Sunday, September 2, 2018

Comedy Open Mic at The Other Bar

Each Monday starting around 9pm there is a Comedy Open Mic at The Other Bar, (18 Wall St, Orlando, FL 32801). Pam Schwartz and I arrived a bit early and I started the sketch before anyone got on stage. A great feature of The Other Bar is that there is free popcorn when you order a beer. I had a Blue Moon. Unfortunately the bar didn't have orange slices. The bartender offered to pout in some orange juice but I skipped that option thinking it could be a tragedy. Karen Tschida was the artist who painted the busty woman on the wall behind the stage. I found it fascinating that the woman's eyes were cut off by a ceiling joist.

Ken Miller was the first comic up ion the stage. He was the most narrative comic of the evening, chatting with the audience in a friendly familiar way. He was a comic in his element comfortable in a crowd of his colleagues. I thought he was the host, so I sketched him fast. At the end of his set however he introduced Akim who was the actual host for the night. Akim was a bit more brash and confrontational with the audience. I didn't consider the notion that sitting at the front table with a sketch pad might draw attention to myself. Akim wanted to see what I was sketching so I handed him the sketchbook. "Damn, That's dope!" He said. "I was going to rag on you, but that is amazing." Of course the audience couldn't see what he was looking at, so it didn't work visually on stage. He asked me to draw him on a stallion with long flowing hair.

Hennessy Williams  had a great routine about how Donald Trump will not allow hurricanes to be named after Mexicans. I hadn't realized that such an idiotic policy was being considered. Hennessy proposed that hurricanes should have black names instead. His premise was that a black names hurricane would take its time getting to where it was going giving everyone time to get to shelter.

The theme of racism rippled throughout the evening. Whites now buy Koren children since they cant buy slaves. Since The Other Bar is a small venue, the comics would often latch on to someone in the audience or new material. Several comics announced form the stage that they are looking for work. Being in that same boat, I can identify.

Pam and I slipped out before the night was over. It is kind of hard to slip away unnoticed when seated front and center. As we walked out Akim shouted out, "I am going to be pissed if I don't see that sketch I asked for!" Outside Ken Miller wanted to see the sketch I had done of him at the mic. He seemed pleased.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: