Fabulous People: Kermet Apio

Washington’s Kermet Apio has been a comedian for 31 years and is set to perform at Upper Left Comedy Festival in Seattle, taking place May 11 to May 13. Learn about Kermet Apio…

Hometown: Originally Honolulu, HI. Now Mountlake Terrace, WA.

First job: Mowing grass at a graveyard.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Sporting events.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Winning the Great American Comedy Festival Competition. It’s held in Johnny Carson’s hometown, and comedians from all over the country audition for it. Twenty-four are chosen to compete in the festival. I was happy just be chosen to participate. When you see the level of talent that year, to this day it still shocks me to think that I won it.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Sadly my biggest obstacles were my own mistakes. It’s hard to celebrate climbing out of holes when you dug them yourself.

Someone who inspires you and why: It will sound cliché, but my mother. Years ago, I was on the road and got together with an old friend and co-worker of my mom’s. We had lunch and spent some time catching up (he hadn’t seen me since I was a kid). When we were saying goodbye, he said, “You remind me so much of your mom.” I’ve gotten many compliments as a comedian, but that is, by far, the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Find your voice. There are thousands of comedians and the only way to keep growing is to be unique. There is the punchline that’s kind of sounds familiar, then there’s the one that no one has heard. Everyone has a story, but telling that story in a unique way, now that’s the goal. And it’s easier said than done.

Favorite quote: “Not all who wander are lost.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: That I also do Hawaiian music gigs.

What makes someone fabulous: Empathy.

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