Kerrilynn Gallagher: Stand-Up Comedian

Kerrilynn Gallagher, stand-up comedian in the Phoenix area, photographed at Luci's Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kerrilynn Gallagher, stand-up comedian in the Phoenix area, photographed at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kerrilynn Gallagher
twitter.com/kergal14

Kerrilynn Gallagher brings uber-relatable comedy to Valley stages, tackling serious real world topics like entering your 30s and dealing with 401ks and giving them comedic spins that keep audiences laughing. The 30-year-old Paradise Valley resident just started sharing her stand-up with audiences this year, but she’s already established herself in the scene, performing in Flagstaff and at places such as Monkey Pants and Dos Gringos in Tempe and Chop and Wok in Scottsdale.

The comic, who works at a healthcare IT firm during the day, is competing in Stand Up Scottsdale‘s comedy showcase this Wednesday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. Gallagher shared what inspires her sets and how she hopes to impact audiences, and you can hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

Like any girl, a guy I met brought me to Arizona. I went to ASU, played lacrosse and double-majored in psychology and marketing. While I was out here finishing my degree, I met an incredible guy who kept me out here.

I was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania — the greatest place on earth. Continue reading

Cristin Davis: Stand-Up Comedian

Cristin Davis, stand-up comedian, photographed at The Duce in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Cristin Davis, stand-up comedian, photographed at The Duce in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Cristin Davis
www.monkeypantscomedy.com

Cristin Davis is hosting a very unique comedy contest for local comedians this fall, one where the winner will get a bigger prize than is almost ever offered in Valley contests: a car. Sure, it only cost a little more than $400 at an auction and is broken in many ways, but it runs.

The 40-year-old Tempe resident is a stand-up comedian himself and hosts an open mic every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at Monkey Pants in Tempe, called Up in Them Guts Comedy. The contest is the same day and time as the open mic for nine weeks starting Thursday, September 17, and up to 50 comics can enter through Sunday, September 13 for $16.43 — find more information here.

Davis shared why he’s passionate about stand-up comedy and gave his advice for new comics. See him watch his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born and raised here. I’ve been here my entire life and have never lived anywhere else for any extended period of time.

I went to Greenway High School and junior college, before getting some record deals and music opportunities. I toured around the world and made a living at it for a few years before starting my professional career at 30.

The first band I got a record deal with was called Big Shot All Star. We got a record deal with Mammoth Records, which was owned by Disney. Disney shut them down, so we lost our deal.

After our record deal fell flat, I got hired in a band called Trick Turner. I was in Trick Turner for a year, and we were on RCA Records. After touring for a year, RCA got a new president and cleaned house. Even though we sold over 350,000 records and had the number seven alternative hit of 2002, they dropped us from the label.

I got into marketing and am a marketing automation software consultant now for a company called Digital Pi. I consult businesses on their business process practices and do digital marketing based on online behaviors. Continue reading

Leslie Barton: Stand-Up Comedian

Leslie Barton, Phoenix stand-up comedian, photographed at Giant Coffee in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Leslie Barton, Phoenix stand-up comedian, photographed at Giant Coffee in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Leslie Barton
www.facebook.com/lesliebarton87

After less than a decade performing stand-up comedy in the Valley, Leslie Barton has become one of the scene’s most prominent players. The 50-year-old Phoenix resident produces the Hashtag Comedy Corner weekly comedy show on Tuesday nights at Grand Avenue Pizza Company and performs improv every Monday at The Rock in Phoenix in the Workin’ It Out show. She’ll be making people laugh during the Big Pine Comedy Festival in Flagstaff, October 8 to 10, and you can catch her performing at Crescent Ballroom this Wednesday, September 2, as part of The Switch comedy show.

When she’s not performing stand-up, Barton manages Bragg’s Factory Diner in Phoenix. She also is a visual artist who has shown her artwork at the First Friday artwalk in downtown Phoenix, and you can see her video work in an installation in one of the bathrooms in AZ/88.

