Showing posts with label chicago open mic scene. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicago open mic scene. Show all posts

July 15, 2014

Growing Up in the Chicago Comedy Scene

We all have to start somewhere: our first joke at our first open-mic, bombing after weeks of crushing it, killing it after weeks of self-doubt. Then maybe you go on tour, travel, do stand-up in a new city, in a new scene. Maybe your comedy really fits in with the city you would least expect it to. Your jokes get better over time (hopefully), yet certain mics might not work for you, while other mics might really dig your style. This comedy life we live: it's all a lesson in learning how to grow, letting yourself fail, laughing about it, and getting back up there to try it again. Learning to be patient.

We’re all trying to accomplish the same goal: be a successful (or at least paid a little) Comedian. So I suppose I should “get” why there’s some competitive and immature behavior - but I don’t get it. Are you really trying so hard to be famous that you don’t care about making friends, getting constructive criticism, and growing as a performer? It is really helpful for your career to put everyone else down and act like you're the best?! You can be funny as hell, but if you’re a dick, who’s really gonna wanna book you? I’m not saying you won’t get booked ever again, but your fan base may fall off the bandwagon if you treat everyone like you’re better than them and your jokes never evolve past the “classics”. Then where do you go from there if you're "successful" and "people know you" but nobody wants to book you anymore? To quote a shitty Disney channel movie my little sister was really obsessed with: “We’re all in this together!” Yeah. That’s from “High School Musical,” No, I didn’t watch it, but I did hear the same stupid songs over and over again.

May 15, 2014

Thumping Thursdays!

Yo! Thursday nights are simply off the charts right now with both quality AND quantity of comedy offerings. Despite the what's popping segment we usually post on Mondays, sometimes certain deserving shows & mics get lost in the shuffle so we wanted to do a specific segment for tonight and plug the ridiculous amount of solid Thursday night events that are going on in the Chicago comedy scene. Check it out...

at Stand Up Stand Up - 1540 N Milwaukee Ave 
SUSU has really shaped up into one of the strongest showcases in town. Doogan is a monster. Do your self a favor and catch her in action. She rocks.
Jeanie Doogan
Tim Barnes
Todd Massey
Cody Daniel Hughes
Hosted by Sean White
Tonight 8:30PM

May 12, 2014

What's Popping!

So much to get to this week, from fundraisers to exclusive special events, lets jump right to it.

Malort Mondays in MAY!!!
at Green Door - 678 N Orleans, Chicago, Illinois 60654
An evening of Stand Up, Storytelling, Sketch, and Music!
Samuel Priest
Josh Johnson
Patrick Reilly
Joe Alden McMahon
Buddy Heeley
Steven King
Adrienne Gunn
Morgan Crouch
Anna Lucero
Jonathan Euseppi
Laura Hugg
Geno Alesandrini

Exclusive show at UP Comedy Club
Featuring: Brody Stevens
Howard Kremer
Adam Cayton-Holland
And the Chicago winner: Tommy McNamara

April 17, 2014

Run That Room

Sooner or later (most likely sooner), virtually everyone who performs stand-up comedy for any consistent length of time will be presented with an opportunity to be in charge of a show. It is my strong opinion that everyone should give it a try at least once - but go into it with a plan in place. I have personally seen and/or been an integral part of countless flaming disasters, but that isn’t a reason to poo poo the idea at all. In fact, I think it’s all the more reason to give it a well thought out try. Nothing but valuable education will come from the process – even if it’s a gigantic flop. To be on the safe side, plan on your first few ventures being at least baby flops. Putting on any live event is flat out EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. Period. Getting people to gather in a room for any reason is a challenge that’s a whole lot harder than it appears. I’ve failed at it for decades.

April 4, 2014

Funky Friday.

Joe Kilgallon will be popping up @ shows all over town.
It's Friday and despite the gloomy weather, things are looking hot for the Chicago comedy scene. The weekend is here and the lineups are extremely strong. Joe Killgallon, Jeff Garlin, Junior Stopka, the Nasty Show @ The Laugh Factory & much more are all happening this weekend. We've listed some of the best events that should definitely be on your radar if your looking to take in some top notch shows. Included are links for all events with lineups for some and times for all. Everything listed is recommended. Enjoy.

