From a very early age Frank Prince knew he wanted to be a comedian.
He was the class clown in school in Lindenhurst, and later studied a myriad of comedians’ performances.
More recently he took the next step: taking classes at the Brokerage Comedy Club's Stand-Up University in Bellmore. There, he honed his comedy, but also learned how to network and promote himself–half the battle if a comic wants to make it.
“I didn't know they had classes to make people funny, but I went and now have the title of comedian," Prince said. "It's definitely a dream come true."
Although Prince’s career in comedy began in the past six months, he's already writing his own material and performing across Long Island with a set that includes jokes about life in Lindy–something that provides much comic fodder.
“It's about Lindenhurst. Everything is there, and there's always material. It's a great town to live in. When I was growing up. I supported everyone. Now it's my time to shine. And I'm going to shine very brightly,” said the local comic, who gave himself the royal moniker, the Prince of Comedy–derived, of course, from his last name.
His act has been quickly evolving, he noted.
“I started off with one-liners, and now it's evolving into more of a story," he explained. "The people are beginning to come out, so I have to bring the material.”
And Prince brought it to the most recent Comedy Coffee Shop, a two-year-old, family-friendly comedy showcase organized by fellow comic Pat Gagliardi for newer and up-and-coming comedians. It’s held monthly at Borders Bookstore in Farmingdale.
Although his shirt said, “You Don't Know Me,” there's no doubt by the end of the evening the crowd of at least 75 people was sure not to forget his name, or his act, which also contains jokes about his job and volunteer experiences.
By day Prince works at a senior center and volunteers for the SPCA. He’s able to glean comedy topics from both, and even has a few jokes about cats in his repertoire.
Prince believes his goal in life is to make people laugh and smile.
“It doesn't cost any money to make people happy. When my friends are down, they call me. I always cheer them up. What they don't know is, I'm keeping a tab. Every time they call me, it's $10 a minute. Wait till they see the bill!” joked Prince, who never misses an opportunity to crack one.
Prince also has a great attitude toward the inevitable comedy crowd hecklers.
“People might heckle me, but I can twist it around and make it funny," he said. Whatever they give to me, I can give it back. If anyone thinks they can do better, come up onstage and have a shot. I have no time to prepare for the heckling, but I go up and give one hundred and ten percent.
“The main thing is, you're up there and doing it. No one can take that away from you,” he added.
The Prince of Comedy will soon be performing with an Elvis impersonator at Sergio’s in Massapequa.
“I call myself 'The Prince of Comedy,' so it will be The Prince of Comedy with The King of Rock and Roll,” he said with a smile.
“I even have a keychain I'm going to give him with a crown on it as a token of my appreciation,” he added.