Collins Talks Comedy With Dom Pare

Dom PareI’ve seen reviewers call you “angry”, but I’d say “fed up”. Are they getting it wrong or am I getting it wrong? Is there a right answer here?

Maybe we could call it 50 shades of rage? The best description I’ve heard was “snarky and cutting”, but “fed up” would do just as well.

You really can’t go up and be angry for a whole set, especially if you’re doing 30-45 minutes because it will honestly get annoying for the audience. Like playing only one key on a grand piano over and over.

I can be fairly critical, expressing varying degrees of frustration, annoyance, passion, vulnerability, and hypocrisy. That said, my act is often described as angry because it’s easier to sum up what I do that way in a review. If you could imagine my act as a painting that uses a colour pallet of chartreuse, olive, lime, mint and pine… the reviewer would say it was “green” and I’m cool with that.

You seem just as comfortable in alternative rooms as in mainstream rooms. Do you gauge who the audience is? Is there a difference or is it made up?

Good question. I like to think of it as finding where I end, and the audience begins. The more you practice and the more you give of yourself as a performer, the closer you get to this magical line. If you can consistently find it you become famous (maybe).

Of course, there are ways to understand an audience before you get on stage. Sometimes you base it on age, or the way the audience is dressed (hipster glasses and skinny jeans on a 20 year old is a different vibe than a room full of starched shirts and grey hair). I will often do the same jokes, but with edits that I apply as I find the audiences level. It’s also a luxury to watch acts before you to see where the audiences sensibilities lay.

I started as a much more alternative and abstract comedian. I suppose that has made me comfortable in alternative rooms overall because they do have a different character than a casino or club. I also find alternative rooms to be very open minded because they’re looking for a unique or special moment that feels like they’re in on a secret and rarely have the “make me laugh” attitude that can happen in clubs.

All this said, I will often disregard the audiences sensibilities and drag them kicking and screaming into my jokes because that can be more fun; but does have higher risk of failure.

Who’s your ideal audience member?

Oh geez – There are so many audience member types I like but in general I’d say a 25-55 year old who took a nap earlier today and has had a couple drinks. They’ve got energy to laugh, and have loosened up a bit but not too much to become hecklers.

When and where are your sets?

I’m doing 3 sets this year, all at Comedy Bar (945 Bloor St W). First is June 13th (The Dark Show), then June 14th (Strip Comedy), and lastly June 15th (Dark Show again). I believe they are all late shows starting sometime after midnight. [Ed. Note: All around 2am]

About Matt Collins

Matt Collins is a musician (Ninja High School), cartoonist (Sexy), jock (Manhunt), and comedian (Matt Collins) in Toronto, Ontario. Please buy more Matt Collins. [Other Posts By Matt]