@ The Laugh Factory - 3175 N. Broadway, Chicago, Il.
Powerhouse line up featuring:
Alex Stone
Ali Clayton
Michael Larimer
Esther Povitsky
CJ Sullivan
Tonight! - 8PM

February 25, 2014

Interview with Dave Helem

Dave Helem
The bad news about the Chicago comedy scene is that veteran comedians eventually move away in search of better professional opportunities. That's just a realty. The good news is that there are plenty of talented comics waiting in the wings to step up to the mic (so to speak). Dave Helem is a good example of the up and coming, fresh faced, ambitious and hardworking talent that Chicago is producing right now. Dave's part of a new class of performers that's not waiting for anything to be handed to them, but instead is working to make opportunities for himself and others in the scene. He's performed at the TBS Just For Laughs Festival, produces his own showcase and is a regular at clubs like Jokes and Notes, The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Bar. Plus fe features and hosts at independent showcases and open mics all over town. Dave sat down for an interview where we discussed race, divorce, getting booked, hustling etc... Check it out.

February 12, 2014

Hump Day!

It's Wednesday and the comedy train keeps rolling. Over half a dozen super solid shows are going down both tonight and tomorrow in the Chicago scene. Plus it's a touch warmer today (25 degrees seems downright balmy) so get out there and support the local shows. Here's what's happening:

at Bar Forza - The Bar Experience - 2476 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago Il.
Tight lineup:
Hosted by Tyler Jackson
Kevin White
Kyle Scanlan
8pm - Tonight!

February 11, 2014

Mic Check with Jeff Arcuri

Mic Check is a series of interviews conducted by Matt Chiaramonte (Laugh Factory Chicago) with the talented folks involved in the vast, expanding, and seemingly never ending world of the Chicago Open Mic Scene. This installment is with comic and producer Jeff Arcuri. Enjoy!

Matt Chiaramonte: You run a mic at Four Treys, what has that experience been like?
Jeff Arcuri: Fantastic. Four Treys was originally a poetry and music open mic run by Matt O’Neill. When me and Jeff Scheen moved here Matt had just started and we tried out the mic because it was so close to Lottie’s. The next week I approached Matt and asked him if he would like a couple of partners at his open mic wherein we would handle getting the comedians. We shook hands, kissed on the mouth, and did a shot of Malort. Kidding. Well, mostly. Right out of the gate me, Jeff, and Matt agreed that we wanted our mic to be a FUN open mic, not a “oh shit, look who’s watching” mic. Our goal at Four Treys was to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. We thanked every comic for coming and made sure we asked them to come back. We don’t make any money, which surprises people, but I’m kind of OK with that. Matt has since left and passed the entire mic on to me and Jeff Scheen.

January 30, 2014

Thursday Plugs...

The title says it all, so not getting too fancy with it today... other then to note that starting tonight there are some insane shows popping off through the weekend. The Epitonic Deep Freeze Festival (details below) is looking especially NUTS. Enjoy.

a comedy benefit!!at Rockit Bar & Grill
COMEDY for a good cause!
Jaime de Leon,
Adrienne Gunn
Ricky Gonzales!

at The Comedy Bar- Chicago
Sean Flannery's critically acclaimed one man show!

January 27, 2014

What's Poppin!

Heyooooooo!!! It's Monday, so you know what that means: It's time for this week's comedy happy haps! Here's the next batch of listy things to keep you alive for another week.
- James Webb

Shoop Comedy @ Door No. 3 - PREMIERE NIGHT, 1/27
A brand new show from a group of really talented gals. This shindig is gonna have it all: stand-up, hot fresh bands, and a drag show. 3 of my favorite things. 3 of THE WORLD'S favorite things. Brave that cold you big butthole and check it out.
Candy THE SHOW PONY Lawrence
Cameron Gillette
Conor Delehanty
Kristin Clifford
Drag performance from Lucy Stoole (hostess of Fabitat at Door No. 3)
Music from Absolutely Not
DJ Patrick Allan
Hosted by Ali Clayton
Free - 7-9pm
Double Door - 1551 N Damen Ave.

January 2, 2014

What's Popping!

Joe Kilgallon Live @ SUSU
First of all, Happy New Year. Rarely do we try to make predictions, and there are projects both big and small going on behind the scenes that I can't really speak on, but... 2014 should be game changing. It's ridiculous how many eyes are on this scene right now (I wish you could see my inbox) and how much interest Chicago comedy is getting in general. To the fans - keep supporting, your going to see some mind bending shit go down this year. For the Comics - keep doing your thing, put in the work and don't sweat the small stuff, like JFL leaving town (new festivals already in the works) or not getting a Comedy Central audition. Opportunity presents itself to the prepared, so do what you love, keep it moving and make your own industry. Anyway, enough cheerleading. Check out what's happening tonight and through the weekend.

December 26, 2013

What's Popping!

