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Open-mic Poetry and Standup Comedy are much alike

HMTC is presenting a Poetry Night benefit for the Kings County Historical Society on April 9. As the stage gets prepared for the poets with lighting and the typical microphone stand, I see how the stage is the same configuration for a standup comedy show.

Presentation and preparation are nearly the same with some differences with these two art forms. Poetry can reach the depths and heights of humanity in verses. Standup comedy is an observance of humanity’s ups and downs with a punch line.

Poetry today does not need to rhyme. However, there must be a rhythm of thoughts that the words dance through. With certain poems, the poetry writers show deep thinking of issues and of their self-journeys.

Comedy writers search for humor that all can relate to. They can display humility in self-deprecation to get laughs.

Poetry is most often than not a portal to the writer’s soul. Humor is most often than not the portal for the comedian’s funny bone.

What is enjoyable about writing poetry to be performed or standup comedy is that what is written can be tried out in front of an audience. This immediate gratification is perfect for these poets and comedians, and the central valley is gently peppered with these outlets.

Comedian Jeremiah Nation, born in Bakersfield and raised in Tulare is one of my favorite local comedians. He dreamed to be a published author. His writing led to standup comedy. He said, “Eventually writing led to performing and that was what I would call my ‘drug of choice’ immediate feedback on my writing combined with the rush I get from the fear of failure.”

The audience is important to gauge the success of stanzas or punchlines. Be it profound poetry that the audience nods to while listening, or jokes that cause the belly laughs, the two commands respect for the art form.

HMTC has hosted standup comics in the past. Now it is poets turn. We hope you join us.

Event starts at 7pm with 8pm for open-mic. Tickets at the door, at My Corazon at 300 Irvin Street in downtown Hanford, or online at Event is at the Kings County Historical Society headquarters in the 1876 built historical church at 14060 Hackett Street in Hanford.

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer

Written on April 3, 2022

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