Did you know there is a vibrant underground stand-up comedy scene in Vermont? And did you know there's even a stand-up comedy scene in the LGBT community?
RU12? and VT Cares volunteer Marc Bouchard knows all about it. He was one of six hilarious LGBT comics lined up at Vermont Comedy Club's LGBTQ focused event this past weekend, The Fabulous Show. Below is a personal account from him on being a gay comedian in Vermont:
Throughout my life, I've had people around me say things like "You should perform on stage" or you're funny, you should be a comedian". I would say "Thanks" and think they were just being nice, and that it would be too time consuming to get involved in performance arts.
In October 2011, a small comedy club in Burlington opened, and I attended their first comedy showcase. It was mentioned that they were hosting a weekly open mic where anyone could have five minutes of stage time. I went home and went to work on jokes, and performed the following week. I was immediately addicted, and performed weekly at the open mic, attaining the nickname "Gay Marc" because my material was based around my life, and coming out in a rural and conservative part of Vermont.
As I started performing in showcases, I quickly realized that the majority of the audiences were heterosexual and could not relate to some of my material. Anytime I have a joke that doesn't get a response, I see this as an opportunity to rewrite and educate my audience on the gay lifestyle.
It's not about being political, or shoving my lifestyle down anyone's throat (I have something else for that). All I want to do is make people laugh. By laughing at myself, and relating my lifestyle to theirs, I feel like I bridge a gap to my straight audience. I hope to help them see that we have similar issues, and that laughter truly is the best medicine.
You can preview part of his set from The Fabulous Show here: "Pray the Gay Away"