There's more to Josh Blue than his comedy.
Blue, winner of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," juggles family, playing on a national soccer team, and being an artist. He also hears the word "inspirational" a lot -- since his accomplishments have never been limited by his cerebral palsy.
Q: The last time you came to Ogden in 2008, you had just had your first child. How has being a dad affected your material?
A: Actually, we have a little girl now, too. So I am doubled up on the material. It's amazing how your life changes and your material changes with it. I love being a dad. It's probably the most intense thing I have ever done.
Q: What aspects of parenting do you like to talk about?
A: It's always fun to make it seem harder than it is. One of the things I have been saying is ... how you put the gates up on the stairs. You have one at the bottom and one at the top. So we just keep the kids on the stairs.
Q: Is it easier for you now that comedy fans know who you are?
A: Before people knew who I was, I had to explain myself a lot more. Just making people comfortable with my cerebral palsy. Now that people come into it knowing that I have it, I don't have to explain myself as much, and I can move on to other topics. From being a dad to politics -- just day-to-day life. It's cool to be able to move away from palsy.
Q: Is it a relief for you?
A: I wouldn't say "relief." There's just a cool second breather where I am not stuck in one thing. Obviously, I have to talk about (cerebral palsy) here and there.
Q: How long have you been on the U.S. Paralympic national soccer team?
A: I have been on the team about the same amount of time I have been doing stand-up -- like 10 years now. I have played soccer my whole life. The Paralympics was actually the first team that I played on. I tried out for my junior high team and they cut me -- which I have always said that in my opinion that nobody should be cut from their junior high team. But I didn't let it discourage me completely. When I found out about the Paralympics, I thought: What a cool experience to find a team that is made for me.
Q: You also have some interesting artwork that you have done. Why did you get into artwork?
A: I have been drawing since I was a little kid. I love art. I love making pictures and expressing myself in other ways. Comedy is really great for humor. But I find a lot of my artwork is dark and depressing. It's an interesting avenue to get whatever that is out of you.
It's cool. I have had three shows now and have sold around 20 pieces.
Q: I also see that you have been doing some motivational speaking. When did you start that?
A: I have actually been doing that for a few years. It's fun to take your brand in a different way. Comedy is really fast-paced and exhilarating. My speeches are all funny. But there is also a little more of a message to it. It's really weird. I am terrified of public speaking. It's like my way of staring it in the face and attacking it. It's different with stand-up. I could do stand-up all day and not be afraid of it. But as soon as there is something that is prepared (I get terrified).
The way I look at stand-up is that I never write anything down. So I can't mess it up. With speaking, there is stuff written down, so I am at a level of "I can mess it up."
Q: What's the message in your speeches?
A: I just talk about goals and dreams and not let anything get in your way. I say this, that if I don't accomplish something in my life, it's not because of cerebral palsy. It's just because I am being lazy. A lot of times, you hear people say. "Oh I want to be a painter or I want to do this." I am like, "Well just f---ing do it." It's as simple as that. I think a lot of times people don't realize how easy it can be to achieve something you want to do. But they never had the courage to take that first step.
Q: Are you finding yourself in an inspirational role?
A: That's a good question. As far as being inspirational, that word gets thrown around a lot with disabled people who are doing normal things. But with stand-up, people say, "It's so inspirational what you have done." It's like, well, that really wasn't my goal. My goal is to make you laugh and enjoy the show. But what I have learned is, if you take inspiration from what I am doing, that's a double whammy.
There are a lot of disabled people in the world who just don't get a chance to be heard or seen. It's cool to be able to do that for disability. To be out there in the limelight and bring awareness to the fact that just because we are disabled, it doesn't mean we are not thinking members of society.
Josh Blue talks about being on the U.S. Paralympic soccer team: