Born Nathaniel Martin Stroman, comedian Earthquake began his professional life with an 11-year tenure in the U.S. Air Force. During that stint, he found his life's true calling by impetuously performing at a talent night called "Tops and Blues," held at Elgin Air Force Base in the Florida community of Ft. Walton Beach. Earthquake (or "Quake" as he was frequently known) subsequently headlined engagements at Atlanta's Uptown Comedy Corner to enthusiastic response, and thus discovered that comedic delivery came naturally to him. He spent the next several years (during the late '90s) establishing a unique comic presence, distinguishing himself via inventive routines that blithely and colorfully commented on the African-American experience while projecting undercurrents of tremendous anger, sadness, and frustration. This combination of emotional complexity and raw wit made him a tremendously popular figure on the club circuit, particularly among black audiences, and helped him secure appearances in such filmed venues as Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, BET's ComicView, and Laffapalooza. Earthquake moved into feature roles with a bit part as a husband in Kevin Smith's Clerks II, then joined Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, and Tasha Smith for the Fred Durst-directed sports comedy The Longshots (2008).