Stand-up comic returns to Victoria for laugh fest

Blue Bridge Comedy Fest features Kristeen von Hagen, Brent Butt and more

Kristeen von Hagen will return to her hometown Victoria for the Blue Bridge Comedy Fest.

Kristeen von Hagen’s first venture into the stand-up comedy  world was at a

club in Victoria in the mid-90s.

 

“It was terrifying. Everyone knew it was my first time so they were super kind and polite … but your first attempt at stand-up is always questionable at best,” she says, now 15-plus years into her career as a comedienne.

“I remember doing this thing about driving and being distracted – looking over and seeing people brush their teeth and playing with the radio. I don’t know if they were even jokes.”

And while von Hagen’s been away from Victoria – where she was born and raised – since 1996, she says returning to perform is always unnerving.

“My parents will come to at least one show, and my aunts and uncles. A long time ago I was performing at a club and two girls I’d gone to high school with were in the audience. … I feel the pressure’s on a bit more in Victoria,” she says.

Next week (Aug. 15 to 19), von Hagen joins a terrific lineup of comedians, including Brent Butt (of Corner Gas fame), for the Blue Bridge Comedy Festival.

“This is kind of my dream scenario,” says festival organizer Dan Quinn. He contacted all the best comedians he knew, they all said yes, and the Blue Bridge Comedy Fest was born.

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend of entertainment, to get to see all these top acts at once. If you’re a fan of comedy, you’re able to get a full fix of acts you might never get to see otherwise… or for way more money,” Quinn says.

In addition to von Hagen and Butt, Blue Bridge will feature shows from Mark Maron, Nikki Payne, Johnny Bagpipes, Sean Proudlove, Damonde Tschritter, Peter White, Paul Myrehaug and Rob Pue.

Von Hagen says her lengthy resumé of experience on stage has helped ease her mind from those first few shows in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto.

“I no longer have that fear that I’m going to die or it’s going to be a nightmare. I remember a time where I would be phoning in for spots and I would be upset if I didn’t get a spot and I was horrified if I did, because I knew I would have to go do it,” she says.

Stand-up comedy remains an “old boys’ club,” she says, though she doesn’t understand why that is.

“There’s still a lot of people, men and women, who see a woman get on stage and get put off,” she says. “And periodically you hear, ‘there’s no funny women.’ That doesn’t make sense. You’ve never had a funny aunt or wife? Your girlfriend has never made you laugh? That, to me, seems insane.”

 

For more information on Blue Bridge, visit bluebridgecomedyfestival.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Repatriation efforts work to heal and connect through history: Royal BC Museum

Victoria museum’s efforts bolstered by B.C. repatriation grant

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make public transit announcement in Victoria on Thursday

Trudeau is speaking at a campaign countdown event in downtown Victoria

Afternoon crashes tangle Wednesday traffic in Victoria

Victoria Police were kept busy with a pair of rush hour crashes… Continue reading

Swastikas appear on downtown Victoria bus shelters

VicPD says graffiti has increased significantly in last six months

Big Lonely Doug among largest old-growth trees now on protection list

B.C. to protect 54 old-growth trees, but critics say it’s not enough

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read