1. Carson Košik
2. Benji Rothman
3. Paul Rabliauskas
Comedian Carson Košik is relatively new to the standup game. He started performing solo shortly before COVID-19 after growing disillusioned with improv comedy.
“I did improv for a long time,” he says. “In improv, you have to share the credit with whoever you’re on stage with. With standup, it’s just for you. If you get a laugh, it’s like, ‘I’m the one who got this.’ And I can do it again tomorrow or next week and get the same reaction. In improv, if you do something funny, you can never do it again ... (in standup) I can control what’s happening.”
Košik recently brought his act to the long-run - ning Winnipeg Comedy Showcase series at the Park Theatre. He says the show’s welcoming atmosphere is an ideal performance setting, where “everyone is on their best behaviour, comedy-wise.”
“(At other venues), you have to struggle a bit for them to figure out what you’re trying to do. At the Park Theatre, the audience wants everyone to do well, and they want to support the local scene. So it’s nice to have a crowd who’s on your side the second you walk out ... I had a bad haircut, unfortunately. I don’t think it made too much of a difference.”
When it comes to bad gigs, Košik’s had much worse experiences than a hostile open-mic audience. One private gig ended up being something truly bizarre.
“This was just when COVID was starting. I did a show for this guy (who I later learned) is a prominent right-wing anti-vaxxer ... I didn’t know what it was, but it was essentially an anti-vax gathering in a backyard.”
Ultimately, Košik says bad gigs, like performing on the street for uninterested pedestrians in Selkirk, Man., still have value.
“I’ve done Rec Room in front of literally zero people, other than five eight-year-olds who walked in ... After a while, you get over that stuff.”
Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)