From law to laughs: Utah patent lawyer chases dream of becoming a comedian

From law to laughs: patent lawyer chases dream of becoming a comedian (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Growing up in the small town of Tremonton, the expectation for Wes Austin was clear.

"Growing up, my dad would always say, 'you need to be a doctor or a lawyer,'" Austin explained. "Blood kind of made me sick, so the law it was."

So Austin became a patent lawyer, and has been practicing for 20 years.

But all long, his dream of being a comedian was very close to the surface.

"It never went away," he said. "It kept gnawing at me."

But he finally decided to do it one day, before it got too late.

His first step was to try going to open mic nights at a comedy club — but he often couldn't make himself go inside.

That went on for months, until he finally mustered up the courage.

"When I first started doing open mic, I was terrible. It was awful," he said.

He bombed — a lot.

"I stuck out like a sore thumb," he said.

Until one night, he didn't. And he'll never forget the first time he got a laugh.

"It was just this really high feeling that just overcame me, and I thought, 'Yeah, this is it,'" Austin said.

Austin started posting funny comedy sketches online, but under the alias "Logan Walker."

He was afraid of people finding out about his hobby. Eventually a colleague did, and called Austin.

"He said, 'What are you doing? You're going to lose your job. Clients are going to think you're a freak,'" Austin said. "So I deleted everything."

It was back to square one for him, and he took several years off from his dream.

"I kept feeling this calling like I need to be in comedy," Austin said.

It was time to go big, so he wrote a pilot for a TV show.

"I thought, 'I can write a story about a patent lawyer who wants to become a comedian.' Because that's me," he said.

He sent hundreds of emails to agents and networks, but no one was interested in his TV show.

Austin decided to continue with the web series, called The IP Section, and then post them on Facebook.

More than a million views later, the show has been compared by some to "The Office."

Austin's family has worked on the show behind-the-scenes with him, and he is now working on writing the second season of The IP Section. They plan to start filming in the fall.

He is also doing stand up again.

Austin is now inspiring others to pursue their dreams as well and tells them to just start.

"You'll feel it inside if it's something you should be doing, and it will affect all areas of your life and you'll start feeling happier everywhere if you just start," he said.

Austin still hasn't told his dad he has been pursuing comedy.

"That's my last hurdle is I need to be honest enough to tell him," he said. "He's my dad and I'm still this little kid, and I don't want to disappoint him."

But Austin is through disappointing himself.

"When I get a laugh, I feel like for a moment I've made somebody happy," he said. "It's not something they can fake or lie about."

You can watch The IP Section on Facebook or YouTube.

Austin will also headline a stand-up show on Saturday, August 10th at Wiseguys Comedy Club in Ogden.

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