Speech impediments don’t rule out success, and in some cases they can be a laughing matter.
Drew Lynch is a stuttering stand-up comedian that will perform his jokes at the Reynolds Recital Hall at 8 p.m. this Friday, April 20 in an event that is free and open to the public. PrimeTime Productions is collaborating with the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSHLA) to bring the comedian to campus.
Lynch has won first runner- up on “America’s Got Talent” and has performed on “Conan,” not letting his stutter hinder his abilities to shine through.
Lynch hailed from Indianapolis before moving to Los Angeles with aspirations of becoming an actor. Then, a year later, a softball accident hit him hard and left Lynch with a severe stutter. But this speech impediment did not stop his aspirations of becoming an entertainer.
After the accident, all of his agents and managers dropped him, Lynch said. But he began working at a comedy club, which became “the conduit to pursue it artistically,” he said. Lynch began performing short stand-up sets there and gained a passion for the humorous artform.
“I definitely felt the room was there with me because they could identify the fact I was vulnerable,” Lynch said.
His style of comedy tackles his life struggles and confronts them through humor. Lynch said he resonates with comedians like Robin Williams, who spun his own dark places into a comedy mechanism.
“I want to show people that regardless of circumstances, you can still follow your dreams,” Lynch added.
NSSHLA provides volunteer and career building opportunities, said junior Morgan Zoeller, the NSSHLA president and a language and hearing science major. In addition, the organization on campus provides
mock interviews, graduate prep sessions and sends students to conferences.
“Since one of our goals is to advocate for the individuals we may work with in the future, that includes those who have a stutter,” Zoeller said.
“Bringing [Lynch]to campus was an incredible opportunity to help show that having a stutter does not mean you cannot be successful.”
Anna Horn, a senior language and hearing science major and a member of both PrimeTime Productions and NSSHLA, thought Lynch was a perfect candidate to bring to Northern. An important part of the selection process for PrimeTime to bring entertainers is to ensure the event can be free to the public, and the group tries to vary the type of entertainers, she said.
“It’s been a while since we had a comedian,” Zoeller said. “I thought [Lynch] would draw a variety of people and increase awareness of fluency disorders.”