AYER -- At just 22, Ayer resident Josh Dolan is already making a name for himself in the comedy world and is searching for local venues to perform regularly.
Dolan, a 2010 Ayer High School graduate, began doing stand-up in college when a comedy course sparked an interest in him.
"Comedy is the last thing I ever thought I would do, but it was something I always wanted to try," Dolan said. Then a comedy competition, hosted by comedian Tony V in Boston during the fall of 2010, caught his eye.
Having admired Tony V growing up, Dolan signed up for the competition because the comedian was hosting it.
"I had been writing for about a year, and I was allowed 90 seconds (at the competition), which seemed like forever," Dolan said. "Out of about 20 comedians, I was number 16."
Dolan almost left the competition due to nerves until they called his name, and remembers being surprised at the audience's reaction to his jokes.
"After my first joke, they laughed for about five seconds and it kind of scared me because (I was surprised) people actually laughed," Dolan jokes.
With his drive for comedy sparked, Dolan dropped out of college and flew to Los Angeles for four months to visit with a cousin working at Warner Brothers and continued his pursuit of fame there.
"I was always fascinated by Hollywood," Dolan said. "I was a movie and comedy nerd."
In Hollywood, Dolan met William Shatner and George Lopez on movie sets. "You meet people just walking around," he said. "It's really cool."
Dolan reached out to a comedian in L.A. who ended up giving him some advice and setting him up with a couple of open mic performances and guest appearances in L.A.
With some experience under his belt, Dolan returned to Boston and began booking appearances at colleges, comedy clubs and other venues such as Giggles, Lots of Laughs and Foxwoods Casino. He appeared in a few televisions shows, as well, including Dirty Water TV on NESN, when he played in the Boston Bruins Alumni game against his own team, the Boston Comedy Allstars.
With an interest and past experience playing hockey, Dolan formed the Boston Comedy Allstar team to raise money for a friend with cancer. Members of the team included comedians Lenny Clarke, Dave Russo and Mark Riley.
Dolan will be hosting WAAF's Hillman Morning Show with former Boston Bruin Lyndon Byers at Patriot Place in the near future.
Today, Dolan is shooting a pilot for a show involving Boston athletes and comedians that he hopes will be picked up by a network soon. He is also in search of a local establishments in which to perform regularly.
Dolan would be a senior in college today had he stayed, but admits that he doesn't look back for even a second.
"I'm glad that I'm ahead of the ball and already in the real world," he said. "I don't have thousands of dollars worth of loans to pay back and I'm doing what I love.
"These are my college years, and this is my college," he said. "My professors are the people I watch on TV, in movies and in comedy clubs who now sit down with me and give me advice that no money could buy. I don't need a loan for this. I love it!"
Without a specific genre of comedy, Dolan said he talks a lot about his childhood in his jokes, and makes sure they are appropriate, given the maturity of the audience.
Dolan will be performing at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Follow Julia Kacmarek on Twitter and Tout @JuliaEKacmarek and Like her page "Julia E Kacmarek" on Facebook.