Some men use their hunky looks, gracious charm or sparkling personality to attract women, but Chris Schlichting is partial to a different approach. He uses his stellar sense of humor.
"Yes, I use comedy to get women!" Schlichting confesses with a chuckle.
But while he is not busy getting a date, Schlichting remains focused on pursuing his dream of becoming a headlining comedian. He went from star athlete in high school to star comedian by the ripe age of 24, now performing professionally across the country.
He was the stereotypical "funny guy" in school, and he grew up with a big, sarcastic, fun-loving family. But he did not realize his comedic dreams until he entered college.
"I always had a pipe dream of playing in the NFL when I was a kid," Schlichting says. "Playing sports in high school was a way for me to make a name for myself. But when I went to college, I wanted to find another way to stand out."
And stand out he did - Schlichting won the very first comedic competition he entered.
"It was an amateur competition, and I was a little nervous. But I got through my act, and soon after that I was announced the winner," Schlichting exclaims. "I was hooked from there."
Although Schlichting was hooked and ready to pursue comedic greatness, he continued with his classes at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon.
"I made a deal with my mom," he says. "I had to finish college, and then she'd support my decision to focus all of my attention on becoming a professional comedian."
But pursuing his newfound dream was not all fun and games. Although Schlichting excelled in his first competition, he soon realized just how ruthless the business could be.
"After that first competition, I went through a dry spell," Schlichting confides. "But I didn't want to give up. So I learned how to deal with the ups and downs of this business and continued moving forward."
Schlichting knew that he had to meet the right people and be in the right places in order to network and get the jump-start he needed. So he landed a job at Penguin's Comedy Club in Davenport, Iowa.
"I annoyed all of the comedians who came in to perform," he admits. "I drilled them with questions and picked their brains for hours. If an MC were sick, I'd fill in. And after doing that for a while, I finally convinced the manager to let me perform regularly."
Now Schlichting performs regularly for venues across the country. And in order to land new gigs, he works hard every day promoting himself and finding ways to meet new booking agents.
"You've got to know people, and you've got to know who to trust," he says of his daily challenges. "Sometimes I think I'm really bad at promoting myself, but I try my hardest to get out there and meet the 'right' people. I'm trying to find new booking agents in my area. So, I record tapes, make phone calls and go into clubs and give them my best five minutes, hoping to land a gig. But it's hard to convince them to let me stand up there and perform for 30 minutes."