StevenRogers was never “the cool kid” growing up. Whether he had to tell you this to believe him, or if an entire album of material was given away about it remains to be seen, but nonetheless he’s finally able to share material he’s been working on for quite some time in a big way .
With his debut album Before he was great, which airs everywhere starting today (May 6), brings Rogers an impressive amount of self-deprecating and personal reflection as he employs the same tools that not only saved him from difficult social situations in and out of school as a kid , but also fueled his journey through the ups and downs of his stand-up career. And while he’s steadily strived to become a household name on the comedy scene, the comedy veteran finds the idea that in some ways this is just the beginning for Rogers, something the comedy veteran finds refreshing, and he hopes listeners will understand.
“My big statement that I wanted to make with this album kind of fits what the joke of the main track is to me,” says Rogers Vanyaland. “It’s just the beginning, from a time ‘before he was great’ with all the source material from day one to now. I like this material and I want everyone to enjoy this material and I also want everyone to know that it’s really just the beginning and it’s only getting better.”
Although this is his first attempt at releasing recorded material, Rogers has worked hard for most of the past nine years. Over those years, his gradual rise through the ranks has come in the form of a multitude of milestones and opportunities, like opening for Brian Regan and appearing in the nighttime spotlight on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but in many ways this is the career sign, this material Being able to send to the masses gives the Syracuse native a refreshing sense of accomplishment.
“I don’t even know if there’s a finish line in any kind of art, but it’s nice that along the journey you get these little markers that show how far you’ve come,” says Rogers. “It’s refreshing, and for someone who doesn’t have a lot of self-esteem, it’s encouraging and nice to have these little things that show I’ve done a job. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been on Colbert or had the opportunity to open for Regan. And with this album, I feel like I couldn’t have gotten it out if I hadn’t put a lot of work into it.”
Since much of the album’s mood was centered around Rogers’ life as a nervous, stumbling, and awkward human being, he felt it was right to leave the final product as is, flaws and all. In particular, the moment he abuses a joke during set not only illustrates this, but in its own way highlights the undertone of the full-body work, in that mistakes are okay and can be funny if you’re willing to go “yeah and… “ the moment and drive it out. Being present and honest about his work is most important to Rogers, and he hopes that shines through.
“I have a firm belief that nobody would want to see a comedian that isn’t actually there, or if I just made the mistake and just tried the joke again instead of acting it because it felt like it would.” I read a script instead of being there for the audience in front of me,” says Rogers. “Yes, I made a live album for people to consume, but I was there for that audience and that moment, so I couldn’t deny that mistake happened, and I enjoyed it.”
Rogers has been working on this milestone for almost a decade, and it shows. But the way he sees it, it was by no means a solo effort that got him here, nor was it the night of recording. From his parents attending the show to his friend and fellow comedian Caitlin Peluffo warming up the crowd alongside Peter Wong and EJ Masicampo, Rogers continues to relish the opportunity to make his friends laugh.
Rogers also has much appreciation and admiration for many of the creative hands involved in this project. So much so that he added a “special apologies” section to the credits of the visual component to thank those he may have missed, in addition to his comic book peers, the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, the photographer Mindy Tucker , and the team at Blonde Medicine.
At the end of the day, Rogers just wants this album to be a chance to provide the comedic relief that comedy (especially Ellen DeGengeres’ HBO specials) gave him as a kid in the throes of anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. Doubt. He also hopes this album can be something of a physical display of perseverance despite a lack of confidence that he’s continued to work on over the years, showing that anything is possible when you have the right people in your corner .
“I want people to know that if you have the right support group and just keep fighting for something you want, you can do something without confidence,” says Rogers. “Also, this might be cheesy, but if any parents are reading this, support your kids for heaven’s sake. My parents never once questioned my passions and just made sure I pursue them, so the whole album and special is dedicated to them. If parents are reading this, I just want them to know that they should just let the child do what they want to do.”
https://vanyaland.com/2022/05/06/steven-rogers-is-just-getting-started-with-debut-album-before-he-was-super/ Steven Rogers is just getting started on Before He Was Super