A lot of comedy comes from pain.
But local comedian Dylan Avila’s new one man show comes from an incident on stage that nearly killed him.
It’s not all laughs. Avila says the crowd for his new show may laugh and cry.
“That’s what a lot of people say they love about it," said Avila.
Three years ago he was performing at a club in Renton, when a disgruntled comic jumped on stage swinging a baseball bat. Avila was hit twice in the head, causing a double skull fracture that sent him into emergency surgery.
“It was absolutely terrifying,” said Avila. “As I was being wheeled into that surgery room, you don`t know what might happen. You`re dealing with my brain, my skull.”
Just after the attack, in the hospital with 2 titanium plates in his head, Avila’s sense of humor was still intact.
“Hecklers can’t do anything to me now,” Avila joked at the time, and he was anxious to get back on the stage.
But he now admits he was in denial about how much pain he was in, and didn’t realize the long term effects of a brain injury, or how long it would take to recover.
“There was a lot of struggle with that and a lot of conflict,” said Avila. “Just a lot of anger and rage. It was hard on my family, hard on my wife. It was definitely hard on my kids because they don’t know why daddy’s this way.”
Avila says the recovery has been slow but steady. He sometimes suffers from headaches and paranoia. His energy level is often low, and he now needs naps to make it through the day.
But his focus on comedy remains clear, and creating a one man show has been cathartic, especially when it comes to the man, now serving ten years in jail, who attacked him.
“All he did was make me more loved and more popular, and a stronger comedian and funnier, and better looking,” said Avila, chuckling, as he points to his head. “I mean I got this cool scar, and that’s all he did.”
But as he moves forward with his life and his new one man show, it’s hard not to look back to the beginning of 2015, when he had the love of his family, and a comedy career on the rise, which was all nearly over in an instance.
“Five days into 2015, this guy tries to take me away from all of that. And here I am. And that’s what the one man show is all about. What led up to that night and then in the ER waking up, and all that love and support and all the struggle and the pain, and then coming out on top.”
For more information on Dylan Avila’s new show, click here.