November 22, 2014 · 5:32 pm
After two-years, pro-wrestling will be making a triumphant return to Albuquerque on December 6th. This professional entertainment for the family will feature star performers from the Southwest circuit, including eight locals from Albuquerque itself. This is just the first in many shows around the city by, Destiny Wrestling Organization at the Mckernan Sports and Entertainment Event Center at Five-Points and Bridge, in the south valley. The live experience is not something to be missed as tag-team titles are fought for.
After the long hiatus, Chavez Crespin Promotions is reigniting the spark of pro-wrestling at the local level. These live performances are risky, with original movements than what you see on WWE on TV. Go big is the theme of the shows here on the Southwest circuit. With more room for more styles, the live audience will witness new moves and combinations done with strength and agility. There will be Lucha Libre, American a technical style, Catch psychology wrestling, strong style strike orient.
The dedication and determination of these wrestlers are clear. In order to train for one of these performances, the wrestlers must first train on a plywood and a steel pole rig in the backyard of one of the top wrestlers. Josh Pain and Dexter have a strict training regiment designed to weed out the weak, and create true wrestling machines. This means that when it’s 109 degrees in Albuquerque, these wrestlers are roasting on the steel poles, or 30 degrees, they are freezing on the steel poles numerous days a week to learn how to put on a good show.
The DeathRage Cartel will be there trying to convert good guy Amsterdam to the dark side, while fighting for tag-team titles. Other featured performers to keep an eye on are Hobo Hank and Moshpit Mike. It’s time to get inform and get in on the action. Pick a side and heckle your favorite wrestler.
Come out and support your local wrestlers before they become superstars. There will be crowd interaction and good times had by all. Be amazed by the jumps, throws, and elbows flying in and outside of the ring. Tickets available at holdmyticket.com or come out on Monday nights to Back Alley Draft House open mic night and get them in person from Amsterdam himself. Support your local scene.
November 12, 2014 · 7:04 pm
Sarah Mowrey – Improv extraordinaire, stand-up comedian, social activist, all around renaissance woman and Albuquerque local. Mowrey is a recent graduate of UNM in University studies, She started with improv and sketch comedy there. Later moving into stand-up comedy and tackling social issues head on in her sets.
Mowrey, who is thinking about returning to UNM in the near future, is currently busying herself running Comedy Question Mark. It was founded in 2010 on the UNM campus, but now has become a weekly Friday night show at The Box in Downtown Albuquerque. 2010 is also the year that Mowrey began doing Improv and sketch comedy. It was 2011 before she tried stand-up. The difference between improv and stand-up? Mowrey explains, “With stand-up, you’re on stage alone, but with improv, you have a buddy – someone else to bounce ideas off of. So even if it’s stupid, the rule in improv is to go with it.” Sketch comedy is improv with a script. When asked to choose between the them, there is no choice. They are all very different and mind-expanding in their own ways.
On Wednesday nights, she co-hosts the open mic night at Broken Bottle Brewery on the west side of Albuquerque. Here you will get a chance to see her MCing skills and stand-up comedy. It’s a free show with some great microbrews to quench your thirst. Mowrey wants to reach out to women comics, in particular, since here, in Albuquerque, there are still so few comparatively. “Women’s voices need to be heard as much as the males,” explained Mowrey. It’s hard to be a female comic. Even today, they are expected to only tell certain kinds of jokes. “Any guy can stand up on stage, tell dick jokes, and get a laugh,” shares Mowrey. “But if a girl stands up and says vagina, then everyone gets uncomfortable.” Sarah has made it her mission to motivate women and get women’s humor out there. Women in comedy, like anywhere else, are scrappier and work hard at comedy. But, here in Albuquerque, guys in the scene are supportive of women, so all you ladies out there with a funny bone come out to one of the open mic nights popping up around town.
Mowrey uses her talents and charms in other outreach programs and benefits for the community. Equal rights for everyone is a big issue for her. It shouldn’t matter sex, color, or preference. She also donated her time to raise funds for people suffering in Ferguson, in the wake of a police shooting. “I’m dedicating my time to this cause, because what’s happening in Ferguson has been a huge violation of human rights,” expressed Mowrey. “Since I don’t have the resources to give out of my own pocket, I want to dedicate some time to help raise money.”
She’s not asking for much out of her dream of comedy. She wants to go far in stand-up, so she can be political and incite change in the world. If possible, she would like to be able pay her bills and donate time to help causes she believes in. She wants young comedians to come out and check out all the open mics in town. Get involved and let your voice be heard – changing the world one joke at a time.
