"The comedian I am now is not the comedian I started out being," Eric DaSilva told me in the middle of a Starbucks in Kendall while reflecting on his career. "I thought I would be like a Bill Hicks... then I had my first kid and I started talking about what's going on in my life."
DaSilva is in the midst of getting ready for a feature showcase at the Fillmore, this Saturday, which will be recorded and later released as a DVD called Not a Beautiful Mind. The name alludes to the comedic shift that DaSilva has made over his comedic career, and self-realizations made mainly due to his life as a father.
In 2002, DaSilva left his native South Florida to pursue comedy in New York. "When I left there wasn't much of a scene [in South Florida]," he describes. Unfortunately, his initial reception in New York wasn't all that favorable.
"When I moved to New York, they hated me," he recalls. "They were like 'who is this high energy douchebag?' I was just not connecting like I did in South Florida."
While he struggled to make it in New York City, he grew his comedy repertoire and discovered his voice. But it wasn't until he had his first kid that DaSilva felt the reception change.
"[New York audiences] wanted me to be more jaded, and it wasn't until spending six years in New York, having a kid, having all those pressures and frustrations finally culminating that I broke. And that's when they liked me," DaSilva remembers from his years up north. "I don't think I could be doing what I'm doing now if I didn't have that break in New York from starting out in Miami.
"I find the beauty in failure," he continues. "I always say, you haven't lived life until you've had a dream that's died."
He came back to Miami this past August, mainly for family reasons. After having a second child with his girlfriend, he wanted her to have support while he traveled the country. He's been able to pursue his comedy even further, headlining a bunch of shows, being featured on local podcasts, and consistently touring.
Not a Beautiful Mind came together almost by chance, born from a previous showcase during the South Beach Comedy Festival arranged by South Florida comedy promoters Have-Nots Comedy.
"My goal is that every year I'm going to put out a CD," states DaSilva. Except this album he wanted to do differently.
"How many times does [someone] get a chance to perform at the Fillmore up to this point in their career?" He adds, "I wanted to turn this into a theatrical experience since I'm in a theater. You may see this as a comedy show, but I'm going to have a live action soundtrack to my set, with musicians, different instruments, and there's going to be a choir at the end. It's going to be kinda fun, kinda crazy."
But, underlying it all is DaSilva's trademark twisted sense of humor. Which he described in a story from when a friend visited him in New York.
"When I first moved to New York, a buddy of mine from Seattle [came to visit]. We were walking the streets, we saw a puddle of vomit, and he said, 'man, I fucking hate this city, it's so gross.' And I said, 'wait, you don't wanna know how that got there? I'm sure there's a great story about somebody who had his night planned and ended up vomiting on the street here.' That's the story I want to know. And that's where my comedy comes form, knowing how that vomit got there."
DaSilva takes the stage Saturday, November 16, for two sets at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15. Visit fillmoremb.com.
Send your story tips to Cultist at [email protected].