The rehearsal room is quiet except for a soft tune being played on the piano. Listening you can tell whoever is playing isn’t a novice. The sound is too refined. It’s nothing formal though. More like a musician unable to resist the urge of walking pass an unoccupied piano. However to my surprise, the man behind the keys isn’t a musician. He’s rising comedian Calvin Evans. “I’m working on the guitar too so be on the look out for the sensual serenader coming soon.”While it’s funny, he’s not a joking. If he says he’s learning the guitar, soon enough you’ll be swaying to the tunes of his hours of fervent practice. It’s that kind of drive, the drive to be a versatile artist, that distinguishes Evans from his peers.Most people are satisfied with mastering one trade. Not Evans, he wants to master everything he touches. “I want to write, sing, produce, perform, design, and create things that future generations will take for granted because they won’t understand how people lived life before Calvin Evans made it so.”
Essentially, he’s striving to become a modern day renaissance man. It’s something his comedic hero inspired. While Evans had been exposed to comedians before – Eddie Murphy’s Raw was his introduction to comedy at 7 and he marveled at Martin Lawerence’s ability to transform into various characters with distinct personalities, it was Jamie Foxx that had this sixth grader wide eyed.“He embodied everything I wanted to be. He was in great physical shape, could sing, act, he was funny, smart, played the piano and handsome. He drove my desire to be all that I could be,” he recalls with youthful enthusiasm. And since that moment Evans has been on a never-ending quest to be all he can be.
This Chicago born and bred comedian has come a long way from his Eddie Murphy impersonations in his elementary school lunchroom.In April 2006 while earning a degree in Sports Management at the University of Illinois, Evans got his first chance to showcase his comedic talents at a variety show. It was that moment he says, that solidified his dream of wanting to be a comic.From there, in November 2010 Evans went on to become the first winner of WGN Chicago’s Next Big Comic Contest, a staple in the Chicago TBS Just For Laugh Festival since 2011, and he’s been steadily touring colleges and comedy clubs across the nation.While he was successful as a comic on his own, his desire to further develop his craft made him enroll in the Second City Training Centers’ Conservatory (Advance Improv/Acting) program. He recently graduated, which is no small feat. Second City is known for producing notable comedic talent such as Tina Fey (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Chris Farley (SNL) and Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), just to name a few.
With all Evans has accomplished he offers this advice to help those on their journey toward achieving their dreams, “the biggest lesson that I have learned in life is that we as people are way more capable of things than we think we are. We often let other people or ourselves tell us we can’t do something because it appears hard or we must have a level of expertise to do something. When in actuality, we can do anything we have a genuine desire to do.“I have learned to be fearless in every endeavor I pursue. I love to learn from my mistakes because there is no such thing as failing when you are trying something you’ve never done before. We as people have to stop telling ourselves and other people what’s not possible and share the excitement of endless possibility of what could be.Being featured at Chicago’s premiere comedy clubs has been a dream come true for him. He attributes his success to his family and close friends.Like Jamie Foxx was for him, Evans strives to be an inspiration. His goal for his career and motto for his company Evans Entertainment is “Changing Lives Through Laughter“. Through philanthropic giving and volunteering, Evans hopes to transcend comedy, making a difference in the lives of children and adults alike.He concludes by saying this, “all I want to do is change the world through laughter.”Calvin Evans, we hear at Livin’ Like Maya thank you for aspiring to change the world through laughter. We strive to adopt your drive to be masters of everything we do, and we thank you for reminding us to be fearless in our pursuits.Continue to illuminate the world with your light, share your wisdom so others lives might be changed, and last but never least, live, learn and evolve each day. We pray nothing but God’s continued blessings over your life.
Written by Loy Webb