Cam Gavinski: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian

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Make Your Own Opportunities. Put on your own shows. Make your own shit. Don’t wait for someone else to give you an opportunity. You have more power than you know.

As a part of our series called “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian”, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Cam Gavinski.

Thai-American comedian, hilariously talented improvisor and witty writer, Cam Gavinski, known for his absurd characters and viral TikTok sketches makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut with his solo show: BONHEUR. Running from Aug 2 to Aug 28 (Aug 14 Day Off) at one of Edinburgh Fringe’s longest-running and most iconic venues, the Gilded Balloon Teviot (Nightclub).

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Sure thing! I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. My brother was my best friend growing up, and he and I would do everything together: shoot home movies with our stuffed animals, create our own comic books, etc. Also, from birth I was diagnosed with this weird condition where every year, my body would age one year. And I’m still living with it now. I’m a survivor, I guess.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path as a comedian?

My great-aunt and great-uncle, who often took care of my brother and I when both of our parents were at work, were very funny people and very influential on my sense of humor and personality growing up. Plus, I was a nerdy kid in middle-school, so doing comedy started as a defence mechanism of sorts. Then, one night in 2010, I ran into Robin Williams and Jim Carrey making out in a booth at the back of a cowboy themed bar in Tucson. They saw me and started panicking. Jim came up to me and told me to never tell anyone what I saw, but even if I did, no one would ever believe me. Then they went right back to making out. That’s when I knew.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story is when I was blackmailed by a stranger on the internet — that’s the basis of my latest solo show, BONHEUR. What else? One time I found a 5 dollar bill on the ground… Is that the sort of answer you want? Are we done here? I have a thing across town. What thing? It’s a thing with…fine, I can’t think of a good excuse, so I’ll be honest: I’m not vibing with you, and I don’t want to finish this interview. How many questions are left? … WHAT?? Who’s even gonna read — No, I’m leaving. Bye, See you in hell.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There was a time I stormed out of an interview with Authority Magazine, then I got a call from my manager telling me I was contractually obligated to finish. I learned to read the contract before I sign, I guess.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My brother Sterling has helped me with almost every single creative endeavour I’ve done, and I owe a lot to him. My good friend and fellow comedian, Todd Glass, has mentored me, given me numerous opportunities to meet people/ showcase my talent, and offered me old clothes of his he doesn’t want anymore.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Cheat, lie, and fuck your way to the top. Betray your friends and backstab every chance you can get. People love dishonesty and cruelty. When you’re alone at the top of a mountain made up of the bodies of people who once trusted and cherished you, all that’s left to do is jump. Or you could try being nice, believing in yourself, supporting others, and not giving up — if you feel so inclined.

You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?

Thank you, that’s kind. I’m making my Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut with my latest solo show, BONHEUR. This summer, I’m directing an experimental tragicomedy short film comprised of my songs, sketches, and other stuff. I’m writing and performing original characters through the rest of the year at the 3 Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. Lately, I’ve been taking a break from making short-form online content, but I’d like to return to that in some capacity. I’m also working on some other fun projects that I can’t talk about yet. I’m a busy boy, but I’d like to do more directing.

What do you do to get material to write your jokes? What is that creative process like?

My ideas are beamed to me in a dream by other-dimensional beings made of light. Which is cool, but they get 50% of everything, and then after taxes: YIKES. I like notecards and cork boards. Or coming up with a punchline first and working backwards.

Super. Here is our main question. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian” and why? Please share a story or example for each. Main question?

This is 5 Questions hidden in one! 10 If you include the “whys” as separate questions. Sneaky, sneaky.

1. Make Your Own Opportunities. Put on your own shows. Make your own shit. Don’t wait for someone else to give you an opportunity. You have more power than you know.

2. There’s a secret drink at every comedy club IN THE WORLD (crazy I know) called the Twirly Spoozer and it’s delicious. Tell the bartender “Pinch my nipples and make me a Twirly Spoozer” and they’ll know what to do.

3. Buy one of those fake flowers that clowns have that squirt people. And make sure it’s one of the top of the line name brand ones like GUCCI or Mitsubishi. If you don’t, everyone will take you seriously.

4. “Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.” — Jake the Dog (Adventure Time).

5. There’s going to be a pretty girl in the audience at a show you do in Portland, wearing a t-shirt that says “Wet Puppy” on it. She’s going to come up and flirt with you after the show. Whatever you do, do NOT go home with her. She has a boyfriend named “Sturdy” and he’s the head of a gang called the Pumatown Locos, and he is VIOLENT. You’ll have to move to a new town, change your name and get expensive, extensive plastic 4 surgery, reconfiguring your whole face so Sturdy and the boys can’t track you down. DON’T DO IT.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Shoot, I used up my life lesson quote in my 4th answer to the last question. “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass” is a great one.

You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people? I mean, I guess a movement for world peace? Like why would I pick anything else in this hypothetical? Like, do you want a realistic answer? I don’t know why — you know what, I’m leaving. Your uncomfortable vibe has grown exponentially and I don’t want to do this lunch anymore. I don’t care if I’m contractually obligated to do this interview. Bye! See you in hell!

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Apologies for my client. I’m happy to answer all future questions for him… Tag a celebrity? This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for a collaboration for my client! Cam would love to have lunch with Doja Cat or Lil Nas X — or Lil Dicky, yes, how about Lil Dicky? That’s more on brand for Cam. Or what about Nick Kroll? Can you tag him? How many tags can we add? And how many seats at this table?

Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?

Cam can be found @camgavinski on IG, TikTok, or Twitter and visit

This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Cam Gavinski: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.