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March 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Weirdos getting freaky in the deep end? ‘Steve Pool Comedy Showcase’ dives right in

Evangeline Spracklin.

Evangeline Spracklin.

The Steve Pool Comedy Showcase is a bit like the open swim at a public pool. You can never be sure what will happen. There’s always one guy with goggles on just hanging around the deep end and somebody’s hairy uncle might try a double off the high dive if he’s drunk enough.

The monthly comedy and variety show takes place at Vermillion on Capitol hill and features stand-up comedy, videos, sketches and improv skits. The event spotlights a mix of performers pushing the envelope with absurdly off-the-wall material. Sometimes they bomb, but mostly they deliver and it’s rewarding to watch a group of young performers willing to take that chance.

The lifeguard for this motley crew of comedy upstarts is Evangeline Spracklin, a 24-year-old budding comic who also serves as the evening’s host and MC. Spracklin’s written pieces for Jezebel, produced videos for the Seattle Opera and also served as a mentor at Reel Grrls.

The Steve Pool Comedy Showcase will be celebrating its one-year anniversary at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 at Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave., Seattle; free.

Q/A with Evangeline Spracklin below.

Name:  Evangeline Spracklin, aka “Vange”

Base of Operations: The Psychic Deli, Seattle WA, USA

Age: 24

What is the Steve Pool Comedy Showcase?

The Steve Pool Comedy Showcase is a monthly variety show at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar featuring stand-up, sketch, multimedia, performance art, and [seasonal theme related noun or verb here], although the structure of the show is definitely flexible. One show was staged as a high school election assembly featuring a teen murder-mystery plot twist and our 4/20 show is going to be a live reenactment of an episode of Friends.

How long have you been putting on the event?

This March will be the one-year anniversary of the Steve Pool Comedy Showcase! Celebrate with uuuuussss! 3/25, 8pm!

What is it about Steve Pool that makes him such a cool character? 

If you watch Steve do a weather report you can tell that he knows how to take it easy AND do great work. It also seems like he really cares about his community. One of my favorite things Steve does is post bios and praise on Facebook for his mentees and interns. Steve is extremely chill.

Why did you decide to name your comedy show after him? 

Steve Pool is a beloved figure for us. He’s cool, he’s funny, and he’s a Seattle icon – all things we strive for in our show. I grew up in the city and have had Steve in my home and psyche my whole life, but a lot of young people who have moved to Seattle recently don’t know who Steve is because they don’t watch local news. As I watch the city change and grow and condo-ize it has been fun to rep and share a classic and consistent Seattle figure with folks new to the 206.

Who are your favorite local celebrities/public figures?

It’s always a pleasure to see Bo Odyssey aka “Scarf Man” out and about!

Has Steve Pool or anyone affiliated with KOMO contacted you? Is he aware of the event? 

I don’t think Steve knows about our show …Yet! No one at KOMO has gotten in touch with us despite repeated posts on Steve’s official Facebook page. We would LOVE to see Steve come out to the show in any capacity! Hopefully this article helps get the message out to the big guy.

Who else is involved in Steve Pool Comedy Showcase and where did you did you find them?

The Steve Pool Comedy Showcase is run by a collective of performers that united last year to create a space for our weirdo selves to get freaky on our own terms. Part of creating a show that feels a little different is fostering an environment where female, queer and POC perspectives are the norm.

The show is organized and curated by a collective of friends and performers that I love very much.

The Steve Pool Comedy Players: TOP: Linas Phillips,Travis Watt, Steve Pool, Evangeline Spracklin, Erin McSmith. MIDDLE: Avalon Willows, Milan Patel. BOTTOM: Jesse Villacis.

The Steve Pool Comedy Players: TOP: Linas Phillips,Travis Watt, Steve Pool, Evangeline Spracklin, Erin McSmith. MIDDLE: Avalon Willows, Milan Patel. BOTTOM: Jesse Villacis.

They are:

Erin McSmith ~ we met when we both got rejected from the UW improv team in 2012. But don’t worry, this early shared rejection served as a catalyst for our comedy! We also took a class together at UW and straight up heckled a guest speaker once! That’s when I knew I truly loved Erin. (https://twitter.com/errinmcsmith)

Milan Patel ~ we met at the Scratch Deli open mic. I thought he was very very funny and he “liked my style” if I remember correctly. He is the rat prince. (https://twitter.com/milan_patel)

Avalon Willows ~ I found her in a box labeled “Bing Bong” in 2007.  (https://twitter.com/periodjokes420)

Horsémeat Detox ~ Horsémeat is an entity that popped up on Facebook this year, and like, has been an unstoppable online presence lately. Her live show is also unforgettable. (https://www.facebook.com/horsemeat.detox)

Travis Watt ~ Travis runs the Scratch Deli open mic (formerly associated with the People’s Republik of Komedy) and in addition to being super funny, is one of the nicest people I know. Seattle is lucky to have someone like him creating a cool space and encouraging new comics to get up. (https://twitter.com/TravisWatt)

How long have you been performing?

I have been performing for almost three years now.

What was your first time onstage like?

The first time I performed was at the open mic at The Creek & The Cave in Queens NYC. I was terrified to go up but once on stage I felt really comfortable had fun. My set touched on sharting my trousers while working in a grocery deli and a thing called “hot saucing” which is too disgusting to elaborate on. It went over really well and I remember walking back to the subway feeling pumped beyond belief to have finally started doing stand-up comedy.

Is comedy a full-time job and if not what do you do to pay the rent?

I have made $33 total doing comedy, but I am in it for the silly billies not the cash. To pay the rent I do freelance video work for Reel Grrls Productions and have some other ventures.

Do you have a favorite spot or a certain night you prefer to perform at?

I feel at home at the Scratch Deli open mic. I also love Wine Shots, which is a monthly show put on at The Rendezvous by DogHead In The Door Productions.

Every comedian has a story about bombing onstage, what’s it like?

It feels super cool cuz you realize that this is the worst that can happen when performing and it’s not even that bad! Becoming comfortable in the pain + failure that goes hand in hand with the pleasure + success of performing has been a valuable experience.

What’s the best way to handle a heckler?

Kiss them on the mouth and tell them you love them.

Can you share a one-liner?

SKATE or DIE!

Jeff Albertson: jalbertson@seattletimes.com

Comments | More in Comedy | Topics: Avalon Willows, Comedy, Erin McSmith


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