Apr. 13—The newly-opened and renovated historic Ector Theatre will feature comedian Steve Trevino live on stage on Thursday.
The Texas native stand-up comedian said he has used the down time during the pandemic to continue to adjust and that it's been a blessing in disguise.
Last year, Trevino, who currently lives in New Braunfels with his wife and two kids, had to take a few months off due to the pandemic before returning to perform at venues with 20-30 percent capacity.
He's found ways to remain busy both on and off the stage, he said during a phone interview.
"It's been an adjustment but the hardest part for me was to shut down," Trevino said. "Being asked not to work or perform and being asked to stay home was tough for me because I love to be on stage. I'm a busy person and it affected everyone, mental health-wise. So, I think when Texas opened up at 25 percent, it wasn't about the money, it was about me going to work and getting on stage and doing what I love to do."
Aside from being able to perform in smaller markets than usual across the state, nothing much has changed for him.
"I was talking to a fellow comedian Thai Rivera and about comedians saying 'I can't perform,' no, right now you're trying to think not to perform because you can perform and there are states where some people are doing drive up performers and that's one way to do it," Trevino said. "Those are the adjustments that I've made. It's just trying to find a way to work."
Trevino will make his way to West Texas this week when he performs two shows in Odessa and Midland.
He'll perform Thursday at the Ector Theatre in Odessa and then the following night at The Rusty Bucket in Midland.
Odessa and Midland are one of the smaller markets that he would not have been able to perform at had the pandemic not happened.
"It's been a real blessing to go and perform and we have great fans in Midland and Odessa," Trevino said. "It's a market that I love and will come back to. One of the blessings of the coronavirus has been the secondary markets and finding out that they're great markets."
Spending his life working in comedy, Trevino's first major gigs came when he was 19 when he opened for comedian Carlos Mencia. In 2005 and 2006, he wrote for and occasionally performed in Mencia's television show "Mind of Mencia."
Most of his tongue-and-cheek humor is based on his experience of being a husband and father as he enjoys telling stories about everyday struggles that he deals with in being a family man.
"I think that the everyday man and woman can relate to us because ultimately, that's what I try to be," Trevino said. "And that's what I put out there as my stand-up because people really seem to gravitate towards it and I enjoy it and they enjoy it so it's been a lot of fun."
Steve and his wife, Renae, (who he jokingly refers to as "Captain Evil" in his standup bits) have worked together over the years and during the pandemic, both put together a podcast titled "Steve Trevino and Captain Evil: The Podcast" which is now in its second season and has over one million views.
"Because I talk about my wife and family life so much on stage, we wanted to show people what the real 'Captain Evil' looks like and her opinions and we wanted to have a candid, married conversation on a podcast that people would look forward to every week and relate to us on another level in addition to my stand-up."
In addition to the podcast, Trevino put together a comedy special last year titled "My Life in Quarantine," which was shot in September 2020, outdoors in a front of a live, masked and socially distanced crowd in Canyon Lake.
There, he took on the brutal reality of realizing he's nonessential and joked when he wasn't able to be on tour in the first months of COVID, joking about all aspects of the shutdown from panic shopping to being at home with his family and the etiquette of face masks and hand sanitizing.
The comedy special can now be found on Amazon.
For him and his wife, it was a lot of fun doing the pandemic special and the podcasts.
It's also been therapeutic.
"My wife is enjoying it," Trevino said. "I'm enjoying it. Another thing to come out of the coronavirus is that before, I didn't have any interest in doing a podcast. I didn't want to do a podcast but because we've been stuck at home, we did it and it turned out to be a lot of fun."
While 2020 was a tough year on many people, for Trevino and his wife, there were some good things to come out of it after going through a horrific 2019.
Two years ago, the Trevinos experienced a miscarriage at five months pregnant. They have shared their experience with others, letting their supporters know what they had to go through.
"It was devastating for me and devastating for my wife," Trevino said. "We really struggled with it and started to find out that a number of people have been through what we've been through. We had to let our fans that support my stand-up career know what we were going through and I had to be an open book. I had to be honest."
Since then, they have added a new member to their family after Renae became pregnant again in 2020 and gave birth to a daughter who is now four-months old. Their son is five-years old.
"I've always said that I've asked for a lot of things in life from God and a lot of things he said no to but I wanted a son and I wanted a daughter and I got those so I'm very happy," Trevino said.
Being on the road, going from city to city and performing shows on tour can be cumbersome. Doing all of that while having a family can make it even more challenging.
Trevino finds a way to make it work.
"You don't sleep," he said, laughing. "It is hard because I try to give 110 percent at everything that I do and being on the road, sometimes I have to travel with my family so that I can make sure that I'm getting that family time."
Trevino says he puts his family first and then his career second, noting that it used to be the other way around years ago.
He finds a schedule that works with balancing everything.
"It's definitely a balancing act," Trevino said. "I'm on the road Thursday, Friday, Saturdays, and I'm home Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays."
When he's at home, he said he tries to be everything that he can for his son.
"I make him breakfast and take him to school, pick him up after school," Trevino said. "I'm involved with the school. I try to be as much hands-on as I can. When I'm at home, it's certainly a challenge but I'm up for the challenge and I love being a husband and a family man and a dad. It's easy to do things when you love everything in your life. I love my stand-up and the only thing I hate is the travelling."
Describing himself as a true Texan, Trevino was born in Gregory-Portland near Corpus Christi.
For a time, he lived in Los Angeles before coming back to the Lone Star State.
"I just needed to get back home and I think it also lends itself to my stand-up," Trevino said. "I don't live in Hollywood. I don't live around a bunch of other actors and comedians. I live with people that are just like me and my wife. I would like to live a normal life and that's what we do."
Growing up, Trevino said he always had a passion for comedy which started when watching comedian Richard Pryor as a kid on television.
"I watched my parents and everyone sitting in the living room, listening to (Pryor) talk and make them laugh and I wanted to be funny like that," Trevino said. "That was when I realized that you can do that for a living."
From there on, Trevino would go around telling people that he was going to be a stand-up comedian and he has seen his dream become a reality.
"I tell people that there are two different comics," Trevino said. "There are the comics that are appreciative and feel lucky that there's an audience. And then there are the comics that think that the audience is the lucky ones and that's not me at all.
"I feel very lucky to have an audience and I'm very privileged that people come out and pay money and I get to do this for a living. It really is a dream that has become a reality."