Today will be my first trip to the Comedy Mansion here in Downtown Albuquerque to sit down and talk with Kevin Baca. You may not have heard of him, or the Comedy Mansion – yet, but if you enjoy a good laugh, then you should get to know them. But, before you run off to look for listings about the Comedy Mansion, I should tell you, it’s just an unassuming house that happens to house multiple comedians at any given point in time. It’s hard to keep a straight face talking to any of the residents, or visitors, in the house. They also try to house any traveling stand-up comics that are swing through Albuquerque on a low budget tour.
Kevin Baca, original from Albuquerque, got sucked into the stand-up comic lifestyle a few years back, by an acquaintance at the time, Ann Gora. She suggested that he try stand-up at an open MIC night to see he had what it took to be in front of a live audience – microphone in hand. He hasn’t put down the microphone since. He tries to make it to at least one Open MIC a week, if not more, and encourages audience members to have a good time.
When he moved back to Albuquerque after college, Kevin said he was shocked at the change in his city. “I brought some friends with me from Oklahoma and told them Albuquerque is a rough town avoid down town and be prepared to fight. Then, I got here, and it was all gentrified and friendly. Now I live Downtown.” The change in Albuquerque also bought changes to the underground scenes.
Kevin and the other comics in The Comedy Mansion try to produce as many shows and events together as possible to help promote comedy in a town without a club. “It can be difficult walking into a place and asking them to let you have comics come in and do their thing, because nobody really knows what is going to happen.” Kevin shares MC duty with Drew at the Monday Open MIC Night at the Back Alley Draft House off Central Avenue. It was interesting trying to get a hold of the owner to let them do an Open MIC Night. The pitch – “It’s a slow night (Monday), comics drink, they bring friends who drink, that’s at least 15 additional people. We were given two weeks to prove what we could do. At the end of two weeks we were in.”
In a town with no comedy club, the comedians have to be really committed to their craft and willing to work hard to find venues and make performances happen. This is why the Albuquerque community is so much like a tight knit family. They are friendly and helpful to stand-up wannabees. Talking to Kevin, you can hear how he includes everybody in the scene when he speaks. A piece of advice for people who want to try stand-up, be prepared. Take the time to write something up. Understand you may not be funny the first or second time. Know it may not be for you, but if you enjoy it, keep working on it.
Kevin Baca is a funny guy living in a funny house in a surprisingly funny town. Don’t discount the local comic scene here in Albuquerque until you have tried it. Check out the crew at the Back Alley Draft House on Mondays Open MIC Nights.
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