Took a break for a few days over Xmas to recharge the batteries, was feeling a bit rundown and just wanted to chill with the GF, eat fatty food and open presents... Funny thing is, after a few days, couldnt wait to get back in the mix. So now back on the grind with a vengence. Got a couple of major inteviews with two hot former Chicago comics coming out in the next few days... In the meantime there are lots of top notch comedy events going on this weekend. Shows that should definitly be on your radar are: Dan Telfer Headlines @ The Mayne Stage, STAND UP STAND UP, Final Shows at The Lincoln Lodge, Liza Treyger & Megan GaileyTHE NASTY SHOW and MUCH more. Check out what's popping this weekend.

The Great Divide Open Mic
at the Division Street Bar and Grill
2525 W. Division.
Newish Mic with great drink specials...
Get 5+ Minutes of stage time...
Sign @7:30PM
Show @ 8PM

December 11, 2013

A Tight Five...

Five minutes doesn’t sound like a significant amount of time, does it? And in the big picture of the cosmos, it isn’t. But there are times when five minutes can seem like an absolute eternity. For example, try standing completely naked in a blizzard or outside the bathroom door of a Mexican restaurant that long. Better yet, try holding your breath five full minutes. It can be a LONG time. In standup comedy, those five ‘short’ minutes can seem even longer than eternity – especially when things aren’t going well. The stage quickly transforms into the land time forgot, with each and every tick of the clock becoming another direct sledge hammer blow to the head. It’s torture.

I’ve been in that horrific situation more times than I care to count. It’s like an exhausted fighter trying to find any way possible to get through the last round when there’s nothing left in the tank. The arms are heavy and the gloves feel like they’re loaded with cement. When WILL a bell ring? Like it or not, if you plan on doing standup comedy for any length of time you will experience the exact same scenario at one time or another and probably a lot more than once. It’s inevitable, just as a baby learning to walk falls down at some point. You’re learning to walk as a comedian, and there will be some rough spots to overcome. They can be far less painful if you are prepared.

December 6, 2013

Tighten Up Friday...

Damn. Think I'm still recovering from a huge Thanksgiving dinner, stomach's still boated, but that's a good thing (it is) considering the state of the world... Big props to local comedians like Bill Cruz and Maggie Ednie, who opened their homes to fellow artists over the holiday. Count your blessings (corny but true) people.

Well... It was pretty much a bananas type week in terms of comedy happenings. If you haven't had a chance, check out the ass load of pics taken from around the comedy scene last week, (150 +) . As per usual, plenty of comedy events go on over the weekend that I don't necessarily get a chance to plug in the Monday "What's Popping" segment, OR I feel a need to re-plug so they don't get lost in the shuffle which is the whole point of this "Tighten Up Friday" segment. So some top shows to keep on you radar are the Kellye Howard Comedy show (South loop y'all!), The Lincoln LodgeComedy At The Shack, Make Yourself At Home, Wait for 8!, Chicago's Best Stand-Up (@ Laugh Factory) and Talk Hard - Plus the usual suspects of independent showcases and open mics. ESPECIALLY the Wait For 8 open mic. Where comics GET 8 MINUTES of stage time, thats unheard of folks. Word is they need more comedian bodies to come out, so hop to it. Hosted by Monte LaMonte and Tim Barnes. Check out what's up this weekend!

December 2, 2013

What's Popping!

First off. Wanna give big props to Mike Lebovitz who was voted to go Switzerland for the Montreux Comedy Festival. Mike in turn was grateful to all the folks who voted for him. He and others put out the word and the people responded. Good example of what can happen when the scene comes together. Helps that Lebovitz is not a piece of shit. Shitty dad, yes.

Anyway, there are plenty of incredible opportunities to catch some great comedy this week and as usual Monday nights are leading the way with a CRAZY sampling of mics and shows. Speaking of Mondays, the UP Comedy Club is having a CYBER MONDAY TICKET SALE so be sure to jump on that since they have so many top notch shows coming up. Again it's a really good night to get out there and go mic hopping. Shine Box Comedy, the Open Mic @ Merkle'sWings, Drinks And Jokes, Yes Friend Radical Period Open Mic, Hilarity Will Hit Your Ear and Open Mic @ The Logan Theater are all going on tonight and that's just a small sample. Also keep your calendar open for Dan Telfer  (with special guests aplenty) at the Mayne Stage December 28th. Keep it on your radar now & get tickets before it sells out... With out further ado, check out all the usual suspects of great independent Chicago comedy showcases.

November 25, 2013

What's Popping...

