Phoenix Comedian Erick Biez on Finding Happiness in Entertaining Others

Meet comedian Erick Biez.
Meet comedian Erick Biez.
Scott Sandry

Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. Leading up to the release of Best of Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at 100 more. Welcome to the 2016 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today is 16. Erick Biez.

Peter Parker? Pass. Instead, meet your friendly neighborhood Erick Biez. 

Although, if you frequent Phoenix comedy clubs, there's a fair chance you're already acquainted with the 32-year-old stand-up who borrows his catchy descriptor from Spider-Man. 

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Biez is now based in downtown Phoenix, where he performs and produces a variety of shows — a plural that's more than well deserved.

Among his many Valley-spanning events, Biez has produced Through Being Cruel at Endgame, Monday Night Comedy at Chambers, Copper Comedy at Copper Blues. He co-produces It’s Not For Everyone at Majerles and Literally The Worst Show Ever alongside Anwar Newton at Valley Bar. He produces and hosts Swipe Right for Awesomeness at The Rebel Lounge and Next Step Comedy Showcase at House of Comedy. He also served as the show runner of New Faces of Comedy at Stand Up Live and Tempe Improv.

Yeah, he's not kidding about the "neighborhood" thing. 

Biez has worked in comedy for nearly six years and credits hard work, risk taking, and being easy to work with as a few of the reasons he's arrived at the place he's at now. "I’ve also received a lot of great advice from many talented and notable people," Biez says, noting that his peers in the local comedy community also help him push his craft further. "It’s great seeing what everyone has accomplished."

All the hard work has earned Biez recognition locally and from those outside the Valley. The high point of his career thus far, he says, has been "getting professional comedians messaging me and telling me they have heard about the things I’ve been putting together in Phoenix and would like to work with me the next time they are in town."

Not that he's hurting for new projects. 

Biez has a new night in the works. Titled HESH SESH, it's half comedy show and half burlesque show that's followed by rock and metal music. Date and venue? To be announced. 

I came to Phoenix with half a U-Haul full of only enough personal items for a single bedroom. It was a chance to hit the reset button and start something new for myself after college. I had lived in Flagstaff for eight years prior to my move to Phoenix with also a short one-year stint in Chicago.

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I enjoy creating the shows and events I create because I am interested in a variety of show-types and no one around was doing a show that I had in mind, so I decided to create them myself. One of my favorite things is when people after my set or show I’ve produced tell me how much fun they had. It makes me happy to know I was able to pull a person from their daily stressors and entertain them for a couple of hours. People leaving the show happy makes me happy. 

I’m the most productive when I’m closer to a deadline. I’ve always been kind of a procrastinator since high school. I sell the majority of the tickets to my shows two days before the show happens. It’s a personal flaw that one day I wish to rid myself of.

I don’t actually have an “inspiration wall” or “vision board.” However, a constant source of inspiration comes from listening to various national and local comedians' podcasts.

I’ve learned most from my peers. Working at Stand Up Live, Tempe Improv, and House of Comedy gave me the chance to sit down and talk with national touring headlining comedians. If I had any questions about booking shows, running shows, merch ideas, promotions, many comics were more than insightful as well as helpful.

Good work should always try and be topped. Good work can always become great work if you polish it up, rewrite, and keep adding to it.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more open-minded venue owners. I’ve had three separate show ideas that I knew would be great at specific venues but I was turned down because the venue/bar owner had not done a show like that before and was skeptical of the show's ability to draw in customers. Also, we could use more venues/bars willing to spend a few dollars on live entertainment. I can't count how many shows I was unable to produce because the venue/bar didn’t think they could afford $100 to produce the free show they wanted. Venue/bar owners should take pride in a creative show that is being produced in their business.

The 2016 Creatives so far:

100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco
90. Christian Adame
89. Tara Sharpe
88. Patricia Sannit
87. Brian Klein
86. Dennita Sewell
85. Garth Johnson
84. Charissa Lucille
83. Ryan Downey
82. Samantha Thompson
81. Cherie Buck-Hutchison
80. Freddie Paull
79. Jennifer Campbell
78. Dwayne Hartford
77. Shaliyah Ben
76. Kym Ventola
75. Matthew Watkins
74. Tom Budzak
73. Rachel Egboro
72. Rosemary Close
71. Ally Haynes-Hamblen
70. Alex Ozers
69. Fawn DeViney
68. Laura Dragon
67. Stephanie Neiheisel
66. Michael Lanier
65. Jessica Rajko
64. Velma Kee Craig
63. Oliver Hibert
62. Joya Scott
61. Raji Ganesan
60. Ashlee Molina
59. Myrlin Hepworth
58. Amy Ettinger
57. Sheila Grinell
56. Forrest Solis
55. Mary Meyer
54. Robert Hoekman Jr.
53. Joan Waters
52. Gabriela Muñoz
51. ColorOrgy
50. Liz Magura
49. Anita and Sam Means
48. Liz Ann Hewett
47. Tiffany Fairall
46. Vanessa Davidson
45. Michelle Dock
44. Nia Witherspoon
43. Monique Sandoval
42. Nayon Iovino
41. Daniel Davisson
40. Andrew King
39. Michelle Moyer
38. Jimmy Nguyen
37. Tiffany Lopez
36. Kristin Bauer
35. Donna Isaac
34. Douglas Miles
33. Sierra Joy
32. Francisco Flores
31. Amy Robinson
30. Julio Cesar Morales
29. Duane Daniels
28. Kelsey Pinckney
27. Ben Smith
26. Rembrandt Quiballo
25. Corinne Geertsen
24. Tess Mosko Scherer
23. Slawomir Wozniak
22. Elly Finzer
21. Josh Brizuela
20. Amy K. Nichols
19. Angela Johnson
18. Grant Vetter
17. Michelle and Melanie Craven

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version to clarify that Biez no longer runs New Faces of Comedy.

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