We had the good fortune of connecting with Reginald Desjardins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reginald, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Unfortunately I don’t often read, I wish I read books with the same level of enthusiasm I have for buying them and letting the sit on my shelf unread. Reading comes to me in waves. I have these intervals in my life where I want to do nothing but read and then as quickly as it comes it’s gone until the next time I feel guilty about buying books I don’t read. That said I did manage to finish several books all of which have left a remarkable impact on me. Like a shot of whiskey that stays in your throat way too long you hate it but you appreciate the reminder you’re alive. I had the pleasure of reading and finishing Huey P. Newton’s autobiography “Revolutionary Suicide” published back in 1973 “Revolutionary Suicide” tracks and details Newton’s upbringing, his early adult life, the founding of the Black Panther Party, and his time in prison. The book is very well written and at times it reads like an Emmy award-winning TV court drama. If I achieve any form of notoriety in my life I will adapt this to the screen. I found myself transfixed by the details of Newton’s life. I couldn’t put the book down. I read it fervently as if at the end there was a pot of gold. The book had a penetrating effect on me. Newton’s words fought and scratched at me challenged my vision my understanding. My eyes would pour over the Time New Roman scanning and ingesting. The book very often left me angry, sad, and scared at times. I’m terrified, in my opinion not much has changed from Newton’s time in the 60s and 70s to now. I turned the last page and with that simple action I now understand what Newton meant by “revolutionary suicide.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been doing comedy for 9 years now in Miami, Florida. After 9 years its only now towards the end of 2020 when I feel most prepared. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. My voice has shifted a lot artistically in the 9 years since I’ve started; here I am a 28 year old man finally being exactly what I need to be comedically and putting in the work that is necessary. I don’t feel like I differ much from anyone in my comedy scene. It is very easy for a young artist to want to compare themselves to others; especially when their taste is so much greater than their output. Right now my indifference towards what others are doing and my unshakable confidence in myself is probably what sets me apart. I really do think I’m the shit. There is no better comedian in the Miami Comedy Scene than myself. The Reginald writing this is prepared, focused, and liberated. I speak to myself kindly and I don’t beat myself up. When I was younger I was merely satisfied with being a genius no one knew. That image was safer, now I’m looking at 30, I quit my job, and I’ve let go of that toxic way of thinking. If you don’t do anything you can’t fail. Right now I’m excited to see what it looks like when I put myself out there with intention. Instead of blindly flinging ideas at a crowd for the sake of ego and to say I did something. I had a lot in my life I could point to and blame for where I wasn’t artistically. That’s all behind me now. Right now I’m writing multiple pilots with my writing buddies, I’m working on an hour of comedy, I’m doing voice work for my buddy Alec’s cartoon “New Ghost on the Haunt”, and I’m taking a moment to reevaluate my podcast. If there is one thing that I want the world to know is that I’m really fucking funny, and you should subscribe to my podcast “Jibber Jabber with Reggie”.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well after my friend has gotten a COVID-19 test, and quarantined appropriately. I would still do nothing because we are in the middle of a pandemic. Now if you were asking me about an itinerary either pre or post COVID I would do the following. Just a note we’re just eating if you want to know what to do the only people you need to look for and follow is YoMiami (Instagram: @itsyomiami) I love their events and highly recommend them. If you’re looking for more check if one of the best local bands Pavlov’s Bell (Instagram: @pavlovs_bell) is playing anywhere and from there you’re good. Sunday Morning: at Eating House Miami for their amazing Captain Crunch Waffles never has getting the roof of my mouth cut felt so good. Noon: Leafy in Pembroke Pines very cute and very delicious also Miamians need to chill with saying things are far just drive Night: Mr, and Ms. Bun the softshell crab sandwich has no business being that good. Monday Morning: Salty Donut because if we are lucky we can still get their best invention yet the Pistachio Canoli Donut I needed a cigarette after eating that donut Noon: La Camaronera because the Minuta sandwich is “chef’s kiss” Night: Lost Boy Dry Goods they have a Gin and Tonic the peppercorn that ruined me for Gin and Tonics for the rest of my life Tuesday Morning: Jackson Soul Food for breakfast because we are royalty and need to eat as such Noon: Mac and Chess let’s chill have some awesome mac and cheese and play board games had a birthday here and it was a blast Night: Bar Nancy I want to chill but still get kinda tipsy so I order the Mutiny Milk Punch a drink that taste like a pirate wearing a cardigan love this drink Wednesday LEAVE ME ALONE I NEED A BREAK FROM YOU Thursday Morning; Breakfast at Palacio de Los Jugos you gotta hit it up at least once Noon: Ariete for lunch and we’re getting here early because we want the reduced price menu Night: Comedy Show and open Mic at Taurus. Watching comedians cut their teeth and do the comedic equivalent of wrestling an alligator the alligator in question is a very drunk UM Student Body mixed with surly old dudes cheating on their wives good time and the whiskey is good. Friday Morning: All Day simply put I love the coffee Noon: King Duck BBQ: We’re splitting a Peking duck platter and that’s final I don’t care how you feel I’m also having some Boba Tea. Night: Mike’s at Venetia I hate mentioning to this place I feel like I’m going to regret it but this is probably my favorite bare hopefully it gets buried in your publication. Low light, local, fairly priced, and a good time what more could you want. Saturday Morning: Yellow Green Farmer’s market because I want pickles, oyster mushrooms, and soap that smells way to damn good. Hopefully by now you have left because I am exhausted and will no longer make myself available to out of town guest.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big “shout out” (see what I did there “Shout Out” is the name of the publication I am too clever to be this broke) to the following people. First to my mother and father who through their combined effort raised a pretty alright person but a fantastic comedian. Sadly my father isn’t with us anymore because like Prince my father was too good for this planet and the aliens wanted him back. Without their support, and understanding I wouldn’t be a comedian for as long as I have been. I need to thank my girlfriend Diana who has been incredibly patient, understanding, and has talked me through many creative breakdowns. God gave her a bad back because if she was anymore capable she would rule the world. My comedic idols Patrice O’Neal, Richard Pryor, and Maria Bamford. If it weren’t for their impeccable voices, and creativity I wouldn’t be half the comic I am today.Thank you Ronald Baez who is not aware of the profound effect he has had on me and my development as an artist. I promise I will use any clout I acquire in my life to get this beautiful man paid. If I come up you’re coming up. Next is my uncle who I know means well every time he asks if I’m making money. Now is the portion where I thank some industry people so bear with me. Kat Toledo you are a treasure and the best mentor I could have had. You’ve added to my life in ways you probably didn’t think you could. Daniel Reskin you gave me my first shot and I will not forget that. You took a chance with me and I am forever appreciative. Hannibal Buress we don’t know each other personally, but when we spoke in the outside area of Gramps in Wynwood and I asked you “how do you justify doing this every day? How do you wake up in the morning to keep on?” and you responded with “…well I love comedy and it’s a lot easier when they pay you.” I really felt that and I love the real advice. Finally, I need to thank the Miami Comedy Scene and everyone in it. The Miami Comedy Scene is the collective Diamond tip that gave me my shape. As for how good that shape is well that is for others to determine. Thank you!