Barton shares her journey as a stand-up comedian and has tips for aspiring stand-up comedians, and you can hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents. We moved here from Colorado because my mother had a job here, and I’ve lived here since seventh grade. I graduated from Thunderbird High School and went to Phoenix College, then went to school at Al Collins Graphic Design School and got my degree in art and design.

I was born in Fort Lee, Virginia, and my family moved around a lot because my parents were in the Army. I’ve also lived in Illinois and northern California in San Francisco. Continue reading

Erick Biez: Stand-Up Comedian

Erick Biez, Valley stand-up comedian and comedy show host, photographed at The Turf in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Erick Biez, Valley stand-up comedian and comedy show host, photographed at The Turf in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Erick Biez
www.facebook.com/erickbiez

Erick Biez is responsible for bringing established and new comedians from the Valley and across the country to local stages, as the 31-year-old Phoenix resident and stand-up comedian hosts comedy nights at various bars and comedy clubs throughout town. Catch him hosting Monday Night Comedy at The Turf  in Phoenix every Monday from 10-11:30 p.m., a show that features both local and national comedians. He also runs Copper Comedy at Copper Blues in Tempe and the New Faces of Comedy shows at Stand Up Live and Tempe Improv. Beginning Thursday, September 3, he starts up a new comedy show at Valley Bar in Phoenix, with co-producer Anwar Newton.

When he’s not facilitating laughs on stage, Biez serves hungry diners at Mother Bunch Brewing in Phoenix. He shares his tips for beginning and veteran comedians below, and you can hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Flagstaff in 2002 to study writing for TV and film at Northern Arizona University. After college, I moved to Chicago for a year, then moved back to Flagstaff, and then moved to Phoenix in 2010. Continue reading

Anthony Desamito: Stand-Up Comedian

Anthony Desamito, Phoenix-based stand-up comedian, photographed at Monkey Pants in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Anthony Desamito, Phoenix-based stand-up comedian, photographed at Monkey Pants in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Anthony Desamito
twitter.com/AnthonyDesamito

Anthony Desamito is instantly lovable. The local comic and 26-year-old Tempe resident is constantly smiling during his sets, making people crack up with his tales of messed-up romances and hysterical views on life. The Mexico-raised comedian has steadily grown his audience since he got his stand-up start four years ago, having performed at the San Luis Obispo Comedy Festival 2014 and Phoenix Comicon 2014. He was also a finalist in the first annual Arizona’s Funniest Comedian 2014.

Desamito, who by day is a videographer at ASU in the School of Engineering and teaches video at ASU in the School of Art, is polishing his material for two big upcoming shows: the first, his birthday show, is Thursday, August 28 at Monkey Pants in Tempe. The free show starts at 8:30 p.m. and also marks Desamito’s four-year comedy anniversary. He’s also performing at the Queer Queens of Qomedy show Thursday, September 18 at the Tempe Improv, opening for the Poppy Champlin.

Desamito is a busy guy: he plays a gay comic in a college town on Serious About Comedy, premiering September 9 on Trends TV throughout U.S. colleges. He also writes and performs in The Freakin’ A’s, a YouTube video sketch comedy group, and performs funny videos on his own channel. He regularly performs longform improv with groups Funnel Cake and Brunettes On the Run at the The Torch Theatre, and he’s also a writer for satire news magazine, Grown Up Recess.

Read on for why he got involved with stand-up comedy, and to watch him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I lived in Mexico until I was 8 years old. I was born in El Centro, California, right on the border of Mexicali, Baja California in Mexico. I was basically an anchor baby. My mom had me here in the U.S., and when I was 8 years old and able to say “American citizen” and walk across the border, we moved to Yuma.

