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Make ‘em laugh: Miners Foundry, local comedians offer final Comedy Night

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to Prospector

“Laughter occurs in humans as a form of stress relief. It is a way to take the tension you build up in a stressful situation and when you realize there is no stress, that tension has to go somewhere, so our solar plexus and diaphragm vibrate and we project sound to release that stress in a positive way that doesn’t scare the people around you,” said local comedian Trevor Wade who admits that knowing that may be a bit obnoxious! If you’ve been thinking about attending one of the monthly comedy shows for a good laugh, your last opportunity in 2021 happens this Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Miners Foundry.

The popular shows, co-produced by the BVNKR (Trevor Wade and Michaela King) and WhimsiCorp (Jori Phillips), in partnership with The Miners Foundry, have featured new material from the trio monthly, along with performances from an ever-changing line up of additional local comedians. Finding humor amid a worldwide health crisis and an increasingly divisive community has been a positive for those who have taken advantage of the opportunity. Laughter really is the best medicine.

A weekly open mic hosted by Wade grew steadily in popularity until the pandemic shut everything down. It was a great way for comics to work on their material or to just try stand up for the first time. The BVNKR has continued with almost weekly pop-ups, meeting other would-be comedians, and featuring some of them at the Miners Foundry shows.



“We use every week to try out new material,” Wade said. “So, we are writing all the time and once a week we go in front of an audience and say, ‘Here’s the stuff I thought was funny by myself, was I right or was I wrong?’ At the Foundry, we take the best of the month plus whatever else has been kicking around and perform that in a more polished form.”

Wade and King met while performing in the award winning “Hand to God,” a Sierra Stages production. The duo formed the BVNKR as a way to get through the pandemic. Wade said, comedy was a manageable form of performing. “Comedy has the fewest number of people needed to get it done. There is no barrier to entry. All you really need is yourself and an audience. I don’t need a casting agent to give me a part or a producer to front the money for a set or a camera and if it’s not funny, I can always pass it off as spoken word, which is nice.”



Wade added the Miners Foundry also adds stellar lighting and sound which makes the experience better for everyone. 

Writing comedy is not easy in the best of times and for some, it has been especially difficult to be funny over the last year and a half, though King said in many ways, the shared experience has made for a plethora of material. “It’s challenging, but the pandemic has heightened the ability to be funny because there are these outlandish events and a lot of upheaval, not that we want to make fun of that, but we have a perspective of humor in that,” King said. “One of the most important aspects of comedy, to me, is touching on shared or common experience. We are in a time right now where, interestingly enough, the entire world, to some degree, is sharing a common experience and that is rare, and so in that sense of tapping into shared experience and acknowledging — where people can hear something that a comedian says and think ‘oh my gosh, I thought I was the only person thinking that.’ In a way, it’s given to more material and been easier.”

While King has been a longtime fan, she is fairly new to stand up. She tried it at one of those early open mic nights Wade hosted and came off the stage feeling like ‘this is the thing,” she said. “It’s super vulnerable but it’s a time where you can turn your judgement brain off and are just connecting and present and sharing with people that is really powerful and kind of addictive.”

Producing the shows has been both rewarding and challenging as the group has been working with the ever-changing COVID-19 rules, along with what feels safe and what the venue requires. The Miners Foundry has been a leader in safe practices, most recently joining other major venues in mandating proof of vaccination to attend their events.

Being that this Saturday is the last show of the series, King said she expects a ton of energy and a lot of laughs. “We have a few new comics; new material, and all of our shows have a lot of energy around them. We (Nevada County) have, per capita, a weirdly large amount of funny, energetic, talented people around us. And there is something about closing night that has some energy and oomph to it, so I’d imagine knowing we don’t get to do that again for several months, there will be an extra kick there.”

While Phillips will not be performing due to a conflict, local favorite Tom Wolfe will be in the lineup, along with two first timers to the comedy show — from the Reno area — Sara Rooker and Andrea B. Wade, who will also be celebrating a birthday, will emcee the evening. “I love hosting because I get to come out between acts and flirt with the audience.” King will headline, closing out the night.

Materiel is geared to a mature audience with adult language and topics. Wade said, “Things are only taboo when we make them taboo. So, if you have a difficult time with language or subject matter that is maybe more mature than you are ready for, that’s at your discretion, but I would encourage anybody to come and expose themselves to a new point of view.”

Tickets are $20 and include one drink. Shows are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reserve your seats today at http://www.minersfoundry.org/events.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@gmail.com

The popular comedy shows are co-produced by the BVNKR (Trevor Wade and Michaela King, pictured above) and WhimsiCorp (Jori Phillips), in partnership with The Miners Foundry.
Provided photo

 

Local comedian Tom Wolfe will be in the lineup.
Provided photo

 

First timers to the comedy show — from the Reno area — Sara Rooker and Andrea B. Wade, who will also be celebrating a birthday, will emcee the evening.
Provided photo

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