Ron Bello, an up-and-coming stand-up comedian, has been working as an estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in Fairfield, CA, since November 2018.
Bello, who has 20 years of experience working in retail, took Mike’s Auto Body’s one-week estimator's training program at its Fairfield facility last year. He knows he has a lot to learn about estimating and the collision repair industry as a whole and is highly motivated and intrigued by the job.
"Everyone here at Mike's has been so great," Bello said. "My manager in Fairfield (Corey Flies) has been very supportive, and the company is giving me all of the tools I need to succeed in this position. Mike's is investing in me and everyone here is willing to answer all of my questions, so I know I'm not alone, and that gives me a lot of confidence."
Confidence is key for Bello as he attempts to break into the stand-up comedy industry---one of the toughest things anyone can do. He hit the stage for the very first time back in August 2018, and after doing 20 gigs in the six months since then, he is hitting his stride.
Bello's influences include George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. He appreciates the challenge presented by doing comedy, he said.
"Doing stand-up is very satisfying, but it's also difficult. I now have 20 minutes of material, and my goal is to eventually do a one-man show, which means I'll need to have 60 minutes or more of jokes and stories to tell," he said.
Bello's first gig took place at Compadre's in Napa, and although he was a little nervous, he got some big laughs and surprised a lot of people, including himself.
"I told my first joke and the audience started laughing, so I was definitely encouraged and gained momentum. When I was done doing my five minutes, the emcee said that I must have done stand-up before, but it was truly my first time on stage,” he said.
In November, Bello signed up for a comedy competition at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park and walked away as the first-place winner.