Chances are, you know Alex Weber. From hosting NBC’s American Ninja Warrior to motivational speaking, his charisma and humor have taken him all over the map. After spending some time talking to him, we’re not surprised at all. He chatted with The Mission Daily about his journey from improv to motivational comedy, how people inspire him, and why he thinks you can do anything you want to do.
Alex grew up in New York, and he discovered the power of comedy early on.
“I love my dad, but he’s an intense dude, and he can be very intense. One of the go-to bits was before he would grab the phone bill, I would grab it before him and put on his glasses, and do the classic, ‘What do you got to talk to your grandma about for twenty minutes?’ It diffused the situation.”
Alex always knew he wanted to perform, but wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. He started doing improv, but it wasn’t the fit he was looking for. “I had a moment, I was doing improv and then I was like, I just had a moment, I was like, I was really getting into that culture and spending hours at this bootcamp, workshop group every day. I just had a moment where I was like, ‘If I dedicated this amount of time to stand-up…’Also, stand-up is a way of communicating your thoughts, your beliefs, who you are, your lens on the world, what’s happening to you, your fears. Whereas improv … though I love it, it’s like: here’s a lot of great things, but you’re being still not real. You’re creating a scene out of nothing and you’re finding a game and dynamics, but it’s like a not really like a real thing. Whereas stand-up is people bearing their souls. I was just more drawn towards that, and then I remember I had like a very honest moment with myself. I’ve been obsessed with standup, I’m such a geek about it my entire life, but I still was too scared to do it. I had a moment where it was either, ‘All right, Alex, you can either do it or be okay with the fact that you’re going to be seventy years old and regret it. Do whichever one you want, but those are the two options.’”
He jumped into comedy, feet-first. Now, he is a hybrid motivational speaker and comedian, with a palpable love for people. And his journey has left him with some words of wisdom.
Really wanting something is a powerful thing. “The power of want is something that I find fascinating. I just think it’s so incredible when someone decides that they really want to do something. You’re not going to stop them – they’re going to do it. If you look at history of really great things, really, really horrible things or really weird things, like burning man – it’s all one common thread. If people to do something, they’re going to pull it off. It’s all about tapping into, ‘All right, what do I really want to do?’”
Everything is learnable. “What I learned is: everything in this world is learnable, everything. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, it doesn’t matter if you’re a numbers person or you’re naturally funnier. Yes, those things may put you off to a better start, but if you want to do it, everything is learnable. Usually the biggest variable is us enduring sucking. Us actually showing up and being frustrated, and embarrassed, and humbled.
The funniest type of person is the person who puts their heart on their sleeve:
“I think anyone can be funny, and there’s definitely people who simply comment on exterior situations. But I think I love humor. My favorite humor – in comedians and even in life – is when people let us into their world, and who they are, and what they think, and what makes them unique.”
To hear more from Alex, check out the full podcast here.