Comedian finds his place on stage in Southern California and beyond


Actor, standup comedian and radio talk show host J. Kay Weldon may have lived in Temecula for nearly a decade, but he still looks at Louisiana as home.

“I’m from a small town in northwest Louisiana called Belcher,” he said. “I still think that it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived. Just trees and rolling fields with little lakes and bayous tucked off in the middle of them. No matter where I am, Belcher is always home.”

After spending eight years in the military, Weldon moved to Southern California where he received his degree in recording arts from the Los Angeles Film School.

J. Kay Weldon as the title character in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello.” (Photo by Shawna Sarnowski)

“I picked up on the audio engineering part rather quickly, but my focus was communications because I wanted to be on the radio,” he said. “After college, I hosted a weekend show on LA Talk Radio called CRASH Radio. This led me to comedy because I learned that I just love to talk.”

Weldon appeared in venues including the Ice House in Pasadena, La Buena Vida Vineyards in Grapevine, Texas, and the Sterling Hotel in Dallas. He began taking acting classes to help his stage presence as a comedian, and after a monologue from William Shakespeare’s “Othello,” a love of acting was born.

The title character in “Othello” was a role that Weldon would go on to play in a 2019 production for Temecula’s Shakespeare in the Vines. He also counts Richard II in “King Henry IV” and Benedick in “Much Ado about Nothing” as among his favorite accomplishments. He said he biggest honor was playing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Point Loma Playhouse’s production of “The Meeting.”

“It was a look into Dr. King and Malcom X as humans, not heroes,” he said.

Weldon described theater as a safe place.

“No matter what we think, feel or believe outside, on the stage we are in our own world,” he said. “A world where we set the standard, where we decide what’s important and give life to characters that would have no life without us. If you ask me, that’s pretty cool.”

Currently, Weldon is in rehearsal for The Full Circle Players production of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” which runs October 7 through 17 at The Box in downtown Riverside.

J. Kay Weldon (right) as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rhys Greene as Malcolm X (left) in “The Meeting.” (Photo by John Howard – J Howard Images)

He will also be performing an evening of standup comedy Sept. 25 at Baily Winery in Temecula.

“I make it a point to keep my career moving forward,” Weldon said. “If venues aren’t open, I’ll write. If plays aren’t happening, I’ll do standup. I firmly believe that where there is will, there is a way. My next big project will be a one-hour special that I intend to film and distribute through multiple streaming services. The ducks are in a row, so it’s a waiting game now.”

In addition to his other interests, Weldon said he has a soft spot for professional wrestling.

“It’s bad,” he laughed. “Like, I’ll argue with kids bad. I love the athleticism and the character and gimmicks they use. I’ve been a fan for about 30 years, so I don’t see that going away anytime soon.”

For information on “The Merry Wives of Windsor” visit https://www.fullcircleplayers.com/

For information on Weldon’s standup performance visit https://www.shakespeareinthevines.org/tickets

Patrick Brien is executive director of the Riverside Arts Council.

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