As part of our tour, we decided to do two shows in Salt Lake City and make the shows a fundraiser for Doug's son. He is going to be spending a year in Australia. So the majority of the proceeds were to go to him. We were a little nervous before the shows, because the reason we originally booked two shows was to accommodate Doug's large family. However, as the date came closer we realized most of the family vacations were scheduled around this time.
Thankfully, one of the local papers picked up a story about our shows and the shows were filled with strangers as well as kids and neighbors that Doug grew up with that recognized his name and fancy face in the paper. So that problem was resolved. If it wasn't for that article, we may have had a much sadder crowds for our shows in Salt Lake. What a difference having an article published makes!
For both shows we were lucky to have the VERY funny Bob Bedore hosting for us. Bob also hosts a bi-weekly stand up show at the Midvale Main St. Theatre. He is most known though for hosting and founding Quick Wits Improv shows 1-2 a week at the same theatre. Bob is very funny, animated and a brilliant observational comedian. He is fearless and we were lucky to have him with us.
Also, both nights we had Alex Velluto featuring for us. Although Alex is a relatively new comedian, he is so funny. Also armed with great writing, he has a fresh take on observational comedy with a unique voice. Not only that, but Alex is just a sweet guy. It was a pleasure to get to know him a little and comedy with him.
That is one of the biggest perks for Doug & I on this tour, meeting and hanging out with comedians all over the country. I have said and deeply believe that comedians are the best type of people. Sure, we can all be super insecure and a little competitive. Overall though comedians are not only funny, but super smart and empathetic peoples.
So the shows themselves: The first show was a great turnout, was a little older and laughed more on the inside (as older crowds tend to do). This makes comedy a little more challenging though, but all of the comedians were up to task and were really, really funny. I was so worried about staying squeaky clean that I may have gone a little overboard with the cleanliness and bypassed a couple of punchlines. The show went well, but I felt a little stilted and missed out on a couple funnies. The duo set went super well, we got some AWESOME marriage advice that led to some really funny new stories we hadn't shared on stage. The perk for me, for this show, was laughing with my husband as his son, parents and other family members sat in front of us. Doug did some mormon jokes, that had a new life in the land of Mormons.
The second show was a little more relaxed, we had a younger crowd, it was a saturday - so no one had to rush over from work. Man was it a fun crowd, and for a theatre setting, very lively and supportive. Alex and Bob both really shined in this environment and the crowd loved both of them. It was fun to see their interaction with a crowd that was 100% on board with every joke and every story. When it came time to my individual set I cannot overstate how much fun I had. I stayed totally clean, but did not go overboard this time, and felt free and had a blast. Theatre shows can be harder, the first "show" I ever did was a theatre and and man did I ever bomb dramatically. It was horrible and after I got advice from the headliner, when doing theatre shows to make use of the large stage and allow myself to be more physical. So the 2nd night, I remembered and followed that advice. Wearing comfy jeans instead a dress and heels I let myself really get into act outs and the physical side of my stories. I have never felt so free and 'in the moment' on stage as I did during that show. Doug is always a very physical comedian and is great at 'act outs' so when we did the duo portion we both really had a great time, it was like a dance almost. Not just of words, but of actions too. Such fun.
Doug had a crazy coincidence at the show. He tells a story on stage during the show about an oil stove exploding in his face, and almost going blind. Well, that night he had a guy there that worked with him during that incidence. Doug's co-worker didn't even know Doug was performing, his parents got tickets for him and his wife and the four of them went to the show. He kind of recognized the name, but remembered exactly who Doug was when he heard the story. Crazy! Doug's set was also really funny, he really threw it down with lots of energy and rode the line of clean comedy, with a kind of non-dirty edginess that was refreshing and fun to watch. He also had a great interaction with the crowd.
As I said, the duo portion, was super fun with lots of physical comedy and a miracle. You see, for whatever reason, we only got a few pieces of marriage advice to interact with BUT I remembered seeing a heart-shaped tin backstage that was filled with individual tear off tickets that had "romantic" advice on each one. So with my wireless mic on, I ran backstage STILL interacting with Doug and grabbed the tin of wonders. We used a few of these cheesy but unintentionally hilarious advice tickets during our show. We also shared some of our favorite stories, and some new ones we haven't done together on stage before.
The highlight of the night however was AFTER the show. Bob invited us to sit in with the Quick Wits improv group during their 10PM Saturday show. Now, Doug and I are planning on taking improv classes when we get to NYC but neither of us really have any experience. I mean, I did some improv in Middle School and High School but that was over 20 years ago. So it was unbelievably scary. We each joined battling improv teams, that really took care of us. They were some of the best improv actors I have ever seen and they really kept us from looking too foolish. They really held our hands, and were delightful. Despite how scary it was, I think I can safely say we are both addicted to this form of comedy. Even though we use a little improv in our show, it's like a different comedic muscle that we haven't really used. So it was a little sore and a little weak but the adrenaline rush was fantastic and each laugh was even more rewarding. We can't wait to do even more of this!
So thanks Salt Lake City for two great nights of comedy!