Throwing away his academic potential, Donovan Deschner began performing professionally right out of high school. It was a move that should not have been as shocking as it was to his family – in the preceding years, he’d been an engaged entertainer in the acting, magic and comedy “fields” (having allowed his grades to suffer only a little bit). Since that time his skills and reputation have grown from the close-knit circles of his parents’ friends into a career that has spanned over a decade and reached across the continent.
A city-boy born to farmer-parents instilled in Donovan a work ethic that has rippled throughout his many projects. Working diligently not just in front of audiences but behind the scenes as well has resulted in the creation of new shows, films and festivals. Most notably, in 2009, he created Red Carpet Comedy – a unique show that challenges professional stand-ups to throw away the safety net of their regular material and write brand new sets every single month. While his passions have remained varied they inevitably return to one central goal: making people laugh.
Donovan’s signature project, 260 Minutes, was the ultimate creative challenge to himself. Starting in May of 2012 he wrote, performed and posted to YouTube five new minutes of stand-up comedy every single week for a year. It’s a feat that (to his knowledge) has not been attempted before or since. Throughout the year of new material (about five hours when all was said and done) audiences were given a look at what makes Donovan tick: stories from his childhood, awkward interactions with other humans and old-fashioned observations combined into an experience that has led his shows to be described as “like going on a first date with him.”