30 Days of Dreamers & Doers | Joshua Littrell
Joshua Littrell makes his rounds as a comedian, actor, script writer, event coordinator and all around entrepreneur. He is also one of the 4 founders of the Non-Profit Organization, Omaha United For Youth.
JL: The Elstupo Brand has recreated and rebranded the Urban comedy scene from locals to major headlining comedians. I created a platform for ALL local comedians to be able to display their SUPER HERO gift in front of hundreds of people.
What is your earliest memory of being involved in your business?
The earliest moment I can recall is starting my own Comedy Showcase. We had a small, but large turn out of 75 people initially that just believed I was hilarious. I was on stage for 3 minutes and it felt like a life time. After that 3 minute performance, this is when I thought to myself, if so many people believe in me - why not believe in myself? That 3 minutes once felt like a life time, now a Lifetime feels like 3 minutes.
When it comes to O.U.F.Y., we stated off just 4 individuals that wanted to make a difference in the community, one kid at a time. We voted on the name, “Omaha United For Youth”, because that’s just what we stand for. The entire city united for the children. We strive on being an outsource for the youth of Omaha. To give them options, help, love and support. We are able to bless thousands of children with our annual Back to School event.
Myself, Vanelle Littrell, Bianca Humm and Andre Rash are all the co-founders of this Organization. With me growing up in a low income home and high crime area, struggling became the norm for me. Everyone I knew was struggling financially, but one thing I noticed growing up as well, we were happy. Looking back at our community, I knew we had to show and give more. Not just “items/things”, our people needed resources and information. Our children needed guidance and that’s what we are here for. Sometimes our people in the community don’t know where to go, so WE GO TO THEM!
JL: What makes me so passionate about Comedy is a saying that I live by:
“Turn your pain to POWER”
I truly believe that. No matter what someone is dealing with in life, no matter their circumstances - during a Comedy Event all of that struggle, heart ache, disappointment is turned into joy and laughter. See, check this out, laughter is TRULY medicine. “Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain”. ~helpguide.org~
So really that makes me some sort of SUPER HERO DOCTOR!!!
That’s what really gives me the joy of exercising my gift of being a comedian. The fulfillment I am able to give others is a SUPER DOPE feeling!
JL: To sum up my passion for O.U.F.Y., it’s kind of self explanatory. Just being “that kid”, the one that is in the line at the pantry, the one living in poverty. The kid going outside and the circumstances seemed normal. The violence, drugs, broken homes, the struggle in general is what makes me passionate because I know what these kids are dealing with first hand. I know what it feels like to think, “man this is all we got”, “this as good as it gets”. They neeeeeeed us!
What did your journey to where you are currently look like?
The journey to where I’m at in my comedy career was full of surprises. From creating my own showcases, to reaching out to other comedy venues knocking on their door and getting turned away. I think what I value most about the comedy grind is the “No’s” that you hear. What it does for me as an entertainer is further lets me know that HARD WORK out weighs talent. That let me know we had to add more than just “funny” to the recipe. Creating my brand to where they can’t tell us 'no'. You go from supply and demand to demand and supply. I recall booking my own flights, going to venues with just 7 people and performing like there were thousands watching. Those 7 people enjoyed every minute of it. I could tell they wanted to take a piece of me with them, not like a 'piece piece', LOL, but they asked if I had any DVD’s, a YouTube page, website or any kind of merchandise that they could purchase. So I started branding myself better. I also starting writing movie scripts, sketch comedy dialogue, co-directing the sketches I starred in. I even helped edit them. From that point we grew the brand to where it is now. Like we always say, “Out work the WORK”!!! People will recognize the brand and the value that it offers.
How do you hope people feel after working with you?
After people work with me I love to leave them with the entire experience of dealing with a business man that has great business etiquette. I always do more than expected because I enjoy what I do and this is what feeds my family. Every person, promoter, organization has always inquired about working with me again after being hired or me volunteering. There’s not much I don’t offer for my services. I perform all job duties and I also help promote, network and even help with set up and cleaning up the venues as well. They say it’s hard to spot the general when he’s working like a soldier.
Can you name a highlight of your career?
I have many highlights in the beginning stages of my comedy career. If I had to name one, it would be being able to perform in Hollywood during BET weekend at The World Famous Comedy Store. I believe pretty much EVERY comedian we have laughed at in our life time has performed there. From Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence - You name em, they have been there. That was HUGE for me!
Anything you’d go back and change?
I think if I could change something about what I am doing today as a person, business owner, Nonprofit founder and entrepreneur, it would be to start doing it earlier in my life. Although timing is everything, I know what we are doing is TIMELESS!!!
Blessing others doesn’t have a start or expiration date on it. Too bad we don’t have a little time warp thing-a-ma-jig.
My advice to up and coming comedians would be, be YOU. Create relatable content for the audience, embrace your failures, learn from others mistakes and widen your skills that are attached to your gift. Write scripts, create content for others, go to open mic nights, travel and never be afraid to ask question. Be intentional with your time and when it’s your turn to shine, OWN YOUR MOMENT!!!!
Just a second piece of advice to our community, please continue to support and encourage one another because all we have is each other no matter what.
On behalf of O.U.F.Y. and myself, THANK YOU to the Omaha community.
You can catch Josh El'Stupo on stage making the crowd laugh as well as in the community giving back. With great talent and service, he's definitely doing his part as a Dreamer and Doer.
For any booking inquires or event ideas you can contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make sure you never miss out on a laugh or opportunity to be involved, follow his social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram .