Tag Archives: stand-up comedy

Royal Wood III

Royal Wood IIIIntroducing 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.”

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Kevin Baca and the Comedy Mansion

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

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Back Alley Draft House

Nestled behind NYPD Pizza on Central Ave in the basement is Back Alley Draft House. You may have heard the name last year when the rains came and flooded the downtown area. There was a picture of the Draft House going around on Facebook with water rushing through the bar. If you missed out on hearing about it then, now is the time to try it.

They are well stock with microbrews from around the country on tap and you can have hot food served up from NYPD Pizza, they share a kitchen. We walked in early on a Saturday evening. The place only had a handful of patrons but the sun was still up. Taking a seat at the bar we were greeted by Kendra the friendly bartender who helped us choose the beer best suited to each of our taste. The Stone Stout is a great choice if like me you love the darker beers. Kendra told us about the place and that there would be an open MIC comedy night there on Mon about 6:30. We took our time drinking our beers. If you have ever had a strong stout you know you only get one and you should enjoy it.

We returned on Mon to check out the open MIC night. Good comedians mostly local one from Detroit. Good laughs, nothing clean or family oriented about the evening. During the day the Back Alley Draft House is a family friendly environment with good food and a big screen TV. Check out The Back Alley Draft House regularly for their cheerful bartenders and rotating selection of microbrews on tap.

Check out more at  New Mexico Entertainment

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Filed under Albuquerque, Comedy, Entertainment