Here's how five comedians got into the business.
If you want to talk about comedy in Flagler County, you have to include Cristy Barrick or Cristy B, as she prefers to be called, to the conversation.
She is a single mom of three from Maryville, Tennessee. She’s a cosmetologist, comedian and an entrepreneur. She devotes her limited time to booking national comedians alongside local talent to expand the live entertainment business in the area.
She was inspired to try stand up comedy after seeing Rita Rudner appear on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in the 1980s. Rudner was one of the first female comedians she ever saw on TV. Twenty-five years later, Cristy B took the stage for the first time in Atlanta.
She performs for private events at venues like the Palm Coast Social club or Break Awayz, where she has been performing for three years on the last Wednesday of every month.
What about other local comedians? Each has a story of how they got into the business — sometimes through a happy accident, and sometimes as a way to heal from traumatic experiences in life.
They all share the “indescribable feeling of making people laugh” and the “rush of stepping on the stage.”
They take the challenge to connect with the audience in minutes, creating a consistent flow of laughter through humorous monologues, dialogues or anecdotes.
Want to hear some local talent? Brian Thomas runs a comedy show with local comedians the last Saturday of every month in Moonrise Brewing Co.
Cristy B’s next show is Comedy Hypnosis on Nov. 23, at the Palm Coast Social Club, featuring Richard Barker.
Meet five local comedians
Cristy Barrick already has tickets to see Rita Rudner perform live at the Flagler Auditorium on Jan. 14. “She was my inspiration, and I hope I get the honor to thank her.”
joke: When it comes to social media, I definitely have a lot to learn because when someone told me the other day I should start tweeting, I took them out to lunch and told them it was my tweet.
Michelle Keith did not seek out to be a comedian. “I got up at one of Cristy’s comedy competitions and told an online dating story and won.” Michelle found her source of inspiration in her online dating anecdotes.
Joke: Everyone says their dog is man’s best friend. But they never stop to think what would happen if they suddenly started asking us to borrow money.
Paul Jensen is a father of four from Missouri. He fought his fear of speaking in public by performing. “I went to a comedy competition and won it the very first time,” he said. He currently travels all over the East Coast to perform.
Joke: My doctor told me to stop drinking Mountain Dew and switch to water. He said Mountain Dew was unhealthy and that one of the ingredients is even used as a flame retardant. So I said, “What in the world do you think water is?!”
Doug Canney got into comedy accidentally after being a traveling musician for over 30 years. “I started going to open mics and writing every day for just the catharsis of it,” he said. He has been sober and happy for over eight years.
Joke: Modern comedians don’t do “parlor jokes” — we’re satirical. We don’t really write street jokes, that we can put in our act. So, if you want to hear me tell a joke, you have to come to see me perform.
Travis Smith got into comedy off a dare. His friend said he didn’t have the guts to do stand up off the hook at a comedy club. Marco Island had an open mic night once a month, and Scott put together what he thought was five minutes of material, but it ended up being about two minutes. “I got one laugh,” he said. “I felt like I won the Superbowl, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Joke: I went to a job interview, and the interviewer asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I replied, “I see myself as a black belt.” He said, “That’s impressive how long have you been doing martial arts?” I replied, “Never. You just said I have five years.”