Check out more at http://www.NMentertains.com
October 9, 2014 · 10:52 pm
“You can think you’re absolutely dying the worst death in your whole career and then you say good night to a standing ovation”- Stanhope on British audiences
Since 1990 Doug Stanhope has committed his life to the art of stand-up comedy. With subject matter ranging from his thoughts about Abortion being Green; over population needs to be handled and he has some colorful ideas to help you down that path, or starting a charity fundraiser Atheists Unite on Indiegogo, to help an atheist who lost her home in the bible belt move elsewhere, or even to the death of his own beloved mother. Stanhope is an equal opportunity Drag your dirty little secrets in to the light of day kind of guy. So if you’re easily offended stay home, or better yet bring the protest, I’m sure he would have a few choice words for you and your following.
Stanhope, a self-proclaimed lazy man, moved from Los Angeles to the middle of nowhere Arizona for a peaceful life. Touring most of the year doesn’t leave Stanhope much time for anything else, but even he couldn’t resist when he received a phone call from Johnny Depp to work on a project. “It’s a secret, but not that secret of project.”
Coming back to the Duke City to play Launchpad October 9 for the second year in a row is good news to the veteran comic. For a long time it was rare to play a venue and be allowed back. On Laff’s the (now defunct) comedy club in Albuquerque, “When they were open they wouldn’t touch me with a stick, so it’s great to be invited back.”
Like most comics, Stanhope started at an open MIC night with the hope of getting the ladies. “I couldn’t sing, I wasn’t good looking, but I could make ‘em laugh” He never had aspirations of turning comedy into a career but some callings are too strong to ignore.
Whether he is offending your morality, insulting your favorite pastime, or attacking your corporate overlords, Stanhope is nothing but honest when it comes to airing his grievances with the world and is not to be missed.
September 4, 2014 · 5:12 pm
Where’s Norma Now? That is the question everyone in Albuquerque will soon be asking. Armed with nothing but two GoPro cameras, and some wicked imaginations, three local ladies, with a great crew, have created the latest hotness, “Where’s Norma Now?” Sheryl Brown, Terry Hicks, Nina Knapp are the screenwriting – directing – producing power team behind this show, starring Teresa Longo and Cheryl Hooks.
The idea? A life long desk jockey, Norma Esperanzo, is given a GoPro camera at her retirement party. With time on her hands, Norma, now retired and widowed, has to face the question so many do. What comes next? Norma hopes to answer that question throughout the first season of the show, while learning just what it means to live a life of adventure.
The team of Sheryl, Terry, and Nina came about this idea when Nina got a GoPro camera for fun. The struggle to get it out of the box alone was enough to spark ideas and hours of banter between these funny ladies. With a mostly female film crew and a high action shooting style, “Where’s Norman Now?” is a comedy about coming of age the second time around. The ladies on Team Norma has started a grassroots movement using social media to bring this web show to life around the world. So, along with Norma learning her new life, the team behind this movie is learning, too.
Social media, GoPro Camera, and web shorts are just part of the learning curve for experienced filmmakers to overcome. Luckily for us, the team is taking us along on the journey with them. Check out http://www.Wheresnormanow.com and see what the new face of retirement looks like.
For more on What’s going on in New Mexico check out New Mexico Entertainment Magazine
September 3, 2014 · 3:47 pm
Mikey Mayes is 23 year-old on a mission to make people laugh. If any of you out there have ever hit the stage at an open MIC night and saw all those faces staring back you, you know it’s hard, but Mayes makes it look easy. With big dreams, and an even bigger funny bone, Mayes has plans to take Albuquerque by storm and then the world. A dictatorship of comedy might not be such a bad place to live, right?
At a place called Winnings, across from UNM, is where the magic first happened. They were hosting an open MIC poetry slam event. “It was a different open MIC,” says Mayes, “It had poetry guitars and dudes who smelled like feet. It was just sad everybody felt sad afterwards, told sad poetry.” Mayes decided he would go tell some jokes and see if he could get these people to laugh. Even though one of his friends tried to steal his thunder that night, he went on, made people laugh, and hasn’t looked back since. That was two years ago and he is still going strong.
Being an entertainer is a learning experience in more than one way. While Mayes is perfecting the art of comedy, he is working on self-promotion and getting gigs. There should be a list of Dos and Don’ts handed out to people when they decide to take the stage for an open MIC, but learning on the fly is working well for Mayes. “All that sounds cool,” shares Mayes. “But right now what I really want to do is be really good at stand-up.” Knowing Hollywood is in his backyard, Mayes still would rather prefect his stand-up comedy, then move on to a screen near you. “There was just something special about the old school dudes,” remarks Mayes. Connecting to a live audience is the driving force that keeps him going and strives for being extraordinary.
Mild manner and friendly off-stage, he has a big personality when he has a mic in his hand. If for some reason he feels he doesn’t make that connection with his audience, he will let them know and keep going. “I can tell if a joke just isn’t funny,” expressed Mayes. “Or if it’s not working with this audience.” When preforming open MIC nights around town, his favorite spot is a tie between Back Alley Draft House and Broken Bottle – yes the one way out on the westside.
With his big ideas and big dreams, Mayes will go far in the stand-up world – here in New Mexico and aboard. Make sure you finish your drink before this young man takes the stage or you may be spitting it out all over your friends from the laughter, and no one wants to see that. Come on out or check out Mikey Mayes on Facebook to see where the laughs are going to be.
Check out more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine
August 20, 2014 · 2:43 pm
By Winter Flack
Back in New Mexico, after traveling the country, RJ Mitte feels like he returned home. Here in Albuquerque for Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE), Mitte has a smile on his face, but the expo isn’t the only thing that has bought him back to the Land of Enchantment. He has a new project in the pipeline that is close to his heart, out here in the beautiful southwest.
Mitte first time out as an executive producer is for the film, Vanished: The Tara Calico Story. Having known the family of this nineteen year old who went missing without a trace, Mitte wanted to help bring peace to this small town in New Mexico and bring closure to the families involved in the 25 year-old mystery. Tara Calico of Belen, New Mexico disappeared one day while riding her bike never to be seen or heard from again. “Having a little sister, and knowing this could happened to her, made me want to bring awareness to people of the danger”. This project differs in so many ways from what people know RJ Mitte for. He’s not acting or being a spokesperson. He is helping to give a voice to someone who hasn’t had one in a long time. In the film he made it clear that the people they interview will do the talking and provide evidence. There will be no fancy editing or trying to point blame on his of the project, his goal, to bring truth to light for this missing girl and her family and closure to a cold case. Not what most people would expect from Walter White’s on screen son, but he did start out on Hannah Montana so he has a soft spot for Disney endings when ever possible.
At the ripe old age of twelve RJ moved with his family from Texas to LA so his younger sister could pursue a career in Hollywood. Initially all RJ planned for his Los Angeles adventure was to go to school and make some friends, but one day while looking for a new agent for his sister he received a proposal he couldn’t refuse. The agent wanted him to work in Hollywood. To RJ amazement he began doing background on tween televisions show while take acting lesson four times a week. “It was a whirlwind”. With in six months he landed a role on A&E’s Breaking Bad. He played Walter White JR the son of soon to be drug king pin of Albuquerque Walter White SR. The character suffered from a minor case of cerebral palsy like RJ himself.
The pilot for Breaking Bad will always be RJ’s favorite episode even through there were so many great times on the set. The first episode everyone knew they had something special going. “It was such a wealth of knowledge to work such amazing people.” Breaking Bad will always hold a special place in the hearts of the fans and the people who worked on the show. It was the first show of it’s kind, even promoting a funeral for the main character of the show, a fundraiser for healthcare for the homeless.
RJ also used the recognition he garnered from the show to speak out about cerebral palsy and how disabilities can affect people. “I don’t really think about it (cerebral palsy), in all honest”. He just wants to be seen as RJ doing whatever RJ is doing at the moment, he never took into account his disability. In his latest role on ABC Family’s Switch at Birth RJ plays a character confined to a wheel chair. “My new role I’m playing a paraplegic, I’m progressively getting worse”. Playing a paraplegic on set opened RJ eyes to how differently people with physical disabilities are treated by some. He’s not worried about being type cast in the role, because he makes the decisions on what roles he takes and when.
In the spirit of ACE RJ thinks he would make a great super villain. He wants to keep growing creating and trying new things whenever he can. When asked what he wants to leave behind for a legacy “I will always be a Breaking Bad kid. I already have a legacy even though it might fade”. Beyond Breaking Bad RJ wants to make a positive difference in the world and make sure his family is always provided for.
Growing changing and moving forward I the focus of RJ Mitte’s life, but he will always have a soft spot for his second home here in Albuquerque, and it will always have a soft spot for him. New Mexico hopes to see RJ back here again and again over his career in all the different roles he will be playing.
Check out more at NMEntertains.com
August 5, 2014 · 1:58 pm
Introducing Royal Wood III, ex-Air Force, ex-class clown, ex-resident of Michigan (and no, it wasn’t Detroit), current comedian breaking out on the Albuquerque scene. Royal started off with normal careers goals, like most people, but his life took a funny turn instead. It all started when he switch assignments with an airforce buddy and came out to NM. The rest, as they say, is history in the making.
Royal’s first on-stage experience was at the Effing Bar on Albuquerque’s Westside. He would go up on stage and make up stuff to make people laugh. Kevin Kennedy saw his performance one night and invited him to an open MIC night. If you don’t know who Kevin is he promotes comedy shows around Albuquerque and particularly at Low Spirits. Royal had been thinking about doing comedy prior to meeting Kevin so he decided to go. Luckily there weren’t very many people there the first time Royal went out. “It’s good to know you can get up on the stage and try and get the words out.”-Royal.
Royal started making friends in the comedy scene and hitting different open MIC nights. He’s now proud to say he has been doing comedy for over a year now and has preformed all over town. He only makes the shows in the first half of the week because his day job is technically a graveyards shift working with children in the mental health field. “Comedians are the best people for that job working with kids we can make them laugh no matter what is going on.”
The schedule is great because Royal is back in school to finish his liberal arts degree. It gives him time to practice his art at the open MIC nights and now he lives and breathes comedy with his new room in the Comedy Mansion. Royal admits “I was homeless for a hot second, but the stars aligned and a room open up here.”
The best part about he scene he in town is that everyone tends to click with each other. They all work with each other and they try to make themselves and the others better every time they go out. It’s a great place to find out what you are made out of and if being a stand up is for you. “This is a hard business you need to respect the work you do but you have to fun while you do it.”
July 21, 2014 · 12:30 pm
Many years ago in a sleepy little suburb of Albuquerque called Bosque Farms, four children grew up with seemingly normal lives, until ten years ago. During college at UNM Valencia campus, these four youths got together and formed The Saltine Ramblers. They are not your standard college band. These guys didn’t get into music for the babes or the status, they just wanted to have fun and play some music. They never set out to be an actual band, but their fans saw it differently.
Cory, Dave, Kevin, and Dave all came from different musical backgrounds and styles, but can all agree that their major influences are Ween and The Grateful Dead. Some of you may be thinking, ‘I would never go see them’, but they are much more then their influences. In ten years, they have become adapt when it coming to playing for their crowds. At the drop of the hat they will go from six-minute covers of The Cure to a bluegrass tune to keep the audience on their feet. “I just wanted our fans to come out to have fun,” says Cory.
All the members take turns singing and writing music for the band. “We come up with ideas, bring into practice, and we all sit down and work on them,” shares Kevin, the band’s comic relief and rhythm guitar player. I personally am not sure how they can tell who the comic relief is in this band. If these guys have half as much fun on-stage, (which they do) as they have off-stage, you will always leave their show with a smile on your face.
The band has recently released their second CD, produced in Santa Fe, at Frogville Studios. The first album they were able to record in a matter of hours, and the new one in two days. “We started out limited on time because we were limited on funds,” Cory says, “But since we are such a well-practiced band, it took less time then we thought” Frogville does the entire recording live with the whole band playing at the same time, which suits The Ramblers just fine.
You can find The Saltine Ramblers playing all over the state of New Mexico, including local brewpubs. They have no solid plans to tour outside of New Mexico at this time, as they are still in it for fun, not fame. Check out http://www.thesaltineramblers.bandcamp.com to hear their latest tracks and see where they are playing next or their Facebook page for the latest dates.
July 12, 2014 · 7:25 pm
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.
Check out more at NMentertains.com
June 12, 2014 · 10:45 pm
Just south of Central Ave. on Gold Street sits ArtBar. A small unassuming place from the outside, ArtBar spacious layout and full stocked bar will make you glad you stopped in. It’s a members only club here in downtown Albuquerque. Before you let that turn you off there are some things you should know. The membership fee of $30 a year goes to a support art programs all over Albuquerque proper. They hope to expand that to helping communities in and area New Mexico. Once you’re a member you can bring up to ten guest with you at any time as long as you’re on site with them. It also gives you the ability to rent out ArtBar and hold your own art
openings or events on the premises.
The night I went, ArtBar was presenting comedians on a road trip from Seattle. The bartenders are friendly, attentive, and, most importantly, mix a great drink. The bar itself is a work art, from the hanging lights to the comfy couches set around the room. Aaron Kirby is on stage. Slipping around the curtain we fined seats on one of the leather couches by a window. I’m barely in my seat before I start laughing uncontrollably which continues until his set ends. Next up Derek Sheen. He truly looks like he is right out of Seattle circa 1992, with his flannel shirt and shorts. Microphone in hand e has the audience holding their sides within seconds. Now these guys are not for the light of heart or easily offended, but I imagine those people would know better the to go to comedy shows. Checkout ArtBar pay the membership fee it goes to a good cause and see what happening in the art world of downtown Albuquerque.