Man with stutter finds courage though comedy

Published: Mar. 12, 2014 at 1:03 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 10, 2014 at 10:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Brian Baltosiewich is a marketing producer at WBTV.

For 22 of his early years in life, he struggled with what some people take for granted; simply trying to talk.

Brian developed a pronounced stutter during his childhood. "Everybody else could talk, and I couldn't. And I had a lot of stuff to say," Brian said.

It's gut wrenching to even imagine. A little boy who decided it was just easier not to speak at all.

"My stutter was much much worse. I couldn't put more than 2 or 3 words together."

By the time college rolled around, an athletic, handsome young man still had a paralyzing problem trying to talk. Then a career in TV came calling.

"I needed to do something that would convince myself and my coworkers and anybody else who might hire me in the future that this is not a dealbreaker," Brian said, "And so I wanted to do something as horrifying as I possibly could."

Stand-up comedy was his prescription to himself to help with his stutter. Most people cringe at the thought of getting up on stage in front of a crowd of people who may just be brutal. What if they didn't laugh? What if they laughed at him instead of with him?

Brian sums up all those feelings with a group of words that was never spoken so beautifully, "My courage to move past this, was greater than my fear."

With those words, he mustered the courage to take the stage and guess what? The crowd went wild.

Just last week, Brian took the stage at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte. His jokes started right off the top with his stutter. And the crowd embraced him. Not because of his speech problem, but because he's funny.

That's where Brian found his voice.