For comedians, the environment where they performs can be as important as the people in the audience.
At least this is the experience of comedian Roman Danylo, who will be performing at The ACT for the third time, this time with several other comedy acts done by a group of his friends for the Ultimate Comedy Show.
The Saturday event is a variety comedy show consisting of sketch, stand-up, and improv, presenting all types of comedy on a wide range of topics.
Having a variety of acts is key in the Ultimate Comedy Show, Danylo said, as he wanted one musical act, one sketch act, one stand-up act, and one improv act. "I guess the only thing we are missing is mime - maybe next year," he said.
Danylo has performed in his share of bad environments, including a restaurant where they had no lighting so they just angled the heat lamps from the buffet toward his face, mall courts, backyards, ferries - he even performed at a convention following The Extreme Bikini Dance Team.
Danylo cited comedian Steve Martin who said that "distraction is the enemy of comedy."
"Soft seat theatres are the Holy Grail of comedy environments," Danylo said. "A captive audience, a well-lit stage, and everyone is faced in the right direction."
Danylo has put the show together and in addition to performing, he'll be emceeing the event, introducing Titmouse, a.k.a. Not Available In Canada, Toby Hargrave, and It's Good to Know People.
"You actually get the best comedy shows when the performers are the most relaxed," Danylo said. "They tend to be the most relaxed around their buddies."
Danylo's favourite part is the "epic improv jam" at the end.
"All the performers will join in this fully improvised section where anything goes," he said.
"We won't be doing typical improv games. It'll just be a pure open improv format so anything goes."
Danylo has appeared in several Canadian TV series including Corner Gas, CBC's Just For Laughs, and Made in Canada.
For five seasons Danylo starred in a sketch comedy series on CTV and Spike TV called Comedy Inc. In 2004 Danylo won a Leo Award for his performance in CBC's Western Alienation Comedy Hour and he has been nominated twice for a Gemini for performances in Comedy Inc.
Titmouse a.k.a. Not Available In Canada consists of members of Canadian Content (winners of the Canadian Comedy Award for best sketch group) and the stars of the CBC sketch comedy series The 11th Hour, and the Comedy Network series Suckerpunch.
Having performed sold-out shows in San Francisco and Chicago and a month-long run in London, England, Titmouse has returned home to the land of poutine and health care - much-needed because of all the poutine.
Hargrave has performed at festivals such as as the Vancouver Comedy Festival, Whistler Comedy Festival, Atomic Comedy Festival in Washington State, and The Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and he was at The ACT with Best of the West this past September.
Hargrave was voted the Funniest Comedian in Vancouver at the 2005 Vancouver Comedy Festival, and has appeared at such notable comedy clubs across North America as Yuk Yuks, The Laugh Shop, the Comedy Mix, The Improv, The Ice House, Hermosa Comedy Magic Club, The Comedy Store, Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, The Laugh Factory, and the Comedy Underground.
It's Good to Know People, with Chris Wes and Bev PoCock (played by Jason Bryden and David Milchard) are Vancouver's only People-Positive Musical Duo. They make people laugh without making fun.
Chris and Bev have performed all over the Pacific Northwest, from Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle to the Vancouver Fringe Festival to their own It's Good to Know People Variety Show. They've been on CBC Radio's The Debaters, Yuk Yuks and the CanWest Comedy Festival. The finale of the show will be all the acts participating in an epic improv jam.
The cast performs Vancouver's unique version of a cutting-edge style of improv called "The Harold," made famous in the clubs and theatres of New York, Chicago and L.A and fine tuned by Urban Improv in Vancouver for more than 13 years.
Fast-paced and completely spontaneous, the epic improv jam will be all based on audience suggestions.
For tickets, people can call 604-476-2787, go to www.theactmapleridge.org, or buy them in person at The ACT ticket centre.
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