How is Sarnia’s Andrew Barr contributing to the cross-country comedy tour he’s on with two buddies?
“I’m the one most willing to sleep on the floor at the hotel and that’s pretty important when all we get is one room for the night,” he jokes.
“I’m also super-duper funny.”
Barr, 22, climbed into the backseat of a Mazda 3 last November with fellow comedians Michelle Christine and Michael Flamank. The trio met doing shows in Toronto and decided to strike out on a whirlwind, 38-day tour.
The Weather Permitting Comedy Tour is a colossal success, according to Christine. It pulls into Barr’s hometown on Jan. 2.
The group decided early on they wouldn’t go the stereotypical route using an agent to book gigs and do the publicity.
“Why pay an agent when we could do it ourselves?” asked Christine, 27.
She began cold-calling universities, auditoriums and clubs and the bookings started piling up. Before long, the trio was booked coast-to-coast, working virtually every night and hitting every province between November and January.
They’ve written their own press releases, designed their website and, of course, are providing their own transportation.
Before hitting the road, Christine approached the Toronto dealership where she bought the Mazda 3 and asked if the owner was interested in a $10,000 sponsorship for the tour.
“The guy answers, yes, I really want to help you,” she said. “We couldn’t believe it. He’s just a really good person who wants to do something nice for the community.”
At $5 tickets and nightly crowds each averaging 40 to 100 people, sometimes more, the trio aren’t exactly getting rich.
But they’re holding their own and having a great time, Barr said.
“I discovered in high school doing improv (at St. Patrick’s High School) that I like making people laugh,” he said.
Barr earned a diploma in comedy writing and performance at Humber College.
“We all graduated and got job offers,” he laughed. “No, I’m just kidding.”
He took a job moving furniture to support his penchant for comedy and has appeared in North By Northeast the past two years. He’s also showcased for Sirius XM and appeared on iChannel and MTV.
Christine performed in Second City’s Fresh Meat Showcase 2014 and has done television and radio gigs.
Flamank, 24, has produced and hosted a show called Comical in Toronto. He’s also been on two cross-country tours prior to Weather Permitting.
IF YOU GO
What: The Weather Permitting Comedy Tour, with guest performers Aaron Hopkins and Greg Tobin
When: Friday, Jan. 2
Where: Jack Doyle’s, 1249 London Rd.
Tickets: $5 at the door. Visit www.weatherpermittingtour.com for more.
An Event ApART
The An Event ApART art show at Degroot’s Nurseries on Nov. 14-16 was a big success.
Some of the best artists in Ontario participated in the three-day show and sale, and one exhibit featured works by talented local high school students.
In total, more than $12,000 was raised in support of suicide prevention in the community.