Symply Courtney is Always There

April 19, 2020

Photo Credit

Aaron Suarez


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


It’s a new era in the world of pod­cast­ing, and I’ll admit, I miss being able to sit across the table from my com­e­dy guests. I held out for a bit and then real­ized if we want to keep bring­ing some of our favorite come­di­ans to your tablet, phone, pod­cast app, we have to move for­ward. So, instead of sit­ting across the table, I sat across the screen from cheer­leader extra­or­di­naire Sym­ply Court­ney. After you give the pod­cast a lis­ten, it’s not Sym­ply Court­ney”, but rather SYM­PLY .….… COURT­NEY, cheered loud­ly, maybe with a clap along the way, much in the way Court­ney leads audi­ences in chant­i­ng his name (live, and more recent­ly, vir­tu­al).

And that is the ener­gy that Court­ney brings to many things. From his pos­i­tive social media pres­ence, to his mil­lion watt smile, Court­ney admits if I’ve been able to inspire any­thing, that’s great.” From the recent spate of comics that are home­grown here in Austin, Court­ney stands out. He did­n’t always know he want­ed to be a com­ic. Sure, he was com­fort­able speak­ing in front of class­es, but inspi­ra­tion did­n’t strike until a job in parks and rec (those things with trees, bench­es, and slides, not the show) and in the course of orga­niz­ing activ­i­ties for kids, he came up with the idea of a tal­ent show of sorts. He acknowl­edged, in that very Art Lin­klet­ter way, that kids say the darn­d­est (and fun­ni­est) things and want­ed the kids to chan­nel that into a stage show. When kick­ing that off, the bug bit Court­ney and the urge to per­form set­tled in. It would still take sev­er­al years before he tack­led his first open mic.

If I've been able to inspire anything, that's great.
Symply Courtney

A series of events in his per­son­al life made standup com­e­dy an escape from the harsh real­i­ties of a dis­solv­ing mar­riage and the logis­tics of divorce tak­ing up his time. And in that moment, despite the dis­tance and the flat­ness of a screen, I con­nect­ed with Court­ney. For him, divorce was the impe­tus to turn his urge to do com­e­dy into action, while for me, divorce was the impe­tus to watch as much com­e­dy as I could. Ther­a­py, each in their own way. But con­nec­tion is so very impor­tant to what Court­ney does on stage. If you watch the hand­ful of videos avail­able on his Youtube chan­nel, con­nec­tion with his audi­ence is a hall­mark. But it was­n’t always so.

While Court­ney did his time of work­ing through open mics, for a peri­od of time, he allowed him­self to fall under the influ­ence of freely giv­en comedic advice. We explore this dur­ing our talk and it is hard to dis­cern whether this is just a stan­dard part of com­e­dy train­ing”, or whether he was being giv­en explic­it advice to not be him­self, to fit into some mold that Austin com­e­dy has set for itself. We will nev­er know, but we can acknowl­edge that some­times heed­ing advice can delay the blos­som that is inevitable. 

After a few years, Court­ney real­ized he could take some advice and leave some advice, but he had gained enough con­fi­dence to start estab­lish­ing on stage who he was. And if it did­n’t fit a mold, that’s ok, it fit him. This allowed him the breath­ing room to real­ize he was­n’t com­pet­ing with any­one any­more. Of that rev­e­la­tion, Court­ney says That’s some­thing (that) took me a long time to get out from under this idea that you’re com­pet­ing against every­body.” And we can all be thank­ful. Anoth­er thing we can be thank­ful for is that Court­ney always seems to be there. Where ever there” is. In fact, that’s how he got his place in the vaunt­ed improv troupe Sug­ar Water Pur­ple. And it’s how he greet­ed me soon after Last Gas hand­ed the keys to the Austin live com­e­dy cal­en­dar to Com­e­dy Wham — yelling thank you” from across the street after a Fall­out The­ater show.

That's something (that) took me a long time to get out from under this idea that you're competing against everybody.
Symply Courtney

Court­ney con­tin­ues to push him­self in unique ways. For his 2 last birth­days, he chose to cel­e­brate by orga­niz­ing roasts for him­self. And for his birth­day ear­li­er this year (you know, when live shows were a thing), he chal­lenged him­self to per­form 30 shows in 30 days lead­ing up to his birth­day. He accom­plished 34 with duti­ful plan­ning, sig­nif­i­cant wear and tear on his vehi­cle, and a deter­mi­na­tion to meet his goal. And now that live show envi­ron­ments are (tem­porar­i­ly) non-exis­tent, Court­ney is jump­ing into vir­tu­al shows. He adapt­ed his live show inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence to the stay at home envi­ron­ment for Iso­la­tion Com­e­dy (a show Com­e­dy Wham pro­duces) with per­fec­tion. And that’s what you can expect from Court­ney. He will adapt, he will stay true to him­self and he will make you learn his name. Say it with me, errr, chant it with me. SYM­PLY .….… COURT­NEY .….…. SYM­PLY .….…. COURTNEY.

Sym­ply Court­ney can be seen:

Fol­low Symply

Symply Courtney