NYC isn't a very nurturing place. And the comedy scene is pretty heartless too. That's what makes a place like The Creek so special. Rebecca Trent has set up an environment where people feel like they belong as opposed to somewhere that's trying to milk them.
The Creek was the first comedy venue that ever felt like home to me. I was doing shows at clubs in NYC and felt sick of the toxic environment of those places. It felt like everything was based on some hierarchy instead of talent. And the people there seemed more inclined to insult each other than be friends.
When I showed up to perform at Kingdom of Heaven, it felt completely different. It felt like hanging out with friends. I got to see great comics like Sean Patton, Jesse Popp, Nick Turner (who has a great writeup on The Creek too), and lots more take off. And I got to feel like part of a group doing comedy, something I hadn't felt before.
Eventually I wound up starting We're All Friends Here there with Mark and then hanging out there even more. There were Thanksgivings with deep fried turkey for "orphans," Christmas dinners for Jews, Super Bowls (Who Dat!), shows with substances, shows with nearly naked ladies, shows with film crews, JFL auditions, podcasts, burritos, long nights in the basement, fun afternoons on the back patio, and some of the best comedy nights I've ever seen. And also tons of shitty shows too. But the shitty ones were ok because the place encourages comics to experiment and take chances. How many venues in NYC can say that?
Running a comedy venue is a bad way to make money. Rebecca does it because she loves comedy and the scene and the group of people who hang out there all the time. And that's a special thing. People like Rebecca and venues like The Creek are what keep the comedy scene spinning. Rick Jenkins at The Studio in Boston and Mark Geary at The Lincoln Lodge in Chicago have a similar impact. Us comics owe them a lot. We should express our gratitude. So Rebecca: Thanks. You've built something amazing there and it's really helped out the NYC comedy community a ton. It's a special place and people will be talking about it years from now as the Ding Ho of our scene.
Now The Creek wants some help putting up a marquee and advertising the venue so they can put more butts in seats. It's a cause worth supporting. I encourage you to give what you can.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 1/31/2012