Connor Hannah might have been the primary to steer Tucson comedians out of bars and into large open areas. Late within the final decade he began an open mic within the alcohol-free Kava Bar.
Within the Tanque Verde space, 420-friendly Harambe Café & Social Membership hosts a few common open mics and has begun internet hosting booked exhibits in current months. At $20, tickets are steep for the market, however they embrace CBD treats.
In April, long-time open-mic’er, occasional showman and fully likeable host Ernie Celaya began a mic at Spark Mission Collective, a collaborative area shared by tattoo and body-piercing artist, therapeutic massage therapists and a practitioner of metaphysical arts, amongst others.
Now comes Woman Ha Ha Comedy, run by longtime comedian about city Priscilla Fernandez and her sidekicks Mo City and Amber Body, to blow the scene large open with an intimate comedy present for 35 cats. After all, they’re calling it Kitty Ha Ha.
The cats are awaiting adoption, and in the meantime taking cuddles at El Jefe Cat Lounge, 3025 N. Campbell Ave., suite 141. Human seating is restricted to 30. Tickets are $18 through eljefecatlounge.com/reservations. BYO drinks and snacks. A prize can be awarded for the very best loopy cat woman costume.
Fernandez’ comedy persona could be summed up in a single phrase: Gonzo! Like that cat that’s into every part. Whether or not it’s improv, standup, internet hosting or, particularly, winding up a present, she jumps on each threat and revels even within the falls.
In her skilled life, she is a demise doula. That does appear at odds together with her high-energy, typically ribald comedy life. In response to the web site of the Nationwide Finish-Of-Life Doula Alliance, in her day job she “present(s) a non-medical, holistic help and luxury to the dying particular person and their household.” One thing about that dichotomy, full pressure comedy faces down demise, would possibly evoke a smile. However clearly, it’s extra difficult than that and sadly totally different for everybody.
Certification as a demise doula is a reasonably current factor for Fernandez. However her expertise with Tucson comedy stretches again many years.
She says she began telling jokes at Laff’s Comedy Caffe round 2005. “I bought began with Dan Soder (a UA grad and touring comic greatest identified for his half in Billions) and Aaron Panther, Chad Lehrman. We have been all writing collectively. About two years later, I began doing improv with Not Burnt Out Simply Unscrewed till 2014.”
Fernandez credit her improv coaching for the wildly fashionable character comedy she’s plied for years. Her Sister Shalom, a Jewish nun, and particularly her sassy, cholo prostitute, Elena Sanchez, have been featured for years on the month-to-month Resort Congress sequence, Retro Sport Present. Elena Sanchez additionally typically stars and creates customized materials for comedy roasts. In April, she ribbed Tucson legal professional and comic Elliott Glicksman at an awards presentation the place he was acknowledged by Step As much as Justice for his work representing crime victims.
Fernandez additionally performs with Glicksman and comic Nancy Stanley, who produces The Estrogen Hour profit comedy present, within the Arroyo Café Radio Hour, an annual fundraiser hosted at The Rialto Theatre by cartoonist and comic David Fitzsimmons. And he or she emcees in addition to creates custom-made standup units for different advantages.
So when she talks about modifications she’s seen in Tucson comedy, she is aware of, deeply, whereof she speaks. “It’s totally different, now,” she says, and she or he’s made that change a private precedence. With Mo City and Amber Body, she has began a weekly open mic, Woman Ha Ha, for ladies and LGBTQA+ . It’s each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Rock.
“Woman Ha Ha is a comedy open mic for folk marginalized (on the planet of comedy). “All genres of comedy are welcome, not simply stand-up,” she says. “For 20 years I used to be taught that it’s a must to be aggressive. You need to be cutthroat. You need to get as a lot stage time as you may. You need to simply stab anybody within the again, do no matter it takes. And sooner or later I wakened, I used to be like, wait a minute. Think about how significantly better I’d be as a, as a comic if someone informed me I used to be doing a very good job, or I used to be humorous, something constructive.”
Now she and her companions have their very own viewers of people who find themselves by no means seen wherever else, and so they behave like a neighborhood, supporting and having fun with one another. The texture is nearly akin to that of a Montessori class. Everyone seems to be pleasant and busy creating, on the lookout for one thing new to share.
“There’s zero competitors,” she says. “I actually took the mannequin I used to be taught and flipped it the other way up. We’re going to have a mannequin based mostly on security, help, encouragement, and creativity. Strive something you need on stage so long as it’s comedy. However no misogyny, no hate speech, interval. I wish to see extra those that appear to be me on stage. I wish to see extra older girls, folks which can be black, which can be homosexual, which can be trans. I wish to see extra varieties of individuals in comedy.”
Fernandez encourages craziness, too, significantly on the finish of a present. She celebrates the unfurling of any freak flag.
“I actually wish to deal with doing comedy with marginalized folks and making a supportive area,” she says. “I’m encouraging different folks to do characters as a result of it was a lot enjoyable for me.”
For example, she mentions native favourite Kathy Hedrick, “She will get up there and is so nasty and cringy that all of us are obsessed together with her. She is aware of (that some folks assume) she’s wildly inappropriate. How do you get extra susceptible than that?
“I do cringe comedy, too,” she says. “I’m very irreverent and I prefer to push the boundaries. Individuals typically cringe at that, you realize? That’s not my crowd.”
