“Nurse Blake”, the actress was born from professional exhaustion while breastfeeding in Houston. Now he’s back on his comedy tour.

Nurses need to laugh and go out at night.

“Now more than ever,” added Blake Lynch.

And he’s waiting with the antidote. Lynch is known as “Nurse Blake,” an internet sensation turned comedian with over 2.4 million subscribers, tons of skits on YouTube, and his own podcast.

He is currently on his PTO 50-City Tour and will perform in Houston at the Cullen Performance Hall on November 6. The venue is located on the University of Houston campus at 4300 University.

“He’s a real nurse,” Cullen Performance Hall theater director Carrie Miller said. “And his comedy is really relevant to people in this industry.”

She added that Cullen Performance Hall has ideal acoustics for comedians.

“We have a great stage,” she said. “We like bringing in comedians.”

The nurses have always worked beyond expectations, around the clock, notes Lynch. During the pandemic, this accelerated.

When: 8 p.m. November 6

Or: Cullen Performance Hall, 4300 University

Details: Tickets start at $26.50; uh.edu/cullen-performance-hall

“It’s hard to see how dark this period has been,” he said. “Finding things to laugh at, remembering why we got into nursing in the first place, that’s what it’s all about.”

And while his shows are full of laughs, his comedy definitely has an edge.

“Everything I’ve done has an underlying meaning,” Lynch said.

Take the show’s title, for example: PTO refers to paid time off, a concept nurses are familiar with, he explained.

“We nurses accrue paid time off, but it’s almost never approved,” Lynch said.

He wants to send a message to the nurses.

“Use your PTO, because you deserve it,” Lynch said. “And if he’s turned down, go tell your manager to get ready because you’re not coming in.”

He laughs – then admits he’s tackling a serious problem.

“Burnout is definitely real in nursing,” he said. “Hospitals push us to our limits and we often don’t have the resources we need.

Lynch would know. His repertoire is based on personal experiences in the field and those of nurses he met along the way. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, he graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“Nursing was always the path I wanted to take,” said Lynch, who never even considered other careers.

“My father is a respiratory therapist. He has worked in healthcare for 30 years,” Lynch said.

He was also touched by the care and help his grandfather received at the hospice.

“I remember the nurses caring for him,” Lynch said. Now, he himself has 13 years in the health field. “I am here.”

Lynch has worked as a registered nurse in trauma centers across the country. He was also a surgical assistant and clinical technician in intensive care. His first job in a hospital was transporting patients when he was 17 years old.

“I can see health care and nursing through many different lenses, which helps me connect and understand,” he said.

And there are a lot of nurses who relate to the stories he shares on stage.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are approximately 4 million registered nurses in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau counts 22 million people in the health care industry, one of the nation’s largest labor sectors.

But Lynch shows are accessible even if you have no industry experience.

“You definitely don’t have to be a nurse to go there,” he said.

During each performance, he finds someone in the audience who is not in the field.

“I guide them through the show,” Lynch said. “I’m breaking it all down.”

Comedy is now his full-time gig — and one he never imagined.

“I never, ever thought I would do comedies,” he said. “It just happened.”

And it happened right here in Space City.

“Houston is where it all started,” he said.

In 2017, he was working at a busy Texas Medical Center hospital. One day, on his way home, he had a panic attack.

“I needed an outlet,” he recalls.

It all started with a joke – what if dull scrubs met fashionable romper. The result, he explained, is the “scromper”.

Her husband, Brett Donnelly, filmed her wearing the design, dancing around the pool.

It didn’t take long to go viral.

“It was a shock,” Lynch said. “It was shared so widely.”

The video was even picked up by news agencies.

“You realize that once you post something, you can’t take it down,” Lynch said.

But other nurses loved the video – and they too needed a humorous outlet for their work stress.

The character of Nurse Blake was born and he created more skits. Over the past four years, Lynch said a supportive community of nurses has grown around her comedy.

“I don’t feel alone anymore,” he said. “My followers inspire me to keep going.”

Plus, nurses like to share a laugh, Lynch added.

“Nurses are just funny people,” he said. “We have a crude and dark sense of humor. We have to use it to get through our shifts.

In Houston, Caspar Cordovez was one of his accomplices. Cordovez was his ICU preceptor at the medical center.

“Everyone loved him in the unit,” Cordovez recalled. “Comedy is just a natural thing for him.”

Cordovez laughed at the first scromper video.

“Since then, the door has been wide open,” he said. “And the rest is history.”

Cordovez enjoys seeing his friend on stage.

“He is so connected to the nurses; it’s hilarious to watch,” Cordovez said. “And it’s heartwarming to see him using this massive platform to speak out on our behalf.”

Prior to her fame as Nurse Blake, Lynch was at the center of another important cause. In 2013, he launched Banned for Life, after being denied the chance to donate blood because he was gay.

Two years later, the Food and Drug Administration lifted its ban, with restrictions.

“It took a lot of baby steps,” Lynch said. “Change does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of dedication – and it’s not over.

He is currently participating in the Food and Drug Administration’s ADVANCE (Assessing Donor Variability And New Concepts in Eligibility) study, which focuses on homosexual and bisexual donors.

“The hope is to end all postponements,” Lynch said.

He explained that creating Banned for Life provided unique insight into the power of social media to do good for others.

Now he’s using the platform to spread joy and laughter among healthcare workers — and to spark important conversations.

“In my performance role, I always try to give back to the nurses in some way,” he added.

In the past two months, it launched the NurseCon app, which offers free mandatory continuing nursing education (CNE) courses, with on-demand videos developed by qualified nurse educators.

“We just hit 50,000 active users,” Lynch said.

It also organizes the fourth annual “Nurse Blake Awards”, a competition for nurses and nursing students with a Tesla and thousands of dollars in cash as prizes. The award was designed as a way to offer hope after a difficult COVID-19 year, Blake said.

So is the upcoming performance at Cullen Performance Hall.

“Come to the show,” Lynch said. “It’s going to be amazing.”

He is also looking forward to it.

“Since living in Houston and working in Houston, it’s been like going back to my home turf,” he said. “I’m really excited. I can’t wait.

Lindsay Peyton is a freelance writer based in Houston.

Previous G20 leaders agree on global COVID-19 vaccination strategy, says Retno Marsudi
Next SRO Motorsports Group presents a broad sustainable development strategy for 2030