Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Sweet N' Sour Comedy Showcase

They say that laughter is the best medicine and they say that laughter is the way to a women's heart. I say that laughter is one of the best feelings a human can experience and we should all do anything we can to experience it more often.

This week Hatchy's in Utica will be hosting a comedy showcase that features 13 up and coming acts whose soul purposes are to try to make you laugh. Hatchy's has a beautiful space called Higher Ground above the bar that usually features a lot of great music, but this Friday at 8 it will instead play host to a lot of great stand up acts, including Bret Hayden, Diego Attanasio, Pat Lechner, Lauren Booza, Joshua Weyhing, Steve Hansen, Ellen Stachowicz, Paolo Busignani, Kevin Smith, Alex Bozinovic, Taylor De La Ossa and Brandon Milsk. Each one of these people will get on stage and do their best to make your work week troubles melt away.

The event is being organized by an up and coming local comedian named Jon Lynch, so we reached out to ask him a few questions about the showcase. Read ahead to find out what Jon had to say about comedy, his hero, and the showcase.

HID- What inspired you to start doing comedy in front of other people?
Jon Lynch- "I've always enjoyed writing since I was little. Some of the best memories are sitting around at family gatherings and listening to my mom and dad tell everyone hilarious stories. Getting up on stage for me is almost carrying on that legacy but with my own voice, sharing unique opinions and anecdotes.

I did a comedy clinic when I lived in Los Angeles and wanted to work with Andy Richter. I was instead assigned to partner with Aziz Ansari who at the time I wasn't familiar with. By the end of the clinic he had convinced me that I had a strong foundation to write and perform."

HID- How would you describe your style of comedy?
JL- "If I had to put a label on my style of stand up, I am more of a storyteller. I like bringing up a funny situation, and carrying that joke with small twists and turns, ending usually in an unexpected conclusion. I've started working on my short form comedy, breaking up the way I present myself on stage, deriving from a set up and then once again, taking the audience for a ride with something sarcastic or sometimes offensive. It keeps everyone on their toes and breaks up the monotony of longer bits."

HID- Who are your comedy icons/inspirations?
JL- "I have such a wide variety of comedian influences. I grew up watching Carol Burnett and Victor Borga, but also loved Bob Hope and Steve Martin. More modern day comedians I admire are Patton Oswalt, Bill Burr, and Anthony Jeselnik."

HID- Tell us about the first time that you performed in front of a crowd. Where was it? How did it go? How did you feel?
JL- "I haven't been doing live stand up for very long. Valentine's Day 2014 I had the opportunity to open for TJ Miller at The Crofoot Pike Room. I was asked the day before the put together a set and the show ended up being sold out. I was a little nervous but told myself to just have fun. The only 3 people I could see passed the bright stage lights were a tall dude right in front of me, a girl, half on the stage, and a girl in a wheelchair I almost stepped on getting up on stage. In the end the crowd loved me and it boosted my confidence in my ability to present myself."

HID- What makes a good joke?
JL- "A good joke has a lot of elements. I feel that it needs to be relatable and either push people way into their comfort zone or way out of their comfort zone. It makes people think. Some jokes are quite simple and guide the audience to a punchline while others make them think, creating a dynamic reaction during its evolution. And the best thing for a comedian is when their joke is quotable. Nothing is more rewarding than when a fan comes up to you after your bit or months later and is still laughing at your joke."

Where did you find the comedians that are playing this event?
JL- "There are some really strong social media outlets for comedians in the Detroit Area and around Michigan. Starting a showcase all began with inquiring about if anyone would be interested in performing in a specific area. At that point I started hand picking a wide demographic of comedians to bring a truly unique show to the area. One thing I feel is important is for an audience to be introduced to new faces with new topics and different styles, much like music. Every showcase promises to give each comedian time in front of new faces helping them perform in front of people from different backgrounds while also gaining exposure for their own growth."

HID- How long will each comedian be on stage?
JL- "I asked most of the comedians how long they felt comfortable with. Most of them will get 10 minutes, while a feature and headliner TBA will get 15 minutes. A lot of open mics give around 5, but have more comedians involved. This format allows the audience to enjoy quality instead of being daunted by overwhelming numbers."

HID- Why did you call it the Sweet N' Sour Showcase?
JL- "I wanted my showcase to have an original name and premise. I am of course Asian, which I constantly remind people of. The idea of comedy being both sweet and innocent as well as sometimes sour and tough to swallow brought about the theme, representing a melting pot of talent."

The show starts at 8 p.m. this Friday and, as we mentioned before, it is only $5 to get in the door. Hatchy's event space is called Higher Ground and it is one of the most underutilized rooms in Metro Detroit. We have been there before and we love love love the space! This would be a great date night in the 'burbs. Check out the Facebook event to see videos of all the comedians that are performing and head out to Utica this Friday to laugh off your work week!


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