I was culture shocked. I was like, “Wait, white people? I thought these were only on TV.” I didn’t know my name was Anthony — I thought it was Antonio. The doctor named me Anthony so I could fit in better here when I moved here. After Yuma, I moved to Flagstaff to go to Coconino Community College. I got some scholarships to ASU and moved here in 2010, and graduated two years ago with a degree in intermedia digital art and video. Continue reading

Jessie Johnson: Bully Mammoth Performer, Stand-Up Comedian

Jessie Johnson, Bully Mammoth sketch comedy troupe performer and stand-up comedian, photographed at The Gelato Spot in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jessie Johnson, Bully Mammoth sketch comedy troupe performer and stand-up comedian, photographed at Gelato Spot in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jessie Johnson
twitter.com/TheBullyMammoth

Jessie Johnson has been a restaurant manager for an Australian eatery, she’s been Tinker Bell, and she’s even been a little boy — all as part of local sketch comedy troupe Bully Mammoth, in which she’s the only female member. The 23-year-old Phoenix resident is a comedy veteran despite her young age, having gotten her sketch start performing with a troupe since back in high school. She’s also been performing stand-up comedy for the past two years and is gearing up to write for a new sitcom called The Palace, which she’s working on with her Scottsdale Community College peers.

Her love for mixing film with comedy is evident tonight, as she hosts a stand-up show and premiere of the six-minute short film she wrote and directed, called Charlie, at the Ice House Tavern in Phoenix. Head to the free show at 8:30 p.m., where you’re encouraged to dress up fancily, since it’s a Hollywood premiere theme. The show is part of the series of comedy shows she hosts there every first Monday. Catch her perform with Bully Mammoth Saturday, June 28, at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Read on for what inspires her comedy and to hear her talk about her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

Well, when a man meets a woman…(laughs) No, I was born here, so I’ve lived here my whole life. I went to Dobson High School and am now at Scottsdale Community College. I graduate next semester with an Associate’s (degree) in film.

Next semester, I’m working on a sitcom at the school, which will be produced by the film and theater department. There are three of us working on it right now in the writer’s room — Hunter M. Lewis, Steve Pursell and myself. Continue reading

Ryan Gaumont: Bully Mammoth Sketch Comedian

Ryan Gaumont, Bully Mammoth comedian, photographed at the Tempe Center for the Arts, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Gaumont, Bully Mammoth comedian, photographed at the Tempe Center for the Arts, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Gaumont
http://twitter.com/RyanGaumont

Since 2007, Ryan Gaumont has been seen on Valley stages making people laugh as one of the founding members of Bully Mammoth, a local sketch comedy troupe that has performed more than 40 shows since its inception. The 25-year-old Scottsdale resident and video editor at Sequence Media Group always loved watching sketch shows growing up, and now he and the six-member troupe craft new scenes regularly for the Arizona masses. Gaumont, along with the rest of his troupe members, can also be seen doing stand-up comedy at various venues. Catch him with Bully Mammoth at Tempe Center for the Arts Friday, April 19 and at Brigett’s Last Laugh on Tuesday, February 19 doing stand-up, and scroll down to hear what got him interested in comedy and why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My mother’s vagina — just kidding, but yes! I’m a native. I was born in Mesa and went to Dobson High School and Scottsdale Community College. I got my bachelor’s degree in theater from ASU and an associate’s degree in screenwriting. Continue reading

Amy Donohue: Owner of The Fab Social, Kidney Donor, Comedian

Amy Donohue

Amy Donohue, photographed at Windsor in central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Amy Donohue
twitter.com/thefabulousone 

You’ve probably heard of Amy Donohue if you’ve lived in the Valley the past couple years. The self-proclaimed shameless self-promoter, 41, has not only turned her passion and savvy for social media into her own business (The Fab Social), but she’s also garnered national attention for her donation of her kidney in 2011, which came about through Twitter. Donohue, who has lived in the Valley for 10 years, has also been a strong female force in the local stand-up comedy scene, as well as a radio personality on local station KWSS 106.7-FM. Read on for what brought her to the Valley and how her organ donation has changed her life — including more on her documentary that’s currently in the works — and scroll down to hear Amy tell you five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came here on vacation in July 2002 to visit my best friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in like 10 years. I was here during a monsoon, and I was like, ‘This is the greatest thing ever.’ I was living in upstate New York at the time in Saranac Lake, 5 hours north of New York City. I thought Phoenix was just sand and cactus. I didn’t know there was so much to do in the city, and I was going through a divorce and needed a new start. Before I went to the airport, I put a deposit down for an apartment and moved here 6 weeks later. I sold everything I owned–I fell in love with it!

Continue reading