TIMING IS RIGHT: It’s been an exciting year for up-and-coming comedian Dan Crossley.
He was named an Andy Kaufman Award finalist, appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and scored an invitation to appear as a featured performer at the 2013 San Francisco Comedy Festival next month.
Closer to home, it was only a year ago that he won the Miquer of the Year award for comedy at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, and that’s where he’ll return to on New Year’s Eve to perform a comedy show with nationally renowned comic Joe Wong.
Raised outside Philadelphia, the 26-year-old Crossley got his start in comedy as a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut as a member of a stand-up group.
An interest in developing his talents while also finding a day job that would pay the bills brought him to the Boston area, where he worked for Natick’s local-access station.
“That gave me experience with production and editing on some really nice audio equipment,” he said.
But the lure of the stage was persistent. He found his way onto the New York club scene, where his inclination toward sketch comedy while most other performers were doing stand-up gave him an edge. He developed more sketch-based acts and eventually came across an ad on Craig’s List for comedians. Though it wasn’t clear from the ad, the audition turned out to be for the NBC show “America’s Got Talent.”
“I sent in some videos and was selected to appear at auditions,” he said. Making it into the top 100 candidates for the show, he appeared on air only once, but it was a foot in the door and quickly led to bigger things, including an invitation to appear at next year’s San Francisco Comedy Festival.
“At that point, I realized it was time to leave my regular job and take my comedy career more seriously,” he said. By then Crossley was working in product sales for the Public Broadcasting System.
His first step after the New Year’s Eve show in Framingham will be to embark upon a cross-country drive bound for California.
Initially Crossley saw this as the chance to experience something he’s always wanted to do — drive cross-country — while also accomplishing the goal of getting to San Francisco for the comedy festival, but then his manager, who is affiliated with the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel, came up with a better idea. The journey will be filmed for a potential travel show, in which Crossley travels from one city to another investigating the comedy scene.
“So I’m still going to San Francisco, but now a camera crew will be following me for the whole trip,” he said.
The idea of having his own TV show is exciting, but the Holy Grail for Crossley remains the same as it’s been since college — a role as a “Saturday Night Live’’ cast member.
The New Year’s Eve show, which includes Malik the Magic Guy along with Crossley and Wang, begins at 8 p.m. at 160 Hollis St. in downtown Framingham.
Tickets are $30; $28 students and seniors; $25 for Amazing Things members. Call 508-405-2787 or go to www.amazing-things.org.
FOCUS ON FOLK ARTS: “Taiwan Supreme: A Performance of Chinese Folk Arts” will be presented Friday at noon in the Costin Room at the Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington St.
The Chinese Folk Art Workshop Inc., a group of young artists, will perform traditional music and dance pieces as a way to promote understanding of the culture. The event is sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston.
A reception with refreshments will follow the free performance. For more information, call 508-532-5570 or go to www.framinghamlibrary.org.
THEY WRITE THE SONGS: Needham’s Plugged In teen band program is offering a song-writing and recording workshop this weekend.
The agenda for Saturday’s session, which runs from 1 to 6 p.m., includes discussions of the song-writing process led by industry professionals.
Sunday’s schedule begins at 11 a.m. and includes a chance to record the song each student has written at the Plugged In recording studio. A CD will be made of all the students’ work. Tuition is $175; scholarships are available.
To register or get more information, call 781-956-4281 or go to www.pluggedinband.org.