What's common knowledge to most local comedians about the Chicago stand-up scene (although perhaps not to the average fan) is that eventually, many comics who get to a certain skill level, pack up and move to either L.A. or New York. That's just a sad fact. This is primarily because there is just not quite enough industry in Chicago. But... The bright side of this talent drain situation is that the majority of those comics come back to perform for big crowds, usually with fresh material that long time fans cant wait to see. This my friends, is one of those weeks. Cameron Esposito, Prescott Tolk and Will Miles are all in town and will be performing gigs at some of the best showcases and clubs in Chicago. Chicago Underground Comedy, Queer Comedy, Comedians You Should Know, Stand-Up Throw Down and Zanies should all be on your radar this week if you want to catch any or all of these talented comics doing their thing. Also... Monday nights are on fire right now for open mics, plenty of good opportunities to go mic hopping tonight. Plus check out all of the usual suspects of great independent Chicago comedy showcases.

November 20, 2013

Hard To Duplicate...

Jokes and Notes
I've heard many stories about Jokes and Notes from many comics before actually ever going there. Anything ranging from how it was a difficult room, to how you aren't guaranteed a spot at the Open Mic, and that even the most seasoned comic could bomb and be booed off stage. Admittedly I was nervous to go after hearing all of these things. One Wednesday at the probing of my neighbor, and an early night off work I decided to see what Jokes and Notes was all about.

We arrived early and slowly a large crowd gathered outside. Eventually the owner of the club, Mary Lindsey came out and asked everyone to get in line and she asked us all to write our names down and how long we had been doing comedy. One man in his late 30's proudly answered "3 weeks" to which Mary politely informed him "You will not be going up tonight" She gave us a run down that this club was different, and if you thought jokes you told at the dinner table or your potty humor was funny, it was not going to fly here. She gave us simple rules 1) Don't mess with the crowd and 2) Don’t bad mouth the club. I felt as if I should be intimidated but found myself relieved that there was a format and an expectation from the comics and that the bar was set high to not just go up and mess around on stage, but to actually have a crafted set that you could try in front of a paying audience on a Wednesday night.

November 19, 2013

A New York State of Mind (Interview with Kenny DeForest)

While in Chicago, comedian Kenny DeForest made a solid name for himself. Showcase featurespodcasts, producing, writing - he did a lot while he was here to say the least. Kenny recently moved to NY in search of the dream. We talk shop about the stand-up comedy game and his transition to New York city. Check it out...

Comedy Of Chicago: What's up man, how's New York treating you?
Kenny DeForest: It's good man its definitely an adjustment. Chicago's a great place to start but New York is the next step. It takes a minute to get acquainted, it takes a minute to get on the shows you want to be on, but I'm no stranger to hitting the Open Mics

November 18, 2013

What's Popping!

What' s up people. Was a crazy, bananas type of week in the Chicago comedy scene. Kyle Kinane absolutely crushed at the Up Comedy Club with multiple sold out crowds. Not to mention how many iconic artists (i.e. Richard Lewis, Emo Philips etc) have been in town to perform at Zanies. More of the same should be expected this week. You know the drill by now, shows to keep on your radar are Comedy & Toast (FREE DRINKS Y"ALL), 10 For 10 at Zanies, Black Star ComedyDoor No. 3 ComedyComedians You Should Know, Wylin Out Wednesdays, huge shows at Zanies  and the  I SHIT YOU NOT anniversary show just to name a FEW. Plus the usual suspects of open mics and great independent comedy showcases.

at Clark Street Beach - 3419 N. Clark, Chicago, Illinois 60657
Krystal LaFianza Pitzen - Host
Colleen Farrell
Mia McCullough
Amy Shanker
Sam Sinkhorn
Aaron Sutherland
Marla Depew
Amy Eisenberg
Erin Lane
Amy Sumpter

November 12, 2013

What's Popping!

Editing what feels like a million pics taken from all over the scene last week (pics will be up on FB fan page tomorrow) and running around like a madman today so not a lot of time for pleasantries. But you all should know the drill by now. Shows to keep on your radar are Kyle Kinane Live at the Up comedy Club, The Side Bar ShowDoor No. 3 Comedy, Comedians You Should Know, several huge names at Zanies and the Calvin Evans "impromptu" show. Also Vote for former Chicago Comic Aaron Weaver, who is in a Comedy Central Up Next contest when you get a chance. Plus check out the usual suspects of independent open mics and great showcases.

Wonder Bar Comedy
@ the Underground Wonder Bar
Chris Damen
Samuel Alex Orozco
Nick Sierra
Todd Massey
Sam Norton
8:30PM - 710 N. Clark  Chicago, IL

Comedy, dating games, live music...
Meechie Hall is always good.
1108 West Randolph,
Chicago, Illinois 60607