JOPLIN, Mo. —
Raised by divorced parents -- with his father, Clint Fletcher, on a farm in Columbus, Kan., and his mother, Jodi Lansaw, on a horse ranch in Neosho -- Fletcher originally moved to Des Moines to pursue a career in mixed martial arts fighting. Getting his start in 2005, he fought in places such as Tulsa and Springfield, before moving to Iowa, where the business was bigger.
He did well, he said, and climbed the ranks of his league. But he saw that the level of competition got considerably more difficult the higher he went. He was about to hit a ceiling, unless the ceiling hit him first.
"I was about to hit a ceiling," Fletcher said. "I was pretty good, but I wasn't great. I'd never be great, and I knew that. So, I thought I should do something else."
That opportunity came when he injured one of his hands during a fight, requiring downtime to heal. Without a specific direction, he tried performing comedy at an open-mic night.
"I did an open-mic at the Funny Bone and found out that I liked it," he said. "It went well, so I dove into it head first, and I found out I could make an easier living telling jokes than fighting. No one was trying to punch me."
His comedy career took him to Los Angeles, where he got an agent and regular performances. And as his fighting weight dropped, Fletcher started working with a Des Moines-based modeling agency.
But after the birth of his first child, he wanted to stay close to home, he said. He took a job as a broker, but the entertainment business was hard to ignore.
"When you've been in the entertainment business, it's kind of hard to have a normal job," Fletcher said. "Entertainment is a lot of work. People don't usually see the work side of it."
He landed bit roles in a couple of Iowa-based movies, including "The Experiment," a direct-to-video movie featuring Adrian Brody and Forest Whitaker. His agent also led to him meeting director Thor Moreno who directed "I Think I Just Saw the Devil" and "Iowa," the latter of which premiered this month.
Two years later, he was approached about starring in "Murder Incorporated." Iowa was the perfect place, Fletcher said, because plenty of the creative agencies needed for movies were still in Iowa.
Since then, Fletcher has been hard at work promoting the movie and working with the production company.
Because the cast includes several other comedians, Fletcher has organized the "Killing with Laughter" tour, a comedy show that will play around Iowa until filming begins. After filming, Fletcher said he would like to bring the tour to the region.
Additionally, bands that are featured in the movie's soundtrack will perform in a music festival.