Winnipeg Comedy Rollin’ Dice in Your Alley

Last night I performed with 6 other comics to a sold out room – which was an awesome feeling. There is always a nervousness for performing a new show, in a new room – but it really was a good night for comedy. Although there have been some dramas leading up to the show – I think some lessons were learned and in the end like most ‘boys’ they get over it. Egos that need to be put in check are (at least for the night) and we try to move forward in our city, all of us taking in the amazing opportunities that allow us to do what we love – comedy. I think the diversity of shows is really developing and it gets me excited about what is to come for the new season. But it also made me realize how much we need to be on the same side and demand to be taken seriously.

We really need to stop letting our egos get in the way and to come together and show how hard we work and how talented we have become (not to brag, well a little cause Wpg comedy is awesome) It’s difficult for us to grow as performers as well as a community without overcoming this. It’s also difficult to overcome with anyone who has that ‘can’t wait to get outta this town and get to a real city’ attitude. Some of us really believe in this city and community – and reflect that in how hard we work.

It’s hard enough with the harsh divide that exists between Rumors comedians and the rest of the city. You are on one side or the other. You are working the club or you get to work wherever you want. We all get along with the Rumors comedians and love the rare opportunities to sit down and have a beer. But because of certain club rules – they can’t perform in other rooms and we lose interest in performing in theirs.  I really wish this divide didn’t exist because we could learn a lot from each other, but it does.

Many cities in Canada like Toronto have a history of 20 plus years with comedy, but Winnipeg is so fresh and new, only having really started to see a scene develop in the last 5 years. It is a definite challenge for Winnipeg comedians not having the advantage of getting on stage 2 or 3 times a night, every night of the week. But we also have the opportunity to mold how we want our comedy scene to be.  We need to work together instead of tearing each other down (don’t sing Kumbayah just yet) but it’s such wasted energy. For the most part this community is solidly supportive. That showed last night when many comedians came out, not to get stage time, but to support their peers. It shows whenever we get offstage and have notes from those we look up to. Everyone generally wants to help everyone become better, stronger, and tighter as performers – because we are tired of being ignored and we all want to see this community grow and flourish.

So let’s all start being fierce gangstas and roll dice in everyone’s alley.

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2 comments

  1. Mentorship is rare, and rarer in a city where those who can, leave, and those who can’t, find opportunities in venues other than stand-up.

  2. Very true. But it is there. Small community – so you have to look harder. And like I say to all those that constantly say how much Winnipeg sucks, the scene sucks etc. and they can’t wait to get to a ‘real’ city with real ‘comedy’. I say pack ya fuckin bags dude! Some of us believe in this city and work hard at our craft because we love it and we know it’s going somewhere good. Anyone who doesn’t believe in that – should live somewhere else.

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