Luckily, she and others at the moment are capable of finding all totally different crowds in Tucson’s many and diverse shops for native comedians.
COMEDY AND METAPHYSICS, BECAUSE OF COURSE.
Ernie Celaya was a fixture on the Tucson comedy scene for years, displaying up usually at Laff’s and an under-the-radar mic run by high native comedian Pauly Casillas at Mr. Heads. Celaya lastly gave up three years in the past.
Then sooner or later, he learn a Fb publish saying a brand new open mic at Spark Mission Collective, near his neighborhood at 4433 E Broadway Blvd. Celaya was drawn to the place as a result of, he says, “They’re actually community-driven. They’re a nonprofit group and so they assist autistic children.
“It was their very first comedy open mic,” he says. “Chris Carlone organized it and it was going to be his first time. I informed him I’d finished comedy earlier than. Did he need me to host it? And he stated, ‘Certain.’ And I liked it as a result of I bought extra stage time.”
Carlone runs The 4 of Wands, an enterprise providing Tarot and oil readings, non secular counseling, chakra balancing and shamanic Reiki, additionally incorporating crystals and singing bowl. The 4 of Wands is a part of the Spark Mission Collective, a gaggle that additionally contains tattoo, piercing and everlasting make-up companies, and a store merchandising associated physique ornaments and books. Spark additionally runs a small occasion and assembly area close by. That’s the place the comedy open mics are held.
Celaya says it is sensible for locations like Spark, Kava Bar and Harambe to host comedy exhibits as a result of lots of people, together with a share of comics, are in search of out mates and pleasant locations that don’t contain alcohol.
He says he’s had as many as 15 comedians present up, even on an evening when different mics have been accessible to them. The truth that they get 10 minutes on stage is a significant attraction. Stage time is the exchequer of native comedy. However Celaya is aware of that to construct viewers, Spark must decide on predictable dates for the mics. Proper now, it’s as soon as a month on both a Friday or Saturday, with the following one scheduled for Friday, June 10. He means that folks pal him on Fb for updates.
As for his personal comedy, Celaya says that being ready is just not his sturdy go well with, however he has the proper outlook for holding comedy an pleasurable interest. “I’m a bit extra of a spontaneous man. I attempt to work together and simply be myself and hope it’s adequate. And if it’s not, then that’s too dangerous. I’m not gonna surrender on it.”
Go forward, leap in! you’re humorous, and you realize you’ve all the time needed to strive. Or possibly dare a pal. A shocking variety of comics begin out that approach. Strive all of the mics as a result of of us inform us there’s one for everyone.
6 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. begin, The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., Priscilla Fernandez, Mo City host.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. begin. The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress, Chris Quinn hosts.
6:45 p.m. writing workshop and signup, 8 p.m. begin, Laff’s Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd., Casey Bynum hosts.
Alternating Thursday, subsequent mics: 06/02, 06/19; 8 p.m. signup, 8:30 p.m. begin, Tucson Improv Motion, 414 E. Ninth St., Jennifer Blanco Thomas and Kurt Lueders host.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. begin, The Kava Bar, 4376 E. Speedway Blvd., Connor Hannah hosts.
Friday After Darkish booked mic, second Fridays, apply through unscrewedtheater.org/fad/, 9 p.m. begin, Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway Blvd. #39, Cy Barlow and Allana Erickson-Lopez host. Lineup TBA.
5:30 p.m. signup, 6 p.m. begin, The Music Field, 6951 E. twenty second St., Tony Bruhn hosts.
First Sundays, 7 p.m. signup, 8 p.m. begin, Arte Bella (420 pleasant), 340 N. Fourth Ave., Joey G hosts.
First and second Mondays, 7 p.m. signup, 8 p.m. begin, The Mint, 3540 E. Grant Highway, Joey G hosts.
A Massive Moist Throbbing Queer Comedy Present! seems like simply the factor to begin off Pleasure Month. Tucson Improv Motion guarantees all that at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 4. Tickets are $7 on the door or at tucsonimprov.com.
TIM Director Justin Lukasewicz says that TIM members have labored for a month to give you “the zaniest, excessive, improv comedy present Tucson has ever seen.”
El Jefe Cat Lounge (eljefecatlounge.com/reservations)
Friday, June 3, 7 p.m., 21+, $18, restricted seating; BYO drinks and snacks. Lineup: Amie Gabusi, Eden Nault, Kathie Hedrick, Kyle Verville, Mo City, Priscilla Fernandez, all of them cat house owners.
Laff’s Comedy Caffe (laffstucson.com)
Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Los Angeles raunch comedian Michael Malone; $15 – $20.
The Screening Room (screeningroomdowntown.com)
Saturday, June 4, 9 p.m. Lineup: San Francisco nerd comedian Ryan Goodcase with Autumn Horvat, Matt Ziemak, Chris Quinn, Drake Belt, Carl Medina and Anthony Jenkins; $10, $7 on Eventbrite.com
Unscrewed Theater (unscrewedtheatre.org)
Friday, June 3, 7:30 p.m., From the High, a clear improvised Broadway musical; Saturday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., clear home group Not Burnt Out Simply Unscrewed; $5 children, $8 adults, in particular person or on-line.