Meet Zev Citron
“As long as I have a way to express myself creatively, I’m happy.”
A stand-up comedian, a bass guitarist and a nice Jewish boy walk into a bar. His name is Zev Citron.
Zev is a believer in the power of creative outlets, and seeks them out in any way he can. He has experience as a stand-up comedian and is now focusing on his passion for music.
He talks about the differences between what it’s like delivering a bit and playing in a band.
“Before going on stage for stand-up, it’s very nerve-wracking the day of. The entire day I don’t want to eat, I’m shaking from nerves, and slurring my words. Then, I get on stage and something clicks. I’m immediately comfortable.”
For Zev, only part of the thrill comes from the audience’s reaction to his material. It is this way that stage fright takes a backseat. “I go into it thinking that whatever happens, happens. The worst is that they don’t laugh.”
While playing music, however, Zev is transformed. “I’m a completely different person when I’m playing music.”
“On stage as a comedian, I’m trying to be the biggest guy in the room. When you do stand up, the spotlight is on you. In music, though, when you’re not the lead singer, you’re a support. You need to focus on making sure you’re on the beat and don’t miss any of the notes.”
Zev appreciates his time onstage out of the spotlight, and has been practicing tirelessly, joining multiple music groups as a bass guitarist.
The creative freedom that comes with comedy and music, and any other mode of expression, is what Zev seeks. “As long as I have a way to express myself creatively, I’m happy.”
Having grown up in the Jewish community, Zev was no stranger to feeling the pressure of going to law school. However, he managed to listen to himself and not follow the beaten path just because, and has found satisfaction in his creativity. “I feel like the Jewish community can definitely step it up in terms of encouraging and supporting artists coming out of our community.”
It is by following his own passions that Zev feels fulfilled, and he urges others to do the same. “Honestly, you really only live once. As much as it’s tacky, it’s true. At the end of the day, care for others but put yourself first. Now’s the time to make mistakes. It only gets harder to do it later.”
Zev Citron is 23 years old and grew up in Thornhill. He graduated from Ryerson’s Creative Industries, where he joined the university’s comedy troupe and found he had a knack for it. After graduating, Zev began to focus seriously on his music and hopes to one day release an album and go on tour.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Adina Samuels