. He went completely blind in November of 2014.
“I had trouble with [my eyes] all throughout high school… I was constantly out of school,” says the comedian. One way he found to cope was by listing to podcasts.
“After I went blind, I spent a couple months waiting at home and thought ‘I’m gonna do this, [I'm going to be a standup comic],'" says Silio. "And then I did it for the first time a year ago and after that first time, I figured this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life."
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He spends most of his time writing jokes and going to open mics now. The Apple programs VoiceOver on his phone allows him to read and write his own material. The app reads out letters and words when you hover over them with your finger.
When Silio first started wetting his feet in the comedy scene, he would go in search of open mic nights. Due to his condition, he would have trouble navigating the city. Now, he's met a fellow comedian who drives him to gigs. Although Silio has performed at various venues throughout Miami, he comments that his two favorite are Artist Vibes and Taurus. Particularly the latter, because it draws a tough crowd and a superior quality of performing comedians, he says.
While he does tell some great Daredevil-inspired jokes and makes fun of the different circumstances that stem from his condition, Silio insists he doesn’t want to be known as simply "the blind comedian." He does, however, admit he has an immediate advantage when he goes up on stage since people are immediately interested by the idea of a blind guy doing standup at a bar.