DVD recording to feature ten local comedic talentsWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Like many up-and-coming comedians, Keith Bergman wants to get his name out there to a larger audience. One of the best ways to do that is to have some of your material recorded — a live sample you can sell on video so people can experience your work in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
“I’ve been doing stand-up for a little over three years now,” Bergman said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “And as I’m moving into more paid shows and things like that, I wanted to get a little more representation — I wanted to get something recorded that I could get out for people. But I’m not at the point where I’m a headlining comic and I could put out an hour-long DVD of my own stuff or anything like that.”
Of course, Bergman isn’t the only comedian with this problem. He knows and works with a lot of comics who are still cutting their teeth in the comedy game.
“We’re opening for other people, or we’re doing showcases where we do small sets. But there’s really a big renaissance going on with stand-up, especially in this area. There’s a lot of festivals coming up, there’s a lot of clubs opening up, there’s open mic nights going, and even some of the small towns are having open mic nights and small comedy shows now,” he said.
“So I figured rather than trying to just put out something just by myself, it would be a really good idea to kinda showcase the scene as a whole, and show a lot of the people — give people kind of a sample of a lot of the people who I think are really funny in the area and are kind of making their way into stand-up.”
The end result is “Hashtag Rustbelt,” a show being taped at Connxtions Comedy Club on April 17 and 24. The two shows will feature 10 regional comics showcasing their material — five comics each week — while being recorded for a DVD release this coming summer.
Bergman said the goal is for the comics to promote and help sell the DVD themselves locally, including at their own shows. This will give each comic the chance to show off their own talents while also spotlighting the wide variety of great local comedy.
The first taping on April 17 is scheduled to feature Bergman, Erik Cribley, D.K. Hamilton, Stu McCallister and Steve Wherry. The following week will see performances by Thom Brush, Anthony Martinez, Dustin Meadows, Mike Szar and Owen Thomas.
“Everybody has their own unique style,” Bergman said of the lineup. “I’m 40, I have kids, I’m married. There’s a couple guys who are in their early 20s. Everybody’s got their own different perspective, different style.
“It’s kind of like watching different musicians play. It’s just that everybody has a little different approach. And we really put some time in trying to get a really good mix of people together. So I think there’ll definitely be something for everybody on this.”
Bergman said the DVD will aim to preserve as much as possible of the show.
“We’re going to be doing as little editing as possible, because part of this is, I want this to be as close to a live experience as possible. A lot of times when you see a special on TV, you see something that’s very polished — half an hour of what was at the show didn’t get put in, or someone made a mistake or tripped over a word, it got edited out. Or crowd noise got added in later, things like that. We’re trying to do this as kinda DIY as possible.
“It’s a pretty underground thing. I mean, none of us are full-time comics yet,” he said. “We’re just kinda coming up from the underground of doing this in bars and clubs and coffee shops and stuff. So we kind of want to keep that vibe going on the DVD, make this as close to the real thing as possible.”
The ultimate goal, Bergman said, is to remind local audiences that there are great things happening in comedy in the Glass City and surrounding areas.
“There is more to stand-up comedy than just what people see on television or what’s happening in New York and LA. There’s a lot that’s happening in their own backyard.”
Email Toledo Free Press Star Pop Culture Editor Jeff McGinnis at PopGoesJeff@gmail.com.
Tags: Anthony Martinez, Connxtions Comedy Club, D.K. Hamilton, Dustin Meadows, Erik Cribley, Hashtag Rustbelt, Jeff McGinnis, Keith Bergman, Mike Szar, Owen Thomas, Pop Goes the Culture, Steve Wherry, Stu McCallister, Thom Brush