Growing Sudbury Comedy Scene
Thanks to the Sudbury Comedy Scene, that's exactly what up-and-coming funny folks can expect at shows hosted by the club.
Once a month, the Scene opens up the mic at Little Montreal to anyone who wants to give stand-up a try. Michael Emond, one of the four comedians spearheading the group, said there is a core crew who bring new material to the table every month, as well as new performers dabbling in the venture. Off the stage, there are supporters genuinely interested in seeing the Scene flourish.
“I'm really impressed with Sudbury audiences,” Emond said. “They laugh, they listen, and they're respectable for the most part.”
So far, this has proven to be an effective formula. Since the club was started in Aug. 2010, it has done nothing but grow. When Josh Charette, a former Sudburian with a love for making people laugh, started finding stage time for himself and other comedians, he had no idea what it would turn into.
“I always hoped that Sudbury would begin to present more opportunities for new performers,” he said. “I'm very impressed with how far it's come.
“It's a great relief. Throughout the first year I was worried that it would not be able survive without people who were actively trying to create fresh shows that happen as often as possible.”
He credited the work of Emond, Mark Gagne, Ryan Oldham and Phil Rawson, as well as Shawn McLaren, for taking over the development of the scene and encouraging it to flourish in new ways.
It's given a wide range of performers the chance to get on stage. One of those artists is Luke Alberton. Originally from Sudbury, the amateur performer has been regularly coming home from Toronto to take advantage of stage time and the growing scene.
“I've had a really good time working with these guys,” said the comedian who, at one time, was doing as many as four shows a week in Toronto. “(SCS) welcomed me with open arms.”
Emond said new performers are always invited to get involved — something that is not always an accessible option for those looking to break into the genre.
“Comedians don't understand how nice it is to have a forum (to perform) once a month,” he said. Those five-minute time blocks are virtually unheard of for newbies in bigger cities, he said, where in Sudbury, they are open to all those with the interest in trying it out.
“Any new comedian has a stepping stone now,” he said.
All that comedians have to bring is desire (and jokes). For Emond, that comes in the form of wanting to brighten the days of others.
“I just want to make people laugh,” he said. “I love writing and I love writing comedy.”
While comedians benefit from the chance to become rehearsed, the city as a whole can prosper from SCS events.
“The city can see cheap comedy once a month,” Emond said.
Oldham said he is thrilled to get on stage as often as he does.
“When I started out, I'd be lucky to find a single show in one month without travelling,” said the SCS member. “Currently during our peak months we've been doing multiple shows every weekend including private gigs and charity gigs. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for our humble comedy scene.”
Not only does the community get to see local acts, they also get to see “bigger acts” that the Scene is starting to bring in.
On Sept. 19, Mark Little is performing at Little Montreal from 8:30-11 p.m. Tickets to see the Just For Laughs Festival veteran who has also appeared on Comedy Now and the 2009 Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off can be purchased at the door for $15 at the SCS event.