Dog Party, The UMS, Sad Stuff & Connections, Big News

Hi!  I'm Jake!

Taking a note from Seizure The Day blogger Callie Fagg, I am going to start being more regular about my blog. Instead of pumping out horrendously long entries every few months, I will put out a paragraph or 4 at a time.  Little, regular bites instead of clunky feasts.  Cool.  That's 1 paragraph.  3 to go.

Last night, I was at a party for my good friend, comedian Lori Callahan. Host, Terri Barton Gregg put on a great party.  Tons of food, tons of good people.  Also, tons of dogs.  One dog somehow had a dog injury and his eye popped out of his head.  When the party people told me about this, because most of the guests were comedians, at first I thought they were making a weird joke.  Turns out, no.  Terri had to rush the dog to the hospital to get its eye poked back in.  From what I hear, the dog will need $1500 in surgery. Yikes.  And I have been complaining about how I can't afford to fix my tooth! I don't even think my dentist could fix an eyeball.

At the party, I ran into a very funny comedian, Jodee Champion.  Jodee had recently done one of my stages at Denver Post's annual Underground Music Showcase.  That's a really fun music festival here in Denver.  They have 15 or 20 stages up and down South Broadway.  Bands play all week.  You can walk into one venue, check out a few songs, walk next door and check out another band.  Rinse repeat. I saw Git Some, a badass punk band originally out of Chicago, Wheelchair Sports Camp, an incredible hip hop group, and tons of other awesome artists.

I also put on 2 shows at The Hornet and SOBO 151 and appeared on Ben Kronberg's stage at Michaelangelos.  Fun shows.  There is a weird aspect to those shows though: Normally, comedians have a captive audience that doesn't get up unless they have to pee (or poop), or the comedian made them mad enough to leave.  But this was a music festival; people wanted to cram as much culture as possible into their heads each night.   People walked in and out of the music shows- and they did the same at the comedy shows.  So, suddenly, we'd have an audience or suddenly half that audience would go away.  They were having fun, but they wanted to see other stuff too. When I wasn't performing in the festival, I did the same thing.

As a result, some of the comics on my shows had smaller crowds and some had bigger crowds.  I emceed my shows.  I like hosting. Normally, I don't do any material in between acts, but since this wasn't a regular show, in between Kristin Rand's set and Elliot Woolsey's set, I decided to do a 7-minute political set.  I could see Elliot getting a little antsy because I appeared to be dragging the show out just before he got up there. Normally, that is a really crappy thing for an emcee to do by the way. However, just as I wrapped that set up, 15 people came in and sat in the front.  They were into the show and ready to go.  Elliot ended up in the sweet spot and had the set of the night. He crushed.

Also, I should note that at my The Hornet UMS stage, Alicia Jacobs had a huge set. That also was not an easy show and she rocked it. She has great jokes, a big likable personality, tons of characters.  She had a really tight, really big set.  Total pro.

The reason I am telling you about the UMS is when I saw Jodee last night, we were hanging out, having a couple laughs and she talked about how the SOBO 151 audience was kind of rough.  True. Because people came and went, the crowd fluctuated a bunch.  When Jodee was on stage, there wasn't much of a crowd at all. However, after the show, a guy who stuck around for the whole show came up to me and thanked me.  He told me how he just really needed a laugh.  He had just moved to town.  He was kind of down because he didn't know too many people in Denver and his friend had recently died. He needed the laugh.  So, though the show may have seemed rough at times for us, we helped somebody going through an actual rough time.  We  connected with somebody who needed that connection. We fixed a bad day. Isn't that what this is all about?

I had 1 other moment like that during that week.  I featured for Kenny Kane at Denver's Comedy Works South club.  We had a great show with Sam Adams emceeing, me featuring, and Kenny headlining.   The crowd was amazing too.  After the show, a lady came up to me and told me she really enjoyed the show, and that I reminded her of her son.  She said her son was a lot like me.  Was?  Her eyes welled up for a moment and she gave me a hug. She told me that her son had been murdered at a young age and that it was good to see me do what I do.

These were 2 big, unexpected moments. Comedy is about jokes, laughs, hitting the road, living poor, rejection, elation, victories, long distance calls to your friends and family. Lost in the midwest one-nighters, there are days when you ask yourself why you even get on stage.  Sometimes, in addition to the instant gratification of laughter, you get a real answer to that question. Comedy isn't just about laughing.  It's about release.  It's about somehow melding your emotions, your tension, your fear, your sadness, your anger, with audience's emotions- and releasing them.  Comedy is about connection.

Well, I said I was only going to write 4 paragraphs.  Turns out I was wrong.  So far, I have done 9.  Here's a 10th. I have gone over my time. As comics often say before their "big closer," I'll leave you with this...
I have some big news:
Thanks for reading!
Bye!  I'm Jake!