Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but comedy open-mics are few and far between. For a time a while back, Fort Worth was home to almost a handful of them, with the most popular happening on Sunday nights at the old Black Dog Tavern downtown. Running the show was local professional comedian and instructor Gary Hood, who also worked for Hyena’s Comedy Club, a laughstop with two 817 locations (Sundance Square and Arlington) and with one of the only open-mics around. Even after the Black Dog relocated to the West 7th Street area, the Black Dog show still went on – until a little over a year ago, when the bar closed.
Local pro Ken “TieDye” Mathias is looking for a new spot. He runs an open-mic at Pitcher’s Live in Arlington but said, “Most of the Fort Worth comics won’t come out to Arlington on a consistent basis, and I’d love to find an additional spot,” one closer to downtown.
Mathias believes there’s a need. “Fort Worth has about a dozen ‘open-micers’ and only one place to perform per week,” he said. “With only five minutes per week of stage time, it takes a long time to build an act.”
Comedians, he continued, “need a place to work out the kinks. It has to be in front of an audience for feedback reasons. If run properly, an open-mic show can also be a lot of fun for the performers and the audience.”
The ideal spot for Mathias is small-ish and has a stage, a house PA, and stage lights. “Cold, cheap beer is always a plus,” he said.
The shows are usually about two hours long and attract anywhere from five to 10 performers.
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