INDIANAPOLIS — There's no greater thrill than getting on stage for Lucas Waterfill, who was born with cerebral palsy.
“It’s like skydiving, I imagine, because if you mess up, you’re dead," said Waterfill, a stand-up comedian. “I guess I use humor to deal with some things like everyone else, but going up is always exciting for me. I love being the center of attention.”
The 31-year-old's jokes come directly from his life experiences.
“I think of my disability as a character in my standup," he said. “I tell stories. I’m very autobiographical, but I think my disability is always a character. It’s never the center of it. I have to tell it through that lens because my disability takes up a big portion of my life and, therefore, it’s going to take up a big portion of my comedy.”
His struggle turned into a gift.
“I couldn’t get a job straight out of college, so I tried an open mic and I loved it," said Waterfill. "That first laugh, I’m like, 'I’m pretty good at this.'"
Just like that, his calling was clear.
“I think most of the time able-bodied people are naïve and I kind of try to expose that through my comedy," said Waterfill. "I think here’s a lot of humor that able-bodied people miss on an everyday basis on how they interact with us and how they think we are a certain way, or think we’re dumb and say things that go over our heads, but really, they’re the dumb ones.”
His humor has gotten Waterfill where he is today. To him, that’s what this platform is about.
“I’m here to get laughs, not inspire people," he said. "I think a lot of people look for disabled people to be inspiring and I think it’s time for us to just to do our jobs and be funny.”
He’s been funny professionally for six years.
"Comedy doesn’t have that career trajectory, especially when you’re disabled," said Waterfill. "You have to make up your own blueprint and figure out what works.”
You can see Waterfill at the White Rabbit Cabaret in Fountain Square this Friday and Helium Comedy Club in Circle Centre Mall on New Year's weekend.
For more information, visit Waterfill's website.