MADE Legends Edition - Page 26

MADE MADE FEATURES XXXX ‘ACTING OUT’ HIS DREAMS: LIL REL Just try to turn on your TV without seeing comedian and actor Lil Rel these days; it’s pretty though. He’s starring on NBC’s The Carmichael Show, he’ll be featured in two major motion picture films set to be released sometime next year and he’s the host of a brand new show airing on MTV. If you ask Lil Rel himself, though, he’ll tell you he’s just a guy from the West Side of Chicago who wants to make the city he loves proud. We sat down with Lil Rel to learn all about his rise to fame and talk about his return to his comedic roots with his role on MTV’s groundbreaking new comedy series “Acting Out.” MADE By Sylvia Snowden MADE: Take me back, all the way back to the West Side of Chicago. When and how did you discover you were funny? LR: That’s a good question. I mean, I thought I was funny for a long time; because most of us are funny. And that’s not to say black people are funny, but, we’re funny. Humor is a part of our culture and our lives. Now, the first time I thought I might actually be able to become a comedian and an actor was when I started doing the plays at my uncle’s church. I always did well and this was as a kid. But, it wasn’t until I went to Providence St. Mel on the West Side of Chicago (that I really believed in my talent). I was cast in the school play. It was a high scho ol play and I was only in 6th grade, but I auditioned anyway; I got casted for it! That’s when I knew. I thought “if I can beat out a bunch of 15 and 16-yearolds for a part in a play and I’m 12, then I might be onto something (laughs)!” | 26 PHOTO CREDIT: The Carmichael Show MADE: How did you go from that realization of “Hey, I’m talented” to actually pursuing standup comedy? I heard a rumor that you used to hang around a little comedy spot called the Lyon’s Den. Is that true? LR: I used to work at a telemarketing company and I had Mondays off, the Lyon’s Den had a Monday night open mic. And the only way I knew about these spots is because when I was in high school, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper put out a “Weekend Plus” newspaper every Friday where they’d list the weekend theater